Bill to ban hunting of MPs pushed through

'A secret survey showed that the public would prefer a real disaster to visit the Oscars'
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How good are you at keeping up with the news? Well, there is a very good way of finding out. And that is to take my unique "How Good Are You At Keeping Up With The News?" test!

All you have to do is read the following five news stories, which have been garnered from last week's news and current affairs output. One of them is totally fictitious and untrue. Think you can spot it? Let's go!

1. A judge has granted Margaret Thatcher permission to commit political suicide. In an epoch-making decision, he said that she has the right to cut herself off from the oxygen of publicity by refusing to make any more public statements. A distraught Tory party had tried to get a judgement which would force her to continue her public statements. A spokesman for the Conservatives said: "Even though she resigned years ago, she is still the only Tory politician who can automatically get into the headlines for anything she says. We can't do without her. If she pulls the plug, I don't know what we will do. Our only hope is that she is so dependent on public attention that she will never be able to bring herself to switch off her political life-support system."

2. A burglar has been sent to prison through his own generosity. Sentencing him, a judge said that Ron George had been trapped through his own good-heartedness. George had forcibly entered a house in Harrogate where he obliged the householder, Mr Barnard Forsyte, to hand over all his money. Mr Forsyte had then pleaded with the burglar to let him have £20 back for the morning, when he would have to pay his children's bus money and so on. Relenting, George gave him back two tenners. "After he had gone," Forsyte told the court, "I realised that although the burglar had used a mask and gloves for the hold-up, he had actually taken his gloves off to count the money, which meant that his fingerprints would be on the £10 notes!" When the police arrived, they took the money as evidence and soon traced George, and arrested him. However, as the money had been taken away by the police, Mr Forsyte was still short of money for the school run, and so on, and had to borrow twenty quid from the policeman. This has not yet been repaid.

3. The reason that MPs are so anxious to push through a bill banning hunting with dogs is that they have surreptitiously written into it a clause which would make it illegal to hunt MPs with Whips.

4. The poster industry is having a private competition to see how many times they can get the word "Ali" on to posters at major sites in London. Already they have scored successes in publicising no fewer then two films with the name in them,Ali and Ali G In Da House. But now, in a poster campaign for the Salvador Dali paintings on show in the old County Hall, the designer of the poster has managed to put the "D" in "Dali" in a different colour and slightly apart from the rest of the name, so that "ali" stands out clearly by itself. What the poster industry can't agree on is whether this counts as a genuine use of the name "ali".

5. The reason that the location of the Oscar ceremony was moved this year was that security reports ascertained that hijackers intended to fly a plane into the theatre hosting the Academy Awards and take the top Hollywood talent with it. There were two immediate responses to this. One was to relocate the Academy Awards to a place which was surrounded by high buildings. The other was to use the idea as the basis for a film, and currently at least three companies are shooting the story of the plane that hit the Oscars. As the event never took place, none of them can be accused of plagiarism. Meanwhile, studio chiefs have been startled by a secret survey which showed that the public would prefer a real disaster to visit the Oscars than for a film to be made about it. In the words of one punter, "Anything to cut those speeches down to length would be welcome".

Well? Did you spot that the story about Margaret Thatcher wasn't exactly accurate? Well done! Mark you, none of the other stories was true either. Honestly, you can't trust anyone these days.

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