There's a sinister plot afoot

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The Independent Online

My fellow Americans, delete Americans, insert British, my fellow British citizens.

My fellow Americans, delete Americans, insert British, my fellow British citizens.

I come to you today with a grave warning. We never know where the enemy will strike next.

As you know, our intelligence services are constantly on the alert, looking for chances to put the wind up you and make it easier for me to introduce even more annoying restrictions on your liberty.

There is a good reason for this. The more I can persuade you that there are terrorist threats round the next corner, the more easily I can introduce other bits of legislation that you will hardly notice.

I can ban fox hunting, for instance.

I can introduce vast new casinos into the landscape.

I can make it mandatory for casinos to have disabled access, so that even the disadvantaged can lose the advantages they did not have in the first place.

Why, the other day my friend Gordon Brown challenged me to pass a law so silly that nobody would believe I had passed it.

Go on, I said. Name one.

Oh, well, I bet you can't ban spanking, he said.

So I did.

I announced that, as part of our anti-terrorist measures, spanking would be banned forthwith.

They fell for it.

Gordon Brown now owes me £100.

But now my intelligence services tell me that a vast new outbreak of unparalleled terrorist offences is expected all over Britain.

Very soon.

Today, in fact.

This will take the shape of a concerted series of explosions mounted indiscriminately throughout the home counties. Except Northern Ireland.

The weapons used will be codenamed "fireworks".

At approximately 1830 hours, or maybe 1930 hours, or perhaps later, hundreds of thousands of millions pounds' worth of coloured explosives will be detonated by subversive organisations which have been in place for many years.

These organisations will go under such unlikely code names as Rotary, or Lions, or Young Farmers, or Your Village Entertainments Committee.

Their aim? To bring Britain to a standstill. To put unbearable demands on our fire services. To drive all pet dogs scatty. To confuse planes trying to land at Heathrow. To set fire to ancestral moorland. And much much more.

These explosives are being stored today in secret caches all over the country. Our intelligence services know they are there. They do not know where exactly. But they know they are there all right. Oh yes, they do. These weapons of mass distraction are there somewhere. Believe me.

We know this, because we have already captured and interrogated some of the operatives involved in this programme of mass terror. We have tried to uncover the ideological reasons for the bringing of massive unrest to our population. And all of them, without exception, refer to a previous failed plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament.

"This is to celebrate the Gunpowder Plot to blow up King and Parliament!" they say.

Our intelligence services have established that this attempt must have taken place some time ago. How do we know this? Because we know we have not had a king for some time. We do not know yet how far back this plot dates to. Perhaps the 1930s or even earlier. But a terrorist organisation that has failed before will be even more eager to succeed another time.

That is why we must be on our guard.

That us why I ask all of you, British people, to give up your right to have a bit of fun and to denounce anyone in your area who you think is trying to hoard "fireworks".

If you think you know of someone who is planning a "Fireworks Night", please phone Mr David Blunkett.

He will know what to do.

Thank you.