Your astrological week ahead, with Psychic Bob

Pisces (20 FEB-20 MAR)
Jupiter is going to pass very close to Venus in the night sky this week and as they draw level you swear you hear them say something about your fat arse.

Aries (21 MAR-19 APR)
After being asked to use up your annual leave before April, you decide to take it in unplanned 15 minute sections whenever you are asked to do anything.

Taurus (20 APRIL – 20 MAY)
You try and increase your daily portions of fruit and veg this week by switching from mustard to ketchup on your deep-fried pork tubes.

Gemini (21 MAY-20 JUN)
A testing time for your faith as Jesus resurrects himself again, asks the Pope if he’s some kind of fucking arsehole and tells everyone to have anal sex.

Cancer (21 JUN-22 JUL)
Why not do something special this mother’s day, like not looking at your watch all the time during your nine-minute visit to the nursing home?

Leo (23 JUL-22 AUG)
The first trembling green buds on the trees, the faint scent in the air and sense of new beginnings all point to the fact that spring is here. The fact you’ve had an erection for five days straight is an additional clue.

Virgo (23 AUG-22 SEP)
This week you join a protest against the closure of a local A&E ward because nowhere else has the right flavour alcoholic hand gel.

Libra (23 SEP-23 OCT)
Giant steps are what you take walking on the moon. I hope my leg don’t break walking on the moon. And that, gentlemen, is why I think I would be perfect for the role of chief researcher here at NASA.

Scorpio (24 OCT-21 NOV)
People can show a real lack of empathy and understanding about dyslexia sufferers, especially when it’s the type that’s completely made up.

Sagittarius (22 NOV-21 DEC)
This week you deliberately contract a serious illness so you can enjoy the benefits of the NHS while it still exists and anyway, a bout of cholera can make it sound like you’ve been somewhere fancy.

Capricorn (22 DEC-19 JAN)
Less than 140 days until the Olympics are here and you can start complaining that there’s fuck all on the telly.

Aquarius (20 JAN-19 FEB)
This week you spice up the presentation for your company’s quarterly financial report by adding slides of William Blake paintings, wearing a stocking over your head and repeatedly saying “Do you see?” in an upper-class accent.

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Why I am leaving the Empire, by Darth Vader

TODAY is my last day at the Empire.

After almost 12 years, first as a summer intern, then in the Death Star and now in London, I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its massive, genocidal space machines. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.

To put the problem in the simplest terms, throttling people with your mind continues to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making people dead.

The Empire is one of the galaxy’s largest and most important oppressive regimes and it is too integral to galactic murder to continue to act this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of Yoda College that I can no longer in good conscience point menacingly and say that I identify with what it stands for.

For more than a decade I recruited and mentored candidates, some of whom were my secret children, through our gruelling interview process. In 2006 I managed the summer intern program in detecting strange disturbances in the Force for the 80 younglings who made the cut.

I knew it was time to leave when I realised I could no longer speak to these students inside their heads and tell them what a great place this was to work.

How did we get here? The Empire changed the way it thought about leadership. Leadership used to be about ideas, setting an example and killing your former mentor with a light sabre. Today, if you make enough money you will be promoted into a position of influence, even if you have a disturbing lack of faith.

What are three quick ways to become a leader? a) Execute on the firm’s ‘axes’, which is Empire-speak for persuading your clients to invest in ‘prime-quality’ residential building plots on Alderaan that don’t exist and have not existed since we blew it up. b) ‘Hunt Elephants’. In English: get your clients – some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren’t – to tempt their friends to Cloud City and then betray them. c) Hand over rebel smugglers to an incredibly fat gangster.

When I was a first-year analyst I didn’t know where the bathroom was, or how to tie my shoelaces telepathically. I was taught to be concerned with learning the ropes, finding out what a protocol droid was and putting my helmet on properly so people could not see my badly damaged head.

My proudest moments in life – the pod race, being lured over to the Dark Side and winning a bronze medal for mind control ping-pong at the Midi-Chlorian Games – known as the Jedi Olympics – have all come through hard work, with no shortcuts.

The Empire today has become too much about shortcuts and not enough about remote strangulation. It just doesn’t feel right to me anymore.

I hope this can be a wake-up call. Make killing people in terrifying and unstoppable ways the focal point of your business again. Without it you will not exist. Weed out the morally bankrupt people, no matter how much non-existent Alderaan real estate they sell. And get the culture right again, so people want to make millions of voices cry out in terror before being suddenly silenced.