Rishi Sunak's guide to pretending none of this is happening

EVERYTHING’S fine, that’s the news! The strikers will get bored eventually! The cold’s a blip, there won’t be blackouts, and my party will warm to me!

I’m Rishi Sunak, the prime minister of these islands, and I am relieved to tell you that Britain is motoring along smoothly toward a fantastic Christmas.

Strikes? You know what public sector workers are like. They strike over nothing, the prima donnas. Try to reduce the number of pens they steal and it’s ‘Everybody out!’ 

Yes, there are quite a few strikers. Bloody loads, if you’re in a counting mood. But, like a child demanding a treat at the till – no Anoushka, you can’t have another Hermes scarf – you just have to say ‘No’.

Once they realise I don’t give in to pressure, the strikers will pack up their pickets and settle happily back to work as if all this nonsense never happened, so effectively it isn’t happening.

In the Commons? There I stood firm against pressure by agreeing a compromise on housing targets. My MPs get what they want, and I got to keep my record of no defeats. So again nothing happened. Who needs houses anyway? More than four are a burden.

The cold? Well, this is a cold country and proud of it, so it’s not worth mentioning in any context. Gas bills that are slightly higher, 96 per cent or so, are a marvellous incentive to go green and turn the heating down or off.

And cutting usage means there’s more to go around for everyone so there won’t be blackouts! It’s a self-solving problem! It cancels itself out and never took place!

So there you go, Britain. All that stuff you’re concerned about? Not real! Well, that’s my job done for the month. See you in January!

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Six bands stoned enough to use flutes and other horribly pretentious instruments

MUSICIANS love getting out an obscure instrument that no one actually likes to prove how multi-talented they are. Here are some bands that went too far.

Jethro Tull

The quintessential flute-toting nonsense band. Ian Anderson wielded the thing like the f**ing Pied Piper, but to accompany their twee, folky gibberish rather than doing something useful like drowning rats. The flute is probably best left to orchestras and Die Zauberflöte, unless you think you’re better than Mozart, probably actually a common rock star delusion.

The Beatles

The psychedelic period of the Fab Four may be their best, for potheads at least. Like a grown-up gap year bellend, George Harrison ‘found himself’ while learning the sitar. Whether Ravi Shankar got bored of listening to the Beatles droning on is unclear, but their spiritual awakening has inspired generations of musicians, mostly to get off their tits.


Damon Albarn has a definite penchant for pretentious instruments. An on-stage harp is bad, but the melodica is too much. Featured again and again on Albarn’s hits as Gorillaz or solo, this musical monstrosity is basically a nose flute for the mouth with piano keys. It looks like a kids’ toy and sounds like a goose that’s fallen into an industrial press.

Led Zeppelin

After trying to play the guitar with a violin bow, Jimmy Page next decided the classic Gallows Pole needed a session musician with a hurdy gurdy, a wooden box with a crank that, appropriately, looks like a portable electric generator favoured by torturers. Slavic folk musicians probably liked it, but a Zep fan has yet to utter the words: ‘I wish they did more hurdy gurdy solos.’


Bagpipes were a good choice as this reviled instrument couldn’t make irritating nu-metal much worse. Vocalist Jonathan Davis was apparently inspired by Scotty playing bagpipes at Spock’s funeral in Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan, which just makes this strange choice more confusing. Seeking new musical atrocities, Davis later performed scat on their most successful song.


Pity the listener who endured a half-hour Yes live jam session without LSD. Yes took keyboards to dismally pretentious new heights with multi-levelled pianos, keytars, and extended improvisations on the church organ. Rick Wakeman was a god to prog rock fans, but then they’d probably sit and stroke their beards sagely to an hour-long solo on a kazoo.