Friday, 4 March 2011

Killer Shrimp Take Cardiff

This spoof entry looks at a theoretical version of events whereby the city of Cardiff is overrun by a large number of 33m-long killer shrimp. The chain of events that led to this improbable tragedy is too long to recount here, but the following is a report taken from a press conference attended by a number of journalists and senior government figures shortly after the story breaks.

This entry is dedicated to Erin Whiley.

Assembled journalists and senior government figures were clearly shocked to be told of the events that had seen the city of Cardiff fall to the Killer Shrimp, but David Cameron looked stoic and statesmanlike as he stepped forward to the podium.

It was Sun reporter Tom Wells who asked the first question. 'Mr Cameron, why did the government not anticipate the attack which has seen Cardiff fall to the Killer Shrimp?'

Cameron replied, 'I think it can be said that there were not very many people who saw this attack coming. None of us came into politics to face accusations about being unprepared. Rather, I came into politics because I love this country. I think its best days still lie ahead and I believe deeply in public service.

'And I think the service our country needs right now is to face up to our really big challenges, to confront our problems, to take difficult decisions, to lead people through those difficult decisions, so that together we can reach better times ahead.'

There were appreciative murmurs and nodding from the crowd and the Prime Minister posed for photographs before stepping aside for his Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Guardian journalist Ben Dowell asked, 'Mr Hague, why are you, as Foreign Secretary, involved in this briefing?'

The former Conservative leader adjusted his suit and said, 'Well, Ben, I think we can all agree that being engaged in the world is an indispensable part of the British character.'

'But Mr Hague, Wales is part of these British Isles.'

Hague nodded approvingly. 'Indeed it is, and the fact that no-one there votes Conservative has barely registered in our strategy. Talks are currently ongoing about the establishment of an American-sponsored no-fly zone over south Wales that will prevent the shrimps from parachuting in reinforcements.'

There was a brief hiatus as tabloid journalists in the front row argued over the subject of whether shrimp can fly. When calm was restored, Mr Hague intimated that he had information that the leader of the Killer Shrimp had abandoned Cardiff and was now on route to Venezuela. When challenged on the assertion, Hague admitted that he really had no idea if shrimp even had leaders, but that everyone was in agreement that if they did, it was only just and fair that they should be selected via internationally-observed democratic elections.

It was the Times who put the next question to the government. 'Do you feel that the government's recent decision to make the entire armed forces of Britain redundant in order to save money has proved to be a good one in the light of these events?'

Hague pulled himself up to his full height (5'6") and calmly insisted that despite the decision, the UK would remain a military power 'of the first rank, made up of flexible, highly deployable forces.' Upon hearing expressed doubts about this, the Foreign Secretary reminded the assembled crowd that the UK defence responsibilities had been privatised and the contract sold to the highest bidder, which had turned out to be Libya.

Mr Hague said that despite the problems the Middle East was currently experiencing, international contract law meant that he was confident he could force Libya to meet their military responsibilities to the UK. 'If not,' Hague boomed, 'they can expect to receive a big fine.' The crowd agreed that this would certainly make Colonel Gadaffi think twice before breaking the contract.

A keen-eyed journalist in the back row noted an election manifesto pledge by the Liberal Democrats to buy and thaw out Mega Shark (who had been previously frozen by Icelandic counter-terrorist forces to prevent it from swallowing Reykjavik) as a means of dealing with a potential Killer Shrimp problem. A clearly-reluctant Nick Clegg stepped forward and made the following statement:

'The Mega Shark proposal has proven to be something of an impediment to social justice.' When he was greeted with silence, Mr Clegg continued, 'It was determined that the mere existence of such a beast was due to inequalities that had occurred in the social system at a much earlier stage.'

When the journalist who had asked the original question stated that he did not understand the response, Mr Clegg stammered, 'The current government policy is a much better way of making Britain a fairer place!'

The journalist then asked Mr Clegg if he actually understood the original question. Clegg glumly replied that he didn't actually know what he was doing at the press conference, but said that he was told by David Cameron that if he publicly agreed with all of the government's policies, he would be allowed to run the country on his own for a few minutes. Clegg then began to cry and had to be led away by Theresa May.

The Daily Mirror then voiced rumours which had begun to surface on the internet that a passing contingent of Welsh choristers, who were involved in a medieval battle reproduction outside the city, had managed to capture one of the Killer Shrimp and hand it over to local council officials. 'It's all utter bollocks,' Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles said, before belching loudly and suffusing the room with the unmistakeable smell of prawn bhuna.

Cameron stepped forward again and fielded a question about the possibility of a nuclear response. 'As you will all know, it was part of our coalition agreement to consider the replacement of the Trident nuclear deterrent system with something suitably fit-for-purpose that would not cost an arm and a leg. Ladies and gentleman, I would now like to reveal that replacement. I give you...Trident Mk II.'

Mr Cameron stepped back as the cameras began to flash and held aloft a three-tined fork made of dull metal roughly four feet long. As soon as it began, the applause abruptly died away and the crowd stood open-mouthed.

'It might not look like much,' Mr Cameron enthused smoothly, 'but this trident was available very cheaply as part of a larger package of economic assistance from Greece. It is the actual trident once owned by the Greek god Poseidon, and it will ensure that once again, Britain will rule the waves!'

At that point, the press conference broke down as pro-European MPs stormed the building, citing that Britain's attempts to rule the waves were in direct contravention of EU Common Fisheries Policy. As police waded into the scene and set about the crowd with metal truncheons, the Spanish foreign minister, who was on a visit to Britain, was heard to say, 'We can sue for that.'

No comments:

Post a Comment