Fake News

I read it in the paper;

It’s definitely true.

Those guys are proper journalists,

The truth is what they do.

They’ve done extensive research;

There’s no way they can fail.

You know that you can trust the Daily Mail.

 

I read it in the paper;

I’m certain that it’s real.

There’s something to cause cancer

In every single meal.

They only want to keep us well

So good sense should prevail.

You know that you can trust the Daily Mail.

 

I read it in the paper;

I know it for a fact.

We really ought to stop it;

The government should act.

Those migrants are invading

On such a massive scale.

You know that you can trust the Daily Mail.

 

I read it in the paper;

It’s positively right.

Don’t say they didn’t warn you

About the country’s plight.

The left will eat your babies;

They’re quite beyond the pale.

You know that you can trust the Daily Mail.

 

I read it in the paper;

I can’t believe my eyes.

I have a vague suspicion

I might be reading lies.

They have a vile agenda

But they print a catchy tale.

For pity’s sake, don’t trust the Daily Mail.

 

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Headline

Every day another headline

Telling us who we should blame,

Pointing out the ways we’re different,

Hiding how we’re just the same.

Bones and blood and hair and humour,

Fears and tears and lack of sleep.

Money problems, aching muscles,

Loneliness that bites in deep.

 

Truth be damned, they print their stories,

Push the message year on year.

Till it seeps into the zeitgeist,

Building up a wall of fear.

Fear of who will use our doctors,

Take our jobs and fill our schools,

Fear of who’ll ride on our buses,

Cross our borders, make our rules.

 

Every day another headline,

More divisive that the last.

Trying to convince us all that

Things were better in the past.

Pints and pounds and flags and passports,

Bent bananas, greener fields,

Safer streets and stronger toasters,

Unrestricted fishing yields.

 

“Be afraid!” their constant message,

“Pick a scapegoat, have no doubt,

That you shouldn’t trust ‘the other’;

Drive them backwards, push them out.”

Read the headlines if you want to,

Just remember as you do.

This is all to make them richer,

They’re not looking out for you.

The Will of the People

MPs have voted by a majority of 384 to allow the prime minister, Theresa May, to trigger Article 51, the process which will lead to the reintroduction of the death penalty.  The bill proposing the change has successfully progressed through its first reading in spite of a great deal of dissent in the House of Commons.  The debate and subsequent vote were themselves the subject of controversy after an order by the Supreme Court to allow parliament a say in whether or not to set the changes in motion, with the government insisting that parliamentary permission was not required.  They have repeatedly refused to confirm the cost of the court case.

Notable rebels against the passing of the bill include all SNP MPs, who claim they must respect the position of the Scottish people, as both Scotland and Northern Ireland voted against the death penalty, as well as Conservative MP Ken Clarke and 47 Labour parliamentarians who all defied a three line whip issued by Jeremy Corbyn.  The official position of both the government and Labour is that the death penalty must return in accordance with the wishes of the 51.9% who voted ‘Yes’ in the advisory referendum, which had a 72.2% turnout.

Despite a number of the Pro-Death Penalty Alliance’s claims being widely discredited since the referendum in June 2016, MPs and other campaigners insist that to fail to implement the death penalty would be a betrayal of democracy.  President Trump has congratulated the British people on their bold decision and insists that it will strengthen the special relationship between the UK and the US.

 

Topical

I need to stop reading the papers.
I need to stop watching the news.
I ought to block out all the current affairs
And any apps journalists use.
My blood pressure’s making me worry
My stress just continues to rise.
Insomnia plagues me at every turn
But I can’t say that that’s a surprise.
The internet always bombards me
With snippets and items and stuff
About bad politicians and blood-sucking banks
It’s no wonder I’ve just had enough.
It’s not just that it’s often awful.
It’s not that such horrors are rife.
It’s simply not new information.
I’ve been hearing this all of my life!
The problem that’s driving me crazy,
The reason my brain may just burst
Is the lengths that I find I must go to
For my topical tweets to be first.

Scientists announce the latest in a long line of obvious conclusions

Scientists investigating why birds fly in a v-formation have completed a long and expensive study, before coming to a conclusion that was obvious to everybody else in the first place.  The news that birds do this to utilise slipstreams to make flying less tiring has, in fact, been known for decades and has advanced scientific knowledge in no way whatsoever.

Interestingly, this isn’t a new phenomenon in the scientific world; many studies have been carried out which have resulted in announcements that could only be described as absolutely bleedin’ obvious.  A recent investigation, for example, has concluded that drinking alcohol every day can lead to memory loss in middle-aged men.  With no further investigation whatsoever, I can confirm that this would also apply to young or old men and, indeed, to women.  In spite of the fact that I have just saved the scientific community a large sum of money and a considerable amount of time, I can confidently predict that they will not be thanking me for providing this information.  The sad truth is that they enjoy making these completely predictable announcements and enjoying the brief limelight that accompanies them.

While the current glut of scientific information regarding the shocking revelation that sugar is bad for us is omnipresent throughout the media, in spite of the fact that losing teeth, gaining weight and developing diabetes were all adequate clues, scientists are beginning to panic about where to turn next in order to maximise attention.  I have some suggestions for research proposals:

  • Study to determine whether cats like sleeping
  • Investigation into the correlation between insomnia and tiredness
  • Mapping the extent of woody flora in bears’ preferred defecating sites
  • The religion and denomination of popes since Peter the First

Of course, I could tell them the answers, but I wouldn’t want to spoil their fun.