When All Change Please! last caught up with Smith & Jones back in March 2020 they were deep in discussion about social distancing, whether it was safe to drink Corona beer and if the virus might infect their computers.Since then they have been managing to meet up for their usual deep philosophical discussions using Zoom. Here we eavesdrop on them considering the latest Df-ingE proposals for the summer GCSE and A level examination procedures.
Smith: “So what do you make of this latest announcement about teachers being given sweeping powers?”
Jones: “Well I guess some new, more powerful sweeping brushes will come in jolly useful for cleaning up the classroom floors at the end of the school day.”
Smith: “No, not sweeping brushes. They are going to be allowed to mark all their own students’ work for their GCSE and A level examinations.”
Jones: “Well that all sounds good – I mean their teachers must be best placed to judge how much their students have learnt. And much better than allowing that nasty rogue alligator to mark them.“
Smith: “I think you mean a rogue algorithm.”
Jones: “What’s one of them then?“
Smith: “I’ve absolutely no idea. We never had any computers when I was at school. Anyway, the problem is that teachers are likely to give their favourite pupils more marks and that’s going to produce grade inflation, so more children will get higher grades.”
Jones: “So what’s wrong with that then? I mean surely as a result less children will fail and end up being unemployed and on the streets?”
Smith: “Yes, I suppose you might have a point there. Of course at the same time some teachers might be tempted to give lower marks to the children they don’t like and who have been misbehaving.”
Jones: “Well, again – what’s the problem? Teachers are always complaining that standards of behaviour are dropping, so maybe now the kids will realise that all they have to do is to sit quietly and behave themselves and they’ll get better marks?“
Smith: “Ah yes, but then everyone who still gets a very low mark is then going to be appealing, aren’t they?”
Jones: “Well, that doesn’t follow. I mean I got very low marks in all my exams but that didn’t make me any more appealing did it?
Smith: “No, I guess it didn’t. Anyway I imagine this Sonny Boy Williamson chap will be long gone by the time it all happens in August.”
Jones: “Who’s he then?“
Smith: “You know, the Secretary in a State about Education.”
Jones: “Oh him! I thought that was Frank Spencer? Some Prime Minister’s do ‘ave ‘em, don’t they?“
Smith: “They certainly do. Anyway, so have you been jabbed yet?”
Jones: “No, I gave up boxing years ago after I was told too many jabs damaged the brain.“
Smith: “Yes, that probably explains a lot. No, I mean your vaccination.”
Jones: “Oh. No, we’ve decided not to plan any holidays yet until after this Coronation virus thing is over.“
Smith: “Are you still practicing safe social distancing then?”
Jones: “Oh yes, I’ll say. The missus is insisting I don’t go anywhere near her.Anyway I must be zooming off as I’ve got some chores to do around the house. I don’t suppose you know where I could get hold of one of those new power-assisted sweeping brushes do you?“
Advisory adult content warning! In its latest post All Change Please! appears to have reached a new low in its use of populist double-entendres and innuendos. It also needs to apologise in advance to all its hard working, dedicated readers who are studying for, or that already hold entirely deserved PhDs undertaken for all the right reasons, and alert them to the fact that certain parts of this post contain areas of content that might be felt to be highly sensitive .
Are you one of the many people suffering from PhD Envy? Do you lie awake for hours at night thinking that if only you had a higher qualification such as a PhD you would be a happier, more fulfilled person? Each year thousands of people begin PhDs in an attempt to address their feelings of inferiority, despite the fact that many are already proven successes in their work and domestic lives.
All Change Please!‘s fresh-faced junior reporter spoke to PhD student Lucy Lockett. She explained how one day when quite young she had been deeply and profoundly shocked to discover that, unlike many of her friends, she didn’t have a PhD and as a result was forced to confront the fact that they were all obviously far superior to her. Clearly there was an important gap in her qualifications that needed filling.
Meanwhile ‘Little’ Jack Horner admitted:
“Despite being always being a good boy at school, and I now run a successful multi-million pound Plum Pie business employing a hundred people, I often fantasise about what it would be like to have a really substantial qualification. When I go to staff meetings or parties I usually end up sitting in a corner as I am terrified someone will ask what my qualifications are and I will have to admit I left school at 16 and therefore don’t have a PhD and everyone will laugh at me for being so inadequate.”
Despite the fact that many people with PhDs have no idea how business works, some employers remain keen to appoint workers with Phd’s. Polly from the ‘Polly and Sookie Post Graduate Employment Agency’ told All Change Please!:
“People with PhD’s look extremely impressive on paper and are very good for company website profiles. However, employees with PhD’s are often over-confident and tend to spend too much time proudly waving their qualification about and taking photos of their certificate to share online. At the same time they spend forever collecting evidence and analysing the purely theoretical aspects involved, and not enough time actually doing the job they were hired to do, which in most cases involves putting the kettle on to make everyone a nice cup of tea.
Many people with PhDs discover that once they’ve got one, they don’t really know what to do with it. Meanwhile it is generally accepted that employees with lesser qualifications tend to try much harder and make much more effort to be successful performers in the office.”
Outside the workplace Ms Muffet admitted:
“Initially I had only considered partners that had massive higher degrees so I could boast about them to my friends and make them jealous, but in the end I quickly got bored with their endless sense of superiority and one-upmanship, their lack of interest in sustaining a successful career and their frustration about the pointlessness of their existence. They always seemed more interested in lengthy word-play before social discourse, which can be arousing at first but can eventually become rather tiresome.”
Little Boy Blue admitted that, eager to boost his credibility with his Young Conservative chums:
“ I simply falsely announced that I had recently been awarded a PhD. I immediately gained everyone’s congratulations and respect, and thereafter seemed to readily accept my ill-informed ideas. And of course no-one bothered to actually check if I actually had one.”
He is now proud to be known as Big Boy Blue.
Dr Foster from the University of Gloucester told All Change Please!:
“Many people think that all this stuff about PhD envy is just a load of bollox. As it happens I am particularly well funded in the genitalia department but the problem is no one can tell unless I take all my clothes off. However because I’ve got a PhD I can now insist everyone has to call me ‘Dr’, so they are constantly reminded exactly how academically well-endowed I am. In fact I’m now working on a second PhD.”
Multi-PhD qualified Professor Maximus Biggus recently published a little-read academic paper in which he stated:
“The constant desire for higher and higher qualifications is a relatively recent phenomena, reinforced by social pressure, media-stereotypes and academic employment selection panels with extremely stiff entry requirements. Not so long ago, PhDs were considered rather vulgar and something to be rather embarrassed about, and a simple 2nd class CNAA Degree from a Polytechnic was considered quite sufficient.”
At present there are no known cures for PhD Envy, although several Russell Group Universities have been awarded government research grants to see if they can develop a world-beating vaccine, despite it not being in their slightest interest to do so.
All Change Please!’s intrepid junior reporter nervously asked its CEO if he had a PhD, but was swiftly told to mind his own business.
There is growing disagreement amongst academics as to whether Michelangelo’s David was suitably qualified for his post.
With Boris Johnson poised to lead us out of Europe into the great unknown, All Change Please! has made a failed New Year’s attempt to try and reassure itself that Brexit will prove to be the great success we have all been promised. In doing so it has managed to uncover some priceless prophetic remarks made by Boris over the years…
Somewhat ironically there is indeed great wisdom in Boris’s words. He just needs to listen to himself a bit more often.
This time last year, Boris was imagining himself as Boris Bunter, winning the election. This year, in tribute to Sean Connery – the original and surely the best Bond who sadly passed away in October 2020 – All Change Please! is proud to announce its traditional seasonal literary decomposition of well known books, this year based as loosely as possible on the works of Ian Fleming and the 007 movie franchise scriptwriters.
“The name’s Blond. Boris Blond. Licensed to waffle. Commander Blond to my friends – I think that sounds more like I’m really in control, doesn’t it? The People of Britain think I’m their Prime Minister, but in real life I’m a secret special agent. And this my story…”
Boris was gently dozing in the House of Commons as Matt Hancock droned on and on about how Covid had been defeated at last, how wonderful everything was with the NHS, and we are simply the best at everything we do. Boris soon found himself in his secret place…
“Ah, Blond, there you are at last!” welcomed Moneypenny. “You’re to go straight In.”
Blond entered. As usual he was unable to see C’s face as it was in shadow, though he could clearly make out Larry the Downing Street cat sitting on C’s knee. The voice itself was of course digitally disguised, and Blond continued to wonder whether C actually stood for Cummings or Carrie, or possibly even for the Cat. He was still far from certain which of the three it actually was.
“Sit down Blond”, said C. “We have a problem. As you know, the reason you were placed under-covid as PM was that vast numbers of the people would vote for you and that the Tory party would remain in power forever. However we’ve received an intelligence report that someone in the party is planning to try and get rid of you and gain control of it themselves – and unfortunately there’s no one available who could ever be as popular as you are. So you’ve got to find out who it is and make sure that they are eliminated.
Whatever happens, we can’t afford to let the country fall into the hands of the Sustained Totalitarian And Revolutionary Marxist English Radicalisation organisation, or S.T.A.R.M.E.R. as it’s better known. Otherwise the next person to leave Number 10 carrying an empty cardboard box will be you.”
Blond felt confused and thought that all this sounded like an awful lot of effort and he might actually have to do something. Back in the outer office he flirted with Moneypenny as usual. Already his suspicions, amongst other things, were aroused. It occurred to him that Moneypenny looked suspiciously like Dishy Rishi wearing a wig. Was Moneypenny a clever financial code name for Chancellor of the Exchequer? Or was it time for a mission to Durham to get his eyes tested, which would give him a chance to try out his specially converted red Aston Martin DB5 bus with its ejector seat and customised revolving slogans?
Back at Number 10, Blond’s course of action was obvious – he needed to speak with everyone in the cabinet to see if he could identify who was out to get him. He flipped the special switch under his desk which transformed it into a 3D model of the Houses of Parliament. At the same time the bookcases swiveled round to become CCTV monitors surrounded with whirring computers and flashing lights. With this he could track anyone, anywhere.
Q entered. “Oh goody”, thought Blond, “some new toys to play with.” “We’ve just developed these new prototype supersonic blue-fi quantum zircon-encrusted, completely invisible laser earpieces.” announced Q proudly. “You place them discretely in your ears, and you won’t be able to hear what S.T.A.R.M.E.R is asking during difficult parliamentary sessions.” Blond tried to sound grateful, but he never paid attention to what anyone was saying anyway and always replied to them by saying the first thing that came into his head, and now no-one had come to expect anything better.
Boris’s first action was to call on one of his many Blond girls: Miss Trust, codename ‘Onatopp’. All she seemed to care about was pigs and cheese so it seemed unlikely to be her wanting the top job, although perhaps there was more to her than met the eye? And she was becoming increasingly popular with her imaginary trade deals. Perhaps her code name was a signal of her intention to get on to the top?
Next on his list of suspects was the infamous Dr Gnove. Now here was someone he certainly couldn’t trust and knew he would stab him in the back at the earliest opportunity. It was Dr Gnove who was the criminal mastermind who ordered the Operation Brex hit. “The man you need to speak to”, he cunningly misdirected, “works for the EU under the code name of Euric Fishfinger, codename Barnyard”.
His meeting with Barnyard didn’t go well and he got an extremely frosty reception. Barnyard fixed him with a penetrating laser-like stare. “Do you expect me to negotiate?” asked Blond. “No, Mr Blond, I expect you to capitulate.” replied Barnyard. Blond was clearly shaken. But not stirred.
After he had released Blond, Barnyard turned to his faithful female sidekick Ursula Von der Undress and instructed her to “Look after Mr Blond. See that some harm comes to him.“
Next on his list was Rosa-Mogg, aka Rosa Klebb. What evil weapon might emerge out of his top hat? Or was Rosa-Mogg’s appearance just a cunning disguise for the notorious henchman OddMogg with the brim of his hat made from steel? He found the idea of Rosa-Mogg as a future PM shocking. Positively shocking.
Then there was Pussy Patel – as she preferred to be known – though in reality her name was Priti Evil: code name ‘May Day’. She was quite a woman, and the sort that didn’t easily fall for Blond’s natural charm and wit, but then he wasn’t known as Thunderpants for nothing. Sitting in front of her, he nervously stroked the barrel of the Whitty PPE 380 automatic pistol he kept handily in his trouser pocket: Laura Iceberg had warned him about her, so he had taken precautions, especially as he was in no hurry to be left dangling high up on a zip-wire again.
“What did I say not to do?”
“Let her get away with being a bully.”
And what did you do?”
“I let her get away with being a bully.”
Some time later, Blond reported back to C. “So Blond. What have you manage to discover?” quizzed C. “Has the problem been dealt with?” Fortunately for Blond he was still wearing his special white noise conversation cancelling airbuds so he had no idea what C was asking him.
“Piffle wiffle”, he responded in his usual manner, “waffle, spiffle, hands, face, space, shorter, safer, smaller, wishy, washy, wooly, bully, hanky panky, do this, don’t do this, Foucault, Scaramanga, Jaws, Blofeld, Oddjob, Blojob, Zorin. Octopussy, Bambi, Thumper, Carrie, Wilfred, Dylin, Larry… Yes,” he concluded, “it was a tough challenge, but by a process of painstaking elimination it can only be Larry the Downing Street cat who truly has ambitions to take over as PM and rule the world.”
C was somewhat taken aback, having assumed that Blond was quite incapable of getting anything anywhere near right. Just for once had he actually worked out what was going on?
Boris woke with a start. Hancock’s half-hour was nearly up. His thoughts turned to more domestic matters and he wondered how well his oven-ready Christmas turkey was going to go down. Somehow he knew that it was him who was going to get stuffed in the New Year and that his goose was well and truly cooked.
And then what about Carrie’s suggestion that they should have yet another child in addition to the six he already had. If they did, would she would agree to naming it 007?
All Change Please! would like to wish all its readers a Happy New Tier.
And finally a reminder to stay safe with this modified poster from 1919 that sends a far more powerful message than anything else around today.
With Thursday’s last-minute, end-of-term announcement of Covid-testing for all pupils in the early New Year, All Change Please! tried desperately hard not to imagine the conversations that occurred in schools the following morning. Unfortunately though the discovery that it could create its own captions to the popular ‘Hitler Reacts’ film clip, made it just too difficult to resist!
Since then the Df-ingE have thought again and, although the instructions are still far from clear, appear to have announced that the testing is optional and will be carried out by the Army, ‘agency workers’ and ‘volunteers’. But headteachers didn’t know that then…
Meanwhile, watch out for All Change Please!‘s Special Seasonal Literary post later in the week, appearing soon in a browser near you…
All Change Please! has recently heard from its imaginary friends in high places and can now exclusively reveal that in the Government’s latest sure-to-fail attempt to do something really, really world-beating, the DF-ingE’s very own Gavin Wllliamson will shortly be announcing a major breakthrough made by Oxford University to produce a vaccination against the deadly outbreak of creativity and collaboration that has been recently spreading throughout our schools.
Clinical trials suggest that the vaccine has a success rate of 95% in reducing the number of children who are at a high-risk of wanting to study Creative Arts-based subjects and to work together in teams.
Across the country, all children will be inoculated with a dose of what will be called the EVacc, starting, it is hoped, before Christmas. As a result, during the Spring term children can expect to be working in isolation again, and will again be able to sit in silence, locked-down at their desks, attentively listening to their teachers and memorising useless facts, as all good little boys and girls should.
If any pupils start to show any symptoms of wanting to move around, do practical work or speak to each other in the corridors, they will be immediately sent to special centres for testing and have an extra dose of the EVacc administered to increase their immunity to desires for self-expression, personal interest and the need for relevance. If necessary they will be hooked up to a visualiser until they have stopped thinking for themselves again.
The initiative will be backed up with the obligatory three-phrase slogan:
Educational experts and advisors Chris Twitty and Patrick Unbalanced, who have extensive shareholdings in AstronomicalZennapod, the company who have produced the EVacc, have predicted more than 50,000 extra academic A* GCSE grades are likely to be needed as a result. Unfortunately these are currently being held in a back-log, stockpiled at Felixtowe Container Port – along with urgently needed supplies of PEE (P.E.Equipment) – taking up some 30% of the space and causing delays in the delivery of other qualifications in time for Christmas. The Government were keen to emphasise that all this is in no way connected to the fact that that the Port is currently operating under the advisory strategic management of Failing Grayling.
Meanwhile in other news, during anti-bullying week, schools reported a substantial rise in children being bullied as it emerged that those responsible didn’t really mean it and were completely unaware that it caused any bad feeling, and were absolutely sorry for anyone they had upset. Honest.
At the same time teachers stopped criticising pupils for being lazy little sods and instead began praising them for their hard work and how much every single day they enjoyed working together with thousands of brilliant children to deliver the Government’s EVacc agenda.
With thanks to AJ for the original suggestion and Pixabay for the top image.
Yes, today is All Change Please!’s 11th Birthday, and for its Special Birthday Post, as usual it tried to find some interesting reference to the number 11. Apparently:
‘The number 11 is at one with the universe. It is open to vast spiritual concepts and the presence of a greater power. It is a channel for truth and answers to reach us and help us on our way. This Master Number’s vision is crystal clear and it sees with a breadth that others cannot. It is creative and magnetic, a beacon of wisdom and hope for others to follow’.
Hmmm. OK, but instead All Change Please! decided it would go for the classic reference popularised by the 1984 movie ‘This is Spinal Tap’, in which the guitarist proudly demonstrates an amplifier whose volume knobs are marked from zero to eleven, instead of the usual zero to ten, erroneously suggesting it is therefore louder than other makes. Or, as Wikipedia helps clarify:
‘The primary implication of the reference is one in which things that are essentially the same are seen as different, due to mislabeling or the user’s misunderstanding of the underlying operating principles. A secondary reference may be anything being exploited to its utmost limits, or apparently exceeding them.’
Subsequently Marshall Amplifiers began including the Number 11 mark on its dials, and, again according to Wikipedia:
‘The influence of the phrase “up to eleven” is such that it has been used outside of music; in 2016, for example, astronomer Krzysztof Stanek described the brightest-known object in the universe as being “as if nature took everything we know about magnetars and turned it up to 11.’
So All Change Please! feels suitably justified in proclaiming itself as a blog turned all the way up to number 11!
Meanwhile here, in the customary reverse order, are All Change Please!‘s most popular posts from the last twelve months…
At Number 3, and All Change Please! suspects largely due to the efforts of its renowned super-spreader Art, Design and Technology re-tweeters, comes:
in which our Gav supposedly wrote a lengthy and entirely unpunctuated letter to help teachers misunderstand the current lack of a coherent education policy. All Change Please! can only assume that an English teacher somewhere shared it online with their students as an exercise in adding the missing punctuation.
However, as always, All Change Please!’s personal favourites were slightly different.
First there was ‘Boris Not Good Enough’, the account of Boris’s Time of Troubles.
All Change Please! has been seeking them here, there and everywhere but has so far been unable to discover how well Michaela students performed in their GCSEs in 2020.
The far-right Twitterati went into meltdown last week in its gushing congratulations to Headteacher Ms Birbalsingh on her not-as-widely-reported-as-you-might-expect award of a CBE (which All Change Please! reckons must stand for ‘Conservatively Biased Education’).
Initially known as the woman who brought the house down at the 2010 Tory Party Conference by announcing that our schools were in a state of crisis (a conclusion not borne out by Ofsted reports of the time) and then, against all the odds, she managed to set up a Free School.
The triumphantly reported ‘meteoric’ success of the Michaela School’s GCSE entries in 2019 appeared to endorse the claim that all you needed was super-strict behaviour in corridors and classrooms and a plethora of knowledge organiser handouts, and all children, whatever their academic ability or personal circumstances, would – almost as if by magic – somehow achieve above-average attainment in academic GCSEs. As a result they would naturally go on to become leading figures in public life, or perhaps – given that the school does not teach any technologically-based subjects – just end up serving coffee in Starbucks, or if they don’t quite even manage that, become incompetent Tory politicians who have all the power but absolutely no knowledge of how to even begin to solve even the most simplest of problems.
Meanwhile, in the true spirit of magic, there seems to be some misleading sleight-of-hand at work. Check out the Michaela School website and there is plenty of reference to those wonderful 2019 GCSE results, in which their most academically-able excelled themselves, but there’s not a word about what happened in 2020. Where were all the photographs of excited Michaela children opening their outstanding results that one would expect to see extensively covered in all the national newspapers, as they were the year before?
This website page from The Local Schools Network from January 2020 might help explain why: their 2020 results are probably not nearly as impressive, with the year group being described as ‘challenging’. And with the Df-ingE not planning to release school performance data and league tables for examinations in 2020, it currently looks like they are going to get away with keeping what happened a very confidential secret.
It may well have been that the prior attainment of children on entry was not so good – but that’s not the point. It would appear that the academically less-able and more ‘challenging’ pupils clearly did not respond nearly so well to the prescribed treatment, thus bringing into question the validity of the school’s supposed ‘silver bullet’ success as the solution to improving secondary education throughout the country.
What The Michaela School for Consistently Training Obedient Carefree Young Puppies, along with its faithful followers and imitators, doesn’t seem to understand is that while knowledge-based learning and strict behaviour works well for some, it doesn’t work for everyone. There are more ways to be successful in life, Michaela, than are dreamt of in your ‘the only way is academic’ philosophy.
Michaela’s GCSE school results for 2019 may have been some of the best in the country in terms of the top grades for non-selective children (i.e. 7/8/9), but of course the real problem is in the increasing number of children, estimated at between around 15 and 20% nationally, who still fail to get 5 ‘good’ GCSEs. Strangely the Df-ingE seem to have stopped publishing these figures as an indicator of school league table success – the ones we should surely be more concerned about – in favour of the number achieving the highly academic EBacc.
The whole affair is of course just well-orchestrated Tory Party Spin. There’s little to suggest that the majority of schools were not performing quite adequately before 2010. So the approach was to create a fearful belief amongst the general public that all our schools were failing dreadfully and that something needed to be done urgently, and then to come up with an easy-to-understand, low-cost solution (AKA the EBacc and ‘harder’ academic GCSEs) to a problem that didn’t really exist in the first place.
By teachers. For teachers. And definitely not for children.
Meanwhile two founders of the online Oak National Academy have been awarded OBEs (which All Change Please! can only assume stands for ‘Obsolete Boring E-learning‘). While the number of lessons being made available and subsequent user-views are widely publicised, and arguably in the short term something was better than nothing, there is a distinct lack of pedagogical quality in the content and its presentation, and in the out-dated and uninspiring website interface. Meanwhile there does not appear to have been any formal assessment and evaluation of the educational effectiveness of the service in order to justify its considerable further funding and lack of competitive tendering.
All Change Please! couldn’t help but react badly to this recent tweet by a ‘Traditional’ teacher:
Essentially it’s a piece of propaganda intended to reinforce fellow traditional teachers’ mistaken belief that right is on their side and that they are winning the war because the opposition, suitably patronised and ironically called ’our friends’, are increasingly defecting to their side. At the same time it also entirely misrepresents so-called ‘progressive’ teachers as being dismissive of the need for high standards of behaviour: it’s how those standards are achieved that is the issue.
This got All Change Please! thinking up some other unlikely erroneous propaganda statements that might work in much the same way…
“I think quite a lot of our trad friends are realising that behaviour improves when the content of lessons is more immediately relevant to children’s real learning needs in the 21st Century.”
“I think a quite a lot of our literate friends are realising that putting a comma between ‘…kids and staff’ and ‘not oppressive’ in a tweet is quite unnecessary to ensure that the sentence is absolutely unambiguous.”
“I think quite a lot of our Creative Arts friends are realising that Art, Music, Drama and Dance have no educational or economic value whatsoever.”
“I think quite a lot of our IT friends are realising that computers and mobile devices have no place in today’s Victorian approach to teaching and learning.”
“I think quite a lot of our teacher friends are realising the full extent of Gavin Williamson’s understanding of how our education system works.” (Mr Glibbly)
“I think quite a lot of our Remoaner friends in Kent are realising that long queues of lorries are a great benefit.” (Michael Gove)
“I think quite a lot of our NHS friends are realising just how much better SERCO is at managing the health service than they are.” (Matt Hancock)
“I think quite a lot of our Lockdowner friends who insist on wearing masks and self-isolating are realising that Covid 19 doesn’t really exist.” (Libertarians)
“I think quite a lot of our friends who believe the earth is round are realising that it might not be wise to walk too closely to the edge.” (The Flat Earth Society)
“I think quite a lot of our socialist friends are realising just how good a Prime Minister Boris Johnson is.” (Jacob Rees-Mogg)
“I think quite a lot of our British friends are realising that Fascism greatly enhances the quality of life in their country.” (Adolf Hitler)
Feel free to make your own suggestions below for suitably unsuitable propaganda statements that begin with “I think quite a lot of our ______friends are realising that…”
Boris Godunov was a Russian statesman who was elected Tsar of Muscovy in 1598. His reign began the devastating ‘Time of Troubles’ in the Russia in which Tzar Boris instituted an extensive spy system and ruthlessly persecuted those whom he suspected of treason. With Boris’s sudden death in 1605, resistance broke down and the country lapsed into a period of chaos, characterised by swift and violent changes of regime, civil wars, foreign intervention, and social disorder. In 1868 Mussorgsky composed a now regularly performed opera of the same name, based on Tsar Boris’s life.
But this is the story of his distant descendant Boris Not Good Enough, who is standing at the podium outside Number 10 addressing the nation on TV, flanked only by Larry the Downing Street cat.
“It is with great pleasure and considerable excitement that I can proudly announce that it has been another gloriously successful year for all our young people who have excelled themselves with their examination results. Well done to all those hard-working, dedicated teachers! Let’s all give them a big round of applause! As a result of our valiant Education Minister’s swift, decisive action, the algorithm produced by Ofqual, the bureaucratic and incompetent civil service body, was immediately over-ruled in order to ensure that the country can rightly claim to have the world’s best education system with the highest percentage of teenagers going on to study A levels and attend a Russell Group University, and guaranteeing that the very few disadvantaged children we still have left in the country will now all go to Oxford or Cambridge.
Meanwhile this is also the moment to celebrate the dramatic rescue operation that was successfully completed over the last weekend in which hundreds of thousands of brave and dedicated British holiday makers were safely evacuated from the French coastline by means of a fleet of cross-channel ferries working round the clock, and through the use of our network of extensive secret underground Channel tunnels. As a result we can sleep safely in the knowledge that our citizens will not be exposed to the deadly virus that continues to sweep across Europe.
At the same time let’s not forget that our robust and reliable economy is now booming thanks to our popular all you can eat out meal-deal policy that has enabled us all to enjoy getting together again for three days a week without fear of any possible consequences to your health.
As part of our new, happy life we continue to be in the process of successfully negotiating highly advantageous trade deals with every country in the world that is not part of the EU, to the extent that it has been deemed completely unnecessary to stockpile any toilet rolls, PPE or medical supplies.
And to add to this in our ‘Time of Triumphs’ you will be delighted to learn that as a result of the extra money made available for healthcare as a result of leaving the EU, ‘Public Health England’ is no longer needed and has therefore been swiftly replaced by the new ‘National Institute of Public Wealth’.
Now that racism has been completely eradicated from the country following our innovative and popular ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign, the Party has begun an extensive programme of removing statues and other offending items, including refugees, from around the country.
Shortly our revised planning process will come into effect so that we can rapidly build unaffordable houses for everyone, anywhere, whenever they want them, so that there will no longer be any homeless people.
After all this hard work, and safe in the knowledge that all is well with the country, I’m sure you will want to wish me all the best for my return to the peace and quiet of my well-earned and extremely modest camping holiday, staying in a tent with a four-month old baby and no refrigerator amongst the lovely people of Scotland, my favourite part of the country. And if you believe that, you’ll believe anything.
And finally, don’t forget to keep singing our new easy to remember catchy three word slogan:
“Everything Is Awesome”
High up on the roof of Number 10, well out of sight of the media scrum below, Demonic Cummings is quietly pulling the strings on the control stick to give the appearance that Boris is walking unaided back into the building, prior to being hung up again back in his cupboard, safely put of the way until he is needed again. His plan to entirely demolish the Civil Service is coming along nicely, thanks.
No Boris, it’s not good enough. Everything Isn’t Awesome.