Hugh Bit of a surprise piece of news here. We don't normally carry news stories, but this one does seem fairly major, and it would be silly to ignore it. According to a Reuters news flash, the British Government has apparently just been bought by Honda. The deal went through in the early hours of this morning, and has just been announced by Honda's Group Managing Director, Ralph Tokana. According to Reuters, Honda fought off rival bids from Unilever and the John Lewis Group, and is believed to have paid upwards of four hundred million for the troubled democracy giant. I think we have some footage here ... Cut to Stephen emerging from a Whitehall building. Cameras and flash bulbs. Hugh in voice-over. ... of ... yes, that's Nigel Pargitter, no relation, Deputy Director of the Board of Trade ...
Stephen ... we believe, very firmly, that this was a fair price, and that the British taxpayer has got a good deal here. Honda ... may I just finish here? Honda have given us satisfactory undertakings to the effect that they will not be making any massive changes to the structure of government for at least six months, and that their only social alterations will involve converting Wales into a seven-million-hole golf course, and replacing all the houses and flats in Britain with perspex living-pods.
Stephen M. Have you tried ...?
Stephen Yes, I've tried one of these pods myself, and it was very ...
Phyllida What about unemployment?
Stephen Oh what about unemployment? You people, you're obsessed ... every time some change comes along, some new idea that might really do this country a bit of good, it's the same old "What about unemployment?" I mean, change the bleeding record, can't you? Yes, there will be some unemployment. Honda have pointed out that we really don't need 620 people in the House of Commons, for instance. They will be investing in a new, laser- guided legislative machine ...
Stephen M. So there will be no elected body?
Stephen Oh come on! Just rejoice, can't you? It's a compliment: it shows that this government, as we've always claimed, is an attractive proposition to our customers. This is a good deal for Britain, a good deal ...Cut back to the studio.
Hugh Well, I think I ought to say at this point, that that was all made up. Honda haven't really bought the British Government. It's a completely silly idea. He gets up and runs over to a camera and looms into the lens. Or is it?
Hugh I said to the Captain, I said you want to watch out for those icebergs, because a lot of them are a lot bigger under the water than they look on top of the water, but no, he just had to plough on, showing off to all the women, so then, obviously, wallop. Big hole in the side, went down in under ten minutes. Egg on his face, I say.
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