A stiffie arrives from Flick and her partner Anhara inviting Gnom to attend the opening of their new floristry enterprise downtown.  Nosegays for Blushing Donkeys will also offer locally made jewellery in modern styles.  A glass of fizz and a buttonhole have been promised!  Gnom will be there…

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Allegory Spinton, head of the Department of Reliable Government Information (DReGI), has announced the establishment of new sections in her Department.

The Bowdler section will have responsibility for excising obscenities, profanities and misspokes from official speeches and reports before they are formally published.

The 3D section – Displacement, Diversion and Distraction – will assist Ministers in avoiding the frequently unnecessary focus on any matters that may cause them discomfort or embarrassment (eg. pointed questions in parliament or by reporters) by providing smokescreens, camouflage and obfuscation.  The GBPM de Pfrivolous Johnstone is a past master of the craft, giving the section an easy ride, for now.

Ms Spinton said that APE – the new section that will design All Plausible Excuses – has just won a contract from the MinMing, the Minister for Interfering in the Neighbours Generally, Michael Govid, to help resist the Scottish demand for independence.  Initially, the UK Government’s response to Nicola Sturgeon’s call for IndyRef2 was that the time was not right, Theresa Maynot saying because of preoccupation with Brexit, the GBPM de Pfrivolous Johnstone saying because of Covid, and Michael Govid saying that we all need to focus on restoring the Great British Economy.  All good excuses, but it has become clear that each of the above will be long-term if not ever-present issues.  

Realising that the Scottish people may become impatient, the MinMing has contracted APE to provide a range of short-term, long-term and fallback excuses to delay IndyRef2 for an initial contract period of five years.  Sensing that support for Scottish independence may have peaked for now, the MinMing has become more relaxed about a poll.  Not known for his transparency, this may be a ruse which the SNP may want to examine carefully.

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At last, a hedge fund manager gushed, we have a Health Secretary who understands the needs of the wealth-generating sector.  “Sajid Hazard (Op09) has clearly recognised the potential of the NHS to add value to many health products by over-charging and by introducing higher access fees for users.  This will encourage investment especially from our American colleagues in the sector, who have benefited from the lack of government interference in the US to build up not only a network of very fine hospitals and clinics for those who can pay, but also lucrative medical insurance businesses.  There is a great deal of comfort to be gained from knowing that one’s wealth or insurance can provide first-class care.  Those not so fortunate have a greater incentive to work harder to pay for their much simpler health needs – elixirs, bandages, pills and self-care generally fix most things.  Or not.  Either way, health will become big business”.

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Further to an earlier piece on conspiracies (Op06), it almost slipped under the radar, as it were, that the Russians and Chinese have agreed to establish a base on the dark side of the Moon.  While Pink Floyd have offered an opening concert, Gnom draws attention to the rich and varied conspiracies that the moonbase could potentially give rise to.  Just imagine what they could be getting up to!  

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Not on conspiracies, but a closely related phenomenon – futurism.  Headed by Gerald Celente, the Trend Research Institute uses the strapline history before it happens.  Futurists find that conspiracies tend to have even less credibility than their most fanciful predictions!

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Inhabitants of new low-cost housing suffering from shakey roof syndrome have been advised to comply with the ban on yawning and are recommended to breathe less deeply while asleep.  Dentures should be labelled and contained in a robust box.

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Post-boxes for Olympians are not to be so expensively treated given the upcoming austerity drive of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Risky Sunak.  Instead of all-over gold, four brightly painted recycled blue yoghurt tops sponsored by a generous Tory supporter will be attached to the post-boxes facing each point of the compass.  “This will demonstrate the Johnstone Government’s admiration for our fine world-beating athletes” said a Member of Parliament “and will provide photo opportunities for many of our MPs”.

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When the appellation ‘great’ was incorporated recently within a number of Great British titles, like the Great British Prime Minister (or the Great British English Prime Minister), West Britland posed a problem.  ‘West Great Britland’ was considered clumsy (and an oxymoron to some).  But now, both the language used and the people there may be described as Brelsh.  ‘Brelshland’ is under consideration as a name for the region, although ‘West Britland’ has become established and popular.

Given subtle treatment by Usang (the Union Strategy and Nudge Group), billboards will soon be appearing across West Britland with the message embrace your inner brelshness (the lower case is intentional for typographical reasons, not to insult local Brelshies!).

Meanwhile, the BBC is now to be known as the Great BBC (GBBC) but only on the Overseas Service, in West Britland and Scotland.

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Speaking of Usang, Gnom has received early drafts of the messaging they intend to deploy in areas afflicted by climate change.  Our informant stressed that this was on-going work with much yet to be finessed.

For people in areas which flood, the message in its current state is Learn to Swim!  Where there is a heatwave or water shortages, the message now is Drink more *! (insert name of sponsor’s product).  Usang confidently anticipates that the final versions of these messages will be well-received and demonstrate the warm, caring side of the Westminster Government. 

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Congratulations to Andrew Duckhouse (no relation), Leader of the Conservatives in the Brelsh Senedd, for his astutely considered support for the GBPM de Pfrivolous Johnstone’s recent initiatives on crime and policing.  While these have been criticised by police, legal and community experts as ‘shallow’ and ‘unworkable’, Duckhouse surely spotted a winner that will be well-received in golfclubs across West Britland and by GB News’s viewer.

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It has become clear that Stonehenge is more trouble than it is worth to the UK Government.  £1.7b for a tunnel too short to protect its setting with more archaeological finds every time a hole is dug!  While some members of the UK Government would clearly be happy to demolish all ancient monuments, especially to make way for new roads, others remain strangely sentimental about old things.

In an effort to help out, the Brelsh Government have offered to repatriate the monument to a large site in the Preseli Hills, close to Carn Menyn, the original source of the bluestones.  There, in splendid isolation on a raised site and requiring a long walk from the carpark, Stonehenge would generate greater respect than the Johnstone Government can manage.

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Late News Tories to campaign for an end to one-party rule in West Britland (but not in England).

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Late Late News Every constituency in West Britland to have its own white elephant in a new levelling-up initiative by Westminster Government.

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Gnom