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Opignion 09 – 08 July 2021

A beautiful mountain lake landscape illustration

Some names have been changed.

A new Cumbrian international airport has been proposed by the Great British Prime Minister de
Pfrivolous Johnston. “This will be the best airport ever and its construction will be very green” he
claimed. “This is yet another part of our levelling-up agenda, both literally and metaphorically”.
Reading from his briefing notes, prepared by the well-known consultants, Ripin, Ripout and Ripoff,
the GBPM said that the site for the airport runways and associated facilities will be Lake
Windermere itself, with the terminal situated near the town of Windermere. The hills from
Wansfell Pike to Dod Hill will be flattened, creating a much improved view to the north, and used
to fill in the lake. As well as creating a safe glide path, the new flat land, which would obviously
not then be suitable for hill farming, will a provide much needed locations for industrial,
commercial and housing development. Both the resilience of and the retail offer in Cumbria
would be greatly enhanced.

The hills to the west of the present lake, from Latterbarrow in the north to Finsthwaite in the
south would provide shelter from the prevailing westerly winds, though some flattening may also
be required here to provide for land reclamation and enhanced views to the west. Shelter would
also be available from the east. Coniston Water and Bala Lake [Llyn Tegid] were also considered,
but are too small to provide more than one runway.

The main runway would be constructed first, with a second runway north-easterly towards
Ambleside and the Rydal Beck Valley soon after. This would require Todd Crag to be flattened as

“This will be one of the easiest airports to construct ever – the hills close by will be the source of
the aggregate and sand. We’ll just scoop them up and tip them into the water, add cement and
use the powerboats to stir it all up. Simples!”. He concluded by saying that “It’s only in Great
British England that such innovative thinking arises. I am certain that this great infrastructure
project will put Lake Windermere on, er, off the map, and be enthusiastically supported by all
Cumbrians. Let’s Get Winder-air Done!”.

The southern end of the lake will become a heliport, and landing and parking areas for the flying
vehicles anticipated to fill the skies after 2030.

The UK Government has announced the formation of a new department, the Ministry for
Interfering with the Neighbours Generally (MING). It would be headed by the Minister for the
Cabinet Office, Michael Govid (to be known as MinMing) (Op08). In this role, the MinMing has
already called on Scotland and West Britland to assist the country in rebuilding the Great British
English economy after the ravages of Blue Brexit and the pandemic. “Scotland and the Colony of
West Britland have benefited hugely from the trickledown flows from the GBE economy, with
living standards as high as Stoke-on-Trent and unemployment as low as Newham. It would help if
their wage rates were reduced though, and if other resources (food, energy, land, water) were
made free to us as equal partners within our respective co-prosperity spheres”. The MinMing
continued “The notion that Scotland and West Britland might have or want economies of their
own to prioritise is risible. That would only assist them in becoming independent. As long as they
have any resources left to extract trade on fair terms, they will be eligible to share in the benefits
of the Union Preference scheme”.

Laughter in the Senedd from the Leader of the West Britland Conservatives, Andrew Duckhouse
(no relation) as the First Minister, Mark Duckbridge unveiled his 20-point plan to save the Union.
Duckhouse continued, in his trademark robust fashion “We’ll take no lessons in democracy from
the First Minister. He heads a nation that has had one-party government from the year dot!
(laughter) The electoral system here has been designed to exclude the Tories and First Past the
Post will be restored under a Tory Welsh Government and ensure the demise of independence
tendencies, especially from that Plaid lot over there” (more laughter, cheers). An observer noted
that the laughter and cheers appeared to have been choreographed, as it only came from the Tory

There have been continuing discussions around the possible appointment of Dolly Harding as First
Satrap of West Britland (Op05). There were suggestions that the role of Minister of the
Department of Flags and Flagpoles (at cabinet rank) could also fall her way, as both will be based
in central London to ensure that close tabs may be kept on the colony from a safe distance.
Unusually, Plaid Cymru has been pressing for her appointment, believing it would be the kiss of
death, er, life, if Ms Harding were in charge. One said, “Dolly’s appointment would ensure that
these ridiculous initiatives will fail. Bring it on!”

The UK Government has stepped into a row between the Welsh FA and UEFA over the status of
‘Wales’ (West Britland). Matters came to a head when the Netherlands delegate persuaded the
UEFA Executive Committee that ‘Wales’ was not a real country and should be expelled. After
concern had been expressed in the Senedd, and with his usual diplomatic finesse, the GBPM de
Pfrivolous Johnston said that “especially since the Internal Market Act and similar liberating
economic reforms, the Dutch do have a point”. He sought a compromise on the issue, saying
“Provided that England can avoid the qualifying and preliminary rounds of future Cup
competitions and go directly into the Round of 16, like we do with Eurovision, we might agree with
UEFA. England has often found previous preliminary rounds a minefield, which is surely not what
is intended, and not what England fans want especially by ‘Wales’”. The Netherlands delegate
responded with a proposal that England should also be expelled until ‘they have sorted out their
internal governance arrangements’. The matter was held over for a later meeting. The GBPM de
Pfrivolous Johnston commented “Geneva is proving to be as difficult as Brussels to negotiate with.
Unfortunately, the former is landlocked, otherwise we’d send a gunboat”.

Proposals by the UK Government to rebrand the Royal Family as the more people-friendly ‘Our
Windsors in Windsor’ (the OWOWs) have been rejected by the Palace as “impertinent” and “too

Janet Finch-Darwin MS has announced that she had found under her bed both a Pink (which she
attributed to the slightly socialist Welsh Government), and a Red in the proposal for a Universal
Basic Income (ditto, with extremist Plaid Cymru and Green support). “The menace of communism
is never far away from this Government and its fellow travellers”, she said. “The founding of the
Conservative Party (1834) predated The Origin of the Species” (1859) and we have not been
affected by it at all”.

“We are opposed to revolution, devolution, and especially evolution. All the utions, probably”.

There was consternation at the Residential Home for Retired Clichés and Distressed Metaphors
when news of the British and Irish Lions Tour of South Africa was discussed. Lions Roar said that
his niece, Heledd, a sports journo working for The Record in Aber and covering the tour for a
consortium of Mid-Wales papers, warned him weeks ago. She said her editor describes her prose
as refreshing and enjoys her literary flourishes, but the readership demands more of the Same Old
Same Old.

Boks Bite and Boks Bitten (who have long since sunken their differences) and Hunting in Packs
collectively groaned. Get Blue Brexit Done and Sunlit Uplands were arguing as usual and not
bothered. “You’re lucky” said Kicking the Can Down the Road “since this government has been in
power, I’ve been used every other day! We’re supposed to be retired”.
It was déjà vu all over again.

Late News The Marmot Report finding of declining life expectancy (not to be thought of as
part of the Blue Brexit dividend) was welcomed today by Ben and Rosie, living in a cardboard box
in a Cardiff doorway. They had recently taken delivery of a new box, believed to have been part of
the GBPM’s earliest locomotive collection. Asked about the report, Rosie said “Death will surely
come before I receive Universal Credit, but we like Marmite – when we can get it”.

Late Late News Senior business leaders have welcomed the ‘refreshing’ decision of the new
Health Secretary, Sajid Hazard, to unambiguously Follow The Money rather than the vagaries and
confusions of Follow The Science, Follow The Data or Follow The Dates. From a yacht off Sorrento,
Gulf of Naples, one said “It’s about time, it brings clarity and ends all the arguments. We all work
from home or abroad now, but our staff will welcome the freedom and pleasure of commuting, of

returning to work without restrictions and enthusiastically assisting their employers with our
cashflows. Mine’s a Caipirinha, Solange”.