In an emergency statement to the House of Commons this morning, the Prime Minister apologized unreservedly for last night’s SAS raid on a sixth form production of The Tempest at a high school in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Northumberland, which left one teacher in Wansbeck Hospital receiving treatment for a suspected heart attack. Over a hundred parents and children were discharged after treatment for the after-effects of inhaling CS gas.
Ironically, it has emerged that the incident occurred because a 23-year-old Northumberland man, employed by GCHQ in Cheltenham to monitor mobile telephone calls in the North East, mistakenly transcribed “Caliban” as “Taliban”.
Mr Brown said “No-one can be blamed for this simple human error, which could have happened to anyone. In the ongoing War on Terror, our first priority must be to protect the public. We must act promptly on all intelligence in order to ensure their safety. I can assure the House that lessons will be learned from this unfortunate incident, which mercifully resulted in no loss of life.”
Sir Ian Blair held a press conference at New Scotland Yard to point out that it had nothing to do with him.
In a further emergency statement to the House of Commons this afternoon, the Prime Minister repeated his apologies to the Italian people for last week’s Trident missile attack which obliterated most of their major centres of population. He informed the House that a 23-year-old Able Seaman from North Shields had confused the missile launching equipment on HMS Vengeance for a cappuccino machine. “It appears that the unfortunate young man was attempting to order a double espresso, which is how he came to press the button marked ‘Italy’. No-one can be blamed for this simple human error, which could have happened to anyone. I can assure the House that lessons will be learned from this unfortunate incident, which tragically resulted in such a massive loss of life.”
Sources at HM Naval Base in Faslane confirmed that the 23-year-old Able Seaman had expressed regret for his actions. “If aa’d knawn what t’bugger was, I’d have pressed ‘Iran’ when I was scrolling down through the ‘I’s”, he reportedly told senior officers. Asked how he felt about having killed an estimated 20 million people, and destroyed some of the greatest centres of Western civilization, he apparently replied, “Whey, it’s a reet shame, like. But to look on the bright side, it should give wor lads a bit of a leg-up in Euro 2008.” He was later led away in tears, after counsellors broke the bad news about the Croatia match, which had taken place while his vessel was out of radio contact on patrol.
Meanwhile the 23-year-old junior official of HM Revenue & Customs in Washington, who put the unencrypted records of 25 million people into the internal post, continues to be shielded from the media at a secret location. Officials are reportedly planning to offer him an early free transfer to the Home Office’s Identity & Passport Identity Service, so that lessons can be learned when establishing the new National Identity Register.
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