Friday, April 07, 2006

A Vision of Britain

London: new Government legislation passed last night by Parliament has sparked controversy among constitutional experts. In a sparsely-attended House of Commons, The Governance of Britain (Emergent Provisions) Bill was given its first, second and third readings, passing through all the legislative hoops in a record twelve-and-a-half minutes. Opposition MPs were said to be 'down the pub' at the time.

The Bill, which was included on the Commons order papers in very small print that appears to be written in Sanskrit, has raised eyebrows among some of the elder statesmen of British political life. At issue in particular is the introductory paragraph, which states:

WHEREAS, Parliament is the Sovereign law-making body of Her Majesty's Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Her Majesty's Government (that's us) holds the following truths to be self-evident:

1. We are in charge.
2. We can do what we like.
3. Blair is bigger than Beckham
4. Democracy is like SO Twentieth-Century
5. We will, we will, rock you.

The Bill proceeds to give sweeping powers to the Executive of a kind that has not been seen in Britain since the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The Government has abrogated to itself the power to do whatever it wishes, so long as those decisions are "cool" and "geisty." Parliament will no longer have the right to review or amend Government legislation. Instead, Members will be required to listen to focus groups and attend PowerPoint demonstrations given by creative entrepreneurs.

Other measures included in the legislation include a complete interior design package for Parliament, to a concept devised by Anouska Hempel, with installations by Damien Hirst and an ambient sound-loop by Brian Eno. The Prime Minister's wife, Cherie Blair, has created a "cleansing ceremony" based on Tibetan prayer chants that will replace Prime Minister's Question Time. The official colour of Parliament will be Taupe.

Instrumental in devising the legislation is Sir Mark Ellen, the newly-appointed Cabinet Secretary who was formerly Editor of Q Magazine and once a member of the college band Ugly Rumours with Tony Blair. Speaking in a podcast delivered from his fur-lined office in a penthouse high above Whitehall, Sir Mark said, "government just got hip. We have had Brit Art and Brit Pop; now we have Brit Pol. What we are conceptualising here is a new vision for the government of NewBrit. Parliamentary Democracy is fusty, stuffy and dusty. It is OldThink. We have replaced it with NewGov, which is syncretic, synaesthetic and synergetic. And, hey, nobody has to bother voting anymore."

One novel feature of the new Bill is that Prime Minister Tony Blair chose not to use the services of the Parliamentary Counsel, which usually drafts all Government legislation. Instead the task was given to indy-pop icon Miss Sophie Ellis-Bextor, in a move that has been described by media pundits as "post-ironic." She not only wrote the Bill, but made an accompanying collage and an interactive DVD. Her influence can be seen particularly in section 54(i) of the Bill, which states " DJ, gonna burn this goddamn House right down."

No member of the Government was available for comment today, as all Ministers are attending a spiritual encounter workshop hosted by Cherie Blair at an undisclosed location in Cornwall that is noted for its congruence of ley-lines. However, Mr and Mrs Blair's son Euan spoke with waiting reporters, telling them "all your base are belong to us."