Campaign to save ‘critically endangered’ red post boxes

High-profile conservationists including Sir David Attenborough and Bill Oddie are behind a new campaign to save the humble red postbox from extinction, with London 2012 in the firing line.

Yesterday’s media launch in Manchester was designed to bring urgent attention to the rapidly-dwindling numbers of red postboxes in Britain, which once peaked at over 500,000 – but numbers are now said to be “approximately 20”.

This shocking drop off in red postal facilities has been startlingly rapid, with campaigners laying the blame squarely at the feet of the Olympic Organising Committee.

Only 20 red postboxes remain in Britain

In an ill-thought-out bid for publicity, Royal Mail decided to paint gold one postbox for every gold medal won by a Team GB competitor at this summer’s Olympics. However, the postal service failed to take account of the fact there are now so many events in the Olympics, approximately one in three of the British population has won a gold medal at the games.

“The situation is desperate”, Sir David Attenborough told us, “we’re probably down to the last 20 and that is only because the Royal Mail has been so badly run in recent years that they don’t currently have the cash for more gold paint”.

“We’ve got another 265,000 events on this weekend, which will probably mean another 100,000 or so British gold medallists. So you can see that if the Royal Mail can get their hands on some more paint, the red postbox will be wiped out forever”, he added.

Many of the remaining red postboxes are now set to be taken into captivity, where they will be part of a controlled breeding programme which will attempt to raise the numbers back to a self-sustaining level.

“It’s really not ideal to have to take the last ones into captivity as their natural habitat is out in the wild,” Bill Oddie said, “But if we don’t do this they will be completely wiped out by next week”.

“I think Seb Coe and the London 2012 organising committee need to take a long hard look at themselves. To try and boost our medal hopes, they have invented events specifically designed for British athletes and they did this in a brazen and ill-conceived way, with no regard for the institution that is the red postbox”, he added.

The addition of Olympic Queueing has seen accusations of favouritism towards Team GB

Amongst the 22.4 million new events added to the Olympic roster this year, there were many which other countries felt were tailored specifically to boost Team GB medal hopes. British athletes swept the boards in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5k and 10k Impatient Queueing, with a similar result expected in this afternoon’s 26.2 mile Marathon Queueing.

The 400m Bank Charge Medley was another one where Team GB dominated, with the gold medal winning team from Barclays managing a world record of 14 different types of totally unjustified penalties.

However, the women’s 10k Drunken Walk for Those with Shoes in their Hands was the most complained-about event after race marshals were seen handing out Watermelon Bacardi Breezers to Team GB competitors at the water stops.

It remains to be seen if the last 20 red postboxes can be safely secured in captivity before the closing ceremony, which takes place tonight in Hyde Park and will feature a massive bloody brawl between the EDF and members of the Finsbury Park Mosque.

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Andy Murray ‘could lose British citizenship’

Only two days after achieving British citizenship for the first time, Andy Murray could have it taken away, should he lose in tomorrow’s Wimbledon tennis final.

After defeating Jo-Wilfred Tsonga in 4 tough sets on Friday, Scotland’s Andy Murray became Britain’s Andy Murray, in order to allow English tennis fans to claim him as the first Brit to make the men’s final since 1938.

However, The Rumour Mule has learned from a Home Office contact that should he lose, Murray will be kicked out of England and sent back to Dunblane without his British status.

Murray has endured something of a mixed relationship with Wimbledon crowds over the years as they cheer his winning shots but quickly lose interest if he places a simple forehand slice volley in the net.

He has found it particularly difficult to win over the hardcore element of the Wimbledon crowd, which is made up of gin-soaked middle class Tim Henman fans who missed the obvious humour in his previous “Anyone but England” jibe, as the Daily Mail deliberately failed to explain the context of the joke.

But since Friday’s win, Murray has been the darling of the chattering classes, who have torn themselves away from their strawberries long enough to shout “C’mon Tim”, before realising their mistake and muttering a muffled “I mean Andy” while spraying cream directly into their overfed faces.

However, Murray’s status as a Brit is only safe until 2pm tomorrow, when he steps out on Centre Court, in front of his new royal leaders, to face Swiss legend Roger Federer.

It is expected that losing the first set will trigger a clamour of activity in Whitehall, as the extradition papers are prepared and loaded into the fax machine. Should Murray go a break down in the second, the area code for Dunblane will be entered and as Federer goes two sets up, the full number will be entered.

This will be followed by pessimistic Home Office officials looking at each other, saying “Fuck it, that Jock’s a gonner” and hitting send.

This will lead to immigration officials entering the centre court arena to deport the Scot, in front of a bemused Federer, who will be awarded the win by default. Murray will not be allowed to enter England to pick up his runner-up cheque, which will instead be used to fund a new Tim Henman gift shop and museum at the All England Club.

Opinion was mixed amongst the glory-starved union jack waving toffs, with one woman interrupting swigs of Bombay Sapphire to say, “Well, he’s got this far, so we should give him a chance. But if he loses, we should send him back to Syria or wherever the hell he came from”.

Murray was tight-lipped on the affair during tonight’s press conference, saying only, “I’m proud to be a sweaty sock (jock) who is allowed to represent Britain. The extra support will be vital”.

Asked what has made the difference this year, Murray said, “It’s been the sponsorship I’ve received from Viagra, without whom I would never have achieved anything more than a semi”.

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Leveson Inquiry: Daily Mail faces censure over ‘incorrect collective noun’ in cunt jibe

by Walter Storey, just out of jail after appealing defamation charges.

Following a record number of calls to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) regarding the Daily Mail’s coverage of the Leveson Inquiry, the newspaper could be set to face a record fine following its latest breach of the publishing code of practice.

A report which appeared in the paper yesterday (23rd November) referred to Lord Justice Leveson and his team of legal experts as “a pile of cunts” after they listened patiently to the testimony of Hugh Grant without abusing him or attempting to discredit his evidence.

Lord Justice Leveson, looking shocked at the inaccuracy of the insult (picture stolen from the Daily Mail)

This inaccuracy prompted complaints from around 200,000 profanity-loving grammatical pedants up and down the country, who contacted the PCC to correctly inform them the actual collective noun for multiple cunts is technically “a shower of cunts”, not a ‘pile’.

PCC spokesperson Tarquin Herbert-Smythe granted The Rumour Mule an exclusive interview this afternoon – and was quick to condemn the latest faux pas from the nation’s most-hated Tory mouthpiece.

“This issue is actually what is at the core of the debate on the irresponsibility of the press and the PCC’s role in maintaining an orderly ship”, he told us.

“The debate has been raging over side-issues like phone-hacking, diary-thievery and other crimes, but all of these issues are a direct result of the core problem, which is the moral decline emanating from the press’ lack of adherence to basic grammatical standards”.

He continued, “Everyone with half a brain knows it should be ‘a shower of cunts’. It is disgraceful that in this day and age a newspaper could call a Lord Justice and his team of legal experts ‘cunts’ without managing to use the proper collective noun”.

The Mail can expect to have the book thrown at it - and not the concise or pocket versions either

“We have even consulted with experts at the Oxford English Dictionary and now we intend to throw the book at the Daily Mail”, Mr Herbert-Smythe confirmed.

The Leveson Inquiry was set up to look at “the culture, practices and ethics of the press” in the aftermath of the phone-hacking scandal which brought down Sunday hate-rag the News of the World.

As the list of charges continues to grow, more newspapers have been implicated in the scandal and the repercussions could be devastating for the press – unless of course the government intervenes to save the industry, albeit under much stricter control from politicians, which would in no way be thoroughly undemocratic, at all. In no way.

Prime Minister David Cameron has reportedly been much amused by the grotesque spectacle of the printed press covering the scandal in which they are all implicated.

Speaking to The Rumour Mule late this morning about the Mail’s latest balls-up, he said, “Well, in this day and age of intense media scrutiny, if you are going to call a well-respected, high profile Lord Justice and his team ‘cunts’, you’ve really got to get it right. In this instance, the Daily Mail has quite frankly fucked it right up”.

While firing into another large glass of vintage port, the PM added, “I hope they get done for this. Done good and hard. Swift action will send out a strong message that the PCC can act, they will act, and anyone failing to insult a noted lord in a grammatically accurate manner will get done good and hard. The Daily Mail have let me down personally and they are a shower of cunts. See – I can get it right!”.

Lord Justice Leveson refused to comment to The Rumour Mule about the Mail’s botched insult, but did send a handwritten note reminding us the correct collective noun for mules is “a barren”, for which we thank him warmly.

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Steve Jobs job’s up for grabs: What’s at the core of the Apple story?

by Tech Expert Walter Storey

Silicon Valley has erupted into a plasm of excitement at the news that Steve Jobs job’s now up for grabs, as internet experts struggle to find an app to replace the now deceased Apple maverick.

Applications have already come in from the CV hungry populous of cyberville as tech fans dance upon the still unplanted grave of the Apple legend, who passed away this evening.

Steve Jobs - There is not an app to bring him back, mofo.

Although there has been no official cause of death registered yet, Rumour Mule reporters have been able to get to the core of the tragic Apple story – and can reveal Jobs created an app last week which would replicate his actions in the event of his death, as he has been very ill and feared imminent death.

Unfortunately, this genius app proved too much of a power drain and displaced the charge from his life support machine – which hadn’t been backed up – and thus there was a catastrophic loss of data around 11pm UK time this evening, resulting in the death of the Apple owner.

Although his official last words have not been registered, his last tweet – posted just minuted before his tragic passing – read, “Always back up your motherfucking work”, although the robotic nature of the post has led to many tech experts guessing it actually came from Stephen Hawking.

Apple have not confirmed whether this tweet was genuine or not. However, The Rumour Mule understands from sources close to the heroic inventor that it was posted via Google Android, which would appear to undermine Steve Jobs’ entire life’s work.

Was it perhaps his dying wish to acknowledge that Android was about to take over?

Although no funeral details have yet been released, it is thought several famous musicians – including Usher and Boyz2Men – have been signed up to record his service via GarageBand.

This funeral march will be available for download and ringtone approximately 0.85 seconds before it hits television screens – only on iPhone – giving Apple fans a chance to own a piece of history before it happens.

Whatever happens in the coming weeks, his funeral will have to wait as Jobs’ will specified he could not be buried until the Coffin 4 was launched. Currently, the Coffin 3 is displaying all the functionality the market requires, so he may have to wait until February next year to be buried.

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Book of Mormon: The Musical!

The first ever musical based entirely on an utterly, totally, compellingly factual religious text is set to launch in London’s West End next month, thanks to the tireless work of Ben Elton and the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints.

Religious aficionados from across the US have been galvanised into mutual touching and utter delight after it was revealed the script for Book of Mormon: The Musical was found buried somewhere on a hill in New York.

Joseph Smith Jr, convicted fraudster, who definitely didn't invest a religion for his own selfish needs.

Some see it as a staggering coincidence, but the original Book of Mormon – which is clearly the additional chapters from the bible which condone racism and make polygamy commonplace –  were actually found in an adjacent site in March 1930 by Joseph Smith Jr, who also coincidentally happened to be a convicted fraudster.

Smith, founding father of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, was of course a wildly mis-understood character who managed to put his gold-rush fraud convictions behind him to form a credible religion, now based in Utah, which happens to be in possession of the long-lost chapters from the bible, which somehow seemed to be written on golden scrolls and buried somewhere inside New York, as unlikely as that may seem.

The script for the stunning new musical also contains tablature for piano, lead guitar, bass guitar and several drum samples, despite the fact that these instruments could not have possibly been around at the time the bible was written. This of course only proves how advanced the Mormon followers were, as they predicted musical instruments which were many hundreds of years away.

Among the hit songs in the script contained in the buried scrolls are the blockbuster “My momma and my sister are one sexy woman” and the future number one “God turned my skin black ’cause I done bad”. These tracks had to be translated by Ben Elton in a top secret location with no witnesses and only one scribe.

At one stage, Ben Elton’s wife became so frustrated at the amount of time he was spending on the project that she destroyed the entire script for the show. The translation from the golden scrolls had to start again and although Elton appeared to tell a slightly different story the second time round, this was apparently due to the difficulties of reading the original typeface, and was in no way due to the fact he was making this shit up as he went along.

“It obviously seems outrageous on the face of it, that the best musical ever written could have been buried in New York for two thousand years, but I’m just delighted it has been found and this untold but vital version of the bible is now going to reach a worldwide audience”, Elton said.

“It’s a story with many different versions, but we are now sure this is the utterly truthful account and it makes all other bibles and musicals completely pointless”, he added.

Press coverage is set to reach fever pitch as Elton adds millions of pounds to his bank balance through the venture, but he insists the cause is noble.

“I am just the guy who found the script buried in the ground in New York. What was I supposed to do – not tell the story? That would be insane. The golden scrolls with this staggeringly good musical imprinted upon them were placed there for me and I am duty bound to tell this tale”, said Elton.

‘Book of Mormon: The Musical’ opens in London’s West End this October and tickets will be available via a sweet door-to-door service provided by naive virgins from Utah who are compelled to spend a year abroad spreading the good word about Ben Elton’s career before they inevitably disappear into a family of 45 random uncles, brothers and cousins based in a log cabin somewhere with electric razor-wire round the house and landmines in the garden.

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Tories tell victims: Riots have ‘many positives’

by Walter Storey, recently banned from Facebook for inappropriate behaviour.

London Mayor Boris Johnson stunned victims of the recent riots by telling them to look at the positives which have arisen from five days of chaos across many parts of England – and instructed everyone to take advantage of new business opportunities.

The Mayor was confronted by angry local business people as he hopped on his bike in North London this morning, including a Sri Lankan couple who have been sleeping in their car – along with their four children – since their business was looted then burned to the ground by rioters on Sunday.

Angry local traders stole Boris Johnson's bike and refused to give it back until he gave them money to buy some lunch

Mr Johnson told the gob-smacked crowd many wonderful new opportunities had now arisen from the riots and rather than complaining about what they had lost, true businessmen would “seek out the new opportunities”.

“Look here”, the Mayor said, “rather than standing in the streets telling me about how you lost everything and forgot to pay your insurance policies, you should employ a little of your entrepreneurial spirit and think about how the free market allows you to make money from this”.

“Shop-fitters are swamped with work just now and simply can’t keep up, so why don’t you turn your hand to that? Glaziers are totally over-worked too, as are joiners. So if you tell me you came to this country with nothing, then you are currently no worse off than when you arrived. There are many new opportunities out there, go and find them, rather than persisting with this obstinate wiff-waff”, Mr Johnson said.

Before turning to face the now assembling press crowd, he added, “You don’t need a hand out, you need to find a business model which works for you. And next time you’ll remember to pay your bloody insurance”.

Before Boris had time to explain himself to the media, Prime Minister David Cameron arrived on his bike, pulling Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg along in a small trailer with a big blue flag flying from the back.

Police were very keen to get this man along for a job interview at the MET so he could act as holiday cover later this month

“Ladies and gentlemen”, Mr Cameron announced, waving his hand dismissively and pulling the press corps away from the mayor, “the great thing about Conservative policies is we are utterly convinced the market will fix all of this. We are literally rebuilding Britain”.

Echoing the rhetoric of the recent election, the PM continued, “I was speaking to a shop-fitter from Enfield the other day and he told me his business had increased turnover by 4,000% since the riots began”.

“These rioters are complaining about a lack of opportunity. They say they have no options and no chance of earning a living. And yet most of London is crying out for repair. Cars will need fixed, shop windows boarded up then replaced, shelves re-stocked, road cones taken down from monuments, phone-boxes need replaced, the streets need cleaned, the police need cover for their holidays and there is at least a five day backlog on pizza deliveries right across south London which somebody is going to have to deal with”, Mr Cameron shouted.

“This is a Conservative-led 21st century Britain – a land of opportunity for all who wish to take it. I encourage all the rioters to start earning money from the clean-up operation. It worked in the banking industry and it will work here”, he added, while ignoring Nick Clegg, who was shouting from his trailer to remind the PM the government was actually a coalition.

In response, local ethnic community leaders and youth workers began to frantically fire questions at the three politicians, but neither they nor the assembled media group could make any sense of the regional dialects, so everyone went home, discussing today’s dazzling performance in the cricket as they went.

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BBC draft in tactical experts for Riot of the Day – in 3D! (Not in Scotland)

by Walter Storey, emergency brave-man covering the looting in Tooting.

The BBC has announced plans to continue its insufferably incoherent and routinely baffled approach to covering the London riots by drafting in a team of top pundits for a new flagship show, set to launch this Saturday.

‘Riot of the Day’ will kick off this weekend with special tactical analysis from studio guests Alan Hansen and Alan Shearer.

BBC Director General Mark Thompson thinks Riot of the Day will prove a smash with fans

After the forthcoming football coverage was cancelled due to the ensuing carnage, the Beeb decided to re-deploy the studio experts so as to not “waste licence-payers’ money”, according to Director General Mark Thompson.

“We would not wish to see the public short changed, so we have re-engaged some of our top sports people, who we feel will give our coverage something extra”, Mr Thompson added.

“Alan Hansen will be in a great position to judge the defensive measures employed by the police, while Alan Shearer was one of England’s best ever attackers, so he will comment on the tactics and plays employed by the rioters”, he explained to the assembled press this afternoon.

The whole programme is also set to be made available in High Definition 3D, although this will not be available to viewers in Wales or Scotland, who – according to the latest impartiality report – do not deserve 3D television.

When asked for comment this evening, Mr Hansen said, “Well, it’s only really half time in these riots, but already we’ve seen some terrible defending from the police teams. The gaps at the back are appalling and some of the marking has been a joke. They are really going to have to up their game as their opponents are younger, quicker and better organised”.

“However, you don’t win anything with kids”, he summarised, as a note of caution.

Mark Lawrenson is set to travel to the graves of Gandhi and Mother Theresa to find out why they condone the riots

One feature already planned for the new show will involve Mark Lawrenson travelling round the country inexplicably asking key questions to anyone who looks for deeper meaning from these riots instead of dismissing them as outright criminality.

These questions will be posed to insightful community leaders and will include balanced queries like, “Do you condone the riots?”, and also, “How can you condone such violence?”.

In ‘One Lawro in the Grave’, the quest for definitive answers continues as Lawrenson is followed by equally bamboozled middle-class media types from ITV and SKY News, as he visits the resting places of famous pacifists, querying why they have chosen to back the feral thugs.

‘Riot of the Day’ will air on BBC1 on Saturday at 9:30pm, while on Tuesday evening Sue Barker will present a light-hearted look at the carnage in ‘A Question of Violence’, BBC2 8pm.

‘Riot of the Day 2’ will be aired on Sunday night at 11:30 and will include a full round-up of all the lower league rioting from around the country.

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