Terrible news reaches us here at Swipe Towers this morning of an audacious bid by UK Chancellor Gordon Brown to fund the country's bid to host the 2014 Soccer World Cup by selling off some of its most valuable assets to foreign investors. Comic playwright and national treasure Bennett is to be taken down from his plinth in Trafalgar Square, beeswaxed to a respectable sheen and sold via the internet auction forum. It is thought that Bennett could go for as little as $350 (plus postage and packing) and the sale of one of the nation's great literary institutions has already provoked a furore in the House of Commons. Labour backbencher Dennis Skinner, already in hot water after a cocaine-addiction slur aimed at Shadow Chancellor George "Boy George" Osborne, was seething when the proposal to hock Alan Bennett was made. "What do you think you're playing at, you bilious bunch of crack-addicts?" demanded the notoriously combative 'Beast of Bolsover'. "I'd string the lot of yer up for the way you've sold this country down the river with your pals in big business and the PFI rip off. Go off and start another war somewhere and leave what little there is of value in this poxy shithole alone, will yers?"
Alan Bennett, seen here as the first of the 2 million rivets holding him together is removed.
In a move to assuage fears of the awful void in the nation's cultural life such a sale would inevitably precipitate, the Government was thought to be preparing a lend/lease deal that would see veteran American actor Martin Landau fill in for the dramatist on state occasions. It is thought that Landau, when not appearing at functions and opening cheese shops and so on, would spend part of his time on display outside the National Gallery and the rest in his Camden home completing work on Bennett's unfinished play, "Eee, you can fair see your face in these plums, our Mam"
Landau: "hope and glory?"
The announcement has generated tremendous enthusiasm in the United States where a consortium is believed to be preparing a bid of up to $400 to bring Bennett Stateside. He has been pencilled in by the investors as a feasible long-term replacement for the Statue of Liberty. The New York City momument is due to be de-commissioned next year due to security concerns and rust brought about by the persistent jagging bouts that have plagued Liberty during the Bush administrations. "We feel that, whilst Liberty's been a great ambassador for our country in terms of welcoming your tired, your poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free; the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, maybe now is the time to move on. The homeless, tempest-tost have certainly responded wonderfully to Liberty in the past and we acknowledge the huge contribution she's made to tourism and our global profile, but we really feel that a dry, whimsical Yorkshire playright like Alan is the way to go in the 21st Century.
China: resurgent - "but for pity's sake don't chip it or our Mam'll kill thee..."
We live in a rapidly changing world and we must face the fact that with China resurgent and a new political alignment developing in Europe, the need is there to start presenting a different face to the world. We feel that Alan Bennett will attract a higher class of desperate economic migrant willing to work all the hours God sends for a dollar fifty a week to our shores. The Chinese may have a massive workforce, huge untapped potential and an authoritarian government overseeing economic expansion with a rod of iron, but do they have a nice eccentric old poof in a tweed jacket with leather patches on the elbows, proffering a half-finished cone of Mr. Whippy ice cream in the general direction of would-be immigrants? I think this is one area where we will be able to steal a serious march on them for some time to come."
Liz Smith: "available by the hour - but no funny business, mind!"
Although the Chancellor is convinced that the monies raised by the Bennett sale will be more than adequate to equip the 2014 World Cup bid with a fleet of up-to-the-minute, high tech. burger vans and cheap and tacky looking corporate hospitality boxes, he is not ruling out hiring well-loved character actress Liz Smith out to the highest bidder for weekends and religious festivals.
Alan Bennett goes on sale on Tuesday 14th December.
Love on y'all,