diamond geezer

 Tuesday, July 13, 2004

MI5 Security Update: Palace of Westminster

Dear Tony,

I'm delighted that you liked our latest security review of the Houses of Parliament. That's the report containing the bleeding obvious observation that a well-aimed terrorist might cause Big Ben to topple onto the Commons chamber. I'm pleased that this report has deflected the political spotlight off your crumbling reputation slightly during this most difficult week. And I'm happy to provide you with the additional security advice below which you requested to try to keep journalists off your back for another 24 hours.

Love and kisses,
Eliza Manningham-Buller (Director General, MI5)

Risk 1: A terrorist attack might cause Big Ben to topple onto the Commons chamber.
Solution: Swap the Commons chamber with the Lords chamber, then nobody will care.

Risk 2: A suicide bomber could drive a truck full of explosives into the side of the Houses of Parliament.
Solution: Replace all those concrete barriers around the perimeter by a wall of open-topped sightseeing buses full of American tourists.

Risk 3: Terrorists could approach the Houses of Parliament by river, perhaps aboard a pirate ship armed with heavy cannons.
Solution: Drain the Thames and fill it with the lifeless bodies of the 104,000 civil servants Gordon Brown sacked yesterday.

Risk 4: Terrorists could approach the Houses of Parliament from the sky, perhaps lobbing a large grenade out of the basket of a hot air balloon.
Solution: Hang a very large pair of bombproof net curtains from the top of St Stephen's Tower.

Risk 5: Terrorists could attempt to detonate 36 barrels of gunpowder in the cellars beneath the Commons during the State Opening of Parliament in an attempt to kill the monarch as well her elected representatives.
Solution: No problem, we foiled that particular plot with ease last time.

Risk 6: Any terrorist could discover Parliament's location merely by looking on a tube map.
Solution: Swap the station names "Westminster" and "West Ruislip" on the tube map - that'll fool them.

Risk 7: A disgruntled member of the public could gain entry into the Strangers Gallery and lob a condom full of purple flour over the MPs below.
Solution: Remove all the condom machines from the House of Commons lavatories.

Risk 8: The Houses of Parliament have been carelessly located in the middle of a densely populated area.
Solution: Invent time travel, go back to 1066 and persuade Edward the Confessor to build Westminster Abbey on the outskirts of Colchester.

Risk 9: Something terribly unlikely but really very nasty that we haven't planned for might happen somewhere in the vicinity of the Parliament building.
Solution: Seal off all nearby roads, divert all nearby traffic and piss off all local residents, a bit like the Americans have done round their Embassy in Grosvenor Square.

Risk 10: The British public might be stupid enough to elect a warmongering Prime Minister whose thoughtless actions in the Middle East endanger the security of the nation.
Solution: Resign. By the end of the week you may have no choice anyway.

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