Philip Hammond, the UK Defence Secretary, today announced that the BBC’s verbose Business Editor Robert Peston had been sent to Helmand province in Afghanistan where he will play a pivotal part in the War on Terror by serving as a manned drone.
‘Peston’s role will be to reconnoitre enemy terrain, identify Taliban insurgents and then subdue them by talking for hours in his excruciatingly slow, dull monotone,’ explained Hammond. ‘Research has shown that after only a matter of minutes even the most die-hard jihadi will be left questioning the very point of his existence and begging Allah for deliverance.’
Army chiefs have welcomed the move. ‘Although Taliban and al-Qaeda operatives are rigorously prepared for the battlefield in secret training camps,’ said General Sir David Roberts, Chief of the Defence Staff, ‘we believe none of them will be equipped to resist Peston’s rambing, self-important monologues, his unique stumbling delivery and the random stresses and unpredictable rises in volume that litter his never-ending sentences. The combination of his strangulated diction and laborious displays of expertise will be used to neutralise audiences in attitudes of despair until special services personnel can arrive and take them hostage.’
The military admitted that they did think of using remote-controlled unmanned drones, but owing to battery-life constraints the technology proved unable to continue its assault on Taliban ears for as long as Peston.
In his first mission late yesterday, the BBC Business Editor single-handedly overwhelmed a battalion of heavily-armed Taliban soldiers with a pained explanation of the Eurozone debt crisis and fluctuations in the bond market. ‘I can, er, EXCLU-sively rev-EAL, that, umm, with au-STER-ity here to STAY,’ began Peston, but already enemy combatants were either struggling to remain conscious or turning their weapons on themselves in desperation.
Sadly, though, Peston’s first tour of duty was later marred by a friendly fire incident in the soldiers’ mess when, despite a direct order to cease his attack, he continued to unhurriedly expound on the systemic failures of banking regulation and a number of UK soldiers within earshot tragically died of boredom.