No. 10 Downing Street has confirmed in a statement early this morning that a raft of cuts to benefits due to kick in today were merely an elaborate prank played out for the last few months on the British public, and that the drastic measures would not now go ahead.
Hailing the success of the meticulously planned and entirely beliveable ruse, Prime Minister David Cameron wiped tears of glee from his eyes as he said; ‘I can’t believe anyone was taken in by it, but they were, in their millions. You should have seen the look on their little faces!’
Chancellor George Osborne, taking deep breaths to control his mirth and making no attempt to hide the fresh urine stain on the crotch of his pin-striped trousers, added; ‘It’s been more successful than we ever could have hoped for. They say there’s one born every minute, well I can confirm from reliable treasury statistics, backed up by this report from the entirely credible Office for Budget Responsibility that there is, indeed, one born every minute.’
Quiet man Iain Duncan Smith was unavailable for comment, preferring instead to work hard trying to stifle his uncontrollable giggles in a corner of the cabinet room. But other Political parties have been quick to jump on the bandwagon and offer alternative outlandish ideas for the British public to be briefly taken in by.
Labour asserted in a dawn message that after Ed Miliband’s apology for letting immigration run out of control while in power, his diary is now full of dates where he will say sorry for getting Britain into the mess in which it finds itself. Most days are taken up with an apology each day, starting with saying sorry for two wars, then NHS scandals, dumbing down of education and ‘almost everything else’ with the final, long awaited grovel for completely shafting the economy scheduled for the weeks running up to the General Election in 2015.
Nick Clegg gave a new assurance that the Lib Dems will do a U-turn on every U-turn that they’ve made in coalition government, UKIP launched a new manifesto pledge entitled, ‘Foreigners, we love ’em really, but only if that’s OK with you’, and the BNP issued notice through an interpreter of a new policy entitled ‘Blacks: actually, we think they’re quite nice’.
But like all April Fools, the government’s jape ceases to be valid after midday when, as Iain Duncan Smith (now fully recovered) admitted, the plans to cut benefits would actually come into force after all.
‘Benefit claimants would really be better off taking one of the millions of jobs readily available in Britain to those who want to work,’ he said, with Downing Street confirming that, as it was still before midday, he didn’t even need to cross his fingers behind his back as he said it.
The sentiment was echoed by Ed Balls, who confirmed that anything Labour promised this morning also expired when the clock struck twelve noon. ‘But at least it made the headlines in all our honest, trustworthy morning papers, so we’ve really got our message across, one that the British public can really believe in, and as it’s still early in the morning we can categorically promise not to do any of that again,’ he said, without a hint of stammer.
In a rare show of unity, all party leaders and newspaper editors agreed that the growing perception among the general public that they have any influence on matters of national policy should be recognised in tomorrow’s universal headline, which will be the word ‘Suckerrrrrs!’ printed in very large type.