September 03, 2005

Government defends failed attempt to contact Noah in New Orleans aid bid.

There is a saying amongst reputographers that you can never be bigger than your reputation. It doesn't really work, but the way they have it gold-embossed onto their fine oak Honours Board at the Royal Society of Repusi is seductively true. And it was at this venue that Jeremy Prism, recently the victim of an unprovoked O.B.E., did his best to defend reported government approaches to Noah, made in the hope that he could be released on loan by Yahweh in an effort to bring two-by-two species salvation to the storm-slapped jazzlands of New Orleans.

Speaking to journalists who had gathered at the venue, where Prism was awarding the Society's 2005 Prix de Repusi to late veteran journalist Barry Took, the official spokesman had this to say:

I am honoured to be here tonight to present this prestigious award to Mr Took's late sister; I have every episode of Took-era 'Points of View' on tape, some of them Betamax. But what I did not come here to do was answer questions about the British Government's alleged approach to Noah in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and her waves.

Nevertheless, pressed further on the issue, he conceded:

I accept that there is a kernel of truth to the story, but in reality it is nothing like as simple as the reportage would indicate. It is true that the Cabinet unanimously agreed to see if Noah was still available, but you must understand that this was a tentative step. We had no idea where he was now. Or even if he was still alive in one form or another. It was presumed that we would find him in a spiritual, rather than a physical state, but even if we succeeded in tracking him down, we would still need Yahweh's permission for him to be converted back into physical form to come to America's aid. It would be the only way he could make a difference.

Unfortunately, we never got as far as tracking him down. We managed to open brief discussions with Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadrezzar and Job, none of whom knew of Noah's current whereabouts. It seemed likely, though, that through their intervention we might be able to secure a round-table discussion with Yahweh, until that plan too was swiflty halted.


Last Thursday, we received a communication from Yahweh himself, via Rabbi Lionel Blue, which made it clear that although The Almighty knew of Noah's whereabouts, He would not look favourably on any bid to canvas his intervention in the current crisis. He was quoted as saying, 'I have already had to block recent attempts to contact the late Red Adair, and I see no reason why I should view this case any differently. I gave you Noah once and, like any serpent knows, you don't get a second bite at the apple. If this sort of thing goes on, the next thing I know you'll be asking me to send Jesus back ahead of schedule. It's out of the question.'

Rabbi Blue's comments on the last part of Yahweh's message were not recorded.

In concluding, Prism assured reporters that the government had only made the approach in a desparate bid to help Britain's closest allies, and that even though the attempt had failed, they would still be sending an RNLI boat from the prestigious Land's End station to offer assistance along the southern Mississippi.

[Go here for the horrible truth]

Jeremy Prism Archive

01.07.06 Open and Shut Case Re-Opened by Court of Appeal, Re-Shut by Law Lords
02.05.06 Proposals for Centenary Bombardment of Ypres 'Insane', say UEFA Chiefs
12.04.06 Get-Rich-Quick Yuppies Dine in Style on Einstein's Brain
24.03.06 Beaten Nun to Take Lie-Detector Test
19.02.06 Hackney Borough Council Presses Education Committee to Re-Name Hitler

June 24, 2005

Prism Faces Sack for Late Night Drugs Binge with Most Misguided Man in World.

Last yesterday, Jeremy whispered in Big Brother's ear about the systematic replication of "War v1.0" across the Holy Globe. "Get Bono!", was the barked reply. And without a shadow of a droubt the spokesman was reversing out of those doors on his best behaviour.

Later that rock'n'roll, Prism was highballing with the lead singer of Bono, The U2 Story.

How do you do your saving Mr. B.?

Souls or banks, my bitch? I'm the Pope of both.

People. Saving people against war and famine?

Through the music of course. Through my musical course. Through my whimsical purse, and my thin sickle nurse.

Icy.

Do you?

Yes, freezing.

Bless you.

Thank you, my Bono

Thank me with your ears, and tiny African feat.

I will. I will.

March 29, 2005

Queen Asks Zeppelin to Consider Comeback?

Official government spokesman Jeremy Prism held a small press conference this morning to answer questions about the alleged involvement of Buckingham Palace in putting pressure to reform on the surviving members of rock group ‘Led Zeppelin’.

It is understood that the Queen has long been obsessed with the idea of a Zeppelin reunion, the band having called it quits following the 1980 booze-related death of drummer, John ‘Bonzo’ Bonham.

Led Zeppelin was initially formed out of the remnants of 60’s blues combo The Yardbirds, with guitar-wizard James Page recruiting fellow hack John Paul Jones along with relative newcomers Robert ‘Percy’ Plant and Bonham. Managed by the intimidatingly fat figure of Peter Grant, the band went on to become the biggest fish in the 1970s rock pond, outselling Elvis and The Beatles and playing to millions of people around the world.

A series of accidents and misfortunes culminating in the death of Plant’s son in 1977 sent the band into what many thought was a permanent hibernation, but to general surprise they re-emerged in 1979 with a new album and two huge live shows at the UK’s Knebworth Festival.

By mid-1980 it seemed that the tribulations of the late 70s had been overcome, but just as the band was preparing for an autumn tour of the United States, tragedy struck in the shape of a vodka bottle. As Bonham was laid to rest in his native Worcestershire, the rest of the band, along with Grant, issued a statement declaring the end of Zeppelin.

Since then, aside from several poorly-rehearsed appearances, most notably at Live Aid in 1985, Zeppelin has resisted increasingly lucrative calls from promoters and fans for a full reunion.

It seems that now, however, the highest echelons of The Establishment have become involved in the bid to reunite the group.

It is understood that the Queen first became interested in Zeppelin around the time of their 1973 Houses Of The Holy outing. The story has it that Prince Andrew played Her Majesty part of The Song Remains the Same, segueing into The Rain Song, and from that moment the monarch was hooked. Her Royal Highness quickly got hold of the four previous Zeppelin long-players and was even rumoured to be behind a major live bootlegging operation from 1975 onwards. Stories of a heated argument with manager Peter Grant, culminating in the landing of blows, have never been validated.

Palace sources say that since the break-up of the group, the Queen has explored many different options in an attempt to get the band to reform. One source, who refused to be named, even went so far as to suggest that the African famine of the mid-1980s had been ‘arranged’ with the consequence in mind that a charity concert would be organised to which Zeppelin would be invited and which they would, in conscience, find difficult to turn down.

Now, it seems, Her Majesty is ready to strip Prince Charles of the Duchy of Cornwall and offer it to Robert Plant, the one member of the band who is consistently said to have blocked a Zeppelin reformation, on the proviso that he finally acquiesces to a full-blown reunion. Insiders claim that this plan of action may also be backed up with an offer to crown Jimmy Page ‘King of the Isle of Man’, and the possibility of some kind of protectorate being made of the Isle of Wight, with John Paul Jones at the helm.

Amidst furious speculation on all of these issues, Jeremy Prism took the microphone at Whitehall this morning:

I am here to address the rumours of Royal involvement in putting pressure on ex-members of the musical group ‘Led Zeppelin’, with the intention of precipitating a reformation of said group for at least one major tour, and perhaps an album of new material.

I can tell you that this story is utterly false, and has been caused by a misreading of the Court Circular, in which it was announced that Lady Henrietta Zeppelin, great-great grand-daughter of Count von Zeppelin, inventor of the famous German airship, is to be made a member of the Order of the Garter.

The Queen does, however, wish it to be emphasised that she is a great admirer of the work of Led Zeppelin, and would view any reformation of said group with great satisfaction, even if it were only for a short tour.

Jeremy Prism Archive

01.07.06 Zinc Not The Most Sentimental of Metals
02.05.06 Cotswold Generator Will Produce Enough To Power 1,000 Forests
12.04.06 Butlins Massacre Aids Northern Regeneration
24.03.06 Scotland, Wales And N.I. To Be Raffled To Raise Money For England
19.02.06 Former Miss World Shot Down Over Guatemala

February 15, 2005

Homophobic Backbencher Faces Stiff Penalty

Official government spokesman Jeremy Prism today gave a firm assurance that the activities of Labour backbencher Casper Shanestakes would be thoroughly investigated in the light of fresh allegations about his involvement in the homophobic campaign group ‘Eradigayte’.

Shanestakes recently enraged fellow party members by accepting editorship of the notorious anti-gay journal ‘Gaze Into Hell’, published by the Eradigayte Group. He sees it as exercising his right to free speech. Others inside and outside government see it as a sick extension of his twisted world-view, which has already produced attacks on autistic children, the Paralympics and manufacturers of body cream.

In an interview with the Parliament Channel which aired yesterday evening, Shanestakes was adamant that he was within his rights:

The spectre of gayosy looms larger over these islands now than at any time since Gilbert and Sullivan. Homosensual ways are now the norm in some sections of British society and I just don’t think that’s right. It’s a disease – a toxin that goes from generation to generation. Homoxic practices are taught to the young not only by actual bummers, but also by the silent consent of the liberal majority, who seem to have some very large cocks in their mouths when it comes to speaking out.

A reasonably well articulated point of view, however unpalatable, but Shanestakes went on:

The current ‘I will love you then I will leave you’ attitude of today’s under-40s is as much a part of heterochessual relations as it is of gay – but it wouldn’t be if not for the gay. I mean, they started the infinity engine of promiscuity with AIDS, and who wants to live next to a fucking shit-stabber anyway?

It is these last comments which have griped hard with the government, and it seems an apology, even if it were forthcoming, will not be enough to save Shanestakes’ crumbling political career.

Speaking to a small press conference of gay and straight journalists at Whitehall this afternoon, Jeremy Prism was in no mood for compromise:

“Alright, so we all go through our homophobic phase, and sometimes, as in my case, it spills over into street violence, but there comes a time when you have to wake up to what is acceptable. If I went round shouting out slogans like ‘Fear the Queer’ and ‘Poofs Stink of Guts’ I don’t think I’d last very long in my job, do you? All Shanestakes had to do was ask himself this question: Do I want to be a responsible Member of Parliament, or do I want to be the editor of ‘Gaze Into Hell’? The alternatives were clear and simple for him, but he’s faggoted around, hedged his bets and ended up with spunk on his face. I cannot give official confirmation just yet, but I think he can expect to have a lot more time on his hands to devote to Eradigayte in the near future.”

Jeremy Prism Archive:
14.01.05
Olympic Bid Torched By Drunken Coe
28.02.05 Cancer Cure Hidden For Decades By Neo-Nazi Lab Assistant
09.03.05 Franz Ferdinand 'Very, Very Poor Indeed' Jibe Upheld
14.04.05 Korean War Sold On To Receivers After Fifty-Year Lull
23.05.05 Dung Not Factor in Mediaeval Rape Claim
12.06.05 100mph Winds Delay Ellen MacArthur's Ascension To Heaven

January 28, 2005

24 Hour Drinking To Create Nation of Tee-Totallers

Official government spokesman Jeremy Prism today sent a strong message out to people unhappy with plans to extend drinking hours in England and Wales.

The proposals have long been discussed in full public glare, but as the time draws closer to last orders being called on last orders, a noticeable jitter has been running through middle England.

A perceived increase in the level of alcohol-related public disorder offences, notable at weekends in market towns, has put wind in the sails of the anti-reformists. With the government asserting that binge-drinking will start to disappear as pub hours are relaxed, and the naysayers claiming an imminent descent into bestiality, it seems that the debate has become cemented into two polar camps.

As Prism took the rostrum this afternoon at a small Whitehall press conference, there could be no doubting which camp he was drinking in:

The genesis of our current licensing laws has much more to do with pragmatism and temporary necessity than with any great overriding moral principle. After all, until the First World War, you could drink whenever you liked, as long as the publican was willing to stay open. When the Great War came, the government had to put a curb on drinking hours to limit the increasing bravery of the British people. It was thought that recruits to the Army, soused chin-deep in a culture of round-the-clock boozing, would be so devoid of fear that they would fight the war to a successful conclusion within a matter of weeks.

I think we are all aware of the Government’s long-standing plans, publicised as early as 1904, to have a war of at least three years in duration. And once the European heads of state had sat down and agreed on 1914-18, after several false starts and a delay in the deterioration of the Balkan conflict, they were committed to sticking to the timetable. There was no way they were going to let the agreement slip for the sake of a few late shots of Victory Rum.

Several journalists picked up on the apparent contradiction in Prism’s argument, asserting that if the reason for the curbing of pub hours was originally to prevent unrealistic levels of bravery and bellicositasticy, wouldn’t the relaxing of those laws simply worsen the already bad as hell situation we have with proud fools drinking and punching at night?

Prism responded to this with characteristic tenacity:

Today’s street violence and public order mess is entirely due to the speed at which people drink, not the amount. If you were told you had to get rid of ten pints of lager and fourteen shorts in the space of an hour, you might feel a bit punchy yourself. This way, people can go out and spend a good couple of hours nursing a half-pint of shandy, safe in the knowledge that they have all night and all the next day to really get stuck in. When they realise that there is no pressure of time, they will probably feel like the challenge has been taken away, and drift off home quietly in ones or twos, having actually consumed little more than a couple of light ales. It’s simple, and I’m surprised that the logic of it has escaped so many people.

Asked why he didn’t think the hardened drink culture of today would simply be up all night partying and fighting, Prism claimed that fear of increased policing would be the key:

Even if we don’t actually increase levels of policing to cope with 24 hour drinking, the implication and message will certainly be that those levels have increased and will continue to do so. I know that when I was a boisterous young teenager, the sight of the boys in blue sent me running scared, even if I hadn’t done anything wrong. How much worse the fear, then, for those who are actually drunken wrong-doers? I hardly think they’re going to be able to survive on the streets or continue with their debauched brawling with the kind of fear I have known gnawing away at their skulls. I wouldn’t be surprised if these reforms actually stop people drinking altogether. Between the fear and the lack of challenge must lie the neutral ground of sobriety, must it not?

Jeremy Prism Archive:

10.6.05 Fools Rush In Where Angels Fear To Tread
04.8.05 Turner Landscapes Frozen and Smashed by Injured Footballer
09.9.05 Wig Fire Extinguished Before Eyebrows Reached, Reports Grateful Prism
21.7.05 Presidential Nominee Did Swoon claims Prism
14.4.05 'Stoat Man' Finally Out of Country On Plane to Papua, States Government

January 26, 2005

Obese Children To Be Sent To Western Front Trenches

Official spokesman Jeremy Prism today stepped forward to defend the government’s soon-to-be-announced proposals aimed at fighting the increasing incidence of clinical obesity in British children.

A document purportedly leaked from the Home Office yesterday set out what appear to be blueprints for a scheme which would send thousands of clinically obese children overseas to take up positions in a line of trenches stretching from Gommecourt down to Albert in the Somme region of France.

The trench system, to be dug and then occupied by the junior fatties, has allegedly been modelled on that occupied by the British Expeditionary Force on the eve of the infamous 1916 Battle of the Somme, in which worn out diggers staggered ‘over the top’ into the face of withering German song.

Parents’ groups and watchdogs have already voiced their complete disgust at the plans. Janet Bloater of ‘Paed Off’, a support group for disillusioned young people in the West Midlands area, described the proposed scheme as, “Like gluing Gandhi’s exhumed ashes to a German Eagle”.

Prism, however, stood firm when he held a small press conference in front of a group of British, French and German journalists at Whitehall this morning:

It seems to me that people spend a lot of time complaining about issues like child obesity, only to reject out of hand any proposals aimed at addressing the problem.

From Big Macs to burgers, kids these days lack the dietary strictures formerly imposed on society when need was greater than want. The government has always been eager to attack this issue head-on, and to this end a working committee chaired by Lord Swaggert was set up late last year to explore possible options.

Prism went on to explain that at the first meeting, Lord Swaggert had with him a pictorial guide to the carnage of 1916 which he had planned to peruse at lunchtime. However, the book was passed round before the meeting commenced, and it was agreed by one and all that there wasn’t a fat underage soldier to be seen, alive or dead.

Lord Swaggert decided to research further into the Battle of the Somme, which his own grandfather had miraculously survived after twelve weeks of hell locked in bitter vicious arguments with other chiefs of staff in a remote chateau cruelly cut off from the fighting front by twelve miles of forest and an ornamental lake. And the conclusions of his research astonished him. He found that most front line soldiers in this sector spent the majority of their time digging and working on heavy fatigues, and that it was usually only the final seconds of their lives that involved a battle of any sort. Indeed, Swaggert discovered that even when killed or maimed having gone over the top, most of the boys had simply been caught in the open carrying extremely heavy packs over torn-up terrain.

So you see, there was very little actual fighting involved, for all the fireworks, says Prism.

In essence then, what we are proposing is little more than a standard fat camp, albeit shot through with the kind of strict regime that only the authentic recreation of one of the darkest periods in British military history could provide.

Let’s face facts, we are asking these youngsters to dig, fill sandbags, and run at straw men with bayonets. It’s hardly sadistic. They get to lose weight and learn a little bit about their ancestors at the same time. Remember, some of these fatties are actually older than those brave boy soldiers who we allowed to enlist under false pretences back in the day of the trench. Are we to mock their bones with the kind of lily-livered mumbo-jumbo you hear coming from groups like ‘Paed Off’?

When questioned about the reference made to ‘bayoneting straw men’, and the doubt this cast on the likelihood of the proposals steering clear of actual combat, Prism was somewhat non-committal:

Well of course we don’t want any fighting. The only trouble is that there are some indications that the Germans intend to set up their own fat camp on the site of their old trench line in the same sector. If this is the case, we will probably have to equip our boys with rifles, a few grenades, and perhaps a bit of artillery support – just for their own protection. But I shouldn’t think much will come of that, and if it does, I’m certain it will all be over by Christmas.

Jeremy Prism Archive:
02.12.05 Kraftwerk ‘Not Involved’ In Adler Tag II Plan Says Government
13.11.05 Fluorescent Camouflage ‘Feasible In Laser Age’
29.10.05 Beaten Finalists Can Take Trophy Home Says PM
07.09.05 Royal Family Tree Should Have Included Kaiser Not Hitler Admits Spokesman
31.08.05 Amritsar: ‘Nearly 85 Years Since Our Brave Boys Risked Life And Limb In The City Of Death’

January 18, 2005

U.S. Soldiers Whipped With Wet Union Jack - ‘Inaccurate On A Biblical Scale’

Official government spokesman Jeremy Prism today addressed rumours circulating in the British Press concerning alleged foul play by a platoon of British squaddies in Iraq towards their American counterparts.

The incident in question is said to have occurred in “very late 2004”, when British and American troop movements brought them closer together in a strategic encirclement starting just outside Fallujah and finishing in the same place 360 degrees later.

Unofficial reports claim that the British left flank and U.S. right flank became involved in impromptu festivities in the run up to Christmas. Insiders say that the partying was, at first, good-humoured and peaceful until British squaddies insisted on switching the radio from a baseball game to coverage of Blackburn Rovers vs. Aston Villa. Insult was immediately taken by the GIs who, fuelled by alcohol, taunted the British squaddies over a game which they claimed was ‘only played by little girls in the States’.

A disorganised melee allegedly broke out during which the British, it seems, overcame the American brawlers and subdued them into hands-on-head ‘siege hostage’ positions. Then began, sources say, a five hour ceremony of ritual humiliation, during which the GIs were allegedly hosed down, made to eat a cricket ball, forced to shout our their surnames using the prefix “Mc-“, and then repeatedly whipped with a heavy, soaking wet Union Jack. One of the Americans was said to have been sewn into a giant tea bag and forcibly doused in a huge mug of hot water. Eye witnesses say that the British ringleader, an unnamed sergeant, paraded up and down the line of helpless GIs wearing a black top hat and bellowing Shakespearean sonnets into the captives’ ears through a military megaphone as they suffered their ongoing physical abuse.

Speaking to a small group of British and American journalists at Whitehall this morning, Prism was quick to question the source of these stories, pointing a suspicious finger at the presence of a French journalist at the scene of the alleged disturbances.

It would be easy to haul all those supposedly involved up before a military court of inquiry and make an example of them for all the world to see. But wouldn’t that be playing into the hands of the fifth columnists who have clearly colluded with certain members of the foreign press to fabricate these wicked tales? Even if the stories are proven to be true, which I very much doubt, the presence of a French journalist on the scene must cast a shadow over that truth to the point where it becomes a blatant falsehood.

Asked in particular about the wet flag incident, Prism was adamant:

Do you honestly believe that soldiers of Her Majesty’s Government would degrade the Union Jack like that? I don’t know a single squaddie who would even consider placing our national emblem close to an American’s anus. Besides which, how likely is it that British land troops, hundreds of miles from water, would be carrying a Union Jack, a naval flag? If the stories had mentioned use of a wet Union Flag, then maybe we wouldn’t be able to laugh them off so casually. As it is, this is the greatest work of fiction since the Bible.

It is believed that no official complaints have been received from the Americans over the alleged incident. A source inside the Pentagon stated, off the record, that the US government were “fixin’ to forget about it”. “If this was officialized and got into US homes, it would cripple our nation’s self-belief. Millions of Americans think baseball is the greatest game in the world. For it to be revealed that they had been conclusively proven wrong by a squad of drunken British soldiers brandishing a wet flag would kill the game and many of its supporters overnight”.

When pressed about such anonymous quotes coming out of the Pentagon, Prism replied:

I wouldn’t give much credibility to stories coming out of there. Quite what a Reading-based professional snooker venue could know about all this is entirely beyond me. The Prime Minister will be calling the Hexagon straight away to iron this out.

Jeremy Prism Archive:
02.12.05 Kraftwerk ‘Not Involved’ In Adler Tag II Plan Says Government
13.11.05 Fluorescent Camouflage ‘Feasible In Laser Age’
29.10.05 Beaten Finalists Can Take Trophy Home Says PM
07.09.05 Royal Family Tree Should Have Included Kaiser Not Hitler Admits Spokesman
31.08.05 Amritsar: ‘Nearly 85 Years Since Our Brave Boys Risked Life And Limb In The City Of Death’

January 17, 2005

Allied Carpet Bombing No Reason For Upholsterer Name Change

Official government spokesman Jeremy Prism this afternoon batted away fears that British firm ‘Allied Carpets’ may be forced into a name change due to controversy in the German Press concerning their plans to open branches in Hamburg, Frankfurt and Dresden.

Allied Carpets, originally an upholstery business, was founded in the early 1950s, and has gone on to become a household name in the UK. However, the company is now keen to expand into what it sees as an increasingly accessible European market.

Not all Germans are happy about this move, however, citing what they believe to be a plain reference in the company name to the Allied carpet bombing campaign of 1943-45. Opposition is particularly vocal in the town of Dresden, now forever synonymous with the wholesale destruction and loss of civilian life brought about by the change of emphasis in Bomber Command from the attempted precision bombing of military targets to the area bombing of designated industrial centres. Indeed, some Dresdeners can even remember a time when the term ‘Allied Carpet’ was used to describe a wide area laid waste by one of the RAF’s notorious ‘Ten-Thousand-Bomber Raids’.

Prism, speaking to a gathering of both British and German Press at Whitehall, was quick to dismiss the controversy:

‘Allied Carpets’ didn’t even exist when Bomber Command tore the industrial heart out of Nazi Germany. You might recall that in 1951, at the Festival of Britain, the newly-formed company created a patchwork carpet made up of the flags of every nation on Earth, except the Soviet Union. So I think they have clearly demonstrated that their philosophy is one of international harmony, rather than glorying in the technical superiority and awesome might of RAF Bomber Command over Germany in the final years of World War II.

When asked whether any representatives of Her Majesty’s Government would be attending the ceremonial opening of the first German store, in Dresden, Prism replied:

I’m not sure. I think most of the people who were slated to go had rather hoped that the grand opening ceremony would be in Hamburg. I have heard one or two of them complain that, although undeniably a town of great historical and cultural importance, Dresden isn’t quite what it used to be.

Jeremy Prism Archive:
14.01.05
Boer War Atrocities ‘Don’t Count Now’ Says Government Spokesman
28.02.05 What About The Innocents Who Died Over Dresden?
09.03.05 IRA Always Been Cowardly Attempt To Defend Own Country
14.04.05 French Resistance: ‘History’s Bravest Men and Women’
23.05.05 WWI Military Executions: ‘Saying Sorry Would Be Like Digging Up And Re-Killing The Dead Of Two World Wars.’
12.06.05 Manchester United Split To Pursue Solo Careers: ‘A Great Loss For Sport.’

Boer War Atrocities ‘Don’t Count Now’ Says Government Spokesman

Official government spokesman Jeremy Prism this morning dismissed on grounds of ‘contemporary media obscurity’ the current controversy surrounding British atrocities committed during the Boer War.

Speaking to a small press conference at Whitehall, Prism stated:

Much more attention is being given to this issue now than was the case during the actual conflict, over a century ago. It is interesting to note that the British Press gave little or no credence to these ‘atrocity’ claims in the period 1899-1902, a time when everyone was chronologically much closer to the truth.

The origins of the Boer War lie in what was originally little more than a peaceful protest by Transvaal farmers aimed at getting the London administration to lower the age of Queen Victoria. White farmers claimed to be encountering decreasing levels of respect amongst their black workers, and believed that this was partly due to the declared age of the monarch ‘sending out the wrong impression’ about the longevity, stability, and thus inflexibility of the political status quo in the Mother Country. It is perhaps worth remembering that successive British administrations had, since the late 1860s, actively promoted the myth that Victoria had been crowned Queen on Christmas Day 1069, after a successful three-year campaign to defeat the Norman Conquest and avenge the death of her father, King Harold. And they were extremely successful in doing so. A survey conducted in 1894 revealed that 99.71% of the British public implicitly believed in the veracity of this tradition. It was a belief which sometimes spilled over into raw violence. In 1887, a 79 year-old East London man was whipped to death by a crowd of poets for claiming to have been present at Victoria’s coronation in 1837. Other ‘enemies of the Empire’ met with similar fates when trying to arrange Golden Jubilee celebrations later that same year.

Such random acts of violence on the part of private citizens were an unavoidable feature of Victorian life, claims Prism. Indeed they were a feature of British society right up until Tony Blair came to power in 1997.

When pressed on the fact that the British government had, by his own admission, lied about Victoria’s accession for several decades, Prism replied:

Yes, but none of the administrations which propagated the accession theory was a Labour government, was it?

Of course, the Labour party as we know it today had not been formed during the period in question, and Prism readily accepts this:

Indeed, the Labour Party wasn’t founded until 1996.

Whatever the origins of the Boer War, it is the latter phase of the campaign which is now attracting heavy criticism, and in particular the British Army’s establishment of ‘concentration camps’. Many people in Britain are only slowly beginning to realise that the term ‘concentration camp’ was not patented by the Nazis of Hitler’s time, but date-stamped 1901 when General Kitchener decided to round up and pen Boer women and children in an effort to stop them washing and cooking for their soldier menfolk. It was also hoped that by starving Boer children of the education to become literate, the Army would minimise any future generation’s tendency to protest in rejection of British historical dogma.

Inevitably, disease and hunger in these camps took rife, and although there is no evidence of any systematic killing on the Nazi pattern, many people died.

The current controversy has led to calls for an official apology from the British Government over its treatment of the Boers, but Prism believes that this is another classic example of super-imposing modern values onto historical events:

Nobody kicked up much of a fuss about these camps at the time. In an age when motion photography was still in its infancy, and access to areas of conflict by photographers and journalists was heavily restricted, what emerges is more of a contemporary tremor than an historical earthquake.

The Nazi concentration and death camps were much more destructive than the British Boer settlements. And the abundance of press coverage and cinema footage, some of it in colour, of the liberation of places like Auschwitz and Buchenwald means that public awareness of the Nazi camps was much higher than anything raised by what we got up to in Africa. And I don’t see any reason to change that. I mean, are we trying to say that the British public of yesteryear was somehow worse than us? Could we have triumphed over adversity as they did? This whole controversy is a kick in the teeth to the men who died on 1st July 1916 on the Somme. And relatives of those men are still alive and paying taxes today. If you want this administration to distort history and humiliate the dead of the last century then I’m afraid you are barking up the wrong tree.

Jeremy Prism Archive:
17.01.05 Allied Carpet Bombing No Reason For Upholsterer Name Change
28.02.05 What About The Innocents Who Died Over Dresden
09.03.05 IRA Always Been Cowardly Attempt To Defend Own Country
14.04.05 French Resistance: ‘History’s Bravest Men and Women’
23.05.05 WWI Military Executions: ‘Saying Sorry Would Be Like Digging Up And Re-Killing The Dead Of Two World Wars.’
12.06.05 Manchester United Split To Pursue Solo Careers: ‘A Great Loss For Sport.’