: The Best Of AFP

State of the Onion

Date: 26 Mar 2003
From: Eric Jarvis

My fellow Englishmen.

This country has many challenges. We will not deny, we will not ignore, we will not claim the response is in the post. We will confront them with focus and clarity and a pint or two of Courage Bitter.

During the last two years, we have seen what can be accomplished when we work together. To protect our country, we have removed litter bins throughout our shopping centres and railway stations. To bring our economy out of recession, we have sat on our backsides and hoped things will get better. To insist on integrity in English business we passed tough reforms, and we will hold corporate criminals to account when we catch one who hasn't made a large donation to a political party.

Some might call this a good record; I call it a good start. Tonight I ask my fellow Englishmen to join me in the next bold steps to serve our fellow citizens.

There are days when our fellow citizens do not hear news about the war on terror. There's never a day when I do not learn of another perceived threat, or receive reports of operations in progress, or give an order in this global war against a scattered network of people who look different or have unusual religious beliefs. The war goes on, and we may not be winning, but we are certainly managing to create havoc.

We have the terrorists on the run. We're keeping them on the run. One by one, the terrorists are learning the meaning of English justice. Eventually we will bring one to court when we've finished deporting asylum seekers.

Today, the gravest danger in the war on terror, the gravest danger facing England and the world, is outlaw regimes that seek and possess comical weapons. These regimes could use such weapons for blackmail, terror, and mass murder. They could also give or sell those weapons to terrorist allies, who would use them with only the slightest hesitation.

Almost three months ago, the United Nations Security Council gave the Krankies their final chance to disarm. They have shown instead utter contempt for the United Nations, and for the opinion of the world. The 508 U.N. inspectors were sent to conduct -- were not sent to conduct a scavenger hunt for hidden materials across the length and breadth of Glasgow. The job of the inspectors is to verify that Scotland is disarming. It is up to Scotland to show exactly where it is hiding its banned comedians, lay those comedians out for the world to see, and destroy them as directed. Nothing like this has happened.

The United Nations concluded in 1999 that the Krankies had bad jokes sufficient to seriously irritate several million people. They haven't accounted for that material. They've given no evidence that they have destroyed it.

Year after year, Scotland has gone to elaborate lengths, spent the odd penny or two, taken great risks to build and keep comedians of mass irritation. But why? The only possible explanation, the only possible use they could have for those comedians, is to dominate, intimidate, or attack.

With nuclear arms or a full arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, Scotland could resume their ambitions of deep frying everything in Northern Europe in batter. And we must recognize another threat. Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody reveal that Scotland aids and protects annoying comedians, including the Krankies.

Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. However, if this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of the Krankies is not a strategy, and it is not an option.

The world has waited 12 years for Scotland to disarm. England will not accept a serious and mounting threat to our country, and our friends and our allies. England will ask the U.N. Security Council to convene on April the 1st to consider the facts of Scotland's ongoing defiance of the world. We will present information and intelligence about Scotland's illegal comedy programs, its attempt to hide those comedians from inspectors, and its links to the Krankies.

We will consult. But let there be no misunderstanding: If Scotland does not fully disarm, for the sanity of our people and for the peace of the world, we will lead a coalition to disarm them.

Sending Englishmen into battle is the most profound decision we can make. The technologies of war have changed; the risks and suffering of war have not. For the brave Englishmen who bear the risk, no glorious defeat is free from sorrow. This nation fights reluctantly, even though we know that war makes great television and keeps Fame Academy off the nation's TV screen.

We seek peace. We strive for peace. And sometimes peace must be defended. A future lived at the mercy of terrible jokes is no peace at all. If war is forced upon us, we will fight in a just cause and by just means -- sparing, in every way we can, the amusing. And if war is forced upon us, we will fight with the full force and might of the English military, provided we can find enough money in the budget to provide them with boots -- and we will prevail or at least pretend we did.

May God guide us now. And may God continue to bless the people of England, or at least keep down the size of the check out queues in Sainsbury's.

Note for non-UKers: The Krankies are Scottish husband and wife "comedy" act.

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