The future lies ahead… the best and worst to expect in 2017
January Holiday misery as mild weather causes severe disruption to emergency arrangements for transport. Severe delays on roads caused by need to remove stockpiled salt and grit. Prime Minister’s New Year message is redacted to one word “New” on orders of Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood, aka Sir Cover-Up, but full three-word version is accidentally exposed by aide to photographers in Downing Street on the back of some cake recipes. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt launches new bid to wipe out NHS deficit: 12 hospitals full of “bed-blocking” patients are emptied and converted into car parks. At inauguration, Donald Trump responds to criticism of conflict of interest by putting the United States into a blind trust run by members of family, leaving him free to concentrate on business and television career. In White House (renamed Trump Central) wife Melania announces first policy move by administration, a ban on all foreign fireplaces to fulfil his election pledge of making American grates again. Brexit threatened by further delay through court case brought by owner of historic house, Toad Hall. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson denounced for gaffe when he says that the world is bigger than the EU.
February Supreme Court rules that Brexit cannot happen before Parliament debates impact on rights of toads, and says that it will shortly consider related proceedings by a mole, a water-rat and a badger, to be represented separately by senior and junior counsel paid from public funds. Clown Peppe Grillo takes over Italian government. Withdraws Italy from EU, saying he cannot match comedy on offer from EU Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker. Greece, Spain and Portugal follow suit. In France, historic Gaul party makes surprising reappearance and makes strong showing in Presidential election polls. Harper Beckham, age 5, releases debut music video, a “techno-garage-thrash” cover version of Shirley Temple’s Animal Crackers In My Soup. Stung by criticism of his soppy Christmas song, brother Cruz (11) releases follow-up – an edgy, self-parody number called Bank It Like Beckham. Brother Romeo (14) takes over mother’s fashion house. Brother Brooklyn (17) is nominated for Nobel Physics Prize after completing the Theory of Everything while learning to park his Mercedes. David and Victoria Beckham deny that they are pushy parents. “It’s all just a bit of fun for the kids.”
March Supreme Court rules that an otter may join proceedings on Brexit case, and says it will consider applications from a weasel, a ferret and a stoat, with counsel for each on standard overtime with contingent fees and refreshers. Trump administration announces plans to fulfil another campaign pledge. Instead of a wall on the Mexican frontier, Trump Corporation will build a casino stretching from California to Texas. The jackpot prize will be a green card to live and work in United States. In football, England stumble to a shock defeat against Iceland the supermarket. Gareth Southgate resigns, replaced as England supremo by Watford’s dynamic mascot, Harry Hornet. “He’ll create a real buzz around the England team,” says FA spokesman. Beckham children announce retirements, saying they are sick of incessant exposure and want to enjoy a normal childhood. Agents offer exclusive pictures to media of all four in normal childhood activities. Another gaffe by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson when he claims that Britain will always be ahead of the United States, by at least three hours. The criminal justice system seizes up when a driverless car is tried for speeding.
April Supreme Court admits all the rest of the cast of Wind In The Willows to anti-Brexit proceedings and considers further applications from two well-known bears, a lion, a witch, a big friendly giant and a visiting tiger at a tea party. More counsel appear, charging ullage, pillage and corkage. French Presidential elections won by Gaul party candidate, Monsieur Asterix. He and his Prime Minister, Monsieur Obelix, withdraw France from EU under impression that it is still the Roman Empire. Half of Belgium follows suit, as do Balkan nations and Cyprus, while Malta applies to rejoin the Knights of St John. Prime Minister Theresa May announces new Brexit negotiator – her childhood hero Geoffrey Boycott. He accepts an earldom and sets off for Brussels with her new strategy. Sir Jeremy Heywood orders this to be covered up immediately but an aide accidentally reveals her instructions to Boycott on what to say to any EU proposal: Yes, No or Wait. Sudden economic slump leads Chancellor Philip Hammond to beg Beckham children to end retirements.
May Earl Boycott expresses confidence in Brussels role. “This lot can’t play. My granny could score off them.” He takes guard and makes opening statement. Is still in at lunch interval. And at close of play. Supreme Court rejects application by Peter Pan to join the Brexit case. “Pan has never grown up and is therefore a minor. He is also a citizen of Neverland and has no rights within the EU.” Harry Hornet picks an all-mascot England team, with Pete and Alice Eagle (Crystal Palace) as flying wingers and Stamford the Lion (Chelsea) in central defence. Responding to plea to end retirements, the Beckham children take over the Treasury. Hammond is replaced by Harper (5) as Chancellor, with brothers as junior ministers. They forego official salaries so as to keep more valuable pocket money from parents. Harper revives economy overnight with another Shirley Temple cover, Come And Get Your Happiness. New plan for media regulation is delayed because Sir Jeremy Heywood orders a cover-up of the name of the Culture and Media Secretary. This creates further delay because nobody can remember the name they are supposed to cover up.
June Earl Boycott continues opening Brexit statement, featuring highlights of his early career. Baltic members leave EU to escape remainder. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney predicts total recession if UK proceeds with Brexit and is rebuked by Chancellor Harper Beckham with another Shirley Temple cover Oh My Goodness. Unemployment falls to lowest level since Boadicea, output soars and giant beanstalks spring up beside M25. Harry Hornet’s England team stumbles to shock defeat against IKEA, after Stamford the Lion is sent off for eating an opponent off the ball. Harry Hornet resigns and is replaced by Roy Race, veteran player-manager of Melchester Rovers. FA spokesman says “Roy has an amazing record for Melchester, and is more than ready to step up from the Cartoon League.” In USA, Trump administration soars to new popularity records when Donald is persuaded to return to Presidency and fire one Cabinet minister each week on network TV: this also becomes favourite viewing of Prime Minister Theresa May. Royal Navy becomes extinct when its last frigate capsizes under weight of visiting admirals, defence officials and consultants.
July Earl Boycott continues opening Brexit statement, with more career highlights. Nordic members leave EU. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says in a speech that “some foreign governments really aren’t terribly nice.” Number 10 briefs that this is one gaffe too many. He is fired by Theresa May in a Trump-style ceremony. Roy Race is criticized for his first selections as England football manager, all from his former team in Tiger comic apart from goalkeeper Billy the Fish. “He’s been outstanding for Viz,” comments Hornet (now a TV pundit) “but it’s a big step up from a two-inch goal to a full-size one. And the whole team is giving away a big height advantage.” Tony Blair gives televised press conference denying plans for a political comeback. As white-coated figures remove him to an undisclosed secluded location he murmurs “I’m ready for my close-up now.”
August Earl Boycott continues opening Brexit statement in Brussels, completing memories of career, but still no sign of a declaration. The other half of Belgium leaves EU. Prime Minister Theresa May announces surprise location of new London airport runway. It will go to “Boris Island” after all in the Thames Estuary, and she adds that Boris Johnson himself will be part of the concrete. The solar eclipse which creates eight minutes of darkness across the United States is blamed on Russian hackers. A giant poisonous jellyfish causes terror to bathers in the Mediterranean Sea, but is badly stung by Sir Phillip Green. The unknown Culture Secretary announces new system of media regulation. All journalists and other “content-providers” will be put on bail, which will be forfeit on the ruling of a tribunal of celebrity PRs.
September Earl Boycott continues opening Brexit statement in Brussels with career highlights of his granny. Poland leaves EU. New £10 note is withdrawn after discovery of traces of nuts. Prime Minister Theresa May is photographed relaxing at Number 10 in a mermaid blanket. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn denounces May for exploiting an endangered marine species and adds “Besides, mermaid blankets are so last year.” Trump runs out of Cabinet members to fire on television and reappoints his own family to run the United States. His son Barron (11) is made Defense Secretary. Trump defends choice: in computer war-game simulation, the boy had much the fastest finger on the button. British teenagers are humiliated by a survey showing that they drink and smoke less than their parents and take fewer recreational drugs and enjoy a hot milky drink at bedtime. Government restores their morale by banning Ovaltine as a class A substance.
October Earl Boycott finally declares. Nigel Farage visits October beer festival in Munich, where he easily outdrinks German politicians vying for popularity in their elections. He is declared surprise write-in election winner, as last man standing. First act of Reichskanzler Farage after thirtieth stein is to withdraw Germany from EU. This is swiftly followed by all remaining members apart from Luxembourg. Governor Mark Carney warns of disaster if UK loses access to Luxembourg, since so many British multinationals say they make all their profits there. Roy Race’s cartoon England team totters to shock defeat by Lidl. The replacement is motivational Spanish manager Pep Talk. He restores familiar players, but in a modern 3-4-3 formation with Wayne Rooney as a false number 10 playing in the hole behind the space. A mystery minister announces new system of media regulation: all content of all media to be supplied by the subject, without the intervention of journalists.
November Earl Boycott takes guard for a second innings. Luxembourg leaves EU. Theresa May hails his masterly Brexit strategy of boring the EU into extinction. Boycott becomes Duke of York in a re-constituted Royal Family in place of Prince Andrew, who takes command of a second-hand Royal yacht, purchased on eBay from Sir Philip Green. Chancellor Harper Beckham presents Autumn Statement with another Shirley Temple favourite On The Good Ship Lollipop. Economy instantly booms with lemonade stands everywhere and crackerjack bands filling the air, but Parliament is deserted because so many politicians are rehearsing for Strictly Come Dancing. Hot favourites are Liam Foxtrot and Peter Mandelson as a Twister. Tony Blair, in televised rehearsal with cousin Lionel, denies plans for a comeback. England team under manager Pep Talk struggle with his new formation and lose to Costcutter. He criticizes Wayne Rooney for playing in the space instead of the hole.
December Larry the Downing Street cat beats politicians and wins Strictly Come Dancing, although veteran partner Jerry the Mouse has to drop out and is replaced by Squeaker Bercow. While playing a war game on a screen in the Pentagon, US Defense Secretary Barron Trump (11) accidentally launches a strike against the entire Russian air force. It is completely successful and Putin surrenders. Master Trump’s success produces demands for a more youthful British government and the Beckham children take over the country from Theresa May. “It’s all just a bit of fun for the kids,” say David and Victoria. Sir Jeremy Heywood is sacked as Cabinet Secretary: cover-ups are finished and all government information is released in full with accompanying videos by the young Beckhams. Resulting receipts eliminate Budget Deficit, even when their agents take their percentage.