‘There’s far more to Brazil than most people realise’ said Carla de Faria, the Secretary of State for Tourism and Investment as I interviewed her in Rio. ‘We’ve got Michelin-starred restaurants, world-class museums, great hiking, and we hope that the World Cup will provide an opportunity for people to discover it for themselves.’ Mrs de Faria, who was born in the middle-class district of Rocha, which is only 10 miles from poverty-stricken favelas where street kids dream of becoming the next Pele, went on to say ‘For example, the Sao Paolo Museum of Modern Art is currently running a new reading of the curator Paulo Herkenhoff which features, amongst others, works by Mary Vieira, Alberto Teixeira, and Raul Porto, as well as an oil on canvas by Leopoldo Raimo and two works by Maurício Nogueira.’ I gazed past her, and saw local Cariocas flirting and enjoying a Caiprinha in a beach-side bar. The politician, who was educated at Oxford and Harvard and was clearly wearing nothing but a candy-floss bikini under her Chanel suit, unfortunately had to cut the conversation short. ‘I’m expecting the vice-President of Deutsche Bank here in 30 minutes and I have to prepare my presentation’ she said apologetically. As I left and drove to the airport, I felt great joy at having met my very own ‘Girl From Ipanema’.
Parents, charities, and pressure groups have expressed shock at a recently released video which shows Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson sitting in the back of a tour van using a postal vote for the Liberal Democrats.
Believed to be shot outside Bournemouth, the 2 members of the popular boy-band can be seen passing round the voting form and ticking the box next to Margaret Johnson, the Lib Dem Councillor for Richmond South. Louis narrates from behind the camera, saying ‘What do you make of that?’, whilst Zayn replies ‘Very controversial’. The van then drives past a UKIP poster, at which point Zayn holds the form to the window and shouts ‘One-nil baby!’.
Although it’s not technically illegal to vote for the Liberal Democrats in the South of England for personal reasons, the footage has caused widespread concern. A worried fan tweeted ‘I love you boys so much but I really thought you would have more concern for our open borders #thinkofthechildren’. A Netmums spokesperson said ‘As rolemodels to the next generation, they need to show more restraint. Perhaps they could do some voluntary work with charities that are dealing with the effects of the coalition Government’s cut-backs.’
However, a media consultant has suggested it was deliberately released and is in fact part of a re-branding for the group. ‘It is well known that the tween demographic is heavily in favour of leaving the EU and of a flat-level income tax of 30%, which of course makes them lean towards Nigel Farage’s UKIP. By showing support for the Lib Dems, the band are positioning themselves more towards the mid-to-late 20’s cohort, who are naturally more sympathetic towards Nick Clegg’s party. It is similar in many ways to Bob Dylan playing electric guitar at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965.’
A local political blogger wrote ‘The Conservatives are trying to re-cast themselves as a party of the people who are in touch with ordinary working folk. To do this, their party chairman recently tweeted and posted on Facebook ‘Here’s my #nomakeupselfie. Off for a game of bingo now. Hope no-one laughs at me!!#beatcancer’. This follows Michael Gove’s Sport Relief challenge to play croquet in his garden for all of Sunday morning and David Cameron’s Comic Relief pledge to go a full 48 hours without his au pair. They have so far raised £7.20.’
There was consternation in the Liberal Democrats as an MP blogged ‘The floods in Somerset are a warning from God – they are Divine retribution for the country rejecting the Alternative Vote system. It is clear that it is His will for the country to have a system which gives voters the right to fully express their political views in a modern, innovative manner, which, although slightly confusing and not quite as impressive as the method used in the Bundestag, is still better than the current system. The storms, pestilence and war that has resulted in the last few years was entirely predictable. I dread to think what will happen if the Government doesn’t introduce the Mansion Tax.’
In a move championed by democratic activists in Westminster, the Government is thinking of extending voting rights to the over 75s. ‘It’s a natural progression from having a free TV licence’ suggested one think-tank. Labour, on the other hand, have dismissed it as electioneering gerrymandering . A spokesperson said ‘Everyone knows that the retired are more likely to vote for the Tories, and this is just a cheap trick to turn attention away from the cost of living crisis.’
Buckingham Palace have announced that the Queen is to examine ways to retrain as a painter and decorator/plumber, with the Prince’s Trust one possible option. A spokesman said ‘She particularly likes the fact that, as well as receiving advice on how to start your own business, you can go on a 12 week course and it doesn’t effect any benefits you get from the Government. This, of course, is unrelated to the state of Windsor Castle or any unsupported rumours of financial mismanagement. It is something she has always shown an interest in and she has more time on her hands now that her son has reached retirement age.’
Westminster politicians of all colours started the ‘No For Independence’ campaign by suggesting that if Scotland left the Union there would be terrible economic and social consequences. One cabinet member said ‘Isolation would risk inward investment and business development, so potentially increasing unemployment and taxation. It would also invoke the divine retribution of almighty Ares and his celestial army.’. A think-tank elaborated ‘Companies like Apple and Samsung respect the brand offer which the UK as a whole provides. This leverage into cutting-edge transnational business facilitation could be lost if Scotland becomes independent. Also, it would greatly anger Apollo who will smite all those before him.’. The ‘Yes’ campaign quickly counted by saying ‘Recent research has shown that smaller, more mobile nations like Latvia and Malta have inward investment levels on average 22% above larger, more cumbersome countries. And Alex Salmond has a myrtle wreath bequeathed by Aphrodite herself so there is no need for ridiculous scaremongering.’