Good News, Bad News – February 2012

 Bad News for Larry of Downing Street

Over recent months England has been wading knee-deep through turmoil and calamity, riots and economic crisis – but an even more devastating debacle has arisen. Larry Cameron, resident cat of No. 10 Downing Street, is charged with serious allegations of incompetence and neglect of duties. The scandal of the season appears to be Larry’s inability and lack of motivation to catch the mice frequenting the corridors of Downing Street, preferring instead to spend his time sleeping or with his girlfriend, Maisie.

The crisis reached a pinnacle when David Cameron was witnessed hurling a fork at a mouse, which endeavoured to make an appearance at a dinner with Cabinet ministers. Despite outraged cries for Larry’s swift removal from service, a Downing Street spokesperson has come to his defence with the claim that “Larry brings a lot of pleasure to a lot of people”. It seems that in these troubled times even Larry’s position as mouse-catcher has fallen into realms of precarious uncertainty, leaving us to wonder: what hope is there for the rest of us?


Good News for Pizza Fans

Students and pizza-lovers across the US are ecstatic at the news that Congress has affirmed that pizza is “a vegetable”. The apparent justification of this move is that the tomato sauce on a slice counts as a half-cup serving of vegetables. This outcome originated in a bid to make federally financed school lunches healthier and more nutritious. The Agriculture Department (USDA) suggested that potatoes should be replaced with fresh fruits and vegetables, for salt to be reduced and, of course, for pizza to no longer be classed as a vegetable.

Yet, as a result of powerful lobbying by frozen food giants, Congress decided to block the USDA’s proposals, which were considered “overly burdensome and costly” according to a bill summary released by Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee. Although perhaps not the best strategy to counter high obesity levels – especially now a third of American children are considered to be obese by the government – the average university student is unlikely to complain about the chance to justify that second Dominoes.


And in other news… The Power of the Pint 

Derbyshire Police arrested 19 criminals last November thanks to an unusual, “cost-effective” tactic: the offer of free beer. Officers at Chesterfield Police Station relied on the power of the pint to lure the suspected criminals into their welcoming arms. Wanted for a number of crimes, ranging from robbery to sexual assault, the criminals were sent letters supposedly from a marketing company, offering free beer. This advert encouraged them to call a number printed on the letter to claim their free crate; little did they know that it was the police who sat eagerly at the end of the phone lines. The unwitting criminals arrived to enjoy their light carbonated refreshments only to be arrested.

While this story may seem like an innocuous one about police ingenuity, it does tap into a wider issue ever-present in the criminal world at the moment: the lack of sheer common sense. It must then fall to David Cameron to decide what the British Government can do to ensure the levels of criminal cunning do not fall in this time of gumption recession. It is an issue not often covered, but one that needs addressing, not only for the sake of our criminals, but our police shows as well. After all, how far are we from an episode of Midsummer Murders in which the criminals are foiled by forgetting to tie their own shoelaces or running with scissors.

Helena Murphy, Sedef Akademir, Ben James and Elizabeth Almas



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