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|Iraq to sue magazine
27 Aug 2002
Iraq and the United States are to sue the makers of The Big Issue, it was announced today. In an extraordinary moment of agreement between the two countries, lawyers issued a joint statement declaring the action at a press conference in Baghdad. "Both of our countries have had their eyes on this publication for a long time," said an Iraqi spokesman in an almost amusingly sinister accent. "Now we have decided enough is enough."
"This obvious, blatant propaganda has to be closed down immediately before it causes serious harm to the people of Britain, Europe and the United States of America, but most importantly America," continued the American representative in full body armour. "A few homeless people in England or wherever is not the 'big issue'. Bombing the hell out of the evil Iraqis is the big issue."
Despite the subsequent breakdown of the press conference and 14 arrests, the legal action is to go ahead. The magazine's publishers have yet to comment, but messages coming from the British government have been predictably mixed. Jack Straw called the action "prudent" in a newspaper article, but Tony Blair has refused commit Britain to supporting it. Some cabinet ministers are known to be against such legal action on the grounds that they "hate lawyers", although they have yet to come forward.
The Conservatives have meanwhile spoken out in favour of the action, against the action and in support of the South African point of view, whatever that might be. As a confused Iain Duncan Smith explained over "a pint of 1979 French white wine to show how in touch I am", the party is suffering from the government's mixed messages.
"We just don't know what to say any more," he moaned to our man with the beer belly. "I mean obviously we've got to say the opposite to what the government says ? that's what we're here for ? but it's a bit difficult when you don't know what they're saying. Maybe we could try telling jokes instead?"
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