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  You are sitting on: Home > News21st April 
 Firemen down hoses
In the first action of its kind for 25 years, the Fire Brigades Union has called on its members to hold the first in a series of national strikes on Wednesday. The move comes following publication of the report of the independent review panel into fire-fighters' wages and conditions, which recommended substantial changes in the working practices of the brigade.

"Our members believe that the suggestions tabled to help cost management for the fire service constitute a gross dereliction of duty to public safety," stated General Secretary Greg "Backdraft" Mullet. "For instance, to save money the Brigade will only be able to run a complete service on Mondays through Thursdays, and every other Sunday. Other than that the brigade will run a limited service which involves cycling to massive warehouse fires, on our own pushbikes I might add, and attempting to put out the 350C fires by pissing on them from a set of stepladders," he whined. "And who's going to pay for those stepladders? Muggins here, that's who! The only way this union can prevent these terrible risks to public safety is by making sure there is no fire service available at all by going on strike and picketing fire stations nationwide."

"And frankly the pay award of 4% this year, dependent on the result of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, is unacceptable. Yes, this does rise to 11% next year, but again there are conditions attached. For instance, a two-headed goat must be born within earshot of Hendon Church bells beneath a full moon in a month whose name does not contain the letter "Y". And yes, I know it happened last year, but how am I supposed to convince my members that it will happen again in 2003? Our members put their lives on the line every day as part of their jobs, and frankly they're getting a bit sick and tired of only being able to afford to live in Cardboard City"

Government sources have branded the actions of the fire brigade as dangerous, irresponsible, and even "terribly working class". "What the public must understand is that these left wing lunatics will not break down this Labour government by bully boy tactics popularised by such men as Arthur Scargill," simpered government spokesman Alan Bullshit. "I mean they're hardly irreplaceable are they? We will maintain an exemplary fire service using the modern, up to date fire-fighting equipment that has been safely and securely mothballed since their use in the last series of Dad's Army, and which is raring to go under their commander-in-chief Captain Mainwaring. It may be true that the service will be a little slower at responding to emergencies than usual, but as our Corporal Jones is so fond of saying, 'don't panic'!"

Responding to allegations that a fire reported on Wednesday evening had more chance of being dealt with by professional fire-fighters returning to work on Friday than by the ageing fleet of green goddesses, Mr Bastard admitted that the best plan of action in the event of a fire was to not bother dialling 999 at all in order to concentrate on the inevitability of being burned to death.

Tony Blair's pay rise following his last election win was 41%.

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