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Secret plan for Britain to adopt US time zone, drive on right during Bush visit
14 Nov 2003 by Malcolm Drury
DeadBrain investigations have led to the revealing of a secret government plan to make US President "Boy" George W. Bush feel more at home and not further increase his usual level of confusion during his state visit with his wife, Mrs. Bush, next week. For the three days of the Presidential visit the entire United Kingdom will switch to Washington time, and all traffic in central London and any other area that the President and his retinue might visit will be required to drive on the right.
The plan came to light when our investigative reporter, looking for something for lunch, found a videotape in a skip outside the BBC studios in which Mr. Bush had recorded an interview with Sir David "Hello, good evening and welcome" Frost. The full official interview will be broadcast on Breakfast with Frost on Sunday, but the tape found by our reporter appears to be an unedited version.
At the end of the interview, with the tape still rolling, Mr. Bush praises "your Prime Minister Terry Blair for his magnanamerous offer to make me feel at home in the U of K." He goes on to explain that by being able to stay on Eastern Standard Time he will be able to keep in touch with the "folks back home".
Downing Street spokesman Douglas Ramsbottom at first denied any secret plan, but when showed the tape he admitted that a proposal had been put forward but that it had certainly not yet been adopted.
"We just want to make it as easy as possible on President Bush," he said in a hastily-called press conference, "knowing that with jet lag, and concerns over Iraq, and what Donald Rumsfeld might be getting up to behind his back, he will have a lot on his mind, and may become even more confused than usual. So we thought that keeping him in his own time zone would make it easier on him."
Asked about the issue of driving on the right, Mr. Ramsbottom explained that that was really to accommodate the American security people who will be accompanying Mr. Bush. "We expect about two hundred possibly trigger-happy agents," he said, "and we want them to be able to focus their attention fully on their job, not worry about trying to negotiate roundabouts from what to them is the wrong direction."
"It won't really affect Londoners," he added, "as we will be closing central London anyway."
A Buckingham Palace official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told our reporter that Prince Philip had been heard to say something along the lines of "if the bugger's staying in my house, it will be by my rules, and I'm not changing time zones for anyone. I will watch EastEnders at its usual time, not five hours later, and bugger Bush. If he doesn't like it he can stay at the YMCA."
An unconfirmed report claims that London mayor Ken Livingstone said "over my dead body" when he learned of the plan, to which Tony Blair apparently countered "if necessary."