Many of us here at TV Cream Towers have been just as shocked as you at recent events in the news.
We were especially unsettled by one outburst that generated hundreds of headlines and led many news bulletins.
That’s right: David Cameron declaring “all-out war” on gangs.
So alarmed were we at the prime minister’s determination to go into battle with one of the most enduring, not to say ubiquitous motifs of British culture, that we dropped a line to one of our “friends” inside the Home Office and got them to commission a report into how the government would fare at the hands of some of the most notable gangs of our time.
We thought it only right that TV Cream do its bit, before the entire internet is closed down thanks to someone somewhere uploading a clip of Larry Grayson enthusing about the “route to the loot”. (SATIRE)
We can now reveal the results of this confidential briefing paper, wherein Cameron and co are pitted in a series of “war games” against the most prominent and grisly gangs of modern times…
1) THE RED HAND GANG
ASSESSMENT: Over-tousled tykes. Appear to show no sign of fear (e.g. hand on the shoulder, cobwebs), and not afraid to commandeer street furniture, e.g. dustbins, for hiding places. One (JR) has a T-shirt bearing his name, or “tag”. Said T-shirt also has no sleeves. Another, James Bond III, is black. Lil Bill makes good his escape by “hilariously” lying flat on a skateboard. All, including the girl, can jump incredibly high.
VERDICT: Gang wins in 25 minutes every week.
2) THE SUNDAY GANG
ASSESSMENT: Sweet-toothed sermonisers. “Gang” moniker and distinctly urban outfits (one of them recently spotted wearing dungarees) belies unashamed ecumenical leanings. Here to praise to the skies not raise to the ground. To wit, gang have rebranded the Bible as The Big Bumper Storybook and hang out with giant Scottish white mouse puppet. Slight concern: gang leader goes by the “handle” of JD. Possible link with JD Sports, number one target for recent riots? (Pls check).
VERDICT: Gang co-opted as cheerleaders for Big Society.
3) THE GANG OF FOUR (i)
ASSESSMENT: Lily-livered liberals. Hang out in Hampstead and Limehouse. Want to “break the mould”. Numerous celebrity followers including blue comedian Barry Cryer and student agitator Bamber Gascoigne. Leader, Jenkins, permanently squiffy. Another, Owen, dresses to the right. Another, Williams, is a woman. Warning: believe in proportional representation, supported by anarchist actor John Cleese. But: think pen, or more precisely pen portraits, more powerful than the sword. No balls.
VERDICT: Gang suffers slow, undignified demise.
4) THE ZOO GANG
ASSESSMENT: Resistance wrinklies. Multi-national outfit with decades of experience, recently reunited, now operating in classy establishments in swanky resorts. Warning: could be sitting next to you in your club or members lounge right now. Use animal codenames to disguise identity. Have own signature tune, written by composer of Give Ireland Back To The Irish. Should only be approached with extreme sartorial caution.
VERDICT: Gang disbands after failing to crack America.
5) THE GANG OF FOUR (ii)
ASSESSMENT: Po-faced post-punk roisterers. Unassuming garb hides radical tendencies of the worst kind, typified by fondness for SHOUTING or CHANTING every OTHER word INSTEAD of SPEAKING like NORMAL people. Songs cover topics including poisonous chemicals, under-investment in public transport, revisionist history, and butter. PLEASE have earmuffs to hand when approaching.
VERDICT: Gang still SHOUTING 30 years later.
6) THE SUGARHILL GANG
ASSESSMENT: Gibberish-talking jivers. Pioneers of rap music (see dictionary for definition if unclear) armed with bewildering non-canonical phraseology, e.g. “don’t stop the rocking to the bang bang boogie say up jumps the boogie to the rhythm of the boogity beat”. Members include Wonder Mike, Hank (also known as Doctor of the Mix, and Casanovafly), and Master Gee, whose name is known all over the world. Fond of hotels, motels and Holiday Inns. Want to “freak you here, freak you there”.
VERDICT: Gang will move you outta this atmosphere.
7) THE GANG OF FOUR (iii)
ASSESSMENT: Commie bastards. Three men and a little lady. Can call upon millions of followers. Waiting for the great leap forward. Still waiting, along with Red book, Red flag, and beds for hiding Reds under.
VERDICT: Gang has too many Rs to fall back on
8) THE PRESS GANG
ASSESSMENT: Worse than numbers 1-7 combined, i.e. journalists. Even worse: kids pretending to be younger than they are. Cocky, tenacious, funny, attractive, smart, down-to-earth muckrakers and stickybeaks. Boss is believed to be Dr Who. AVOID AT ALL COSTS.
VERDICT: Gang is not responsible for everything; they just make it look that way.