UK Labour Party releases policy-free manifesto in bid to broaden appeal

Sir Keir Starmer wowed his political consultants today by publishing a 90-page Labour manifesto without a single concrete policy position in it.

The document is instead filled to the brim with vaguely inspiring snippets about how things should be better than they are, gosh darn it. “We need to come together and be the nation we know we can be” has been an early favourite, along with “bringing dignity back to Westminster.”

The new tone is a welcome change from the Corbyn years, during which manifestos wasted ink outlining concrete proposals intended to improve the quality of life for working people of all stripes.

“This new manifesto is bold, it’s daring, it’s just what the country needs right now,” said Alastair Campbell as blood streamed from his eyes and ears. “This is a platform we can all believe in with no pressure to implement anything specific.”

Meanwhile, the Conservative Party has filled its new manifesto with poems about the Battle of Britain, rolling hills, and cricket.

Actors hired by Amazon to impersonate happy workers petition to form union

Thousands of actors employed by Amazon to impersonate happy warehouse workers moved to unionise today, citing poor pay and non-existent health insurance plans as key motivators.

Amazon has been under heavy scrutiny in recent weeks following a slew of stories about exploitative working conditions.

The company had hoped to diffuse criticism by denying all evidence of wrongdoing and hiring actors to impersonate fulfilled, happy members of staff, but it seems those efforts have backfired.

“Injuries, blackmail, and don’t get me started on the urine bottles,” said union organiser Tod Tamminson. “I’ve never felt so belittled and small in my life, and I’m an actor for god’s sake.”

Ballots will be tallied in two weeks, with Amazon facing the prospect of entering into negotiations with the Associated Actors, Artistes, and ‘Artists’ of America (AAA‘A’A).

Actors hired by Amazon to pretend to be happy actors hired by Amazon to pretend to be happy Amazon workers reportedly have no plans to unionise as yet.

Podcast population growth ‘out of control’

The current rate of new podcasts being created is unsustainable and will surely lead to humanity’s ruin within 30 years if left unchecked, top scientists have warned.

According to a crack team based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the one-billionth podcast launched last month (in which tea towels aficionados discuss their favourite designs) and humanity is already well on its way to two billion.

“No-one knows where they’re coming from,” said project lead Dr. Lily Goldbloomer. “They’re now appearing at rates faster than we can track. The sheer number and mediocrity of them is overwhelming.”

At the current rate of growth there will be approximately 48 billion podcasts by 2026, and 146 billion by 2029, putting unspeakable strain on data storage resources and the energy sources needed to power them. By 2050 an estimated 93% of all human activity will involve making or listening to podcasts.

“The planet can’t take it,” Goldbloomer said. “We owe it to our children and our children’s children to do something about this now.”

Suggestions that governments around the world implement a ‘one podcast per person’ policy have been condemned by the official ACLU podcast as authoritarian and a gross violation of civil liberties.

For a full breakdown of the story be sure to check out the new Whale-Lines podcast, available on fine listening platforms everywhere.

Figurative corruption probes to be replaced with very real anal probes

Person putting on a rubber glove
Law enforcement has been told to take ‘an Ice Cube approach' to lubrication

Watchdog organisations around the world today announced plans to step up their investigative processes by replacing strongly worded disapproval with strongly applied rectal equipment when dealing with silk collar criminals.

Starting Monday, enquiries are going to be a lot more… hands on, with tax evaders, political sellouts, stock market gamblers, and other scourges on civilization to be given the demeaning, callous treatment befitting their actions. Prison sentences will be much longer and much, much more unpleasant.

“I’m expecting great results,” US senator Elizabeth Warren told The Whale-Lines. She has been one the policy’s strongest advocates in recent months. “Those fat cats on Wall Street need to know we’re not messing around.”

As part of a broader cultural shift, law enforcement has agreed offences like drug possession and reselling cigarettes will henceforth be met with the kind of chummy ‘oh you’ finger wagging previously reserved for war criminals and sociopathic hedge fund managers.

Though some have expressed concern about the morality of the programme lawmakers insist it’s just a form of advanced regulation.

Biden administration to distribute two thousand one-dollar checks

Close up of a one dollar bill
Time for that car payment!

Making good on their campaign promise of ‘two thousand dollar checks’ the Democrats today passed emergency legislation to give one-dollar checks to 2,000 lucky Americans.

The commitment proved decisive in the Georgia senate runoff races earlier this month, so it’s a good thing Biden hasn’t immediately reneged on a political home run and instead left millions of citizens to struggle during a time of unprecedented economic hardship.

“Incredible times call for incredible measures,” president Biden said during an emergency press conference this morning. “We’re putting money back in the pockets of several working families. Maybe they can share a coffee or something.”

The legislation only just squeaked through the Senate as Republicans went about rediscovering their deep, totally sincere concern about the national debt.

Shock, dismay as [ACTION] leads to [CONSEQUENCE]

Millions are reeling - positively reeling - after [CONSEQUENCE] began to make itself felt following [ACTION].

Countless experts had warned [ACTION] would almost certainly lead to [CONSEQUENCE], citing various facts, figures, and historical precedents in the process, but their concerns were widely dismissed as elitist fear mongering.

Now, with [CONSEQUENCE] wreaking entirely predictable havoc, some are rationalising their complicity, with limited success.

“Who could have seen [CONSEQUENCE] coming?” said one popular radio personality. “It came out of nowhere. Anyone claiming they predicted it were probably behind it from the start. I for one blame [STRAW MAN].”

Both [ACTION] and [CONSEQUENCE] hold vital lessons for the future, lessons you can bet your house on being widely ignored or otherwise avoided.

Third Reich accused of being antifa false flag operation

Suspicions are growing that Nazi Germany, the totalitarian regime responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people, was actually an antifa false flag operation.

The Thousand Year Reich, which was crushed like a swollen, disease-ridden bug after 12 years of existence, had long been considered a textbook example of fascism, but that was before several self-avowed neonazis posted rambling accusations to the contrary on Parler.

“Don’t listen to the #FakeHistory sellouts,” said Republican congressman elect Gabriel Schyman. “The fascist antifascists are the real fascists. Hitler was just a German patriot doing his best for the people. The truth will out.” The message was inexplicably accompanied by a photo of Heinrich Himmler wearing a ‘Fascist and proud’ t-shirt.

Proof of antifa involvement in Nazi Germany has not been forthcoming. When approached about the mountains of historical evidence showing the state was in fact a brutal fascist dictatorship, congressman Schyman stuck his fingers in his ears and ran off screaming, “La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la.”

Marie Antoinette cloned, clone given New York Times op-ed column

Portrait of Marie Antoinette
Ms. Antoinette at the office

Former monarch Marie Antoinette of France has been successfully cloned using DNA samples, with the copy quickly landing a cushy gig writing sublimely out of touch verbal vomit for The New York Times opinion section.

She joins the paper’s all-star opinion lineup of Scrooge McDuck, Monty Burns, and Smaug the dragon.

Renowned for her measured takes and intimate understanding of the plights of working people, Ms. Antoinette has already delighted the intelligencia with articles like ‘Why Diamonds Are More Valuable Than Human Life’ and ‘It’s Time to Talk About Reparations for Displaced Monarchs’.

“We’re delighted to have Marie on board,” said Times editor Dean P. Baquet. “Our opinion pages have always been renowned for their insight and the passionate debates they spark.”

The Whale-Lines understands Ms. Antoinette’s salary could have covered the costs of at least 30 reporters aching to produce cutting edge invesetigative journalism in the public interest.

How, where, and why the former queen of France was cloned in the first place has yet to be addressed by anyone, and never will be.

Hollywood announces 184 new biopics

Ever pushing the envelope, leading film studios yesterday revealed plans to release a cheap, cynical biopic every other day in 2021.

Projects include Bogart, about Humphrey Bogart; MJ, about Michael Jordan; Hoover, about J. Edgar Hoover; Nina, about Nina Simone; King, about Martin Luther King, Jr.; Plath, about Sylvia Plath; Lennon, about John Lennon; Marilyn, about Marilyn Monroe; Oprah, about Oprah; Hendrix, about Jimi Hendrix; Letterman, about David Letterman; Leno, about Jay Leno; Earhart, about Amelia Earhard; Kerouac, about Jack Kerouac; Rosa, about Rosa Parks; Kim, about Kim Kardashian; Bonaparte, about Napoleon Bonaparte; Joe, about Joseph Stalin; Eleanor, about Eleanor Roosevelt; Joan, about Joan of Arc; and Jimmy, about James Stewart.

Each picture will feature a plodding, pedestrian script, lifeless cinematography, and a lead actor with respectable box office draw who is clearly phoning it in. Several have already been earmarked as Oscar frontrunners.

“The brain trust has been hard at work coming up with brilliant new ideas,” said Warner Bros head Clarence Jutson. “These are the stories people want to see, over and over and over again.”

Also announced were a stop motion animation remake of The Lion King, a live action remake of Toy Story, an animated remake of Citizen Kane, and eighteen more Mission Impossible films.

New BBC ‘impartiality’ rules ban staff from saying genocide, human trafficking, Coldplay are bad

BBC journalists have been told they should keep their wackjob opinions on basic human rights to themselves, with bosses keen to safeguard the broadcaster’s unbiased reputation.

New guidelines published today say it is no longer acceptable for staff to take sides - personally or publically - in ‘controversial’ topics like mass murder, neo-Nazism, pedophilia, child labour, and whether the Marvel franchise is real cinema. (Editor's not: It’s not, it’s assembly line sound and vision.)

“There are passionate voices on both sides of these issues,” said BBC director general Dave Timie. “Lest we forget, it is not the role of journalists to report in the public interest, root out injustice, and hold power to account - it is the role of journalists to coddle ignorance and prejudice.”

The guidelines were updated in part due to a controversy last month involving One Show presenter Laura Wagner, who sparked mass indignation by tweeting, “I am enormously grateful for much of the work police do, but surely it’s not controversial to say police brutality is bad?”

Thankfully, Wagner was promptly fired and blacklisted for life following these inflammatory comments, but pressure has been relentless for the BBC to clamp down on ‘politicised’ content and stop bringing up facts during interviews with cabinet ministers.