Demand grows for competent tyrants

The huddled masses of the world are pining to be under the thumb of better despots, according to a new survey published by the University of Bristol yesterday.

Although most of the interviewees (12,064 from 112 countries) were resigned to the inevitability of unpleasant people being in charge, the consensus is that world leaders need to be more impressive subjugators.

“It’s not a lot to ask,” said underemployed, heavily indebted millennial Gunther Polvin. “If we’re going to have our freedoms trampled on, our labour wrung dry, and our futures sold down the river, we’d at least like the people on top to be smarter than us. Them being stupid just rubs salt in the wound.”

Another participant simply said: “Give us Machiavellian schemers, not reality TV stars.”

The survey also revealed a growing demand for a global revolution of the antiletariat that instates more accomplished bastards as heads of state.

Keir Starmer denies having Jeremy Corbyn edited out of old Labour photos

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer has brushed off claims that Jeremy Corbyn has been purged from the party’s recent history.

Corbyn, who some claim was leader of the Labour Party as recently as 2019, is conspicuously absent from thousands of photographs people could have sworn he was in before.

“I don’t have the faintest idea what you’re talking about,” Starmer said. “I don’t even know who you’re talking about. Jeremy who? Never heard of him.”

According to inside sources, this alleged rewriting of history is part of a broader strategy to narrow Labour’s appeal by alienating leftwing non-voters and appearing like simpering cowards to conservatives.

On the upside, any and all footage of that White Stripes-inspired chant has also been destroyed.

Matt Hancock apologises for fucking your wife

Matt Hancock smiles while apologising for fucking your wife
Mr. Hancock overwhelmed by remorse

Former British health secretary and international sex symbol Matt Hancock today issued a formal apology for making sweet love to your missus at the height of lockdown.

“My bad,” Hancock said through a shit-eating grin. “I messed up big time and I won’t do it again.”

Hancock has since issued a second apology for being caught doing the horizontal shuffle with your wife again just minutes after the first apology. “Sorry,” he said. “Very, very sorry.”

For those of you who think you don’t have a wife, you do, and Matt Hancock gave her the night of her life. He has something you don’t. Yes, it’s true.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has shrugged off pressure to expel Hancock from the Conservative party for repeatedly boning your soulmate. “Who hasn’t?” he said, before high-fiving a nearby aide.

Tyranny in freefall as conspiracy theorists redirect ire at real problems

Humankind may finally be on the path to peace and prosperity after conspiracy theorists around the world refocused their energies on despotic governments, sinister corporations, tax havens, and other real problems that actually exist in the real world.

Previously untouchable institutions of power have so far proved helpless when faced with the relentless, laser-focused zeal of former flat earthers, QAnon believers, and other such tinfoil hat-wearing types.

“The penny just kind of dropped that we were wasting our time,” said unexpected new beacon of democracy, love, and hope Alex Jones. “If we want the world to be a better place we all need to roll up our sleeves and make it better together.”

Previously deranged lunatics are proving to be super adept detectives, campaigners, and investigative journalists. Even The Whale-Lines has hired a couple. The odour is unfortunate but they have excellent instincts for a story.

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.