Government plans to privatise the War in Afghanistan have got off to an inauspicious start, with a lack of bidders the government regards as 'serious'. Only two bids have so far been submitted, one from the English Defence League, who the government characterised as 'Lacking both the manpower and the strategic planning ability.'
"Sure, we've had interest from some of the big corporations," said a government insider. "Halliburton were sniffing around for a bit, as you'd expect - I think they're drawn to the smell of blood. Serco looked into it too. Do you know what Serco does except sponge off fat government contracts? Me neither."
But the big corporations all withdrew their bids after discovering that the contract would be paid on results and that there was only one measurable output: Victory. "It was the black and white nature of it we couldn't make sense of," said a Halliburton source. "We could have dealt with being paid on a sliding scale according to degrees of victory - that was the entire basis of the Iraq War after all - but the 'output achieved' column just had two options: yes/no. We ran a mile."
The only other bid was from the Basingstoke Women's Institute. "We think they mistook it for knitting contract," said a government spokesman. But the head of the Basingstoke WI, run to ground by journalists watering the geraniums in her back garden, said that the bid was not a mistake. "We reckoned we couldn't fuck it up any more than the government, so why not? Yes, we swear now as well as strip for calendars - welcome to the 21st Century fuckwads."
Governments sources admit that if the Basingstoke WI bid was serious they were likely to get 'preferred bidder' status. "I'd back them against the EDL any day of the week," said one civil servant. "Question is, should we back them against the Taliban? God knows we've tried everything else."