Following a sharp increase in innocent casualties from improvised satirical devices, Private Eye magazine has led the call for "restraint" from UK satirists, to avoid giving further offence.
"What's wrong with constructive satire, for heaven's sake?" demanded editor Ian Hislop. "Why do we have to keep attacking things? Iraq war this, government that - sure, things are bad, but they're not going to get better by whinging, are they?"
"If Peter Cook were alive today, do you think he'd be banging on about all the deaths in Iraq, or the fact that while all religions are crazy, Islam is the only one you can't joke about? Of course he wouldn't. He understood the value of the establishment, and always used to say 'If you haven't got anything nice to say, descend into alcoholism and ruin your potential'."
"Now, I obviously don't want to come over all draconian, but there are certain areas we just can't tackle. For a start, Iraq, people dying in. You can't bring them back, you know, so if you want to help, just buy a poppy. Next, Islam and Muslims (never quite sure of the difference) - just asking for trouble, we have to treat them far more gently than everyone else, or we'll look racist. Finally, Muslin - you can't be too careful."
"In a nutshell," he concluded, "What I'm really asking for is comfy satire - less 'angry young man', more 'middle-aged spread'. Not many people realise that the full quote from Voltaire reads: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it, unless it's too sensitive, of course."