The government intends to invest hundreds of millions of pounds on snowploughs, gritters and salt supplies in a bid to "jinx" the chances of Britain experiencing another rough winter, it emerged this morning.
In an interview on The Today Programme, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said: "This is the third freezing winter in a row, which statistically cannot be just chance. We've tried asking climate scientists and that lot but they keep coming back with confusing phrases like 'global warming' that I don't understand. So instead we're going back to basics and using good old-fashioned common sense, which dictates that blowing hundreds of millions on this kit would definitely jinx it and it'll never get used."
"This isn't just dropping a load of cash on stuff we won't need, like the high speed railway - this is a proper, sound investment in totally jinxing the chance of it snowing ever again."
Meanwhile, Business Secretary Vince Cable told undercover reporters: "Likening our approach to investing in winter equipment with high speed rail is ridiculous - we remain committed to the high speed railway. Was it that way round? Well it doesn't matter anyway because we're not really committed to the high speed railway - you see, we'll only have to start paying for the thing in the next parliament, and so long as we screw things up as badly as we're on course to, it'll leave Labour actually having to deal with it. The reality is that I would rather guide my father into my mother than build the bloody thing. And you think I'm wrinkly. Would you like a Werther's Original?"
"The Tories are behind this, you know. I heard a bunch of them singing 'I'm dreaming of a white Christmas' in the Commons Bar the other night, followed by 'there's no business like snow business'. [Philip] Hammond's brother-in-law runs SnoPloughCorp and will win all the contracts unless someone like me declares war on him."
Senior Tories were quick to criticise Cable's comments. Baroness Gardner of Parkes, who is actually a real person, said: "This country needs to invest in the means to keep us going throughout cold winters, and it's short-sighted of the Business Secretary to say otherwise."
"Although it's true that we are dreaming of a white Christmas - but only because we're a bunch of massive, massive racists."