Ministers have announced they are to use an Ouija board to find out what 2011 may hold, with the cabinet seeking immediate answers on the economy and the weather.
It is understood that the idea to consult the spirit world was first proposed by Eric Pickles, who has long been rumoured to have dabbled in the dark arts, and the predictions will help form the government’s strategy for the next year.
A government spokeswoman said: ‘We’re all really excited about this new project and also a bit nervous – most of us have never done anything like this before.
‘We’re still deciding exactly how we’re going to word the questions and who’s going to ask them out loud but we reckon it’s going to be super spooky.’
She added that Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell had agreed to ‘create’ the board, drawing the alphabet on a number of napkins and placing them in a circle on the cabinet table.
He will also control the glass that the spirits will speak through to ensure ‘impartiality’.
Speaking to reporters after the announcement, the prime minister explained: ‘Well, 2010 has been really rubbish, let’s face it and our best economic forecasters, weather people and journalist have been knocking out duds all year – we just can’t get things right.
‘So we’ve decided to go down a different route and ask the spirit world for guidance. If you think about it, is the idea of us using a Ouija board any more preposterous than the Conservatives going into business with that joke Clegg.
‘If you’d asked me about either of these things a year ago I would have laughed in your face but now I’m keeping an open mind to everything I used to consider weird and wacky.’
Other topics the government is set to quiz the spirits about include what they should do about Julian Assange, how to solve the North Korean problem and where they can get hold of some really good quality cheap cravats.
Millie ‘Spirit Weed’ Dawson, an expert on Ouija, said she thought the government may be getting in over its head.
She said: ‘Last year, me, my friend Delilah and boyfriend Seabreeze did an Ouija board. It told us that something really bad was going to happen and sure enough, seven weeks later my phone broke and I lost all my contacts. It was a nightmare – I had to put a thing up on facebook and everything to get everyone’s numbers.
‘I don’t know if they’ve got any idea of what they’re getting themselves into here but there is clearly some really powerful dark forces working in Whitehall.’
Meanwhile, in other news, it was announced that Lord Mandelson is to re-join the government in ‘an advisory role’.