Foreign Secretary William Hague has chaired an emergency meeting of Western governments in London to try to agree a programme of Western air strikes against Sanjeev Patel, 53, a newsagent from west London.
Intelligence reports suggest that Mr Patel is guilty of 'flagrantly' stocking and supplying cigarettes in small, colourful boxes, in direct contravention of a recent Department of Health consultation which called for nondescript beige packets to be used instead. 'This tyrant's irresponsible actions could lead to the deaths of literally hundreds of his own customers,' Mr Hague told the Commons in an emergency statement. 'As our planes aren't needed anywhere else at the moment, we will launch air strikes on Mr Patel's headquarters on Ealing Broadway. This monster must be stopped.'
Analysts expect that a no-fly zone will be imposed over Ealing on Thursday evening, followed at the weekend by a series of targeted bombing raids on areas held by Mr Patel, including his shop, his garage, and the storeroom out the back. 'The real challenge is not to destroy any civilian areas, like the pavement in front of his shop, or to accidentally drop bombs on rebels like his fourteen-year-old daughter Preeti, who we understand does not like smoking and has called for Mr Patel to focus instead on his core market of tabloid newspapers and Monster Munch,' said a Foreign Office spokesman. 'It's not our place to tell the people of Patel's News who should be their leader, but Miss Patel's views must be heard by those in power.'
Despite public approval, the government's case for military action already faces controversy after an investigation suggested that a series of 'kingpins' are propping up Mr Patel's tobacco regime. An anonymous journalist said: 'Patel has been tolerated for years by the British government despite his appalling human rights record - not only is a sinister network of so-called 'wholesalers' keeping him stocked with these tiny, evil weapons, but a huge share of his profit goes back to a secretive government agency called "The Treasury". Mr Hague ought to have a word with George Osbourne before he gets himself in too deep on this one. Either that or he should just take a plane to Venezuela until it all blows over.'