A new reality show, Houses of Punishment, is set to sweep the nation as a triumphant ratings winner. With its launch set to coincide with Bonfire Night, it draws inspiration variously from decimation, Spartacus and the popularity of shows like X-Factor and Big Brother. Tackling the much lamented demise of the medieval pillorying and hangings, the public bloodlust will shortly be assuaged once more.
At the press launch presenter Davina Fawkes-Cowell, clearly very excited about the show, was delighted to run through the new concept. "It blends social responsibility, audience participation, the Big Society and resolution of the national financial deficit, all in one gripping live-feed show, centred on the relentless, progressive, sequential massacre of our entire Parliament. So often we've heard the debates in pubs and lounges up and down the country...which MP would you slaughter first, and how? Well now we need wonder no longer, for its time to let the nation decide!
Davina took us through the production right from initial design stage. "Lets agree that all MPs deserve to be executed. Starting with a clear, common sense principle like that establishes universal common ground - party politics does have a knack of causing division, but in the decision to murder every single politician, we expect the nation to stand united.
Lets also agree that MPs owe us a hell of a lot of money, either through their personal swindling or the consequences of their mismanagement of the national economy. Again, I expect few quibbles there.
Now, with the basic premise firmly in place, it merely remained to negotiate a TV deal, and invent 650 progressively more horrible ways for them to be put to death- which the MPs will then have to compete to earn in reverse order.
Then, (and this is the cunning bit), we'll wait for them to repeal the Human Rights legislation, and just as it goes through and is passed into statute...we do the Big Reveal. We put the MPs in a bear pit, we list the ways of their death, and make them fight (or debate, if you prefer) for their entitlement to an early offing.
Therefore, they will be constantly battling with each other (at televised weekly specials)to try to get the public to vote for them to be killed sooner and more pleasantly, with the full knowledge that ever increasingly horrible demises await them. For example, first ten- a relatively pleasant bullet to the back of the neck...we'll move progressively onwards through sexual fetishism and beasting, mild torture, garrotting, short-drop hanging, on to beheading with a penknife, machete maceration; through to burning, poker up the arse, peeling and salting, tearing apart by wild voters, drawing and quartering, entrails burned in front of their eyes...until finally, the one the public wanted to keep in right until the end is lying splayed in a flaming eagle, choking on their own morcellised genitalia.
Its a clear ratings winner, the idea should syndicate around the world, it'll bring endemol-esque riches to the country and coincidentally rid us of 650 power-crazed smug dollops of vermin.