The British Government has announced today that a huge package of aid has recently been sent to rebels desperately fighting against the oppressive regime of President Assad in Syria. The huge package did not contain arms, medical supplies or food but consisted of a billion leaflets listing many useful tips on the best ways to overthrow a tyrannical dictator.
The pamphlet advises its readers to begin by writing to their MP or even to express their viewpoint by sending a well composed letter to their favourite newspaper. This could be followed up by a petition and, as a last resort, a well organise and peaceful demonstration could be considered. This should be properly co-ordinated with local police forces. It cautions against innocently ambling with your back to a police line, as this can lead to a misdiagnoses of the cause of your death by an incompetent pathologist.
The ninety eight page booklet repeats its important message in fifty eight different languages including Norwegian and Pashto though, due to an unfortunate oversight, not in Arabic. The Foreign Office, however, are confident that there are enough Mandarin speakers in Syria to satisfactorily translate the contents of the volume to the rest of their countrymen and women.
The not insubstantial tome also contains many handy hints on how best to cope if matters turn a little unpleasant. It reminds people to check up on that elderly relative or neighbour. They might be having trouble with the change over from analogue to digital tv. It warns that a well stocked freezer is essential if a pro government sniper has his sights trained on the entrance to the local supermarket. It suggests that a ham sandwich is a quick and easy snack to stave off hunger pangs if being strafed by a helicopter gunship makes cooking a proper meal difficult. It also strongly recommends that when a T72 main battle tank has been driven through your living room check the credentials of your builder. Make sure he is a member of an accredited trade association and always pay the VAT.
There have been grumblings, from several senior Tory backbenchers, about the £450m cost of this exercise in destruction of the world’s arboreal treasures as well as questions as to why a billion leaflets were printed for a population which totals less than 25 million. The Foreign Secretary, William Hague admitted an error had been made. “It’s my fault, I’m afraid.” He laughed. “It’s Syria and India, I’m always getting those two mixed up. To be quite honest Geography’s never been my strong point, History’s my subject. Have you read my biography on William Pitt the younger? It’s very good, you know. Amazon are doing free delivery.”
Mr Albert K. Eyeeda, a Yemeni/British citizen currently living in Aleppo said that crates of the leaflets were quite an effective defence against small arms fire but useless against high velocity artillery shells. “But apart from that,” he said “What the fuck is this ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ supposed to mean?”