The government announced today a radical proposal to cease paying Danegeld, a practice started by Æthelred the Unready in 991AD to curb Viking hostilities.
Acknowledging that the payments had enabled the United Kingdom to trade peacefully with Denmark for many centuries, a government spokesman pointed out that the practice has become obsolete. "We now have abundant supplies of intensively reared bacon from Ireland and Playmobil is just as good as Lego," he said.
If approved by the House of Commons, the motion is likely to meet fierce criticism in the Lords, where the earls of Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Lincoln and Bedford are likely to oppose the bill on the grounds of increased costs in defending the East Coast.
Southend Council is also said to be opposing the bill, citing a potentially substantial loss of income for Southend Pier as a visitor attraction. "No one's going to bring their kids here for candy floss if it's likely to be used as a landing stage by a bunch of pillaging, raping foreigners," said Eric Frey, a Southend environmental safety officer.