The Prime Minister has announced yet another government austerity cut-back to Parliament today. From 1 January 2013 the names of virtually everyone in Britain will have to consist of no more than eighteen characters, including any space between each separate name.
The government believes that by bringing in the new measure will result in greater efficiency to business.
Names preceded by titles of Mr, Mrs, Miss or similar will be exempt, but anyone wishing to follow it with a dot is being warned that the dot itself will count as a character. Other titles such as 'Sir', 'Lord', 'Lady,' and so on will be included in the count.
Also forming part of the latest austerity measure will be a maximum of five syllables. Many people are likely to ditch their middle names altogether.
Reduced names will be permitted to have a new letter added, such as a 'y' at the end of any name so as to make them more friendly sounding, but any such letters will form part of the new total character and syllable quotas.
People arriving into the UK from abroad will have to register names of no more than eighteen characters when entering the country then revert back to the original when departing. It is understood that East European visitors will be allowed to register names up to a maximum 22 characters so as not to discourage cheap labour from our shores.
'Some British born citizens will find they won't be affected by the changes,' said Mr Cameron when announcing the plan pointing out that, 'Simple names like Joe Bloggs already comply with these new rules.'
The same cannot be said for large numbers of Britain's posh families who have become accustomed to using double-barrelled hyphenated surnames. They will be hit particularly hard by the changes. But the Prime Minister said it was now time for posh people to experience a taste of the suffering he'd been inflicting on everyone else in Britain since coming to power.
'You lot are all in this together,' he said, 'and it is only right and proper that posh people do their fair share of the suffering. I have thought long and hard about this and I am absolutely convinced it is now the right thing for them to do. Their silly hyphens will still be permitted but any hyphen will be included in the count.' The Prime Minister then sat down.
Labour's opposition leader immediately rose to his feet to congratulate the Prime Minister, not only for coming up with such a splendid idea of time saving efficiency, but also on the smart new tie Mr Cameron was wearing. He then sat back down.
Mr Cameron then returned to his feet to thank the opposition leader for his support and for the kind remark he'd made about the tie. He again sat down.
From the benches behind the Prime Minister then rose the Conservative MP Richard Lickerman for Weston-super-mare (North-by-north-east central) who said, 'The amount of wasted time it takes to write long names on brown business envelope addresses has been holding Britain back for far too many years, and many people will appreciate the opportunity to add a letter y to their names, although I'll probably just decide to ditch my middle name.'
'Precisely,' responded the Prime Minister rising to his feet again. 'And the five syllable limit will also mean far less time wasted when the honourable gentleman for somewhere in Devon has to make business telephone calls. Often answered by a receptionist or secretary one then has to pronounce long names consisting of many syllables when asking to be put through to them. The five syllable maximum will put an end to all that malarkey.'
'Oh yeah,' gasped Mr Milliband, speaking from his seated position, 'I hadn't thought of that.'
'None of this was thought up by me,' admitted the Prime Minister who then revealed, 'Her Majesty suggested it to me yesterday when she popped round to take a look at one of the little cabinet meetings I occasionally hold at my house. Indeed, Her Majesty has asked me to announce here today that as from the first day of January next year she will be setting a wonderful example to her subjects by changing her own name. Her new name will consist of the five syllable maximum, and will be made up of a very austere seventeen characters in total, including the two spaces.'
'What shall we be calling Her Majesty next year?' asked Mr Miliband.
'From next year,' informed the Prime Minister, 'Her Majesty wishes to be addressed simply as Queen Lizzy Windy, and she certainly was when I saw her yesterday at my house - the whole place will now have to be fumigated!'