Families of troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan say their war-weary sons and daughters want to return home. A group of them have written a letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair pleading with him to sort out the situations in those countries, and give them back their kids.
Albert Battle, from Aldershot, said: "My lad's fed up. He desperately wants to get back home. He's been in Iraq for more than fourteen years, and he can hardly speak English anymore. It's a bloody disgrace."
Another fool, James Twitty, from Epsom, begged Mr Blair in the letter: "Let my son come home. He's bored. He was really looking forward to it, but the bars have run out of beer and the local lasses are ugly. Apart from that, he's only 15. He should be at school preparing to fail his exams."
Frances Apronstrings, of Gateshead, spokeswoman for the group, using the unlikely name Stop Hostilities Immediately, Tony (SHI,T), claimed that the Army was using a Press Gang to bolster its numbers. Her 16-year-old daughter, she said, had just popped out to the shops to get her some milk, but had not returned home. She believed that her daughter had been press-ganged into military service in Afghanistan, even though one of her neighbours claimed he had seen the girl "swinging her booty" in a lap-dancing club in Newcastle.
Defence Secretary Des Browne defended the continued occupation of both Iraq and Afghanistan, and lambasted SHI,T, saying: "People should wake up. They must realise that when you sign up for service in the Army, you are going to die."
He refuted the suggestion that Press Gangs were operating in the North of England.
"It's a nice idea", he said, " but they're so thick up there, we don't need a Press Gang. The offer of a pork pie a day, and a loaded gun was all they needed."
PM Tony Blair reacted to the calls to pull the troops out of the warzones by telling reporters: "I understand the families' concerns, but we have a job to do. Well...the soldiers do. And in the words of my old mucker Francis Rossi: "They're in the Army now...whoa whoa whoa they're in the Army...na-ow."