Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced the latest addition to his crime-fighting arsenal. It's a titanium-plated, cloned version of Justice Secretary Jack Straw, to be mass produced under the name Robostraw.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith told us:
"Jack has a fearsome reputation as a crime-stopper. He's apprehended three criminals in the past few years, whom he has detained until the police arrived. He would have caught a fourth, but an important Cabinet Meeting called him away. If that's what one Justice Secretary could do, imagine what an Army of Justice Secretaries could do. Then plate them in titanium, stick them on every street corner and you have the perfect solution to crime."
The idea apparently found favour with everyone in the Cabinet. Everyone, that is, apart from Jack Straw. However, since Cabinet decisions are by a majority, the decision was taken. Straw will remain Justice Secretary - indeed, all the Robostraws will be Justice Secretaries . Smith added:
"As Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, all Robostraws will have the power to promulgate secondary legislation, that is make statutory instruments such as Regulations. Therefore, if a Robostraw sees a suspicious-looking man on the High Street in Camden but has no basis to stop and search him, it could pass something like the Suspicion-Looking Man in Camden High Street (Stop and Search) Regulations 2007 giving itself the power to stop and search him. Goodbye crime!"
Opposition reactions have been lukewarm.
Tory leader David Cameron asked:
"Will it be a crime-fighting hero like Robocop or a bubble-headed booby like the robot in Lost in Space, waving its arms about and whining 'Danger, danger'? The Government's reputation on technology suggests it may be the latter."
Robostraw units will be unarmed except for the ones in Liverpool and Nottingham, which, in order to blend in with the local population, will carry Uzi submachine guns.
US politicians are said to be studying the blueprints with interest and there is already talk of a Roborumsfeld.