Gordon Brown has defended Government plans to introduce food rationing in England and Wales, in an effort to avert a national famine.
"People should lighten up, it really isn't that bad" he smiled dourly. "During the war, people enjoyed all sorts of delicacies that we seem to have forgotten today. Spam, dried egg, crab apples and squirrel have all but disappeared from the British diet and it's a shame. None of these items would be rationed in the new proposals".
In an effort to prove that he means business Brown today announced the appointment of shrinking wartime domestic goddess Marguerite Patten OBE (108) as ' Thrifty Zsar'.
"There really are many tasty and nutritious ways to survive a food crisis" she chirped croakily. "Parsnips are very versatile and can be used in many ways to replace the foods we have taken for granted over the past 60 years. They are delicious pureed in jams,tarts and hummus and the juice of a satsuma can be added for vital vitamin C."
Brown declined to comment on plans to exclude Scotland from the first phase of rationing but suggested that cardboard and lard would make an admirable substitute for bread and butter and would also be a handy way to recycle old boxes and dead pets.