Written by matwil
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Topics: engineering, Stamps

Sunday, 4 January 2009

image for Stamps Show Great British Designs
'J'ai invente le Chunnel, la Concorde est mort'

Iconic British designs are featured in a new set of stamps that the Royal Mail brought out today.

The first stamp has a picture of supersonic airliner Concorde, as it crashes magnificently into the ground near Paris. 'Concorde summed up British design and efficiency', Julietta Bravo, head of scraping-the-barrel-for-patriotic-designs said, 'such elegance, such style, such hot air - from the explosion.'

And the second stamp is that symbol of British traditional life, a small red wrought-iron outside toilet. The P2 toilets used to stand on every UK street corner and were used every weekend by thousands of drunks, and they also had telephones in them for some reason, ones that never worked.

Other designs include one of twelve Liverpool football hooligans, chasing Juventus ones across Heysel Stadium to their certain death under a crumbling wall, fascist Oswald Mosley beating opponents up in East London, and the Winter of Discontent, when a general strike in 1978 led to the UK living without power, transport and waste disposal for months.

Ms. Bravo said: 'We wanted to capture the very Britishness of design and culture, and the very Phillistinialism of this country, where awards are given to teenagers who exhibit unmade beds in the Tate and Lyle Gallery. So we've brought out stamps with pictures of failed aeroplanes, obsolete phone boxes and violent football hooligans, though we drew the line at that greatest of British inventions, the ploughman's lunch. You never saw Leonardo da Vinci painting ploughmen's lunches in your local, did you, mate? Mine's a pint of Fuller's'

One iconic British design was not amused. 'We are not amused', said Margaret Hilda Roberts Thatcher, 'if Robert Lewis Hamilton or Sir Walter Scotland can appear on stamps, why can't the greatest leader of the 20th century be on them? And I don't mean Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin!' Denis Thatcher was too busy polishing his stamp collection to comment.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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