As political U-turns swept across the United Kingdom as fast as the Labour government were sweeping expenses frauds under the carpet, Provisional Sinn Fein president and former Chief of Staff of the Provisional IRA Gerry Adams became the latest politician to join in the spate of U-turns.
'Well', he said, from his British government-funded luxury flat in West Central London, 'now that Colonel Gaddafi has suddenly become the friend of Britain, and Gordon Brown has decided to support compensation to be paid to families of victims of British oppression in Ireland - which we had no choice but to bravely fight by blowing civilians including children to pieces in bombing after bombing across Ulster and England - I have decided to announce that Sinn Fein will now be now be joining the craze for U-turns.'
'Previously I may have given the impression that the Provisional IRA were freedom fighters, gloriously and heroically risking their lives in an armed struggle against the forces of British imperialism. And to this end I may have also encouraged the mass destruction of whole city centres, extortion, armed robbery, kneecapping, assassinations, tarring and feathering,
car bombings, pub bombings, and shoot-outs, all, of course, in the name of the poor oppressed people of Ireland. Odd how the Provisionals are outlawed in the Republic of Ireland, isn't it? Anyways, here is my proclamation on this day, the 334th anniversary of an Irish potato farmer choking on a British macaroon bar in Sligo:
'We, the people of Ireland, now admit that the armed struggle was just a bunch of jumped-up, cheap hoodlums conning money out of gullible Americans to wage a campaign of murder and extortion against (a) the British people, (b), the people of the Republic of Ireland, and (c) the Nationalist and Loyalist people of Northern Ireland.
We also admit that we have been criminals and drugs dealers, and have run protection rackets for decades against our own people, the very ones we claimed to be fighting for.
We now admit we are parasites that have either killed or helped to kill over 3,000 people in 40 years, and we admit that we have no and have never had any interest at all in a united and peaceful Ireland. We are sorry for the dead and their families, and sorry for disgracing the otherwise decent and moral Irish people.
I, Gerry Adams, now ask the British government to throw me in a gaol and throw away the key, for I deserve nothing else. And I hereby also announce I will be joining the Rangers Fan Club and Orange Order. Thank you.''
The statement was welcomed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown. 'Yes, I'm pleased to see Mr. Adams pulling off a U-turn to match my one. Ones. Not only now going to ask Libya to pay compensation to IRA victims' families, but also releasing a man from gaol who I said would never be released. But it's not the first U-turn by Gerry, is it? Let's see.'
'He was a member of the IRA, supposedly by definition Ireland's only Republican army - til he decided to leave it and form a second one, the Provisional IRA. He refused any peace talks with the British, but secretly flew to London in the 1970s. For peace talks.'
'He declared a ceasefire shortly afterwards in Northern Ireland - then broke it. He said he would never speak with the Reverend Ian Paisley and his followers under any circumstances - but recently did. It would be a U-turn if Gerry didn't make a U-turn, heh heh heh heh heh!'
Meanwhile, in Tripoli Colonel Gaddafi was also planning to join in with all the U-turns. 'Yes, I make a deal with the British. If they freed al-Megrahi and pretended they wouldn't press me on IRA compensation, then pretended to change their minds and said they would, we could all sign nice, fat oil deals, with the British really signing oil deals for the Americans. Then the Americans could pretend I was still their enemy, to keep their moron TV news viewers happy.'
'So everyone is happy. My oil trade goes up, IRA victims' families get money, the British and Americans get my oil, and only Gerry Adams isn't happy. Well, that miserable git is only happy when he's throwing petrol bombs at British soldiers, isn't he? And accepting £800,000 from the British government to have a nice flat in London.'
The war on terror continues. In the minds of American television news producers. And their American viewers.