Santa Claus, jolly old man and Christmas cheer giver, has sensationally hit out at the government this week, after reports that he is being forced to take on an apprentice.
The fat old man said "it's preposterous. I'm a free agent, how can that bunch of bureaucrats dictate my work ethic. It's a world gone mad."
The backlash comes as Gordon Brown announced a new work scheme, to encourage work shy teenagers to get off their backsides and get a job.
"It's all very well them getting off the dole," said Claus, "but why lumber me with the problem, do I not have enough to do on the 24th of December without some snot nosed waster getting in my way?"
Gordon Brown hit back at Mr Claus, with an unusually sharp tongued attack, "if the good Mr Claus is unable to cooperate in this matter, then maybe it's time we sought another means of Christmas deliveries. I happen to know TNT, DHL and our very own Royal Mail have tendered in the past."
"If it's a war he wants, spat Claus, "then it's a war he'll get. And there will be no presents for his extended family this year. Except when I s*#t down his chimney."
The apprentice has not yet been decided, although reports that Sir Alan Sugar is aiding in the selection process is yet to be confirmed.