In a surprising turn of events, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has appeared with British Prime Minister David Cameron in a joint press conference in the Syrian capital Damascus.
Mr Al-Assad, who has been criticised for his violent suppression of Syrian pro-democracy campaigners, began the conference with a statement expressing "sympathy" for Mr Cameron. He told the assembled Syrian and Western journalists that "The United Kingdom and Syrian Arab Republic are united in this difficult hour."
He went on to claim that "Both of these great nations are threatened by seditious and reckless anarchists, thugs and opportunists. Syria and the UK stand shoulder to shoulder against this menace."
Mr Cameron, who had been holidaying in Syria during the unrest, thanked President Al-Assad profusely for his support. He revealed that "The British have little experience of dealing with such large-scale mayhem. Mr Al-Assad has been kind enough to offer the Metropolitan Police advice on how to quell civil disorder."
He went on to say that "Syria's uncompromising stand on rioting has earned Mr Al-Assad great respect in the international community. We hope to learn from his flexible and effective tactics, and apply them to the streets of Britain. Following Mr Al-Assad's advice, I have authorised the Met to deploy tanks, snipers and helicopter gunships in troubled areas. Known rioters will have food, water and electricity denied, and any police refusing to support the government's line will be executed."
Mr Cameron continued, "Moreover, on Mr Al-Assad's recommendations, I have sanctioned the Royal Navy to shell troubled areas, such as Tottenham and Clapham. Now is the time the Big Society gets Big Weapons."
When challenged about the conference in the House of Commons, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said only that he hoped Mr Cameron would bring him a present back from Syria. Leader of the Opposition, Ed Milliband, was appearing as the eponymous hero in Wallace and Gromit, the Musical and thus unavailable for comment.