Written by Gertrude Dobbs

Monday, 11 February 2002

image for Politicians Fall Foul of Time Dilation
The time difference outside of the house

Basingstoke scientists today revealed that clocks in the vicinity of talking politicians work slower than those near normal people.

"It's a quirk of Einstein's theory of relativity," said Dr Ruth Rutherford, head of clocks and social politics at Basingstoke Institute of Higher Education.

"Einstein predicted that fast moving clocks travel slower than those which remain stationary. We found that the same effect occurs when politicians are in full rhetoric."

The discovery is consistent with events surrounding a speech by Conservative leader Iain Duncan-Smith in which Mr Duncan-Smith's audience was seen to age by two hundred years in the time between the start of his speech and its ending.

And previous to this it was noted that the Roman Empire rose and fell in the week of the Labour party conference at Brighton.

"There is a problem," added Dr Rutherford. "Just as it appears that time moves slower when one is bored, when at work, perhaps, yet when one is doing something wonderful time seems to pass in an instant, so it is with politics. And the more boring and laborious the speaker, the greater the cumulative effects are shown. And, as politicians are particularly irksome, the time dilation is magnified many times."

Asked if there was a prevention for this effect, Dr Rutherford was reticent. "The only thing I could suggest is to make politicians and the speeches they deliver more interesting. We've recommended that Tony Blair should do his talking whilst juggling flaming torches, and Charles Kennedy could perhaps perform some sort of puppet show featuring Ann Widdicombe. Anything, in fact, that could dilute the boredom factor.

"As for Iain Duncan-Smith, well, our only advice to him is that he stops talking altogether. Not only would this resolve the enormous time dilation surrounding him, but it would also increase the likelihood of the Tories succeeding at the next election."

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

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