In yet another feeble effort to disguise the inevitable black hole in Great Britain's finances, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announce the sale of land and property owned on behalf of the state by the army.
A prime candidate for the first sale is Horseguards Parade at Whitehall. Estate agents signs were being erected as the Guards regiments marched off after the Sovereign's Birthday Parade a few days ago.
"After all", stated Defence Office Temp Bob Ainsworth, "once Tony Blair becomes President of Europe and Peter Mangelson (at this point he crossed himself) replaces the Queen, there won't be any need for parade grounds".
Asked to justify this statement, Mr Ainsworth stated that it was as plain as the nose on your face that we would be doing away with expensive armies, navies and air forces, "so they won't need any ground, will they"?
"We'll keep the marching bands and a small barracks for the 1st Battalion, Amalgamated Gay & Lesbian Friendly Hussars who will carry out all ceremonial duties from now on".
"Training and exercises will in future be confined to role-play and Health and Safety Risk Assessments should rule out any future wars or conflicts".
"Besides" stated Mr Ainsworth, "Lord Peter has his eye on a cottage in Wiltshire that is presently occupied by the military".
Sales of military land and property are estimated to realise enough funds to pay for Gordon Browns first, third and seventeenth financial errors.