Friday, January 23, 2009

Recession Will Turn To Depression

The doom and gloom of recession is finally on us but it's time to move onwards and downwards. It won't be long before the recession turns into a deep Depression and then we'll really have something to worry about. Time to dust ourselves down, pick ourselves up and start all over again - with a new government.

The Orange Party has never bought into this recession definition - two or more quarters of reduced GDP. When you are up against statistics, it's so easy to sprinkle a little bit of financial fairy dust around to stave off the day of reckoning. 

A recession is easy to spot. The country’s economy enters a period of negative growth, real income declines, unemployment rises and industrial production wavers. Sounds familiar? It should. It's been happening for ages, probably since last April. 

Brown's BBC has been a bit too keen over the months to ram a downturn down our throats. And when those two get together, you can smell a rat. 

So today we finally got used to the R-word and the BBC finally changed its downturn logo and used 'UK recession' - something ITV News has been running with for weeks. 

The BBC is trying its best at political bias with a sycophantic interview with Brown on the Today programme and BBC on-line "news" doing its best to avoid political balance with hardly a Vince or Dave to be seen. 

What next for the spinners to try to wriggle out of? They've already got their eye on the D-Word, Depression, which strikes fear into the heart of the government. That will have to be handled with kid gloves. 

So for a  goverment so beloved of its tick box culture, here's a handy check box for a Depression: 
Abnormal increases in unemployment, restriction of credit, shrinking output and investment, numerous bankruptcies, reduced amounts of trade and commerce, highly volatile currency devaluations, price deflation, people forced to dispose of tangible assets to fund every day living, declining business activities, falling prices, public fear and panic, despair and despondency.
And all that too sounds eerily familiar. We're heading for a Depression of gigantic proportions.

The most infamous Depression was the Great Depression, which began in the US in the 1930s after years of a debt-fuelled boom. Recovery took decades.   

Then the public's spirits were lifted by the stars of the silverscreen and feel-good musical movies. Fred and Ginger tried to pick everyone up. Obama cribbed Dorothy Fields' lyrics for his inauguration speech:

Nothing's impossible, I have found,

For when my chin is on the ground,

I pick myself up, dust myself off,

Start all over again.

Don't lose your confidence if you slip,

Be grateful for a pleasant trip,

And pick yourself up, dust yourself off,

Start all over again.

The best cure for recession depression is a breath of fresh air, a change of scenery and a large dose of confidence. Or in this case, a change in government, which the country can confidently unite behind, to start to get us out of this mess. 

If there was ever a time for a general election, to dust ourselves down and start all over again, then this is it.


BBC Lifts Brown's Recession Spirits

The BBC is doing its bit to lift Brown's recession depression, kicking off with a toadying Today interview by one of New Labour's luvvies. 

At the stoke of midnight, Brown's downturn turned into a recession pumpkin, so the deluded prime minister gave a party political broadcast, aided and abetted by the Beeb's Evan Davis.

The recession is finally official as GDP fell by 1.5% in the last three months of 2008 after a 0.6% drop in the previous quarter. The biggest quarter-on-quarter decline since 1980.

A time for tough questioning one would have thought. Instead, with no signs of John Humphreys, Brown and the BBC's former economics editor cuddled up for a cosy early morning chat, leaving many to choke on their cornflakes.  

In a well-staged interview, Davis had the gall to say: "I don't want to blame you for these problems ... I am not going to blame you..."

And, reading from his Downing Street briefing paper, Davis continued : "A lot of people credited you with the recovery plan - I think that needs to be recognised - around the world..."

The recession figures were much worse than forecast. Analysts had been expecting a 1.2% decline in GDP which would be the worst performance since the third quarter of 1990 but the fall in GDP was much steeper.

Mistakes? Did Brown have a few? Well if he did they were too few to mention - he blamed it all on the banks:

"But what we didn't see - and nobody saw - was the possibility of complete market failure, that markets seized up across the world".

So that's it then. Blame it on the banks, blame it on global warming, blame it on everything and everybody except the fact that Brown has presided over the UK economy for the last twelve years. One would have thought he could have seen it coming? 

Any growth and the government gets the credit. Recession? That's down to everybody else. Boom and bust? That dear, mere morals was a different sort of boom and bust.

In a week dominated by bad economic news with ministers scrabbling around vainly searching for elusive green shoots, yesterday the Orange Party warned that with a bit of financial fairy dust, the UK has only narrowly avoided the technical recession definition. Now  they cannot continue to bury their heads in the sand.

In Downing Street it's spun as confidence boosting. In the real world it's called vote boosting and for the BBC that should mean political balance. 

But in all the doom and gloom there is some good news. The BBC has been forced to finally removed its cute little downturn logo and replace it with a UK recession (above).


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Get Ready For The R-Word

At the stoke of midnight, the 'downturn' so beloved of Brown and his BBC turns into a pumpkin and a nightmare recession. With a bit of financial fairy dust, the country has narrowly avoided recession depression. Now they can't bury their heads in the sand.

It's not as if the recession isn't already with us. The US and Germany are already in recession. Here the official name has been spun around for "technical reasons" and used by some and not by others - as if the mere mention of the word 'recession' will send down a plague of locusts and frogs.

The public are big enough to take it. Indeed most folk would welcome someone who gave it to them straight. We can only all pull together when everyone knows which direction and just how hard to pull.

So why be so coy? The answer lies in borrowing Brown's dogged determination not to own up to anything and that includes his part in creating a debt culture and getting us into the economic mess in the first place.

To admit recession is to admit failure, as the country officially slides into its first recession since 1991.

Downing Street in collusion with the BBC in dreaming up the downturn, would have us believe talking down the economic crisis would undermine confidence. International investors could pull the plug on lending. So a 'downturn' is a soft landing.

But the international money-men have a bank of plasma screens all showing the state of financial markets around the world, including this from Bloomberg on Wednesday:

"Britain had a 14.9 billion-pound ($20.5 billion) budget deficit in December, the second highest for any month since records began in 1993, as the deepening recession pummelled tax receipts and jobless claims climbed."

At home it's spun as confidence boosting - or rather vote boosting - from a prime minister and his deputy Mandleson who live and breath the election.

Cameron in a speech today hit the nail on the head: 'This recession doesn't vindicate big government; it hammers the final nail in its coffin."

The recession is due to be confirmed tomorrow when output figures for the fourth quarter of 2008 are released. A 'technical' recession is defined by two successive quarters of negative output, as anyone with an Oxford First in economics will tell you.

The contraction in the UK economy for the final three months of the year follows a 0.6% decline in GDP for the third quarter.

Some economists are forecasting a 1.2% decline in GDP which would be the worst performance since the third quarter of 1990, some much steeper.

The week has been dominated by bad economic news. Inflation as measured by the government's Consumer Prices Index (CPI) down again to 2.6% in December, leading to further fears over deflation.

Unemployment as measured by government's benefit claims in November was 1.92 million, highest since New Labour took power in 1997.

This week has left ministers scrabbling around looking in vain for elusive green shoots.

Now presumably the BBC will have to scrap its downturn logo and replace it with ... "UK Recession". That's something ITV news has been running with for weeks.


Hain Gets Perma-Canned

Perma-tanned Hain, has been slammed by commons watchdogs for "serious and substantial" failures in not registering donations. The former 'Liberal' turned cabinet minister is set make a grovelling apology to the House.

Hain was cleared last month by police over the late declaration of £103,000 of donations to his deputy leadership bid, sending some into a tizz, speculating on his return to government.

Now Hain has been rapped by the commons standards and privileges committee who said the scale of the rule breach caused "justified public concern".

Hain has always said he made honest mistakes. But the Orange Party was totally perplexed by the whole affair. How on earth can anyone make a mistake with over £100,000 of donations?

The commons ruling also throws into the spotlight once again the mysterious 'think tank', the Progressive Policies Forum, used to channel more than £50,000 to the Hain campaign.

Despite all the cash, Hain only managed to come a weedy fifth out of six in New Labour's 2007 deputy leader contest and initially declared £77,000 in donations. Many asked then what did he spend all that money on?

Hain got caught up in the flack of the whole sordid mess of the Abraham's affair when it emerged the property developer, who no-one at the top of the Party admitted knowing, had donated more than £650,000 to the Party using other people's names.

Although none of Hain's donations were from Abrahams, the Party was not going to let him get away with it, when commons leader, Harriet Harman, had to pay back a £5,000 donation to her own campaign, after discovering it had come from one of Abrahams' associates.

Hain eventually resigned from his cabinet post in January saying he had made "an innocent mistake". The liberal media had a field day when Hain was cleared after a police investigation, with many wetting themselves with speculation that he may even be given a job in Brown's cabinet.

What fools they are. Most Labour MPs thought Brown was off his trolley bringing Hain into the cabinet in the first place.

The Orange Party too has a soft spot for Peter, from his days getting arrested for noble anti apartheid demos and being stitched up for a bank robbery. But that was then this is now.

For the Labour Party, Hain was and always will be - a Liberal - and many Labour MPs will be glad to see the back of him.

Meanwhile Hain will have to top up his perma-tan and face MPs with a commons apology before he sinks into oblivion, with only memories of the days before he cut his hair and tried desperately to join the political elite.

UPATE: You wait for one bus then two come along at once. Jack Straw has been found by the commons watchdog of a "clear, albeit inadvertent, breach" of the rules in not registering a donation for a dinner to mark 25 years as an MP. The watchdog kindly released the Hain judgement first - to take the heat and spotlight off Straw.

Picture: Those were the days! 1969 - Hain is carted off by those fascist pigs in Downing Street in anti-apartheid demos which led to the cancellation of a tour by the South African cricket team.


Poignant PPB Out Of Mouths Of Children

A spoof New Labour Party political broadcast, posted on YouTube, neatly sums up the sad state of the nanny state through the eyes of a child and why many feel downright anger at the government. It's enough to make you weep.

The viral video is tear-jerking stuff but the Orange Party believes this partly satirical broadcast gets a poignant message across. 

Hat tip: Iain Dale


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Brown Climbs Down On Expenses Disgrace

The national disgrace of MPs' expenses has forced Brown and his commons leader, Harriet Harman, to back-track on their potty plans. But why did Brown order his troops to vote for Harman's law in the first place? 

Even the Palace of Plenty was starting to see sense, with Tories and LibDems firmly coming out against a new law exempting MPs' expenses from the Freedom of Information Act (FoI).

The 'John Lewis list' and second homes allowances caused outrage among many MPs, let alone the public but Harman planned a new law to limit information on allowable commons expenses. 

As the recession bites deeper, the grotesque contrast between the harsh world of ordinary folk struggling in the economic crisis and the cosy comfort of the political elite, is most evident in the closeted world of MPs and their lifestyles.

People are tightening their belts but MPs' generous expenses system allows them to squander taxpayers' cash on furniture and home improvements. 

No wonder Harman was accused of creating one law for the rich MPs and another for the poor rest of us. 

Coming to a head in a confused commons during PMQs, where Brown apparently promised a free vote, MPs were told later that Downing Street had pulled the plug on Harman's beleaguered bill altogether, so the government will not be forcing a vote on it tomorrow.

Brown may have seen off a humiliating commons defeat which wouldn't have stood a chance of getting through the House of Lords anyway but the questions still remain. 

Why were ministers so set on an exemption in the first place? What sordid little secrets and embarrassing details were hidden away in their receipts? What indeed did they have to hide? Now presumably the people who pay their wages, the taxpayers, will soon find out. 


Now Green Shoots On Dole Queues!

The government's pathetic attempt at confidence boosting con-tricks reached a new low today with lengthening dole queues prompting one minister to state the bleedin' obvious: "Things will get worse before it gets better".  Ministers are having a hard time softening up voters as disastrous economic news comes thick and fast but that doesn't stop them trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

Beaming down from another planet, baroness business eats shoots and leaves with her ludicrous "green shoots of economic recovery". Housing minister, Margaret Bucket, can sees signs of an "upturn in the property market". 

The Orange Party, with a large dose of cynicism, observed earlier in the week: 

"What next? Gloomy jobless figures are out this week. So will employment ministers, with a warped sense of humour, tell voters there are signs unemployment is levelling off - at a staggering three million?"

Ministers didn't disappoint. Employment minister, Tony McNulty, said: "Unemployment will get worse before it gets better," adding, “a dynamic is still in the labour market, some people are still hiring”. Only he didn't say where.

Official unemployment has hit 1.92 million, the highest now since New Labour took power in 1997. But that figure does not include the tens of thousands of jobs cut since November and it uses the government's preferred methods of fiddling the dole figures, ignoring the thousands of non-jobs and using crafty ways of keeping people off the unemplyment list. 

The true figure is much much higher and figures which include the latest huge round of jobs cuts won't come out until next month. 

In the commons, an increasingly tired and drawn looking Brown had the gall to question the leader of the opposition on the economy, prompting Cameron to point that if Brown didn't know the answer, he should call a general election. 

The fear now is that international money-men will stop lending to borrowing Brown and the country will indeed go bankrupt. 

Brown clearly needs to spend more time with his family before it's too late, leaving others to sort out the mess of bankrupt Britain. 


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Day In Obama La-La Land

The hypocrisy of two state news broadcasters, BBC and Channel 4, waving around their liberal credentials, ramming Obama's hugely expensive inauguration down our throats, while both countries suffer deep recession, reeks of double standards. All that matters is can and will he deliver on his promises.

It seems both broadcasters have lost a questioning edge, preferring instead to massage their pseudo-liberal egos in Obama's well-spun Promised Land. Calm down dears, it's only a presidential inauguration, not the Second Coming.

With the US in the middle of the deepest recession since the depression, filthy rich donors and taxpayers through the government  have reportedly splashed out more than $170 million on today's love-in from the mutual admiration society. 

The UK broadcasters are fawning over their Chosen One and his messages of hope and change, as if folk over here gave a fig about the ceremony. 

Highfalutin' hype is fine for a national newspaper, you pays your money. But being forced to sit through a hugely expensive Obama-fest dressed up as an inauguration is hard to swallow. 

The sheer arrogance is beyond belief. Switch off or over for sure, but this is licence-payers and taxpayers cash they are playing around with. 

Sure it's tremendously significant. Barack Hussein Obama is being sworn in as the president of the free world, the most powerful person on the planet. But that doesn't mean going overboard and buying into all the hype.

Both the BBC and Channel 4 are clinging onto the first "black" president line (sometimes changed to African-American) to justify OTT coverage. He's not, he's mixed race but as if the colour of his skin or exotic background will make any difference. 

Hope is already there for true African-Americans in people like Condoleeza Rice, the first black woman to serve as secretary of state. And there's not even a nod to the question: why isn't there a woman in the White House? 

Already the line has been spun that "America is celebrating" but ask ordinary folk in the US if they are "celebrating" and what they think is important. The answer will come back loud and clear. On both sides of the Atlantic, people are worried sick about jobs, how they are going to make ends meet and how they are going to survive the freezing winter. 

The US elections forced the Orange Party to issue a painful warning - God Help America Now - after voters were taken in by the most powerful and expensive marketing machine in US history.  The Orange Party never bought into the hyped-up hope but wants desperately to be proved wrong for the sake of the American people. 

But America faces a disturbing and unsettled future. Obama talked the talk. The media helped him sell a soap powder dream. With false hope comes shattered dreams, just another Tony Blair. There's a fine line to be drawn between audacity and arrogance.

The long drawn out campaign trail is now a faded memory. It’s easy to forget more than 200 hyped-up promises made by the slick snake-oil salesman, as he delivered the same sound-bites time and again, dressed up as a message of hope and US voters bought into the dream. is tracking progress made by the Obama administration in keeping its word to the people of America and it's worth dropping by from time to time to see how thing are going or not. 

The favourite promise of the moment is Obama's big fuss about closing down the shameful Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Closure was on the cards during the Bush administration. Now all Obama will say is that he hopes to see GITMO closed down "before the end of his four year term of office". The 'hope' is he will move fast on this one but only time will tell if the 'people's president' lives up to his promises in his Promised Land. 

Meanwhile a snarling Huw Edwards and once respected Jon Snow, milk Obama's lavish inauguration for all it's worth.


Monday, January 19, 2009

What Happened To Our £37 Billion?

Borrowing Brown and Dozy Darling are running around like headless chickens to save their economic skins, after £37 billion pumped into banks disappeared without trace. Another dizzy day of a banking bail-out blitz.

It's clear the banks are in deep doo-doo but didn't let on when chancellor Darling pledged all that taxpayers cash, placing a government guarantee behind the banks as part of October's bail-out package.

The government hadn't a clue what is going on. Brown and Darling threw good money after bad and invested in the banks without digging around to discover how truly disastrous the situation really was. And that left the banks, well, laughing all the way to the bank.

RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest) has eye-watering outstanding loans. So too the merged Lloyds Banking Group (HBOS, Halifax and Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB), Northern Rock and Bradford and Bingley. And it looks like the government may have to step in and rescue Barclays. Only HSBC seems to be sitting pretty - the clue is in the name.

The country's massive borrowing and £400 billion national debt is a drop in the ocean compared with the bank debt and these losses are all met by the taxpayer.

When national debt reaches a staggering height, investors take one look and do a runner. Welcome to bankrupt Britain. Investors pull the plug, borrowing and funding streams dry up, stirling collapses and the government starts to print money.

The cost is millions of jobs and a huge drop in the standard of living.

Brown's chancellor has announced another bank rescue package today, aimed at encouraging them to restart lending. But this is still about saving the banks with another blank cheque, risking billions of pounds of taxpayer's cash and borrowing deeper into debt.

The banks haven't been honest about the toxic debt on their books. Brown and Darling must stop the madness before the fine mess they've got us into turns into a full-blown economic disaster.

Taxpayers will be insuring some of the bad loans made by our biggest banks without a by-your-leave and without a word about what happened to the first £37 billion. The Orange Party believes the solution is nationalisation but with this government's track record, they would make a pig's ear out of it.

Today's raft of measures are all carefully planned to soften the economic blow as this week there's confirmation of that deep recession, growth much worse than the rosy end of 2009 upturn predicted by Darling and more gloomy economic forecasts and jobless figures.

Brown's faux pas 'saving the world' or even 'saving the banks' sent out a hopeless and dangerous message that will haunt him to the grave.


Cuddly Ken Is A Vote Winner

Cuddly Ken's move into Cameron's shadow cabinet is a shot in the arm for the Tories as long as they don't shoot themselves in the foot over Europe. At a stroke, Cameron has breathed new life into the front benches, wiping away the stale Westminster atmosphere.

This is Cameron's war cabinet ahead of the general election and Clarke says he's delighted to be back on the front benches. 

Cameron's widely speculated reshuffle today gives the Tories a chance to turn the tables and wrong-foot Brown for a change, as the government has a dizzy day with another half-baked bank bail-out blitz, as if £37 billion of taxpayer's cash wasn't enough. 

And, as the country finally goes into a confirmed deep recession this week, the government will be well aware it was Clarke as chancellor who helped steer the country out of recession in the 1990s. Credited with cutting the budget deficit, interest rates, inflation and unemployment all fell on his watch, allowing Blair to ride on the back of his success. 

But Clarke's problem is himself. He's a big player, rebellious, the man who wanted to be king and he may prove to be an unwitting divisive distraction, making both Cameron and Osborne look puny. 

No doubt some will the try to drive a wedge between shadow chancellor Osborne and Clarke, They are two different beasts doing different jobs. The economy is Brown's sickly baby and Cameron and Osborne are doing a good job reflecting voter's anger. The former chancellor was brought in to square up to Mandelson. 

Clarke will wipe the floor with slippery Mandy - or at least he would if unelected Mandelson wasn't hiding away in the House of Lords. With his wealth of experience Clarke should make mincemeat out of the cunning little devil. 

Solid Euro-man Clarke won't go down well with the euroseptics and that lost him leadership after leadership contest. Despite his popularity, there's a danger Cameron's plan could backfire on him in the run up to June's European Elections. But eurosceptic views are entrenched in the Party grassroots. They can beg to differ and should be big enough not to feel threatened by Clarke's return. 

Clarke has one quality which puts him head and shoulders above the rest. He's likeable. With a love of cigars and jazz, anyone who wears Hush Puppies and supports Real Ale would get the vote of many punters regardless of his politics - though opposing the 2003 Iraq invasion also helps. 

Sure he's a bit of a rebel in the Tory ranks. But he's a nice, warm sort of guy, Voters love him and that's what matters, as long as he keeps his mouth shut on Europe. 

UPDATE Cameron has announced his full reshuffle with an insider's analysis here. The Orange Party particularly likes the idea of Eric Pickles as Party chairman. A down-to-earth Yorkshire bloke from solid Labour stock. 


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Con Man Obama Flees With Funds-Shock

WASHINGTON—Millions of unsuspecting Americans have been left shocked, devastated and reeling from news that president-elect and international con man, Barack Obama, has fled the country (Sunday) with nearly $85 million in campaign funds.

According to FBI investigators, Obama's sudden disappearance was discovered at 7.15 am (local time) when the former Illinois senator failed to arrive at rehearsals for his presidential inaugural gala gig in Washington, prompting several aides to rush back to his luxury Hay-Adams hotel. 

At 7.23 pm, flight logs at Dulles International Airport confirmed that two passengers, a male carrying two silver Armani briefcases and dressed in Panama hat, Hawian shirt and Kenyan shorts and an African-American female wearing a black panther cat-suit, were seen boarding a private plane heading for Dubai.

Obama's suite, sources said, was completely vacant aside from a discarded Abraham Lincoln portrait, behind which was an emptied safe that his aides claimed never to have seen before.

In addition, three unconscious Secret Service agents were discovered at the scene, along with two lit cigarettes still burning in an ashtray and Obama's daughters, who authorities now believe were child actors taken from an Alabama foster home six years ago.

The only item found inside the metal safe was a letter, handwritten with a fountain pen and titled "An Explanation, My Dears."

"To my tender little pawns, the all-too-trusting people of America," said FBI lead investigator DR Agnet, quoting the letter at a hastily arranged press conference. 

"If you are reading this, then I have already left your silly country in my private jet, and am right now sipping fine champagne with my lovely associate, a woman you have come to know as 'Michelle.'"

"I assure you, this was the most pleasurable and fulfilling con I have ever pulled off," the note continued. "Not since the Moroccan elections in 1984 have I taken so much joy in raising, and then crushing, the hopes and dreams of so many pathetic, disenfranchised, and downtrodden people."

"It's been an absolute delight doing business with you. Rest assured, your generous contributions will be well spent," the note concluded. "Fondly yours, O."

After initiating a further search of his hotel suite, officials found a forged birth certificate, two dozen counterfeit passports inside Obama's desk drawer and a half completed draft autobiography, signed by one W Ayres. 

Known to go under a number of disguises and aliases including Barry White, Barack Black, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Jesus and Will Smith, authorities suspect that this is not the first time that the man who inspired millions has preyed upon a leadership-starved country, raised a record amount of money by running for office, and then vanished without a trace.

"This explains Portugal in '86, Finland in '94, and Greece in '90," CIA director Dee Pthroat said. "He used the same faultless cover in those elections as he did here—a dead mother, a runaway father, a grandfather who fought in Patton's or Järnefelt's or Papdopoulous' army, and his signature calling card: change."

Multiple translations of Obama's books Dreams From My Father and The Audacity Of Hope were also discovered at the scene, each seemingly authored by a different world leader, including former Malaysian president Mohamad Mahathir, former Belgian prime minister Jean-Luc Dehaene, and the 14th Dalai Lama.

Of particular interest were the titles Les Rêves De Mon Père and L'audace D'espére, both of which feature a cover photo of French president Nicolas Sarkozy, a man Paris officials claim hasn't been seen or heard from in nearly eight months.

According to investigators, it appears that over the past 15 years, Obama has been elected president or prime minister in nearly 45 countries, many of them African. 

Officials estimate that since 1983 Obama has amassed more than $2.3 billion in stolen campaign financing.

"He's good, real good," Pthroat said. "Sometimes he'll have three campaigns going on at once. 

Recently uncovered video of him in Bangladesh, Ukraine, and Italy in 1989 shows him shifting seamlessly between three languages. And no matter what dialect he speaks, he speaks it passionately. He also abides by a flawless formula: a desperate country, plus hope, plus the promise of a bold new tomorrow equals big bucks."

"Hell, even I donated the $2,400 to his campaign," he added.

Obama's closest aides, including head campaign strategist David Axelrod, admitted that they never once suspected their candidate was anyone other than who he claimed to be. 

Axelrod said he now felt manipulated and had been taken in by all the media hype. The recent revelation did explain why he once overheard Michelle Obama tell her husband that "the time had come to blow this joint."

"He completely suckered me," said a visibly dejected vice president-elect Joe Biden, who estimated that he raised over $10 million for Obama. "I trusted him. Change, 'Yes We Can,' a new kind of politics, bringing the nation together, valuing an open dialogue about the issues—I trusted all of it."

A dejected Biden added, "I should have known it was too good to be true."

Secretary of state and one-time presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton said: "It would be an honour and privilege to serve my country, if only someone would ask me."

Meanwhile the BBC plans to press ahead with Tuesday's full day of live inauguration coverage regardless, using stock footage of the man they have come to know and love as "The One". Channel 4 has cancelled its coverage and plans instead an extended broacdast by Osama Bin Laden.

Mystery also surrounds the whereabouts of former Britpop prime minister, Tony Blair, with only a short statement issued through his tour manager: "This is not the time for sound bites but I do feel the hand of history and the war crime tribunal on me. He was the People's President and one day soon I hope to be the People's President of Europe."

A grinning UK prime minister, Gordon Brown, said he was just getting on with the job, saving the world from global warming, the global turndown and mosquitos. "There's only room for one saviour of the world,"  he added, grinning.

In a bid to sell more newspapers, media magnate, Rupert Murdoch, is rushing out full colour supplements across his vast empire entitled: "Cashing In On Obama."

The National Enquirer is already running a front page scoop alleging Obama had a love-child with Ophrah Winfrey. 

Devastated everyday Americans, whom Obama referred to as "so many unwitting chess pieces in my elaborate game," also expressed shock.

"I'm devastated and shocked," Chicago resident and Obama donor Denise Doorbell told reporters. "I just hope he comes back soon so I can buy some more of that snake-oil medicine he sold me and he can be our messiah." 

Hat tip: Rewritten from the original spoof in The Onion