Adam Lovejoy reports from London: Well, how about that Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, no relation, taken hostage by gunmen from the hotel in Tripoli where he was living and held hostage for several hours? No one still knows why he was kidnapped and what the demands of the hostage takers were, but people who say they know things have confirmed to Stirring Trouble that it took one phone call from David Beckham, whose line of exotic men’s underwear is very popular among jihadists, to resolve the crisis and allow Mr Zeidan to walk free. Later it was revealed that the Libyan PM was arrested by a group calling itself Operations Room of Libya’s Revolutionaries, which claimed that it acted on the orders of the Libyan Attorney General, or someone with a similarly sounding position, and was kept in the interrogation room of the Interior Ministry. Which confirms that Libya is now in such a mess that there would be more weird goings-on there until some dictator emerges from some backroom in some ministry and restores law and order.
Serious disappointment in the editorial rooms across the civilised world as first reports of the drowning of 220 illegal immigrants, who were travelling in a boat to the Italian island of Lampedusa from North Africa, proved to be incorrect, with only around 30 people having actually died and the rest saved. The incident came less than a week after another boat with African asylum seekers caught fire and sank off Lampedusa, with 350 people dying. Some hacks were anticipating another mass tragedy that would have been headlining the news for days. Alas, it didn’t happen and many scribblers and talking heads were forced to look for other stories. Word is though that with the political turbulence in North Africa continuing and rough seas in abundance the numbers of illegal immigrants trying to reach Europe and failing would be on the rise, with more dramatic stories awaiting keen hacks of the free media stable.
Big, big sigh of relief throughout the world as the latest Nobel Peace Prize went to a totally unknown group based in The Hague and not to that strange looking teenager from Pakistan, 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who for the past two years has been banging on about the need for every kid on Earth to go to school and study like mad. Yes, the brave men and women from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have been singled out for their work in eliminating chemical weapons. But as Stirring Trouble has learned, the Nobel Prize Committee decided to award the little known organisation of weapons experts because it feared that if young Malala got the prize, some overly excited people, including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, former US President Bill Clinton, former British PM Gordon Brown and many other political have-beens would have started making endless statements, praising Malala, with the world plunging into a depression, chaos and anarchy.
From the exciting world of privatisation comes news that the British government has sold more than half of the stake in the Royal Mail for something like one hundredth of its price, all due to a misunderstanding between Business Secretary Vince Cable, a giant of economics and a keen watcher of markets, and a group of bankers who were consulting him on the big move. The money men, allegedly, told Mr Cable that although the Royal Mail probably cost something like £50 billion, it would be wiser to play it safe and sell it for a much lower price, to keep the markets happy. The Business Secretary, who became cabinet minister on the strength of one joke he had made in the House of Commons about the then PM Gordon Brown, took the advice to be a serious analysis and threw his weight behind the plan. And the whole thing worked out beautifully in the end for some people in the know.
Still staying in Britain, plans have been unveiled about raising the age for people to have a full driving licence to 19, with a possible banning them from driving all by themselves till they are at least 30. It comes when rumours have abounded that the policy team toiling at 10 Downing Street has once again come up with an idea of lowering the age of sexual consent to 14 and giving 16-year-olds the right to vote. Which would mean that teenagers in Britain could have fulfilling shag, select their government but won’t be able to get behind the driving wheel of a car to drive around aimlessly with their mates or girlfriends, to pull chicks of blokes.