Friday, 2 March 2012

My Newsjack Rejection Seeds -

Here then is my first set of rejection seeds, submitted to BBC Radio 4 Extra for the Newsjack programme, but sadly didn't make the grade.

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Football fans are up in arms about the current price of football shirts, most specifically the latest incarnation of the England National Squad kit for £55. People have slammed the price as extortionate and disgusting, pointing out that it looks exactly the same as the previous kit, and the one before that. Those same whiners were less vocal when we suggested to them that if the kits looked exactly the same, why didn’t they just keep the old kit.
In a bid to raise funds to keep their club financially viable, Portsmouth FC have also increased the price of their shirts and kits drastically. However, fans do not seem so aggrieved by this, as the shirts are being supplied with a free player to display it on. We spoke to Mr Chris Hughton of Birmingham City about the shirt he recently bought.

Chris Hughton – It really is a wonderful shirt, and actually very similar to the shirts my team Birmingham City play in. Mine came with a free Erik Huselklepp, which I am delighted with.

Newsjack – So will you be using the Erik Huselklepp to display your new shirt?

Chris – Of course I will, it will take pride of place in my living room. Except for on match days, when I intend to dress him up in Birmingham City Kit and send him out on the pitch.

Newsjack – I see, and do you intend to add to your collection.

Chris – As a matter of fact I do. I’d quite like a Glasgow Rangers shirt, which is also much like our own, and if I can strike a deal to get a Sasa Papac to display it on I think it would really strengthen up our midfield..... I mean, balance out the living room between the bay window and the sofa.

Thank you Chris. As well as Chris Hughton, we also managed to snatch a few words with Newcastle winger Jonas Guttierez Who had this to say.

Jonas. – I had thought about the offer of a free player with one of the Portsmouth shirts, and wish now that I had bought one. Just recently my mothers home, where my prized collection of football shirts was displayed was broken into, and the whole collection was stolen. I’m sure having one of the Portsmouth defenders in the house would have been something of a deterrent. I’m sure if Ricardo Rocha can stop the top strikers from putting the ball in the back of the net, he could stop one man from making off with my shirts. It’d be nice company for mum as well.

So there we have it. The price of football shirts, sometimes an absolute rip off, and other times a truly unrepeatable bargain.


TITLE – Virtual Prisons

There is an ever increasing demand for space in our prisons. Costs are soaring as inmates demand better living conditions, higher quality food and more expensive home comforts to ensure their human rights are not compromised. This has had a knock on effect attracting more and more stereotypical youths and yobs to a life of crime to get into prison so that they could also enjoy a higher standard of living than they would otherwise have at home.

We sent reporter Judith Truman to meet our joint prime ministers David Cameron and Nick Clegg to discuss their planned reform of the prison system .

Wendy – So David, I understand your radical plans will solve both the problems of over crowding in prison, and also reduce the costs involved drastically.

Nick – (jumping about excitedly) Our plans. It was our plans. We do work as a team you know.

David – Yes, we do work as a team, now be a good lad and put the kettle on Nick.

Nick - OK.

David – Anyway Wendy, yes our future plans are as you described them, quite radical. Instead of sending criminals to prison, they will be sentenced to what we are calling ‘Virtual Prison’. We’ll be making them stay at home. They’ll only be allowed to go out if they are going to work, therefore we don’t need to pay anything for their keep.

Wendy – But isn’t that how most regular people in the community live anyway?

David – Strictly speaking yes, but there will of course be restrictions, such as....

Nick – (Returns enthusiastically with cups of tea) – Oooh, Can I tell her David?, this was one of mine. We take out all their comfortable furniture and refit the house with hard cold furniture, and they can’t have big TV’s in their homes, just small black and white sets, with the sound turned quite low so it’s not so easy to hear.

Wendy – That sounds quite expensive, if you have to replace all the furniture in somebody’s home. Surely it also seems to be punishing the offenders’ family too. Is that fair?

David – Taking away their credit cards, and driving licenses too. They won’t be able to go anywhere unless they use public transport.

Nick – No expensive games systems either. Don’t forget that David, we agreed. Nothing more advanced than the original Playstation. I know it seems harsh, but you have to remember, this is hardened criminals we’re dealing with here. We promised draconian restrictions, and by golly we meant it.

Wendy – Hold on. You haven’t answered my last question about the families. It would seem they are being very unfairly treated here.

Nick – I know. How about if we put the families up in a bedsit, or a reasonably priced hotel for the duration of the sentence? That could work.

Wendy – No it wouldn’t. That just means tax payers are covering the cost of keeping the spouse and children of the offender in a hotel rather than just the offender in a prison. That will be at least three to four times more expensive. What about ensuring the prisoner sticks to the terms of their sentence?

David – Each prisoner will be allocated a live in guard, who will make sure the prisoner does not leave the house during their curfew hours. This guard will also be responsible for doing the household shopping so that the prisoner doesn’t leave the house.

Wendy – Your idea is as bad as Nicks. That’s even more costly. So effectively, each prisoner gets his or her own servant, payed for by us, the tax payers, who may well be out of the house giving the prisoner the opportunity to do as they please?

Nick – They could do the shopping while the prisoner is at work.

Wendy – OK, so how much do you estimate the cost of each guard will be?

Nick – I know this one, it’s very clever you know, and ties in well with another of our upcoming bills, ‘The Mandatory Work Programme’. We take unemployed people from the area the offender lives in so that we don’t have to pay travel expenses, and as the scheme is to allow the individual to retain their unemployment benefits, we don’t need to pay any wages either.

Wendy – (sarcastically) – Oh Genius. So if the prisoner is, for arguments sake a drug dealer, or a fence for stolen goods in the area. You will be guarding him with an individual who has no qualifications in prisoner security, no incentive to do the job, and who could potentially already be a customer of the offender. Can either of you see any possible pitfalls to the idea?


Wendy – Well? Either of you?

David – Would you like a bourbon with your tea Wendy, or a plain digestive?

Nick – (obviously thinking) –How about........ How about..... I know. What if we put two guards in, and they don’t know each other.

Wendy –(phones office)
I’m going to have to stop this interview. These two obviously still have no coherent plan for dealing with crime.

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