Americans awoke this morning to the shocking news that their country has been plunged into a scandal that threatens national security, the USA’s moral authority within the international community and which involves vile misogyny, online abuse, crude language and appalling spelling, yet appears to have nothing whatever to do with Donald Trump.
‘Yeah, we’re reeling a bit at the moment,’ said one White House spokesman this morning. ‘Obviously US Marines posting naked photos of their female colleagues online is not a good thing per se, but we’re just so pathetically grateful the president’s not involved that it feels like a bit of a win for us.’
Reports that Mr Trump has described the Marines’ actions as ‘healthy locker room banter’ have been denied by the White House, as have rumours that the president, inspired by the scandal, had to be physically restrained from tweeting Polaroids he’d taken backstage at Miss Universe contests.
In other, less interesting news: Civil liberties groups and human rights lawyers have condemned as ‘a staggering misuse of power’ Rochdale Council’s ban on swearing in public.
In a leaked judgement, the International Court of Human Rights has ruled that the ban is unlawful ‘not only because everybody in Rochdale swears like a fishwife all the time’, but because it is customary practice of local people to prefix the name of the town itself with an expletive, as in:
‘From which part of the United Kingdom do you originate, my good man?’
‘I’m from f***ing Rochdale, you c**t.’
The court concludes that asking a resident of Rochdale to stop swearing would be like asking an Islingtonian to give up quinoa.