The falling value of sterling is forcing this great British news-gathering institution into a period of enforced silence beginning today.
Newsagents in the Hackney area are expected to fly their flags at half mast, or at least drape packets of Monster Munch in black crepe, which is the traditional symbol of mourning among newsagents.
In an exclusive interview this morning, Mercury editor Norton Folgate told himself: ‘The pound’s collapse has been devastating for this newspaper.’
‘Like Rupert Murdoch we make our ink by grinding-up orphans flown in from the Calais ‘Jungle’. Also, our distribution network is based entirely on exploiting the labour of Romanian gypsies, just like any other forward-looking small business in the UK.’
‘The fall in sterling means, tragically, that orphan pulp has become prohibitively expensive and that, even in Romania, the Roma can actually earn more than the zero pounds we pay them here.’
‘This is just one more example of how the dead hand of a monolithic European Union is crushing the aspirations of hard-working businesses in the UK. Or it might be the fault of all those dreadful racists who voted for Brexit, I dunno. Either way, it’s not my bloody fault.’
The Mercury, therefore, is forced to take a sabbatical until Monday, when a new load of orphans is due in from Lesbos on a Sports Direct lorry.