Artillery Row

Pissed Ofcom

An affront to the freedom of the press to do whatever it likes

From the desk of Lord Drax, prop, Critic Media Holdings Galaxywide Inc.

To all Critic staff,

When we founded this publication, there was a single thought at the front of my mind: tax avoidance. To suggest that I might have had the slightest interest in the political affairs of your poxy little country was insulting to the point of libel. However, over the years since, as I have come to know more of your ways, I have become more engaged, and my feelings have warmed, if not to the level of affection, then certainly to a feeling that in your language might best be described as “contempt”. 

And so it was with mounting horror that I read the recent announcement from the magazine regulator, OFSHELF, that we had broken the strict rules of fairness and impartiality that readers will know bind all parts of Britain’s periodical news media. 

It seems that The Critic has for some time been employing a so-called “sketchwriter” to produce what are described to me as light-hearted reports of the day’s proceedings in parliament. So far as I can tell, these consisted chiefly of reports of times Boris Johnson had scratched his own arse. (Having once hosted Mr Johnson at my villa in Tuscany, I can assure you that vigorous derriere-rubbing is the least of his sins. My butler fears the Klebb Suite will never be fit for guests again.)

Such “humour” is not of course to my own taste, but I take no interest in the day-to-day running of the magazine. The editor, whoever he is, assures me that has always sought to represent a full range of political opinion, from those who blame the decline of the Church of England on that oik Runcie to those who lay it at the door of that oik Carey. I have no idea what this means, and neither do I care.

I am however appalled to learn that OFSHELF has received 547 complaints about a piece by the man who apparently writes these sketches, a Mr Hutton. I am, I should make it clear, horrified that as many as 547 people were reading us. That was the last thing we wanted, as a glance at our magazine ought to confirm. 

The article in question, “Sunak In His Own Words”, was an unusual type of “sketch”, published after Hutton, having indulged in an exceptionally long lunch, accidentally filed the full text of one of the prime minister’s speeches. 

OFSHELF have rejected our claims that we lack either the competence or the energy to successfully sway voters, and have insisted that, by reporting the prime minister’s words in full, unmediated by sly remarks about his temperament, competence, or strangely-tailored suits, we gave him with a political platform that could help his cause. 

This would of course be an outrageous affront to free speech and the liberty of the press, if I gave a damn about such nonsense. I have elected to appeal the judgement on quite different grounds. We shall be arguing that nothing is more likely to make the prime minister appear ridiculous than his own unedited words. Our lawyers assure us our case is strong. 


Hugo Drax

Drax International Space Station

Earth Orbit

[Dictated and signed in his absence]

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