OPINION: Alert readers may have noticed a common thread to the major news stories of the week. The less alert may wish to scan the following articles and reach their own conclusions about which way the geese are flying.
Swiss referendum bans minarets
"The people have spoken," said the president of the moderate Get the Bastards Out of Switzerland party. "But I would like to stress that, in keeping with the great tradition of religious and political tolerance for which Switzerland is renowned, the ban on minaret building applies equally to Muslim and non-Muslim citizens."
He also announced the intention to hold a further referendum to create a national holiday. "It is to be called the bierwurst referendum and we are optimistic that the people will endorse it as ringingly as they have endorsed the minaret ban. If they do, then on May 1 every year all Swiss citizens over 18 will be required to consume a celebratory pork sausage (known locally as Kristianwurst) and wash it down with a good Swiss beer. Failure to do so will result in extradition. There will also be folk dancing."
Iran ramps up production of nuclear fuel
President Ahmajinebad has announced a massive increase in Iran's production of enriched plutonium. It is to be used to generate energy for domestic consumption. "We are a peaceful democratic nation," he said.
When asked why he was planning to produce 30 more times plutonium than Iran had the capacity to use in its reactors, he said it was obvious. "Israel has got more warheads pointed in our direction than we've got opposition party members banged up in prison after the recent free and fair election. So we need to have spare fuel in case Israel blows some of it up. It's that simple. We've got nothing against the illegal murderous Zionist state but it's a government's duty to plan for all contingencies. By the way, we've got lots of oil."
Inquiry into legality of Iraq War
A British commission of inquiry into the invasion of Iraq, urgently convened in response to public disquiet only six years after the event, has reached the emphatic conclusion that the invasion was sort of legal and sort of illegal.
"It's the vindication I've been waiting for and I never doubted for one moment that it would come," said Tony Blair, speaking by satellite phone from a holiday destination that has no treaty of extradition with Britain.
Mr Blair confirmed that he had stated he had no plans to invade Iraq and had then invaded Iraq but dismissed the apparent inconsistency as a semantic quibble.
"You seem to forget that George W Bush and I prayed together while spending quality time holidaying at the Pentagon. It was soon afterwards that someone said someone had heard a rumour that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.
"It would have been blasphemy to ignore the guidance. Did you know Iraq has lots of oil?"
Dubai bailed out by Abu Dhabi
Dubai's debts of $60 billion have been guaranteed by sister emirate Abu Dhabi. "We've got lots of oil," said a spokesman for Abu Dhabi's ruling family, "so it's no problem."
"It's a huge relief," said the ruler of Dubai. "If we'd defaulted on the debt it would have upset Western markets terribly and probably precipitated a second financial crisis, which would have been no good for us at all. We've got vast investments in the West from football clubs to casino operators, and we depend on Western corporates for our prosperity. If they scarpered we'd be scuppered. But thanks to Abu Dhabi we'll be able to keep them all here, and we'll still be able to continue to give vast sums of money to Muslim causes to keep our more devout neighbours sweet. It isn't easy playing a double game, you know."
Tiger Woods in late night traffic "accident"
Tiger Woods, the billionaire golfer, has suffered minor injuries in a car accident outside his home.
A spokesman for Orlando police said he could not pre-empt the results of an inquiry. "But off the record, are you telling me that Tiger, who can drive a ball 330 yards down the middle of the toughest fairway in the world, can't steer a car at low speed down an empty suburban road? If you ask me, this has got al Qaeda's fingerprints all over it."
- The Dominion Post