Facebook 1

It is reported that Facebook gave the personal data of millions of its members to a data analysis company which then used it for political election promotion purposes.

If you’re on Facebook, you can speak,
To your friends several times a week,
And if a birthday comes in view,
You can act on that info too.

Facebook collects intel on you,
On who you are and what you do;
On what you think and what you buy,
And anything that you might try.

This all seems pretty harmless but,
This first bit is just the first cut,
And as the hours turn into days,
You probably would be amazed,
To learn how much stuff they collect –
It’s far more than you would expect.

And with this data, Facebook’s plan,
Is making money where it can,
By selling data in its lists,
Something it really can’t resist.

For what it’s used, they may not know,
They simply pass it on and so,
It could be used out on the stump,
To help elect one Donald Trump.

You might think Facebook is a fraud,
For all this data they have stored,
Is why they come to work each day,
To sell it on to those who’ll pay.

While all the time they let you think,
Their purpose is so you can link,
Up with those who might be your friends,
And not for their nefarious ends.

So do be careful what you say,
When you’re on Facebook every day;
It’s better some things are not read,
So when you do write use your head.


Merkel Putin

It is reported that Angela Merkel has been one of few leaders to congratulate Vladimir Putin on his victory in the recent Russian elections.

“Now Vladimir, I’m pleased you won,
Because, when all is said and done,
You really are a generous friend,
So carry on the gas to send.

We wish success in tasks ahead,
So worry not what might be said;
Some others can say things so crass,
When all that matters is the gas.

Your victory was so big, I cried,
Three in four people on your side;
That’s better than I managed here,
So maybe I could bend your ear,
And you might tell me how it’s done,
And what might work here with the Hun.

Elections like that take me back,
To when such things were kept on track,
By means I should no longer use,
To make sure that I never lose.

Way back then in the DDR,
Home of the lovely Trabant car,
With some coercion, bit of spin,
The Government could always win.

It seems those old ways you still use,
To help your people as they choose;
They work on all except a few,
Then everybody votes for you!

So let’s create those times again,
When we could win elections then,
And it will seem just like we are,
Back in the old USSR.”



It is reported that a new ninety minute documentary film which praises the virtues of President Xi Jinping has been released in China; it is proving extremely popular because there are a lot of people in China and everyone has been told they must see it.

“Now listen all you Chinese folk,
You’re well aware you must not poke,
Fun at our president – that’s Xi –
And you must not remind him he,
Looks like a certain cartoon bear,
Which really does make him go spare.

To help you we have made a film,
Depicting Xi who’s at the helm,
Of China, our great nation state;
And we are certain you can’t wait,
To see it when it is released,
But worry not, you won’t be fleeced.

The tickets will, for most, be free,
So everyone this film will see,
And Mr Xi, who is so wise,
Will in your estimation rise.

Chinese achievements are not few,
And all are pretty much down to,
Our president and him alone,
Which will all in the film be shown.

He’s improved science, arts as well,
Diplomacy as one can tell;
But if such talking does not work.
He’ll let the army get to work.

But one thing of which he’s done less,
And which might cause you some distress,
Is that his writing, most the time,
Is done in prose and not in rhyme.

You might think all this matters not,
But since Xi occupies top slot,
He could really do so much worse,
Than tell you everything in verse.

So when you see the film take heart,
The President can play the part;
You’ll really like him – so you should –
And he is in the job for good!”



It is reported that King’s College London (KCL) has banned one of its lecturers (Dr Perkins) from giving a talk entitled The Scientific Importance of Free Speech.

A university should be,
A place where one can hear and see,
Discussion on most any kind,
Of subject to improve the mind.

So very few things should be banned,
And surely not at the command,
Of those who simply don’t agree.
With what the speaker’s views might be.

But this is now what comes to pass,
With student groups acting like Tass*,
And saying certain talks should not,
Be given any speaking slot.

Perhaps some topics should be banned,
But most folk know what these are and,
If you looked down the list for each,
You surely wouldn’t find ‘Free Speech’.

So it seems quite wrong and bizarre,
That KCL in London are,
Refusing a talk that might teach,
The Science Basis of Free Speech.

They are refusing it, they say,
Because it is too hard today,
To avoid riots, maybe fights,
Which some objectors might incite.

But maybe they are simply mugs,
Acceding to these verbal thugs,
And, really, they should not give in,
So the intolerant can’t win.

*The Russian news agency



It is reported that the Government is to review the coinage and may decide to scrap the copper (copper plated steel, actually) coins.

The Government plans a review,
Of penny coins – that’s one and two,
Because they are of little use,
Both singular and also deuce.

They stamp out lots and lots of them,
So that when you’ve bought an item,
From some shop’s ninety-nine pence range,
They have the coins to give you change.

So you then give the man a pound,
Which, sadly, is no longer round,
And when it’s tinkled in the till,
The honest shopman likely will,
Produce a penny for your purse,
Eliciting, perhaps, a curse.

Your purse is almost full of these,
You get them in ones, twos and threes,
And they are really such a pain –
You’d rather not see one again.

So you look for the plastic tin,
Inviting you to put them in,
Where they’ll mount up to more than three,
For some good cause or charity.

But if no such tin can be found,
Collecting pennies from your pound,
A lot of people, so it’s said,
Just throw them in the bin instead.

The Royal Mint’s annoyed at this,
Though some coins might the dustbin miss;
“We make these coins here every day,
And you just throw them all away!

When we check up and do our sums,
Because of you less thrifty bums,
Of all these coins which should suffice,
A half are just used less than twice.

So we expect these coins will go,
It will be a sad day and so,
That birthday card you thought was cheap?
Might find the price now rather steep!


Cream tea

It is reported that an advertisement for National Trust property Lanhydrock House in Cornwall has been criticised – no, castigated – for showing a photograph of a Cornish cream tea with the jam on top of the cream. Meanwhile, a few miles to the east, Salisbury is still coming to terms with its Russian nerve gas attack.

The Cornish cream tea as you know,
Has cream above the jam and so,
If one is made the wrong way round,
The consequence could be profound.

This differs from the place next door,
(Which has two separate bits of shore)
Where Cornish-style would be a flop,
So here the jam is on the top.

Imagine, then, should people see,
A Cornish restaurant serving tea,
With Devon-style scones on the plate,
Which they consider second-rate.

Complaints would come in fast and thick,
Some saying that it makes them sick,
And how they are so very shocked,
Their cream tea could be so up-cocked.

You might think this a bit extreme,
Complaining ’bout a bit of cream,
While Wiltshire, slightly to the east,
Would think that this would be the least,
Of its worries while it’s still wracked,
Since it with nerve gas was attacked.

But notwithstanding this, the Trust,
Perhaps not wanting to go bust,
Has said the culprit will be caught,
And then they’re thinking that he ought,
Most probably to get the sack,
Unless his brain is back on track.

You might think this is too severe,
Would in their staff instil great fear,
But we can really not accept,
That something which is so inept,
And causing such cream tea turmoil,
Be carried out on British soil!


steel mll 1568604_960_720

It is reported that Donald Trump plans to impose punitive tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium imported into the United States, and the European Union has announced severe retaliation plans.

It’s been announced that Trump has plans,
For metals used in cars and cans,
To soon be taxed at higher rates,
When they reach the United States.

He says that they are under threat,
For Chinese steel producers let,
Their factories now produce too much,
Of steel for cars and cans and such.

And since this steel cannot be used,
He says that rules have been abused,
As they then tons of metal dump,
Upon the land of Donald Trump.

But Trump’s taxation plan is wide,
And will affect much more beside,
As special steels used for defence,
Are taxed which makes a bit less sense.

These taxes affect the EU,
So they’re now getting upset too,
And so henceforward from today,
They say that Trump will have to pay.

“For tax like this we will not stand,
But as well as a reprimand,
We are intending to impose,
A higher import tax on those,
Products which we’ve come to expect,
Will have the maximum effect.

We’ve thought a lot, done studies too,
On what might cause most harm to you;
And the best option from these facts,
Will be a peanut butter tax!

A tax like this is very wise,
Applies to jars of any size,
And whether smooth or with a crunch,
It will affect most any lunch.

But here in Brussels EU staff,
Think peanut butter’s pretty naff;
With Michelin starred food each day,
They never eat it anyway.”