Last year a story that I suspected was an April Fools joke turned out to be real which is a reversal from the norm where a convincing story turns out to be a prank. So this year I’ve been a bit more careful in reading the news. I’m sure there are lots of April Fools jokes going around, but my favourite so far is this one from the Telegraph which almost had me for a minute:
Revealed: cash-strapped London ready to share Olympics with France
The Government is drawing up plans to “farm out” several events at the 2012 London Olympics – including the showpiece opening ceremony – to Paris.
Steeply rising costs and unexpected delays in developing the London site have forced the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to draw up the radical contingency proposals.
Tessa Jowell, the Culture Secretary, is understood to have set up a top level, inter-departmental working party to consider the options.
One idea is to stage some of the events in Paris, which was narrowly beaten by London to host the Games when the International Olympic Committee made its choice in 2005.
Miss Jowell is adamant that London will not lose any of the major athletics events, but some of the track and field heats could take place in Paris.
The opening ceremony, which is costly and not truly sports-related, could even be transferred to the Stade de France. A memorandum from the Foreign Office to the working party, seen by this newspaper, notes: “The French are very good at fireworks.”
Of course considering the pig’s ear that Tessa Jowell has made of the financing of the Olympics so far, and Britain’s performance in completing Wembley Stadium, it was only remembering what day this is that stopped me believing this story. Once you get further down the article there are some other clues such as Ken Livingstone denying that he was:
in favour of allowing some of the “softer” Olympic events, such as beach volleyball and synchronised swimming, to be transferred to Caracas, as a mark of his admiration for Venezuela’s Left-wing president Hugo Chavez.
Ho Ho, very droll… And then there is the name of Avril Bouffonnerie as being the spokesman for the original French bid. So I’m fairly confident this time that this is an April Fools joke (even though it’s a damn good idea – in fact I’d go further and give the whole thing to Paris; Britain under New Labour proves every day that it couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery). It’s nice to see that Iain Dale has also gotten into the spirit of the occasion, and, I have to say, did it very well too – it had me going for about as long as the Telegraph article did.
What I’m wondering now is whether or not this is an April Fool’s joke:
Clarke ready to run for leader
CHARLES CLARKE is ready to challenge Gordon Brown for the Labour leadership if David Miliband fails to mount a bid.
Confidants of the former home secretary say he will consider a leadership challenge to deprive the chancellor of a “coronation” for the top job if the environment secretary refuses to do so.