We initially abandoned spoof predictions for the year on the basis that politics was so bonkers it was hard to come up with anything dafter than real life.
But with a bunch of candidates vying to take over from Rishi Sunak led by Suella Braverman, it’s now gone full circle.
Here’s our tongue-in-cheek take on how 2024 might pan out…
JANUARY: Demonstrators gather outside Cheshire East HQ at Westfields complaining about the council’s housing policy. Banners read “No homes now” and “My lifestyle, my choice”.
One demonstrator tells the “Chronicle”: “This is supposed to a democratic country yet I’ve made the choice to live on the streets in abject poverty with my children and the council has forced me into a nice little flat with a bedroom for each child, heating, lighting and running water, a door and everything. The kids cry themselves to sleep each night. They just want to be sleeping in a shopping trolley round the back of Carphone Warehouse and playing with the rats. Suella Braverman is bang on.”
FEBRUARY: Pride groups across the area see a surge in membership as refugees join en masse. A spokesperson tells the “Chronicle”: “Suella Braverman told them if they pretended to be gay they could gain asylum, so they’ve all done it. It’s great for us, we now have hundreds of members, and the social nights are fantastic. The annual parade will be massive.”
A refugee tells the “Chronicle”: “I worked for the British Army in Afghanistan and had to flee my homeland after my house was burned down by the Taliban. We were accepted onto the refugee scheme but now, after fighting for the right side in my homeland, I can apparently only get asylum here if I bat for the other side. Just to hedge our bets we pretended my husband was a trans woman and my religion was The Force – may Obi Wan go with you – so I am hopeful we can stay in the country. We’ve made a lot of new friends.
The social evenings are much better than at the one-star hostel they make us live in.”
MARCH: A man who established the UK’s largest tofu farm on land outside Sandbach goes bust, claiming he didn’t realise you could get tofu for 99p in Aldi.
The distraught farmer tells the “Chronicle”: “Suella Braverman said tofu was favoured by ‘Guardian’-reading wokerati’ so I assumed that as the ‘Guardian’ cost £2.80 a day and wokerati sound proper middle class – lawyers and journalists and the like – I figured there’d be a big market for top-class tofu.
“I invested my life savings into a new production line and imported the best soya but it turns out tofu is cheap as chips and you can get it everywhere – Tesco, Aldi, Co-op filling stations, the lot.”
APRIL: residents of the LOL Foundation house riot after getting a roof over their heads. A former member of the Parachute Regiment tells the “Chronicle”: “My best friend stood on a landmine in Helmand and was blown up next to me, but that was his lifestyle choice. I chose to start drinking and after my discharge chose to turn to drugs to ease the pain in my soul. I chose not to pay any rent and ended up homeless.
“Now they’re offering me a roof over my head, help with my addiction and work training. I fought for my country. I don’t deserve this treatment”.
MAY: With Penny Mordaunt emerging as a front runner in the Tory leadership campaign, local politicians start training sessions, holding civil regalia at arm’s length for hours on end in case she makes it compulsory. Suzie Akers Smith emerges as front runner to be mayor in her return to politics, as she can hold a sword in one hand and a balance a bike in the other.
JUNE: As MP Fiona Bruce’s seat appears under threat, Kier Starmer makes a surprise visit to the area to rally support and give a speech. A Labour activist tells the “Chronicle”: “He was brilliant. I can’t remember what he said or even what his position was on anything and whether we had any policies, but it was really nice of him to come.”
JULY: A new travel firm opens in Sandbach offering birthday flights and in-air stag dos on return flights to Rwanda. “Suella Braverman gave us the idea,” says the owner, “saying her dream was a plane taking off to Rwanda. We thought that maybe other people had the same dream – she said she was reflecting the views of the majority – and were perhaps fed up of the same old flights to Lapland at Christmas and dream holidays in Disneyland.
“It’s going pretty well, except for when they take Christians off the plane in Rwanda and beat them up, and we did have that gay couple shot behind the duty-free, but otherwise it’s great.”
He says: “Rishi Sunak passed a law saying it’s a safe country so we can’t even be sued for negligence.”
AUGUST: As Boris Johnson emerges as a new front runner to lead the Tories, former Cheshire East leader Michael Jones throws his hat in the ring to return as leader of the council.
He tells the “Chronicle:” “Sue Gray’s report into the Partygate scandal found that staff had been subjected to a lack of respect and poor treatment, and yet felt unable to raise this with the authorities, and that sounded so much like the good old days of Cheshire East – of which of course, like Boris, I had no knowledge – that I thought I’d give it another go.”
He says that this time round he would be more realistic in his ambitions. As well as the long-promised tunnel to create a pedestrian access to Congleton Park, he also pledges to build a new spaceport at Arclid and to turn Middlewich into a town made solely of jam.
SEPTEMBER: Cheshire East pledges to invest £11m promoting the proposed new spaceport at Arclid. Spokesman Paddy Power said: “Just like the HS2 hub in Crewe there’s no money to build it, but if it was built, it would be great for Cheshire East, and rocket launches would bring in tourists. We’re betting the house on this one.”
OCTOBER: Cheshire East orders that all restaurants in the brough serve only tripe, onions, spotted dick, roasted acorns, Hovis and eels.
“Multiculturalism makes no demands on the incomer to integrate,” said a council spokesman.
“It has failed because it allowed people to come to our society and offer parallel foods to our splendid British cuisine. We’ve banned Indians from selling curries, McDonalds from selling fast food from the colonies and Teso from selling humus, the far eastern muck.
People can sell chicken tikka masala as long as they leave out the tikka and the masala. We don’t need any multiculturalism over here. Fish and chips was invented in Paris, so we’ve banned that, too.
“Suella Braverman is right over this – as someone with Kenyan and Mauritian heritage serving under the first British Indian / East African Asian prime minister she knows what she’s talking about, as they’re both bloody rubbish.”
NOVEMBER: As the general election looms, Lib Dem leader (sub-editor, please insert name here, can’t remember who it is) makes a surprise visit to the area and speaks to a packed venue.
“The telephone box was full. It was standing room only,” a party member tells us.
“I can’t remember what he said but it was exciting – we all had to evacuate the venue when someone ran in and wanted to use the defibrillator that’s kept there.”
DECEMBER: As Labour assumes office after a landslide win, veteran letter writer Christopher Proudlove announces his retirement, saying: “They’ve got no policies for me to get annoyed about.”