There's a fun game out there on the interweb, stimulated by the Chinese media's inability to distinguish satire from news, called "Real or Onion".
Quiz: Are These 2012 Headlines Real Or From “The Onion”?[From Quiz: Are These 2012 Headlines Real Or From "The Onion"?]
Fun game. Sadly, it won't work in Britain because our degraded society is so far beyond satire than it cannot even see it in the rear-view mirror. I cano no longer distinguish between "The Thick of It" and "Today". We're through the looking glass, people. If you don't believe, try and convince yourself that the following headline is satire.
Gordon Brown has been appointed the new United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education.[From Gordon Brown takes on UN education role - Telegraph]
It isn't. In common with every other ludicrous and ridiculous and absurd action of the UN, this is an appointment that no rational person could hear about without laughing. Under the Blair/Brown junta, Britain's edukashun system collapsed.
Our blistering debut was the OECD survey of 2000, when we ranked 8th for maths, 7th for literacy and 4th for science in the thinktank's Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa).
England's difficult second album was Pisa 2006, when we fell to 24th for maths, 17th for reading and 14th for science.
And when the results of the 2009 survey came in, we risked parting ways with our record label. England's 15-year-olds ranked 28th for maths, 25th for reading and 16th for science.[From Top of the flops: has England really tumbled down school league tables? | Education | guardian.co.uk]
Let's hope Gordon can weave the magic on countries such as South Korea. Unless we can make them stupider really quickly, we're never going to catch up.