Shropshire Star

Mark Andrews – Roald Dahl revisited, and Volodymyr makes the trains run on time

In the war-torn Ukraine, 10 per cent of trains were running late this week as a result of the visit by US president Joe Biden. This compares to about a third of trains in the UK which turn up late.

Evil capitalist Willie Wonka

The boss of the Ukrainian rail operator has apologised for the shoddy service. Whereas the workforce in the UK rail industry have gone on strike, because they think they deserve more pay.

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Publisher Puffin has caused a spot of controversy by rewording some of Roald Dahl's books to make them more appropriate for today's ultra-sensitive times.

Personally, speaking, I don't think this goes nearly far enough. They really need to rewrite the whole plotlines to better represent progressive thinking. Here are a few ideas:

*Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Non-binary young person Charlie wins a competition which allows them to infiltrate a confectionary corporation run by evil capitalist Willie Wonka. Shocked by the pay and conditions, outdated approach to health-and safety, and lack of fair-trade cocoa beans, he leads the Oompa Loompas out on strike. Wonka sees the error of his ways and hands the chocolate factory over to Charlie who turns it into a worker's co-operative providing healthy snacks as part of a balanced diet.

*Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator – Charlie becomes stuck in the lift of an inner-city tower block, only to be taken to a different universe of more progressive values. He uses Willie's Wonka-Vite tablets to reverse the reactionary attitudes of men over 40, who vote to rejoin the European Union. However, some take too many Wonka-Vites and end up in Miserable Minus land, which is actually a much happier place than 21st century Britain.

*The Witches – a collective of enlightened feminists use their magic powers to end the patriarchal society of modern Britain by turning all middle-aged men into mice.

*Dani Champion of the World – Young climate activist Dani decides to take direct action against Rolls-Royce driver Victor Hazell by liberating his pheasants, and encouraging them to damage his gas guzzler. Sgt Samways assists her in the protest, and they celebrate at the end with a tofu dinner.

*Matilda – Young Matilda tells headmistress Miss Trunchbull that her archaic rules are detrimental to the mental wellbeing of young people, and uses her special powers to free a newt which a fellow pupil has placed in a jar. Miss Trunchbull's replacement, Mr Trilby, elevates Matilda to the top class, but Matilda realises this elitist approach to education gives her an unfair advantage over her less-able peers, so she uses her special powers to persuade Mr Trilby to introduce mixed-ability classes that treat all pupils the same.