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The government yesterday named its new Minister for Education, an office which had been vacant for almost four months following the untimely death of previous incumbent Ersa Bovmine.  Buscram Urkly will take over the reins at Didactic House less than six months after his dramatic return to politics.


Urkly has had an eventful and not uncontroversial life.  In 1991 he stood trial for the murder of seven prostitutes, was convicted on four counts and served five years in jail before the convictions were overturned.  Urkly led fresh expert medical evidence that the women were of weak constitutions and might have died of fright when confronted with the sight of his naked body, hence may have been already dead when Urkly stabbed them.  Notoriously, Urkly is tattooed neck to toe with grotesque satanic imagery.


Triumphantly re-elected two years later as governor of Malstract Province in northern Quul, he claimed to have fundamentally changed.  That did indeed appear to be case, because his next trial was for the murder of eight rent boys.  Urkly’s defence, that all the incidents were unfortunate cases of consensual sadomasochistic role-play gone wrong, caused the judge to remark dryly that Urkly needed to work on his knot-tying skills.  Despite Urkly’s attempt to argue that this was a sign of bias by the judge, he was convicted on all counts and sentenced to life imprisonment.


Urkly served seven years before his diagnosis with terminal brain-flutter (by the same Doctor Spimlam who had provided the evidence which overturned his first convictions) led to his early release on compassionate grounds.  Cynics observed that Urkly subsequently appeared to make medical history by being the first person ever to recover from brain-flutter, a disease contracted by inhaling a particular strain of tubefly larvae found in the marrowcat fur used in government robes of office, and which causes the brain to flip upside down then liquefy and leak out through the eye sockets over the course of a painful few weeks.  But Urkly maintains that the diagnosis was correct, and he is ‘managing the condition’.


At yesterday’s press call, Urkly responded tetchily to reporters’ questions about his suitability for the role given the circumstances of his two previous exits from government.  ‘It is ridiculous to suggest that I have a historic pattern of serial killing,’ he said.  ‘My two sets of convictions are entirely unrelated.  The psychosis involved in stabbing females is an entirely different condition from that involved in garrotting young men.  I refer you to an article in this month’s Scientific Medicine, by highly-respected clinician Doctor Makemy Spimlam, where he explains this, and points out that in the absence of a past pattern of behaviour, no conclusions can be drawn about likely future behaviour.  I was simply unlucky to experience two bouts of severe, but unconnected, mental illness.  But I’ve made a full recovery, and it’s most unfair of the press to refuse a man a second... third chance.  I have big plans for the education of our young people.’


‘Say what you like about Buscram,’ beamed Governance Minister Frenessa Ject yesterday, ‘He’s one of Qualtern’s big characters!  And that’s what we need, someone to inject a bit of spirit into things.  He’s had his problems, but he’s served his time and is wiser for it.  I think his inspirational story will really resonate with young people.  I can’t wait to see what he gets up to in our schools!’

Surprise at Urkly return to government