Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, British American Tobacco and the Nation of Belgium have been appointed as the new 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse after seeing off strong competition at the 2016 “Apocalympics”.

The event was held by Pope Francis for the first time since the Programme ended in 1989 due to budget cuts. At the time John Paul II cited the fall of the Berlin wall although the rumours were that both Death & Famine had better parking than him at the Vatican and both War & Pestilence were under investigation for multiple sexual misconduct charges.

Changing Global circumstances have led to a rethink. However a very generous Holy See redundancy package allied to particularly attractive tax-free day-rates have meant that Death, War & Famine have taken up long-term consultancy gigs with ISIS whilst Pestilence has been working for Microsoft helping them turn video games like Call of Duty & Grand Theft Auto into infectious diseases.

The Judges praised Vladimir Putin for promoting geo-thermo-nuclear war as a first diplomatic option and Donald Trump for pulling off the insidious feat of persuading those with very little that their enemy is those with less. Likewise BAT for creating a $200Bn global Cancer network.

However it was Belgium, or more particularly the region of Wallonia, that was singled out for particular kudos and wonderment. A backwater non-entity in a Country best known for hosting Invasions without ever being able to persuade the invaders to stay, managed to block a trade deal for 500m people by claiming, without breaking a smile, that Canadians are un-trustworthy and damaging to Social Welfare in Europe. Fucking genius!

No-one knows when the new employees start work last. After all, who is going to notice another genocidal nut-case in the Vatican…..

Quentin D Fortesqueue is a founding editor of The Rochdale Herald. Part time amateur narcissist and full time satirist Quentin is never happier than when playing his lute and drinking a full bodied Bordeaux. He rarely plays the lute and never gets to drink Bordeaux.