“When Cameron started going on about how he was going to declare war on the enemies of enterprise, I thought he meant he was going to crack down on the Klingons,” says forty-nine year old Len Griddles, as he hides in the wreckage of his Middlesbrough home, attempting to evade marauding extra-terrestrials. “Then it turned out he was in league with these other alien bastards!” The British Prime Minister is facing fierce criticism for his recent deal which has effectively handed control of the North East of England to green-skinned beings from Proxima Centauri. “It’s a bloody outrage,” blusters Labour MP and shadow alien invasion spokesman Tom Bollicker, whose constituency lies in the middle of the now alien-controlled area. “It’s quite obvious that this Tory-led government has deliberately targeted predominantly working class areas for alien invasion. As if it isn’t bad enough that my constituents have to contend with social deprivation, unemployment and abject poverty, now they also have to deal with the threat of alien abductions, the disintegration of their homes and being enslaved by their new green-skinned overlords – who don’t even pay minimum wage.”

Others have gone further, suggesting that by handing over the North East to the aliens, Cameron is trying to influence the outcome of the next general election. “It’s no coincidence that the area affected is a stronghold of Labour support,” declared Labour leader Ed Milliband during a recent Prime Minister’s Question Time. “By decimating the working class vote there, the Prime Minister clearly hopes to fatally undermine the Labour vote in these seats.” However, such claims have been dismissed by the government. “It’s nonsense to talk of back room deals being done with the aliens,” Cameron told the Commons. “The fact is that we put the contract for the administration of the region out to tender, and they made by far the best bid!” He added that the long-term benefits of the arrangement would far outweigh any initial teething problems. “There’s sure to be problems at first, resulting from the inevitable clash of cultures as the simple people of the North East try to come to terms with the advanced technology of their new masters, sorry, managers. It must be a bit like the first time African natives met white men and were amazed by their ability to mow them down en masse and at a distance with their ‘magic fire sticks’,” he mused. “But part of our contract includes the transfer of many of their advanced technologies. Health care, for instance, could be transformed, by their advanced regeneration techniques for internal organs. A few people might have to suffer the minor discomfort of alien abduction and anal probes in the meantime, as they perfect their techniques for application to humans, but I think everyone will agree that this is a small price to pay.”

Griddles, a Liberal Democrat local councillor before the invasion of Middlesbrough, has taken issue with the government’s claims that the aliens had come in a spirit of peace and co-operation. “There was nothing peaceful about the bastards – they just landed one of their flying saucers outside the council offices, marched in and announced that we were now their slaves,” he claimed, in a hurried mobile phone call as he dodged death rays. “When we proposed a motion to refer the whole issue to the Local Government Ombudsman, they just opened fire on the council chamber, vapourising the entire Rate Payers’ Alliance contingent.” The council’s planning committee met a similar fate when it attempted to block the aliens’ plans to destroy the entire city centre. “It’s outrageous,” says Griddles. “They’ve built a huge pressurised bio dome to breed some kind of abominations on the site, entirely without planning permission! There was no consultation with local residents, despite the fact that it’s a clear change of use!”

However, the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, has rejected Griddles’ objections to the alien occupation, claiming that their destruction of the North East’s major urban centres was simply urban renewal. “Just look at the magnificent new high tech buildings that they’re putting up in place of those endless terraces of drab houses,” he told a press conference. “Let’s not forget the jobs that they are creating as well – their redevelopment of Gateshead as a huge hatchery complex for their larvae has employed tens of thousands of locals. I appreciate that the wages and conditions aren’t what people there are used to, but in the current economic climate people need to be flexible when it comes to employment.” Pickles also brushed aside complaints that by awarding the contract to administer the North East of England to aliens, the government was undermining its own policy of ‘localism’. “That’s absolute nonsense,” he fumed. “For one thing, it’s nothing short of racism to view our alien friends as anything other than locals themselves now that they’ve taken up legal residence here. And what better example of empowering local residents to make decisions about their own communities could there be than the sweeping away of archaic and bureaucratic planning restrictions that we’ve seen in the North East?”

Critics of the scheme believe that, despite their claims to the contrary, in reality, the government had little choice in agreeing to the aliens’ terms. “Thanks to their reckless defence, there’s simply no way the government could have stopped them from taking the North East,” Ed Milliband told a TV interviewer. “It’s a miracle that they didn’t want to take over the whole country – they still could.” Milliband cited the government’s withdrawal of funding to the United Nations Intelligence Task Force (UNIT) – the globe’s top anti-alien invasion experts – and the subsequent disbanding of its UK arm, as being the key factor in allowing the alien invasion. “It left us wide open,” said the Labour leader. “Without UNIT we had no early warning, no high tech weapons and no expertise with which to counter these invaders.”  The government has countered these accusations by pointing out that the decline in the UK’s alien defences had begun under a Labour government in the late 1970s. “I won’t be lectured on this subject by the party that undermined our defences against the Mysterons by disbanding Spectrum and scrapping Cloudbase in their own defences cuts in 1977,” Cameron taunted the Labour leader. “Whilst their cuts were simply a desperate attempt to balance the budget, our withdrawal from UNIT was part of a wider policy review and the judgement that communication and co-operation represented a better policy toward extra-terrestrials than confrontation.”

Most experts agree that the government’s change of alien relations policy was made easier by the recent death of UNIT’s former UK military commander, Brigadier (Retired) Lethbridge-Stewart, who had tirelessly warned of the threat posed by invaders from outer space since his retirement. “There’s no doubt that without Letbridge-Stewart to champion the cause, the public’s perception of alien invasion as a threat has faded,” admits Tom Bollicker. “Before the last election, polls showed that voters rated alien defences as a lower spending priority than health, education or even subsidising one-legged lesbians in Lambeth.” Nonetheless, in spite of criticisms of the implementation of alien governance in the North East, the government is already looking to extend the scheme, with tentative plans to lease the whole of Merseyside to spider creatures from Arcturus. “Apparently they’re planning to utilise the unemployed as organ farms and turn local schools in ‘re-education centres’, to properly indoctrinate the youth of the area into the ways of the arachnids,” says Pickles. “It’s just what people in this notoriously deprived region need – proper training and a sense of purpose. Really, it’s the way ahead.”