In a startling response to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s assertion that the UK’s independent nuclear deterrent is no longer deterring anyone from attacking the country, the government has announced plans to deploy it against a major British city. “We haven’t yet decided whether the target will be Bradford or Birmingham, but we’re definitely going to deploy a nuclear weapon against one of these targets in a pre-emptive strike against Islamic extremists who are threatening our security,” junior Defence Minister Arliss Cockster told the BBC. “According to the Security Service, there has been a significant increase in the number of terror plots they’ve secretly thwarted – the perpetrators were exclusively Islamic terrorists originating in West Yorkshire and the West Midlands.” By wiping out one of these terrorist strongholds, Cockster argues, not only will the government be directly eliminating a grave threat against the UK’s security, but will also be deterring further attacks. “By deploying the nuclear option we’ll be sending a clear message to these terrorist wallahs: attack Britain and we’ll wipe you out!” he declared during an interview on the BBC’s News at Six. “We’ll see then if Mr Corbyn is right in his ludicrous claims that we can’t deter terrorism with nuclear weapons! I feel confident in predicting that we’ll see a complete end to Islamic terror plots in the UK after we’ve dropped the bomb on some of the bastards! Believe me, even the most ardent doubters will realise that Britain’s nuclear deterrent is worth every penny of the billions of pounds worth of tax payers money it costs.”

Not surprisingly, the government’s political opponents are aghast at Cockster’s plans. “It’s sheer bloody madness!” Labour Defence spokesperson Annie Owl told The Guardian. “By indiscriminately wiping out hundreds of thousands of British citizens – Muslim and non-Muslim alike – they’ll be doing the terrorists’ job for them!” Owl believes that there is a real danger that the use of nuclear weapons as an anti-terrorist deterrent could actually be counter-productive, encouraging terrorists to mount new attacks in the hope that the British government will wipe out more of its own cities in ‘retaliation’. “The only people this policy will terrorise will be the people of Britain,” Owl claimed, adding that she feared that the use of nuclear weapons could easily escalate beyond this initial anti-terror deployment. “I ask you, what will they target next in their vain attempts to convince everyone that our so-called independent nuclear deterrent is still relevant in this modern world of asymmetrical threats? Will we see warheads targeted at some grotty bedsit in Ealing next time a spotty teenage hacker compromises a secure government computer system?” Cockster has dismissed Owl’s concerns, claiming that this new policy is actually about adapting Britain’s nuclear deterrent to the concept of asymmetrical threats. “What could be more asymmetrical than responding to an alleged attempt to blow up a bus, or something, with a nuclear missile?” he opined. “If these bastards insist on bringing a suicide bombing to a nuclear exchange, then that’s their problem, not ours.”

For its part, the government seems enthused by the idea of widening the use of the nuclear deterrent. “If nothing else, it represents far better value for money,” Cockster told Channel Four News. “In the past, we’ve spent billions of pounds on something we never deployed – it just sat there, doing bugger all. By actually using it, we’re getting something for our money, at last.” If the anti-terror deployment is successful, the government is already drawing up a list of other viable targets for its Trident missiles. “Obviously, in an ideal world, we’d hope that our initial nuclear deployment would deter not just terrorists already in the UK, but would also make the majority of these economic migrants trying to get into the UK by nefarious means think twice about coming here,” he said. “But if their numbers don’t abate, then we’ve drawn up plans to deploy nuclear weapons against them directly.” Challenged as to how asylum seekers displaced from their own countries as the result of conflicts fuelled by Western military interventions could represent sufficient threat to the UK to justify using weapons of mass destruction against them, Cockster pointed out that, according to intelligence reports, many of them were actually undercover ISIS militants seeking to enter the UK and cause havoc. “Not only that, but I should think that the amount of welfare benefits the buggers are likely to claim if they manage to get here would mean that they constitute a grave economic threat to the UK,” he asserted. “Not to mention the jobs they would snatch from hard working Britons.”

Cockster revealed that the government had rejected out of hand calls from UKIP leader Nigel Farage to deploy the nuclear option against the refugee camp in Calais, from where hundreds of migrants daily attempted to illegally enter the UK. “The man’s clearly insane – Calais is clearly with French territorial borders. They have nuclear weapons of their own and would undoubtedly retaliate against Dover, or something,” he explained in an interview with ITN. “Our strategy is to try and deal with the problem closer to the source, with pre-emptive strikes against the Mediterranean coasts of Turkey, Lebanon and Syria with a view to destroying all the available boats that these migrants might use to try and cross to Europe. Coincidentally, none of these countries has nuclear weapons. So, as long as we avoid hitting Israel, we should be safe from catastrophic retaliations.”

Cockster has also intimated that the government could be considering using Britain’s nuclear arsenal as a deterrent to Scottish independence. “There’s no doubt that the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), with its calls for a new referendum on independence, represents a clear and present danger to the very existence of the United Kingdom,” he reportedly told Tory backbenchers at a recent meeting. “It has to be made clear to the SNP that if they try to break away, then we will have no hesitation in retaliating with a nuclear strike – if we can’t have Scotland, then neither can they.” The Minister has also suggested that a successful use of the nuclear deterrent against targets such as terrorists, separatists and migrants could enable huge cuts in spending on conventional forces. “If we can show our enemies that, unlike Mr Corbyn, we’re more than happy to ‘press the button’, no matter who is threatening us, then what need would we have for armies, war planes and ships?” he asked at a local constituency meeting. “That’s what Mr Corbyn doesn’t realise: all that reasonableness, compassion and regard for the sanctity of human life he has won’t scare anybody! They’ve got to think that you might just be bat shit crazy enough to go nuclear on their arses! And, by God, we are just that crazy!”