The people of Afghanistan have been celebrating in the streets as they regain a more liberal freedom. Counting is back on the menu after more than twenty years of the Taliban tally ban.
“I deeply love my goats but until this week I didn’t know how many I had,” explained Mahmud Ghazi, 48, a goatherd from Kabul.
All types of Statistics were outlawed under the strict Taliban regime, as the extremists saw keeping count of things to be yet another sign of western decadence, like shaving and the X Factor.
“Statistics are a bad thing, I believe,” declared Lavi Khaki, 26, a spokesman for the Taliban in exile. “Even your decadent Western Philosophers see how bad Statistics is … are. How to Lie with Statistics. Lays, Damned Lies and Statistics. I could go on. We in the Taliban know that the average Afghani has no need for Statistics of any kind. I can be 100% certain of this.”
When pushed to elucidate his findings Khaki recounted a survey amongst Taliban members who unanimously agreed to the tally ban. He compared Statistics to listening to Radio 1 – totally pointless.
“Even the Camels agreed with us, within a 2.5% margin,” he continued, “and 8 out of 10 bearded women refused to even take part in the survey so had to be beaten.”
However under the leadership of new premier Hamid Karzai things are about to change.
“The Taliban tally ban just doesn’t add up,” stated a spokesman for the new government. “So we have repealed all laws relating to the tally ban. After all what is a State without Statistics?”
The new approach received the full backing of General Ed McSquared, 52, for the US led coalition and from Mr. Ghazi the goatherd.
When questioned further Mr Ghazi let us in on an Afghan secret.
“We goatherds have our secret way of undermining the Taliban tally ban,” he said with a smug twinkle in his eye. “Although we were not allowed to count our goats there has never been a law against naming them! So every day I would go out into the field and shout out; Bob! Steve! Declan! Lance! And so on until I knew all of my goats were present, even though I didn’t know how many I had!”
Mr. Ghazi also explained that he was encouraged by US Marines to give the goats Western names as a further way of undermining the fundamentalist authorities.
“We once had a goat called George but it was quickly killed and eaten. Tough meat and tasted awful.”
Meanwhile David Cameron, the English Prime Minister, made clear that he had never eaten goat as that was for working class kids who don’t go to Eton.
“However all Etonians have an excellent background in Statistics which is why the English Cricket team do so well,” he continued.
Mr. Cameron later denied that he had ever taken the Public School course on Culinary Statistics, despite claims that he was an expert at cooking the books.