In a surprising announcement earlier today, the government conformed the sale of the Isle of Wight to Richard Branson.
Branson, the man who first felched forth Genesis on an unsuspecting public back in the 1950's is looking to turn the isle, just five miles off the English coast into a tax haven for the nations upper echelons. Bransons fortune is said to currently be estimated at some six hundred thousand billion pounds. Because of the vastness of his fortune Mr Branson is forced to pay the British inland revenue service a staggering 750 pounds and 34 pence per annum.
" It's a ridiculous situation ". said Branson from his private space station, currently in orbit over the 50 story Virgin® hyper mega monster store in the heart of Londons Oxford street. " I mean, what do they think I am, made of money ?. I worked hard to get where I am today, and I've given a lot back to this country over the years, Genesis, Record shops, Trains, Cola, Genesis... and yet the inland revenue still insist on bleeding me dry ".
In a secret deal between the ever grinning Branson and Charismatic smiley Prime Minister Tony Blairs, the ownership of the small island off the coast of Portsmouth was signed over to Bransons massive Virgin® company for an undisclosed sum.
Bransons initial plan was to rename the Island *The Vigin® Island* he was however thwarted in his attempts by the Virgin Islands who already owned the rights to all island related virginness. He now intends to rename the isle Bransonestopia and set up the capitol city of Richardston on the site currently occupied by Cowes.
Richard shall assume the position of the King and leave the day to day running of his new land to a government made up of some of his closest friends and headed up by Prime Minister Peter Gabriel.
Branston has some unusual ideas about the taxation of his new country's citizens, in his self penned manifesto Bransonestopia - A new beginning for a new Genesis he outlines the requirements that need to be met in order to enter his new Eden:
" Owning his own country has been one of Richards three great life long dreams, " we were told by his personal assistant Ms. Chelsea Bunn " His first and greatest dream was always to have more money than sense, and Mr Branson achieved this in 1944 when he made the princely sum of 25 pounds by selling some parachute silk on the black market. And his second dream is some ballooning thing, but we try not to mention that one too much, as it just gets him all over exicited, and then there's just no talking to him ".
The current residents of the isle are said to be less than happy with the new owner and his plans to relocate them all to another isle to make room for his wealthy cohorts. Mrs Edith Chivers, a 75 year old retired fish boner from Shanklin told ITV journalists that She was " Terrified to go out of the house alone ", since she encountered Branson and his demonic grin on her last trip to the post office.
" It was very frightning, " she sobbed " There I was just walking along to the post office to draw my pension, when that man suddenly jumped out of a wheelie bin in front of me. I thought I was going to have a heart attack, and all he did was stand there with that grin on his face, I'll never forget it, that grin, those teeth, those beady little eyes burning into my very soul. I've not been able to sleep since ".
It is rumoured that for many years Mr Branson has used some sort of hypno-vision to get want he wants, and Mrs Chivers claim would seem to give weight to such allegations. It has as yet been impossible to prove that Mr Branson has used his powers of hypnosis to obtain good or services, as it is claimed that when finished with a victim, Branson wipes their memory clean leaving only a trace element of affection for the bearded businessman and a craving for a Virgin® cola in the victims empty mind.
" I was just having a bit of fun with the old dear, " said Mr Branson when we asked him about the alleged incident
" I love old people, but I couldn't eat a whole one. No seriously though, my mothers an old person herself. C'mon look me in the eyes and tell me you believe her silly stories ". Sadly, we cannot remember his answer - it all goes a bit blank after that, but he's a smashing bloke though isn't he. I really admire what he's achieved, and his trains always run on time.. I'm a bit thirsty. I wonder where I could get hold of a can of Virgin® cola it's lovely, the taste of a new generation..... ".
Reporting for Richard Branson/ Virgin®/ The Moon.