Politicians demand mental health leave.

Politicians throughout the world are demanding fully-paid mental health leave after learning that they cannot attend the Tokyo Olympic Games and Paralympic Games due to COVID-19 restrictions. Politicians are distraught that they cannot enjoy free holidays to attend the games, as strict bio-security protocols restrict entry into Japan of non-essential personnel.

Politicians the world over are demanding at least one month paid mental health leave to recover from the distressing news that they cannot enjoy the quadrennial junket.

“Politicians need support and understanding at this difficult time,” read a statement form the International Organisation for Politicians (IOP).

“Their worlds have been turned upside down by the news that they cannot attend the Olympic Games or Paralympic Games and enjoy free travel, accommodation, dining and tickets to witness the world’s best athletes. This is a very trying time for politicians and they ask for their subjects’ understanding and support in this hour of need. That support includes paid mental health leave.”

The IOP explained that the Olympic Games are not just a free holiday for the world’s leaders, but a rare and important branding exercise.

“Only every four years (in this case five) do politicians enjoy such an opportunity to bolster their personal brand in such a manner. Only every four years can they photograph and associate themselves with the world’s greatest athletes in order to raise their own standing in the eyes of the public – whether the athletes like it or not.”

“Only every four years can politicians align their brand with principles of dedication, perseverance, sacrifice, discipline, honesty, teamwork and success. Consequently, politicians order their staff to seek out any photo opportunity with a gold medallist from their own country, or a respected athlete from any country. Political staff are also instructed to scour social media for all and any opportunity to like, tag or link to any athlete displaying the founding principles of the Olympic Games. Of course, social media links can be created from anywhere in the world, but a live photo opportunity with a newly-minted national hero offers much greater benefits to the politician, and it is impossible to find so many elite athletes all in the one place except at an Olympic event.”

The IOP also explained that leaders will miss more than just the photo opportunities.

“Networking is another important role of the Olympic Games. IOC sponsors include some of the world’s largest and most wealthy corporations, and the games provide countless functions at which politicians can secure lucrative post-political consultancy roles.”

“Furthermore, they will miss out on the first-class flights and luxury accommodation. They will miss out on dining at the finest restaurants and being chaperoned from one glamorous function to the next during their stay. They will be denied the chance to feel important, and to collect an assortment of gift bags containing so much swag they need another taxpayer-funded jet just to carry it all home.”

The Australian government will help pay for your next bicycle.

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The Australian government will contribute to the cost of a ‘Therapy Bike’ for Australian citizens in a push to improve the health of the nation.

The government announced the ‘Therapy Bike’ scheme during its campaign for the federal election, to be held on May 18, and boasted of the anticipated benefits of the new policy.

“The Therapy Bike policy is a major breakthrough for Australia,” boasted a government spokesperson.

“This exciting new initiative will allow every Australian to receive funding to help them purchase a bicycle, because bicycles have been proven to improve people’s physical, mental and emotional health.”

The scheme allows Australian citizens, of any age, to apply for a percentage of the total cost of a bicycle. Applications can be submitted for road bikes, mountain bikes, children’s or adult bikes – in fact any form of bicycle- and citizens will receive the funds once their application has been approved.

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The beaming spokesperson then outlined the motivation for the scheme in greater detail.

“There are so many reasons that we are proud to announce the Therapy Bike policy.”

“Regular use of a bicycle is known to increase outdoor exercise, improve one’s physical health, decrease peoples’ reliance on medication, reduce anxiety and stress, decrease levels of cholesterol and high blood pressure, increase enthusiasm and emotional well being, delay the ageing process and reduce the risk factors of heart disease, which is still Australia’s #1 killer.”

“Of course, this is on top if the other benefits of cycling, such as improved air quality and less pollution, less congestion and traffic, less road building and destruction of the natural environment and quieter, more peaceful urban spaces.”

The majority of Australians welcomed the scheme on social media, but some reminded the government that the initiative will only succeed if a network of bicycle paths is built throughout the country, to allow people to ride safely, especially those who ride to work.

Other respondents also suggested making public transport more user friendly for cyclists, by adopting bike-friendly practices already in use in places such as the Netherlands, Canada and Taiwan.

Australians, meanwhile, were encouraged to start searching for a new bike and wait for the applications to be available following the federal election.