LONDON. The jury was sworn in this morning at the trial of the Passive Voice, a grammatical construction which is occused of commiting a string of crimes stretching back to the invention of the newspaper 400 years ago. The charges against The Voice were detailed at length this morning, ranging from murdering people who were murdered and stealing things that were stolen to beating up people who were beaten up and laundering money that was laundered.

There has been a lot of media hype surrounding the trial, the first of its kind since the infamous “subjunctive trials”, and the presiding judge, Donald Kelly, issued strict instructions to the jury. “You will all have some relationship to The Passive Voice”, he said at the start of the trial this morning. “You will all know about some things that are or have been done, but you must disregard them. I must ask you also to disregard the previous good work conducted by the defendant, and concentrate solely on the charges at hand”, he added – referring of course to the many achievments with which The Passive Voice is credited, such as people who were rescued, miracles that were performed and men who were created equal.

For his part, The Voice has always maintained his innocence. “They are making me a scapegoat”, he told the BBC in an interview given before his arrest last year. “When we don’t have the facts, it’s always the same - blame the Passive Voice. We’ve sleepwalked into a society that is willing to put a grammatical construction on trial in order to avoid blame and find closure. That’s as chilling as it is ridiculous.”

Critics of the prosecution have defended The Voice, insisting that the trial is the brainchild of literary scholars who want to remove the Passive Voice in order that the Active Voice might reassert it’s stronghold, leading to less unattributed bullshit in modern society. While denying involvment which the prosecution, the anti-Passive lobby make no secret of their dislike. “The Passive Voice is responsbile for too much uncertainty”, explained Mitchell Webb from Citizens For Increased Use Of The Active Voice. “With the Passive out of the way, the Active voice will let us know exactly who did what at every time, and that will lead to a fairer society”.