Gerbils killed a third of the population of Europe from the 1300s onwards, and pinned it on rats, we can exclusively reveal today.
Evidence suggests that the 14th century outbreak of the Black Death, which killed tens of millions of people, was mostly spread by migrating asiatic gerbils who then fitted black rats up for the job by leaving infected fleas and rat droppings at the scene of the crime.
“It’s a remarkable achievement”, said Helen Carter from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.
“Despite gerbils having wiped out a third of humanity, we spent the next seven centuries hunting rats wherever they were to be found whilst giving gerbils sunflower seeds and saying they were cute.”
“The sneaky, sneaky little bastards.”
“This was a display of Public Relations at its finest, long before we even had a term for it. We can learn a lot from the gerbils.”
In recognition of this achievement, the CIPR has given gerbils their 2015 Excellence Award for Public Relations success.
In the run-up to the election the Labour party has reportedly bought three gerbils, who they hope will help them blame the Iraq war and the 2008 economic crash on bankers, Tories, house buyers, Americans, and generally everyone except them.
“If a gerbil can’t do it, nobody can,” Ed Balls is reported to have said.