Let’s explore contact track and tracing UK Government officials

Brand new tin foil hat on, let’s simply and without comment, make a few contact observations regarding the proposed App to be deployed by………well that’s a matter of conjecture actually. Just to be clear, 5G doesn’t impact Covid19 in any way but it has been useful to allow the media to be swamped with conspiracy stories meaning that the real curiosities are harder to spot. Anyhow, here we go.

UK Health Minister has announced that a new app will be used to track and trace people displaying Covid 19 symptoms. This will be done by enabling Bluetooth on one’s phone and straight away that is a hugely dumb idea because it gives anyone with malicious intent within a certain radius of your phone complete access to everything on your phone and the ability to use your phone without your knowledge. But that isn’t the issue. Though it’s a slight concern that the UK Health Minister doesn’t appear to know this. BUt that’s not the curious thing.

The UK state does not have a great track record with IT. In fact it has a fucking appallingly wasteful track record and an equally appalling record of lying about it to tax payers. That is to say, “the system works” is repeated until someone finds out it doesn’t. So it’s no surprise that early reports from the trialling of this app “Wobbly” System fails to meet standards show that it’s not great. But that’s not too curious.

Last week (at date of writing, 05/05/20) the Health Secretary of the UK also granted, by means of statutory instrument, access for GCHQ (UK Intelligence) to any NHS or NHS related network or system. For reasons of cyber security. The Consent to Activities Related to the Security of NHS and Public Health Services Digital Systems (Coronavirus) Directions 2020

So that makes everything adorably legal. It’s quite a loose thing. But then the UK government has already granted Amazon access to medical records. So it’s no biggie. Alexa Advice Deal

Data in the tracing app, with the bizarre Bluetooth flaw, is, according to the UK Health Minister, anonymous. That can’t be true. I don’t say Mr Hancock is lying. I say he is studiedly and pragmatically informed. He hasn’t asked the obvious questions so no-one has told him so therefore he can honestly say, when confronted with the bleeding obvious, that he wasn’t told. Remember, it’s against the ‘rules’ for an MP to lie to another MP but a vital part of the cut and thrust of politics to tell the public something you would know to be untrue if you asked obvious and meaningful questions about it. As our current ‘prima inter pares’ and adulterer in chief Boris Johnson’s barrister established in quashing a charge of “Misconduct in Public Office”. Johnson V Westminster Magistrates Court

I know, I know. It’s a lot of links but the reading is interesting. But we’re not at the really curious thing yet. Anonymous data ? If it is data at all then it can’t be anonymous. And there must be a method of verifying any source or else within about 1 minute of ‘go live’ some 13 year old in a bedroom in eastern Europe or South East Asia could launch a primitive but effective denial of service attack. So it must verify that the responses pinging back and forth come from actual phones. So certainly not anonymous. But that’s not the curious bit.

No, the curious bit is that this app is in the hands of an executive agency called NHSX (The X stands for Xperience) (Because these things are staffed to the gills with exactly the sort of wanker who thinks that sounds cool) The CEO of which is Matthew Gould. This is where it gets good.

Those who follow the grand guignol of politics for reasons of morbid curiosity will remember that one of the scandals to interrupt the career of the wily Dr Liam Fox MP was when he had to resign from his position of Minister of Defence over secret meetings he’d had with a guy called Adam Werrity. Mr Werrity is a curious fish because at the time everyone in government said he was a chancer and Walter Mitty-ish guy. But a chancer with defence industry contacts nonetheless. It was a scandal. Dr Fox had to resign. But there was a 3rd person in these meetings. Our erstwhile former ambassador to Israel, Mr Matthew Gould. Adam Werrity

Now although this scandal was so bad the minister resigned, Mr Gould was cleared by the FCO. I make no comment on that. Perhaps there are plenty of occasions when, to take an entirely tangential example, the police raid a brothel and find people in a room snorting cocaine from a prostitutes breasts that the guy sat in the corner who says “I’m just taking notes” is found to have done nothing wrong.

Now let’s be clear. Mr Gould did nothing wrong. He was in the room yes. So at worst perhaps we can accuse him of lacking sound judgement. He was in the room. He knew, or at least ought to have known that it was at least unwise.  Like, say, someone with an enormous neck tattoo which says “Fuck You”. So I’m not entirely comfortable handing over access to my phone to an organisation run by someone like that.

Anyway, I’m returning to considering, philosophically, the Health Secretary’s concept of anonymous. Is a grave truly unmarked if the gravediggers know who they are burying ?

Don’t expect to see this stuff on the BBC. Their ‘reporters’ are pseudo senior civil servants who won’t report anything that might adversely effect their career. In the tangential example, they are the prostitutes from whose breasts cocaine is snorted.

If Shakespeare Had A Smartphone

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?


Thou art more lovely and more temperate:


Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,


And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:

Er, ok

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,



And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;



And every fair from fair sometime declines,



By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimm’d;

🍆🍆🍆 😂

But thy eternal summer shall not fade



Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;


Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,

U ok hun ?

When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st;

srsly ?

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

R U OK ?

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.


The return of Iggy Wimpole

So having spent a while marinating in what, in some cultures, might be called self pity I have returned to the safe ground of writing what I know. Which is basically me and jokes. Or at least humour. Ziggy Has Burgers – The wit and wisdom of ‘everyleader’ Iggy Wimpole

That is where I had got to. The latest is below. The ones I wrote at the same time as writing the stream of consciousness.

I like the latent story arc. The relationship with Clare, and Sheila. More than simply a massively under-qualified individual sounding off because the idea that someone by virtue of their position has something worth saying. It was an idea to create a sympathetic character and tell the story that he isn’t quite aware of. I write Iggy easily simply because it is me. Sort of. It’s what lies beneath the attempt at sophistication that I put on like an overcoat. Or onesie.

Sheila is a strong woman comfortable in her skin. Clare is an idealised woman but nonetheless a real person (I hope) Accepting of Iggy’s shortcomings but content with her partner. She is in part based on Barbara Goode from BBC TV’s The Goode Life. There were hints in the script that although at first sight she and Tom were an odd mix, he was kind and sincere and genuine which is why they were together. The unexplored area of their relationship was one of the fine subtextual things about the scripts. (Speaking as a technician)It explained why she simply accepted the move to self sufficiency. Clare is like that but isn’t her in any sense. I do not picture Felicity Kendall.  As for his dog David Walliams ? No idea where that came from. Anyway, here are the latest efforts, plus a new one intended for tomorrow. But I’m not sure since it deals with Iggy’s emotions. So if I publish here I can have a think once it’s in the concrete state. Which is what this blog is for.

Iggy Wimpole Returns
Soz, I ain’t blogged in ages and ages. I bin on jury duty. Sat in this court place listening to how this bloke got biffed in the gob with a cucumber by some other bloke who had the next door allotment and then put a load of me-knew-her all over his pansies. It was ace. I got a bit lost at times and if it was a film it would have been a bit long. Though I reckons it would be a good idea if they did it like the telly and had a break every 15 minutes so as you can have a widdle and a biscuit.
I was dead surprised when I got back to work cos Del-boy has taken retirement. Sheila is now the big boss. She says he jumped before he got pushed but I never ever ever saw Del-boy move. But I reckons this is good cos she said I was pivvy tull which I think is good cos she was smiling that smile like where she says she’s dead happy and delighted but her mouth doesn’t want to join in or summat cos the smile looks like that newsreader on Strictly. A bit stiff like what Clare says. David Walliams wags his tail with his body when he’s happy. Like when I take him in the car to get chips and battered sausage cos Clare is a veggie. She says she’s going to be vegan. So me and David Walliams is going to be eating in the car tons. Don’t tell Clare.
Anyways, Sheila says, when I comes back from the courts place, that she wanted me to review our “Business Continuity Plan”. So I read it. Then when we had the meeting and she says “now your review of our continuity plan Iggy ?” I says “It’s a bit dull and there’s no story but the tables is nice and neat. 2 stars from me but I’ll try it again on DVD” and she sighed. I reckons if David Walliams had been in the meeting she would have looked at him like Clare does. Clare got me an Alexa for Christmas which is ace. She said it was for if I have some questions when soaps is on. But not to ask for stuff. Which is why I know what vegan is cos Alexa told me and why me and David Walliams are going to be getting chips and battered sausage loads. Don’t tell Clare.
We is moving into a new year full of confidence that the stuff which is behind us will still be behind us the further we gets. The stuff what is up ahead will get closer the nearer we gets until it is behind us and it will all be a great big challenge. But as long as no-one bifs anyone with a cucumber or puts me-knew-her on anyone’s pansies we will be ace. So do more, only quicker.
Iggy Wimpole’s Leadership Blog
Anyways so I’m back to business as usual as Trisha says in a voice of the balls voice. Trisha is dead nice right up til she’s not. Then she gets snippy with staff which I think is just not on. That’s what my gran says to me if I was naughty. (Years ago not now lol) But I probs shouldn’t say too much. But she’s a maungy horror in tellykits. I just sits there with my fruit shoot and twix thinking “shurrup they only told you the answer to your question. And it was a pretty good sounding answer. You should be more like Xander” cos Sheila says these tellykits is Pointless. Which I think is right cos everyone tries to find the answer no-one can think of. Sheila sent me a skypey thing to say I should mention that I been talking colleges and people. But I haven’t talked to no colleges. And not all the people I talk to are worth listening to. And I’ve only just stopped saying that out loud. But anyway, if I says I been talking to colleges throughout the cluster and listening which was underlined on the skypey thing then we can all agree that me saying I did it is 50% of me doing it. I says this to Clare about the hoovering and she says it isn’t but David Walliams gets dead scared of the hoover which is a dyson which Clare says in a voice of the balls voice when she’s on the phone. Anyway, David Walliams gets scared of the hoover and lonely if I puts him in the car while I hoover so it’s an issue alright. I learned to say that on the tellykits. Just so that people know you haven’t nodded off to sleep or gone for a widdle. “It’s an issue alright”. “I’ll look into it” is another tellykit pointless answer. (It’s a good one) but when I says “It’s an issue alright, I’ll look into it” to Clare about the hoovering she sighed and picked up David Walliams and said something in his earole and told me to get on with it. Which isn’t a businesslike way. I mean when change comes I can’t just give everyone a big cuddle and tell them it’s alright. I mean I could but Sheila told me that it would be wrong and “ you don’t need to become a seedy hashtag” but I don’t know what that means. I asked Alexa about seedy hashtags but I didn’t understand what she said. Summat about Love Island. I think. But hashtags is in Vogue. So do more only quicker. #Invogue #fishyface
Iggy Wimpole’s Leadership Blog
I am learning so much stuff from Alexa. Yesterday I found out about clothes what grow in churches, that a lady in one of the bossy directorates did not write a famous book and that some managers think they work in Castle Greyskull. That last one I learned from Sheila. But Sheila is sort of like Alexa. She knows everything. Anyway we was in a big meeting and Sheila who is a big boss was saying that some of the little bosses don’t do as they is told and start doing what they want. Then she says “they think they’re Masters of the Universe but they’re just village hall caretakers” and I think that would be ace. If I could just pick up my works iphone and say “by the power of Greyskull” and all the stats is done and David Walliams could come into work and be Battle Cat and Trisha would be Skeletor. But anyways. It would be ace. There was this lady from one of the bossy directorates which tells everyone how to do stuff even though they don’t do it, just goes around with those little cases on wheels being bossy. After the meeting she says to me “I’m staying in the Premier inn if you fancy a drink” and I says, “they only have them tiny kettles and teeny things of coffee and I’ve got a Dr Pepper in the fridge with my name on it to stop it getting pinched.” Then Sheila walks over and smiles at the lady but her mouth wasn’t joining in and they went off and had a chat and Sheila said some stuff to her which I didn’t know. So I asked Alexa. And Alexa said it was a famous writer but then Clare paused Emmerdale and says “why are you asking that?” and so I told her and she says “good old Sheila” and then says “I’m sure that woman didn’t push you. I think pushy means something else sometimes and yes Trollope wrote a lot of books Iggy.” I think Clare is going to fall out with Alexa because I’m getting dead clever. Like we was in Aldi because I left my vest at the gym again. So we bought a 5 pack and Clare got one of those special pens to write my name in the back. “Vests don’t grow on trees Iggy” she says. Anyway when we got home she went for a run and I asked Alexa. And when Clare got home and we was sat watching Pointless I says “you were wrong. I knows clothes grows in churches” and Clare looked at David Walliams and says “I’m all ears, what do you mean ?” and I says “well I asked Alexa and she says that a Vest Tree is part of a church so there and Alexa doesn’t make stuff up.” And Clare sighed and looked at David Walliams. Anyway she got the special pen for writing my name in my vests and has wrote on my new vests “If you can read this you’re too close to my husband”. Which is weird.
Anyway, remember to talk to colleges and co-eloborate on stuff. Be nice not rubbish. Maybe eat less move more too which is wellbeing. And do more only quicker
Iggy Wimpole’s Leadership Blog
Boo, got to go training. Not the good training like football or like the fancy dancing me and Clare does. No this is for big little bosses like me who gets to choose people on the panels. And it’s not even like when I trained David Walliams to roll over. No-one is going to be giving me a Wotsit every time I gets it right. People is asking me what my secret is and I don’t have no secrets except about custard making me cry. I just remembers all the stuff you is supposed to say, never say nothing you think and don’t believe in nothing too hard. Because when you do the Polly Cee changes and it’s like my mum says. If the Polly Cee changes your face will stick like that. Except it was wind. But that’s it. So all the big little bosses got to learn this new stuff. But I think it’s like when Alf got new kit for the football team. He’s not called Alf we just calls him that. I thought it was from the olden days when England won the world cup with Sir Alf who was the manager. And Alf is our manager. But I asked Trevor and he says “No it’s cos he’s 4 foot seven, has a big nose and is very hairy.” Anyways We was not playing very well so Alf got us kit like Barcelona. But Alan and Trevor still had to be poorly by the corner flag cos of dirty beer the night before et set er ah. So we wasn;t Barcelona. Just had the kit. But that’s good too.
You also has to remember to say the right things not the wrong things. Like when I was on the tellykits and Trisha was in Blackpool, or Liverpool or Grimsby or one of them places and being dead mean to the little bosses. I didn’t say “that’s just dobby headed monkey water” to her like I used to in school cos it’s not swearing but it is in my head. No. I didn’t say that. I just stands up and all the time she was talking I did the Floss. I like dancing and when me and Clare goes fancy dancing our teacher Mrs Cosgrove says Clare got 2 left feet and I’ve got latin hips. Don’t know what that is but I have fun even if Clare calls me Billy Elliott all the way home. I asked Alexa what Latin is and she tells me it’s a dead old language. Don’t know what my hips might be saying. Maybe they says what my mouth doesn’t want to. As long as it not about custard that’s alright.
So I will go and get trained. We should all think of good ideas and do good stuff but don’t do your own stuff do the stuff what works. Be nice not rubbish and do more only quicker.

Iggy Wimpole’s Leadership Blog

Oh blimey. I got spoken to. Sheila came to my office with her arms folded and everything. She says “Iggy, you did’t mention Christma” and then she says I should have said “hope you all had a great time with your family and that.” But I says to Sheila that not everyone would have had a good Xmas cos Xmas is what you say to people who don;t do Christmas. And she says “nonetheless” and I says that Kenneth over the road from us but 2 up had a really horrible Xmas cos his gall bladder went PHUT on Xmas eve and he lives alone and he phoned the ambliance but couldn’t get to the door so the police came and broke it down. So me and Clare and the neighbours all went to help. And Clare was in her unicron onesie and running shoes and the police wouldn’t let us near and she looks in Kenneth’s Kia window and says “look at my hair” and I puts her hood up and she says”Not helping Iggy” and then I look round and we left our front door open. Then I looks back and sees this tail going into Kenneth’s. So I steps forward but the policeman says “Where do you think you’re going ?” and I says “David Walliams has just gone in Kenneth’s” and he says “How much have you had to drink?” but Clare tells him that David Walliams is our dog. But it was okay cos David Walliams came out with the stretcher. And that’s why I didn’t say nothing about Xmas which is what I told Sheila and she said “Okay” but like she wasn’t really interested. Then she told me I have to tell the custard story because I mentioned it once and now people will wonder why custard upsets me, cos she saw me get upset when we had apple crumble. So here is why custard makes me sad.

When I was dead little I used to go to my Gran and Grandad’s and my Gran had a dog called Wilbur. He was named after my Gran’s brother who died when he was little. So when I knew I called him Uncle Wilbur. And she had him for ages and ages. Anyway when I was at college doing PE my gran had a thing called a stroke. And she was poorly for ages even when she came home and my grandad was poorly too. My gran used to say it was a lifetime of religious legs. Couldn’t walk past a pub on a Sunday. Which she used to say a lot. Anyway my Gran had to go to learn to talk again. So I used to get out of college and take her to the hospital. And they did loads of stuff which was dead good. Then one day we went and they brings out this bowl of custard. And my Gran still wasn’t talking good. Anyway they asked her to swish the custard round her mouth. To get it moving. And so I got a bowl too and started saying “Look Gran I’m eating custard and talking with my mouth full tell me to stop” and she sort of smiled but didn’t say nothing. Anyway, when I took her home and wheeled her into the house my Grandad was looking dead serious. And he says “Sorry love but Wilbur has passed away in his sleep” and my Gran sat there and and then said in a dead soft voice “Oh bugger”. My grandad says she never shut up after that. And it was a sad day but a happy day and Uncle Wilbur went to heaven and my gran said her first words. Which is why custard upsets me.

Anyway I hopes everyone who had a nice Xmas had a nice xmas and everyone else is glad it’s over. I hope everyone has a good weekend. Me and Clare and David Walliams is going to see my Gran in the home. I will talk to her and Clare will brush her hair but Gran will just make a fuss of David Walliams and call him Wilbur. Which is nice.

Everyone be nice not rubbish and do more only quicker.


SYttD is MotB Vs VBBM

There is a potential complaint to Ofcom to be written about the series Say Yes to the Dress. It purports to be about a woman finding her perfect wedding dress. But it isn’t really. No the real program is about the psycho-social conflict between Mother of the Bride (MotB), the Bride to Be (BtB), and the bride’s Very Bitchy Best Mate (VBBM) The drama unfolds with the poor bride being the the pivot point around which the conflict rages.  It is about 3 women looking to establish the trimmings for their perfect day.

Although the actual people change each week, rather like cage fighting, the rules of engagement remain the same. MotB is paying (sometimes via an off screen “Step-Dad”) and therefore feels justified in establishing that her say is the most important. However it is clear from her unchanging expression, that of someone trying to hold in a fart and a sneeze at the same time, that she hates the notion of marriage, her daughters friends, the groom to be and life in general. In contrast VBBM rolls in full of faux cheeriness and fake sincerity. She is invariably someone who though still shopping at Top Shop should have been visiting Bonmarche for some time. And knows this. And is therefore willing to vicariously inflict her body image issues on to BtB. BtB has her own issues. Not least the symbiotic toxicity of her friend and mother.

So BtB is taken away and tries a dress. MotB immediately goes for the safe ground of undermining her daughter;s confidence. Often it will be a simple, clipped “No. You look fat” and this is a cue for VBBM to go counterpoint and look at the uncertain BtB and say “It’s not you but you look pretty”. Begging the question, which 50% of that should BtB accept. BtB will then list the dress types she doesn’t want. Which will be all of ‘them. Then she will create a bizarre sounding hybrid that doesn’t and shouldn’t exist.

“I’d like a princess bodice with a fishtail lower half but empire line. High necked with cap sleeves” at which point the shop attendant practically drags her away having interpreted this, correctly, as a cry for help. Leaving VBBM and MotB shooting sideways glances and cut away pieces to camera about what a lovely girl BtB is.

BtB then reappears in a dress which suits her to a tee but which she hates. MotB picks up on this and says she loves it. She says that because her daughter doesn’t. This causes VBBM to go the other way and chip in with “You look pregnant”. There will then be a re-statement by MotB of who is paying. BtB looks crestfallen. And disappears. She reappears in a dress she loves. Again MotB perceives the harmonic from BtB and makes a lemon sucking face. “Ooh no look at your tummy” at which VBBM has had enough and says “This is supposed to be Kelly-Louise’s day” to which MotB responds with “I know it is and I’m not having her walking down the aisle looking like she’s 6 months gone. It will ruin my day”. There is then a short break while everyone cries.

BtB returns in a dress which has had some very minor alterations made by the attendant. Sections of the dress are held by hair grips, pins and masking tape.

BtB is on the verge of tears though this might be sheer emotional exhaustion. MotB decides to relent “Do you like it ?” VBBM stays silent but emits a vibe of “I can do this shit all night”. BtB replies she does and MotB with the very definition of faint praise says “Well that’s all that matters to me”. And that is one half.

But it is infinitely more subtle and nuanced than “Don’t Tell the Bride”. In this program grooms to be are handed the responsibility of planning the wedding and reveal themselves to be self indulgent, selfish dingbat simpletons. The BtB expresses a desire for a rustic country wedding at a bespoke boutique wedding venue in a rural idyll.

The groom to be blows 75% of the budget on the stag night before booking a bouncy castle on a naturist caravan park for the wedding. The bride, for the cameras, expresses that she loves him anyway and it wasn’t that bad. And the audience as one go “I give it 6 months”.

The Fake News Wot I Wrote

Seriously, when bored I create fake news. I don’t publish it. Until now. The first few are side-bar stories and the rest are simply headlines. Entirely fake. But I like playing with the the form.

Monty Don Reveals Secrets in Tell All Book

Tousled haired TV gardener Monty Don has revelaed in his upcoming autobography “A Life in Cords” that for 18months in the mid 70’s he played the role of Bungle in Rainbow. “I look back fondly at my time on set” he told reporters, “and Titchmarsh reminds me of Zippy”.

World Trade Advisors Admit Doubts

Advisors to the WTO admitted last night that economics is mostly made up. “It’s just astrology for wealthy people” said an unnamed source.

New Evidence Links Badgers to Bovine TB

Following a study by wildlife photographer Yorick Gustafsonsonsdottir it appears there is firm evidence for badgers spreading bovine TB. Yorick had set up a remote camera trap to record behaviour and captured images of 2 badgers riding past a heard of cows on a moped and one of them appears to spray a clear liquid at the cows in the footage.

Twitter Hoax Revealed

It has been revealed on Belgian television that Twitter is a hoax. The light entertainment show “Mmmm Wallooooon” revealed that it had staged the social media platform intending it to be a one off stunt but that it had got out of hand.

Claudia Winkleman chooses MOGO awards to ‘come out’

Strictly Come Dancing Presentrix Claudia Winkleman chose the moment she presented Ed Sheeran with a Lifetime acheivment award at the prestigious Music of Ginger Origin awards to reveal that she is actually a venetian blonde. Shirley Ballas was unavailable for comment. Tess Daly was available but……meh.


And those other headlines in brief………….


Bruna Estate To Sue Over “Urban Miffy”


Languid Penguin In Bus Queue Row


SMS Emergency Service Response Halted After “LOL” Fiasco


Inventor Of Aubergine Sues Emoji Maker


Man Cries Foul After Internet Typo Leaves Him With 48 Year old Milk


Quilted Muppet Ostracised By Cisfoam Puppets


Slimming Club Warns Against Yoghurt Coated Parsnip


Artist Claims “Traffic Cone on Bus Shelter” Is His Work


LGBTQ* Referendum Due On Lexit


New Film Glorifies Sugar Parents Warned


Kanye Announces Tour From Back of Gilded Ostrich


Denise Denies Shin-bone Connection


Kabaddi Star In Loose Women Rant


Dolphin Deletes Instagram Account After Porpoise Taunts


#Imfine Fails To Take Off


GPs Claim Sick People “Taking Up All Our Time”


Crimewatch Bicycle Theft Film Plagiarism Trial To Begin


Yarm Duck Quacks National Anthem To Order


Barrister To Take Action over “Costa or Starbucks?” Quip


Leominster To Unveil Bluetooth Horsetrough


Police Quiz Bingo Weasel Over Lotto Goose Theft


Crisps Linked To Dyslexia New Study Finds


Thieves Return Stolen Hairpiece


UK Ranked 5th By Foreigners


Duck Cries Fowl Over 3 Match Ban


Footballer On Trial Over Muller Lite Hotel Spree


Selfie Sticks Blamed For Rise in A&E Admissions


Dog Shaves Self


273 Year Old Letter Still Lost


Baffled Octopus Still on Waiting List for Op


“You’re Fired” Stunner at Kiln Opening


Fad Fad Just a Fad Says Expert


Police Quiz Shirty Ostrich Shock


New Grammar Schools for Syntax Dodgers


Digital Champion to Defend Title in Cardiff


Shouty Pensioner in Pigeon Row


“Percy Pig the only good thing about M&S” Geri Outburst Probed


Pith Balls Blamed for Rail Misery


Barnier Call For Hog Roast Tariff Talks


Archers Shula In Tipsy WhatsApp Outburst – “He Smelled of Goats”


ITV Apologises For Pre-Watershed Areola


Wilderspool – Fact or Fiction ?


Shisha Reduces Risk of Scrofula Claims Scientist


Zuckerberg Faces Congress Questions – Blocks Them and Refers To Admin


Squirrel Inherits 35% of Sussex


Survey Shows On-Line Shopping “Just as boring”


Police Seek Escaped Criminal (GSoH NS No Time Wasters)


UK To Become Latin American Post Brexit Warns Bloke


Judge Warns Sarcastic Shop Assistant “Expect Prison”


Teletubbies Wage Hike Increases Brexit Fears


Bristol Man Voted ‘Most appealing ex-milkman’


Tinder Probe Is Simply Euphemism Claims Bolton Woman


Britain Warned Mild Weather Front From Belgium Expected


Anger at Eurovision Dog Snub Tax Leak


Bag of Nuts Recalled By M&S In Percy Pig Sweetmeats Travesty


Pork Scratchings Made From Goose Beaks Shocker


Tupac Sighted In Hove


‘Isthmus’ Voted 15th Best Word


Mute Yellow Bear Love Rat Shock – Panda Tells All


Woman Denied Right To Marry Imaginary Friend


Piers Morgan Trolls Self In Twitter Outburst


Football Boss In Tunnock’s Frenzy Arrest


Online Fraudsters Target FitBits


Alexa To Fight Siri For All Belts In Vegas


Cowell’s Skirting Boards Damaged by Murs’ Snook Cocking


Womble to Plead Guilty In Love Island Trial


Haggis in Carpal Tunnel Link Shock


Survey Identifies 7 Real Facebook Accounts


Parenthood May Be Genetic Warn Scientists


Climate Change Blamed for 1D Break-up


Cat Sent Home From School For Being Cat Outrage




Ziggy Has Burgers – The wit and wisdom of ‘everyleader’ Iggy Wimpole

Author’s note – I had the idea to play with the authorial voice and mock leadership blogs. I tried to imagine someone as simple as the blog voice often sounds, a ‘typical’ management type. But imbue them with an innocence instead of cynicism. I like it. At the end there are 2 pieces where I adopted a female voice as a coda. Iggy is based on 3 real people I encountered throughout my career. And yes, of course one of them is me.

Iggy Wimpole’s Leadership Blog

I bin onna train. It tuk ages.  Then we went to the pictures an I had a ice creem. It was a bit dark then it went really dark then the screen came on an lots of peepull was runnin everywhere and stuff and shoutin. Then sum music kem on and it was ded loud. DUM DUH-DUH-DUH-DUM DUM ACKA ACKA ACKA WAH WAH WAH. It wuz brill.

Also I bin to a quality conference. There was no music and no peepull runnin an shoutin. Just talkin. And on a big screen some pictures of graphs and stuff. We getting loads more graphs. Think we shud be mekkin graphs for a livin.

Had to right some words for mah blog. Del-boy says I got to or else. He’s such a lolly stick sniffer. He sez its engagement and stuff. An then he shows me this big graph. With mah name on it. An Julie’s and Doreen’s. An they got much bigger peeces of the pie. But that’s okay. I only like pie if its got beans wiv it.

I fink every won should do more of what they does. But quicker.




Iggy Wimpole’s Leadership Blog

Bin  a bit tuff. I  add to bury the dog. He wasn’t ded but he’d bin going on the rug so I thought just put him in a big plant pot up to his neck and it’d learn him. My wife sez this is crewl. But I put the plant pot on my skateboard so I could pull him around but she sez it was “Inhumane”. Whatever that is. So he’s add a baff and everything. And I’m in the conservatory. On the naughty step. But it made me fink. I like to fink. I bin finking about the my werk phone. Del-boy sez it’s got Joyce Recognition so my blog should be easy peas. But I don’t know any Joyce. Apart from the lady in Shoeburyness. With the hair what looks like a hat. But anyways, I can talk into my phone and the words appear. It’s magic even if I look a right prannyspong on the train.

Me and Sheila and Janice been talking about harassment. And about inclusion. I’m not sure what this is but it’s dead important not to say bazongas. So don’t say bazongas. I was talking to staff this week and I says to this nice lady “What’s your name?” and she says “Aisha” and so I think “I can be dead inclusive” so I says to her “So how often do you go to mosque then?” and she looks at me a bit funny and says “Not that often, I’m Hindu” and everyone laughed. So that’s leadership right there innit. Making people dead happy. So let’s all do that stuff we do. But more of it and quicker.


Sheila can you type this up sorry can I just get my skooter cos this is my stop Sheila that wasn’t for you no sir I know you don’t look like a Sheila I was talking to my phone but I don’t know how to turn this off but Sheila can you type this up and make sure it’s spelled proper and everything

Iggy Wimpole’s Leadership Blog

People bin axeing me what my dog’s called. They also wondered how I’m married. Me too. I met my wife in Aldi rummaging through odd sized crocs. I liked her a lot. Really pretty.  And then she said to me “my face is up here” and that was that. I still don’t know what she meant by it. My dog is called David Walliams.

David Walliams is a lovely dog. I take him most places. We took him to a fare last summer. He had a hot dog, and then I dropped mine so he had that too then I dropped my ice cream and he ate that and then I dropped my candy floss and he ate that. Then we went on a roundabout. Then he was sick. My wife said he had a weak stomach but it looked like he was chucking it as far as he could.

Been finkin about summat  Del-boy said to me. He reads books and stuff. Dead clever. He said “Iggy, never forget leadership is Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre”. An I spose he means look where you’ve been wenting, tell people to get ready and then do summat. An I reckons doin stuff is important. Like my gran. My gran was always doin summat. Foldin vests mostly. And knitting. But she was happy and lived for ages.

I was looking at all the blogs there are on the intranet. And I reckons I could be dead popular if I wrote a blog called “My dog’s a robot and got autism” but apparently I can’t do that. And David Walliams doesn’t have autism. My brother Ziggy does. He reads a lot and is dead clever like Del-boy. Ziggy has burgers or summat. My mum says I’m me but she loves me anyway and if I’m honest I’m not sure what’s going on half the time. But when Sheila interviewed me I remembered everything Barbara wrote on me form. I reckons everybody knows someone with the autism even if you don’t know. I also think everybody knows someone who is a robot too. But my wife just sighs and looks at David Walliams when I say stuff like that.

Anyway, I’ve got to take David Walliams to the shops for kitchen roll cos he’s ripped it all up again. He might walk, or he might sit in his plant pot on the skateboard cos he likes that now. Remember, Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre. Make sure you’re always folding a vest. And do more, only quicker.




Sheila type this up neat and spelled right but leave the stuff off the bottom can I say bottom now ? but anyway I looked a right prannyspong so just type it up


Iggy Wimpole’s Leadership Blog


I call my dog David Walliams because he looks like him and I like him. My dog David Walliams hasn’t written any books though. Had a big meeting. Del-boy was there. I call him Del-boy cos his name is Rodney. And I was messing with my phone and my wife texts me to say the dog has gone on next door’s lawn again and I laughed cos I hate Alex and his High-undies parked all skew whiff. So I laughed and everyone looked at me. So I says, “It’s okay it’s just David Walliams has pooed on next doors lawn.” And it went dead quiet for a really really long time. Then Del-boy says “So anyway” which is what he says a lot after I says something.

We was talking about making the internet better and more important. By being on it and being good. Which is good because I like the internet. I’ve just put a vid of David Walliams in his plant pot on YouTube. People say it’s not proper. But I think it’s like the world. But the world in the olden times cos there’s executions and dancing bears and chickens fighting and cartoons and ladies with no vests and stuff. I says this to my wife and she says “They didn’t have cartoons in the olden days” but I says “Yes they did I did the biro tapas tree at school and drew a dead good picture of it.” She couldn’t say nothing to that. Just sort of sighed and looked at David Walliams. What gets me is that they was making this fuss about Tom and Jerry because of the lady who stands on the chair screaming “Thomas, Thomas” which I thought was dead sad because it was her house and her cat. What’s the big deal ? But anyway I’ve got to go and talk more about Edith’s tent poles. I hope I don’t have to talk actually. Just listen and nod and say “But you signed up to it” which is what Sheila has written on my cuff.




Shelia I’m dead serious cos all these bits on the bottom of my blogs are making people think I am not a serious leader and stuff can you just type it up and I’ll buy you some chocolate limes and an extension cord for your desk fan. Please please pretty please


Iggy Wimpole’s Leadership Blog


Weekend. Me and Mrs Wimpole and David Walliams my dog are going to a country house. When I say Mrs Wimpole I mean my wife not my mum. Though my mum could come too but she goes to Morrisons and she and my dad have what he calls a whoops sticker buffet for tea. I’ll be glad to be not at work. I got a right telling off from Janice. Well, she talked to me for ages and ages with a dead serious face. See I said something about LGBT* which I used to think was a type of sandwich and I said to some staff that no matter where you are on that spectrum you should be proud of who you are. And then Janice phoned Sheila and Janice talked to me and called me by my Sunday name which is how I know I was in trouble cos she said “Ignatius” and she told me not to call LGBT* a spectrum because that’s for autism. Which I know because my brother Ziggy has burgers. I’m dead jealous of Ziggy. I always ask my mum, “Why is my brother called after a David Bowie song and I’m called after a sneeze” Cos if I’m honest I’d rather be called Les for Les Dance or Ch-ch-ch-changes Wimpole. Not Lady Grinning Soul Wimpole though cos I’d sound like a racehorse. So Janice told me that I should be more aware. But I reckons that it’s none of my beeswax. I mean I don’t not like someone for liking cats not dogs. And if my mum wanted to be my dad then that’d be okay. She’d still be my mum. Just my dad. But Janice said that “you must understand that those of us” and went on and on and on and I says “well done for winning” and she says “what ?” and I says “well if you are telling me for all the LGBT* people then did you win a vote” ?” and she looked at her shoes and then said “yes because we all meet on a Sunday for fish and chips” and I says “no you don’t because Trevor my next door but 1 doesn’t go out on a Sunday he washes the car and talks to Graeme his husband and they both come out to stroke David Walliams” and she just sighed. But anyways it’s not a spectrum. And Janice isn’t queen of the lesbians, apparently. Even if she acts like it. She’s such a maungey horror. But she’s a maungey horror because she says daft things not because she has a wife. I have a wife.

Had to talk to Del-boy about my career development. He said “career development” in a really funny way like the voice of the balls on the lottery used to. I mean the voice of the balls never said “and now on Saturday night it’s time for career development” I just mean he said it like it was special and not just remembering loads of stuff to say in an interview about what we have done especially the stuff we haven’t done but would have if we were better. Sheila says it’s like a bedtime story for bosses so they can sleep better thinking there’s a bunch of elves who do all the good stuff. But Del-boy says Sheila is cylindrical and passionate aggressive or summat. And he looks over his glasses at me and says dead quietly “just look at you for one thing” which seemed to cheer him up no end. He told me to do more “engagement and inclusion” and I says “But I haven’t said bazongas in ages not even to myself” and he says ”talk to your teams” and I says “I do all the time and sit on the tellykits saying ‘overarching’ as much as possible or anything else Sheila tells me.” And he says yes but look at what #TeamWCA are doing” and shows me this poster and I says “that’s a bit harsh innit?” and he says “EveryoneCounts is a great idea” and I says “Oh, counts ” but he started talking really quickly. So I asks him why everyone is doing hashtags and he says “It’s in vogue” and I thought that’s a bit rum cos my wife reads Vogue and all I ever see is ladies sucking in their cheeks doing fishfyace and it’s got smelly pages that make David Walliams sneeze.

So have a great weekend. Everybody should be proud of themselves for being themselves. Except the rubbish people who are mean. And next week we should all do more, just quicker #fishyface #itsinvogue



Sheila I knows you are going to type this bit up aren’t you ? Is it because you are passionate aggressive and cylindrical ?



Iggy Wimpole’s Leadership Blog

Had an interesting weekend. Went to a country house with my wife and my dog David Walliams. My wife is called Claire. Got into trouble cos David Walliams chased a goose then some geese chased David Walliams and he hid in a bush for ages. My brother Ziggy and his wife Joooolie was there too with their dog Andrew  and the twins Reg and Dwight. My brother is a chemist. He dunt sell beechams powders and nit shampoo and johnnies he works in a la borrow tree. He invented a blue that goes into icing on cakes. He’s dead clever. Was dead worried about Claire’s birthday. I dunt know what to get. I asked Sheila cos she’s a woman and Sheila says “what about a sponsored silence in a barn somewhere but keep it a secret and only tell Claire when it’s done.” But I can’t wrap that up in paper with a little tag that has tons of x’s on it. So I asked Del-boy and he says “try some frilly pants and a slap up meal” but Claire dunt like frills on her jeans. Well, she has jeans and leggings and summat called jeggings which I think is dead clever. And she dunt eat slap up meals cos she’s training for a big run and also is a veggie. So I thought cos she has big meetings at her works too like me that she’d like some of them pull-ups for grown ups cos I hate it when I’m on the tellykits and I’m bursting for a widdle but they’s going on and on and on for ages so you just says “I can take that on board Megan” just so’s you can have a widdle and end up having to talk to loads of people called Pee Argh and they is all called names with J like Jeremy or Jamelia or Jamiroquai or summat. But when the ad came on telly and I says “cor they look good for big meetings and in the car and stuff” she just sighed and looked at David Walliams. So I’ve got her a big bottle of gin and a unicorn onesie. Cos she likes gin and I think she’s like a unicorn. Dead special. When we got home from the country house me and Ziggy was talking in the garden and Andrew sat in David Walliams’s plant pot so they had a big doggy row and then Reg and Dwight started crying and we shouted for Claire and Jooolie but they sticks their head out of the conservatory and says “Sorry boys but it’s ten past wine o’clock” and me and Ziggy looked at our watches and it looked like twenty past 5. Women. They is a mystery. I think if I could find out the rules to hop scotch and bally against the wally then I’d be a feminist like Janice and Sheila and Joooolie and Claire. But they never tells. I think they think it would be cheating. Anyways, have a big week. Do more, only quicker.


Sheila. If you is going to type this bit up then I am going to be really mad. As mad as David Walliams when Andrew sat in his plant pot.


Iggy Wimpole’s Leadership Blog

Cancer is rubbish. It just is. Everybody gets dead sad and the person who gets it gets dead ill. And the medicine is as bad as the illness. It’s all rubbish. Apart from when me and David Walliams got dressed in pink and did a run for Claire’s mum. Claire is Mrs Wimpole but not my mum. Which is weird. When we first got married I spent ages and ages wondering why the bank was writing to my mum at our house. Anyways me and Claire and David Walliams were dressed up in pink and ran for ages. It was dead easy. Then we took a picture and I tried to get David Walliams to do the Mobot but dogs arms don’t work for the Mobot. Which is why you never see greyhounds doing it I suppose. Had a meeting with Del-boy about the new agreement for staff hours.  Del-boy says “we need to be all on the same page” and I says “what’s the book though” and he looks at me for ages then says “we need to be a team and be flexible” and I says “is that the flexible where someone can put  their ankles behind their lug’oles or the flexible where they does what we tells them” and he looks over his glasses at me and says “the second one”. Then he says I have to talk to the “Trades Union” but said it with his voice of the balls voice. So I knows it was dead serious. So I had a meeting with a bloke called Tony and a woman called  Tabitha who had green hair and a tattoo of Woody Woodpecker behind her ear. Sheila was there too. And Tony and Tabitha was talking and talking about how people are mad and sad cos they have to work late and I says “but you signed up to it” and Sheila nodded. And Tony says “but the collective agreement is very clear” and I says “no it’s not. Loads of dead clever people wrote it so you know it can’t be clear that’s not what we pay them people for” and then Sheila says “But nonetheless” and Tabitha says “I don’t think you understand the impact” and I says “Now listen here I am the one in the blue suit with brown shoes and pink shirt and mauve tie so I am the one to say we must all be flexible. And now I’ve said it there can’t be much more to be said is there ?” and they looked at each other. And Tony says “but my members have given up so much” and I says “we all have to be flexible and be a team about this so do as you’re told” and Sheila kicks me under the table and says “We want to avoid Mandation at all costs” and said ‘Mandation’ like she was saying “Izzy wizzy let’s get busy” or “abracadabra” or summat. And it went dead quiet. And so I says “look, Zaheer near me opens ‘til late. Says so in his window. I can buy a bag of wotsits at half past ten if I need to. 5 o’clock is afternoon” and Sheila says “but nonetheless” and Tony and Tabitha looked dead angry. Then I says “if I went to Zaheer’s shop at 25 to 7 and his sign says open til late in pink letters and he’s shut how would I get a bag of wotsits ? And if I don’t get the wotsits then David Walliams will start ripping up the kitchen roll again and that’s all rubbish. You have to think about the customer service” and Tabitha put her hand over her face and turned her head and her shoulders were going up and down and it looked like Woody Woodpecker was dancing so I started laughing too and Tony and Sheila both said “but nonetheless” and I think that was good way to end the meeting with people laughing. I know doing as you’re told and being flexible in the way you are supposed to be is rubbish sometimes. But it’s only a bit rubbish.

Anyway, try and do more quicker.



Sheila I still have a bruise on my leg from where you kicked me. Do I need to fill in a accident form ?


Iggy Wimpole’s Leadership Blog


Del-boy been in a really bad mood. Loadsa stuff is mekkin him angry. Too many aggro nymphs is one. He says there is a “great pre pond rinse” so I’m thinking it is summat to do with water.  He also says we needs to “get creative” and call stuff by different names to stop people moaning and whinging. He says “if the law requires a license to own a shotgun, let’s call it a bang bang stick and tell people there’s no law says we need a license” and I says “what you talking about Willis?” and he looks over his glasses and says “Focus Iggy”. So I shut up and looked serious and thought about Toy Story which is what you do to be serious.” He also then says summat about “Rolls Royce procedure being driven like a stolen VW Golf” but I don’t know what that was except Janice sacked someone and now they is unsacked. I did the appeal and said “robust guidance” loadsa times and then Jenny from legal comes into the meeting and says that person only got one leg so being off when it was snowing wasn’t that bad and I says “she came in to get sacked so she can get out so it’s not bad” but Jenny says “it is doofus” and I don’t what was doofus or why it was doofus but Jenny says it was then I says “But Jenny she was sat down” and Jenny says that she was in a wheelchair cos she broke her prophetic and I says “well how was I supposed to know that ?”  and she says “did you not read the file ?” and I says “sort of”. And she says “sort of is where the trouble starts”. So now when I do appeals I got to read the file at least once. Jenny is Chinese but from Gloucester. Like Ziggy’s friend Gregg who is Chinese but from Manchester. Gregg taught me Chinese. When Jenny comes in I says “Ni hao” and she nodded and then I remembers that funny film so I says “We are the knights who say Ni hao” just like in the film with the voice and everything and they all stops and looks at me. And Jenny laughs. and then she says “that’s Mandarin doofus” I don’t know what this doofus is but I reckons it must be a type of pudding if it’s got little bits of orange in it. Me and Claire had a duck once that had oranges in it though so you just can’t tell. Tasted like an orange toffee apple but with a duck in it. Been wondering about these aggro nymphs. Wonder whether they might be little fairies in the taps. I never thought fairies was real but if a big boss like Del-boy says he’s worried about fairies then we all should worry about them. Mebbee that’s what all them little sticky boxes is down for to catch. Anyways I got a file to read. Booooo. But if we all does more but quicker it will get much better soon. And watch out for aggro nymphs.
Sheila I put a fruit shoot and a twix in the fridge can you make sure no fairies take them ?

The Under Sufferance Blog of Sheila Massey-Ferguson


Inexplicably, or perhaps looking at society in general, entirely explicably Iggy Wimpole has been called to jury duty. So I’ve been lumbered. I’m certain sure that saying lumbered is deemed by someone somewhere as lacking the esprit de corps required these days but with 42 years service under my belt I am in no mood to pander. Time was, of course, that the desire to emote everywhere about how wonderful life in general and one’s job particularly is was confined to the break room or the ladies and was the sole province of people who one would jump from a moving train to avoid. All this boisterous enthusiasm can be wearying. Like working with a junior gym mistress unable to go 15 minutes without shrieking “Quick sticks gels” in the manner of Joyce Grenfell on Baroca. But I wouldn’t want anyone to think for a moment that I am not proud to work for our employer. No. As long as they think I am, they are happy.  As long as I look proud, then I might as well  be slaughtering cockerels under my desk. Time was the advice to junior staff was “always look busy” but it is a sign of the times that now it is “always look engaged”. I was saying as much to my other half Herbert the other evening shortly before turfing him out to return home to allow me to enjoy quality Kindle time to the sound of “Sailing By”. His name isn’t Herbert. I suppose it’s my pet name for him. As a much younger woman I learned that they are all Herberts. Which in these politically correct times may be regarded as sexist by some. Which goes to show, they are Herberts. This Herbert of mine is the 2nd this year. The earlier one met a sad end after I had, under the influence of rhubarb and ginger liquor had expressed, in frank and unusually robust language, a weakness for Mr Tom Hardy. Unfortunately Herbert took this as some sort of cue. The following Thursday he arrived at my door wearing a tall hat and long coat with fur collar, and very little else. What can one do ? Despite an overweening urge to simply set the dogs on him I turned instead to dratted popular culture and simply said, “Sorry Herbert but it’s a no from me”. And so he left. Sans chapeau. I have kept it as reminder of the importance of sobriety in company. So I turned to the internet for a replacement. And my goodness but it is filled with the most appalling people. Grubby looking types with the haircuts and dress sense of a 9 year old. But this current one responded well to a request for a photo of his fingernails with that days Evening Standard in frame for proof. And he also responded well to the stipulation of no more than 6 hours fraternisation a week. I mean to say, any more than that and one is simply tolerating a non-paying lodger.

Well, I should think that is more than enough over sharing for a first effort and should be enough to keep the dratted Rodney at bay. I am now supposed to say something improving, like the preacher when the television used to mercifully shutdown for the evening. So here goes. Always look as if you were happier, more productive and less homicidal than you actually are.


The Under Sufferance Blog of Sheila Massey-Ferguson


Oh my dears, is it really time for another of these insufferable things ? One would think that with the advances made by jolly clever but terribly dull types in IT on artificial intelligence that they could easily create a robot to write one of these dratted things. Improving homily coupled with the personal insight of a supermarket advert.

Of course, for those of us who have toiled down t’pit of our employer and it’s forerunners, the notion of the artificial is nothing new. We have all known colleagues who have progressed on the basis of much which was artificial. Their intelligence being little more than idle speculation. But one digresses and might be accused of being something of a female dog about these things. I have refused, even when off duty and in mufti to use certain words. The term for a female dog unless applied, literally, to a female dog is one. Another is feminist. At one time one would be regarded as a feminist simply for applying a firm slap to the inappropriately ‘handsy’ colleague on social occasions. Every office had one, almost like the annoyance equivalent to a first aider. And everyone knew who it was. Thankfully we have moved on from those days. Both in terms of the lurking Herbert ape, and the days when feminism was deemed an unholy combination of hemp, henna and hessian. I’ve read Dworkin and Greer and while I wouldn’t wish to share a railway carriage with either for longer than 5 minutes, I appreciate that we have evolved in societal terms. Language for example moves on and what was once acceptable becomes infra dig. I well remember Pippa Woolfson who, for simply eons, was known to all as ‘Woofter’ Woolfson. Nothing to do with her orientation. In the mists of time on a long forgotten Xmas ‘do’ and after altogether too much mascara thinners (gin) confessed at a volume which had no regard to her reputation or good manners, that she had been expelled from 6th form. It transpired through a thick veil of lachrymose sentiment that she had been on a school trip to Northern Italy and had had a tryst with an immigrant farmhand from what is now Croatia. Unfortunately Pippa, with an operatic flourish summarised this with the, quickly notorious, phrase “I was caught in flagrante with a Dalmation.” And therafter was known in certain precincts as “Woofter”. Of course that term has other uses, all equally unacceptable. And so in time Pippa’s nickname became, to apply the bard, more honoured in the breach than the observance. She retired to live a semi-sozzled, happy if slightly theatrical life on the South Coast with her husband who had made an absolute mint in surgical hose. That is, the manufacture and sale of, not simply prancing around in.

My dears, I must summon a little sanctimony and urge you to consider the feelings of those around you, even those of you who are eager to lurch from one artificial trauma to the next to fill the longueurs of whatever it is you do. We are better than we ever were. And if you believe that, you’ll believe anything.

No Prime Minister – Pilot Episode

[Cabinet Room, Downing Street. Giles Hawtrey, The prime minister of Her Majesty’s United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is seated alone. There is a knock at the door. It is Sir Harman Elliott, Cabinet Secretary]

HE: Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Employment and Social Security is on his way up. You wished to have me present for the meeting ?

GH: Yes, thank you. One is mindful of the need for a neutral arbiter. Or referee. Or witness.

HE: Prime Minister, I am naturally inclined to serve the interests of good government. Though I am less inclined to, metaphorically speaking, ‘hold your coat’.

GH:It’s not me. He’s the one with the chip on his shoulder. He’s the one who looks at me sat here and written across his humourless, gaunt face is “that should be me”.

HE: I cannot involve myself in the internal party politics.

[a telephone rings, Sir Harman answers]

Prime Minister, the Secretary of State is outside.

GH: Send him in. Let’s get this settled.

HE: [on the telephone] send him in.

[the door opens, in steps Roger Lespauvres SoS W&SS]

GH: Roger, good to see you. Thank you for making the time to see me. I know you must be so busy. At least I hope you are.

RL: Prime Minister, everything is as it should be. Lessons are learned everyday. Our journey is not yet complete.

GH: Let’s hope ‘our journey’ does not take us to receiving your new Supplementary Income Credit.

RL: SIC is well on course to meet the target dates.

GH: These are the reset target dates which were arrived at after pausing long enough to realise we;d spent 3 years building a computer system with the capacity and capability of a cardboard box. With the words ‘Real Time Data’ written in felt tip on the side ?

RL: You have brought me here to seek my resignation ?

GH: Oh no you don’t. This sinkhole of public funds is your responsibility, you will stay until the bitter end. Besides, the reason I have asked you here Roger, is my summit meeting in Brussels. I am trying to negotiate limits on economic migrants claiming benefits whilst trying to convince the great unwashed to stay in Europe. You are the most vocal Euro-sceptic. I’m not having you out there pissing in. We all piss out together.

RL: So what do you want ?

GH: Well, I am due to go to Brussels to ask for a reduction in out of work benefit for migrants. I will not get that. Because they’ve all paid their contributions.  But the deal which has been done, is to be able to cap in work benefits.

RL: There will be only one benefit when SIC rolls out. Eventually.

GH: Exactly. Now, the treasury have asked a question, and I don’t know the answer, and I’m sure you will. So be so kind as to tell me what the percentage of people claiming SIC who are employed is ?

RL: We cannot allow ourselves to get bogged down in the minutiae of cold statistics.

HE: I think the Prime Minister is simply wondering who is claiming what ?

RL: I think I should explain that the underlying principle of SIC is that benefit is benefit whether one works or not. It hardly matters whether someone is a part-time share fisherman in Stourbridge or a full-time loafer in Hull.

GH: You don’t know do you ?

RL: It’s not that I don’t know. I don’t wish to know. I don’t need to know.

GH: So you don’t know ?

RL: I do know that we continue to expand the coverage of SIC. Since we closed all the Jobcentres and moved to digital claim points on garage forecourts, we’ve seen an increase in claimants being dealt with under SIC.

GH: We will leave to one side, for the moment, how many of those might be the product of 15 year old hackers in a back bedroom, and concentrate, if we can, on how many people are in work and claiming SIC ?

RL: Not enough.

GH:You don’t know.

RL: The overall claimant count is…..

GH: That’s a ‘No’, isn’t it ?

RL: Yes.

GH: I see.

HE: You see, Secretary of State, I think the Prime Minister has in mind the fact that public opinion is a vacuum. Nature abhors a vacuum, so where it exists, nature sees to it that the vacuum is filled with whatever is nearest. Sometimes that is fact. Sometimes it is ahem, a little more subjective. It has been the time honoured role of the civil service to ensure that that which should not fill the vacuum is shielded behind that which might purely serve to fill the vacuum. Now the vacuum is labelled “Europe”. And I think the Prime Minister fears it is filling with ……..

GH: Hoards of benefit claimants from Freedonia……..

RL: Does that exist ? I thought it was a Marx Brothers thing….

GH: It is. Not that that will worry the electorate.

HE: I think perhaps the Prime Minister is concerned that politics has become a policy beauty contest and a show of hands on things people approve of. The British people have received, in the main, a state education. As a result they are unburdened with nuance. They wish to either like, or dislike something. They are uncomfortable with disliking something which is nonetheless ‘good governance’. Many of them do not approve of spending money on the military but fall over themselves to donate to charity for ex-soldiers. Ex-soldiers are heroes. Current soldiers, if overseas and not at home, drunk and committing acts of anti-social behaviour are heroes. But people do not wish to pay for heroes. They wish to praise them. Praise fills the vacuum. Funding does not.

RL: And what does this have to do with me ?

GH: You knew I would have to negotiate on in-work benefit. Out of work benefit is sealed off in treaties it would take decades to unpick. So you made damned sure we’d never be able to tell how many migrants are claiming. So I can’t announce that the deal is good.

HE: With respect Prime Minister, you may. It will fill the vacuum. No-one is concerned with what ‘good’ is. They are satisfied if it is said to be ‘good’. Nothing in the vacuum should be quantified.

GH: Harman, I’m signing off on a deal which amounts to insuring the economy against acts of God, the nature of which is to be decided by atheists.

HE: That, Prime Minister, is politics in a nutshell.

GH: Roger, you have turned the welfare state into the inside of Bobby Sands cell, and I can’t sack you, I can’t allow you to resign. This is like an Edwardian marriage.

RL: I have revolutionised welfare.

GH: Turned it upside down ? Yes. I will grant you that. So, that fact is, the leading Euro-sceptic in my cabinet is unable to to provide me with the data necessary to demonstrate a successful negotiation on the only thing I could actually negotiate ?

HE & RL: No Prime Minister.