Swine flu is a most sinister pandemic. For start it’s transported the NI Civil Service into, well, a bad episode of The Man From Uncle.
The email below is currently circulating around Stormont. I think this email is about one paragraph away from Ilya Kuryakin leaping out of Del Floria’s Tailor Shop with his trousers on fire.
PREPARATIONS FOR POSSIBLE SWINE FLU PANDEMIC
The purpose of this note is to advise Members and staff of the preparations that are underway to deal with the possible implications of a swine flu pandemic.
An Emergency Planning Group, chaired by the Director General, has been established to co-ordinate the planning process that will seek to ensure the continuity of Parliamentary business within Parliament Buildings. The Group will liaise with internal and external stakeholders and will actively monitor this evolving situation.
Further information can be obtained from the Northern Ireland swine flu helpline number on 0800 0514 142.
This message has been issued by Postmaster on behalf of the Director of Resources.
So if I read the above properly, and I think I did, then the shadowy Emergency Planning Group chaired by the evil Director General is hatching an extremely cruel and dastardly plot to destroy democracy in the West. And the The Postmaster is bagman for the whole evil plan and he’s working for ‘The Director of Resources’, a vicious underworld kingpin.That’s right, isn’t it?
Or put it another way… what sort of f&^£%^£g email is this to send anyone? Did a random phrase generator just get internet access? No human being could have written that message.
I was completely comfortable about swine flu until I read this email. So to recap – planning is underway because the whole ‘continuity of Parliamentary Business within Parliamentary Buildings’ is under threat. It must be, or why would there be planning to ensure its, er, continuity? Fess up NICS, has THRUSH stolen a lorryload of nuclear weapons and is holding the world to ransom or not? Be honest this time.
PS. When I read this email I found my internal monologue reading it in a strong German accent: ‘Ze purpose of zis email… etc’. I mean, the sheer plethora of titles and planning involved here definitely has a distinct Teutonic flavour. Well done, whoever authored this email – you’ve scared the sh*t right out of me. And I’ve just read it out the missus and I’ve scared her an ‘all.
So what is it? Is the continuity of Parliament and democracy in Northern Ireland under threat or not? Should I wake the kids and read this email out to them as well? Will there be a three-minute warning? Christ.