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Minutes of the MI5 recruitment panel.

F (CHAIRMAN): So, onto our next item: Recruitment. As you know, the Home Secretary Michael Howard has authorised…

B: Excuse me Mister Chairman…

F: Yes, what is it, B?

B: Blunkett. It’s Blunkett.

F: You mustn’t divulge your real identity, Geoff.

B: No, not me, the Home Secretary’s name is Blunkett, David Blunkett.

F: Yes that very well may be, but his official codename, you see, is “Michael Howard”. Mr “Howard” has given the green light for a thousand new recruits to the service and we have to decide just what kind of people we are looking for.

H: Well, we need people who are tough, for one thing. There are all sorts of psychopaths, borderline delusional zealots and suspect characters around…

F: Well, surely, they’re just the kind of people we ought to be looking for aren’t they?

B: But more than that we need, among others, a lot of Arabic, Urdu, Persian and Turkish speakers.

F: Good God. We won’t be able to understand a word they’re saying.

H: They’re translators, F. They speak English.

F: Ah! Well, thank heavens for that. I thought for a moment there that they would all be gabbling incomprehensibly and writing squiggly reports that were utter nonsense.

B: No, no, no. That wouldn’t do. That’s the job of MI6.

F: Absolutely… hold on… aren’t we MI6?

H: The question we’ve got to ask ourselves is, just how do we recruit a thousand Middle Eastern and North African language specialists.

B: Well, that’s quite simple, actually. In the present political climate, anyone speaking those languages with an interest in national and international affairs is already in the database.

F: So we’ll just round them up?

B: Precisely. We put out a Code Orange Panther Alert...

H: What’s that?

B: I don’t know, I just made it up. The point is we put the fear of God into everyone as an excuse to round up the recruits. It’ll save us a small fortune in advertising.

F: Excellent. MI5 recruitment is settled. Now, I have a meeting at MI6. Would that be next door?

Meeting Adjourned.

Leaked by sources close to: The Parliamentary News Service on March 09, 04 | 1:02 am

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