• Jean Rafferty


MEMORANDUM May 2020 From: Human Resources Department To: Prime Minister

Dear Prime Minister, May I add my voice to the nation’s in congratulating you on the birth of your son. I’m sure little Wilfie will be a chip off the old block, a terrific addition to Team Boris, and what a joy for him to have the pleasure of living with you as he’s growing up. I trust your other children will be mature enough to welcome such a boon for him rather than being jealous - you know what sibling rivalry can be like.

Or rather, of course you don’t, not personally. I’m sure all your brothers and sisters are right behind you, even the one who resigned from politics over Brexit, and that rather loud Remoaner sister of yours.

Little Wilfie couldn’t have come at a better time for the country and I predict will consolidate your status as National Treasure, especially now that Harry and Meghan have taken baby Archie off to the colonies. It’s terribly important for the country to have leadership at a time like this and the 30 percent rise in your popularity ratings just goes to show, figures aren’t everything. Anyway, places like Belgium are doing much worse than we are - 684 deaths per million of the population while we only have 419. Pity the US has around half that but still, jolly good show, PM.

The general public are clearly looking for leadership. In times of crisis they need to feel safe and your miraculous recovery from the virus without even being on a ventilator has reinforced your position as a charismatic, even messianic leader - we should take a leaf out of the Chinese book and get people to have pictures of you in their living rooms. We in the department believe we need to build on the public's trust and mobilise our human resources into a properly organised citizen force.

With our plans for streamlining the NHS and the care home industry under way, we’re turning our attention to the future of the police force. It seems that in the future most crime will be online - some people are saying Jeff Bezos’ of Amazon’s amassing of $20 billion in the first 23 days of lockdown is criminal, har har, though I say more power to his elbow.

But with people being indoors from now on it means that we won’t really have much need of the traditional bobby. We will still have to have a visible presence for park patrols, of course. I do enjoy watching that in my local park. People’s mobile phones go flying and the little fillies practically jump out of their leggings when they see the police car coming towards them. Best of all is when they’re so engrossed in texting their spotty boyfriends that they don’t notice till the police car is right on them. You get some very funny expressions then, PM.

No, there’s very little for the boys in blue to do nowadays, except for the odd case of domestic violence, though who’s counting that? Apart from the lezzo feminists, of course. For the most part a volunteer force will do the business very well and this is where my modest proposal comes in. We’ve had over 200000 citizens reporting their neighbours for anti-social behaviour - in other words, for flouting the very sensible protective measures we’ve put in place. There’s huge public support for law and order measures, so let’s create a secret force of citizen spies. We could call them something like Double O-19.

You might think the new tracing app would be sufficient but, let’s face it, it’s only amateur stuff in comparison with what the boys at GCHQ can do. I see the so-called civil liberty wonks are already bleating about losing their human rights though most of them give their location away without a thought to Google or those route planning apps. Couldn’t do without it myself, though I do get a bit cross with that Alexa thing my sister gave me last Christmas. I have a feeling it doesn’t like me as it’s always telling me it doesn’t have things in my music library or can’t understand what I’m saying. Babs says she doesn’t like orders, that I’m supposed to say please and thank you, but why change the habit of a lifetime? You don’t ask underlings to do things, do you? - you give them orders.

In Singapore only 20 percent of people actually signed up to the app but that was enough to track most of the population. We know that the disposable generation, as we now call the over 70’s, don’t even have smartphones, but who cares about them anyway? They’ll all be safely quarantined in the prisons if the department can push it through. No, the snowflakes are well used to giving away their private details if they want to post selfies or pictures of their dinner. Especially in the old days when they chose their holiday destinations for how they looked on Instagram.

With Double O-19, we’d start by building on that first wave of civic-minded people who did the reporting. Their work would have to be clandestine, which would be right up the curtain twitchers’ street and would definitely appeal to the more gung ho types who’re prepared to be pro-active in snooping on their neighbours.

There’d be no point in creating a super badge for them, like we did with the health and care workers. But we’d give them little identity cards they could tuck away in inside pockets, and we’d set up a proper agent/handler system like they have in the Bond films. Maybe we’d even give them walkie-talkie sets so that they could exchange information if they were out on a recce.

The first 200000 people who filed reports would be given preference - I can see us having a lot of people applying to become agents, especially if we gave them discounts on drones and other technology. Much cheaper than actually paying wages. (Must remember to instruct my stockbroker to look at drone manufacturers‘ shares.) Most people already have smartphones and are used to filming their dogs humping the cushions or cats falling off beds, so we wouldn’t even have to do much in the way of a training programme.

It’s a lot of fun as a scheme, PM. I have a very attractive neighbour, well worth the watching - might even join up myself. Yours, Jeremy

Images courtesy of Pixabay