John rose from his desk and
addressed his five office colleagues. Guys,
I want to say a few words. Ive been working
as a civil servant in this department for six
months and you are the most hard working,
dedicated and useful individuals that the people
of this country could wish to have serving them.
There was a puzzled silence
before Amanda spoke. Wed all say the
same thing about you, John, but why do you
mention this now?
John continued, Ive
got a confession. You see, Im not a civil
servant. Im an investigative journalist
with the BBC. I came here to expose incompetence
and waste of public money, but Ive found
none. Instead, youve become good friends
and I feel Ive deceived you all.
Harry broke the ensuing
silence. I feel as bad. I work for Channel
4. Im here for the same reason. I just wish
Id had Johns courage and told you
Tears welled in
Amandas eyes. Me too. I work for the
Guardian. It looks like the three of us have
tricked Peter and Gemma.
confessed Gemma, I work for the Times.
Peter sat in dejected
silence for a minute or more before speaking.
This is pretty bad, he finally
Were all so
sorry, John spoke for the group.
Its far worse
than you imagine. Im not an RE either.
answered Peter. I work for the Sun, but Im
not investigating incompetence and waste in
government departments. Im working on an
article about the prevalence of investigative
What do you mean?
I mean that this
office is not atypical. My paper has discovered
that undercover investigative journalists are
carrying out most jobs in this country. There are
two or three typists in Bolton who are just
typists, but thats about it.
When are you going to
break the story? John enquired.
Were not. There
was a meeting between the government and media
bosses and they agreed we had no choice but to
maintain things as they are.
Gemma looked curious.
Because if all the
investigative journalist left their undercover
positions, the economy would collapse. Also, even
if the economy was not destroyed, the employment
market could not absorb nearly fifteen million
This is a scandal
which should be investigated, screamed
Peter tried to calm her.
Some journalists from Channel Three are
investigating why there are so many journalists
investigating undercover journalism, but it wont
solve the fundamental problem.
What can we do?
The only answer,
concluded Peter, is for everyone to forget
the media they work for and carry on with their
current posts. Most, like ourselves, are doing
the work of REs better than REs ever did.
doing a proper job like this, said John.
Hounding innocent people and inventing
malicious lies about celebrities always seemed a
The five sat in silence for
some minutes and then, one by one, recommenced
their departmental duties.