Magazine article The Spectator

Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody

Magazine article The Spectator

Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody

Article excerpt

SUNDAY Most exciting day ever: had to activate the Early Warning System! First time it's been done! ! I knew as soon as I saw the headlines on grammar schools that I would have to do it. I panicked at first, but remembered my training.

I broke the glass on the Emergency Point and took out the Guidance Pack. The cover note said, 'You are reading this because a Negative Story has been in the news for five days. Stay calm and follow the procedures below. Above all: remain civil and compassionate.'

'1. Call Jed. In the event of Jed being unavailable call Sam, Francis or George B. DO NOT call Oliver, or any other Georges.

2. Divert all incoming switchboard calls to voicemail, and ensure front doors locked.

3. Send out the Emergency Diversion Press Release on corporation tax. You will find this in the pdf file marked Black Special.

4. DO NOT leave office, even for cappo , until Jed gives the all clear. There are Fairtrade instant sachets and pro-biotic energy booster drinks in this pack. Use them.

5. DO NOT try to contact Dave directly. If it becomes necessary to inform him Operation Bagpipes has been put in motion, follow the instructions in the supplementary pack marked with a nuclear hazard symbol.'

Thankfully it didn't come to that. Jed returned my call immediately and we fought fire on grammar schools all day. It was the most thrilling few hours of my life!

MONDAY OK, so it hasn't worked. I may have forgotten Part Three of the Emergency Plan, but there was a lot to think about. …

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