Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hopefully Somewhere between PR, Politics and Hysteria, the Necessary Debate Will Happen

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hopefully Somewhere between PR, Politics and Hysteria, the Necessary Debate Will Happen

Article excerpt

Byline: KATE FOX

I'VE said this seventeen billion times, but I don't like it when people exaggerate. I'm just not sure that this is the moment to point it out.

About the debates currently raging about Newcastle City Council's cuts, I mean. Maybe massive exaggeration serves a necessary purpose at this point to get people's blood raging. It just makes me want to turn away.

I've been distracted by several topics while writing this column. There was the news that Dean Gaffney has applied to join MI5. That was amusingly distracting. Not least because on the advert he has answered it says quite clearly that discussing your application with anyone other than your partner and parents will lead to the immediate termination of your application.

I'm guessing that your application becoming the front page of The Sun would lead to an official, so discreet that his face is pixellated, putting your application through a shredder with a gentle tsk before going off to poke someone foreign with a poisoned umbrella.

Dean, who used to play Robbie Jackson on EastEnders, had actually applied to be a mobile surveillance officer. This would involve secretly following intelligence targets and trailing possible threats to national security.

Let us just imagine. You're planning to blow up a tube train. "Is that Robbie from EastEnders behind us?" you say to your companion.

"Who?" "You know, him who had that dog Wellard and left to become a tabloid celebrity who had at least 10 kiss-and-tell stories sold on him?" "He didn't play a dustman, did he?" "He did as it happens, why?" "Well, the man who's following us appears to now be sitting in a mobile street sweeper."

It's genius actually. A double bluff. Dean Gaffney could go on to become the greatest intelligence operative who has ever lived, as no one would ever believe that he was one.

I may be exaggerating slightly. Still, that's the way forward apparently.

The council says it's "life or death versus the arts". …

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