BIG HEADS - Ballsy's desperate for the Government to look tougher than the Tories. He's "boxercising" every day at the gym, calling everyone mate or sweetheart and burping his way through Cabinet. Apparently now he's booked in to get his knuckles tattooed: G.O.V.E on the left hand, H.A.T.E on the right. His latest gimmick is to recruit a new wave of Hard Heads for problem schools. The ad campaign features a group of them, looking like BNP bouncers. Comms need a slogan. We suggest "Heads Up - We Ain't Taking No Shit!" but they're not happy. The double negative renders it "inappropriate".
SKIN CLOUDS - Our manager Scary Paula arrives with a new assignment. Team Gove have been cross-referencing databases with the Daily Mail to find out which children's names spell trouble for teachers. It's foolproof says Sandra, who ought to know as she reads the Mail. Well it's NOT says Paula, firmly. Caz, I want you to check with the Home Office and find the REAL "warning-sign names". They'll be the ones coming up regularly in police incident reports. Then we can discredit the opposition. No probs, says Caz, brightly. She's been in a great mood ever since she handed in her notice. It's cheered Paula up too. In a month she'll have lost two-fifths of us "through natural wastage". Ugh, makes us sound like sewage, or those clouds of skin you get in the Underground tunnels. Paula wants to be careful. If Upstairs find out she's been passing confidential Departmental information to the enemy, she'll be "natural wastage" herself.
BALTIMORY - Shumi from Visioning and Perceptioning calls. They'd hoped that thing about Britain's education system being "like season 4 of The Wire" would just die, but it hasn't. We need to "counter-analogise". Owen says let's pretend it's "like Balamory, not Baltimore", no drugs or violence etc. Sandra suggests "like the Harry Potter films", they're all dressed so smartly aren't they? Oh yeah, brilliant. Pupils with magic wands. I don't think they need any MORE empowering, do you? Sooty, then, she says. What? Well, he's got a magic wand and he's harmless. Owen and I are astonished. You want to float the idea that the education system's like a mischievous puppet we THINK we're controlling but who keeps squirting water in our face? All right then she says, what about that meerkat off the adverts?
REGISTER - Caz is back from "researching" her list of Troublemaker Names in the pub. So far she's got "Girls: Davina, Asboe, Bingealina, Golden Virginia. Boys: Nike, Basterd, Gladiator, Twatter, Millwall, Skagsy".
MARKET FORCES - Unbelievable. Visioning and Perceptioning LOVE the meerkat as the New Face of Education. Authoritative, popular . Sandra's very smug. Can't resist saying "Simples!" Oh please, no. Don't do the NOISE . too late. Inchworm.