There’s a job vacancy on MI5’s website – it’s recruiting for a new head of health and safety.
I didn’t come across this by chance, I admit. It was mentioned online and, fascinated, I went to have a look.
After all, what kind of role would it be? Making sure that the spies of the United Kingdom were operating in the safest manner?
You can just imagine it, can’t you, the mounds and mounds of red tape which would tie up the patriotic actions of a secret agent.
Hold on good man from SMERSH, I have to check my operating manual for the correct protocol when feeding one’s enemies to sharks.
I have a check-list here somewhere, so please bear with, bear with.
Anti-shark wetsuit donned, goggles duly washed out (not with spit, but saline solution), electrical appliances removed from pockets.
Oh, and I am carrying a certified first aid kit which has been checked in triplicate.
Now hang on a second SMERSH man, why have you run off?
I am almost ready to throw you into those gaping mouths lined with razor-sharp teeth.
The health and safety role description on the website is patently a dare.
MI5 can’t show the applicants the buildings, or tell them about the job, locations or people involved.
I guess to get the role you’d have to have a sense of adventure, especially as ‘the work is covert’ and the ‘technology is classified’ which could raise interesting ‘challenges’.
As I read the website, I kept on thinking about Q, the laboratory, and how the Bond movies depict the whole spy process as slightly barmy when it comes to creating the ultimate in weapons and surveillance technology.
Would a health and safety directive be: Don’t hold your poison pen in quite that manner, you could have someone’s eye out?
Maybe MI5 should invest some money into a real movie production to somehow bring about a change in our views, so that people will apply for such daring/ludicrous-sounding jobs.