Friday, January 02, 2009

The Greatest issue facing our Security Forces...

We were down in the Cotswold's over New year, in the general vicinity of that bastion of our defence, GCHQ.
You might think that their major concern was Iran, the Taliban, a resurgent Russia, or even Pakistan, but I can assure you that none of the staff are in the least interested in these areas of concern.
No. The battles and arguments that are waged daily along the endless corridors are to do with parking on the site.
I don't know the absolute numbers ( even this is a State Secret) but at a guess there is a shortfall of about 40% in the number of spaces required.
All sorts of schemes have been tried. £400 if you don't bring your car. This should result in car sharing. All that happens is they take the cash and still bring the car.
£x if you bicycle. See above.
Only allowed to bring the car in 4 days out of 5. They have 8 ( yes 8) people whose SOLE responsibility is to monitor this. And as there are lots of husbands and wives who work together in GCHQ ( after all, how do you meet anyone else if you are a spy? And what would you talk about at home?) by juggling their 2 cars they manage to bring in at least one car every day - and some days two.
I am assured the country's finest brains are working on a new scheme which will create multi-storey car parks.
About a mile from the site and have to have buses to bring people in who are below a certain grade.
Oh, and as the government is promoting travel by bus, they just might put buses on that actually go to the site, as opposed to none which has been the case since it first opened.
Amongst the many fine people we met was an elderly lady, long since retired from being a spy. She had been involved in WW2 with many operations, and I asked her what she felt her main contribution to the war against Hitler had been.
" Well, " she said, " I suppose I would have to say losing my virginity."

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