Thursday, September 25, 2008

No Hacking Cough But Hacks Hacked Off

Whilst the Kent Messenger is shedding 10% of its workforce, plans are afoot at Gazunder owners Northcliffe Media to ensure their hacks will be the only ones left to report it when the end of the world finally arrives.

The Daily Mail owned group is offering all 17,000 employees free doses of the anti bird flu drug Tamiflu at a cost of £850,000, according to journo website Hold The Front Page. Ken Thompson, the group's Employment Director, has written to staff saying scientists believed a flu pandemic was 'inevitable' and would lead to 'significant and sustained disruption to our businesses'. He continues: 'The development of a vaccine to treat a pandemic virus cannot begin until there is an outbreak of the emerging strain. A vaccine would therefore not be available to the general population for six months after the start of the pandemic. Antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu provide an alternative to vaccines but will not provide immunity to influenza. They limit its effects and increase the chances of survival.'

Mr Thompson added that the UK government has been stockpiling Tamiflu but they only have sufficient supply to cover 25% of the population which includes all essential workers. He said the Daily Mail recognised the importance of its talented people and that it had taken the action in an attempt to protect all its employees from the threat of pandemic influenza. Workers' close friends and families will also be offered the drug.

How comforting to know that, come the pandemic, a small group of Daily Mail and Gazunder hacks will survive to re-populate Thanet and the rest of the UK!

Meanwhile I hear that not all the bunnies at Gazunder Towers are happy ones. With lovely editrix Rebecca Smith on six months maternity leave, her stand-in has not exactly been winning friends and influencing people, according to word reaching the old Eastcliff shell-like. The paper is already advertising for a news editor, and other scribblers are said to have the collywobbles following a vicious rumour that's spreading like bird flu that Rebecca is planning to make her absence permanent. However, I have it from a number of horses proverbials that as soon as her six months is up, the newsroom will again be resounding to the joy of Bex!


Michael Child said...

Doesn’t look as though this will work unless the also give the vaccine to the people who distribute the papers.

Anonymous said...

They haven't done a deal with the Common Cold research people at Porton Down have they ?

Anonymous said...

Tamiflu isn't a vaccine, and it can't prevent pandmeic flu. It is an antiviral medication given once a person is infected and begins to show symptoms.

The problem is that some strains of the H5N1 virus have become resistant to Tamiflu.

We won't have vaccine for the virus that causes the pandemic for at least 6 to 9 months after a pandemic begins.

Right now the fatality rate for the H5N1 virus is over 60%.


Anonymous said...

I think the gazette has got better in recent weeks. NC have brought an experienced daily editor in to take the helm but that news editor job has been vacant for about a year, since the last permanent has to be coaxed down from the roof, which he was clinging too with knawed fingernails, poor little guy.

Joyful bex can't be feeling all that joyful atm knowing that the person NC have brought in is better qualified for the job and is likely to continue to shake it out of its complacent slumber. Maybe Bex will come back as a news editor?