Brilliant news to report. The Monty Python team will be performing in London next year, for a one-off show that will surely be followed by a world tour and a boxed set of DVDs.
I understand that they will be reprising some of their most famous sketches, sprinkled with a few topical updates.
In that case, and if they are looking for inspirations to review their marvelous “Dead Parrot” sketch, I’m hoping that they might want to cast their eyes over this version, which I’ve written for the ICO’s Xmas panto.
Picture this. Set in “the Legislation shoppe” in deepest Brussels, a regulator approaches the European Commissioner’s counter:
Regulator: 'Ello, I wish to register a complaint.
(The Commissioner does not respond.)
R: 'Ello, Miss?
Commissioner: What do you mean "miss"?
R: I'm sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint!
C: We're closin' for the elections.
R: Never mind that, my girl. I wish to complain about this regulation what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very counter.
C: Oh yes, the, uh, the Data Reg ... What's,uh ... What's wrong with it?
R: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my girl. It's dead, that's what's wrong with it!
C: No, no, it's uh, ... it's resting.
R: Look, matey, I know a dead regulation when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.
C: No no it's not dead, it's, it's restin'! Remarkable law, the Data Reg, idn'it, ay? Beautiful articles!
R: The articles don't enter into it. It's stone dead.
C: Nononono, no, no! It's resting!
R: All right then, if it's restin', I'll wake it up!
(shouting at the file of papers)
'Ello, Mister Regulation! I've got a lovely fresh data breach for you if you show ... (Commissioner hits the file)
C: There, it moved!
R: No, it didn't, that was you hitting the papers!
C: I never!!
R: Yes, you did!
C: I never, never did anything ...
R: (yelling and hitting the file repeatedly) 'ELLO REGULATION!!!!!
Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your Article 29 Working Party Deputy Chairman calling!
(Takes document out of it's file and thumps it on the counter. Throws it up in the air and watches the papers flutter to the floor.)
R: Now that's what I call a dead Regulation.
C: No, no ... No, it's stunned!
C: Yeah! You stunned it, just as it was wakin' up! Data Regs stun easily, Chris.
R: Um ... now look ... now look, miss, I've definitely 'ad enough of this. That regulation is definitely deceased, and when I purchased it not 'alf an hour ago, you assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it bein' tired and shagged out following a prolonged privacy impact assessment.
C: Well, it's ... it's, ah ... probably pining for the fjords.
R: PININ' for the FJORDS?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that?, look, why did it fall flat on its face the moment I got it home?
C: The Data Reg prefers kippin' on it's face! Remarkable law, id'nit, squire? Lovely articles!
R: Look, I took the liberty of examining that regulation when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that it was in this file in the first place was that it had been NAILED there.
C: Well, o'course it was nailed there! If I hadn't nailed that law down, it would have nuzzled up to those privacy geeks, bent 'em apart with it's beak, and VOOM! Feeweeweewee!
R: "VOOM"?!? Miss, this law wouldn't "voom" if you put four million volts through it! It's bleedin' demised!
O: No no! It's pining!
C: 'It's not pinin'! It's passed on! This law is no more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet it's maker!
It's a stiff! Bereft of life, It rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed it in this file it'd be pushing up the daisies!
It’s parliamentary progress is now 'istory! It's off the twig!
It’s kicked the bucket, it's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!!
THIS IS AN EX-REGULATION!!
C: Well, I'd better replace it, then.
(she takes a quick peek behind the counter)
C: Sorry squire, I've had a look 'round the back of the counter, and uh, we're right out of regulations.
R: I see. I see, I get the picture.
C: But I’ve got a directive ...
(Lights fade, curtains close )
All credit to the Monty Python team for the inspiration for the above sketch. Whatever you do, try your hardest to get a ticket for their show next year. And if they are not available, then see if you can get one for the ICO’s Xmas panto instead.