Cut Them Some Slack
Boris Johnson ran on the promise that his Brexit deal was “oven ready.” However, recent findings reveal that the Dept. of International Trade is probably more confident in the oven-readiness of Mary Berry’s cakes than of Boris’ deal.
A freedom of information request has revealed that civil servants in the department have specific group chats for discussing the Great British Bakeoff and Love Island. No word yet on whether they also have group chats for discussing Brexit trade negotiations (but does that really matter?)
Why are these distinguished civil servants so interested in Love Island? Maybe they see it as a sort of parallel to their Brexit situation: a group of people on an island who really don’t have their shit together are at risk of losing quite a bit of money and just wind up embarrassing themselves on an international scale. It could be that…or maybe they just watch it for the abs.
The group chats in question are occurring on the popular workplace messaging app, Slack. The app claims to boost “workplace productivity.” However, in this case, it has been more successful in boosting dad jokes and rugby stats. Again, not clear whether it has boosted actual trade deal negotiations.
What is clear is that several government officials have created custom emojis for the Slack chats. These include Spongebob Squarepants, Pikachu, Mickey Mouse and a llama. Yes, it’s weird that the trade department’s messaging thread seems to eerily resemble the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon lineup…But it’s even weirder that they went out of their way to create these emojis themselves.
The public have a lot of questions (namely, why the llama?) When asked whether the creation of Spongebob emojis was a good use of government time, officials declined to comment. They did not even reply back with a custom llama emoji.
Government officials attempted to block the release of the chat threads because of the risk that a “threat actor” could use them to “facilitate a cyberattack” or “penetrate government systems.” (Not a good enough reason to use the word penetrate).
In a worst case scenario, hackers use the Department of International trade’s custom Pikachu emoji to launch cyber warfare against the UK. In a best case scenario, civil servants create a bunch of new emojis based on characters from Love Island…and still never discuss the Brexit trade deal.