The hungry badger of financial chaos continues to menace the globe, and our garlic-loving neighbours in the European Union know this better than anybody. The Greeks have run out of salad, Italy has slashed the budget for Bunga Bunga by up to 80% and, closer to home, shocking reports have reached the Gallery newsroom that local fund managers have been seen begging for loose change on the street outside the Capannina. The economies of the Eurozone and the Channel Islands are as closely related as a pair of Guernsey newlyweds, so it should be clear that even our wealthy Islands are not immune to the painful trend of debts and cuts.
Tough times call for tough measures. Our elected leaders know that we?re all in this together, so as soon as they were done voting to preserve their free parking spaces and subsidised private education, they reached out the hand of friendship to struggling Europe. If reports are to be believed, this hand of friendship takes the form of an office in Brussels costing a mere £800,000 to run each year – small change to the average senator, and cash that would be undoubtedly wasted on children?s hospitals and other such nonsense.
Gallery attempted to contact Steve Williams, our recently installed ?man in Europe?, to find out what he actually does – but his midget butler informed us that he was too busy breakfasting on Fabergé eggs to respond to the likes of us. Undeterred, our intrepid reporters merely hacked a few voicemails, guessed some passwords and managed to download his job description directly from TERRY9000 – the omniscient supercomputer that lives in the basement of Cyril Le Marquand House.
Job Description: Joint Channel Island Ambassador to Europe
Salary: £500,000 PA, paid in a colourful assortment of one pound notes
Hours: just try and be at your desk in time to eat lunch
We are a group of islands searching for a dedicated individual to represent our interests in the heart of Europe. In return for a generous salary, a platinum-plated pension plan and an optional harem of hairy-lipped local maidens the successful candidate will lobby European governments on behalf of the governments of the Channel Islands: comprising Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney. Please note that this does not include Sark, as their wise men refuse to acknowledge that anything further than a mile from their coastline is not an illusion created by sea-wizards.
You will work on behalf of our governments to create awareness of our Islands and the many positive contributions made by our people and the international finance industry that employs them. You may also be required to work on promoting tourism – this will involve an hour a week planting negative comments on Tripadvisor about budget holidays on the Costa Del Sol and writing to the letters page of The Daily Telegraph about how terribly inconvenient it is to buy a plastic spade with Euros.
Key competencies: The successful candidate will be fluent in blue-sky thinking, envelope pushing, actioning deliverables and demonstrate a strong ability to deploy the phrase ‘going forward’ in the lavishly-printed reports that are presented to select island politicians and their cackling overlords in the Chamber of Commerce. You will dot Is, cross Ts and make sure that our people are collectively singing from the same hymn sheet. In practice, this means that your average working day will involve playing tennis with treasury ministers, spreading nasty rumours about financial regulation in Luxembourg and chatting about trust funds to a selection of African men who carry briefcases and will never take off their sunglasses.
Duties of the role: You will manage a complicated and evolving workflow that covers the numerous ways in which the governments of the Channel Islands do business with the European Union. Outside the 95% of your time spent ‘persuading’ politicians not to look too closely at our labyrinthine tax bunkers and cheap DVD warehouses, you will be required to manually approve every passport stamp preventing our people from working in Europe, as well as offering odds on the Grand National on behalf of the entire working population of Alderney.
This is a challenging and varied role, and your duties will not always be restricted to the promotion of finance and tourism. As well as sampling potatoes and overpriced cider, the duties of your office will also include strict monitoring of cow imports and the quality of exported bull semen. We recommend a stout pair of rubber gloves, a cold shot glass and the accompaniment of some salt and vinegar crisps.
Suitable candidates: If you have relevant experience in international finance (or related fields such as estate agency, divorce law or black market organ harvesting) then we’d love to hear from you. Please reply in confidence enclosing a copy of your CV, details of your golf handicap and a brief summary of any particularly amoral decisions you’ve taken recently. Please note that local candidates will not be considered.