"OK Harrison, we’ve got this really big story breaking about the High Court’s verdict on the Alzheimer’s drug action…
"Yeah Brad, shame that – they’ve found against the protesters – all they’ve done is ask NICE to rewrite the guidance notes"… A bit of tweeking here and there should do the job I think"..
"So, how are we going to report it then?
"I reckon something like 'Alzheimer’s drugs available to everyone apart from the English – due to extortionate charge of £2:50p per day"….
"Hmmmm, it’s good – but probably a bit OTT I think. After all, we are not talking about everyone in the UK on this story – just England."
"What, the country of England?"
Definitely not – ‘England, the collection of regions’. Don’t you remember your training?"
"Sorry, of course, I don’t know what came over me…… OK, well how about this one? - ‘Alzheimer’s drugs not available to English patients"…
"Still too inflammatory – look, we want to tell the news, but not to tell it as it really is, obviously".
"I mean, what would be gained by telling 50 million people that they cannot have a medicine available to everyone else?".
You mean something like - ‘Alzheimer’s drugs will not be available on the English NHS to patients"..
Almost – but we don’t want to highlight the fact that there are actually 4 NHSesses in the UK, do we? We want to play that down a bit… I was thinking something more like – ‘Alzheimer’s drugs will not be available on the NHS in England to patients"..
"That’s better, now we’re getting somewhere"…..
"I’ve not finished yet, what if we played down the ‘in England’ bit"….
"What? Do you mean ‘whisper it"?
"Exactly, ‘whisper it’…. Look it complies with Cabinet Working Directorate 345665/tes – Operation Changeling, so we’re in the clear with Gordon and the boys."
"Great, get Natasha in here, right away… No wait, I don’t think she does ‘whispering’ too well, better make it Fiona"…..
And so on today’s BBC One o’clock News, this was how the story was reported….
‘Alzheimer’s drugs will not be available on the NHS in England to patients"……