Ahmed hangs up. Hook gets the feeling he’s done something stupid but isn’t sure what. He’s tired of gritting teeth, biting tongue, buttoning lip... Why shouldn’t he ask questions councillors don’t like? What’s the point of being a journalist if you only print good news, obsequious love-ins that nobody except the committee ever read? Hook looks at his watch: almost three. His stomach burbles. As he stares at his blank screen a generic email pops up:
From: Head HR
To: all staff
Subject: lift etiquette
Message: will all council employes please note that due to a meeting of equalities & diversity committee it has agreed that men should not enter lifts in the town hall if only one woman is inside. Some femals particularly those of traditional background can find upsetting or embarrassing to share a lift with a man. Should you be amale and discover a woman lone in a lift please wait for the next one. Thankyou for you’re co-operation.
By squinting he can see the women outside Da Vinci’s, getting smashed in the sun, but he still has that meeting with Karen so Hook surfs the news. The suicide bomber who blew himself up yesterday has yet to be positively identified; police are checking a number of possible sources.
A self appointed Muslim spokesman is warning that any memorial service for Israeli victims of the 1972 Olympic massacre won’t be tolerated during Ramadan. Other Muslim spokesmen denounce him for suggesting Muslims are more likely to commit violence when hungry.