If you can read this, for want of a better word, article without wishing to smash your own face into your keyboard, then you are a calmer man than I. Or you're a moron. Never discount the possibilty that you may require retraining after an hour long lunch break.
THEIR work is shrouded in secrecy and now their travel arrangements will be too.Luxury taxi driver Douglas Stokes has been given special permission to operate without a private hire label because GCHQ is one of his main customers.Licensing chiefs approved his request after he claimed staff at the intelligence centre told him they preferred to go incognito than in a marked cab. The 64-year-old is just the third cabbie in the borough to gain such an exemption.
Speaking at Cheltenham Borough Council's licensing committee on Friday, Mr Stokes said: "These are government officials who do like their discretion.
"It has been voiced as an opinion that they really don't want the cars identifiable, but we don't have anything official in writing from them."
The decision means he can pick up passengers in his £42,000 Audi A6 without presenting the council plate that is required of private hire drivers.
Documents submitted by the grandfather-of-one to the committee state that GCHQ workers "like to be able to move around without the locality they come from being identified".
Retired policeman Mr Stokes said many of the journeys he completes for the organisation are taking its staff to the airport or to London.It uses a pseudonym when making bookings and did so 19 times between the start of 2011 and March 31 to destinations like Heathrow, London, Uckington and Churchdown.Committee member Councillor Roger Whyborn (LD, Up Hatherley) said: "We all know who we are talking about, the biggest Government organisation in Cheltenham, and clearly they would be a lot happier without having plates on the vehicle."Mr Stokes works as a driver for private hire firm Bridges, a specialist in corporate taxi services. Some of his other main clients include top bosses at Superdry, G4S and Spirax Sarco.
He said: "Most of these people travel first class and they expect certain standards. There aren't many other private hire firms in town which provide a bottle of water, a copy of the
Daily Telegraph and the opportunity to work in the car."
The committee approved the application by eight votes to nil, with two abstentions. GCHQ has declined to comment.
I think GCHQ may need to move to a locale with less mouth breathers.