Friday, 29 August 2014

Minister of Communications

The Nilkawtian Minister of Communications is usually responsible for ensuring information is available for publication through this digital embassy at 9 am local time on weekday morning.  Even so, such a requirement does not apply during election campaigns, when publication of any information at all about Nilkawt is strictly banned within Nilkawtian territory, as well as through any Nilkawtian embassies, including this one.

All Nilkawtian embassies are also required to be closed during election campaigns, including this digital one.  The official closing event in question will probably occur in synchrony at 5 pm Nilkawtian time today, if the ambassador remembers to lock the digital doors properly.

In view of the above, the current Minister of Communications, Doctor Hu Sayyid Watt, wants to have the last word not only today but also until after the elections.

Doctor Hu is an inscrutable gentleman on most occasions, though he has been observing the media and communications of other nations for quite some time now and has picked up some very bad habits as a consequence.  He recently sought to post a selfie here, whatever that means.  He explained that it had something to do with portraiture, but as no portraits other than the official one of the Nilkawtian head of state are permitted to be presented in any official Nilkawtian form of communication, his request was denied.

Doctor Hu frequently states that he comes from a highly distinguished family.  He says that his father's father was of esteemed Arabian descent and his father's very wealthy mother was of honorable Chinese and Mongolian descent. His mother's father was also of Chinese descent, apparently, and was in fact the half-brother of his father's mother.  His mother's mother always stated that she was directly descended on her father's side from the eldest son of the famous James Watt, though that dubious biographical information does not match the know facts at all.  However, Ms Watt may have descended from one of the children of the distinguished gentleman's second marriage.

Doctor Hu is called Doctor Hu, rather than Doctor Sayyid or Doctor Watt, because his Hu great grandfather, himself a Doctor Hu, left a huge sum of money in a trust fund in Switzerland to pay for the education of any of his family members willing to become a new Doctor Hu in the extended family diaspora.  In view of this, the young Sayyid Watt Hu or Hu Watt Sayyid, depending on his geographical location at the time, became Hu Sayyid Watt and went to Eton and Cambridge in England, then Harvard in the United States and then to the International Training Centre for the Harmonious Interplay of Beauty, Understanding and Magnificence in both Adelaide and Nilkawt.  Doctor Hu then became a foreign exchange dealer in New York, before returning to Nilkawt to continue his education.

The Sayyid side of the family, like the Hu side of the family, is scattered all over the world, and perhaps even all over the universe. Doctor Hu says he enjoyed a very close relationship with his father, Mr Sayyid, when he was growing up, even though they rarely met.  Mr Sayyid worked in the oil industry in Iran before the revolution there.  He then worked in the oil industry in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Texas and in the North Sea.

Mr Sayyid's parents were both archaeologists, as were those of Mrs Sayyid, who was herself better known as Professor Hu, in keeping with the family tradition.  Professor Hu was a petroleum engineer, like Mr Sayyid.  Most of her career was spent in universities rather than deserts and seas.

The archaeologist Doctor Watt was inspired to take up that career after reading about the work of Gertrude Bell, Dorothy Garrod and Princess Marie of Windisch-Graetz.  Her own father was a tram conductor in London from the 1920s to the 1940s and her mother was a tea lady and occasional spy at the Foreign Office in Whitehall.

Doctor Hu's grandparents were all part of an international research team at Eridu in the 1950s.  In the 1970s, they retired to secluded, adjoining cottages near Kalangadoo in South Australia to grow olive trees and keep bees.  Their children subsequently joined them there from the 1990s onwards while the grandchildren studied in various parts of the world.

Doctor Hu Sayyid Watt is looking forward to giving up his technological and technocratic duties as Nilkawtian Minister of Communications so that he can speak and write more freely about his life, his personal interests, his currently secret ministerial activities and his family history.  He claims never to have been a communist or a capitalist or any other sort of ist.

In fact, Doctor Hu believes a prosperous, peaceful and harmonious society is one in which all ists are banned or sent off into the time warp in which they truly belong.  His theory is that when this occurs, everyone will be able to communicate without unnecessary arguments, at least if they can agree to disagree on the interpretation of scientific and even non-scientific evidence.

The Nilkawtian Ministry of Communications never discusses its activities.  All further information is classified.  Do not discuss this with your friends. You may find yourself participating in some extraordinary renditions of ballroom dancing, table tennis, Sufi poetry and Peking opera.

And always remember that it is never safe to accept cups of tea from strangers in relatively luxurious hotels.