EUHQ developing new cliché to fight latest Covid variant
European Commission scientists are secretly working on a new cliché to deploy against the COVID-19 Omicron variant, after discovering that the EU’s existing arsenal of tired and hackneyed phrases had lost all effectiveness.
Senior EU officials at DG Communications and DG Research tell Berlaymonster the Commission is concerned that its go-to soundbites – “taking stock,” “deeply concerned”, “devil is in the detail”, “a race against time” – would no longer hold off questions from journalists.
The new cliché, said to combine a clumsy sports metaphor with an oblique and already out-of-date Netflix series reference, is still in the testing phase. The clinical trials involve shouting the phrase directly at a group of Commission stagiaires for several hours to see if they have an adverse reaction – or any reaction at all.
Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans is said to be pushing for more Shakespeare references, arguing that since no one gets them they are kind of new. But Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has rejected that option, saying the EU needs to “think outside the box”.
Officials said the new cliché would be ready to inflict on the population in the coming weeks, months or years.
“We’re in a race against time,” one official said. “Failure is not an option.”