And lo, the Lords did not answer their e-mails, or return the phone calls, leaving the faithful to draw their own conclusions.
These commandments have been handed down to me on my two tablets (an iPad and a Samsung) and hold as true now as they did in the days of Moses (and Dev):
1. Thou shalt honour The Editors that commission you above all else. Nor shall you have other gods before the Editor, unless it happens to be another Editor that offers you a tenner more for your thousand-word rant attacking the unemployed.
2. Thou shalt, as far as possible, portray as craven immigrants, those on social welfare, public servants and travellers.
But never fellow journalists, as we are all untouchable and never do anything wrong. Ever.
3. Thou shalt not take the names of your Gods in vain- holding editors, publications and other journalists to account is neither desired nor acceptable. Let’s face it, you could be working for them tomorrow.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, and that your best bet for getting published on it is to attack Sinn Féin or RTE as viciously as possible.
5. Honour your father and mother. This is best done by writing under a pseudonym so the neighbours won’t be able to identify you as their progeny.
6. Thou shalt not kill a story for lack of evidence – if the facts don’t bear it out, make some up. Most people won’t check, but if they do just ignore them and after a while your version will magically become the truth.
7. Thou shalt commit as much adultery as possible by writing for eveyone who asks you, and many who don’t. You can’t eat loyalty.
8. Thou shalt not steal – but if you must nick an idea or a quote, try not to get caught. Under no circumstances should you ever credit other media as a source. Ever. This is not negotiable.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against your neighbour. Save that for the foreigners, or the lads in the next parish.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house. Instead, thou shalt describe it as “a handyman’s dream” or whatever the estate agent or PR fop tells you to.
Thou shalt also remember that news is just a vehicle for advertising, and everything can be sold for a good price.
Except your stories, for which no-one is willing to pay more than a handful of peanuts for.