May 5th is as you know the annual Festival of Nosferatu and also the ninety fifth anniversary of the visitation of the emissary Tharg of the so-called "Lizard" people to my great great Uncle Jonathan "Ross-child" Rockabilly 4th in his New York penthouse.

A Seasonal Message From Your Emperor

The aforementioned event was, it hardly need be said, the occasion of the safe delivery of the "Book of Doom," (3rd edition) containing the blueprint for the subjugation of Earth, into the hands of the "Lizard" people's Chosen One, aka my great great uncle John (also affectionately known to his "victims" as "Vlad")

And before I go on I would like, now that I have your attention, to put to bed this "Lizard" people thing. The high and mighty rulers of Earth (ie., me and my mates: Lucifer Beelzebub III, CEO of Grimm Reaper Pharmaceuticals and President N. Slaver of the Hoaks and Fleece Debt Emporium) do NOT take instructions from a race of extra-terrestrial lizard people from the Svark Confederacy and neither do our district managers Obama, Brown and the rest of the team.

They don't look a BIT like lizards and I suggest the likes of Mr Ike get themselves a better pair of glasses or they'll make themselves a laughing stock.

Now where was I?

Greetings - no, done that bit. Ah, yes.....the message of today's imperial broadcast is "Don' 'Panic!" Everything is under control and going according to plan.

Mass drugging is only a short distance away and when that relentlessly happy day dawns, none of you will be able to worry about anything ever again. The loss of all ability to feel (or, indeed, think- and sometimes chew as well) is but a small price for you to pay for my peace of mind.

I mean, can you imagine what it has been like for me trying to run this shambolic planet of pinko liberals hampered by the continual fear I'll be found out and made to account for a few million unfortunate deaths that were er..unfortunate but a necessary price I had to pay for the New World Order I would like to prevail upon you to accept. And by prevail upon I mean, of course, "force."

In the meantime, until my psychiatrists can get to you with the happy pills or perchance whip out a slice of the offending grey matter by way of a scalpel, my message to you, dear herd is, as I said, "don't panic."

"Well, actually I would like you to panic a bit as my newspapers and media arms have been instructing you because you need to buy up stockpiles of the flu vaccine Grimm Reaper ripped - er, sold the government a few years back during the previous pandemic. This was the Bird Flu pandemic that my wonderful area manager, President Bush promised (calmly so as not to cause a panic) in 2005 that millions of Americans would die from. The numbers fell short of Bush's prediction, which even I, quite frankly, thought was overly optimistic and in fact a mere 257 people have died worldwide since 2003 from Bird Flu.

A rather disappointing pandemic that. The upshot of it is that Grimm Reaper and their area distribution network (sometimes inaccurately referred to as "government health services") were left lumbered with massive stockpiles of the unused vaccine.

These are now reaching the end of their shelf life so we need you to panic and get yourself inoculated.

On the other hand, don't overdo the panic. Just throw reason to the winds long enough to let us jab something in your arms without asking too many awkward questions like "is it safe?" or "does it have any side effects?" I don't want you worrying your empty noggins about such trifles but at the same time the wheels of our asylum - I mean civilization - need to keep turning and so forth. We need you to go on taking out the loans and paying off the interest, taking your medication and pulverising whatever misbegotten population we point you at.

I mean, where would Rome have been had its slaves all run around screaming or fleeing for the hills for fear of the dreaded lurgy instead of getting on with polishing the amphora, servicing their mistresses and providing matinees in the Coliseum, and so forth? Eh?

Good! So no more than a Level 3 panic if you please. I'm having my propaganda arm, the Daily Scare, Daily Wetyourself and the Armaggedon Monitor issue a new Panic Scale so everyone will know where they stand (or keel over) panic-wise. It will make the press' job of getting across the exact amount of panic required much easier and help avoid any misunderstandings.

For instance, the current level of panic required is level 3 as you will recall, if you were paying attention, I just mentioned. Unfortunately due to shortcomings in the press that will see heads roll if certain so-called journalists and editors do not buck up their ideas, the response from the Great Unwashed has been somewhat luke warm at best, reaching no more than Level 2. And Level 2 does NOT allow fortunes to be made from selling specious solutions to a public blinded by terror. Level 2 is for getting the public to victimise hand-picked minorities or elect complete idiots to government.

The scale will ascend through five levels as follows:

Level Zero. Quiet Desperation. Public in normal state.

Level One. Mild anxiety/sense of foreboding. Public should take note there might well be a problem but the problem is in another country. People might die but these are all foreigners so nobody really cares.

Level Two. Really worried/ sense of being stalked by immanent doom.The problem has reached our shores. Scientists are looking into it and government has it under control so everyone should start preparing for Armaggedon

Level Three. Loose Bladder. Public buy lots of newspapers and are mentally prepared to imbibe whatever chemical government dishes out as remedy. Stockpiles of old chemicals left over from the last pandemic that never materialised are opened up and the dust brushed off. Government and Pharmaceutical manufacturers therefore claim to have laid "contingency plans" and manage to look smart.

Level Four. Brown trousers. Public will accept inoculation even though the inoculation is unsafe and will kill more of them than the virus, as did the swine flu vaccine during the "outbreak" in 1976.

Level 5. Headless Chicken. Area management loses control. Looting starts and, worse, various disreputable types start ransacking MacDonalds and burning down banks. I'm forced to deploy draconian measures to bring the herd back under control. Trust me, you don't want to go there......

And in case you were wondering, this is a scale of PANIC required, completely different from the scale of DISEASE that runs from routine health problem (for example malaria, only 3000 deaths a DAY worldwide) right up to pandemic levels (for example Bird Flu that claimed a staggering 256 deaths in only 6 years!)

I hope you have all got that straight in your skulls. Just trot along and take your shots and nobody will get hurt. I'll probably order management to make it mandatory in any case and who in their right mind will object to that while we are having our mass nervous breakdown?

With a bit of luck we might even be able to get a war going into the bargain.