World unites in suspicious activity

The 21st Century is a depressing era.

Across the world, extremism is on the rise, hate is being mongered, and fear is spreading around the globe faster than chlamydia through Birmingham*.

For lefties like me, there seemed no hope of a brighter tomorrow, where the nations of the world work together in unison, where shining examples blossom around the planet in a whirl of collaboration and community that transcends mere borders.

I’m pleased to say, dear readers, that I was wrong.

They’ve been secretive. They’ve been cunning. The didn’t want to let the world know until they were absolutely sure they had it cracked. But they’ve done it. They’ve achieved the dream.

Law enforcement agencies have achieved global bastardry. From Manhattan to Mogadishu, Moscow to Manchester, police and intelligence services have ushered in a brave new dawn of skulduggery, deceit and outright criminality.

As is so often the case, our American cousins have led the way. After leaked details of their in-no-way-sinister Prism system for ‘keeping an eye on persons of interest’, or really anyone for that matter, they’ve started to make some hilariously open threats to any country they even suspect of thinking about harbouring Edward Snowden. They also claim that they have no idea where Snowden is, which is like when you play hide and seek with your 4 year old nephew, who’s hiding behind the curtain with a leg in clear view, repeatedly shouting “I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE HE COULD BE!”.

 

World Hide and Seek Champion 2013

World Hide and Seek Champion 2013

Either the Americans have him and are giving him a tiny off-the-record talking to or the Russians really are hiding him/having a tiny off-the-record chat with him. So your four options are a) America kidnaps somebody illegally again, b) Russia disappears somebody again, c) Russia is a bastion of human rights and freedom of speech and the American intelligence community cannot find one man even after he told them which hotel he was staying in or d) Snowden is fucking epic at hide and seek.

There was also the tragic and absolutely not fishy death of Michael Hastings in a car crash which looked in no way like an explosion last week. His final email to colleagues will assure everybody that nothing dodgy was going on with the FBI.

Back on this side of the pond, the police are doing their level best to become a byword for dodgy. Phrases like “Did you see those two blokes exchange that package and then that money? That looked well police.” and “I can’t play football tonight, my knee’s a bit constabularied.” have sprung into common parlance following a long line of dick manouevres, many emanating from the Met.

Today it was revealed that the Met bugged Duwayne Brooks, friend of Stephen Lawrence, as well as trying to smear his family. Classy. On another note, whenever I hear or read the word smear my brain auto-completes the sentence with “with grease”. No idea why.

It’s also been recently revealed that everybody is now an undercover police officer. It’s highly likely that there hasn’t actually been an extremist group in the UK since about 1974. The EDL is simply a colossal waste of public money as it comprises 2000 police officers who meet up every Sunday to try and bomb a mosque, smash up three pubs and then report to their commanding officers that the’re getting close to earning the trust of the other members.

This also explains why a bomb going off outside a mosque is a disturbance, and a bomb going off outside a church is a terror attack.

Tommy Robinson is actually a 21-year old female officer with a fabulous makeup artist and a flair for acting. Abu Hamza is a PCSO called Gerald who’s been assigned to desk duties after a slightly over-enthusiastic stint as a mental cleric. At weekends he still uses the hook for children’s parties, where he dresses as a pirate.

“I’m proud to do terrible things for the country I love”, said Gerald. “It’s what separates us from the animals.”

 

 

*Birmingham. Official STD capital of the UK.

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A tribute to Iain Banks

Not something I usually do, but felt this one was important for some reason.

Today it’s been announced that my favourite author, Iain Banks, has died of cancer.

If you’ve never read any of his work, you might be surprised to learn that Iain Banks was two of Britain’s most successful authors. He wrote fiction under Iain Banks and sci-fi under Iain M Banks. In both genres he’s produced the best books I’ve ever read.

The first time I was introduced to his work was in the form of The Crow Road on a recommendation from my stepdad. I hated it. I can’t have got through more than 30 pages before ditching it and never returning. As a slightly unrefined Essex boy I couldn’t get my head round the distinctly Scottish style.

A few months later I was given The Wasp Factory and decided to push through and ive it a chance. It remains my favourite book. Banks has this wonderful ability to paint pictures. Few authors can actually make you lose yourself in the text to the extent where you can feel the wind on your face and taste the salt in the air as you read – a completely immersive experience. If that sounds horrifically pretentious then sorry but I can’t phrase it any better.

As well as a great writer of location, he’s a great writer of stories – particularly gruesome stories. I find it difficult to get sucked into books but The Wasp Factory has you gasping, cringing, laughing and shivering along the way. It’s a difficult read – certainly not beach material. In some places downright unpleasant. But Banks’ ability to write so vividly that brings the story so much to life – superlatives fail me. The ability to write an ending that will stay with you for years after is just another plus.

Under Iain M Banks is a whole tranche of novels – prolific would probably be an understatement – called the Culture Series. These things probably weigh in at about 1000 pages each but I’ve chomped through 7 of then in the space of 4 months. They’re all based around a futuristic human civilisation called the Culture, although the stories stand alone in themselves. They’re quite often referred to as ‘space opera’, and that’s not a bad way of describing them. Most sci-fi I’ve come across is either good at the space bit or good at the story bit but seldom both. The Culture Series combines both and in some style.

It’s a special joy to be able to read these books. Banks’ imagination is completely off the scale – he can construct mind-bogglingly rich worlds, excellent characters, twisting, thrilling stories, bizarre species, fantastic but believable technologies, all at the stroke of a pen. Sometimes you just have to take a step back and appreciate an individual who can build such amazing stories – on a completely different level to anything else out there. If I ever write anything half as good as him I’d consider it a wild success.

If you haven’t read any of Iain Banks’ books I’d urge you to do so; I feel very privileged to have been able to step into his worlds.

A truly massive loss.

They’re watching us, the poor bastards

In a completely unsurprising bombshell, it has been revealed that the Americans are watching you. Constantly.

In the midst of a whirlwind of outrage, bewilderment and people saying ‘well, duh’ as America sheepishly admits to a secret global internet monitoring programme, everyone appears to have overlooked the key point that the internet is 99.9% horseshit.

Seriously, have you been on the internet recently? I can’t imagine watching people online is a particularly rewarding job. Nobody has ever gone through any online comment stream and felt better about humanity or that they’ve gained a strong insight into human behaviour. Twitter is a stream of lies and inanity. Facebook is a place where people try and make their lives look good and still manage to look awful. Youtube is just cats. If you type ‘why is’ into Google the fourth most popular autocomplete is ‘why is my poop green’. Even this is just a full-grown* man writing silly words because he gets bored easily.

Can you imagine being one of the poor sods who has to trawl through all this shit? It wouldn’t exactly make for sparkling dinner conversation.

“What did you do at work today honey?”

“”I watched as a man from Utah post threatening yet poorly worded and almost incomprehensibly illiterate messages about Asian people on Twitter, then he spent two hours looking for instructions on how to make homemade explosives out of cheese whilst simultaneously watching cat videos and alternating between writing ‘OMG SO CUTE’ and outright racist comments. Then I’m pretty sure he had a wank.

“I then had to compile this all into a report for my boss without being physically ill.”

Another fine day at GCHQ.

Another fulfilling day at GCHQ.

If that was my job I’d spend a lot of time crying.

If anybody needs empirical proof of just how crap the internet is, have a watch of this and see everybody’s favourite shouty mentalist Alex Jones on Sunday Politics this morning (from about 3mins 30s). A hilarious watch if only for Andrew Neil and David Aaronovitch dealing with him like pros.

Alex Jones’ Youtube videos have been watched over 250 million times. Enough said.

Meanwhile, William Hague has today reassured us all by saying that law-abiding citizens have nothing to fear.

Which doesn’t sound like something from 1984 in any way shape or form.

*shut up.

‘Decision was easy because they’re paying me a boatload of cash’, declares Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has finally completed his triumphant, lucrative return to Chelsea.

The Special One, which is apparently an acceptable nickname for an adult but not a child, claimed that the main reasons for his return to Stamford Bridge were his love for the club and the massive cheque, quarry full of golden dubloons and limitless supply of caviar he has been presented with upon arrival.

Jose indicates how many thousands of pounds he has earned while you read this caption.

Jose indicates how many thousands of pounds he has earned while you read this caption.

Speaking to the press in a golden suit, surrounded by exotic animals and juggling Faberge eggs, the Portuguese tactician waxed lyrical about his love for the soulless west London outfit.

“There are many things I love about Chelsea. I refuse to elaborate any more on what those things are because I have not had time to make up an acceptable lie yet. Suffice to say I am home, and here to help. And wealthy. Fabulously wealthy.

“There must be some positives about the actual club though. Who’s captain these days? At least that adulterous potential racist and all round buffoon Terry is gone.

“Wait, he’s still here? Oh shit, I want more cash. Well, at least none of my players have ever shot a trainee with an airgun on club property. Wait, what?”

Chelsea fans have reacted with delight at finding out that their new manager is not Rafa Benitez, and have completely forgotten all of the shit that went on last time Mourinho was here as it happened more than 8 minutes ago.

“I remember the last time Mourinho was here”, lied fan Jeff Staines, “It was a magical time of happiness, delight and world peace. And arguments. And childishness. And only moderate success, which given the outlay on players was really the bare minimum expected. And Adrian Mutu.”

Mourinho then left Stamford Bridge this afternoon to relax on his new luxury island, which he purchased with his first hour’s pay.

Meanwhile, industry professionals and rational human beings have agreed that if a mad Russian offered them £10million a year to do a job, they’d probably score their job satisfaction quite highly as well.