Tag Archives: Labour Party

There’s an election in four months


There’s an election in four months.

Those are the only words you need to remember. Whenever a politician drivels before an invited audience of heart-eyed acolytes or assembly line workers glazing over on company time for half an hour, just remember: there’s an election in four months (or three, or two, or one…).

Yesterday renowned cryptographer David Cameron said there should be no “means of communication” which “we cannot read”. This has been interpreted by technically literate commentators, mostly through the medium of boggle-eyed laughter, as expressing a desire to ban encryption or enforce the addition of backdoors. I’ve seen many, many tweets setting out the stupidity of such a move, and I have no desire or need to rehash them here.

Because the only thing you need to know is: there’s an election in four months.

Cameron is talking about monitoring the internet because there is an election in four months. He wants people to vote for him. He understands — better, sadly, than those tweeting about protocols and key escrow and men-in-the-middle and laptops left in taxis — that none of all that matters. He’s not talking to that audience, the tiny audience that groks the detail and the implications. He’s talking to the other 99%, who saw the attacks in Paris last week and think (thanks to Be Vigilant And Report Darkies posters) that we’re next.

Let’s imagine Cameron is elected in May with a majority. What would he actually do? We have no idea. There’s no manifesto yet, and manifestos can’t be trusted anyway. On past experience — we have almost five years of it now — his words don’t much match his deeds. I expect there’d be a series of meetings, possibly involving token techies invited as a sop to industry, and the End Terrorism Forever Bill 2017 (probably) that would emerge would contain no clauses capable of achieving any such thing.

There’s an election in four months. That’s all Cameron is worried about.

The opposition parties (I include the Lib Dems in that category for election purposes) have the same phrase in their heads. If they want to oppose Cameron on this issue — and I’m not entirely sure the Labour party does, for fear of being labelled soft on terrorism — then there is absolutely no point in talking technology. That’s preaching to the choir.

To oppose this policy they need to do two things: pursue, with great vigour and purpose, the support of younger people (beneficial side-effect: these are least likely to be slack-jawed kippers); and tell them in specific terms which apps and services Cameron thinks they shouldn’t be permitted to use without being snooped on.

Snapchat, WhatsApp, iMessage, FaceTime, Yik Yak, Rooms, Skype, etc, etc — and also Facebook and Twitter and plain old email, of course, but with less emphasis since younger people don’t use those so much. Ignore the likes of HTTPS, Tor, and all that: too confusing for the audience you’re trying to reach.

Keep it simple. Non-technical. Personal.

Avoid greyfaces and clumping hooves of rhetoric: all an utter turn-off for the audience. Don’t make it an official party video at all. You want Cassetteboy, not Saatchi, and if you don’t know who Cassetteboy is, fire yourself.

Here’s an idea off the top of my head: take one (or more) of those ubiquitous thirty-second promo videos from an app vendor’s website — you know the ones, with the indie guitar solos and the Californian hipster voiceovers — and every time a toothy blond communicates with another toothy blond, intercut video of Cameron sitting at a computer screen.

It doesn’t matter that it’s inaccurate or simplistic: so is what he’s claiming to propose.

There’s an election in four months.



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Hold the Uptrend Visiconk: Viceroy Blair succumbs to LFS

wibbly woo wibbly woo wibbly woo…

At last the great Y2K38 panic has subsided, thanks to patient years of upgrades and an unexpected asteroid in the bagging area. And now comes news long-expected: from Labour’s Space Transport House at the recently polished Aneurin Bevan Coca-Cola Moonbase (a subsidiary of Lunar Disney, incorporated in the state of Tranquility), a solemn announcement over the visiconks.

“Hashtag all,” it begins, in the new vernacular. “It is with great hashtag sadness that we omnipish the 1/5” … “following announcement. Please hold. 2/5” Then a blipvert, and then: “Viceroy Blair succumbed at last to Lunar Flange Syndrome 3/5” … “at Fanta O’Clock LMT this earthsolprebrunch. 4/5” … “Hashtag thoughts and prayers, etc in luvmems of the People’s Princessoriser. Coke is it. 5/5”

Meanwhile, deep beneath the lunar regolith at the Margaret Thatcher Pizza Hut Lunar Mining Corporation Space-Tory HQ — the “Thatch Hatch” — tributes are paid, lolspeeches are droned, but in the Homepods and the gated satellite exclusocaves there is but one refrain: Rejoice! Rejoice at that news!

A row bubbles and bursts over the spacewaves. “You disrespect a dear former leader, an old man.” “Viceroy Blair was divisive.” “He rid the world of dictators.” “He brought ruin to the land, before it became ruined.” And so on. The ancient arguments nursed again into dangerous and bitter flame beneath the pressurised twatdomes.

But as the Interplanetary Labour Party hold the balance of power, albeit in conjunction with the Lunar Independence Party, their will prevails. Many megacredits are instazapped to pay for the funeral, even though this means some go without basic necessities such as Coca-Cola. It’s not a state funeral, oh no, they insist: the Anima-Queen’s eyes buzzed red when the idea was suggested. And so it proves: the laser light extravacremanza is a slightly lighter shade of mauve, thus identifying it unambiguously as merely a ceremonial funeral. The supergun carriage travels via Tube Olive not Tube Potato, entirely different. The entrance to St Ronald’s Cathedral is lined with Chelsea Cyborgs, not the active servicedroids currently engaged in the war against Lunar Eurasia.

It is by no means a political funeral. The guest list for the service merely includes all party donors and surviving members of Blair’s cabinet, with Supreme General Overlord Omicron Mandelson telespazzing in from the Outer Worlds, and Gordon Brown sending a miniclone. Although invited in accordance with the War Crimes (Ignore Ignore) Act 2020, the Immortal Empty Soul of Henry Kissinger sends his apologies, secured as he is behind the impenetrable borders of the People’s Republic of Lunar America. By special arrangement Robodiana, sponsored by the Daily App, hovers above the plastipews scattering underage upskirt images of celebrity children as part of its immoral crusade.

In accordance with no tradition, Big Space Ben is placed in Silent Mode for the duration of the funeral service, and the Tubes are lined with the Boys in Black to facilitate appropriate mourning behaviour. Space Onions are available for an optional mandatory fee from every Coca-Cola dispenser.

These precautions do not entirely stop unauthorised rebellions, including lowered visors and retransmissions of “unbalanced” material such as the F*rty-f*ve M*n*tes speech (name obfuscated to trick the Ultra-Effectivo™ Lunar Unlimited Virgin Omnifilter). A campaign led from the deepest lava tubes of the Northern Line to propel Things Can Only Get Better to hashpos 0000001 in the bongotrends causes controversy when the LBBC decides to broadsmit only every alternate bar, intercutting with footage of Space Pope Colin II humming halluciprayers and rattling a tin from a balcony of St Peter’s Bank of Silica.

And now at last into the cathedral come the senior guests, led by the recently televoted PM Romeo Beckham and the winners of Lunar Britain’s Got Cabinet, including Chancellor of the Exchequer Maximilian Plantagenet Idaho Binge Squabbler, known to his owners as Polly T Parrot. And finally the Anima-Queen and her brood, cleansing the St Ronald’s lino of choking regolith for the ceremonial entrance of the most honoured guest, Eternal Emperor Cameron, and his little dog Gove.

Pray silence, now, for His Grace the Lord Archbishop of Tranquility, Professor Brian Cox.

…wibbly woo wibbly woo wibbly woo

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