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A simple request

Dear Mr Cameron,

(… or should I more properly be directing myself to Sir Jeremy Heywood … Donald Trump … Philip Hammond … the director of the ‘Remain’ campaign … Bill Gates …  Teresa May … Mark Zuckerberg … Jeremy Corbyn … Nick Clegg … Mr and Mrs Kinnock … Louis van Gaal … or the CEO of Hewlett Packard UK?)

Look, I know they say that all’s fair in love and war, and that for some time now I have been contentedly putting the boot into the British political elite, ‘the Establishment’ and the Westminster Bubble, and all that ‘they’ stand for.

You may not like it much, but then – if you think about it – that’s the inconvenient ‘other side of the coin’ cost of existing inside a Western democracy in which every klutz on the electoral registry gets a vote and we lovingly publicly protect our right to supposed free speech even when we don’t actually agree with it.



However, I do think it’s one thing to go about tampering with my domestic home-use computer – in this day and age, especially with GCHQ working so well at ‘monitoring’ literally billions of individual communications by modern technology devices in the cause of protecting us from … er … whatever they’re protecting us from this week, and with Teresa May shoving through greater automatic Government rights to spy upon ordinary citizens at this very moment – in order to check what I’m up to [fair enough, if you need to know which Pizza Express emporium I’m ordering my takeaways from this week and/or how much my last Thames Water six-monthly bill was – far too much, as it happens and if anyone cares] …

But …

But it’s quite another for you to go about it as ineptly as you are at the moment.

What do I mean?

Well, given that I don’t believe a word any politician says to me anyway, I don’t have the slightest doubt that you probably are monitoring me – and indeed every citizen in this fair and pleasant land.

It’d be par for the course.

That said, for you to make it so obvious that you’re doing it, actually does get on my wick – and for the past two months I’ve been trying to work out whether you’re doing it deliberately, or just by accident because you (or rather perhaps your IT agents) are so pathetically inept at what you do.

What am I talking about?

I’m talking about the fact that, at least once every ten days since the beginning of 2016, whilst I am simply going about my perfectly normal and harmless business on my new Hewlett Packard desktop computer, it has suddenly ‘cut out’ … announced that it is ‘re-booting’ for technical reasons … and then turned itself off, and re-started itself again – all at considerable disruption (and annoyance) to my quiet enjoyment of what is left of my rapidly-diminishing little humdrum life.

I know that I’m stealing the idea from the Jeremy Corbyn playbook here, but could you please take note of this missive to you from ‘Simon of Ealing’ and pass on to Teresa May – or whomever else is notionally in charge of monitoring the citizens of west London – my formal request that, if [which, these days, is no more than we expect] the Government is going to monitor us, could you please do so without making it quite so plain that you are doing so?

It’s just so damned irritating.

[Oh, hang on – I’ve just had another thought – maybe the purpose of making it so obvious that we’re all being monitored is precisely to make us irritated … just to push us another notch along the ‘grinding us down’ route that was first planned for us eons ago, in 1961 in fact, when the UK under Harold Macmillan first applied to become a member of the Common Market …]

Yours sincerely,


Simon Campion-Brown.




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About Simon Campion-Brown

A former lecturer in politics at Keele University, Simon now lives in Oxfordshire. Married with two children, in 2007 he decided to monitor the Westminster village via newspaper and television and has never looked back. More Posts