We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

The style is catching

(With grateful acknowledgement to the Continental Telegraph’s inspiring Aunt Agatha, whose insightful replies to the many problems of British establishment figures are a comic must-read.)

Dear Aunt Europa,
   we are retired British operatives who have been doing nicely over the last two years as the British end of an operation to help some American friends. Our job was to type up rumours about Mr Trump, and a couple of people briefly connected to his campaign, in the form of impressive-seeming intelligence reports that our US associates could convert into bugging authorisations and sinister-sounding leaks to the media.

At one time, this work brought us golden showers of payment and praise. Recently, however, our transatlantic buddies have soured on us. Apparently some of our inventions proved too baroque for the public’s credulity, and we were not discreet enough in our supportive leaking to US papers. Worse still, some of our friends now seem nervous that their conversations with us might themselves be bugged by leak investigators. So the payments and praise have both dried up.

Can you suggest another line of work for us (bearing in mind that it might not be prudent for any of us to visit the US just now).

      Yours as sincerely as we ever are,
            (You’ll forget our current aliases almost as
              soon as we will, so let’s just skip this bit)

Dear Retired British Operatives,
   it is always wise to play to your strengths, so I suggest you find a client on this side of the Atlantic who has the same eagerness for your existing skills and storyline. Long before Mr Trump said that his election night would be “Brexit plus plus”, a similar hatred of both on the part of a similar group of people over here was quite evident. There are many Remoaners on both sides of the channel who would instantly and fervently believe almost anything you typed up if you rejigged your reports to be about the Leave campaign. Although their list of wealthy backers was shorter than Remain’s, there is a reasonable chance that at least one of them has at least one investment with a Russian connection. And you might get lucky; maybe one of them has socialised with a Russian – or even married a Russian. To those with your experience, making this sound most sinister to Remoaner journalists and MPs should be child’s play.

I do suggest however that you avoid “golden showers” or similar inventions. I am astonished to learn that it is possible to lose credibility through underestimating the taste of the American public, but if that one proved too crude to be believed even over there then the British public (outside Remoaner circles) might not credit it either.

      Yours every bit as sincerely as you were being
            Aunt Europa

2 comments to The style is catching

  • Julie near Chicago

    “Golden showers.” Crude? Aunt Europa, I don’t know whether you need to get out more or whether you’ve already gotten out far too much! 😈 😎

  • CaptDMO

    British “special operations” specialist, that simply make stuff up?
    How odd.
    In the US we call them journalists. They work with editors.
    Sometimes, they’re paid to construct teleprompter scrolls for “personas”.
    One can usually identify them by their “latest books from Amazon” that generally compete
    with each other for “Most extensive use of weasel words” award trophy.
    Not to be confused with reporters.

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