Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

David Banks Columnist

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

David Banks Columnist

Article excerpt

THE 'C' word is banned in our house until at least the second week in December. Crazy? Of course it is.

As Master of the Household I should have put my foot down when 'Er Outdoors, infuriated by an ad for a 'C' hamper in the Radio Times a week after Easter, pinned a note to our front door asking visitors to restrict the use of the 'C' word and such sister phrases as 'R****ph' and 'S***a' until at least December 8. But I'm a benevolent despot and I like the little lady to think that she actually runs the place. Which was all very well until it came time for my annual letter to 'S***a C***s', which I like to get off early to 'L*p***d' while stocks last.

So this year's letter to 'S***a (my 62nd, as my mother had to write the first three for me) had to be written rather surreptitiously; I watched as the note was caught by the log smoke in our stove and curled away up the chimney. It contained a mixed bag of requests: A DIARY, address book and Filofax with revolving pencil to replace those functions on my mobile phone which could soon, given the experiences of German leader Angela Merkel and her French counterpart, be on open display at post offices and CIA branch offices throughout the United States.

CANCELLATION of my Facebook, Twitter and Google accounts which have conspired to tell the US government where I am and what I'm thinking while simultaneously providing an encyclopaedic and sometimes pictorial file of every blackmailable event in my life. Oh yes, and the usual foilwrapped orange and some nuts, please.

The more journalists and horri-fied government employeesturned-whistleblowers are hounded and imprisoned by a nation which, during the Cold War, presented itself as the bastion of Western democracy and a bulwark against the Orwellian nightmare of 1984, the less I am inclined to trust the technology I love to use.

I've no intention of making spying on me easy, not even for Big Brother!

LISTENING to my son attempting to convert his monthly-paid mobile phone account to pay-asyou-go was like overhearing a man trying to break up with a neurotic, psychopathic girlfriend of the type played by Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. …

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