Once Parliament was in recess – both Houses
of Hypocrisy on their long summer hols –
in the basement of an office block near
King’s Cross (where you catch the Hogwarts Express)
one Saturday morning in July,
three journalists, watched by two technicians
from GCHQ, spent three hours to save
the Government’s face, and The Guardian’s,
by destroying hard drives with drills and grinders,
circuit boards whose data – from the exiled
whistleblower Edward Snowden – was
replicated throughout the Americas.
Ah, far, far better farce than inaction,
and capitulation than loss of
influence! How the Red Tops rejoiced!
Only the Manchester Guardian – founded
after Peterloo, and to promote
repeal of the so-called Corn Laws – condemned
the Suez Canal fiasco, that last
hurrah of gunboat diplomacy.
That editor would have hidden the hard drives
somewhere in the British Library’s stacks,
just round the corner on the Euston Road,
and sent the hapless lads from Cheltenham
to Platform 9¾.