Politics Goes Better With A Beat!

Graham Linehan, the writer of such gems as ‘The IT Crowd‘, ‘Black Books‘, and the incomparable ‘Father Ted‘ (and those links enable you to watch the programmes in question!), has reposted a comment that originally appeared on Cory Doctorow‘s Boingboing.net, in a thread about Lord Voldemort’s Mandelson’s plans to criminalise file-sharing. As part of the so-called Digital Economy Bill, Ming the Merciless Mandelson would become the ‘Pirate Finder General’ and have wide-ranging powers to shut down internet connections, impose fines and even recommend jail time without the need to go through all the boring hassle of the criminal justice system. If the bill is passed it will be the first uncompromised and overt attack by the government on civil liberties within British homes.

The internet has been awash with various horrified commentary, but special mention must go to Angus McIntyre, whoever he is, for this utterly inspired work of genius. Gilbert, Sullivan and Angus – what a team!

“I am the very model of a Pirate Finder General

Lord Saruman

My remit runs from a to z, from animal to mineral
The government has issued me with pow’rs plenipotentiary
To seize you and to pack you off to any penitentiary

I’m perfectly remorseless in pursuit of things piratical
I’m always in the office and I never take sabbaticals
You’d be amazed at all the powers that are vested in this entity
To compromise your systems and reveal your identity.

The doctrine of Fair Use I condemn as quite erroneous
And probably harmful if not actively felonious
And though my own position may in time prove quite ephemeral
For now I am the model of a Pirate Finder General

I’m not above resorting to intrusive tricks and hackery
If I chance to be confronted by a lock to which I lack a key
I recognize no boundaries either moral or international
At times my hate for piracy approaches the irrational

I interpret legal precedents with admirable latitude
For which my true employers never fail to show their gratitude
I’m a salaried employee of a corp’rate aristocracy
In fact, my mere existence makes a nonsense of democracy

I exist to serve the interests of a privileged minority
By whom I have been granted quite extraordinary authority
My jurisdiction ranges from the local to the federal
In short, I am the model of a Pirate Finder General

My attitude to human rights is simply reprehensible
I prosecute whole familes for reasons indefensible
I terminate connections be they wired or ethereal
And consider all objections to be strictly immaterial

Although you may deplore the fact and label it regrettable
I find the rule of law to be entirely forgettable
If it has any virtues, I must confess I’ve never known ‘em
For I’ve always held that capital’s the only summum bonum

I’m answerable to no one, I enjoy complete autonomy
In my tireless crusade against foes of the Economy
And though my own position may in time prove quite ephemeral
For now I am the model of a Pirate Finder General”

And finally, but on a not-unrelated note, I stumbled upon this video, posted by those with, clearly, far too much time on their hands…

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About Gavin

I am a 32-year-old PhD student in Aberdeen, Scotland. I work in QC at an e-learning company. I'm originally Northern Irish, though I've lived here in Aberdeen for several years. I am, essentially, somebody who is very normal, yet to whom very strange things keep happening...
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