October 25th, 2013
Giles Turnbull imagines a gathering of serious, grey haired gentlemen taking place somewhere in central London the other day:
GERMANY: Our Chancellor will phone the American President and demand an apology.
SPAIN: Yes, she should do that.
ITALY: We will send a letter of protest. We don't want them listening in to our President's calls too.
DENMARK: If they even think about spying on us, there will be trouble.
FRANCE: We have begun our protest already. Our President telephoned the Americans after breakfast yesterday.
UNITED KINGDOM: Actually I think it was nearer to lunchtime – so I gather.
FRANCE: How would you know that?
UNITED KINGDOM: I think perhaps your man mentioned it to our man. You know, just idle chit chat. Anyway, what shall we do about this Obama fellow, eh? We need to speak with one voice – all of Europe, standing up to American threats. [...]
And that last line is where he lost me. The only thing the British government are objecting to is the notion that there's something wrong with the NSA and GCHQ hoovering up as much data1 as humanly possible with as little meaningful oversight as possible.
- Or rather "metadata", as if that's somehow a lesser outrage. ↩