Of course the US is spying on Merkel. It's always the ones you least expect, after all

If the US was tapping Berlusconi, it could charge people to listen and wipe out its debt

Share

The reason there’s now such a vast network of global surveillance, we’re told by British and American governments, is it’s essential in defending our security against terrorist plots. So that must be why the US authorities tapped the phone calls of Angela Merkel.

She doesn’t look the type, but that’s always the way with radical Islamic Jihadists who’ve worked their way into being Chancellor of Germany so they can inflict glorious holy war upon the infidels, so we should be thankful the Feds were on to her. They’ve probably already decoded her sinister messages, declaring, “This call here, where she says ‘We must maintain the strength of the euro for the fiscal year 2013/14’, it means ‘Kill the bastards. Kill them all without mercy. And don’t forget to strap the explosive to your chest extra tight as that Velcro tends to come undone, and if those explosives spill all over the bus you’ll feel a right fool’.”

There are other possibilities I suppose. Maybe the FBI suspects she’s part of the Berlin criminal underworld. So while she’s in her office late at night, Obama’s in a van outside listening to her make calls such as, “Oi Nobby. I think Plod’s on to us. We’ve got an informer and I suspect Francois Hollande. If he asks any questions don’t say nothing, he might be wearing a wire.”

Or she might be dealing. All evening, when the other German ministers think she’s preparing her speech for a summit somewhere, she’s weighing out grass and telling customers, “This is good shit. At the G20 this was everywhere, the Prime Minister of Japan was ripped all through the agreement on fishing rights.”

The only other explanation is there’s a side to Obama we haven’t seen before, and he’s like an old man in an East End pub. So he kept saying, “I tell you what, Michelle – that Merkel might look all innocent but as my granddad said, never trust the Bosch. One minute they’re having a friendly chat about interest rates, then while you’re not looking the Sudetenland’s gone, I’ll tap her phone to see what she’s up to.”

The confusing part is you could understand America tapping world leaders’ phones if it was Berlusconi or Putin. Their calls could be put on sale, to be downloaded for a dollar each or put on an 0898 number to wipe out the American debt. But to be fair, this comforting sense of us all being constantly surveyed ought to be extended, if we’re to feel truly safe. For example, surely no one would object if the CIA had a secret camera placed in all our toilets, in case any of us is using the privacy of our khazi to plot a hijacking.

This is why no reasonable person objects to their emails being checked and passed on to governments. Because how can our police force expect to protect us from suicide bombers if they don’t know when a woman in a cottage by a river in Suffolk has ordered a set of china cups of saucers on special offer on Amazon?

The only complaint that can be made is that if everything we do and say is being so closely monitored we ought to be allowed to get our phone calls sponsored. Then whenever we phone a relative, as long as at some point we say, “While I remember, Mum, one thought I was having about Christmas is elephant.co.uk, that’s elephant.co.uk, then we can come up on Boxing Day”, we can make surveillance pay. With all the security officials that will hear that, there could be an arrangement that would make telephone calls almost free.

The justification for these levels of spying is that we’re facing a threat to our way of life, so that’s why we need more of it, to protect all those ways of life and not just a few. For example the disabled should be allowed to tap the phone of Iain Duncan Smith, so they can be aware of whatever he’s plotting next. This could be valuable information, giving them advance notice of a “one wheelchair between two” scheme, or a plan to make them rent out their artificial legs as poles in lap-dancing clubs.

So we need more surveillance, but it should be us surveying them. As one of the most powerful people in Europe Angela Merkel should be surveyed, by everyone EXCEPT the only institution even more powerful than hers.

The American government hasn’t, over the years, been all that touchy about blowing things up, to the extent it’s probable that the main reason they want to listen in to the phone calls of terrorists is so they can pick up tips. So we should be listening in to them. Over the last decades, if people round the world had found out Henry Kissinger or Donald Rumsfeld had Googled “Flowers of the Amazon” or bought tickets to see Barbaa Streisand, we WOULD be entitled to think, “Hang on, what are they up to”, and intern them for a couple of months just in case.

So it seems quite reasonable to propose a deal in which the taps on Mrs Merkel’s phones stay in place, and all the spying equipment in the world is kept going – it’s just the people doing it that’s changed. Maybe Edward Snowden can be put in charge. He seems to know how it works.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Solutions Architect - Permanent - London - £70k DOE

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

General Cover Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Great opportunities for Cover...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The bustling Accident & Emergency ward at Milton Keynes Hospital  

The NHS needs the courage to 'adapt and survive'

Nigel Edwards
 

Letter from the Sub-Editor: Canada is seen as a peaceful nation, but violent crime isn’t as rare as you might think

Jeffrey Simpson
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?