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

Education Recruitment Consultant- Learning Support

£18000 - £30000 per annum + Generous commission scheme: AER Teachers: Thames T...

All Primary NQT's

£100 - £120 per day + per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Description Calling a...

DT Teacher - Food Technology

£100 - £145 per day + Pension and travel: Randstad Education Maidstone: SUPPLY...

Supply Teachers Needed in Thetford

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Supply teachers neede...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Why black cats make amazing pets, and take good selfies too

Felicity Morse
Children of a bygone era  

Kids these days aren't what they used to be — they're a lot better. So why the fuss?

Archie Bland
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star