Saturday, 28 February 2009

Fact is stranger than fiction or at any rate mirrors it!

Local government elections are upon us here in Spain. Inevitably the newspapers have been full of items about the different political parties and their various activities. Earlier this month I found a throwaway item in El Pais, biggest selling national paper according to its website, which reminded me of something.

In the American TV series The Wire at one point the drug dealers use disposable mobile phones: use them and ditch them! They were trying to avoid police wire taps and other surveillance devices: a security measure that worked quite well until their discipline fell apart.

Apparently the Comunidad de Madrid local government majority group, the Partido Popular, has been doing the same thing, more or less. They use pre-pay mobile phones which they change once a fortnight to prevent their political opponents from spying on their "conversaciones delicadas". Now it's every two weeks but during the 2007 electoral campaign it was every week!

"Funcionarios", civil servants, are organised to collect old phones and distribute the new ones which have all the numbers of all counsellors programmed in already. A wonderful recipe for chaos, of course! Some counsellors forget their phones and so yet more "funcionarios" have to spend time running around collecting them. Thus the phone swop is spread over a longer and longer period of time. And then, naturally, there are those counsellors who simply refuse to cooperate and just put the phones away in a drawer!

Mind you, maybe the PP has a point. I seem to recall seeing another item just the other day about someone hacking their way into Jack Straw's mobile!!!!

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