FISHING CHIPS

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It is reported that Chinese manufacturers, under the direction of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), have been putting ‘spy chips’ and chips that can be controlled remotely by the Chinese in electronics hardware produced in China and used in Western systems including infrastructure and military systems.

The Chinese have a smiling face,
They’re happy with their current place,
As maker of the hardware which,
Most often works without a hitch.

It’s mostly chips, they make them cheap,
So prices are not all that steep,
And people buy without a care,
To use them almost everywhere.

So far, so good, but it’s been found,
By people working on the ground,
That spy chips have been put into,
The things that work for me and you.

Signs of this have been seen before,
But it was easy to ignore,
These chips that can be hard to trace,
Behind the smiling Chinese face.

But as things go to worse from bad,
Some countries think they better had,
Now ban the use of Chinese chips,
Until with this they’ve got to grips.

Then after that? We’ll have to see,
What the long-term outcome will be;
It will on several things depend,
Like how the Chinese make amends.

Right now they won’t admit that they,
Would ever act in such a way,
But since these chips can’t be removed,
Their actions should quite soon be proved.

Excuses will come thick and fast,
The next quite different from the last,
But they’d look stupid if they took,
Examples from the Russian book!

So in the meantime what to do?
We can’t not use them, that is true;
Perhaps it’s best, despite the cost,
To simply keep our fingers crossed!

SPIES, SPIES AND MORE SPIES

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It is reported that half of the 150,000 Russians living in London are believed to be acting as informants to the Russian state (spies).

A government likes to be wise,
So some of them have lots of spies,
To find out all they want to know,
Especially if they’re a foe.

So it’s expected that they will,
Have people who this task fulfil,
In countries all around the globe,
Where they can look around and probe,
The secrets of the local place,
Without too great a loss of face.

But now you won’t believe your eyes,
When you read here how many spies,
The Russians have in London where,
There’s quite a lot and some to spare.

In thousands it’s seventy-five,
Not counting children or their wives,
And that’s a half of Russians here –
The other half are drunk on beer.

The purpose of all this is plain:
If there should be a war again,
The more info that they possess,
Will help them win it, more or less.

So in response, then, what to do,
Our own agents are likely few,
And though we can’t afford the same,
We really need to up our game.

Well, that’s a job for MI6,
Who doubtless have a box of tricks,
Or possibly it’s MI5,
Who, since they’re clever, might contrive,
To hit back at the Russian state,
By which I mean retaliate.

But all of this is secret so,
We really cannot further go;
To do so would be most unwise,
For it would help the Russian spies.

So should all these spies be kicked out,
Even those who the law don’t flout?
Or should we kindly let them stay,
And fight back in some other way?

BagoGames / Creative commons

FOREIGN LEGION?

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It is reported that foreign (mostly Commonwealth) nationals will be able to join the armed forces without needing British citizenship in order to address a recruitment crisis and falling numbers in the forces.

One time you had to be a Brit,
As well as being fighting fit,
To join the army, navy too,
Or RAF, once called The Few.

But nowadays all three are few,
And really don’t know what to do,
To boost the numbers in the ranks,
That drive the submarines and tanks.

But now they’ve hit upon a plan,
To fill these places if they can,
With people from some friendly lands,
Who, once joined up, can lend a hand.

Of course they’ve helped us out before,
In both the first and second war,
But this is different, I suspect,
For they will work for us direct.

So they have issued an invite,
To Commonwealth people who might,
Like serving in the army and,
Now help its head-count to expand.

They should apply without delay,
So they can be joined up today,
But strangely, and I can’t think why,
The Russians? – they need not apply!

SHHH!

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It is reported that GCHQ now has an Instagram account.

We all know of GCHQ,
Who spend time looking after you
In secret, though, I must confess,
Perhaps it’s now just more or less.

For they’ve an Instagram new page
Which I suppose is all the rage,
And on which they tell you about,
How they keep nasty people out.

Top of the list – no prizes here,
The Russians who are quite severe,
And then the Chinese who, no doubt,
Are checking all these pages out.

So how to get the pages right:
Inform while keeping secrets tight?

Well, I think they will need a trick,
Which works with spies who are not thick,
And is quite simple to be used,
To keep our enemies confused.

For most things everyone can know,
They write in any language, though
When they want to be more tight-lipped,
There’s no Chinese or Russian script!

Image – George Rex / Flickr

FAKE NEWS OR NOT FAKE NEWS?

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It is reported that use of the term ‘fake news’ is to be banned in Whitehall in favour of ‘misinformation’ or ‘disinformation’ in case it confuses or misleads the public (that’s you and me).

Fake news is quite a recent phrase,
You’ll hear it used in many ways,
Especially by folk like Trump,
On Twitter or out on the stump.

You’d think its meaning was quite clear,
But if Trump doesn’t want to hear,
Opinions that don’t fit with his,
He says fake news is what it is.

The phrase, then, often is misused,
So people can become confused,
And might be rather misled or,
Caught in a propaganda war.

So Government in the UK,
Has now decided people may,
Not use the phrase in Whitehall and,
Officially it will be banned.

But what to use, then, in its stead,
In things that will be heard or read?

Misinformation’s the preferred,
Alternative accurate word,
Or if you’re of pedantic bent,
You might instead think your intent,
Should be another word to choose,
That’s equally OK to use.

Disinformation, then, could be,
A better choice, perhaps, for thee,
But either of them can be used,
And no-one then should be confused.

So always pick your words with care,
When you are wanting thoughts to share,
And though it might just be a pain,
You shouldn’t say ‘fake news’ again!

THE COLONEL-SKI ON HOLIDAY?

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It is reported that one of the Salisbury Novichok agents is really a colonel in the Russian secret service, the GRU.

It was just a matter of time,
As you will soon learn in this rhyme,
Until the Salisbury agents were,
Identified and caused a stir.

And now investigators find,
That one is not just any kind,
Of soldier in the GRU,
But is a colonel through and through.

He’s worked in Chechnya and Ukraine,
Using maybe some assumed name,
And for the service he gave there,
Putin gave him a badge to wear.

It was all secret, his award,
So could there be things untoward,
That he did or techniques he used,
Which they did not want in the news?

On this we simply don’t yet know,
But journalists persist and so,
Eventually we’ll likely learn,
What he did to his medal earn.

I had thought for now that was it,
But as soon as today, a bit
More news emerged which said that there,
Had been another agent where,
The Skripals lived to case the joint,
Which sort of helps to make my point.

The Russians have not yet replied;
It seems right now their time they bide,
And now need more time to concoct,
Some story to be widely mocked.

So in the embassy they toil,
Burning each day the midnight oil,
As they decide on their replies,
Sustained by Big Macs, Coke and fries!

RUSSIAN ROUND SALISBURY

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It is reported that the two alleged Russian Salisbury Novichok assassins have appeared on Russian state TV claiming that they were just in Britain as tourists.

“It’s really all down to our friends,
Advising us on travel trends,
And what in Europe we should see,
And what it costs or if it’s free.

Now Salisbury comes top of the list,
Its high spire lost up in the mist,
And it’s not far from Sarum, Old –
At least that’s what we have been told.

So off we went with Aeroflot,
To visit this great beauty spot,
But just a few hours we had planned,
Which, sadly, on day one was canned.

The problem was it was too warm,
So snowfall which was not the norm,
Had turned to slush, our shoes got damp,
And so we both had to decamp.

So back to London for the night;
Next day the weather was all right,
So back we went the ninety miles,
To admire Salisbury’s gothic styles.

We’d swotted up before we went,
Because, you know, our main intent,
Was to confirm what we did read,
And do it all at breakneck speed.

The information that we read,
Was sure to stand us in good stead,
For it’s now plain that we knew more,
Than people who’d been there before.

Right now it would be for the best,
If you gave us a little test,
To prove we’re tourists from afar,
And not who some folk say we are.

So, spire in metres? One, two three,
(Four hundred and four feet, you see),
Then there’s the oldest working clock –
Today still going tick and tock.

Then one thing most folk do not know,
No matter to the church they go,
Is the cathedral’s Sunday name,
That’s seldom used which is a shame.

Its name is ‘The Cathedral Church,
Of Blessed Virgin (unbesmirched)
Mary’ who, as you ought to know,
Lived some two thousand years ago.

So there you are, we’ve passed the test,
Of tourists we are just the best,
And we now hope that all of you,
Will watch our polished interview.

It will be on RT Today,
Is everything we want to say,
And we are sure our Uncle Vlad.,
Will think it’s really not too bad!”