Great piece, Dave! It's a depressing outcome of the Dirty Politics revelations that I instantly found myself wondering about the timing of the public announcement of these threats. A very convenient distraction from Hager's most recent investigations.
A fascinating piece by both you and Prof Easther! [In my experience a Prof is several degrees scarier than a mere Dr. Interestingly,, in Germany, they are ranked above saints and only slightly below the trinity. There is talk (amongst German professors themselves) that they may even be ranked within the trinity.]
David, can you please tell Miss Spong that neither I nor any member of my family will open the door to her…
Look, I told the prison administrators that trying Miss Spong on day release was a bad idea – and now look what’s happened!
Russell, I will certainly convey your message to Miss Spong, and I offer my condolences to you and your neighbours for what must have been a very trying experience.
It goes without saying that, of course, the judiciary of this country had a very good reason to put Miss Spong behind bars (not to mention her black-listing by the SPCA), but – if it’s any consolation – I don’t think the thing with the cats was necessarily directed at you or your household.
If you recall the job interview when we hired Miss Spong: how she raged on and on about cats; how she said that cats were against democracy; how she maintained that if you observed a cat when it was watching Robert Mugabe on television, then you would see the cat smiling to itself, and thinking “There’s our Robert”. It all adds up to a pretty good prediction of the subsequent events in your street.
In other words, I don’t think that Miss Spong had any plan to “put the frighteners” on you via the cats, but rather it was a case of: the cats were there, the lamp-posts were there; she had a knife. In other words, she had the motive, the means, and the opportunity – so naturally she just put the three things together.
Incidentally, for those of you who have been wondering how Zippy and Bungle (and George) were employed in between Rainbow and CERA, then this will explain:
Wow -- 7.00am and already four comments of genius that have significantly extended the analysis of our parliamentary reporting.
Rob: what an excellent suggestion. I shall have a word with Ms Spong when she is in a better mood. It's my understanding that she has family in the church and is therefore rather reluctant to publicize her various 'scrapes', but she must also weigh this against the public's need to know (in my opinion).
Paul, Martin, and Ian: you are obviously persons of great brain (perhaps you eat a lot of fish?) and I only wish that the Public Address budget would stretch to hiring you as additional parliamentary reporters. What a formidable team we would make. I thank you!
Our 88-year-old stenographer, Miss Spong, has requested a bonus for spelling “weltanschauung” correctly, and hopes that Russell Brown’s house doesn’t burn down in the event that there’s not an extra fifty in her brown envelope this week.
Unfortunately Russell has a policy of not paying at all when threatened with arson, so you’re bound to be a bit disappointed, Miss Spong. Nevertheless, we’re sure that you’ll still be doing the transcripts next week—if you want to maintain your normal cigarette habit!
What a trouper you are, Miss Spong. It would be a good few extra years in prison if anything really does happen to Russell’s house. And, of course, a few extra years is tantamount to a death sentence at your age!
In terms of a expectations of privacy: the glass-coatings used on most modern office buildings (to prevent excessive solar gain) mean that the public cannot see into the interior of the building during the day. It's entirely possible that the couple in question were fully aware that the office interior wasn't visible during the day, and therefore "expected" that their activities would also not be visible at night.
Unfortunately, however, the effect is reversed at night - meaning that those inside can't see out, but those outside can see (and film) what's going on inside the building.
Just a point that others seem to have overlooked...
Oh. My. God.
This is the only worthwhile thing that Smith and Guy have ever done
Thank you, RBentley. One of the most rewarding things about being a political reporter in the gallery is the ability to bring good news stories like this to public attention.
Ah, the power of the internet… look at that.
Fortunately we had our This Week in Parliament biennial editorial board meeting at lunchtime today – and Russell and I were able to push through your recommendation.
To be honest, some of the board members were rather confused about the difference between testicles and scrotums, “So which one is Mike Hoskings then?” asked one bewildered board member, but Russell was heroic in steadfastly campaigning for the change.
As Russell so eloquently and movingly said in his speech to the board: “If we don’t have our facts exactly 100 per cent correct in This Week in Parliament then we have nothing. I urge you to put aside your differences and vote together for scrotum. ”
Many of the board members were in tears by the end of Russell’s speech, and the motion was carried 254 votes to 2 against.