, 16 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter
Down the rabbit hole & into the kitchen. Something & someone is cooking. Duck soup with too much paranoia? I present my thoughts while transcribing the #InstituteForStatecraft ’s Chris Donelly’s talk about the #IntegrityInitiative:
[Talking bloke with kitchen behind him] How to cook...what? Statecraft? Integrity? Whole-food fruitcake? Anyway not vegetarian, heavy stuff, meat: governance, change, disinformation, malign influence, democracy. Malign? A hint of crushed paranoia? Democracy now under threat?
[At desk, a laptop] An educational program? Sounds respectable. Must have some solid, peer reviewed, well-defined basis of reason & fact, I suppose. Educating policy makers, decision makers? He sets himself high, this fellow. To track, expose & counter…? Decision makers do that?
[From computer to kitchen & back] Who knew? Networks across all European countries who all seek to push similar views & to improve their own governmental capacity…? Again, they set themselves high. We’d all like to do something to #TheresaMay’s lot, but it’s not so easily done.
[Talking head back in kitchen] Aha! We have it. ‘Malign’ means from #Russia or from #jihadis & #daesh who target particular groups of people among us. I see… I wonder... which groups can he mean?
[Now phone call in kitchen, then talking head] “… not able in democratic states to generate the kind of defences necessary to protect themselves...” But when #IntegrityInitiative gets cracking so that these states can do what democracies can’t, will they still be democratic?
[Talking head looking more & more pleased, a glint in his eye] ”...#InstituteForStatecraft…non-governmental…specialists…without governmental direction…grass roots…a movement of people…informational disinformational threat...” [getting serious by now, using a pen at a desk]
[Talking head looking happy] “...police reform...prison reform” [At a desk we’ve not seen] What are those things in an open top glass cylinder reinforced with coarse metal mesh, with a handle? Candlesticks? Energy? Power cuts? These guys do spread themselves far & wide.
[The talking bloke’s back. Not for long, stuff to be flung far & wide needs addressing] Got an envelope? Quick! Now write an address! [talking head now back in the kitchen]
[Heavy stuff, so back to the phone] Didn’t he tell us all this a short time ago? The problem of radicalization? That’s new. Health Service Reform? Here in the UK? These people sure cover some ground. Did anyone know these types had dogs in that fight?
[Talking head looking happy...busy at laptop reading @guardian online...now looking seriously pleased] “...if you think of the 20th century the main form of combat...that we were aware of was World War, [now] it's a new kind of warfare...in which everything becomes a weapon”
[With things getting serious, it really is time to make tea. There are cupboards, and kettles & that kind of thing. The talking bloke’s back, excited & pleased] We’ve been hacked, he says, because we’re effective (if we hadn’t been hacked, we would never have told you all this).
[Talking bloke] We’re a threat! To someone! Save us & save democracy too. We must win. We need more! “...we have to win...because if we don’t, democracy will be undermined.” You didn’t know this but it’s us that have kept your democracy safe all this time.
[An important phone call] It won’t go away. Funding forever! [talking head] They’re trying “to undermine our very concept of democracy, to undermine the very understanding of truth, to undermine our values.” You didn’t know it, your democracy, your truth & your values, that’s us.
One final thought: for ‘statecraft’ read ‘tradecraft’ throughout.
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