It started off as a normal Tuesday night in late March 2017; Colin had just come out of the shower and was finishing his shave. The domino match, the first round of the post season knock out cup, was away so he figured he had about 30 minutes or so to dry himself off, shave and get dressed before his lift turned up.
Colin always looked forward to Tuesday nights in domino season, good crack, some beers and a dozen or so games of 5’s & 3’s. His musings were disturbed by a knock on the front door, unusual in the small village where he lived, but not unknown. He made himself as presentable as he could, given he was wrapped in a bath towel and had his dressing gown on and went to answer the by now insistent knocking. His wife called from the kitchen to ask who it was, Colin thought “If I knew that I’d have x-ray vision, FFS” but said nothing and proceeded to answer the door.
Two men and a woman, people Colin had never seen before, were stood on his porch, their faces illuminated by the security light. All three of them were dressed in dark clothing and were wearing overcoats and black leather gloves. Colin instinctively wrapped his dressing gown a little tighter around himself and said “Hello, can I help you?” The three of them looked at each other and smiled, as if they were sharing a secret little joke. “Are you Colin Cross?” the man nearest to him said. Colin, feeling a strange sense of foreboding nodded, at the same time glancing behind him as his wife came out of the kitchen and into the hall. “Yes I am” said Colin, “who are you?”
“It doesn’t really matter who we are, but for the purposes of civility my name is Sinclair, this is Mr. Jeffers and Ms. Anders, all you need to know is we are here to discuss a serious matter and we’d rather do it inside than on the doorstep”. With that the man called Sinclair produced a small leather wallet and showed Colin his identification. On the card was a photograph of Sinclair, embossed over with a government seal and the legend “GCHQ Investigations Division, Anti-Subversion Department. “Now, can we come in, or would you rather get dressed and we could go somewhere quiet?”
Colins wife looked at him and told him he had better let them in, Colin stood to one side and indicated that the three of them should follow him into his living room where he offered them a seat on one of two leather sofas that dominated the larger part of the room. The log burner was lit and the room was extremely warm, but that didn’t seem to bother his guests in any way. Colin sat down opposite them and having recovered a bit of composure asked what they wanted.
The woman was the first to speak. “Can I just confirm that you are the person in this household that is a regular contributor to the “so called” political blog Going Postal”? Colin could feel his wife’s eyes boring into his back, “Yes, that’s correct, what about it” he said.
“It has come to our attention over recent months that the contributors to this blog, both article writers and those that comment on the topics, may be in breach of certain proposed new laws relating to the promotion of views that could be seen as anti- British, subversive, Islamaphobic, Homophobic and generally not conducive to the mainstream public good”.
“Hang on a minute, what do you mean, proposed new laws, how can I be in breach of something that doesn’t exist?” exclaimed Colin. Again the three people exchanged a knowing glance and the woman carried on. “What you have to understand Mr Cross, is that while we were perfectly happy with you and your co contributors venting your collective spleens prior to the EU referendum no one in government even remotely considered the possibility that Leave would win. Now we have a situation where a relatively small number of very active, what is known as “woke” people are instrumental in fomenting a level of unrest that we cannot tolerate. People like you have been emboldened by the result of the Referendum and the Trump debacle but make no mistake it has to stop and it has to stop now”.
Colin thought for a minute or two, Mrs Cross, being the person she is offered the three strangers a cup of tea which they laughingly declined. You could tell by looking at them they were the type that was extremely confident in their “rightness”. Well educated, well spoken and with an air of superiority one would normally associate with the likes of Alistair Campbell. All smiles and platitudes but cross them and you would probably regret it.
“I have to ask, why me? If you think I have any more influence than the next man or woman where GP is concerned you are very mistaken, intimidating me in the hope of scaring off other people might seem like a good idea to the likes of you, but believe me, the others on GP will be up in arms when they hear about what you are trying to do”. While he was saying this his wife was looking at him with real concern in her eyes, hinting that he should maybe tone down his indignation, Colin went to speak again but before he could start, Jeffers, who had remained silent until that point held up his hand, and with a voice that carried real menace and gravitas began to speak.
“Oh dear Mr Cross, how naive you people really are, at this very minute colleagues are speaking to people the length and breadth of not just this country but on Mainland Europe as well. You’ll no doubt be aware of characters with such names as Med Jumper, Hogwarts Bukkake, and Judas Was Paid? You’ll know Neville Cross, Snotsicle, I’m from Barcelona? What about 1649, Hugh Jeego, Grumpy, Eraser of Love, or shall we call him Disco Droid, and Dorset Knob. How about Ang Ryman and the troll formerly known as Rorscharch, what about Guardians Quitter and Old Trout?”
Jeffers reeled off a list of aliases; (his memory must have been truly phenomenal) including Bob Crow, Bjorn Grillar and Buttscratcher Jimmy, Real Roma Bob and Maximum Overdrive, Tegupigalpa, Dave, Jesus, Tired of EU Lies, Colliemum, Lefty Lies Refuted and many, many more. All of them known to Colin as regular contributors to Going Postal and/or Twitter and all now obviously known to the government. Colin went to speak again but Jeffers, now in full flow, stopped him in his tracks. “Our colleagues in Europe are busy tonight as well; you will no doubt be familiar with the names Swiss French Bob, Harry Meneely, Rick, EJ Recklam and Old Goat, yes? You’ve no doubt contributed to and applauded the output of Wankpuffin? Believe me Mr Cross, we know where you all live, what you all do and, be under no illusion, this is a friendly warning. Cease and desist with your puerile right wing ranting, keep your Islamaphobia and your hatred of the BBC to yourself and, just maybe, you’ll get to live out your retirement as you planned”.
Colin rankled at this; “I think you had better leave now, I am going to play dominoes and, when I get back in I’m going to write about this little visit. This is Britain, the home of free speech and now we have the internet we have the means to expose you and your bosses for what you really are”.
Jeffers and his colleagues got up and, without ceremony they headed for the door. Although Colin was shaken his resolve was strong and his initial fears about the visit were receding, he felt sure that the warning was nothing more than empty threats.
As Jeffers stepped out onto Colins drive he turned and, with that little hint of menace in his voice said; “Colin, what you said about this being Britain and the home of free speech? That’s exactly what John Brexiteer, Blue Hippo and Rotherham Poofta said, just last week”.