Friday, November 01, 2013

'Classified' info and leaks? They're all part of the service

Image: The murky world of a leak in the classifieds.

THE barrage of announcements this week that revealing classified information is apparently bad enough to incur enough life sentences to take the meow out of the family cat sent shudders through some human bones. Innocent eyes that gaze at me from behind a razor every day have feasted on classified information for decades. Even worse, the creature behind those bloodshot windows to the soul has been manning phones and keyboard with the noble motivation of 'the public's right to know', just like the defence in tribunals with authority to 'throw away the key'. The Law's apparent interest in the classifieds is puzzling indeed. And all the talk of leaks! Why don't they call a plumber?

A TRADESMAN like Wellington Point's Malcolm Blyth can soon take care of any troublesome leaks. If he was in the US the government wouldn't need the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison. Nevertheless, Mal copped an 'enhanced interrogation' – minus any beatings and sleep and sensory deprivation, but with a much-feared torture technique, the interrogator's sense of humour – over his interest in leaks of the 'drip, drip, drip' kind. Let it go on the record now that, yes, Brisbane-born Mal has profited from leaks occurring in the Redlands for several decades but, no, he's not a terrorist, just a reliable, semi-retired tradie looking forward to some overseas travel now his son, Jack, has graduated from Sheldon College and settled in as a university student. Mal's wife Sally is an abstract artist who knows how to turn a leak into a good picture. She's just finished 14 paintings for a Noosa retirement village. They deserve their passports.
Mal admits he had a brush with the mafia in Italy "way back" and came face to face with the black market when he tried to buy a cigar in Vietnam a few years ago. But the only 'spooks' in his life were those in the Tower of London where he worked early morning shifts on the heating system while studying at night for his plumbing certificates many years ago. Yes, the 'Speckled Hen' is at top of mind for Mal. But no, it's not the code name for a 'wiki' covert – just a tasty English brew that he enjoys at his beloved The Grand Hotel, where he might chat with his mates about his past travels including New Zealand and the Pacific islands, or the Socceroos' Asian Cup performance.
Mal does admit he'd like to use a few 'compliance' techniques to get Jake back into the "world game" after a stellar career as a Redlands defender. But Mal's just another loving dad, like dozens of the other tradies who advertise in The Redland Times and Bayside Bulletin every week.
This column appeared in August in The Redland Times.

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