MARTIN'S CHRISTMAS SPEECH 2019
2019 Christmas Speech
Following last week’s election, we are now all living, to coin a phrase, in “interesting times”, and I fear that they will become even more so in the future. People already seem resigned to having to wait five years for the next election before there is any chance of being able to put things right, but I for one suspect that with this lot in power, there will be no intention of their HOLDING any more elections. Instead, I fear that we’re going to be in for a very long haul, in which Brexit is going to be the very least of our worries. Those of us who retain any independence of thought, instead of blindly parroting meaningless phrases such as “taking back control”, “getting it done”, and “an oven ready deal”, are going to be enemies of the new English state, and will be packed off to corrective training camps as soon as these subversive tendencies are detected by our new authorities. Therefore the subject of this year’s talk is going to be how we can all improve our chances of staying free and safe in this new environment, as I fear that Cairn employees are going to be at particular risk.
First, I must apologise to everyone for my part in placing us all in such danger. After the Brexit referendum, my little Cairnland skits, in which we declared independence of the farm from the UK, in order for us to remain in the EU, are potentially going to be a serious red rag to the new government, so the less further said about that concept, the better! Even so, Cairn’s financial independence, which I am determined to preserve, will place us under continuing suspicion in the years ahead. Companies such as ours are attractive targets for various forms of “private equity”, where in many cases nobody really knows where the money has come from – rather like election expenses in fact – so instead of providing a safe and secure future for Cairn, we could in fact end up being controlled by the same puppetmasters who are now running the country! That’s why I’m particularly pleased to confirm that my long-announced intention to put everything into one or more employee-controlled trusts instead, will begin to be put into action in the New Year. Our new authorities will be powerless to stop us, but they’re not going to like it, so I’m afraid that as individuals we are going to be correspondingly more vigilant in the preservation of our own freedoms.
So here are a few handy survival hints for this brave new world. First, do you really need that mobile phone? If you have a location function switched on, it’s not only you who will know where you are within a metre or two. And if anyone you may be talking to at the time also has their location function switched on, then they will know that you have almost certainly spoken, whether they have hacked the microphones or not. Even without that function, you will always be tracked to the nearest network cell whenever the phone is on. And as for making calls, sorry, but are you mad? Even switching to flight mode might not be completely safe, so if you don’t want to let anyone know where you are or what you are doing, then just leave the thing at home!
Next up is credit cards, and now here is a double danger to confront. Of course, whenever you use the card to make a purchase, then “everyone” will know what you purchased when and where, so if the purchase is in any way suspicious, such as for the Guardian newspaper, then do please use cash! But there is now a further risk, on account of the contactless payment facility. Especially in crowded spaces, someone with a concealed card reader could approach you sufficiently closely to make a contactless “sale”, and thus record all this information without you even knowing until you receive your next statement, by which time it may well be too late. Again, don’t expose yourself to such risks – leave all your cards at home!
Now for travel. By car, only on minor roads are you likely to avoid any traffic cameras, but here just one oversight could be your undoing. And if your car has, or may be “upgraded” to having a self-driving facility, then just don’t use it at all! Suddenly it might not be YOU who has control over its destination, so please don’t be naïve here. If it’s too far to walk, then use bus, train or taxi instead, but don’t forget to pay in cash. You will have to risk being spotted on all those surveillance cameras, but facial recognition software is still in its infancy and can be quite easily confused by simple disguises such as those “Michael Gove” glasses that make your eyes look funny. Admittedly there is then a risk of being mistaken for Michael Gove, but hey, you can’t have everything!
But the main danger, of course, comes from “social media”, which in my view has been spoiling our lives in many other ways too. We get bombarded with so much information that we ourselves have trouble keeping track of it all, so it is indeed ironic that there are others out there who are tracking it rather well. But that’s not to say that your own interests are being similarly well looked after. For example, earlier this year the MySpace site admitted to having lost many years of user data. Actually I suspect it is still all out there somewhere, but just no longer accessible to the people who put it there. Even I’m not immune to this data overload – thanks to my dog breeding activities and my membership of a couple of WhatsApp groups, my phone is now crammed with hundreds of Vizsla photos and videos. Yes I do think they are wonderful dogs, but let’s face it, once you’ve seen one Vizsla, you really have seen most of them, however cute their Christmas jumpers may be. Vast amounts of data, but most of it inconsequential, at least to us! How much of this will we keep track of, or even ourselves retain, in just a few years time? It’s all too easy to lose it when we replace our electronic devices, and then we lose the lot. Without some sort of hard physical copy, how in the future will we get that same sense of “wow!” that I had when starting to clear out the old family house, finding colour slides of the young Martin building an igloo in the back garden? Yes, it used to snow in those days, but that’s an issue for another time, albeit one very soon!
Probably the dumbest thing you can do is to get one of those “Alexa” or similar devices, which will be hearing every word you say, and not just the ones you want them to respond to. But they may nevertheless have their uses. For example, if if someone you don’t particularly like has one, you can just ask them within their device’s earshot about how their plans for violent revolution are progressing, after which they are unlikely to trouble you again for some considerable time.
Still, in spite of our best attempts to keep our heads down, sooner or later the net may be closing in, in which case some even more secure measures may be needed in order to stay safe. In my case that will mean staying on the farm, and building a network of tunnels to move between the house and the business, and for walking the dogs. But I will also have learned from the mistakes of others who found themselves in a similar situation, especially that guy who let someone else do his laundry for him. He was identified as a target by the DNA traces on his underwear, which is of course also a powerful reminder always to shake and wipe properly, or at least a warning to go commando if you can’t!
So they’re not going to catch me that easily, and I reckon I can easily hold out until Scotland invades us, in which case we’ll also be back in the EU again. Meanwhile let’s all hang in there, continuing to do what we do best, which is to make really cool stuff for some really cool customers, and helping move our admittedly rather strange species forwards rather than backwards as our temporary new national masters seem to be so keen to do. So here’s to a 2020 vision, here’s to the future, and here’s to Cairn!