January the 5th.
This morning no-one is any the wiser. The media is still under OMS emergency reporting strictures, but as I expected there were no explosions, and the disrupted timetables were reset to normal overnight.
Under such restrictions the PushCred is unashamedly propagandised. There are reports of how Londoners and commuters remained defiant in the face of the terrorist threats; calmly working together to make the best of the temporary inconvenience. The Regent has added His congratulations on a job well done to the fulsome praise for the police and armed services who responded so well. At this very moment our diligent protectors are sifting through all the surveillance data they have
Lois Merck, speaking on behalf of the Council, said the cowardly terrorists would never defeat a people united with their Consensus government. Their attempt to paralyse the capital had been defeated thanks to the resolute action of the public security forces and the people they serve, but as these unknown criminals may try again it is vital we maintain our vigilance. Citizens should obey without question any instructions given to them, and expect extra, random security checks. Cut to shots of the Palace of Westminster, St Stephen's tower, the usual London tropes, and a vox pop of a variety of people all agreeing we'd shown the terrorists they wouldn't beat us as well as praising the official response. The capital was almost back to normal again. Proof - were any needed - of the resilience of the people of the Federation.
In other news the United Nations Security Council will convene today to discuss the latest outbreak of violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the Partitioned Territories. The UN peacekeeping fo-. I flick of in disgust. There are times such as these when as a journalist you feel utterly superfluous. We can expect to have some restricted ability to stream our own content from noon onwards, but even then the OMS will be keeping an even closer eye than it usually does on what we 'cast. But what really rankles is having to watch impotently as the Consensus effectively takes over our network for their use. PushCreds are bad enough, but this is just taking the piss!
This was no coincidence. It must have been deliberately planned to happen at the same time as our launch conference and have the effect that it did; to relegate the NRP to a barely watched side channel story. In addition it had the fortuitous effect of creating fear among the populace, as well as providing a pretext for a practice widespread mobilisation of the police and armed forces (the report inadvertently let that little morsel of information slip which it shouldn't have done. What were the army doing getting involved in a supposedly civilian policing operation?)
The Consensus will make the most of their false flag terror scare. In such times of make-believe peril the sheeple cleave to their government and don't complain if a few people get pushed around and reminded who's really in charge as happened yesterday. It's only a matter of time before we hear about how all the crimes which might have been missed were instead detected as a result of the intense policing, and how we're all safer as a result of those criminals being caught.
All in all it's been a shitty start to our campaign; news ambushed by the establishment, our message marginalised by their display of intimidatory force. What makes it worse is knowing they can repeat this tactic at will within reason; though trying it on too often might just make even the most uncritical people wonder who are these extraordinary terrorists who can get clean away time after time without getting caught or leaving any clues or leads behind them; oh yes, it happens all the time! Do I sound sarcastic and cynical? That's because I am. No; this tactic has to be used carefully for fear of showing up the institutions which are supposed to be aggrandised as incompetent.
I've no doubt these imaginary foes will remain ever present; observant and threatening from the shadows of the paranoid imagination, just waiting for the chance to strike again but not actually getting round to doing so. The fear of them revived as required as a reminder of risk we must all guard against; the unspoken subtext that only the Consensus can guarantee your security. Vote for the Consensus Party
Even if by some miracle the NRP were to win the election we can expect determined opposition from the forces of this militarised state which were so ostentatiously deployed yesterday. All in all things don't look too hopeful for us. May now seems a long way away; no longer a date to be looked forward to but one to be anticipated with dread.
January the 6th
Exhausted and relieved at belatedly getting home I didn't realise until I awoke the next morning my sixth sense was telling me someone had been in here again while I was away. But now I know my suspicions are more than paranioa thanks to the two barometric sensors I was given to hide in my flat in response to my previous concerns. On checking the data from both of them via my scroll I get a graph - adjusted to compensate for the normal fluctuations in atmospheric pressure - displaying the slight changes in air density in my flat as a result of the opening or closing of a door. There are fluctuations indicating activity here during the time I was away in London.
I should, and probably will report this latest intrusion to our security team. But will it do any good? I wouldn't put it past James to put his 'trusted' employees under surveillance, just to be sure they're not Connie double agents, though if I ever found that to be so he'd get his campaign thrown right back into his face! I refuse to be treated as a suspect!
I could ask my neighbours if they'd seen anything. I think they are apolitical enough to be trusted; as yet none of them have openly come out as Connies but these days you can never be entirely sure... The trouble is that like all of us these days they're out for long periods of time working or credding, so a roundabout question if they'd seen the maintenance engineer go in as arranged while I was out would be unlikely to tell me anything. So I'll just have to take the advice of the consultants; continue to regard my flat as being compromised and act accordingly. Whoever is doing this must beba professional with access to state of the art equipment.
I've been told not to make it obvious to the surveilling party I'm aware of being bugged; or install microcams in a bid to catch them at it. A skilled operator would be on the lookout for them, and their discovery would give the game away. It is best just to carry on as normally as possible but do any sensitive campaign work from my screened office. Perhaps overconfidently thinking I remain unaware of their interest, the buggers will get too cocky and make a revealing error later... All the same, it's unnerving to know someone, somewhere has a beady eye on you. The fact things have been this way for so long that surveillance is regarded as a given doesn't make it any more acceptable. I'd just like to know who is so interested in me, and why.
January the 10th.
Another day; another dose of paranoia. This morning I received a confidential blurt explaining how in advance of the election a part of a vacant floor of the Column will be converted into a temporary dormitory for the use of any IMS staff and their families who want to avail themselves of the relative protection of the LEZ.
Though the offer is open to all employees to take up if they choose, I am to personally approach certain members of staff in my region and encourage them to go there in order that they may assist the London office in providing an emergency 'casting service should our provincial offices be occupied, or the links to them interrupted.
In addition, arrangements have been made for Zone security personnel to be deployed to our offices and resillient modes in the days before the poll. Most of the supplies they are likely to need will be delivered in advance of their arrival; just in case that mountain of crates which arrived at Anchorage Park proves insufficient. I am to liaise with them and do whatever is required to aid them in their duties.
January the 12th.
Well the good news is I passed my AHA, so I only had to endure the standard healthy living lecture. My ongoing eye problems remain unresolved though. I'm being referred on to the local eye clinic for further examination and have paid the appointment broker for a 'priority' service; the sooner the date comes through the better!
In the meantime I'm handed a worthless chit recommending I refrain from excessive amounts of screen focused work; as if that would be possible in my position! The doctor told me that as I enter early middle age I can expect some changes in my vision, and it's a perfectly natural part of the ageing process. My symptoms may even be anxiety related; I should consider strategies for dealing with workplace stress or consider changing my occupation. Yeah right! As if it were that easy!
I had to work like a fucking Trojan to get where I am now. I may be having a difficult time of at the moment but there are plenty of people who have it far worse; if I have apply for Reassignment due to health reasons I'll quickly become one of them.
There are no allowances made; no mercy shown to People With Disabilities these days. In a grotesque perversion of the ideal of equal opportunities they are expected to work equally as hard as anyone else, despite any problems their handicap may cause them. It has been decided by those who have absolutely no fucking idea what living with an impairment is like there is always some sort of work which can be done with whatever adaptations are practical; so work or get Rehabilitated.
I can't ask for help in mitigating my problems until it is known exactly what is up with my eyes; in the meantime I have to cope as best I can and hope I'm seen as quickly as possible. At least knowing for sure what is wrong would be better than this interminable uncertainty.
January the 19th.
At long last I finally remembered to find out what it was in James' murky past which he and his backers wanted to keep so well hidden. I kept putting it aside, or forgetting; or after a long day my strained eyes weren't up to it. But eventually that partially formed thought floating around in the bottom of my mind coalesced into action.
My dark trawling and a couple of files from Dad's chip helped; but the whitewash has been so thoroughly done there are only hints and innuendoes left. Even my usual contacts could come up with little more than scraps. Whatever wurdle they used must have been exceptionally powerful; enough so to backtrack and alter even dark and cached data. This in itself is evidence of how powerful James' new friends are; that sort of frazzling is only available to a select few.
So what is there beyond James' public bio? Not much it would seem at first glance, but as ever there is always another story behind the headlines for those who take the time and effort to look.
By now the basic facts of his life are well-known. James Purvis learned his business skills from his father Michael; a street market trader working in the East End of London. But James had loftier ambitions than just taking after his Dad. By dint of hard work and shrewdness he was able to be at the right place at just the right moment to multiply his money into quite a tidy sum. Then he decided to make a leap of faith by investing in the media while it was going through such a turbulent time. His boldness paid off handsomely and the rest as they say, is history.
It's when you begin to delve a bit deeper you start to get the feeling that all is not as it is told. For example his early partnership with Mehmet Yılmaz when they were both involved in property rental. How did the son of a market trader - no matter how good his ducking and diving skills - and a second generation Turkish immigrant ever get the money together to get started in the sector, even in the small way they did? It wasn't that easy to do back then, even before the Credit Crunch. No, they must have had 'alternative' streams of income in addition to the takings from market stalls, rents, and the profits from a dry cleaning business...
And then there was the falling out between James and Mehmet. Officially it was about the direction they wanted their joint holding company to take; in reality their dispute was about how far they would go in getting their hands dirty. Both agreed they weren't getting rich quickly enough; the question was how to solve that problem.
Mehmet Yilmaz was a wrong 'un for sure. He didn't care what he got involved in; extortion, drugs, people trafficking, pimping, paedophilia... James may like them a bit young but compared to Mehmet's lusts, James' conquests are old age pensioners. Our James was astute enough to realise that while things might be going well for them at the moment, in the end it would all go badly wrong: Eventually Mehmet would get caught with his trousers round his ankles and bring them both down.
Their relationship began to get acrimonious and then, just as it looked as if they were about to split-up their little empire, one of those fortunate happenstances which always seem to favour James occurred.
Suddenly Mehmet the drug dealer developed a liking for the product he sold; and not just any old dope, he dropped out of sight for a while and went straight on to Wreck. Now you may not know what Wreck is; it's probably been long supplanted by something even more potent by now. Suffice it to say it's named Wreck because that's what it does to you. There have been other derivatives of Krokodil, but they are as mere aspirins compared to Wreck.
Most users last about nine months from their first hit to when the multiple organ failure kills them; not that they're bothered by then because their minds are already so far away in another place they'll never be coming back. But there are always exceptions; Mehmet took the fast track and blazed his own starry trail across the heavens in a mere three weeks, before being found floating in the Thames near Halstow Marshes. At the inquest the coroner, in declaring an open verdict, said he had never heard of such a high concentration of drugs being found in a person's bloodstream before; but although foul play might well be suspected, nothing could be proven.
Being the main beneficiary of Mehmet's demise by inheriting his share of the company, James immediately fell under suspicion but there was no conclusive evidence against him. Nor was that the only time he'd appeared on the police's radar; both he and Charles Bennett had come to the attention of the Operation Heron ll task force; but being more circumspect than he average nonce, again there was nothing which could be acted upon. Yet it has to be asked; how else would the likes of James Purvis and Charles Bennett - two very different people from backgrounds so divergent - have met? What else would they have had in common
Maybe given enough time and more resources, a bit more diligent digging might have yielded something more substantial. But with nothing but circumstantial evidence to go on, and the Insurgency gathering momentum, all available police resources were concentrated on countering that threat. Even if the enquiry was reactivated now the cases are too cold; too many trains of thought have been dropped; for the likelyhood of anything to come of it.
So the image we get of James is far from the whole story. Instead we have his self-written narrative; he the street savvy barrow boy made good by his own honest efforts. A respectable member of society; patron of the arts; (in reality he's got the aesthetic sensibilities of a house brick: He has someone on his staff to take care of his acquisitions) and now an aspiring populist leader.
You won't hear of course about how he takes out most of his pent-up rage on his punch bag (He was quite a good teenage amateur boxer.) I say most of his anger... or of his constant need for a new 'younger' woman; or of all the other issues spanning the course of his career which might have been stumbling blocks but suddenly resolved themselves in his favour. Neither will the backhanders, the back room deals, the discreet strong-arm tactics, the dalliance with the wrong side of the law and the careful meeting out of violence if required as a last resort be exposed to scrutiny. His instincts may be to only go as far as he has to in order to get what he wants, but he can be as much of a cunt as anyone who fights his way into the exclusive circles of hidden power.
No, the James you'll see now has spent a long time cultivating his business accent and entrepreneurial image; now he considers himself suave enough to have earned himself a place at the high table. He may imagine himself worthy to be thought of by the real powerbrokers in their Zoned home counties mansions as a suitable foil to reflect their ambitions; but do they only regard him as a disposable warning shot across the bows of the Consensus, to be dispensed with once their point has been made and his usefulness at an end? Whatever the truth of the relationship between James and the Zoners, both share a determination to get what they want; no matter by what means and regardless of the consequences to others.
Working for him, and knowing what he's really like, I find the outside chance he may be our next Prime Minister disconcerting until I consider the alternative... There are few perfect choices in politics, especially in our world, and there are no innocents in this dirty business. But I have to wonder how things ever got to the point where James and his NRP became our last great hope?ns 188.8.131.52da2