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On The Rocks

Spying slander after Russia finds UK "precious stone"

A large rocky outcrop

Russia claims this outcrop houses more cameras than the entire Big Brother House, and is only twice as interesting

Russia this week accused British diplomatic officials of collaborating with workers from Russian NGOs to spy on them. The “spies” allegedly loitered suspiciously around a “fake rock” containing a wireless transceiver which downloaded secret data from their pocket PCs.

Russian TV made the accusations, proffering the fake rock for viewers’ perusal, and they were eventually backed up by both the FSB, Russia’s state security service, and Russian president Vladimir Putin. Critics say that Putin is trying to foster an atmosphere of distrust towards NGOs, pointing out that the allegations come at the same time as the passing of a law restricting NGOs’ actions which is supported by the president.

Even so, there is now considerable anti-British feeling in Moscow, with one irate patriot, Russian geology student Rogvold Bighouski, demanding to know why the UK was giving rocks a bad name.

“Everywhere I go since this spy rock got found, I get people giving me dirty looks,” Rogvold complained. “Just because I too am interested in rocks, they think I am planning to tap the phones at the Kremlin, or something. I will stop next to a particularly intriguing piece of flint, get out my mobile ‘phone to photograph it, and they will assume I am a spy and report me to the FSB. It’s got to the stage where they’re inviting me round to dinner, and that’s really bad for my image.”

MI6 was unavailable for comment, but a spokesman for the suspicious rock said “Back off, or I’ll shoot you, you scum British bastard.” Instead, KTAB News talked to spy equipment designer Dr Francis Bargle.

“We do a range of ‘pseudogeological’ products: remote-control solar-powered boulders; stones with concealed audio bugs; early-warning gravel containing light- and pressure-sensitive instruments to warn of incoming foes; heat-seeking pebbles; you name it!”, he explained, “So as far as I’m concerned there’s nothing more plausible than a fake rock containing an elaborate data storage mechanism and a high-powered transmitter-receiver set-up powered for weeks on end entirely by a couple of AA batteries.”

“Our current top line is some paste you can mix with water to create a thick whitewash to discredit passing NGOs - we’ve just got a really big order from a former communist state, but I that’s all hush-hush, so I don’t want to say any more.”


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