A Secret Agent
By Mark Burrow
A SECRET AGENT
Believe me, if there was another way, then I, of all people, would be
for it. I have tried everything from voting in local and general
elections to picketing with my placard outside the black, guarded gates
of Downing Street. I've sent letters to MPs. I've been on a Radio Five
phone in, hosted by Nicky Campbell. I went through a phase of sending
letters to The Guardian on a weekly basis. I've tried to express my
views. I have made serious attempts to be a genuine liberal. Eight
months ago I walked naked along Whitehall, placard raised, making my
protest against the injustice which offends me so. I made the papers,
finally. Or should I say, part of the physical me made the papers.
There was no reference as to why I was walking naked down Whitehall
with a raised placard. The reference was only to my nudity and the
alleged smallness of my member. A smallness - alleged - that could not
be blamed on the weather as the day was unusually warm for that time of
When I look at the efforts I have made to be a citizen (in the
Enlightened, Rosseauean meaning of the term, you understand), then I
think it is not an exaggeration to say I have tried harder than
I have tried and I refuse to fail.
Abiding by what I believe has cost me dearly and I will not stop until
my point is made. Let me be honest here, I have lost a great deal by
sticking to my principles.
I suspect those who are in power know that integrity can make life
extremely difficult. Perhaps that is why they themselves have no
integrity, no conscience, principles, decency, goodness and
consideration, no generosity of spirit. Human spirit.
I might be wrong.
I will concede that I might be too harsh on them. But then again, if I
am right, if they are motivated solely by greed, the adoration of money
and the privileges concurrent with power, then something must be done,
and done soon to break our chains.
Already, I have had to forgo a great deal. The last words my
girlfriend, Lucy, said to me were, "AND YOU DO HAVE A SMALL
She wiggled her little finger at me. Her friend, Leanne, was waiting
for her in the car, and she wiggled her little finger at me as well.
The bags were already packed into Leanne's Mini Metro. Lucy got into
the car, lit a cigarette. Leanne started the engine. The Corrs could be
heard playing on the car stereo. The car moved off down the road.
Lucy didn't even bother with a second glance.
She was being spiteful with the finger wiggling gesture. She always
said my member was normal. That it was "nice". It's funny how breaking
up can make people say things they don't mean.
I know she didn't mean it.
What upset her, what made her leave me was my obsession. She wasn't
interested in what caused my disgust. Her view was that I had to "face
up to reality". That I had to accept what she called "the real world".
I'd try and read to her from books, print off information for her that
I had read on the internet. She preferred to watch television. To go to
her yoga class. To go out clubbing with Leanne.
"That's just the way the world is," she said, "you won't change
I told her she was brainwashed by the media.
"Right," she said, "and only you know the truth."
I told her I wasn't alone.
That there were millions just like me.
"Now there's a thought," she said.
I couldn't persuade her to join me. She left our home in Croydon and
went to live with Leanne in Purley. None of my friends were persuaded
either. They stopped calling. I think they grew tired of me trying to
make them behave like ethical beings. It is fair to say I am something
of a loner for although I am not alone in what I believe it does seem
that none of my fellow brothers in arms live in Croydon or the
The pupils at the Secondary School where I teach Craft &; Design
Technology are not overly interested either. Many have reported me. In
fact, I am due for another disciplinary hearing in three weeks time.
The Head and Deputy Head tell me it is an imperative to teach only what
is on the syllabus. Apparently, my personal views should not be
expressed in the classroom. They have called me unprofessional. I find
their ignorance astonishing. I explained my reasons. Outlining my fears
for the youth of today. I see it as my duty to inform our youth of the
injustice which degrades the dignity of the human spirit. If it weren't
for me, who else would tell these teenage children about the facts?
Where would they get the truth? Look at their source of information:
television! They are brought up to believe that newsreaders like Trevor
MacDonald and Moira Stewart are telling them about "the real world".
It's lunacy, that's what it is. How can a teacher be unprofessional if
that teacher is guiding young minds to an understanding of reason,
logic, of grasping the facts?
That was what a teacher was supposed to do.
I was ordered to stick to the syllabus. "Keep your own views to
yourself," said the Head Master. The Deputy said, "It is up to the
children to come to their own opinions. It's immoral to tell them what
When I left their office I was covered in sweat, feverish. Where did
the deputy imagine these children to live? Did he think they were in
some sacrosanct universe where their minds were untouched by external
stimuli? I have seen children in my school reading red topped tabloid
papers. I am talking of the few who bother to read. The majority of
them appear to have zero interest in the injustice. From what I can
see, what really gains their interest, what floats their boat is music
In many ways teenagers are no different to adults.
Unfortunately for the pupils, when they enter my workshop they are not
allowed to listen to music or to fuck. No, they have to listen to me.
When I start to tell them what I know to be true the response tends to
be a uniform chorus of "BOOORRRRIIINNNGGG". This doesn't deter me. I am
tempted to make them eat their mobile phones and gold chains and their
obscene footwear but I tell them to be quiet and listen to what I have
to say. I do this because I have faith that a modicum of what I am
telling them must eventually have an impact.
Why would anyone, young or old, want to ignore injustice?
It is this faith which leads me to believe the act I am duty bound to
take is not too drastic. For many nights I have stayed late in my
workshop at school, making the bomb which will show how committed I am
to exposing the murderous debacle which is modern society. The
explosives are tightly packed into a metal pipe that is five and a
quarter inches long. At the moment before explosion, the heat in the
metal will extend the pipe to almost six inches. Although it is more
likely to be five and a half, it depends on the weather. To some
people, people like Lucy and Leanne, the length of the pipe will be
laughably small. Freakishly so. People tend to find something slightly
comical about five inches.
Attitudes will soon be changing.
My pipe bomb will show people what sort of havoc can be wreaked with a
mere five and a bit inches. I'm talking carnage. Mayhem. Journalists
and forensic experts, together with the public at large, will be
stunned at how something so small can create such penetrating
I'll soon be ready. I'm yet to select a target. The problem is, I'm
spoilt for choice. There are so many symbols of the injustice to
destroy and people corrupted and sullied by power to attack.
I'll only hunt the guilty. The innocent won't be hurt.
I know who they are.