There is a folk tradition which involves ABC songs; the “Sailor’s ABC” and the “Socialist’s ABC” are perhaps the most notable. So to sing at parties or around the holiday log-fires, I offer an addition to the genre. It is called "The Data Protection Officer's ABC".
When that I was a tiny, tiny boy, my daddy said to me;
"The time has come, me bonny, bonny bairn, to learn your ABC."
Now my daddy was a privacy man and had a data protection mind
So his ABC was different from the kindergarten kind.
"A is for access to data; and the details we all can get back.
And B is the Blairite Government; it thinks FOIA is worse than Iraq!
C is for CCTV, installed so we can all be surveilled.
And D is for data of all kinds; even adult videos when played.
E is for excessive exemptions; which occur in all access regimes.
And F is for effing refusals; full access occurs only in dreams.
G is GCHQ; which intercepts e-mails to you.
And H is for horrid Home Office; it drafts laws so it’s easy to do.
I is for intelligence data; MI5 and 6 on our side.
And J is the judgement these spies make; it’s OK if you’ve nothing to hide.
K is for kind Kenneth Younger; his report on privacy was so good.
And L is for lovely Lord Leveson; his findings, I fear, will be dud.
M is for matching or mining of data; assumptions made with mouse clicks.
And N are the non-disclosure provisions; they get the details to coppers real quick.
O is for ongoing observation; and the cookies which catch us on-line.
Q is for queries and queuing; understanding the law needs a sage.
And R is repetitive ringtones; as the Commissioner's helpline’s engaged.
S is for sources of data; who share secrets behind our backs.
And T is for the tabloid papers; and the telephones they like to hack.
U is for undervaluation; as DPO's pay is so poor.
And V is the salute that we’re given; when like Oliver, we ask for more.
W is for all written warrants; which stay lawful for quite a while.
And that’s why X, Y and Z, my old daddy said, will be found in a Special Branch file.
Now that I'm not a tiny, tiny boy, my daddy says to me,
'"Please try to forget the things I said, especially that ABC."
For daddy is no longer a privacy man, and he's had to change his plea.
His alphabet is different now …since they made him ….Home Secretary.
Please accept our warm wishes for the coming holiday; hopefully a time when we can erase all thoughts about economic doom and gloom. Hawktalk will be back in early January.
If you can think of other couplets or improvements, please post them as comments. The metre of the above ABC is that of the late Alex Glasgow’s Socialist’s ABC: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqfz4-sMgak