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February 03, 2013

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Celestialweasel

I may have said this on a comment to your blog if you have mentioned it before, I have certainly said it somewhere before... but dreadful though this is it does strike me that this would be an excellent background for a sit-com.

Dick Gregory

Are there any dead babies left in this country without the documentation for overseas travel?

ajay

Tonight at 8.30: international terrorist André the Hyena prepares to travel to Paris, using the identity of Joseph Richards (died in 1981, aged 6 months). What André doesn't know is that undercover policeman Steve "the Hammer" Hammond is about to infiltrate a dangerous group of extremist vegans, also using a passport in the name of the late Joseph Richards. Meanwhile, infamous cocaine boss Armando "Armadillo" Montez prepares for a high-stakes meeting with his rival, the Serbian drug lord Barko "Bacon" Sandwic, flying into Heathrow on a fake British passport in the name of Joseph Richards... Hilarity ensues!

Richard J

Declining infant mortality and the loss of religious faith must really mean there's only a limited number of relevant graves these days, I'd guess.

OT: looks like SWP CC has got the mandate to start with the purging.

Chris Williams

My own preferred version of this was set in the 1970s, when a naive plane-spotter from Thetford and an angry squatter from Bielefeld each join the wrong version of the RAF . . . with hiLAROUS consequences.

ajay

Declining infant mortality and the loss of religious faith must really mean there's only a limited number of relevant graves these days, I'd guess.

That's not a problem yet, though - you want graves with the same birth date (roughly) so we're going through the supply from the 70s and 80s right now. No point in stealing the identity of a 2-year-old. ("Aren't you a little short to be an international hitman?")

Alex

It would be interesting to know how big the loophole is. For example, do they do any cross-checking with past applications, or could you recycle an identity? It goes without saying, of course, that it's clearly been left open in order to let spooks etc use it.

Richard J

Somebody told me once that that the effectiveness of the trick is timebound as birth certificates are now stamped when the person concerns dies, and have been for about 15-20 years now, I think.

But you obviously have the historic deaths before this change in policy that are unstamped.

Barry Freed

My own preferred version of this was set in the 1970s, when a naive plane-spotter from Thetford and an angry squatter from Bielefeld each join the wrong version of the RAF...

Please make this. Would watch. Would probably even buy the DVD set.

No point in stealing the identity of a 2-year-old.

Yes, but when that identity "matures" it would be advantageous for the organization thinking in the long-term to have it already on hand. You could even have a futures market in secret/undercover agent identities.

ajay

a naive plane-spotter from Thetford and an angry squatter from Bielefeld each join the wrong version of the RAF

In the second series, a hapless New Jersey tax accountant becomes the target of an MI6 hit team after an understandable confusion over his efforts to encourage his customers to fund their IRAs.

guthrie

I'm just surprised that they would need to use real identities. What's the point of being a minion of the state if you can't get the state to issue the appropriate, correct and verified paperwork for you?

And how are the government computer databases doing? Are they sure nobody has inserted some fake ID's for their own use? Suborn someone at the start when everything's a mess, get fake ID's inserted, NI numbers issues and so on, then sell them off to the, ummm, appropriate people.

Alex

If you just ordered the UK Passport Office to give them passports, there would be a couple of problems; first of all, you'd have to make sure there wasn't some way of detecting this bureaucratically (watch the serial numbers!) and that the passports didn't by chance match someone else, secondly, there would be a risk that someone in the passport office might blab, and thirdly, you'd have to think of a way to make sure the people issuing them didn't start quietly running off some more for their own account. The French have had quite a few scandals involving illegally issued genuine passports.

If the people issuing them don't know they're doing anything unusual, they can't leak, and there shouldn't be anything unusual about the documents, and it complicates the opportunity for corruption.

guthrie

But then pushes the potential failure implications back onto the parents of the dead baby....

Sounds good to me.

JamesP

Third season: confusion reigns after a group of horny high school seniors decide to answer an ad promising "hot MILF action" in SOLDIER OF FORTUNE magazine, only to find themselves in the Philippines ...

JamesP

KNIFE SKILLS: female-orientated comedy-drama in which two sisters, both admirers of Julia Child, each accidentally join the wrong CIA.

dsquared

As a way of guarding against the possibility of having a few rogue employees run off fake passports, the existence of a massive loophole that has allowed anyone who wants to to create a fake indentity for fifty years seems ... pretty much in character for the common sense levels of intelligence operations.

Ken MacLeod

wrong version of the RAF

Something not quite like this happens in William Boyd's Any Human Heart, where the protagonist, after a grim stay in hospital, joins the Socialist Patients' Collective.

ajay

female-orientated comedy-drama in which two sisters, both admirers of Julia Child, each accidentally join the wrong CIA.

One ends up in a brutal, secretive organisation, being trained by sadistic instructors in a high-pressure environment, and after graduation will go on to a shadowy role tyrannising and exploiting a lot of helpless Central Americans.

The other one becomes an intelligence officer...

Phil

Ken - ouch. The SPK did not mess about. Or rather they did - that entire milieu was a bit of a shambles in retrospect - but not in a fun way. (Shambles aren't fun places.)

Interesting, though, & fits with something I was reading the other day, to the effect that Boyd had come from British intelligence - I didn't take much notice at the time, not having read any of his stuff.

ajay

There's only so many three-letter acronyms you can have, I suppose. Someone in 1960s London might have dreaded having their door knocked on by the SPG or the SPG.

Keir

I am not quite sure when the Irish Rifle Association gave that acronym up as a bad job, but it was certainly long after it had become quite confusing.

jamie

Depressed man signs up for CBT and wonders why the lady therapist is dressed in leather and what all the clamps and whips are doing in her office.

Richard J

[Obligatory South Park NAMBLA reference.]

Barry Freed

Depressed man signs up for CBT and wonders why the lady therapist is dressed in leather and what all the clamps and whips are doing in her office.

And is surprised to find that it does wonders for his mood (no doubt due to the "I'll give you something to cry about" theory of behavioral modification).

ajay

Or, alternatively, turns up in sensible slacks and a beige sweater due to having confused S&M with M&S.

Phil

You learn something new every day. But I'm not having much luck googling "soldier of fortune" and MILF - at least, not much of the right kind of luck.

des von bladet

Phil: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moro_Islamic_Liberation_Front

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