Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Watching The Buggers (Part 5 Of 12)

Watching The Buggers (Part 5 Of 12)


by Tim Barcode

A play about the 2004 investigation into allegations of bugging the Maori Party.

This play is being serialised in 12 parts on Scoop. See CLICK HERE for links to all parts of the serial published so far.

Anyone wanting to perform it simply has to ask the writers permission and donate a tenth of the profits of any performances to the Ahmed Zaoui Support Fund

Westpac Queen Street, Auckland,
Account Number: 03 0296 0076601 00
Account Name: Zaoui Support Fund.

Characters:

  • Coates - a spy? - 30s

  • Paul –waiter? - 60s

  • Forbes – a spy? – 40s

  • Jane – a public servant employed by the Department of Conservation? 30ish.

  • Madonna – front counter worker at Gibson’s Drycleaners in Levin! – 19?

  • Paul – an Inspector General and retired High Court Judge? – 60s
  • The story so far…. In the first four parts we met Coates, a very nervous man sunbathing in a suit at the Huka Lodge, he has been met by Forbes, a brash man in an Hawaiian shirt. Both of them have a very good knowledge of the SIS Acts, but neither will confirm they are agents. Coates is the officer who authorises interception warrants and has come to the Lodge to meet someone. Forbes says he works for the SIS in accounts receivable.

    ***********

    Coates: . . . . Orders.

    Forbes: . . . . Whose orders?

    Coates: . . . . I’m not saying.

    Forbes: . . . . What was in that note?

    Coates: . . . . I’m not saying.

    Forbes: . . . . Who is number 1?

    Coates: . . . . I don’t know.

    Forbes: . . . . Coates, you’re in big trouble. If you confide in me I may be able to help.

    Coates: . . . . Who are you working for?

    Forbes: . . . . Who are you working for?

    Coates: . . . . The New Zealand government.

    Forbes: . . . . Which New Zealand government?
    Forbes moves Coates’ chair again.
    . . . . Sun has moved.

    Coates: . . . . This is just silly. Do you normally run interrogations?

    Forbes: . . . . No. No I’m an Accounts team leader.

    Coates: . . . . Am I behind in my budget reports? Why are you here?

    Forbes: . . . . There was no one else free. Everyone is following Maori party members.

    Coates: . . . . That’s absurd.

    Forbes: . . . . There’s only 150 agents covering 3,000 Maori leaders. Those that are free are combing Asia for evidence to re-imprison Ahmed Zaoui. I’ve got no experience whatsoever.

    Coates: . . . . It shows.

    Forbes: . . . . What’s in the briefcase?

    Coates: . . . . ( grabbing it) Briefs.

    Forbes: . . . . Why does the SIS desk officer who actions the bugging warrants go awol with a briefcase?

    Coates: . . . . It’s not bugging – it’s surveillance. How do you know what I do?

    Forbes: . . . . Listen Coates – I’m in Finance, we have access to all personnel records.

    Coates: . . . . I’ve never seen you in the lift.

    Forbes: . . . . Of course not, have you ever seen anyone in the lifts?

    Coates: . . . . No. But then we’re supposed to travel alone so no one sees where we get off.

    Forbes: . . . . Why are you here?

    Coates: . . . . I’m acting on orders.

    Forbes: . . . . Who’s orders? TELL ME!

    Coates: . . . . I CAN’T!

    Forbes: . . . . YES YOU CAN!

    Coates: . . . . All right Forbes. You asked for it. THE INSPECTOR-GENERAL!
    Forbes jumps back.

    Forbes: . . . . No!
    Coates stands.

    Coates: . . . . You can’t handle the truth. The Inspector-General is number one. He has summoned me here to enquire about any and surveillance and interceptions warrants on the Maori party.

    Forbes: . . . . You can’t – it’s disloyal.

    Coates: . . . . Disloyal to who?

    Forbes: . . . . To the service.

    Coates: . . . . No. Section 23 of the Inspector-General of the Intelligence and Security Act, subsection 2. “The Inspector-General may summon and examine on oath…”

    Forbes: . . . . Don’t do it.

    Coates: . . . . You have no idea. Call yourself a spy.

    Forbes: . . . . I’m the Team leader for accounts receivable.

    Coates: . . . . Call yourself a team leader.

    Forbes: . . . . But the damage this will do to the Service!

    Coates: . . . . Nothing will ever come out. The Inspector-General doesn’t even need to say what he’s investigating, who he’s talking to, what they said or what evidence he has. At the end of the investigation he gives his report to the PM and it never has to be released. And if it is it could be edited to say nothing.

    Forbes: . . . . Your disloyalty to the service is frightening.

    Coates: . . . . And the note was from Richard Wood and warned you not to tell me you worked for accounts.

    Forbes: . . . . I’d seen MY note I wouldn’t have …..Give me the briefcase Coates.

    Coates: . . . . There’s nothing in it.

    Forbes: . . . . Give me the case.
    Forbes moves towards Coates who backs away.

    Coates: . . . . No!

    Forbes: . . . . ( advancing) Hand it over!
    Forbes goes to seize the briefcase and they struggle over it.
    Paul enters with sandwiches.

    Paul: . . . . Your sandwiches….
    The briefcase breaks open. Out falls a Penthouse magazine, a pork pie, a copy of a newspaper, and a diary. They pause.

    Paul: . . . . Would sirs like a private room?


    End of scene.

    Act One
    Scene 2
    Wednesday morning – 9.50.
    Outside – A railway station shed in Masterton. There is light drizzle.

    Jane walks across and looks down the railway line. She is smartly dressed in black, but has an overcoat on. She’s in her 20s or early 30s. She checks her watch. She waits.
    Pause.
    Enter Coates. Dressed identically to Scene one. His briefcase is taped up. He looks less certain as to where to stand.
    He stands for a second and then moves toward a shelter.

    Jane: . . . . I wouldn’t go in there if I was you.
    Coates moves back to her uncertainly.

    Coates: . . . . Is that the shelter for train passengers waiting for the train?

    Jane: . . . . Yes.

    Coates: . . . . The train that travels from Masterton to Wellington?

    Jane: . . . . Yes.
    Pause. Coates is clearly confused.

    Coates: . . . . Oh.

    Jane: . . . . It’s up to you. You can go in there, but I don’t.

    Coates: . . . . It’s raining, well drizzling.

    Jane: . . . . ( looking skyward) Yes.

    Coates: . . . . Can’t you hear the train from inside the shelter?

    Jane: . . . . No it blows a whistle, and stops. You can’t miss it.
    Pause.

    Coates: . . . . Is there someone in the shelter?

    Jane: . . . . No.
    Jane continues to look down the line. Coates follows her gaze and looks down the line.

    Coates: . . . . Does the roof leak?

    Jane: . . . . No.

    Coates: . . . . Right.
    Coates looks skyward and then brings his collar closer to his neck to keep warm.

    Jane: . . . . It’s the only shelter for miles.

    Coates: . . . . ( Looks around) I see.

    Jane: . . . . There’s nothing else.

    Coates: . . . . Right.

    Jane: . . . . No other train or bus shelters. No big trees.

    Coates: . . . . I can see that.

    Jane: . . . . No toilets, no information booths.

    Coates: . . . . Fine. So I could go in there? As it’s raining.

    Jane: . . . . Of course.

    Coates: . . . . I think I will then.

    Jane: . . . . Ok.
    Coates walks decisively into the shelter (which maybe is off stage).
    Pause.
    Jane continues to look up the line.

    Coates: . . . . So there are no public toilets round here.

    Jane: . . . . ( looking up the line) No. ( half pause) Not official ones.

    Coates: . . . . That’s a real shame. I’ll stand out here then.

    Jane: . . . . It’s better.

    (Continuing tomorrow…)

    See http://scoop.co.nz/mason/features/?s=spooks#watching for links to all parts of the serial published so far.

    © Scoop Media

     
     
     
     
     
    Top Scoops Headlines

     

    Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

    Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

    Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

    The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

    ALSO:

    Buildup:

    Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

    It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

    ALSO:

    Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

    Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

    Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

    Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

    Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

    I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

    Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

    It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

    ALSO:


    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Top Scoops
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news