Yes, I took Putin's roubles to undermine Western democracy. This is my story

Ever heard of 'GDS'? Yup, that was me

Olga Zelenkova / Shutterstock.com

?Bong! Every man must make a reckoning, and now I must make mine. ????? (which means 'Garland of Flowers' in Thai), please note the following.

Dear reader / next of kin:

You will have read much this week about the many ways Putin used digital networks to influence and undermine Western European democracies, including the United Kingdom.

But that's not the half of it.

As the sun sinks over Seven Mile Beach here at Grand Cayman, and I prod anxiously at my sole remaining kidney – the other I traded away when the Cameroons were being slaughtered in a sports stadium in North West London – I feel I must share information that I have never shared before. I took the Kremlin's pot of roubles and actively worked to undermine the health of the United Kingdom. I wish to make a detailed account of my activities so the cost to the nation can be determined.

I, Steven Xavier de Bong, undertook the following activities on behalf of a foreign state, namely Russia:

  • Economy

    I actively worked to impair the UK's economic long-term capacity with the strategic goal of replacing the UK's profit-making industries with new, permissionless, disruptive digital businesses, which made no money. I worked on several fronts: investing in hundreds of loss-making digital startups through BongVentures LLC, and lobbying for and publicly advocating digital clusters and catapults, technology trebuchets and singularity launchpads.

    As a consequence "innovation", "technology" and even "work" have been successfully redefined to mean the exact opposite of what they meant a few years ago. In this task I was greatly aided by officials and appointees at the heart of Government itself. For example, I ghost wrote Rahul Sativa's landmark Capitalism Without Profits.

    Capitalism Without Profits

    During this time of my subversive activity, the UK lost half of its steel making capacity – but thanks to me, a roundabout in Shoreditch was given diplomatic status.

    Had I been permitted to continue unhindered, unemployment would have doubled, the national debt would have tripled, and civil unrest would be widespread – as was the Kremlin's plan.

  • An example of one of Steve Bong's Kremlin-funded Tweets, designed to undermine the UK's export capacity
  • Public administration

    I actively worked to sabotage the smooth functioning of the State by handing the Government's strategic IT role to a new agency, devised by me, and staffed entirely by web designers wearing onesies. I called this "GDS".

    GDS staff wearing onesies

    This was a stroke of genius: the web designers had no experience building and integrating large-scale IT systems, and were temperamentally unsuited to collaborating or mediating between agencies. Failure was guaranteed.

    The role of "GDS" entailed implementing dysfunctional IT systems and delaying others, causing huge confusion and resentment throughout Whitehall. The centrepiece was a digital identity system that nobody trusts or uses.

    Mission critical infrastructure was weakened as the rogue agency put usability ahead of security.

    "There is a point beyond which over-zealous security gets in the way, and puts people off using the technology that's being protected," my GDS place men wrote in 2014. So true!

    In Moscow, this project has been considered a huge success. GDS helped lose millions of voters. And during the EU referendum, which the Kremlin intended to disrupt, the GDS voter registration site crashed, exactly as planned, a fact surprisingly not yet noticed by the capitalist running dog press. Thanks to my recipe for "transformation" the UK now uses more IT contractors than ever.

    (With this I had help from Baroness Fox, who is entirely innocent of taking Putin's money to wreck Government IT.)

  • Education

    I actively engaged at several levels to undermine the UK education system by introducing compulsory mindfulness and computer programming lessons for children of all ages. Coding now begins in the maternity ward, where the first minutes of a child's life are enhanced by Baby Stroustrup? videos (? Bong Education), in which the Great Dane reads excerpts from his book The Design and Evolution of C++.

    I also introduced the "Minute of Code: Learn computer programming in one minute" (? Bong Education) which is now held in every school before assembly.

    As a result of this subversion, teachers are now thoroughly demoralised and children leave school without basic IT skills needed to calculate their student debt, start a business, or plan a budget. The UK now ranks behind Slovenia in science (15th), and behind Belgium (21st).

  • Mindfulness Evidence Infographic

    ? Bong Behavioural Labs

[That's quite enough Russian subversion – Ed]

Today the media is filled with stories of how Russian troll farms flooded Twitter with high-quality subversive messages during the European Referendum: e.g. @svetlana009894: "VOTE FARRAGE" and @white_arkadan_1488: "CAMERON IS DISH FACE FOOL" featuring a picture of Mr Kenneth Clarke. All true, but I'm afraid this is merely a cover story devised by Mr Surkov for me, to detract you from my far more harmful activities.

As I await for the helicopter to fly me to [redacted], which does not have an extradition treaty with the UK, all I can say is: thanks for the investment, and keep disrupting! ?

Entrepreneur and thought pathfinder Steve Bong is the founder of BongVentures Digital Health, and has been pioneering digital social transformation for a decade. He featured in the movie Jobs, and curated both the 2012 Olympic Ceremony and Lady Thatcher's Funeral. He is on extended leave from Shoreditch, citing a disturbing new hostility to entrepreneurs.


Biting the hand that feeds IT ? 1998–2017