The Mockingbird Strikes Back

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I’m thrilled at the news Harper Lee will publish a new book this year. To Kill a Mockingbird was one of my all-time favourite books when I was young, and it inspired me to take the career path I am now on.

Had I never read Lee’s book, I might not have joined the SAS and undertaken numerous secret missions into enemy territory for our government, been seconded to the Navy Seals, and terminated Osama bin Laden with extreme prejudice. I would probably have ended up doing something deathly dull, like accountancy, or even law.

My life changed when I first read the tale of a child wizard chased from her home by a sinister enemy desperate to get its hand on her magical ring. So I’m thrilled to hear that the hero from that story, Scout, is going to make another appearance.

Whether Lee’s new book will be as powerful as To Kill a Mockingbird or its predecessor To Garrote a Parrot remains to be seen, but first reports of the work, which will be published in July, sound promising. Apparently the adult Scout has put aside her wizardly ways and is now solving crimes as a New York police detective. In her spare time she has built a machine that travels through time and space, which she disguises as a blue box. Using this time machine, and a mixture of cunning and technology, Scout takes the fight to the evil Galactic Empire, and at the same time endeavours to track down a serial killer who is carving strange signs onto the torsos of his victims. What does it all mean? And will she defeat the Imperial space fleet in time to make it to the airport before the love of her life flies away forever?

Lee’s publisher has confirmed that her new book The Mockingbird Strikes Back will be followed by another, The Return of the Mockingbird, next year. This will complete the Mockingbird Wars series, although it won’t stop there. HBO has confirmed it is adapting the books for TV, although I’m not sure about their plans to set the story in the crime-infested streets of Baltimore. Surely a medieval setting would work better.


John Key is having trouble remembering things.  I sometimes have this problem too, so I don’t want to be too critical of the guy. I sometimes forget where I put my car keys, so I can see how John Key might have simply forgotten about being told one of his MPs was being investigated by police. And to be fair to Key, Mike Sabin is a pretty forgettable character.

So let’s not be too rough on Key about his inability to give straight answers to questions about what he knows, or about when he first knew what he now knows, if in fact he still does know what he then knew, assuming of course that he knew anything in the first place.

And if it turns out that Key didn’t forget about the Mike Sabin problem, because he was never told until December, then this will mean that a bunch of people within the National Party forgot to tell him. If people within Labour knew in November that there was an issue with Sabin. It’s hard to imagine that people within National wouldn’t have known even sooner. So why didn’t anyone tell Key? Clearly they all forgot. They were going to, but it slipped their minds. Nobody is to blame here, and there is a simple explanation. This is a case of group amnesia brought on by the extreme stress of all those unfair and nasty dirty politics allegations. So if you really want someone to blame for this fiasco, blame Nicky Hager.