North London Food & Culture

Life Tips: Gary McKinnon, 46, Hacker

We know Gary McKinnon and his partner Lucy pretty well so first, let me declare an interest. But we simply couldn’t ignore the monumental blocking yesterday of this north Londoner’s extradition without some kind of mention. I interviewed Gary a while back for The Observer Magazine’s This Much I Know column: he’s a quietly-spoken deep thinker who has not only always been honest about what he did but coped with both his condition and situation with dignity. And for the record, he would be the first to say that he is absolutely in no position to offer ‘Life Tips.’ Think of them perhaps as ‘Out-Takes’. Either way, they’re interesting nuggets in the light of yesterday’s news nonetheless.

1. Life is too glorious for it to be meaningless. There must be a higher hand at work. I can’t imagine that all this comes from nothing, but I’m not religious.

2. Don’t think people beneath you are not worth your time. I was an IT professional and routinely got treated like a tea boy.

3. Love feels like lying in a big pool of afternoon sunlight.


4. Be very scared of a mother protecting her child. After my arrest my Mum turned into Superwoman, lobbying MP’s, writing letters.

5. Don’t be a pleaser. But sometimes I am. If I come across people being mildly racist I sometimes let it go but I know should speak up. I suppose I don’t want to be known as “politically boring Gary”.

6. Believe in UFOs. There is life on other planets.

7. Fear other humans thinking they know what’s best for everyone else. That’s the cause of all the crap in the world.

8. My advice to my younger self? Don’t hack.

Words & Pic: Stephen Emms

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