By way of random linkage, I stumbled across this little gem of an article by that old spook apologist extraordinaire, Con Coughlin. He’s writing about the first public speech by a serving head of (SIS) MI6, which was addressed to the Society of Editors last autumn. Dear old Con’s interpretation of events is slightly different from mine at the time.….
The paragraph that leapt out at me was this:
“Sir John Sawers, the current “C” in charge of MI6, made much the same point yesterday in his ground-breaking speech to the Society of Editors. He explained that acquiring secret intelligence, and keeping it secret, remains his organisation’s fundamental objective.”
Well, excuse my naivety but I thought that the role of the British intelligence agencies was to protect “national security”, whatever that might mean according to the flavour of the day, not merely to acquire and keep secrets.
Well, I obviously remain irredeemably idealistic. Perhaps, as my father hopefully states on occasion, one day I’ll eventually grow up.….