Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Moscow Centre Still In Business

Putin honouring ex-Soviet spy George Koval, 2007
I love John LeCarre and his greatest creation, George Smiley, so it's super to know that whoever the real Karla is, whatever the real Moscow Centre actually is and however many times the KGB has changed its name, some things will never alter. The Russians' eternal paranoia being one of them. From the story:
They were alleged to have met US government officials given codenames such as "Farmer", "Parrot" and "Cat" as well as engaging such tried and tested espionage methods as dead drops and brush passes.
And so it goes on. Whoever thinks LeCarre was writing fiction can think again, as, indeed, the newspaper points out itself. Con Coughlin has also written a good little comment piece on the real spy ring bust but, much more importantly, Radio 4 has just finished the last instalment of an excellent, year-long re-working of the complete Smiley collection with the superb Simon Russell Beale as the planet-brained superspy. Sometimes they still get it right. Well, rarely.

Still, I think I might buy this one. I've come over all nostalgic

Besides, in this case truth and fiction are the same thing anyway, but with one, small exception: Smiley is serious but the truth is bloody hilarious.


  1. The great thing is that they were sending home messages with secret drops and exchanged briefcases full of information that they could have easily got if they had Googled it!

    There's a film in this. Pity all the "Carry On" team are dead.

    I noted that the dude this morning on the Today Programme would not deny that the Brits are doing the same thing.....

    Oh yes... Margaret Rutherford as M; Kenneth Williams as James Bond, and that wee specky camp bloke as the KGB agent......

    There has to be a part for Bernard Breslaw and one of Kenneth Connor....

    What fun....

  2. ROFL

    Farcical, ain't it? I just watched a Yes, Prime Minister episode where the solution to neverending bad news for Jim Hacker was to expel 76 Soviets diplomats. The "smother" tactic Sir Humphrey called it. Plus ca change, right?

    I had no idea Obama watched YPM! He's just gone up one notch in my irrelevant estimation. From zero.


Any thoughts?