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Quotes for
Oliver Lacon (Character)
from "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" (1979)

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"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Tarr Tells His Story (#1.2)" (1979)
Oliver Lacon: Fit, George? Natter? Garden? Super.

Oliver Lacon: It's the oldest question of all, George. Who can spy on the spies?

Oliver Lacon: So I can tell the Minister you'll do it, can I? You'll take the job, clean the stables, go backwards, go forwards, whatever's necessary. It's your generation, your legacy.

[last lines]
George Smiley: While you enjoy yourself, I shall visit Oxford, to look up an old and invaluable friend.
Oliver Lacon: Please, don't take any unnecessary risks!

Oliver Lacon: When you came to me a year ago with similar suspicions, I'm afraid I threw you out.
George Smiley: You told me to abandon my enquiries, as they were unconstitutional.
Oliver Lacon: Oh, was that the word I used? How very pompous of me.

George Smiley: Oh, I quite understand your position.
Oliver Lacon: Thank you. After all, it's not every day one's head of secret service embarks on a private war against the Czechs.


"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Flushing Out the Mole (#1.7)" (1979)
Oliver Lacon: I suppose your wife will have to be among them. I know you told me she and Haydon are over and done with now, as you said. There's always the unknown factor in matters of the heart. I'm thinking about the future - any possible further contact - and if Ann doesn't know - she does meet so many different sorts of people.
George Smiley: [smiles] She gets around.
Oliver Lacon: I'm sorry, George.
George Smiley: Not at all, I quite take your point. Ann must let us know of any approach directly or indirectly made by or on behalf of...
Oliver Lacon: Exactly.
George Smiley: ...or even merely concerning Bill Haydon.
Oliver Lacon: Thank you.
[Smiley looks at Ann's painting]
George Smiley: I was going to tell her anyway. You might call it balancing the books.

Oliver Lacon: You know, George, one thing perplexes me more than anything else about the mole conspiracy: well, Karla conceived Operation Witchcraft primarily as a means of placing poor Percy Alleline on Control's throne. But why didn't Karla want Haydon to simply take over the Circus himself. Well, surely it would have been much easier to arrange, with all of Bill's acknowledged accomplishments.
[cut to Haydon and Smiley walking the grounds of the detention camp]
Bill Haydon: No, no. It was a perfect setup: Percy made the running, I slipstreamed behind him, Roy and Toby did the legwork. Being in charge would have bogged me down. All the admin, the dinners in Whitehall, hobnobbing with the Set...
George Smiley: Never happened to Control.
Bill Haydon: A natural recluse, Control. I couldn't have behaved that way and gotten away with it. Much better for me to remain the freewheeling subordinate, the laughing cavalier. No, no, George, Karla and I agreed: I'd have been wasted as Chief. Could have done it, of course.
George Smiley: Of course.

[after the tape is played revealing Haydon's treachery]
Toby Esterhase: Well, that's that. Congratulations, George.
Oliver Lacon: Next step, gentlemen?
George Smiley: Would you agree with me, Percy, that our best course of action is to make some positive use of Bill Haydon? We need to salvage what's left of the networks he's betrayed.
Percy Alleline: [weakly] Yes...
George Smiley: We sell Haydon to Moscow Centre for as many of our men in the field as can be saved - for humanitarian reasons. Professionally, of course, they're finished.
Percy Alleline: Quite.
George Smiley: Then the sooner you open negotiations with Karla, the better. Well, you're much better placed to talk terms than I am. Polyakov remains your direct link with Karla.
Oliver Lacon: The only difference is, this time you know it! It's definitely your job, Percy. You're still Chief, officially... for the moment.
Percy Alleline: Very well, George.

Oliver Lacon: Would the Russians kill Haydon?
Percy Alleline: It gives Karla all the reason he needs to cancel the deal with our networks.
Roy Bland: But Moscow Centre prides itself on getting its people back.
George Smiley: Important point, Roy.
Oliver Lacon: Well, WHO then?


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
[from trailer]
Oliver Lacon: [to Smiley] There's a mole, right at the top of the Circus. And he's been there for years.

Oliver Lacon: It's the oldest question of all, George. Who can spy on the spies?

Oliver Lacon: The treasurer can't understand why can't the intelligence service simply put in a request for a general increase in funding and then you'll account for the spend on your special operation?
Percy Alleline: Operation 'Witchcraft' needs to remain a secret; it's a fiefdom of its own.
Oliver Lacon: Yes, that's what's winding us; whole thing's very unaccountable isn't it? This London house that no one knows the address of, is that really necessary?
Percy Alleline: Now more than ever, we need to protect our Soviet source.
Roy Bland: [lights a cigarette] So where do you propose we meet, in a café?
Oliver Lacon: The rent and rates on this house have... doubled.
Roy Bland: We spent millions on nuclear warheads, we're asking for a few thousand for a house. I wonder if Karla has the same problem with the treasury at the Kremlin.
Oliver Lacon: Look, nobody underestimates the importance of the jobs you chaps are doing.What happened in Budapest last year... That was a disaster.
Roy Bland: With respect, sir, that wasn't one of your civil servants that got killed, was it? Now this isn't about soldiers in trenches anymore. We're the front line now...
Oliver Lacon: Roy...
Roy Bland: For 25 years we've been the only ones standing between them and Karla and Moscow and the Third bloody World War!
Oliver Lacon: Look, the minister is very pleased with your progress so far. He's less pleased though, with our progress with our American cousins. You see, in their eyes... You're still a leaky ship.


"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: How It All Fits Together (#1.4)" (1979)
Sir Oliver Lacon: Prideaux and Bill Haydon were very... very close together.

[last lines]
Mendel: [about Jim Prideaux] We've traced him. He's become a teacher, Thursgood's Catholic School for Boys. It's in West Country.
Sir Oliver Lacon: Right!


"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Smiley Sets a Trap (#1.6)" (1979)
Oliver Lacon: The Minister's main concern is this: in his own words, how much porcelain gets broken at the end of the day? Scandal, of course, is the name. If we unmask the mole, will the Russians turn around and reveal to the press of the world how they've made fools of us all?
George Smiley: I think not. If you make your enemy look stupid, you lose the justification for taking him on.
Oliver Lacon: Yes, I've told him THAT, George.
George Smiley: So isn't his mind at rest?
Oliver Lacon: He hopes there'll be nothing messy. Nothing that would provoke Moscow.
George Smiley: But proceed?
Oliver Lacon: Oh, heavens, yes!
George Smiley: Clean the stables. Problem: flush out the mole.

George Smiley: There are two of them, and Alleline.
Oliver Lacon: You've definitely cleared Esterhase?
George Smiley: Oh, yes.


"Smiley's People: Episode #1.5" (1982)
Oliver Lacon: We're birds of a feather, George. We're both patriots. Givers, not takers. Trained to our Services, our country... We must pay the price. You know, if Ann had been your agent instead of your wife, you'd probably have run her pretty well.