Percy Alleline
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Quotes for
Percy Alleline (Character)
from "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" (1979)

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"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Smiley Tracks the Mole (#1.3)" (1979)
Percy Alleline: Peter Guillam, you may not be aware of this, but I am posessed of an extremely forgiving nature. I positively seethe with goodwill.

Percy Alleline: Now, I would like to call your attention to the Foreign Office comment on the most recent Witchcraft product. And I quote, "This document sheds an extraordinary sidelight on Soviet aggressive thinking."
Bill Haydon: [innocently] Does that mean they like it, Percy?

Percy Alleline: Merlin is the fruit of a long cultivation by certain people in the Circus. People who are bound to me as I am to them. People who are not at all entertained by the failure rate about this place. There's been too much blown, too much lost, too much wasted. Too many scandals. I've said so many times, but I might as well have talked to the wind for all the heed he paid me.
Control: "He" means me, George.
Percy Alleline: The ordinary principles of tradecraft and security have gone to the wall in this service. It's all "divide and rule," stimulated from the top.
Control: Me again.
Percy Alleline: We're losing our livelihood. Our self-respect. We've had enough. We've had a bellyful, in fact.
[Alleline exits]
Control: And like everybody who's ever had enough, he wants more!

Percy Alleline: The reading room will be known for cover purposes as the conference room of the Adriatic Working Party. The AWP room, for short.
Control: [snorts] Thank you.
Percy Alleline: Customers with reading rights will not have passes, since these, like keys, can be too accessible. Instead, they will appear on a special list with their photographs, and they will identify themselves personally to MY janitor.
Control: WHOSE janitor, Percy?
Bill Haydon: Well, he's already got his own personal wizard. The odd commissionaire seems modest enough domestic staff.


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
George Smiley: [discussing the veracity of a new report] Where did you get this?
Control: I didn't. Percy and his little cabal walked in with it.
Easterhase: Look, Control...
Control: Shut up!
Bill Haydon: Style, appalling. Blatantly a fabrication from beginning to end. Just could be the real thing.
Control: Smiley is suspicious, Percy.
George Smiley: Where did it come from? What's the access?
Percy Alleline: A new secret source of mine.
George Smiley: But how could he possibly have access?
Percy Alleline: He has access to the most sensitive levels of policy making. We named the Operation Witchcraft.
Control: Well, Percy and his pals bypassed us Smiley. Gone straight to the minister. Percy has been allowed to keep the identity of his new friend top secret.

Percy Alleline: Arabs. You can rent one but you can't buy one. Right Bill?

Percy Alleline: The Minister agrees with me that too many secrets are blowin' around here. Too much failure, too many scandals, too little solid intelligence.
Roy Bland: Percy does have a point, Control. We should be fighting communism, not each other.
Percy Alleline: Well, we're losing our reputation. Our partners.
Control: [scoffs] Your bloody Yanks!
Percy Alleline: And we've had enough! There's going to be changes.
Easterhase: We need to decide if we want to be part of the past or part of the future.
Control: I should have left you where I found you.
Easterhase: Look!
Roy Bland: Control-...
Control: Out! All of you!

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: Flushing Out the Mole (#1.7)" (1979)
[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: How It All Fits Together (#1.4)" (1979)
Percy Alleline: What the hell are you shrugging at us like that for? I'm accusing you of playing hooky behind our back with a damn defector from your own damn section, of playing damn-fool parlour games when you don't know the stakes! And all you do is shrug at me? There's a law, Guillam, against consorting with enemy agents! You want me to throw the book at you?
Peter Guillam: I haven't seen him! If anybody's playing parlour games it's not me, it's you! So get off my back!

Percy Alleline: Well, now, young Peter Guillam, welcome to my house, about which you've been making calls, I hear. Are you lonely in the Brixton outposts? Tired of chasing the local virgins? If there are any in Brixton, which I would doubt!
Percy Alleline: If you'll excuse my freedom, Mo. You DO know that Mo Delaware is our new Head of Research, don't you? Man with message in cleft stick does reach Brixton, does he?
Peter Guillam: Barring the monsoon.


"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Return to the Circus (#1.1)" (1979)
[first lines]
[the Witchcraft committee - Toby Esterhase, Roy Bland, Percy Allenine and Bill Haydon - gather for a meeting]
Percy Alleline: Right! We shall start!