Johnny English
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1 item from 2015


League of gentlemen: Kingsman and Britain’s posh-boy spies

15 hours ago | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Savile Row suits, old school ties, and a lethal way with a weaponised umbrella: why must British screen spies be so posh? Stuart Jeffries opens the dossier on our not-so-secret obsession with class

One day in 1986, John le Carré interviewed a British spy called Nick Elliott. The espionage novelist wanted to know why Elliott and his MI6 colleagues let the British spymaster and Kgb lackey Kim Philby escape to Moscow and never dragged him back to London to be punished for passing on secrets to the Soviets. “Nobody wanted him in London, old boy,” Elliott replied. Le Carré – as he reports in an afterword to Ben Macintyre’s recent book A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal – wondered why MI6 didn’t bump Philby off. “My dear chap,” retorted Elliott disapprovingly. “One of us.”

Quite so. Philby may have been one of the most effective traitors »

- Stuart Jeffries

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