Whitehall Farce

Paul Foot

  • The Intelligence Game: Illusions and Delusions of International Espionage by James Rusbridger
    Bodley Head, 320 pp, £12.95, August 1989, ISBN 0 370 31242 2
  • The Truth about Hollis by W.J. West
    Duckworth, 230 pp, £14.95, September 1989, ISBN 0 7156 2286 2

Hardly a week goes by without the enemies of official secrecy having good cause to sing the praises of James Rusbridger. From his Cornish retreat he sprays the correspondence columns of newspapers with volleys of good sense and good humour. This bluff, meticulous man spent much of his youth as a British businessman in Europe, where he worked in a dilatory sort of way for MI6. Since his ‘retirement’ (he is a prodigious worker who never seems to be at rest) he has become a journalist whose main ambition is to put to flight the sycophantic writers who make fortunes from what he calls the ‘intelligence game’.

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