So what if he was

Paul Foot

  • No Other Choice by George Blake
    Cape, 288 pp, £12.99, September 1990, ISBN 0 224 03067 1
  • Inside Intelligence by Anthony Cavendish
    Collins, 181 pp, £12.95, October 1990, ISBN 0 00 215742 X

Here are two more spy books from authors who worked long ago for British Intelligence. George Blake was very left-wing, and is now slightly less so. Anthony Cavendish has always been very right-wing. Both authors write of their profound respect for one of their former bosses, George K. Young. Young, who died recently, was deputy head of MI6 until he joined the merchant bankers Kleinwort Benson in 1961. One of the very few revelations in George Blake’s book is a memorandum which George Young circulated among his admiring agents in the mid-Fifties. It starts by castigating the ‘ceaseless talk’ about the ‘spread of democratic processes’. ‘The reality,’ it went on, ‘is quite the opposite.’ There then followed this illuminating passage:

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