I used to work for them myself

David Leigh

  • British Intelligence and Covert Action: Africa, the Middle East and Europe since 1945 by Jonathan Bloch, Patrick Fitzgerald and Philip Agee
    Junction, 284 pp, £5.95, May 1983, ISBN 0 86245 113 2
  • Through the Looking-Glass: British Foreign Policy in an Age of Illusions by Anthony Verrier
    Cape, 400 pp, £12.50, February 1983, ISBN 0 224 01979 1

Glancing through the list of 131 named MI6 officers, past and present, who are ‘exposed’ in the first of these books, I noticed with mild interest that I was slightly acquainted with the wife of one of them, a certain Hubert O’Bryan Tear. The next time we met, I mentioned this fact and she laughed merrily. ‘Oh yes,’ she said. ‘Everybody knows that – at least since he retired. In fact, I used to work for them myself.’

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