Squatters Aren't What They Used To Be

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Via the Spectator my attention was drawn to this article about the MI5 whistleblower David Shayler in the Daily Mail.

I read his book Defending The Realm a few years ago. My opinion concurs with many of the comments on the above articles. MI5 were really dumb to employ him in the first place. He was a known rebel who was involved in left wing politics at university, which may have been why they were interested in him, but surely that marked him out as security risk?

I also agree that it just wasn't worth it for him. I tend to think that, unlike the movies and conspiracy theories, spying is probably an extremely boring job done by essentially ordinary people who from time to time make dumb mistakes. I remember thinking at the time that many of his "revelations" were not really revelations at all. I remember him complaining that some IRA surveillance photos were delivered to the wrong address and that the delay might have affected MI5's ability to stop a terrorist attack. Well, that kind of error happens in any job, it's just that in some jobs mistakes have more serious consequences. Just ask a doctor. I also remembering him complaining that when the Director toured the offices he didn't talk to every single employee. Again, not really any different from any ordinary job. He's lucky the boss actually went round the office at all. Hardly earth shattering stuff and not really worth endangering national security and doing jail time for.

But scroll down the Mail article to the third photo. Note how the squatter with him has got a Toshiba lap top.

Squatters. They're not what they used to be.


One response to “Squatters Aren't What They Used To Be”
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JuliaM said...

With Shayler, no matter what he writes or says, the underlying message is always the same: 'Look at MEEEE! Pay attention to MEEE!'

I always thought that was rather a bad trait to have in a spy...

29 July 2009 at 05:43