Thursday, August 27, 2009

007: Diversity Champion

Bond has got into an argument with Captain Troop, the Secret Service's Head of Admin:

Perversely, and knowing it would annoy, Bond put forward the proposition that, if MI5 and the Secret Service were to concern themselves seriously with the atom age 'intellectual spy', they must employ a certain number of intellectuals to counter them. 'Retired officers of the Indian Army,' Bond had pronounced, 'can't possibly understand the thought processes of a Burgess or a Maclean. They won't even know such people exist - let alone be in a position to frequent their cliques and get to know their friends and their secrets ... they wouldn't take the risk of revealing themselves to some man with a trench-coat and a cavalry moustache and a beta minus mind.'

That sounds pretty sensible to me. Troop's only real complaint might be that intellectuals might not be disciplined enough, or perhaps too idealistic to make good...

'Oh really,' Troop had said with icy calm. 'So you suggest we should staff the organisation with long-haired perverts. That's quite an original notion. I thought we were all agreed that homosexuals were about the worst security risk there is...

Fortunately Bond, a forward-thinking, progressive diversity champion will surely take on this bigoted dinosaur...

'All intellectuals aren't homosexual. And some of them are bald...'
all quotes from From Russia With Love, Ian Fleming

Hmm. Unfortunately we never see the final committee meeting and Bond never has to decide whether to submit an unpopular minority report opposing the committee's recommendations as instead he goes to Istanbul to meet Tatiana Romanova and steal a Spektor machine. Damn those Russians for interfering with the schedules of British Civil Service meetings!

4 comments:

serge-lj said...

I'd have loved seeing that kind of exchange in the movies.

Neil W said...

It's a bit too old-fashioned for the movie-going public I suspect.

Charles Stross explains the catch-22-ness of banning homosexuals from the secret service in The Atrocity Archives. Because homosexuals would be fired if they were outed, they're vulnerable to blackmail, so they have to be fired if they're outed.

serge-lj said...

Yeah. By the way, have you ever seen Breaking the Code, with Derek Jacobi as Alan Turing?

Neil W said...

Rings a bell... would this have been about 10 years ago?