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John le Carre is an English spy turned prominent spy novelist (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy).

His father, Ronnie Cornwel l, was a leading conman and spiv (dealer in black market goods).

The elder Cornwell looks like he would make a good character for Nathan Lane to play in a musical comedy.

 
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  1. What about him? Did he die, write a tweet, or put out a new LP?

    (I basically don’t get what this post is about, but it’s likely because I miss a few here and there.)

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Hemid
    This is Steve's coming-out post.
    , @Hail
    Let me take this opportunity to OT and ask you a question, AEN, since you're here. It's related to discussion on some recent Unz Review articles. The question is about Chinese Communist Party asset (or wannabe asset) Godfree Roberts; inspired by the recent writings of a second person, another CCP-party-line guy who goes by Metallicman.

    Metallicman published a 15,000-word, evidence-free diatribe about how the US probably created the COVID-19 virus and, jealous of the CCP's ongoing success, probably released it in China to humiliate China and deliberately kill Chinese citizens. "Evidence pending, but even without evidence it's just really likely, isn't it?" (not an exact quote from Metallicman).

    Metallicman is a prolific writer on his personal site. Biographical info is to be found in his own published writings. As far as I can tell, this is who he is: A white man, US-born ca.1959, who has lived in China since 2010 and never wants to return to the US. He married a Chinese woman soon after arriving, and has had at least two mixed-race children. This all sounds kind of innocuous so far. The bad part is he has a bad, bad case of "going native," and pushes literal blood-libel, black-propaganda against his own kith and kin (White Americans) now, and praises China.

    Oh, and he claims to have been involved for a long period in a secret UFO project with the US government. In this capacity he claims they inserted something in his brain to help his UFO-related tasks.

    As bad as this sounds, write him off as the usual kind of crank if we must, but at very least Metallicman lives in China (or claims to, says he does, plus the Chinese wife and children, his newfound total love for Chinese culture, etc.).

    What of Godfree Roberts, the hardworking PRC-government-line pusher?

    Which brings me to my question. I know that you, AEN, have frequently asked Mr. Godless Godfree questions about the extent of his personal knowledge of the PRC, the regime line of which he works so hard to push. Has he ever lived in China? Has he ever even been there? How often? When? Where? Alone? Not alone? If not alone, with whom? Doing what?

    Did you ever get any answers on any of the above? I've seen you ask these kinds of questions several times but am unclear on whether he ever responded.

    "We need a complete shutdown of Godfree Roberts articles until we figure out what the hell is going on."

    ________________

    See comment-122 at the article for the bio and timeline for Metallicman.

    From a later reply, the inspiration for this heavy off-topic post:


    (Tangential but related to fawning admirers of the PRC: Godfree Roberts, an Unz Review regular. To my mind indistinguishable from a paid agent of the PRC state media. He posts their talking points uncritically and aggressively. Unz Review commenter Achmed E. Newman, who has experience on multiple, extended business trips to China, has repeatedly asked Roberts, apparently resident in Southeast Asia, if Roberts has ever lived in, or even set foot in, the PRC whose state-media talking points he pushes so much. To my knowledge, Roberts has never responded to Achmed E. Newman’s queries.)
     
    A reply to the Metallicman Hypothesis on COVID-19, from commenter Offthepink on, if COVID-19 is from a lab, whose it was:

    red shills would rather go through all kinds of mental gymnastics, like saying America snuck in and released something that only China is working on, at one of the few labs where they are working on it, rather than the FAR more probable somebody screwed up and it got loose.
     
  2. His father, Ronnie Cornwel l, was a leading conman and spiv…

    Apollo Robbins learned the art of picking pockets from his older half-brothers. Their father may have been a crook, but Apollo’s was a man of the cloth, and the son had too much congenital guilt to do it for real. So he turns it into a Vegas act, and makes many multiples what his brothers do, all legally.

    His big break was when he went to some event attended by Jimmy Carter. And returned to the head of his security detail all the wrist watches he had pulled off his men without their knowing it.

    http://www.apollorobbins.com/

    Crime doesn’t pay… enough.

  3. He looks too masculine and well built with those shoulders to be played by the effeminate pear shaped Lane.

    • Replies: @Lot
    I think he looks kinda Irish/Celtic. He could pass for a Boston wardheeler.

    Is Cornwell a Cornish surname?
    , @slumber_j
    Yeah, I agree. I'd cast former hod-carrier Ray Winstone over Nathan Lane there.
  4. A Perfect Spy is heavily autobiographical in places (but obviously not in others, like the ending) and was made into a good miniseries in the 90s.

    • Replies: @Paul Jolliffe
    For those who have not read it, Le Carre's "A Legacy of Spies" (published 2017) is a terrific sequel to his masterpiece "The Spy Who Came In From The Cold" (published 1965).

    I finished it a couple of weeks ago and found it so compelling that I am currently working my way through "TTSS" again. (I first read it 35 years ago. As of last night, I am up to chapter 34. Further updates as events warrant . . .)

    The movie version from 2012 does have its moments: Gary Oldman has got to be one of the world's most versatile actors.

    https://youtu.be/6lV0r93bhes
  5. We should vote for President by figuring out who has the more babe-ilicious daughter.

    • Agree: James Speaks
    • Replies: @Lot
    Bloomberg’s daughter is cute, but Ivanka is a 10.
    , @James Speaks

    We should vote for President by figuring out who has the more babe-ilicious daughter.
     
    Had we been doing that, Slick Willy would never have had a chance.
    , @syonredux

    We should vote for President by figuring out who has the more babe-ilicious daughter.
     
    Don't be silly. We should do it on the basis of which guy has the hottest wife :

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/fe/d3/2f/fed32fb59eb0b0296000d9a2db13a80b.jpg
    , @BB753
    If I were Bloomberg, I'd get my tall daughter DNA-tested for a possible non-paternal event. Bloomberg is a midget, right?
    , @Alec Leamas (hard at work)
    One supposes that the definition of "busty" in China is a bit different than the definition of "busty" in the West.

    That said, this sounds remotely like Zuckerberg trying to get Xi to stand Godfather to his children with his ethnic Chinese wife. Jews seem to want to insinuate themselves into the current Han Empire to hock their wares there.
  6. The elder Cornwell looks like he would make a good character for Nathan Lane to play in a musical comedy..

    Why, was he gay? Never mind, he was an Englishman, and it’s often hard to tell the difference.

    • Replies: @mmack
    "No sex please, we're British" 🧐
  7. @Achmed E. Newman
    What about him? Did he die, write a tweet, or put out a new LP?

    (I basically don't get what this post is about, but it's likely because I miss a few here and there.)

    This is Steve’s coming-out post.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    Hey, both of you, if Steve wants to post about something other than golf or baseball, just let it happen and be thankful.
  8. Looks like a guy who just sold a Cadillac way above sticker to some old woman.

    He has the devil may care attitude of Churchill after a few drinks. I don’t get the impression Britain had the most moral fellows running its wars, intelligence services, or politics.

    (Not that there was moral equivalence between the West and the USSR. But I’m not sure Britain’s leaders understood that.)


  9. • Replies: @Lot
    Pardon Roger Stone!

    https://stonecoldtruth.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/STO.jpg

    https://forumusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/trump-esk.jpg

    https://images.dailykos.com/images/638901/story_image/roger-stone-richard-nixon-tattoo.jpg?1548983604
    , @Jenner Ickham Errican

    spiv (dealer in black market goods)
     
    https://twitter.com/that_groyper/status/1088813240006651912
  10. Ronnie’s father, Frank, was a garage owner, staunch Baptist and former mayor of Poole. Ronnie inherited an evangelical dynamism that made him the centre of any gathering. Olive’s family, meanwhile, were narrow, strict and teetotal; her father had been a Congregationalist minister, her brother a lay preacher and Liberal MP.

    His family were Baptists, Puritans and Liberals.

  11. “And if you’ve got anything to say to me, you can say it with cash.” You’re the man, Joe.

  12. If you haven’t seen the miniseries’ with Alec Guiness, you are missing out on some of the greatest television ever. Maybe one day I should read the books.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    If you haven’t seen the miniseries’ with Alec Guiness, you are missing out on some of the greatest television ever. Maybe one day I should read the books.
     
    The Alec Guiness miniseries was superb.

    Skip the books. They are turgid, long-winded, and full of moral equivalence.

    Try Len Deighton's trilogy of trilogies instead, starting with Berlin Game.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Len_Deighton
    , @Mr. Anon
    TTSS is a good book - well worth the read. The TV serial was pretty good too. Alec Guiness is perfect as George Smiley; you'd think that Le Carre modeled the character after Guiness.

    The movie version that came out about eight years ago was garbage.
  13. That record came about the same time as Motorhead, early Elvis Costello etc. Someone must have been importing speed by the truckload into the UK.

  14. @Anonymous
    He looks too masculine and well built with those shoulders to be played by the effeminate pear shaped Lane.

    I think he looks kinda Irish/Celtic. He could pass for a Boston wardheeler.

    Is Cornwell a Cornish surname?

  15. @Mr McKenna
    https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/09/26/article-0-02D0251600000578-888_468x588.jpg

    https://cdni.rt.com/files/2020.02/article/5e4ec92b203027228d2c80f6.JPG

    Pardon Roger Stone!

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    https://images.dailykos.com/images/638901/story_image/roger-stone-richard-nixon-tattoo.jpg?1548983604

    Good grief .....
  16. @JohnnyWalker123
    https://twitter.com/andipalmur/status/1230301765662318594

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0_axTST2aY

    We should vote for President by figuring out who has the more babe-ilicious daughter.

    Bloomberg’s daughter is cute, but Ivanka is a 10.

    • Replies: @miss marple
    Is that you, Jared?
  17. Hey, Steve. Bloomberg is going to be sending you $2,500.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
    Does that explain the Daily Caller this evening? Because nothing else can.


    Bloomberg Racks Up Three Major Endorsements After Arguably Lackluster Debate Performance

    https://images.dailycaller.com/image/width=960,height=411,fit=cover,f=auto/https://cdn01.dailycaller.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/GettyImages-583829254.jpg

     

    Everyone who saw or heard Bloomie's somnum exterreri knows it was a complete disaster. Except for....the Daily Caller? This is their lead story. "Arguably Lackluster"?? No, it was a complete and utter disaster. He'd be humiliated if only he had any humility. And sure, he can buy a couple of corrupt congressional endorsements (sorry, redundant) but so what?


    Is he going to throw another $400 million down the drain? There's no one around him to tell him the truth, because he refuses to listen to it. He knows better. Yet another thing he has in common with DJT.

    , @Alden
    Bloomberg’s flooding California with ads showing him helping black thugs and welfare mammas. Guess he doesn’t realize blacks are only 5 percent of the California population thanks be to God and all the saints and angels.
    , @Lot
    I think Mike might want to pay Steve $25,000 to stop his “Bloomberg has the correct, HBD-savvy view on X” series.

    At least until the primary is over.
  18. @JohnnyWalker123
    https://twitter.com/andipalmur/status/1230301765662318594

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0_axTST2aY

    We should vote for President by figuring out who has the more babe-ilicious daughter.

    We should vote for President by figuring out who has the more babe-ilicious daughter.

    Had we been doing that, Slick Willy would never have had a chance.

  19. I don’t know if the elder Cornwell was a cockney, but if he was, the late Bob Hoskins would have the perfect choice to play a character like that.

    • Agree: fish
  20. @JohnnyWalker123
    Hey, Steve. Bloomberg is going to be sending you $2,500.

    https://twitter.com/Mariapalestina/status/1230625429150523392

    Does that explain the Daily Caller this evening? Because nothing else can.

    Bloomberg Racks Up Three Major Endorsements After Arguably Lackluster Debate Performance

    Everyone who saw or heard Bloomie’s somnum exterreri knows it was a complete disaster. Except for….the Daily Caller? This is their lead story. “Arguably Lackluster”?? No, it was a complete and utter disaster. He’d be humiliated if only he had any humility. And sure, he can buy a couple of corrupt congressional endorsements (sorry, redundant) but so what?

    Is he going to throw another $400 million down the drain? There’s no one around him to tell him the truth, because he refuses to listen to it. He knows better. Yet another thing he has in common with DJT.

  21. @JohnnyWalker123
    Hey, Steve. Bloomberg is going to be sending you $2,500.

    https://twitter.com/Mariapalestina/status/1230625429150523392

    Bloomberg’s flooding California with ads showing him helping black thugs and welfare mammas. Guess he doesn’t realize blacks are only 5 percent of the California population thanks be to God and all the saints and angels.

    • Replies: @Sol
    Will Bloomberg pay me to put his lawn sign out here in CA?
    , @Lot
    Wasn’t that Trump’s superbowl ad?

    I don’t watch much TV, but I’ve only seen gauzy healthcare ads from Bloomberg.
  22. @Alden
    Bloomberg’s flooding California with ads showing him helping black thugs and welfare mammas. Guess he doesn’t realize blacks are only 5 percent of the California population thanks be to God and all the saints and angels.

    Will Bloomberg pay me to put his lawn sign out here in CA?

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    We should tell people that Bloomberg has a living lawn jockey (like those metallic street mime people who hold a position for tourists) and watch him, giving a camera crew a tour of his lawn, furiously denying that he has ever retained a living lawn jockey.
  23. @Hemid
    This is Steve's coming-out post.

    Hey, both of you, if Steve wants to post about something other than golf or baseball, just let it happen and be thankful.

    • LOL: sayless
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Well, I'm starting to get into some of the baseball posts, at least the ones involving baseball history. I just had no idea who this guy was and what the post was about.* It happens...

    .

    .

    * I still don't.

  24. @Sol
    Will Bloomberg pay me to put his lawn sign out here in CA?

    We should tell people that Bloomberg has a living lawn jockey (like those metallic street mime people who hold a position for tourists) and watch him, giving a camera crew a tour of his lawn, furiously denying that he has ever retained a living lawn jockey.

  25. @Anonymous
    If you haven't seen the miniseries' with Alec Guiness, you are missing out on some of the greatest television ever. Maybe one day I should read the books.

    If you haven’t seen the miniseries’ with Alec Guiness, you are missing out on some of the greatest television ever. Maybe one day I should read the books.

    The Alec Guiness miniseries was superb.

    Skip the books. They are turgid, long-winded, and full of moral equivalence.

    Try Len Deighton’s trilogy of trilogies instead, starting with Berlin Game.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Len_Deighton

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I love Deighton and Lecarre both. But I agree with you that Deighton’s are better.
    , @AKAHorace

    If you haven’t seen the miniseries’ with Alec Guiness, you are missing out on some of the greatest television ever. Maybe one day I should read the books
     
    .

    I am amazed that you enjoyed the series without having read the book. I imagined that it would be hard to follow without knowing the plot beforehand.

    skip the books. They are turgid, long-winded, and full of moral equivalence.

    Try Len Deighton’s trilogy of trilogies instead, starting with Berlin Game.


    The Tinker tailor/Honourable Schoolboy/Smileys people trilogy was believable if at times a bit overwritten. Le Carres later stuff is completely different in style.

    Deightons trilogy that had a plot that was ridiculous and was more a novel about middle aged man with a younger boss than anything to do with espionage.

    Tastes differ, try both Anonymous.
    , @dfordoom

    Skip the books. They are turgid, long-winded, and full of moral equivalence.

    Try Len Deighton’s trilogy of trilogies instead, starting with Berlin Game.
     
    Deighton is better but le Carre was pretty good. I'm not sure about your point re moral equivalance - le Carre was rabidly anti-communist and anti-Soviet.

    I'm talking about their early work. I haven't read any of the later books by either writer.
    , @YetAnotherAnon
    "They are turgid, long-winded, and full of moral equivalence."

    Each to his own. Some people like long sentences. There IS a lot of moral equivalence in the secret world. Whether its practitioners recognise it as such is another story.

    Politically, of course, he's an idiot, although he was right about the Iraq War.

    I find Deighton's characters, unlike le Carre's, one-dimensional (if that). The only book of his I'd really recommend is Bomber, a fat book which describes a single RAF raid on a single German town from the multiple viewpoints of all those involved - local villagers, aircrew and administrators, German radar, night-fighters, AA defences - and the people at the wrong end of the bombs. Tons of technical detail, almost a docu-drama of a book.
    , @SunBakedSuburb
    "They are turgid"

    Le Carre is considered the most literary of the spy novelists. I've read a couple of his books and found the stories interesting but had real problems with his prose. I went through Deighton's books while in my twenties and thoroughly enjoyed them. His writing style is clean and crisp and free of Le Carre's dense syntax. Le Carre's work has inspired quality feature films and TV miniseries. Don't overlook the film adaptations of Deighton's The Ipcress File (1966), Funeral in Berlin (1966), and Billion Dollar Brain (1967). Michael Caine plays Harry Palmer, Deighton's working class operative who is an unnamed first person narrator in the books.
  26. Purely accidental that the slang for money favoured by the father of “A Perfect Spy” was “poppy”; nothing sinister.

  27. @JohnnyWalker123
    https://twitter.com/andipalmur/status/1230301765662318594

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0_axTST2aY

    We should vote for President by figuring out who has the more babe-ilicious daughter.

    We should vote for President by figuring out who has the more babe-ilicious daughter.

    Don’t be silly. We should do it on the basis of which guy has the hottest wife :

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    So I guess a comeback by Øb☭ma is out of the question, then.
    , @El Dato
    These legs just don't end.

    This is like Trump Longcat.
    , @The Alarmist
    Such a pleasant change from The Wookie.
  28. @JohnnyWalker123
    Hey, Steve. Bloomberg is going to be sending you $2,500.

    https://twitter.com/Mariapalestina/status/1230625429150523392

    I think Mike might want to pay Steve $25,000 to stop his “Bloomberg has the correct, HBD-savvy view on X” series.

    At least until the primary is over.

  29. @Lot
    Bloomberg’s daughter is cute, but Ivanka is a 10.

    Is that you, Jared?

    • LOL: Bardon Kaldian
    • Replies: @Lot
    I sometimes wish I had a billion dollars and were Ivanka’s husband!

    Though at the moment I’m dating a girl 11 years younger than Mrs Kushner, and pretty cute herself. :-D
  30. @Jim Don Bob

    If you haven’t seen the miniseries’ with Alec Guiness, you are missing out on some of the greatest television ever. Maybe one day I should read the books.
     
    The Alec Guiness miniseries was superb.

    Skip the books. They are turgid, long-winded, and full of moral equivalence.

    Try Len Deighton's trilogy of trilogies instead, starting with Berlin Game.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Len_Deighton

    I love Deighton and Lecarre both. But I agree with you that Deighton’s are better.

  31. @Alden
    Bloomberg’s flooding California with ads showing him helping black thugs and welfare mammas. Guess he doesn’t realize blacks are only 5 percent of the California population thanks be to God and all the saints and angels.

    Wasn’t that Trump’s superbowl ad?

    I don’t watch much TV, but I’ve only seen gauzy healthcare ads from Bloomberg.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    I don’t watch much TV, but I’ve only seen gauzy healthcare ads from Bloomberg.

     

    A lot of corporate ads interrupt YouTube informational videos, but Bloomberg's are always careful to precede them. Does this cost more?

    And they're short, so there is no rush to "Skip Ad". It'll be gone soon. He thus tricks you into watching the whole 5-10 second thing, knowing you're too lazy to reach for the remote.

    He understands media at least as well as does Trump.

    , @Alden
    California primaries March 3. It’s blacks blacks blacks on Bloomberg’s ads.
  32. @J.Ross
    Hey, both of you, if Steve wants to post about something other than golf or baseball, just let it happen and be thankful.

    Well, I’m starting to get into some of the baseball posts, at least the ones involving baseball history. I just had no idea who this guy was and what the post was about.* It happens…

    .

    .

    * I still don’t.

  33. @syonredux

    We should vote for President by figuring out who has the more babe-ilicious daughter.
     
    Don't be silly. We should do it on the basis of which guy has the hottest wife :

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/fe/d3/2f/fed32fb59eb0b0296000d9a2db13a80b.jpg

    So I guess a comeback by Øb☭ma is out of the question, then.

  34. @Achmed E. Newman
    What about him? Did he die, write a tweet, or put out a new LP?

    (I basically don't get what this post is about, but it's likely because I miss a few here and there.)

    Let me take this opportunity to OT and ask you a question, AEN, since you’re here. It’s related to discussion on some recent Unz Review articles. The question is about Chinese Communist Party asset (or wannabe asset) Godfree Roberts; inspired by the recent writings of a second person, another CCP-party-line guy who goes by Metallicman.

    [MORE]

    Metallicman published a 15,000-word, evidence-free diatribe about how the US probably created the COVID-19 virus and, jealous of the CCP’s ongoing success, probably released it in China to humiliate China and deliberately kill Chinese citizens. “Evidence pending, but even without evidence it’s just really likely, isn’t it?” (not an exact quote from Metallicman).

    Metallicman is a prolific writer on his personal site. Biographical info is to be found in his own published writings. As far as I can tell, this is who he is: A white man, US-born ca.1959, who has lived in China since 2010 and never wants to return to the US. He married a Chinese woman soon after arriving, and has had at least two mixed-race children. This all sounds kind of innocuous so far. The bad part is he has a bad, bad case of “going native,” and pushes literal blood-libel, black-propaganda against his own kith and kin (White Americans) now, and praises China.

    Oh, and he claims to have been involved for a long period in a secret UFO project with the US government. In this capacity he claims they inserted something in his brain to help his UFO-related tasks.

    As bad as this sounds, write him off as the usual kind of crank if we must, but at very least Metallicman lives in China (or claims to, says he does, plus the Chinese wife and children, his newfound total love for Chinese culture, etc.).

    What of Godfree Roberts, the hardworking PRC-government-line pusher?

    Which brings me to my question. I know that you, AEN, have frequently asked Mr. Godless Godfree questions about the extent of his personal knowledge of the PRC, the regime line of which he works so hard to push. Has he ever lived in China? Has he ever even been there? How often? When? Where? Alone? Not alone? If not alone, with whom? Doing what?

    Did you ever get any answers on any of the above? I’ve seen you ask these kinds of questions several times but am unclear on whether he ever responded.

    “We need a complete shutdown of Godfree Roberts articles until we figure out what the hell is going on.”

    ________________

    See comment-122 at the article for the bio and timeline for Metallicman.

    From a later reply, the inspiration for this heavy off-topic post:

    (Tangential but related to fawning admirers of the PRC: Godfree Roberts, an Unz Review regular. To my mind indistinguishable from a paid agent of the PRC state media. He posts their talking points uncritically and aggressively. Unz Review commenter Achmed E. Newman, who has experience on multiple, extended business trips to China, has repeatedly asked Roberts, apparently resident in Southeast Asia, if Roberts has ever lived in, or even set foot in, the PRC whose state-media talking points he pushes so much. To my knowledge, Roberts has never responded to Achmed E. Newman’s queries.)

    A reply to the Metallicman Hypothesis on COVID-19, from commenter Offthepink on, if COVID-19 is from a lab, whose it was:

    red shills would rather go through all kinds of mental gymnastics, like saying America snuck in and released something that only China is working on, at one of the few labs where they are working on it, rather than the FAR more probable somebody screwed up and it got loose.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    There is some reason to speculate that it might be a bioweapon (have any non-East Asians died? And Wuhan had just opened a maximally dangerous bioweapon lab, presumably staffed by Chinese people), but absolutely nothing that could tie it to any actor (remember the proprietarily Russian molecules which could only have come from Russia, released near the UK's chemical weapons lab?).
    >UFOs
    When America send yellow-fever ghosts, they're not sending their best.
    , @Lot
    “and pushes literal blood-libel, black-propaganda against his own kith and kin”

    Shocking to see such a thing on the domain Unz.com!

    Godfree Roberts probably doesn’t get direct payment from the PRC gov, but gets or hopes to get in on some payments from PRC-funded media and “thinktanks.”

    As for his residence, it isn’t a big secret, he has a blog. He lives in northern thailand and makes his money helping elderly brits and aussies who want to retire to thailand get set up and settled in.

    Thailand is a lot cleaner and more civilized than China, but it would be surprising if he hasn’t been to China a few times as he’s close by.

    I’ll say that while the PRC government is overall evil, I like the Chinese people and dislike how your WN friends call them ”bugmen” and other nasty things. I hope they have a peaceful transition from communism to liberal democracy like Taiwan and Hungary.
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    Hail, I did not read the article or thread by "Metallicman", so it's too bad I can't give you any inkling of whether he is full of it or not. I'll correct for the record that my trips were not all extended (though I stayed for over a month one time), and not all business.

    Anyway, you do a GREAT and very helpful job with searching up biographies, Hail, but I have already read some of Mr. Roberts' background from his own blogspot site. I also looked through some other material of his.

    Here's what I remember offhand: Godfree Roberts makes (or attempts to make, I dunno) a living in Thailand by providing retirement advice for those Westerners wishing to move there. The site's in English, so I figure he caters to Americans, Brits, etc. Part of it is some sort of tours over there, for the clients to check out quality of life and real estate. That's a living, and I don't begrudge Mr. Roberts for that.

    However, his parents, from the bios I read, travelled to China in the middle of the hard-core Commie days and were Communists themselves. Now, listen, back in those days, not a lot of Westerners went to China. It was a big deal for Nixon to go! You were either a missionary, a Communist sympathizer of the Mao regime, or that one British writer (Needham) who reckoned the Chinese invented EVERYTHING ... but was also a Communist.

    Mr. Roberts, per his bio, has lived all over the place, and I'm guessing he knows China from either time there with his parents or their stories of it. Indeed, the question is: If China is so great, WTH does the guy live in Thailand? My speculation, and that's all it is, is that the Chinese government doesn't want him there, least not for good. Now, immigration there for anyone isn't easy, but the modern Chinese government may say they're Communist, and they do want control, but they really don't want another died-in-the-wool Mao-sack-hanging true Communist in China. That's not good for business!

    I did not get any answers to my questions from Godfree Roberts.

    Lastly, I think Godfree Roberts, a very polite guy on-line, BTW, is so off-the-wall pro-Communist China (the real thing of Chairman Mao) that if I found out he were some kind of bizarro-world-Yakov-Smirnoff parody, the whole thing would make lots more sense to me. He comes up with lots of bar graphs, but I think most of them are made-up garbage.

    However, I really don't know how much Ron Unz vets the commenters for honesty or background. In the same way as he deals impulsively, IMO, in dealing with some long-time commenters, I think Mr. Unz may just not read that much of some of these people's material before letting them post articles. (This site hosts a LOT of content.) Mr. Unz runs a bang-up site, for error-free usability and interesting material. He also seems like a stand-up guy who would be the last to budge under pressure from the Deep State/Tech Totalitarians/Whomever. I wouldn't argue with him about his choice of writers, but, yeah, this guy is a piece of work.
  35. @Jim Don Bob

    If you haven’t seen the miniseries’ with Alec Guiness, you are missing out on some of the greatest television ever. Maybe one day I should read the books.
     
    The Alec Guiness miniseries was superb.

    Skip the books. They are turgid, long-winded, and full of moral equivalence.

    Try Len Deighton's trilogy of trilogies instead, starting with Berlin Game.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Len_Deighton

    If you haven’t seen the miniseries’ with Alec Guiness, you are missing out on some of the greatest television ever. Maybe one day I should read the books

    .

    I am amazed that you enjoyed the series without having read the book. I imagined that it would be hard to follow without knowing the plot beforehand.

    skip the books. They are turgid, long-winded, and full of moral equivalence.

    Try Len Deighton’s trilogy of trilogies instead, starting with Berlin Game.

    The Tinker tailor/Honourable Schoolboy/Smileys people trilogy was believable if at times a bit overwritten. Le Carres later stuff is completely different in style.

    Deightons trilogy that had a plot that was ridiculous and was more a novel about middle aged man with a younger boss than anything to do with espionage.

    Tastes differ, try both Anonymous.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Thanks. I went through a "realistic spy movie" kick. Hence the Smiley miniseries'. I also went through a realistic war movie kick too, but that is another story.

    I found the Guiness series followable, though I probably used the rewind button on more than one occasion, and maybe I used the English subs too. It takes a while to get into but soon they are absolutely gripping.

    I ended up watching Ipcress file and Funeral in Berlin by that same process, which I now know as books by Deighton now thanks to this thread. They are good too. Breach was good. I think it was Steve's promotion of The Good Shepherd that started my journey into this genre. I loved that. I also watched The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, which I liked. The Kremlin Letter was amazing. Hard to get into but have patience.

    If anyone has more suggestions for that genre, suggest.
    , @Sean
    Le Carre had Smiley as detective in that whodunnit A Murder of Quality, he is like Agatha Christie. His best, The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, is really a courtroom drama with a witness ( Leamas) being duped into securing the acquittal of the guilty. His later stuff has the unreliable narrator device. I liked Deighton's earlier books when he kept the action going, a la Alistair Maclean, of course that requires unrealistic plots because no one talks or acts like they do in novels. Show me very successful memoir and I will show you a fiction https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Frey

    ------


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hanson,_Baron_Hanson
    He was also an active "Eurosceptic", opposed as he was to Britain joining the Euro zone, and was a founding member of Business for Britain, an anti-EU organisation. He was also a member of the Bruges Group, which advocates a substantial renegotiation of Britain's relationship with the EU, or if that is not possible, total withdrawal from the EU.[8]
     
    It is remarkable how many parallels there were between Sir James Goldsmith and Lord Hanson. I'm disconcerted the Tory Eurosceptics were kept going by corporate raiders. By the time of Brexit it was City of London venture capitalists and over-leveraging bankers who wanted to avoid the EU'(German) financial probity regulation backing Boris. I'm sure he was bribed with the promise of a great trade deal by the Chinese if he bought their 5G system. Trump is not going to let Spiv Britain profit from selling out the West on the promise of sweet deals with Iran and China.
  36. @miss marple
    Is that you, Jared?

    I sometimes wish I had a billion dollars and were Ivanka’s husband!

    Though at the moment I’m dating a girl 11 years younger than Mrs Kushner, and pretty cute herself. 😀

  37. The guy in the picture you posted looks to me like Steve Martin in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

  38. @Hail
    Let me take this opportunity to OT and ask you a question, AEN, since you're here. It's related to discussion on some recent Unz Review articles. The question is about Chinese Communist Party asset (or wannabe asset) Godfree Roberts; inspired by the recent writings of a second person, another CCP-party-line guy who goes by Metallicman.

    Metallicman published a 15,000-word, evidence-free diatribe about how the US probably created the COVID-19 virus and, jealous of the CCP's ongoing success, probably released it in China to humiliate China and deliberately kill Chinese citizens. "Evidence pending, but even without evidence it's just really likely, isn't it?" (not an exact quote from Metallicman).

    Metallicman is a prolific writer on his personal site. Biographical info is to be found in his own published writings. As far as I can tell, this is who he is: A white man, US-born ca.1959, who has lived in China since 2010 and never wants to return to the US. He married a Chinese woman soon after arriving, and has had at least two mixed-race children. This all sounds kind of innocuous so far. The bad part is he has a bad, bad case of "going native," and pushes literal blood-libel, black-propaganda against his own kith and kin (White Americans) now, and praises China.

    Oh, and he claims to have been involved for a long period in a secret UFO project with the US government. In this capacity he claims they inserted something in his brain to help his UFO-related tasks.

    As bad as this sounds, write him off as the usual kind of crank if we must, but at very least Metallicman lives in China (or claims to, says he does, plus the Chinese wife and children, his newfound total love for Chinese culture, etc.).

    What of Godfree Roberts, the hardworking PRC-government-line pusher?

    Which brings me to my question. I know that you, AEN, have frequently asked Mr. Godless Godfree questions about the extent of his personal knowledge of the PRC, the regime line of which he works so hard to push. Has he ever lived in China? Has he ever even been there? How often? When? Where? Alone? Not alone? If not alone, with whom? Doing what?

    Did you ever get any answers on any of the above? I've seen you ask these kinds of questions several times but am unclear on whether he ever responded.

    "We need a complete shutdown of Godfree Roberts articles until we figure out what the hell is going on."

    ________________

    See comment-122 at the article for the bio and timeline for Metallicman.

    From a later reply, the inspiration for this heavy off-topic post:


    (Tangential but related to fawning admirers of the PRC: Godfree Roberts, an Unz Review regular. To my mind indistinguishable from a paid agent of the PRC state media. He posts their talking points uncritically and aggressively. Unz Review commenter Achmed E. Newman, who has experience on multiple, extended business trips to China, has repeatedly asked Roberts, apparently resident in Southeast Asia, if Roberts has ever lived in, or even set foot in, the PRC whose state-media talking points he pushes so much. To my knowledge, Roberts has never responded to Achmed E. Newman’s queries.)
     
    A reply to the Metallicman Hypothesis on COVID-19, from commenter Offthepink on, if COVID-19 is from a lab, whose it was:

    red shills would rather go through all kinds of mental gymnastics, like saying America snuck in and released something that only China is working on, at one of the few labs where they are working on it, rather than the FAR more probable somebody screwed up and it got loose.
     

    There is some reason to speculate that it might be a bioweapon (have any non-East Asians died? And Wuhan had just opened a maximally dangerous bioweapon lab, presumably staffed by Chinese people), but absolutely nothing that could tie it to any actor (remember the proprietarily Russian molecules which could only have come from Russia, released near the UK’s chemical weapons lab?).
    >UFOs
    When America send yellow-fever ghosts, they’re not sending their best.

  39. @Hail
    Let me take this opportunity to OT and ask you a question, AEN, since you're here. It's related to discussion on some recent Unz Review articles. The question is about Chinese Communist Party asset (or wannabe asset) Godfree Roberts; inspired by the recent writings of a second person, another CCP-party-line guy who goes by Metallicman.

    Metallicman published a 15,000-word, evidence-free diatribe about how the US probably created the COVID-19 virus and, jealous of the CCP's ongoing success, probably released it in China to humiliate China and deliberately kill Chinese citizens. "Evidence pending, but even without evidence it's just really likely, isn't it?" (not an exact quote from Metallicman).

    Metallicman is a prolific writer on his personal site. Biographical info is to be found in his own published writings. As far as I can tell, this is who he is: A white man, US-born ca.1959, who has lived in China since 2010 and never wants to return to the US. He married a Chinese woman soon after arriving, and has had at least two mixed-race children. This all sounds kind of innocuous so far. The bad part is he has a bad, bad case of "going native," and pushes literal blood-libel, black-propaganda against his own kith and kin (White Americans) now, and praises China.

    Oh, and he claims to have been involved for a long period in a secret UFO project with the US government. In this capacity he claims they inserted something in his brain to help his UFO-related tasks.

    As bad as this sounds, write him off as the usual kind of crank if we must, but at very least Metallicman lives in China (or claims to, says he does, plus the Chinese wife and children, his newfound total love for Chinese culture, etc.).

    What of Godfree Roberts, the hardworking PRC-government-line pusher?

    Which brings me to my question. I know that you, AEN, have frequently asked Mr. Godless Godfree questions about the extent of his personal knowledge of the PRC, the regime line of which he works so hard to push. Has he ever lived in China? Has he ever even been there? How often? When? Where? Alone? Not alone? If not alone, with whom? Doing what?

    Did you ever get any answers on any of the above? I've seen you ask these kinds of questions several times but am unclear on whether he ever responded.

    "We need a complete shutdown of Godfree Roberts articles until we figure out what the hell is going on."

    ________________

    See comment-122 at the article for the bio and timeline for Metallicman.

    From a later reply, the inspiration for this heavy off-topic post:


    (Tangential but related to fawning admirers of the PRC: Godfree Roberts, an Unz Review regular. To my mind indistinguishable from a paid agent of the PRC state media. He posts their talking points uncritically and aggressively. Unz Review commenter Achmed E. Newman, who has experience on multiple, extended business trips to China, has repeatedly asked Roberts, apparently resident in Southeast Asia, if Roberts has ever lived in, or even set foot in, the PRC whose state-media talking points he pushes so much. To my knowledge, Roberts has never responded to Achmed E. Newman’s queries.)
     
    A reply to the Metallicman Hypothesis on COVID-19, from commenter Offthepink on, if COVID-19 is from a lab, whose it was:

    red shills would rather go through all kinds of mental gymnastics, like saying America snuck in and released something that only China is working on, at one of the few labs where they are working on it, rather than the FAR more probable somebody screwed up and it got loose.
     

    “and pushes literal blood-libel, black-propaganda against his own kith and kin”

    Shocking to see such a thing on the domain Unz.com!

    Godfree Roberts probably doesn’t get direct payment from the PRC gov, but gets or hopes to get in on some payments from PRC-funded media and “thinktanks.”

    As for his residence, it isn’t a big secret, he has a blog. He lives in northern thailand and makes his money helping elderly brits and aussies who want to retire to thailand get set up and settled in.

    Thailand is a lot cleaner and more civilized than China, but it would be surprising if he hasn’t been to China a few times as he’s close by.

    I’ll say that while the PRC government is overall evil, I like the Chinese people and dislike how your WN friends call them ”bugmen” and other nasty things. I hope they have a peaceful transition from communism to liberal democracy like Taiwan and Hungary.

    • Replies: @dfordoom

    I hope they have a peaceful transition from communism to liberal democracy like Taiwan and Hungary.
     
    Why would you wish liberal democracy on the Chinese? What have they done to you to make you hate them so much?
  40. @Hail
    Let me take this opportunity to OT and ask you a question, AEN, since you're here. It's related to discussion on some recent Unz Review articles. The question is about Chinese Communist Party asset (or wannabe asset) Godfree Roberts; inspired by the recent writings of a second person, another CCP-party-line guy who goes by Metallicman.

    Metallicman published a 15,000-word, evidence-free diatribe about how the US probably created the COVID-19 virus and, jealous of the CCP's ongoing success, probably released it in China to humiliate China and deliberately kill Chinese citizens. "Evidence pending, but even without evidence it's just really likely, isn't it?" (not an exact quote from Metallicman).

    Metallicman is a prolific writer on his personal site. Biographical info is to be found in his own published writings. As far as I can tell, this is who he is: A white man, US-born ca.1959, who has lived in China since 2010 and never wants to return to the US. He married a Chinese woman soon after arriving, and has had at least two mixed-race children. This all sounds kind of innocuous so far. The bad part is he has a bad, bad case of "going native," and pushes literal blood-libel, black-propaganda against his own kith and kin (White Americans) now, and praises China.

    Oh, and he claims to have been involved for a long period in a secret UFO project with the US government. In this capacity he claims they inserted something in his brain to help his UFO-related tasks.

    As bad as this sounds, write him off as the usual kind of crank if we must, but at very least Metallicman lives in China (or claims to, says he does, plus the Chinese wife and children, his newfound total love for Chinese culture, etc.).

    What of Godfree Roberts, the hardworking PRC-government-line pusher?

    Which brings me to my question. I know that you, AEN, have frequently asked Mr. Godless Godfree questions about the extent of his personal knowledge of the PRC, the regime line of which he works so hard to push. Has he ever lived in China? Has he ever even been there? How often? When? Where? Alone? Not alone? If not alone, with whom? Doing what?

    Did you ever get any answers on any of the above? I've seen you ask these kinds of questions several times but am unclear on whether he ever responded.

    "We need a complete shutdown of Godfree Roberts articles until we figure out what the hell is going on."

    ________________

    See comment-122 at the article for the bio and timeline for Metallicman.

    From a later reply, the inspiration for this heavy off-topic post:


    (Tangential but related to fawning admirers of the PRC: Godfree Roberts, an Unz Review regular. To my mind indistinguishable from a paid agent of the PRC state media. He posts their talking points uncritically and aggressively. Unz Review commenter Achmed E. Newman, who has experience on multiple, extended business trips to China, has repeatedly asked Roberts, apparently resident in Southeast Asia, if Roberts has ever lived in, or even set foot in, the PRC whose state-media talking points he pushes so much. To my knowledge, Roberts has never responded to Achmed E. Newman’s queries.)
     
    A reply to the Metallicman Hypothesis on COVID-19, from commenter Offthepink on, if COVID-19 is from a lab, whose it was:

    red shills would rather go through all kinds of mental gymnastics, like saying America snuck in and released something that only China is working on, at one of the few labs where they are working on it, rather than the FAR more probable somebody screwed up and it got loose.
     

    Hail, I did not read the article or thread by “Metallicman”, so it’s too bad I can’t give you any inkling of whether he is full of it or not. I’ll correct for the record that my trips were not all extended (though I stayed for over a month one time), and not all business.

    Anyway, you do a GREAT and very helpful job with searching up biographies, Hail, but I have already read some of Mr. Roberts’ background from his own blogspot site. I also looked through some other material of his.

    Here’s what I remember offhand: Godfree Roberts makes (or attempts to make, I dunno) a living in Thailand by providing retirement advice for those Westerners wishing to move there. The site’s in English, so I figure he caters to Americans, Brits, etc. Part of it is some sort of tours over there, for the clients to check out quality of life and real estate. That’s a living, and I don’t begrudge Mr. Roberts for that.

    However, his parents, from the bios I read, travelled to China in the middle of the hard-core Commie days and were Communists themselves. Now, listen, back in those days, not a lot of Westerners went to China. It was a big deal for Nixon to go! You were either a missionary, a Communist sympathizer of the Mao regime, or that one British writer (Needham) who reckoned the Chinese invented EVERYTHING … but was also a Communist.

    Mr. Roberts, per his bio, has lived all over the place, and I’m guessing he knows China from either time there with his parents or their stories of it. Indeed, the question is: If China is so great, WTH does the guy live in Thailand? My speculation, and that’s all it is, is that the Chinese government doesn’t want him there, least not for good. Now, immigration there for anyone isn’t easy, but the modern Chinese government may say they’re Communist, and they do want control, but they really don’t want another died-in-the-wool Mao-sack-hanging true Communist in China. That’s not good for business!

    I did not get any answers to my questions from Godfree Roberts.

    Lastly, I think Godfree Roberts, a very polite guy on-line, BTW, is so off-the-wall pro-Communist China (the real thing of Chairman Mao) that if I found out he were some kind of bizarro-world-Yakov-Smirnoff parody, the whole thing would make lots more sense to me. He comes up with lots of bar graphs, but I think most of them are made-up garbage.

    However, I really don’t know how much Ron Unz vets the commenters for honesty or background. In the same way as he deals impulsively, IMO, in dealing with some long-time commenters, I think Mr. Unz may just not read that much of some of these people’s material before letting them post articles. (This site hosts a LOT of content.) Mr. Unz runs a bang-up site, for error-free usability and interesting material. He also seems like a stand-up guy who would be the last to budge under pressure from the Deep State/Tech Totalitarians/Whomever. I wouldn’t argue with him about his choice of writers, but, yeah, this guy is a piece of work.

    • Thanks: Hail
    • Replies: @Lot
    Godfree goes way over the top, but he’s basically right in his debates with the China-bear crowd, who’ve been predicting a revolution, economic crash, or debt panic in China for 20 years and not just been wrong, but very wrong.

    2020 might be the first year they are right, but because of ncov19, not any of their stated reasons.
    , @Bardon Kaldian
    OK... but I don't get this interest in a person's/author's life/biography.

    My position is that the text/article matters most/only & couldn't care less about the author's motive, hidden or public. Just like Yiddish short-story master I. Bashevis Singer said, when asked about Tolstoy: "If he was to appear in this very hotel (where I.B.S. was interviewed), next room to mine, I wouldn't bother to meet him. It's "Anna Karenina" that matters."
    , @Daniel Chieh
    Godfree is an old line Communist, which I've mentioned several times.
  41. @JohnnyWalker123
    https://twitter.com/andipalmur/status/1230301765662318594

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0_axTST2aY

    We should vote for President by figuring out who has the more babe-ilicious daughter.

    If I were Bloomberg, I’d get my tall daughter DNA-tested for a possible non-paternal event. Bloomberg is a midget, right?

  42. Is this about Anonymous?

    Or Roger Stone?

    Trump knows who Anonymous is.

    He’s a CIA spook?

  43. @Lot
    “and pushes literal blood-libel, black-propaganda against his own kith and kin”

    Shocking to see such a thing on the domain Unz.com!

    Godfree Roberts probably doesn’t get direct payment from the PRC gov, but gets or hopes to get in on some payments from PRC-funded media and “thinktanks.”

    As for his residence, it isn’t a big secret, he has a blog. He lives in northern thailand and makes his money helping elderly brits and aussies who want to retire to thailand get set up and settled in.

    Thailand is a lot cleaner and more civilized than China, but it would be surprising if he hasn’t been to China a few times as he’s close by.

    I’ll say that while the PRC government is overall evil, I like the Chinese people and dislike how your WN friends call them ”bugmen” and other nasty things. I hope they have a peaceful transition from communism to liberal democracy like Taiwan and Hungary.

    I hope they have a peaceful transition from communism to liberal democracy like Taiwan and Hungary.

    Why would you wish liberal democracy on the Chinese? What have they done to you to make you hate them so much?

  44. The point is that spies are criminals and come from long lines of criminals.

    • Agree: LondonBob
    • Replies: @Pheasant
    For once you say something remotely sensible.
    , @J.Ross
    Well I'll be Williamshatnered, Old Ben got it while we were all mystified. I would still insist on quibbling that those intelligent crimes tolerated because necessary or useful to effecting the secret defense of the national interest can never include what Peter Strzok and John Brennan and the Ohrs did. Strzok should have met the Crypteia for what he so much as texted, let alone what he did.
    , @Peter D. Bredon
    Yes, Bond was always touchy about that, insisting he was a "secret agent," just another civil servant on Her Majesty's [Secret] Service, with a license to kill, of course. What irked him about SMERSH was that it was an acronym for "Death to Spies" and he was insulted to be considered part of their brief.
  45. @Jim Don Bob

    If you haven’t seen the miniseries’ with Alec Guiness, you are missing out on some of the greatest television ever. Maybe one day I should read the books.
     
    The Alec Guiness miniseries was superb.

    Skip the books. They are turgid, long-winded, and full of moral equivalence.

    Try Len Deighton's trilogy of trilogies instead, starting with Berlin Game.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Len_Deighton

    Skip the books. They are turgid, long-winded, and full of moral equivalence.

    Try Len Deighton’s trilogy of trilogies instead, starting with Berlin Game.

    Deighton is better but le Carre was pretty good. I’m not sure about your point re moral equivalance – le Carre was rabidly anti-communist and anti-Soviet.

    I’m talking about their early work. I haven’t read any of the later books by either writer.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    Spy fiction is, I think, going the way of the dodo.

    Or... the entire fiction.

  46. @Lot
    Wasn’t that Trump’s superbowl ad?

    I don’t watch much TV, but I’ve only seen gauzy healthcare ads from Bloomberg.

    I don’t watch much TV, but I’ve only seen gauzy healthcare ads from Bloomberg.

    A lot of corporate ads interrupt YouTube informational videos, but Bloomberg’s are always careful to precede them. Does this cost more?

    And they’re short, so there is no rush to “Skip Ad”. It’ll be gone soon. He thus tricks you into watching the whole 5-10 second thing, knowing you’re too lazy to reach for the remote.

    He understands media at least as well as does Trump.

  47. Lord Hanson always advised going to the races to make contacts. Racing is a good place to meet the gullible rich, if you can put up a good front to make it look as if you are successful. Someone LeCarre senior ripped off said he sent some ex paratroopers round to collect and they phoned from his office and a click made it obvious the old grifter was listening in . He said ‘break one of his arms’ and he came out of his office and literally throwing wads of cash screaming “Take it it’s all I have’.

  48. @Achmed E. Newman
    Hail, I did not read the article or thread by "Metallicman", so it's too bad I can't give you any inkling of whether he is full of it or not. I'll correct for the record that my trips were not all extended (though I stayed for over a month one time), and not all business.

    Anyway, you do a GREAT and very helpful job with searching up biographies, Hail, but I have already read some of Mr. Roberts' background from his own blogspot site. I also looked through some other material of his.

    Here's what I remember offhand: Godfree Roberts makes (or attempts to make, I dunno) a living in Thailand by providing retirement advice for those Westerners wishing to move there. The site's in English, so I figure he caters to Americans, Brits, etc. Part of it is some sort of tours over there, for the clients to check out quality of life and real estate. That's a living, and I don't begrudge Mr. Roberts for that.

    However, his parents, from the bios I read, travelled to China in the middle of the hard-core Commie days and were Communists themselves. Now, listen, back in those days, not a lot of Westerners went to China. It was a big deal for Nixon to go! You were either a missionary, a Communist sympathizer of the Mao regime, or that one British writer (Needham) who reckoned the Chinese invented EVERYTHING ... but was also a Communist.

    Mr. Roberts, per his bio, has lived all over the place, and I'm guessing he knows China from either time there with his parents or their stories of it. Indeed, the question is: If China is so great, WTH does the guy live in Thailand? My speculation, and that's all it is, is that the Chinese government doesn't want him there, least not for good. Now, immigration there for anyone isn't easy, but the modern Chinese government may say they're Communist, and they do want control, but they really don't want another died-in-the-wool Mao-sack-hanging true Communist in China. That's not good for business!

    I did not get any answers to my questions from Godfree Roberts.

    Lastly, I think Godfree Roberts, a very polite guy on-line, BTW, is so off-the-wall pro-Communist China (the real thing of Chairman Mao) that if I found out he were some kind of bizarro-world-Yakov-Smirnoff parody, the whole thing would make lots more sense to me. He comes up with lots of bar graphs, but I think most of them are made-up garbage.

    However, I really don't know how much Ron Unz vets the commenters for honesty or background. In the same way as he deals impulsively, IMO, in dealing with some long-time commenters, I think Mr. Unz may just not read that much of some of these people's material before letting them post articles. (This site hosts a LOT of content.) Mr. Unz runs a bang-up site, for error-free usability and interesting material. He also seems like a stand-up guy who would be the last to budge under pressure from the Deep State/Tech Totalitarians/Whomever. I wouldn't argue with him about his choice of writers, but, yeah, this guy is a piece of work.

    Godfree goes way over the top, but he’s basically right in his debates with the China-bear crowd, who’ve been predicting a revolution, economic crash, or debt panic in China for 20 years and not just been wrong, but very wrong.

    2020 might be the first year they are right, but because of ncov19, not any of their stated reasons.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Lot, I am not a China "bear" either, because no matter what Zerohedge reports on their debts, ghost cities, and other financial stupidity at the high level, the country creates wealth for the world and itself with manufacturing and infrastructure improvements.

    I don't question Godfree Roberts often on that, though he still exaggerates. I have seen him throw out some BS that I know from my own observations of the country is wrong. Godfree Roberts, however, attributes China's success to the Communism of Chairman Mao, which is an utter lie. He sticks with this through all arguments. It is just historical revisionist lying. There are plenty of people here and over there who still have a memory of that time and know better.

    I suppose Mr. Roberts speaks to the young crowd who don't know any of this history. That's how Communists roll...
    , @Hail

    [Godfree Roberts] is basically right in his debates with the China-bear crowd, who’ve been predicting a revolution, economic crash, or debt panic in China
     
    I would call this a false dichotomy.
  49. @Anonymous
    If you haven't seen the miniseries' with Alec Guiness, you are missing out on some of the greatest television ever. Maybe one day I should read the books.

    TTSS is a good book – well worth the read. The TV serial was pretty good too. Alec Guiness is perfect as George Smiley; you’d think that Le Carre modeled the character after Guiness.

    The movie version that came out about eight years ago was garbage.

  50. @syonredux

    We should vote for President by figuring out who has the more babe-ilicious daughter.
     
    Don't be silly. We should do it on the basis of which guy has the hottest wife :

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/fe/d3/2f/fed32fb59eb0b0296000d9a2db13a80b.jpg

    These legs just don’t end.

    This is like Trump Longcat.

  51. @Jim Don Bob

    If you haven’t seen the miniseries’ with Alec Guiness, you are missing out on some of the greatest television ever. Maybe one day I should read the books.
     
    The Alec Guiness miniseries was superb.

    Skip the books. They are turgid, long-winded, and full of moral equivalence.

    Try Len Deighton's trilogy of trilogies instead, starting with Berlin Game.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Len_Deighton

    “They are turgid, long-winded, and full of moral equivalence.”

    Each to his own. Some people like long sentences. There IS a lot of moral equivalence in the secret world. Whether its practitioners recognise it as such is another story.

    Politically, of course, he’s an idiot, although he was right about the Iraq War.

    I find Deighton’s characters, unlike le Carre’s, one-dimensional (if that). The only book of his I’d really recommend is Bomber, a fat book which describes a single RAF raid on a single German town from the multiple viewpoints of all those involved – local villagers, aircrew and administrators, German radar, night-fighters, AA defences – and the people at the wrong end of the bombs. Tons of technical detail, almost a docu-drama of a book.

    • Replies: @Stebbing Heuer
    'Fighter' and 'Blitzkrieg' were also good.

    It seems as though he does research for his books, and then turns that research into books of their own.
  52. @Lot
    Godfree goes way over the top, but he’s basically right in his debates with the China-bear crowd, who’ve been predicting a revolution, economic crash, or debt panic in China for 20 years and not just been wrong, but very wrong.

    2020 might be the first year they are right, but because of ncov19, not any of their stated reasons.

    Lot, I am not a China “bear” either, because no matter what Zerohedge reports on their debts, ghost cities, and other financial stupidity at the high level, the country creates wealth for the world and itself with manufacturing and infrastructure improvements.

    I don’t question Godfree Roberts often on that, though he still exaggerates. I have seen him throw out some BS that I know from my own observations of the country is wrong. Godfree Roberts, however, attributes China’s success to the Communism of Chairman Mao, which is an utter lie. He sticks with this through all arguments. It is just historical revisionist lying. There are plenty of people here and over there who still have a memory of that time and know better.

    I suppose Mr. Roberts speaks to the young crowd who don’t know any of this history. That’s how Communists roll…

  53. @dfordoom

    Skip the books. They are turgid, long-winded, and full of moral equivalence.

    Try Len Deighton’s trilogy of trilogies instead, starting with Berlin Game.
     
    Deighton is better but le Carre was pretty good. I'm not sure about your point re moral equivalance - le Carre was rabidly anti-communist and anti-Soviet.

    I'm talking about their early work. I haven't read any of the later books by either writer.

    Spy fiction is, I think, going the way of the dodo.

    Or… the entire fiction.

    • Replies: @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    Spy fiction is, I think, going the way of the dodo.

     

    I think LeCarre himself said this a while back - that the cessation of the Cold War took all of the air out of writing spy fiction since there are no longer two great competing powers in an uneasy balance.

    Perhaps this is somewhat exacerbated by the fact that lots of spying now is conducted via technology rather than old fashioned in person collection and double agents.

    Most of LeCarre's post Cold War stuff fell somewhat flat - though The Constant Gardener is a good story.
    , @dfordoom

    Spy fiction is, I think, going the way of the dodo.
     
    The end of the Cold War was the end of spy fiction. Espionage during the Cold War was a splendid game. It was not very dangerous. Both sides knew the rules and mostly played by them. It was like a combination of cricket, chess and poker. It took place in glamorous exotic but not overly dangerous places. Perfect material for fiction.

    If you read Kim Philby's autobiography you can tell that he loved every minute of it. The danger of getting caught just added a little spice.

    Once the Cold War ended new villains had to be found and they didn't play by the rules. The fun went out of it.
  54. Anonymous[204] • Disclaimer says:
    @AKAHorace

    If you haven’t seen the miniseries’ with Alec Guiness, you are missing out on some of the greatest television ever. Maybe one day I should read the books
     
    .

    I am amazed that you enjoyed the series without having read the book. I imagined that it would be hard to follow without knowing the plot beforehand.

    skip the books. They are turgid, long-winded, and full of moral equivalence.

    Try Len Deighton’s trilogy of trilogies instead, starting with Berlin Game.


    The Tinker tailor/Honourable Schoolboy/Smileys people trilogy was believable if at times a bit overwritten. Le Carres later stuff is completely different in style.

    Deightons trilogy that had a plot that was ridiculous and was more a novel about middle aged man with a younger boss than anything to do with espionage.

    Tastes differ, try both Anonymous.

    Thanks. I went through a “realistic spy movie” kick. Hence the Smiley miniseries’. I also went through a realistic war movie kick too, but that is another story.

    I found the Guiness series followable, though I probably used the rewind button on more than one occasion, and maybe I used the English subs too. It takes a while to get into but soon they are absolutely gripping.

    I ended up watching Ipcress file and Funeral in Berlin by that same process, which I now know as books by Deighton now thanks to this thread. They are good too. Breach was good. I think it was Steve’s promotion of The Good Shepherd that started my journey into this genre. I loved that. I also watched The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, which I liked. The Kremlin Letter was amazing. Hard to get into but have patience.

    If anyone has more suggestions for that genre, suggest.

    • Replies: @dfordoom

    If anyone has more suggestions for that genre, suggest.
     
    If you like realistic spy stuff there have been some superb British TV spy series. Callan of course, undoubtedly the best TV spy series ever made and very much in the le Carre/Deighton cynical/gritty mode. And The Sandbaggers is quite good. Again it's very le Carre-like.

    As for movies, there's A Ring of Spies, a low-key 1964 British movie based on a real-life spy case.
  55. @obwandiyag
    The point is that spies are criminals and come from long lines of criminals.

    For once you say something remotely sensible.

  56. @Achmed E. Newman
    Hail, I did not read the article or thread by "Metallicman", so it's too bad I can't give you any inkling of whether he is full of it or not. I'll correct for the record that my trips were not all extended (though I stayed for over a month one time), and not all business.

    Anyway, you do a GREAT and very helpful job with searching up biographies, Hail, but I have already read some of Mr. Roberts' background from his own blogspot site. I also looked through some other material of his.

    Here's what I remember offhand: Godfree Roberts makes (or attempts to make, I dunno) a living in Thailand by providing retirement advice for those Westerners wishing to move there. The site's in English, so I figure he caters to Americans, Brits, etc. Part of it is some sort of tours over there, for the clients to check out quality of life and real estate. That's a living, and I don't begrudge Mr. Roberts for that.

    However, his parents, from the bios I read, travelled to China in the middle of the hard-core Commie days and were Communists themselves. Now, listen, back in those days, not a lot of Westerners went to China. It was a big deal for Nixon to go! You were either a missionary, a Communist sympathizer of the Mao regime, or that one British writer (Needham) who reckoned the Chinese invented EVERYTHING ... but was also a Communist.

    Mr. Roberts, per his bio, has lived all over the place, and I'm guessing he knows China from either time there with his parents or their stories of it. Indeed, the question is: If China is so great, WTH does the guy live in Thailand? My speculation, and that's all it is, is that the Chinese government doesn't want him there, least not for good. Now, immigration there for anyone isn't easy, but the modern Chinese government may say they're Communist, and they do want control, but they really don't want another died-in-the-wool Mao-sack-hanging true Communist in China. That's not good for business!

    I did not get any answers to my questions from Godfree Roberts.

    Lastly, I think Godfree Roberts, a very polite guy on-line, BTW, is so off-the-wall pro-Communist China (the real thing of Chairman Mao) that if I found out he were some kind of bizarro-world-Yakov-Smirnoff parody, the whole thing would make lots more sense to me. He comes up with lots of bar graphs, but I think most of them are made-up garbage.

    However, I really don't know how much Ron Unz vets the commenters for honesty or background. In the same way as he deals impulsively, IMO, in dealing with some long-time commenters, I think Mr. Unz may just not read that much of some of these people's material before letting them post articles. (This site hosts a LOT of content.) Mr. Unz runs a bang-up site, for error-free usability and interesting material. He also seems like a stand-up guy who would be the last to budge under pressure from the Deep State/Tech Totalitarians/Whomever. I wouldn't argue with him about his choice of writers, but, yeah, this guy is a piece of work.

    OK… but I don’t get this interest in a person’s/author’s life/biography.

    My position is that the text/article matters most/only & couldn’t care less about the author’s motive, hidden or public. Just like Yiddish short-story master I. Bashevis Singer said, when asked about Tolstoy: “If he was to appear in this very hotel (where I.B.S. was interviewed), next room to mine, I wouldn’t bother to meet him. It’s “Anna Karenina” that matters.”

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Bardon, in this case, Mr. Hail asked. I also think it's important what the background of a guy who writes as an expert on China is, considering he doesn't live there and extolls Communism. It apparently runs in the family. Unlike for a great novel, per your example, his writing is supposedly nonfiction, and I'd like to know if this guy is truly as full of it. The background helps in determining this.
  57. @Anonymous
    He looks too masculine and well built with those shoulders to be played by the effeminate pear shaped Lane.

    Yeah, I agree. I’d cast former hod-carrier Ray Winstone over Nathan Lane there.

  58. @The Alarmist

    The elder Cornwell looks like he would make a good character for Nathan Lane to play in a musical comedy..
     
    Why, was he gay? Never mind, he was an Englishman, and it's often hard to tell the difference.

    “No sex please, we’re British” 🧐

  59. @Lot
    Wasn’t that Trump’s superbowl ad?

    I don’t watch much TV, but I’ve only seen gauzy healthcare ads from Bloomberg.

    California primaries March 3. It’s blacks blacks blacks on Bloomberg’s ads.

  60. @JohnnyWalker123
    https://twitter.com/andipalmur/status/1230301765662318594

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0_axTST2aY

    We should vote for President by figuring out who has the more babe-ilicious daughter.

    One supposes that the definition of “busty” in China is a bit different than the definition of “busty” in the West.

    That said, this sounds remotely like Zuckerberg trying to get Xi to stand Godfather to his children with his ethnic Chinese wife. Jews seem to want to insinuate themselves into the current Han Empire to hock their wares there.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    Chinese can acquit themselves reasonably well there because of their meatier diet. The idea of Oriental flatness comes from Japanese, who tend to eat less meat even if they are not vegetarian. And anyway Bloomberg is clearly talking about a distant cousin of Abby and not an East Asian woman.
    The racist joke to make here is not about cup size but traffic stopping.
    , @SunBakedSuburb
    I've noticed a few successful Jewish men with Chinese wives. High IQ shiksas. Can you blame them?
    , @The Alarmist

    One supposes that the definition of “busty” in China is a bit different than the definition of “busty” in the West.
     
    Hmmm ... interesting hypothesis ... let's see if we can disprove it.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-eGLTSWR4Wg4/UgtOQEE2WQI/AAAAAAAAC6g/ng0jQsJ147A/s1600/cb17a4b8cb3d11e286b422000a9d0dd8_7.jpg
  61. @Bardon Kaldian
    Spy fiction is, I think, going the way of the dodo.

    Or... the entire fiction.

    Spy fiction is, I think, going the way of the dodo.

    I think LeCarre himself said this a while back – that the cessation of the Cold War took all of the air out of writing spy fiction since there are no longer two great competing powers in an uneasy balance.

    Perhaps this is somewhat exacerbated by the fact that lots of spying now is conducted via technology rather than old fashioned in person collection and double agents.

    Most of LeCarre’s post Cold War stuff fell somewhat flat – though The Constant Gardener is a good story.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    True, but there is, in my opinion, one decisive additional element: race.

    Essentially, spy fiction is a subgenre of something which, in modern times, begins with Joseph Conrad (Secret Agent, Under Western Eyes) & which deals with political terrorism, ideologies & masked identities. Yet, such a fiction can make sense only when all parties belong to the one race (in this case, white).

    Just, now - other players in the game are distinctly identifiable by their looks (Islam is mostly brown; also China, India & Japan, as adversaries, are non-white). And they don't share the same cultural tradition; they may differ in fluctuating ideologies, yet, what's fundamentally different- they're the archetypal Other, from physical appearance to cultural-religious codes of communication.

    No possibility for a masked identity in Conrad-Greene-le Carre sense.
    , @Peter D. Bredon
    A subset of all fiction going flat, without good/evil morality behind it.
    , @JMcG
    There should be some great books about US/Israel espionage by now. Not being contentious here, but the last few famous espionage cases have involved guys spying for Israel. No market? No publisher?
  62. @Achmed E. Newman
    Hail, I did not read the article or thread by "Metallicman", so it's too bad I can't give you any inkling of whether he is full of it or not. I'll correct for the record that my trips were not all extended (though I stayed for over a month one time), and not all business.

    Anyway, you do a GREAT and very helpful job with searching up biographies, Hail, but I have already read some of Mr. Roberts' background from his own blogspot site. I also looked through some other material of his.

    Here's what I remember offhand: Godfree Roberts makes (or attempts to make, I dunno) a living in Thailand by providing retirement advice for those Westerners wishing to move there. The site's in English, so I figure he caters to Americans, Brits, etc. Part of it is some sort of tours over there, for the clients to check out quality of life and real estate. That's a living, and I don't begrudge Mr. Roberts for that.

    However, his parents, from the bios I read, travelled to China in the middle of the hard-core Commie days and were Communists themselves. Now, listen, back in those days, not a lot of Westerners went to China. It was a big deal for Nixon to go! You were either a missionary, a Communist sympathizer of the Mao regime, or that one British writer (Needham) who reckoned the Chinese invented EVERYTHING ... but was also a Communist.

    Mr. Roberts, per his bio, has lived all over the place, and I'm guessing he knows China from either time there with his parents or their stories of it. Indeed, the question is: If China is so great, WTH does the guy live in Thailand? My speculation, and that's all it is, is that the Chinese government doesn't want him there, least not for good. Now, immigration there for anyone isn't easy, but the modern Chinese government may say they're Communist, and they do want control, but they really don't want another died-in-the-wool Mao-sack-hanging true Communist in China. That's not good for business!

    I did not get any answers to my questions from Godfree Roberts.

    Lastly, I think Godfree Roberts, a very polite guy on-line, BTW, is so off-the-wall pro-Communist China (the real thing of Chairman Mao) that if I found out he were some kind of bizarro-world-Yakov-Smirnoff parody, the whole thing would make lots more sense to me. He comes up with lots of bar graphs, but I think most of them are made-up garbage.

    However, I really don't know how much Ron Unz vets the commenters for honesty or background. In the same way as he deals impulsively, IMO, in dealing with some long-time commenters, I think Mr. Unz may just not read that much of some of these people's material before letting them post articles. (This site hosts a LOT of content.) Mr. Unz runs a bang-up site, for error-free usability and interesting material. He also seems like a stand-up guy who would be the last to budge under pressure from the Deep State/Tech Totalitarians/Whomever. I wouldn't argue with him about his choice of writers, but, yeah, this guy is a piece of work.

    Godfree is an old line Communist, which I’ve mentioned several times.

  63. @AKAHorace

    If you haven’t seen the miniseries’ with Alec Guiness, you are missing out on some of the greatest television ever. Maybe one day I should read the books
     
    .

    I am amazed that you enjoyed the series without having read the book. I imagined that it would be hard to follow without knowing the plot beforehand.

    skip the books. They are turgid, long-winded, and full of moral equivalence.

    Try Len Deighton’s trilogy of trilogies instead, starting with Berlin Game.


    The Tinker tailor/Honourable Schoolboy/Smileys people trilogy was believable if at times a bit overwritten. Le Carres later stuff is completely different in style.

    Deightons trilogy that had a plot that was ridiculous and was more a novel about middle aged man with a younger boss than anything to do with espionage.

    Tastes differ, try both Anonymous.

    Le Carre had Smiley as detective in that whodunnit A Murder of Quality, he is like Agatha Christie. His best, The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, is really a courtroom drama with a witness ( Leamas) being duped into securing the acquittal of the guilty. His later stuff has the unreliable narrator device. I liked Deighton’s earlier books when he kept the action going, a la Alistair Maclean, of course that requires unrealistic plots because no one talks or acts like they do in novels. Show me very successful memoir and I will show you a fiction https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Frey

    ——

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hanson,_Baron_Hanson
    He was also an active “Eurosceptic”, opposed as he was to Britain joining the Euro zone, and was a founding member of Business for Britain, an anti-EU organisation. He was also a member of the Bruges Group, which advocates a substantial renegotiation of Britain’s relationship with the EU, or if that is not possible, total withdrawal from the EU.[8]

    It is remarkable how many parallels there were between Sir James Goldsmith and Lord Hanson. I’m disconcerted the Tory Eurosceptics were kept going by corporate raiders. By the time of Brexit it was City of London venture capitalists and over-leveraging bankers who wanted to avoid the EU'(German) financial probity regulation backing Boris. I’m sure he was bribed with the promise of a great trade deal by the Chinese if he bought their 5G system. Trump is not going to let Spiv Britain profit from selling out the West on the promise of sweet deals with Iran and China.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    Interesting guy, Goldsmith. While his business rise was facilitated by his co-religionists (Wolfson, Zilkha), his politics were anything but globalist. His "Referendum Party" was the direct forerunner of UKIP, and "The Trap" is a good book.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Goldsmith#Into_politics


    "In 1994 he published The Trap, a book detailing his broader political philosophical thoughts, giving a critique of the dominance of Neo-Liberalism in the governments of the First World. In its text he criticized their ideological dogmatic pursuance of Free Trade, and the facilitation of the American Melting Pot societal model being copied by the rest of the First World's governments through mass foreign migration, driven by a pursuance of short term economic advantage, which he posited was fatally flawed in societal concept and brought with it great societal dangers. As an economic alternative he espoused a restoration of Classical Liberalism, and a return to Mercantilism. He also advocated the prevention by governmental action of mass migrations by populations from poorer areas of the globe into the First World driven by economic motivation, which he foresaw as an inevitability of escalating Third World population demographics and First World governmental Neo-Liberal and Socialist ideologies."
     
    , @AKAHorace

    Le Carre had Smiley as detective in that whodunnit A Murder of Quality, he is like Agatha Christie. His best, The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, is really a courtroom drama with a witness ( Leamas) being duped into securing the acquittal of the guilty. His later stuff has the unreliable narrator device.

     

    Le Carre went downhill after Smileys People. The only one of his earlier espionage novels that I don't like is 'the spy that came in from the cold'. The plot is too ornate and complicated to be believable. You are right about 'A murder of quality', try 'A call for the dead' as well.
  64. @Lot
    Pardon Roger Stone!

    https://stonecoldtruth.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/STO.jpg

    https://forumusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/trump-esk.jpg

    https://images.dailykos.com/images/638901/story_image/roger-stone-richard-nixon-tattoo.jpg?1548983604

    Good grief …..

  65. @Sean
    Le Carre had Smiley as detective in that whodunnit A Murder of Quality, he is like Agatha Christie. His best, The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, is really a courtroom drama with a witness ( Leamas) being duped into securing the acquittal of the guilty. His later stuff has the unreliable narrator device. I liked Deighton's earlier books when he kept the action going, a la Alistair Maclean, of course that requires unrealistic plots because no one talks or acts like they do in novels. Show me very successful memoir and I will show you a fiction https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Frey

    ------


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hanson,_Baron_Hanson
    He was also an active "Eurosceptic", opposed as he was to Britain joining the Euro zone, and was a founding member of Business for Britain, an anti-EU organisation. He was also a member of the Bruges Group, which advocates a substantial renegotiation of Britain's relationship with the EU, or if that is not possible, total withdrawal from the EU.[8]
     
    It is remarkable how many parallels there were between Sir James Goldsmith and Lord Hanson. I'm disconcerted the Tory Eurosceptics were kept going by corporate raiders. By the time of Brexit it was City of London venture capitalists and over-leveraging bankers who wanted to avoid the EU'(German) financial probity regulation backing Boris. I'm sure he was bribed with the promise of a great trade deal by the Chinese if he bought their 5G system. Trump is not going to let Spiv Britain profit from selling out the West on the promise of sweet deals with Iran and China.

    Interesting guy, Goldsmith. While his business rise was facilitated by his co-religionists (Wolfson, Zilkha), his politics were anything but globalist. His “Referendum Party” was the direct forerunner of UKIP, and “The Trap” is a good book.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Goldsmith#Into_politics

    “In 1994 he published The Trap, a book detailing his broader political philosophical thoughts, giving a critique of the dominance of Neo-Liberalism in the governments of the First World. In its text he criticized their ideological dogmatic pursuance of Free Trade, and the facilitation of the American Melting Pot societal model being copied by the rest of the First World’s governments through mass foreign migration, driven by a pursuance of short term economic advantage, which he posited was fatally flawed in societal concept and brought with it great societal dangers. As an economic alternative he espoused a restoration of Classical Liberalism, and a return to Mercantilism. He also advocated the prevention by governmental action of mass migrations by populations from poorer areas of the globe into the First World driven by economic motivation, which he foresaw as an inevitability of escalating Third World population demographics and First World governmental Neo-Liberal and Socialist ideologies.”

    • Replies: @Guy De Champlagne
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwmOkaKh3-s

    This was my first introduction to Goldsmith. Charlie Rose just comes at Goldsmith with every beltway establishment bullshit economist neoliberal line in the book and of course by the time I saw the video Goldsmith had been completely and totally vindicated (but Rose still had a career).
  66. @YetAnotherAnon
    Interesting guy, Goldsmith. While his business rise was facilitated by his co-religionists (Wolfson, Zilkha), his politics were anything but globalist. His "Referendum Party" was the direct forerunner of UKIP, and "The Trap" is a good book.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Goldsmith#Into_politics


    "In 1994 he published The Trap, a book detailing his broader political philosophical thoughts, giving a critique of the dominance of Neo-Liberalism in the governments of the First World. In its text he criticized their ideological dogmatic pursuance of Free Trade, and the facilitation of the American Melting Pot societal model being copied by the rest of the First World's governments through mass foreign migration, driven by a pursuance of short term economic advantage, which he posited was fatally flawed in societal concept and brought with it great societal dangers. As an economic alternative he espoused a restoration of Classical Liberalism, and a return to Mercantilism. He also advocated the prevention by governmental action of mass migrations by populations from poorer areas of the globe into the First World driven by economic motivation, which he foresaw as an inevitability of escalating Third World population demographics and First World governmental Neo-Liberal and Socialist ideologies."
     

    This was my first introduction to Goldsmith. Charlie Rose just comes at Goldsmith with every beltway establishment bullshit economist neoliberal line in the book and of course by the time I saw the video Goldsmith had been completely and totally vindicated (but Rose still had a career).

  67. @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    Spy fiction is, I think, going the way of the dodo.

     

    I think LeCarre himself said this a while back - that the cessation of the Cold War took all of the air out of writing spy fiction since there are no longer two great competing powers in an uneasy balance.

    Perhaps this is somewhat exacerbated by the fact that lots of spying now is conducted via technology rather than old fashioned in person collection and double agents.

    Most of LeCarre's post Cold War stuff fell somewhat flat - though The Constant Gardener is a good story.

    True, but there is, in my opinion, one decisive additional element: race.

    Essentially, spy fiction is a subgenre of something which, in modern times, begins with Joseph Conrad (Secret Agent, Under Western Eyes) & which deals with political terrorism, ideologies & masked identities. Yet, such a fiction can make sense only when all parties belong to the one race (in this case, white).

    Just, now – other players in the game are distinctly identifiable by their looks (Islam is mostly brown; also China, India & Japan, as adversaries, are non-white). And they don’t share the same cultural tradition; they may differ in fluctuating ideologies, yet, what’s fundamentally different- they’re the archetypal Other, from physical appearance to cultural-religious codes of communication.

    No possibility for a masked identity in Conrad-Greene-le Carre sense.

    • Replies: @Peter D. Bredon
    Interesting point. I don't think Fleming would agree; in Live and Let Die Bond and M have a little chin-wag about how Africans haven't produced any master spies and are due for one; Mr. Big was given training by SMERSH like Lumumba and all those other 3rd world stooges.

    I'd rank Derek Marlowe's A Dandy in Aspic up with Le Carre... he wrote it when he was rooming with Tom Stoppard and bet him he'd be the first to succeed, and decided to write a bestseller like In From the Cold... unlike Stoppard, didn't seem to produce much else. Anyway, I found it unrealistic that the head of operations (D-Ops in Sandbaggers lingo) was a Nigerian ("The Negro" as the Soviets refer to him) who had run some African state spy agency and defected after a coup;, always pulling the race card while trying to show off his knowledge of antique snuff boxes and such.

    Despite all their whining, must have been fun being a Brit and thinking you ran the world and could hang around D-Ops office gassing about snuff boxes.
  68. @Alec Leamas (hard at work)
    One supposes that the definition of "busty" in China is a bit different than the definition of "busty" in the West.

    That said, this sounds remotely like Zuckerberg trying to get Xi to stand Godfather to his children with his ethnic Chinese wife. Jews seem to want to insinuate themselves into the current Han Empire to hock their wares there.

    Chinese can acquit themselves reasonably well there because of their meatier diet. The idea of Oriental flatness comes from Japanese, who tend to eat less meat even if they are not vegetarian. And anyway Bloomberg is clearly talking about a distant cousin of Abby and not an East Asian woman.
    The racist joke to make here is not about cup size but traffic stopping.

  69. @obwandiyag
    The point is that spies are criminals and come from long lines of criminals.

    Well I’ll be Williamshatnered, Old Ben got it while we were all mystified. I would still insist on quibbling that those intelligent crimes tolerated because necessary or useful to effecting the secret defense of the national interest can never include what Peter Strzok and John Brennan and the Ohrs did. Strzok should have met the Crypteia for what he so much as texted, let alone what he did.

  70. @Jim Don Bob

    If you haven’t seen the miniseries’ with Alec Guiness, you are missing out on some of the greatest television ever. Maybe one day I should read the books.
     
    The Alec Guiness miniseries was superb.

    Skip the books. They are turgid, long-winded, and full of moral equivalence.

    Try Len Deighton's trilogy of trilogies instead, starting with Berlin Game.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Len_Deighton

    “They are turgid”

    Le Carre is considered the most literary of the spy novelists. I’ve read a couple of his books and found the stories interesting but had real problems with his prose. I went through Deighton’s books while in my twenties and thoroughly enjoyed them. His writing style is clean and crisp and free of Le Carre’s dense syntax. Le Carre’s work has inspired quality feature films and TV miniseries. Don’t overlook the film adaptations of Deighton’s The Ipcress File (1966), Funeral in Berlin (1966), and Billion Dollar Brain (1967). Michael Caine plays Harry Palmer, Deighton’s working class operative who is an unnamed first person narrator in the books.

    • Replies: @dfordoom

    Don’t overlook the film adaptations of Deighton’s The Ipcress File (1966), Funeral in Berlin (1966), and Billion Dollar Brain (1967).
     
    Billion Dollar Brain was directed by, of all people, Ken Russell. So as you might expect it's a wee bit stranger than the other Harry Palmer movies. I personally loved it but YMMV.
    , @J.Ross
    If I ever had (or recommended for) a date movie night I would campaign for The Spy Who Came in From The Cold, half as perverse joke and half in total sincerity. It's not only a fantastic story well executed, with even the unnamed tertiary characters bound to one scene commanding interest like stars, but it's politically and historically intelligent. I love the detail about nightmare midcentury British canned food. Also, Richard Burton and Cyril Cusack essentially reverse roles here and in Radford's film of 1984.
  71. @Alec Leamas (hard at work)
    One supposes that the definition of "busty" in China is a bit different than the definition of "busty" in the West.

    That said, this sounds remotely like Zuckerberg trying to get Xi to stand Godfather to his children with his ethnic Chinese wife. Jews seem to want to insinuate themselves into the current Han Empire to hock their wares there.

    I’ve noticed a few successful Jewish men with Chinese wives. High IQ shiksas. Can you blame them?

  72. @Alec Leamas (hard at work)
    One supposes that the definition of "busty" in China is a bit different than the definition of "busty" in the West.

    That said, this sounds remotely like Zuckerberg trying to get Xi to stand Godfather to his children with his ethnic Chinese wife. Jews seem to want to insinuate themselves into the current Han Empire to hock their wares there.

    One supposes that the definition of “busty” in China is a bit different than the definition of “busty” in the West.

    Hmmm … interesting hypothesis … let’s see if we can disprove it.

    • Thanks: The Wild Geese Howard
  73. @syonredux

    We should vote for President by figuring out who has the more babe-ilicious daughter.
     
    Don't be silly. We should do it on the basis of which guy has the hottest wife :

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/fe/d3/2f/fed32fb59eb0b0296000d9a2db13a80b.jpg

    Such a pleasant change from The Wookie.

  74. @Bardon Kaldian
    Spy fiction is, I think, going the way of the dodo.

    Or... the entire fiction.

    Spy fiction is, I think, going the way of the dodo.

    The end of the Cold War was the end of spy fiction. Espionage during the Cold War was a splendid game. It was not very dangerous. Both sides knew the rules and mostly played by them. It was like a combination of cricket, chess and poker. It took place in glamorous exotic but not overly dangerous places. Perfect material for fiction.

    If you read Kim Philby’s autobiography you can tell that he loved every minute of it. The danger of getting caught just added a little spice.

    Once the Cold War ended new villains had to be found and they didn’t play by the rules. The fun went out of it.

  75. @Anonymous
    Thanks. I went through a "realistic spy movie" kick. Hence the Smiley miniseries'. I also went through a realistic war movie kick too, but that is another story.

    I found the Guiness series followable, though I probably used the rewind button on more than one occasion, and maybe I used the English subs too. It takes a while to get into but soon they are absolutely gripping.

    I ended up watching Ipcress file and Funeral in Berlin by that same process, which I now know as books by Deighton now thanks to this thread. They are good too. Breach was good. I think it was Steve's promotion of The Good Shepherd that started my journey into this genre. I loved that. I also watched The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, which I liked. The Kremlin Letter was amazing. Hard to get into but have patience.

    If anyone has more suggestions for that genre, suggest.

    If anyone has more suggestions for that genre, suggest.

    If you like realistic spy stuff there have been some superb British TV spy series. Callan of course, undoubtedly the best TV spy series ever made and very much in the le Carre/Deighton cynical/gritty mode. And The Sandbaggers is quite good. Again it’s very le Carre-like.

    As for movies, there’s A Ring of Spies, a low-key 1964 British movie based on a real-life spy case.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    As an aficionado, perhaps you can help me with something: Why doesn't Anglo-America have a robust spy novel tradition? Anglo-America is quite strong when it comes to crime and detective fiction (Poe, Hammett, James M Cain, John D Macdonald, John Dickson Carr , Rex Stout, Joseph Wambaugh, Ed McBain, etc) but I can't think of any Anglo-American spy writers who measure up to Deighton and John le Carré......
  76. @SunBakedSuburb
    "They are turgid"

    Le Carre is considered the most literary of the spy novelists. I've read a couple of his books and found the stories interesting but had real problems with his prose. I went through Deighton's books while in my twenties and thoroughly enjoyed them. His writing style is clean and crisp and free of Le Carre's dense syntax. Le Carre's work has inspired quality feature films and TV miniseries. Don't overlook the film adaptations of Deighton's The Ipcress File (1966), Funeral in Berlin (1966), and Billion Dollar Brain (1967). Michael Caine plays Harry Palmer, Deighton's working class operative who is an unnamed first person narrator in the books.

    Don’t overlook the film adaptations of Deighton’s The Ipcress File (1966), Funeral in Berlin (1966), and Billion Dollar Brain (1967).

    Billion Dollar Brain was directed by, of all people, Ken Russell. So as you might expect it’s a wee bit stranger than the other Harry Palmer movies. I personally loved it but YMMV.

  77. @Bardon Kaldian
    True, but there is, in my opinion, one decisive additional element: race.

    Essentially, spy fiction is a subgenre of something which, in modern times, begins with Joseph Conrad (Secret Agent, Under Western Eyes) & which deals with political terrorism, ideologies & masked identities. Yet, such a fiction can make sense only when all parties belong to the one race (in this case, white).

    Just, now - other players in the game are distinctly identifiable by their looks (Islam is mostly brown; also China, India & Japan, as adversaries, are non-white). And they don't share the same cultural tradition; they may differ in fluctuating ideologies, yet, what's fundamentally different- they're the archetypal Other, from physical appearance to cultural-religious codes of communication.

    No possibility for a masked identity in Conrad-Greene-le Carre sense.

    Interesting point. I don’t think Fleming would agree; in Live and Let Die Bond and M have a little chin-wag about how Africans haven’t produced any master spies and are due for one; Mr. Big was given training by SMERSH like Lumumba and all those other 3rd world stooges.

    I’d rank Derek Marlowe’s A Dandy in Aspic up with Le Carre… he wrote it when he was rooming with Tom Stoppard and bet him he’d be the first to succeed, and decided to write a bestseller like In From the Cold… unlike Stoppard, didn’t seem to produce much else. Anyway, I found it unrealistic that the head of operations (D-Ops in Sandbaggers lingo) was a Nigerian (“The Negro” as the Soviets refer to him) who had run some African state spy agency and defected after a coup;, always pulling the race card while trying to show off his knowledge of antique snuff boxes and such.

    Despite all their whining, must have been fun being a Brit and thinking you ran the world and could hang around D-Ops office gassing about snuff boxes.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    Yes, but these are very specific circumstances; you just can't construct whole imaginary spy universe with secret codes, hierarchy, ethic, ideology,... with multiracial cast.
  78. @obwandiyag
    The point is that spies are criminals and come from long lines of criminals.

    Yes, Bond was always touchy about that, insisting he was a “secret agent,” just another civil servant on Her Majesty’s [Secret] Service, with a license to kill, of course. What irked him about SMERSH was that it was an acronym for “Death to Spies” and he was insulted to be considered part of their brief.

  79. @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    Spy fiction is, I think, going the way of the dodo.

     

    I think LeCarre himself said this a while back - that the cessation of the Cold War took all of the air out of writing spy fiction since there are no longer two great competing powers in an uneasy balance.

    Perhaps this is somewhat exacerbated by the fact that lots of spying now is conducted via technology rather than old fashioned in person collection and double agents.

    Most of LeCarre's post Cold War stuff fell somewhat flat - though The Constant Gardener is a good story.

    A subset of all fiction going flat, without good/evil morality behind it.

  80. @SunBakedSuburb
    "They are turgid"

    Le Carre is considered the most literary of the spy novelists. I've read a couple of his books and found the stories interesting but had real problems with his prose. I went through Deighton's books while in my twenties and thoroughly enjoyed them. His writing style is clean and crisp and free of Le Carre's dense syntax. Le Carre's work has inspired quality feature films and TV miniseries. Don't overlook the film adaptations of Deighton's The Ipcress File (1966), Funeral in Berlin (1966), and Billion Dollar Brain (1967). Michael Caine plays Harry Palmer, Deighton's working class operative who is an unnamed first person narrator in the books.

    If I ever had (or recommended for) a date movie night I would campaign for The Spy Who Came in From The Cold, half as perverse joke and half in total sincerity. It’s not only a fantastic story well executed, with even the unnamed tertiary characters bound to one scene commanding interest like stars, but it’s politically and historically intelligent. I love the detail about nightmare midcentury British canned food. Also, Richard Burton and Cyril Cusack essentially reverse roles here and in Radford’s film of 1984.

  81. @Lot
    Godfree goes way over the top, but he’s basically right in his debates with the China-bear crowd, who’ve been predicting a revolution, economic crash, or debt panic in China for 20 years and not just been wrong, but very wrong.

    2020 might be the first year they are right, but because of ncov19, not any of their stated reasons.

    [Godfree Roberts] is basically right in his debates with the China-bear crowd, who’ve been predicting a revolution, economic crash, or debt panic in China

    I would call this a false dichotomy.

  82. @Bardon Kaldian
    OK... but I don't get this interest in a person's/author's life/biography.

    My position is that the text/article matters most/only & couldn't care less about the author's motive, hidden or public. Just like Yiddish short-story master I. Bashevis Singer said, when asked about Tolstoy: "If he was to appear in this very hotel (where I.B.S. was interviewed), next room to mine, I wouldn't bother to meet him. It's "Anna Karenina" that matters."

    Bardon, in this case, Mr. Hail asked. I also think it’s important what the background of a guy who writes as an expert on China is, considering he doesn’t live there and extolls Communism. It apparently runs in the family. Unlike for a great novel, per your example, his writing is supposedly nonfiction, and I’d like to know if this guy is truly as full of it. The background helps in determining this.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    Perhaps, but if you look closely on what he writes on China-this is so dreadfully one-dimensional & propagandist no one could take his guy seriously. True, there are a few interesting data & graphs, but no more than that.

    It's like Paul Krugman on Trump or most Unzian writers on Jews. Pure comedy. Gold.
  83. @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    Spy fiction is, I think, going the way of the dodo.

     

    I think LeCarre himself said this a while back - that the cessation of the Cold War took all of the air out of writing spy fiction since there are no longer two great competing powers in an uneasy balance.

    Perhaps this is somewhat exacerbated by the fact that lots of spying now is conducted via technology rather than old fashioned in person collection and double agents.

    Most of LeCarre's post Cold War stuff fell somewhat flat - though The Constant Gardener is a good story.

    There should be some great books about US/Israel espionage by now. Not being contentious here, but the last few famous espionage cases have involved guys spying for Israel. No market? No publisher?

  84. @Mr McKenna
    https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/09/26/article-0-02D0251600000578-888_468x588.jpg

    https://cdni.rt.com/files/2020.02/article/5e4ec92b203027228d2c80f6.JPG

    spiv (dealer in black market goods)

  85. @dfordoom

    If anyone has more suggestions for that genre, suggest.
     
    If you like realistic spy stuff there have been some superb British TV spy series. Callan of course, undoubtedly the best TV spy series ever made and very much in the le Carre/Deighton cynical/gritty mode. And The Sandbaggers is quite good. Again it's very le Carre-like.

    As for movies, there's A Ring of Spies, a low-key 1964 British movie based on a real-life spy case.

    As an aficionado, perhaps you can help me with something: Why doesn’t Anglo-America have a robust spy novel tradition? Anglo-America is quite strong when it comes to crime and detective fiction (Poe, Hammett, James M Cain, John D Macdonald, John Dickson Carr , Rex Stout, Joseph Wambaugh, Ed McBain, etc) but I can’t think of any Anglo-American spy writers who measure up to Deighton and John le Carré……

    • Replies: @Peter D. Bredon
    "Spying," like imperialism and a peacetime army, isn't part of the American tradition. The Brits have had both, going back to Elizabeth I (John Dee, agent 666). Bond himself spends lots of time in the books lamenting the loss of empire and twitting the Americans as naive children playing at both.

    Of course, our empire started with the Spanish American War, then intervention with WWI, then with WWII and taking over for the Brits we would up with the whole package: spies, empire, permanent military. But no history of skill in these areas.

    For example, our "intelligence community" hasn't been very effective at all, for example. Read recently (here?) about how the OSS was full of patriots who left when the war ended to return to their real jobs -- like GI's --, leaving the CIA to be staffed with paranoids, incompetents and traitors.

    The military hasn't won a real war since WWII; coincidence?
  86. @Achmed E. Newman
    Bardon, in this case, Mr. Hail asked. I also think it's important what the background of a guy who writes as an expert on China is, considering he doesn't live there and extolls Communism. It apparently runs in the family. Unlike for a great novel, per your example, his writing is supposedly nonfiction, and I'd like to know if this guy is truly as full of it. The background helps in determining this.

    Perhaps, but if you look closely on what he writes on China-this is so dreadfully one-dimensional & propagandist no one could take his guy seriously. True, there are a few interesting data & graphs, but no more than that.

    It’s like Paul Krugman on Trump or most Unzian writers on Jews. Pure comedy. Gold.

  87. @Peter D. Bredon
    Interesting point. I don't think Fleming would agree; in Live and Let Die Bond and M have a little chin-wag about how Africans haven't produced any master spies and are due for one; Mr. Big was given training by SMERSH like Lumumba and all those other 3rd world stooges.

    I'd rank Derek Marlowe's A Dandy in Aspic up with Le Carre... he wrote it when he was rooming with Tom Stoppard and bet him he'd be the first to succeed, and decided to write a bestseller like In From the Cold... unlike Stoppard, didn't seem to produce much else. Anyway, I found it unrealistic that the head of operations (D-Ops in Sandbaggers lingo) was a Nigerian ("The Negro" as the Soviets refer to him) who had run some African state spy agency and defected after a coup;, always pulling the race card while trying to show off his knowledge of antique snuff boxes and such.

    Despite all their whining, must have been fun being a Brit and thinking you ran the world and could hang around D-Ops office gassing about snuff boxes.

    Yes, but these are very specific circumstances; you just can’t construct whole imaginary spy universe with secret codes, hierarchy, ethic, ideology,… with multiracial cast.

  88. @J.Ross
    A Perfect Spy is heavily autobiographical in places (but obviously not in others, like the ending) and was made into a good miniseries in the 90s.

    For those who have not read it, Le Carre’s “A Legacy of Spies” (published 2017) is a terrific sequel to his masterpiece “The Spy Who Came In From The Cold” (published 1965).

    I finished it a couple of weeks ago and found it so compelling that I am currently working my way through “TTSS” again. (I first read it 35 years ago. As of last night, I am up to chapter 34. Further updates as events warrant . . .)

    The movie version from 2012 does have its moments: Gary Oldman has got to be one of the world’s most versatile actors.

  89. @syonredux
    As an aficionado, perhaps you can help me with something: Why doesn't Anglo-America have a robust spy novel tradition? Anglo-America is quite strong when it comes to crime and detective fiction (Poe, Hammett, James M Cain, John D Macdonald, John Dickson Carr , Rex Stout, Joseph Wambaugh, Ed McBain, etc) but I can't think of any Anglo-American spy writers who measure up to Deighton and John le Carré......

    “Spying,” like imperialism and a peacetime army, isn’t part of the American tradition. The Brits have had both, going back to Elizabeth I (John Dee, agent 666). Bond himself spends lots of time in the books lamenting the loss of empire and twitting the Americans as naive children playing at both.

    Of course, our empire started with the Spanish American War, then intervention with WWI, then with WWII and taking over for the Brits we would up with the whole package: spies, empire, permanent military. But no history of skill in these areas.

    For example, our “intelligence community” hasn’t been very effective at all, for example. Read recently (here?) about how the OSS was full of patriots who left when the war ended to return to their real jobs — like GI’s –, leaving the CIA to be staffed with paranoids, incompetents and traitors.

    The military hasn’t won a real war since WWII; coincidence?

    • Replies: @syonredux

    Bond himself spends lots of time in the books lamenting the loss of empire and twitting the Americans as naive children playing at both.
     
    Of course, the Bond books are merely literary viagra for a decrepit empire (Britain is impotent, but Bond can still get it up and boink foreign birds).And once one starts bearing in mind figures like Philby, Blunt, and Cairncross, Fleming's oeuvre takes on a decidedly comic aspect.....
  90. @Peter D. Bredon
    "Spying," like imperialism and a peacetime army, isn't part of the American tradition. The Brits have had both, going back to Elizabeth I (John Dee, agent 666). Bond himself spends lots of time in the books lamenting the loss of empire and twitting the Americans as naive children playing at both.

    Of course, our empire started with the Spanish American War, then intervention with WWI, then with WWII and taking over for the Brits we would up with the whole package: spies, empire, permanent military. But no history of skill in these areas.

    For example, our "intelligence community" hasn't been very effective at all, for example. Read recently (here?) about how the OSS was full of patriots who left when the war ended to return to their real jobs -- like GI's --, leaving the CIA to be staffed with paranoids, incompetents and traitors.

    The military hasn't won a real war since WWII; coincidence?

    Bond himself spends lots of time in the books lamenting the loss of empire and twitting the Americans as naive children playing at both.

    Of course, the Bond books are merely literary viagra for a decrepit empire (Britain is impotent, but Bond can still get it up and boink foreign birds).And once one starts bearing in mind figures like Philby, Blunt, and Cairncross, Fleming’s oeuvre takes on a decidedly comic aspect…..

    • Replies: @dfordoom

    Of course, the Bond books are merely literary viagra for a decrepit empire (Britain is impotent, but Bond can still get it up and boink foreign birds).
     
    Yep. That's why spy fiction is such a British thing. The British simply could not handle the reality that after WW2 they were a third-rate power and the Empire was lost. So they turned to fantasies in which Britain was still secretly not just a major player but the major player, saving the West over and over again. You'd think they'd have got the message after the Suez humiliation but they just pretended it never happened.

    Even today the British cannot accept reality. They still cling to the fantasy of being a global power. They still cling to the pathetic remnants of their Empire (mostly just a few small worthless islands).

    Spy fiction was a substitute for the real power that Britain had lost forever.

    Even in writers like le Carre and Deighton the bitterness at Britain's powerlessness is palpable. The subtext in all postwar British spy fiction is resentment of the Americans.
  91. @Sean
    Le Carre had Smiley as detective in that whodunnit A Murder of Quality, he is like Agatha Christie. His best, The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, is really a courtroom drama with a witness ( Leamas) being duped into securing the acquittal of the guilty. His later stuff has the unreliable narrator device. I liked Deighton's earlier books when he kept the action going, a la Alistair Maclean, of course that requires unrealistic plots because no one talks or acts like they do in novels. Show me very successful memoir and I will show you a fiction https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Frey

    ------


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hanson,_Baron_Hanson
    He was also an active "Eurosceptic", opposed as he was to Britain joining the Euro zone, and was a founding member of Business for Britain, an anti-EU organisation. He was also a member of the Bruges Group, which advocates a substantial renegotiation of Britain's relationship with the EU, or if that is not possible, total withdrawal from the EU.[8]
     
    It is remarkable how many parallels there were between Sir James Goldsmith and Lord Hanson. I'm disconcerted the Tory Eurosceptics were kept going by corporate raiders. By the time of Brexit it was City of London venture capitalists and over-leveraging bankers who wanted to avoid the EU'(German) financial probity regulation backing Boris. I'm sure he was bribed with the promise of a great trade deal by the Chinese if he bought their 5G system. Trump is not going to let Spiv Britain profit from selling out the West on the promise of sweet deals with Iran and China.

    Le Carre had Smiley as detective in that whodunnit A Murder of Quality, he is like Agatha Christie. His best, The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, is really a courtroom drama with a witness ( Leamas) being duped into securing the acquittal of the guilty. His later stuff has the unreliable narrator device.

    Le Carre went downhill after Smileys People. The only one of his earlier espionage novels that I don’t like is ‘the spy that came in from the cold’. The plot is too ornate and complicated to be believable. You are right about ‘A murder of quality’, try ‘A call for the dead’ as well.

  92. @syonredux

    Bond himself spends lots of time in the books lamenting the loss of empire and twitting the Americans as naive children playing at both.
     
    Of course, the Bond books are merely literary viagra for a decrepit empire (Britain is impotent, but Bond can still get it up and boink foreign birds).And once one starts bearing in mind figures like Philby, Blunt, and Cairncross, Fleming's oeuvre takes on a decidedly comic aspect.....

    Of course, the Bond books are merely literary viagra for a decrepit empire (Britain is impotent, but Bond can still get it up and boink foreign birds).

    Yep. That’s why spy fiction is such a British thing. The British simply could not handle the reality that after WW2 they were a third-rate power and the Empire was lost. So they turned to fantasies in which Britain was still secretly not just a major player but the major player, saving the West over and over again. You’d think they’d have got the message after the Suez humiliation but they just pretended it never happened.

    Even today the British cannot accept reality. They still cling to the fantasy of being a global power. They still cling to the pathetic remnants of their Empire (mostly just a few small worthless islands).

    Spy fiction was a substitute for the real power that Britain had lost forever.

    Even in writers like le Carre and Deighton the bitterness at Britain’s powerlessness is palpable. The subtext in all postwar British spy fiction is resentment of the Americans.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    Even at its peak, the British Empire was mostly worthless (Does anyone really care about Uganda?). Then there's the flood of Black and Muslim immigrants that they would have have faced if the Empire had lasted a few more decades....

    While we're on it, annexing Puerto Rico was one of the dumbest things that the USA ever did. We should follow the British example and cut 'em loose.

  93. @dfordoom

    Of course, the Bond books are merely literary viagra for a decrepit empire (Britain is impotent, but Bond can still get it up and boink foreign birds).
     
    Yep. That's why spy fiction is such a British thing. The British simply could not handle the reality that after WW2 they were a third-rate power and the Empire was lost. So they turned to fantasies in which Britain was still secretly not just a major player but the major player, saving the West over and over again. You'd think they'd have got the message after the Suez humiliation but they just pretended it never happened.

    Even today the British cannot accept reality. They still cling to the fantasy of being a global power. They still cling to the pathetic remnants of their Empire (mostly just a few small worthless islands).

    Spy fiction was a substitute for the real power that Britain had lost forever.

    Even in writers like le Carre and Deighton the bitterness at Britain's powerlessness is palpable. The subtext in all postwar British spy fiction is resentment of the Americans.

    Even at its peak, the British Empire was mostly worthless (Does anyone really care about Uganda?). Then there’s the flood of Black and Muslim immigrants that they would have have faced if the Empire had lasted a few more decades….

    While we’re on it, annexing Puerto Rico was one of the dumbest things that the USA ever did. We should follow the British example and cut ’em loose.

    • Replies: @dfordoom

    Even at its peak, the British Empire was mostly worthless
     
    It was worthless to the nation and to ordinary Britons. It provided opportunities for enrichment for a small minority. And it was useful in keeping the British population docile - the working class could be persuaded to put up with being treated like dirt by the ruling class with the fantasy that they somehow participated in the glory of Empire. And the working class felt better about their own misery and squalor because at least they could feel superior to the darkies.

    Destroying the British Empire is one of the very few positive things the United States ever did.
  94. @syonredux
    Even at its peak, the British Empire was mostly worthless (Does anyone really care about Uganda?). Then there's the flood of Black and Muslim immigrants that they would have have faced if the Empire had lasted a few more decades....

    While we're on it, annexing Puerto Rico was one of the dumbest things that the USA ever did. We should follow the British example and cut 'em loose.

    Even at its peak, the British Empire was mostly worthless

    It was worthless to the nation and to ordinary Britons. It provided opportunities for enrichment for a small minority. And it was useful in keeping the British population docile – the working class could be persuaded to put up with being treated like dirt by the ruling class with the fantasy that they somehow participated in the glory of Empire. And the working class felt better about their own misery and squalor because at least they could feel superior to the darkies.

    Destroying the British Empire is one of the very few positive things the United States ever did.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    George MacDonald Fraser on the British Empire:

    In India there was power — the power of the white man over the black — and power is a fine thing to have. Then there was ease, and time for any amount of sport, and good company, and none of the restrictions of home. You could live as you pleased, and lord it among the ni[*****]s
     
    Flashman
  95. @dfordoom

    Even at its peak, the British Empire was mostly worthless
     
    It was worthless to the nation and to ordinary Britons. It provided opportunities for enrichment for a small minority. And it was useful in keeping the British population docile - the working class could be persuaded to put up with being treated like dirt by the ruling class with the fantasy that they somehow participated in the glory of Empire. And the working class felt better about their own misery and squalor because at least they could feel superior to the darkies.

    Destroying the British Empire is one of the very few positive things the United States ever did.

    George MacDonald Fraser on the British Empire:

    In India there was power — the power of the white man over the black — and power is a fine thing to have. Then there was ease, and time for any amount of sport, and good company, and none of the restrictions of home. You could live as you pleased, and lord it among the ni[*****]s

    Flashman

  96. @YetAnotherAnon
    "They are turgid, long-winded, and full of moral equivalence."

    Each to his own. Some people like long sentences. There IS a lot of moral equivalence in the secret world. Whether its practitioners recognise it as such is another story.

    Politically, of course, he's an idiot, although he was right about the Iraq War.

    I find Deighton's characters, unlike le Carre's, one-dimensional (if that). The only book of his I'd really recommend is Bomber, a fat book which describes a single RAF raid on a single German town from the multiple viewpoints of all those involved - local villagers, aircrew and administrators, German radar, night-fighters, AA defences - and the people at the wrong end of the bombs. Tons of technical detail, almost a docu-drama of a book.

    ‘Fighter’ and ‘Blitzkrieg’ were also good.

    It seems as though he does research for his books, and then turns that research into books of their own.

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