I went to see the film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy yesterday. It was too episodic. There were too many characters. It is hard to know whether it were true or not. With hindsight, there was probably too much effort wasted on counter espionage. The Soviet Empire collapsed in the end because if its own inertia. So Blunt, Philby, Blake & the others were spies. The heart of the story was the hunt for a mole in the centre of British Intelligence. The Soviet Union spared no expense on KGB activities whether they were locking up their own people or whether they were carrying out espionage or murder on foreign territory. The West didn’t (spare any expense that is on intelligence activities that is.) The intelligence effort was within the bounds of what could be afforded, what it was deemed to be worth. At least in the UK it was. In many ways it is good that the enemy knows what you are up to. If the deterrent effect has any validity it doesn’t hold true if the enemy knows nothing of your military capabilities
But the attention to detail, the details as life was then without internet, e-mails, mobile phones, CCTV & the acting were superb.
Le Carré had worked in intelligence so he presumably knew what he talking about. He is not a good writer but he tells good stories. But that is all they are; stories. There is not much to be learned from them. There is no deep meaning, no message.