The MI6 has done a thing where it distracts the people from all of the world’s bad stuff by being playful and chatting about James Bond.
Head of the Secret Intelligence Service Alex Younger -- known as C, not M -- both praised and criticised the fictional spy, recognising the incredible amount of exposure 007 has provided MI6 while also distancing real-world MI6 officers from him.
“I’m conflicted about Bond,” said Younger, the only member of MI6 who can be publicly identified. “He has created a powerful brand for MI6: as C, the real-life version of M, there are few people who will not come to lunch if I invite them. Many of our counterparts envy the sheer global recognition of our acronym.
“And to be fair, there are a few aspects of the genre that do resonate in real life: fierce dedication to the defence of Britain, for example. The real life ‘Q’ would want me to say that we too enjoy – and, indeed, need – a deep grasp of gadgetry. But’s that’s pretty much where the similarity ends. And, were Bond to apply to join MI6 now, he would have to change his ways.”
We can imagine Daniel Craig nodding with fierce approval.
“For too long – often because of the fictional stereotypes I have mentioned – people have felt that there is a single quality that defines an MI6 officer, be it an Oxbridge education or a proficiency in hand-to-hand combat,” Younger added. “This is, of course, patently untrue. There is no standard MI6 officer.”
Younger doesn’t give too many public speeches, so it was nice that he took the opportunity to say pretty much the same thing he did back in October and didn’t just stick to the boring old spiel about who MI6 spies are blowing to pieces/poisoning/sexing up and why. [Guardian]