Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Letter To The Editor: John Bingham, The Wartime Spy Who Never Wanted To Be John Le Carre's Character George Smiley

In response to a piece in the British newspaper the Telegraph about MI5 officer John Bingahm, a reader sent the below letter to the editor:

SIR – John Bingham was one of our most remarkable Second World War spies. The M15 documents that have just been released (“Spy who turned Hitler’s British supporters into unwitting double agents”, report, February 28) show the scale of his achievement in neutralising the espionage of British fascists, who were more widespread than is supposed.
This modest hero, who was also the 7th Baron Clanmorris – an Ulster title without property – was not treated as respectfully as he deserved by his protégé, John le Carré, who immortalised him as George Smiley. He was hurt by the portrayal of his secret world in the novels.
The author, Bingham once said, “was my friend, but I deplore and hate everything he has done and said against the intelligence services”. No one cared more about his country and its institutions than John Bingham, to whom we owe so much.
Lord Lexden
London SW1

You can read the Telegraph piece on John Bingham via the below link:


Note: John Binham is also the subject of Michael Jago's book, The Man Who Was Smiley: The Life of John Bingham (Biteback) .

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