Saturday, 25 June 2016

Is Boris Johnsons a Soviet sleeper agent?

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, lies, and lies."

Considering the Soviet Union were able to penetrate their agents to the upper echelons of the British Secret Service - the very mannys who were supposed to catch enemy agents - then by comparison getting one elected as a Conservative MP couldn't be that hard. And very soon this manny might be Prime Minister.

You've got to respect his front though; hiding in plain sight using the name "Boris" the whole time.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Rumpole of the Village

Is Rumpole of the Bailey a sequel series to The Prisoner?

We never find out much about Number 6 in The Prisoner, but we never really find out much about any of the Number 2's either, not even the one who was in the most episodes, played by Leo McKern. What we do know is that [WARNING: spoilers for Fall Out follow] in the end he sides with Number 6, escapes the Village with him, and is last seen entering the Houses of Parliament in London.

Horace Rumpole was in the RAF Ground Staff during WW2, before returning to his work as a barrister after the war and made his name by winning the "Penge Bungalow Murders" case - alone and without a leader - in either the late '40s or* early '50s. He married Hilda Wystan around the same time and they had one child, Nick Rumpole.

After that we know next to nothing about Rumpole's life until the late 1960s, when the first episode of the series is set. This gap of almost 20 years matches with the setting of The Prisoner and therefore we can suppose it matches the time that McKern's Number 2 was involved in working in the espionage trade, eventually coming to his position in the Village and his fateful encounter with Number 6.

If we consider Rumpole's philosophy, expressed throughout the series, we can see signs of Number 6 having rubbed off on the former Number 2. His creed of "never plead guilty" matches the way Number 6 never gave up in the face of the seemingly unstoppable might of the Village's methods of oppression. And his knowledge of the Village's methods also explains why he would so often say "there is no piece of evidence more unreliable than a confession!"

I suppose we must also conclude that Guthrie Featherstone QC MP, or "A" as he was known in the Village, was also in the espionage business. As was Ken Aspen MP, who required Rumpole's services as a barrister to defend him. But then again, that former Number 2 would know as well as any that doppelgangers exist.

* A biography of Rumpole is on Wikipedia here but it is the first to admit that his age and important dates in his life were often retconned by the author to keep Rumpole at approximately 70 years old in the "present."