Sunday 19 Aug 2018 | 11:36 | SYDNEY
Sunday 19 Aug 2018 | 11:36 | SYDNEY

5-minute Lowy Lunch: MI6 history


Sam Roggeveen


6 October 2011 11:03

Historian Keith Jeffery was given access to the holy grail of British archives, those of the Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6. In this Lowy presentation he talks entertainingly about how he went about writing his new book, MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949.

Nobody who writes on this subject can avoid what Jeffery at one point simply calls the 'JB' issue (James Bond), and Jeffery puts that character deftly in his place early in the talk.

In the Q&A, Jeffery makes a point that had not previously occurred to me, namely that WikiLeaks will be very good for the intelligence business. If foreigners are inclined to talk less with diplomats because confidentiality cannot be assured, who will they turn to instead? It's a subject we returned to in our short interview: