X Close

How I knew my phone was hacked The spooks behind it were not very convincing

'We had an infiltrator already' (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

'We had an infiltrator already' (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)


June 13, 2023   5 mins

Prince Harry isn’t the only one who has been having trouble with his phone. About 40 years ago, I began to hear strange clicking sounds when I picked up the receiver; being of a rational cast of mind, I put this down to acute paranoia. Then I read somewhere that the British intelligence service phone-taps Left-wing academics as well as the usual suspects. I also noticed that the clicks grew more frequent whenever I was involved in some political controversy.

On one occasion, I was part of a picket line and was kicked on the shin by a police officer, who I suppose was only doing his job. A few days later, being a firm believer in preaching to the unconverted, I gave a talk on socialism to the sixth form at Eton, and entered the classroom limping. I told the boys that I had been kicked on a picket line by a copper and they laughed politely, assuming that I was joking. Presumably they believed neither that the police could be violent nor that Oxford dons could be picketers. By this point, the clickings had begun to sound like a pair of mad castanets.

I took to chatting to the silent listener at the other end of the line, asking whether it was true that spies were trained to kill with a matchbox and why they had allowed MI5 to be run for some years by a Soviet agent. Was this really the way to protect us from socialist slavery?

These one-sided conversations were rather like prayer. They were addressed to an immensely powerful, almost omniscient being who had the power to inflict torture on you, but also who may or may not have existed and whose reality one had to take on faith. It is said that one such professional eavesdropper resigned from the service in protest at being required to spend his days listening to the phone conversations between a well-known British Leftist and his seven-year-old daughter. The Leftist in question also had regular political discussions over the phone with a friend throughout the Seventies; a few years later, since neither of them could remember what they had said, they considered asking M15 for transcripts.

Finally, I got to meet a couple of spooks face to face, though probably not those who were bugging my phone. Two men claiming to be journalists turned up at my door and began to quiz me about a Left-wing group of which I was then a member. When I made to shut the door on the pair, one of them dangled before my eyes a highly confidential document I had written for the group and foolishly entrusted to the post.

One of these men might well have been a journalist, but the other almost certainly wasn’t. Burly and slow of speech, he looked more like a detective, and seemed remarkably well-informed about the history of Marxism. He was particularly interested in discovering the exact doctrinal differences between my group and a rival outfit on a highly technical issue in Marxist economics, and before long the two of us had launched into a deep scholarly discussion of these matters, full of erudite allusions and elaborate digressions, while the “real journalist” stared miserably at his notebook and waited for it to stop.

When I congratulated the disguised cop, a touch sarcastically, on his impressive knowledge of these issues, he muttered that he had been studying them for 20 years. It was poignant to imagine him joining the police as a young man eager to chase criminals through docklands and council estates and instead being given a pile of volumes by Lenin and Trotsky and told to work his way through them. Maybe that’s what took him 20 years. But he had clearly developed some zest for the subject, and after a while I began to wonder whether he might not make a suitable recruit to our group. Should I ask him to call back by himself sometime later? There would be dangers of course in recruiting a police officer, but not because he would act as an infiltrator and report everything back to his masters. After all, we had an infiltrator already, who was faithfully reporting everything the group said or did to the authorities.

It was proving impossible, however, to establish who this fifth columnist was. There would be private conversations between three or four senior members of the organisation, all of whom would probably have sacrificed their lives to the cause, and who were already in the process of sacrificing their partners, children, finances, leisure time and sanity to it. Yet whatever had been said among them still managed to reach the ears of the police. In the end, the villain turned out to be a young man who was unrivalled for his devotion to the socialist cause but also unrivalled for the fact that he had a criminal record as a paedophile and was being blackmailed over it by the police.

While I was dealing with the phone-tapping, I was also receiving the kind of letters which most people in the public eye are likely to attract. In fact, I received one only the other day, from someone claiming to know that I was an undercover Colonel in the Israeli Defence Force, and that he would reveal this secret to the world unless I placed a rather large amount of money in his bank account. Another correspondent sent me a letter to be passed on to my relatives to let them know that I had been killed in a camp for political prisoners in Columbia. It isn’t clear how the writer expected me to forward this news to my family from six feet under the soil. He added in a rather nonchalant postscript that his girlfriend had been killed in the camp as well.

Other letters continue to arrive from people claiming to be distant relatives or even illegitimate children of mine, all of them sadly reporting that they are in financial distress. In fact, the slightest association with me seems to spell disaster for people’s material well-being. Perhaps on account of some family curse, my second and third cousins are afflicted without exception with dire poverty, while alleged sons and daughters are prevented from working by incurable medical conditions. A benign Nature, however, has so ordered human affairs that people who write this stuff almost all have the same kind of handwriting — huge, erratic, flamboyant — so that you are braced for what lies within by the address on the envelope.

Since my days of political activism now lie mostly behind me, my phone has resumed its normal behaviour — or so I thought. About a year ago, however, I rang a friend in Zurich only for her to hear the whole conversation played back as she was putting down the phone. This, I imagine, is more cock-up than conspiracy; someone had forgotten to switch something off. Or there was simply some kind of glitch, as the new head of my old Oxford college suggested to me. The fact that he was previously the director of GCHQ doesn’t inspire me with absolute faith in this hypothesis.

My tutor at Cambridge was a recruiter for this underworld. From time to time, some third-year undergraduate notable for combining high intelligence with athletic prowess, a rare enough synthesis, would disappear into what was euphemistically called the Foreign Office, where he was no doubt trained in how to kill people with a matchbox. My tutor never tried to recruit me, given that he was aware of my politics, but he did have a go at my room-mate, who was both clever and sturdy. The conversation went like this:

Tutor: What are you thinking of doing after Cambridge?
Room-mate: I really don’t know, sir.
Tutor: Have you considered espionage?
Room-mate (chucking at what he took to be a joke): I suppose that might be a bit dangerous.
Tutor (unsmiling): Yes, it would.


Terry Eagleton is a critic, literary theorist, and UnHerd columnist.


Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

53 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
11 months ago

Imagine being this age and proudly boasting of your Marxist bona fides. 100 million dead, and this guy is reminiscing about being a useful idiot 40 years ago.

N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago

Are the editors of UnHerd contemporary useful idiots? It won’t be long before we see Owen Jones, George Monbiot, Alistair Campbell, Polly Toynbee and other Guardianistas publishing here (to give the broadest spectrum of views of course). I guess the intelligentsia, the graduate classes, will ultimately lean to the Left – it’s just a question of how far. The craving to reorganise the world along more rational lines is in their DNA.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

I agree, though that word ‘rational’ should probably be in sneer-marks.

N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

It’s a relative term. Anyway, as I’ve said in the past, social engineers are like urban planners – they want to clear away everything traditional (ie. not rationally thought out) to make way for their brave new world peopled with new improved humans.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

As a mostly-liberal with deep respect for (some) tradition, I find that to be very aptly observed on your part. The idea(s) that a more rational way can be systematically, collectively imposed on our “unfortunate” lower-animal-nature, to a net social benefit, will probably never die.
“New and improved humans, now with: Objective Reasoning / Communism/ Logical Positivism /A.I. Interface”, etc. Might be best to acknowledge the creaturely side of our humanity, tweaking our imperfect institutions while bearing in mind that, in most cases, starting over from scratch could very well make things much worse.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

As a mostly-liberal with deep respect for (some) tradition, I find that to be very aptly observed on your part. The idea(s) that a more rational way can be systematically, collectively imposed on our “unfortunate” lower-animal-nature, to a net social benefit, will probably never die.
“New and improved humans, now with: Objective Reasoning / Communism/ Logical Positivism /A.I. Interface”, etc. Might be best to acknowledge the creaturely side of our humanity, tweaking our imperfect institutions while bearing in mind that, in most cases, starting over from scratch could very well make things much worse.

N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

It’s a relative term. Anyway, as I’ve said in the past, social engineers are like urban planners – they want to clear away everything traditional (ie. not rationally thought out) to make way for their brave new world peopled with new improved humans.

Philip Clayton
Philip Clayton
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Yup, rationality is such a stupid idea.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  Philip Clayton

The superimposition of non-voluntary, Rational Systems on a pre-existing, largely inescapable Human Nature is a stupid idea, a stupid pattern of ideas that has racked up documented historical failures–pick your favorites.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
11 months ago
Reply to  Philip Clayton

The superimposition of non-voluntary, Rational Systems on a pre-existing, largely inescapable Human Nature is a stupid idea, a stupid pattern of ideas that has racked up documented historical failures–pick your favorites.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

I agree, though that word ‘rational’ should probably be in sneer-marks.

Philip Clayton
Philip Clayton
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Yup, rationality is such a stupid idea.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago

Reminds me of the late, dreadful Eric Hobsbawm, the darling of many a Quisling* soirée.

(* Hampstead, Islington and other salubrious parts of North London.)

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
11 months ago

I don’t think he was. I didn’t;t see any boasting there: more a wry awareness of a mis-spent decade or two.

Simon S
Simon S
11 months ago

Unkind. Terry can laugh at himself. Can you?

Philip Clayton
Philip Clayton
11 months ago

And capitalism never killed anyone did it? Ever heard of the First World War? Did you ever read a word of Marx? He got a lot wrong, but he also changed philosophy and economics and even economists who disagree still can’t explain why the tendency towards monopoly in capitalism is evident and obvious and also why monopoly is brilliant for us. Marx met some Russian ‘Marxists’ before he died and said: “If they are Marxists I’m not.” I imagine Jesus might have said something similar about quite a few ‘Christians’. Weber said “All sociology is an argument with the ghost of Marx.” Marxist concepts will still be debated long after we are dead and still discussed in the next couple of centuries. Just in the same way Plato, Aristotle, etc exercise human thought.

Gary Taylor
Gary Taylor
11 months ago
Reply to  Philip Clayton

Capitalism sure broke a lot of eggs, but at least we got the omelette. Where’s the Marxist omelette?

Philip Clayton
Philip Clayton
10 months ago
Reply to  Gary Taylor

Eh?? Do you not understand that Marx was a HUGE FAN OF CAPITALISM?Obviously not. I would wager a large sum that as soon as you see the name Marx, or the term Marxist, you salivate like one of Pavlov’s dogs and launch into a diatribe and have NEVER READ A WORD MARX WROTE. I won’t expect a response because you won’t have read a thing.

Philip Clayton
Philip Clayton
10 months ago
Reply to  Gary Taylor

Eh?? Do you not understand that Marx was a HUGE FAN OF CAPITALISM?Obviously not. I would wager a large sum that as soon as you see the name Marx, or the term Marxist, you salivate like one of Pavlov’s dogs and launch into a diatribe and have NEVER READ A WORD MARX WROTE. I won’t expect a response because you won’t have read a thing.

Gary Taylor
Gary Taylor
11 months ago
Reply to  Philip Clayton

Capitalism sure broke a lot of eggs, but at least we got the omelette. Where’s the Marxist omelette?

N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago

Are the editors of UnHerd contemporary useful idiots? It won’t be long before we see Owen Jones, George Monbiot, Alistair Campbell, Polly Toynbee and other Guardianistas publishing here (to give the broadest spectrum of views of course). I guess the intelligentsia, the graduate classes, will ultimately lean to the Left – it’s just a question of how far. The craving to reorganise the world along more rational lines is in their DNA.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago

Reminds me of the late, dreadful Eric Hobsbawm, the darling of many a Quisling* soirée.

(* Hampstead, Islington and other salubrious parts of North London.)

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
11 months ago

I don’t think he was. I didn’t;t see any boasting there: more a wry awareness of a mis-spent decade or two.

Simon S
Simon S
11 months ago

Unkind. Terry can laugh at himself. Can you?

Philip Clayton
Philip Clayton
11 months ago

And capitalism never killed anyone did it? Ever heard of the First World War? Did you ever read a word of Marx? He got a lot wrong, but he also changed philosophy and economics and even economists who disagree still can’t explain why the tendency towards monopoly in capitalism is evident and obvious and also why monopoly is brilliant for us. Marx met some Russian ‘Marxists’ before he died and said: “If they are Marxists I’m not.” I imagine Jesus might have said something similar about quite a few ‘Christians’. Weber said “All sociology is an argument with the ghost of Marx.” Marxist concepts will still be debated long after we are dead and still discussed in the next couple of centuries. Just in the same way Plato, Aristotle, etc exercise human thought.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
11 months ago

Imagine being this age and proudly boasting of your Marxist bona fides. 100 million dead, and this guy is reminiscing about being a useful idiot 40 years ago.

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
11 months ago

You’d think the author would know about characters in Dostoyevsky’s novels, wouldn’t you? From the wikipedia entry for Demons:

The novel begins with the narrator’s affectionate but ironic description of Stepan Trofimovich’s character and early career. He had the beginnings of a career as a lecturer at the University, and for a short time was a prominent figure among the exponents of the ‘new ideas’ that were beginning to influence Russian cultural life. He claims that government officials viewed him as a dangerous thinker, forcing him out of academia and into exile in the provinces, but in reality, it was more likely that no one of note in the government even knew who he was.

ï»ż

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
11 months ago

You’d think the author would know about characters in Dostoyevsky’s novels, wouldn’t you? From the wikipedia entry for Demons:

The novel begins with the narrator’s affectionate but ironic description of Stepan Trofimovich’s character and early career. He had the beginnings of a career as a lecturer at the University, and for a short time was a prominent figure among the exponents of the ‘new ideas’ that were beginning to influence Russian cultural life. He claims that government officials viewed him as a dangerous thinker, forcing him out of academia and into exile in the provinces, but in reality, it was more likely that no one of note in the government even knew who he was.

ï»ż

David Giles
David Giles
11 months ago

Who on Earth would waste their time and their working life hacking Terry Eagleton’s phone?

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
11 months ago
Reply to  David Giles

Someone with a high boredom threshold. Perhaps MI5 use him for training recruits in the art of staying awake.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
11 months ago
Reply to  David Giles

Well, Special Branch and MI5 had to justify their budgets somehow – and there was a Cold War on.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
11 months ago
Reply to  David Giles

Someone with a high boredom threshold. Perhaps MI5 use him for training recruits in the art of staying awake.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
11 months ago
Reply to  David Giles

Well, Special Branch and MI5 had to justify their budgets somehow – and there was a Cold War on.

David Giles
David Giles
11 months ago

Who on Earth would waste their time and their working life hacking Terry Eagleton’s phone?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago

Thank you for reminding us that no institution has done more cumulative damage to the national security of this country than the University of Cambridge.

It should dissolved forthwith and the site cornered with a giant solar ‘farm’, rather like the rest of Cambridgeshire.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

I think you’re forgetting all the scientific contributions that Cambridge made that were helpful to our national security – jet engines, computing, … . I blame the arts grads for letting the side down.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Indeed I had NOT forgotten the ‘scientific’ contribution Cambridge has made, and like your good self place ALL the blame on the Arts grads!

However it is worth considering that the greatest event in human history bar none, the English Industrial Revolution, owed virtually nothing to Oxbridge.

Almost without exception the original ‘industrial’ Titans were self educated men of very humble origins.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

Agreed. If there were ever any “heroes of the revolution”, those are the men I’d name. I know, they were all white men. But we can’t change history just because it’s so inconvenient, can we ?
Funny how there was so little social mobility in the past, isn’t it ? How did Telford or Wolsey or Thomas Cromwell ever do it ?
I’d suggest the technological revolution, largely around Silicon Valley starting around the 1960s, is right up there. Afraid the heyday of that in the 60s to 80s was pretty much pale, stale white men once again. But much more diverse now.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

At least in the Western World from Ancient Greece onwards, men of talent, white or not, have always managed to ‘fight’ their way to the top.

Rather inspirational I have always thought.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

A few women too. Joan of Arc, Margaret Thatcher, doubtless several more.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

A few women too. Joan of Arc, Margaret Thatcher, doubtless several more.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

At least in the Western World from Ancient Greece onwards, men of talent, white or not, have always managed to ‘fight’ their way to the top.

Rather inspirational I have always thought.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago

Amen.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

Agreed. If there were ever any “heroes of the revolution”, those are the men I’d name. I know, they were all white men. But we can’t change history just because it’s so inconvenient, can we ?
Funny how there was so little social mobility in the past, isn’t it ? How did Telford or Wolsey or Thomas Cromwell ever do it ?
I’d suggest the technological revolution, largely around Silicon Valley starting around the 1960s, is right up there. Afraid the heyday of that in the 60s to 80s was pretty much pale, stale white men once again. But much more diverse now.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago

Amen.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Indeed I had NOT forgotten the ‘scientific’ contribution Cambridge has made, and like your good self place ALL the blame on the Arts grads!

However it is worth considering that the greatest event in human history bar none, the English Industrial Revolution, owed virtually nothing to Oxbridge.

Almost without exception the original ‘industrial’ Titans were self educated men of very humble origins.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

I think you’re forgetting all the scientific contributions that Cambridge made that were helpful to our national security – jet engines, computing, … . I blame the arts grads for letting the side down.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago

Thank you for reminding us that no institution has done more cumulative damage to the national security of this country than the University of Cambridge.

It should dissolved forthwith and the site cornered with a giant solar ‘farm’, rather like the rest of Cambridgeshire.

Saul D
Saul D
11 months ago

Does anyone else find themselves reading Prof Eagleton’s articles in the voice of Jim Broadbent?

Saul D
Saul D
11 months ago

Does anyone else find themselves reading Prof Eagleton’s articles in the voice of Jim Broadbent?

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago

Well at least this contribution had some entertainment value.

Reading Eagleton’s usual guff reminds one of nothing more than the fellow he describes as resigning after listening to conversations with a seven year old for too.long.

Those noises he was hearing on the phoneline, and his reaction to them… might they be a pre-internet version of ‘click’bait?

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago

Well at least this contribution had some entertainment value.

Reading Eagleton’s usual guff reminds one of nothing more than the fellow he describes as resigning after listening to conversations with a seven year old for too.long.

Those noises he was hearing on the phoneline, and his reaction to them… might they be a pre-internet version of ‘click’bait?

Andrew Dean
Andrew Dean
11 months ago

Poor Terry, he so wants to be important.

Andrew Dean
Andrew Dean
11 months ago

Poor Terry, he so wants to be important.

Samuel Gee
Samuel Gee
11 months ago

Are the phone clicks audible because the bug ers are sloppy or are they audible because they want you to hear clicks whether or not they are bugging you. Are the clicks a message in themselves.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Gee

Precisely, in fact a form of false flattery easily accepted by narcissists and the like.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago

Household Cavalry Officers are notoriously hopeless at ” signals”….Having said that, I never forget my signals instructor at Camberley Comprehensive, one Colour Sergeant Crisp, Royal Marines, on my signals test.. ” Right, Mr Smanger Terrnerr.. tune in this ere C42 radio…. pause… yer’ avent got an effin clue, ‘ ave yer serrr…. typical Foot Guard… pause, form ticked ” Right. eff off , serr… you’ve passed”……

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago

Piccadilly Cowboys or Galloping Grocers, take your pick!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago

Piccadilly Cowboys or Galloping Grocers, take your pick!

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago

Household Cavalry Officers are notoriously hopeless at ” signals”….Having said that, I never forget my signals instructor at Camberley Comprehensive, one Colour Sergeant Crisp, Royal Marines, on my signals test.. ” Right, Mr Smanger Terrnerr.. tune in this ere C42 radio…. pause… yer’ avent got an effin clue, ‘ ave yer serrr…. typical Foot Guard… pause, form ticked ” Right. eff off , serr… you’ve passed”……

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
11 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Gee

To know for sure, you would need to learn the Morse code.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

managed that… Tango hotel alpha november kilo Sierra…

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago

actually no.. thats for Matelots.. I’m so thick, I confused it with the military alphabet.. or the italian Dott. Dash…

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago

actually no.. thats for Matelots.. I’m so thick, I confused it with the military alphabet.. or the italian Dott. Dash…

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

managed that… Tango hotel alpha november kilo Sierra…

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
11 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Gee

You may be right. Stupid as the cops are, the visit by the Special Branch ‘journalist’ must surely have been an effort at gentle intimidation. ‘We’re watching you. As if you didn’t know.’
There’s been a fair bit of that from Polis Scotland under the Sturgeon junta.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Gee

Precisely, in fact a form of false flattery easily accepted by narcissists and the like.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
11 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Gee

To know for sure, you would need to learn the Morse code.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
11 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Gee

You may be right. Stupid as the cops are, the visit by the Special Branch ‘journalist’ must surely have been an effort at gentle intimidation. ‘We’re watching you. As if you didn’t know.’
There’s been a fair bit of that from Polis Scotland under the Sturgeon junta.

Samuel Gee
Samuel Gee
11 months ago

Are the phone clicks audible because the bug ers are sloppy or are they audible because they want you to hear clicks whether or not they are bugging you. Are the clicks a message in themselves.

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
11 months ago

This is the most coherent thing that Terry Eagleton has written for unherd so far.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian McKinney

But I pity the eavesdroppers who had to listen to him.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian McKinney

But I pity the eavesdroppers who had to listen to him.

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
11 months ago

This is the most coherent thing that Terry Eagleton has written for unherd so far.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
11 months ago

Harry is of course not suing the intelligence services but the Mirror Group. All three main ‘services’ spying on us are now headed by Harry’s Dad. If this is a family squabble, then why is it being conducted in the public courts? Harry perhaps wants to avoid the thorny subject of the intelligence services because he is still hoping for a bit of pocket money from his Dad and protection from the military that is not afforded even to soldiers who don’t go around boasting about their body count.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
11 months ago

Harry is of course not suing the intelligence services but the Mirror Group. All three main ‘services’ spying on us are now headed by Harry’s Dad. If this is a family squabble, then why is it being conducted in the public courts? Harry perhaps wants to avoid the thorny subject of the intelligence services because he is still hoping for a bit of pocket money from his Dad and protection from the military that is not afforded even to soldiers who don’t go around boasting about their body count.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago

Utterly delusional. TE believes that he was important enough for someone to bother tapping his phone?

Dominic A
Dominic A
11 months ago

Unfortunately it is not delusional. I had a friend who was a teenaged hunt saboteur – got visited a few times by special branch. Such overreaches are very common, though thankfully in the West they’ll almost always amount to nothing.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
11 months ago

His point, it seems to me, is that much of Special Branch-MI5 was itself so hopelessly, pointlessly unimportant, it occupied itself surveilling someone as minor as him.
Never seen The Lives of Others? These pigState bureaucracies always metastasise, just as every brand of the Civil Service, NHS and Stonewall and Oxfam have done, and find themselves enough ‘work’ to justify ever-expanding budgets, staff and powers.
Communism is alive and well – and we in ‘the west’ are sliding right into it.

Simon S
Simon S
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

Exactly. “Communism” as a concept has morphed far from its ideological aspiration to Equality into popular shorthand for a very, very real Totalitarianism in the hands of an unelected elite worshipping the altar of something they like to call Equity. Their Equity.

Simon S
Simon S
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

Exactly. “Communism” as a concept has morphed far from its ideological aspiration to Equality into popular shorthand for a very, very real Totalitarianism in the hands of an unelected elite worshipping the altar of something they like to call Equity. Their Equity.

Dominic A
Dominic A
11 months ago

Unfortunately it is not delusional. I had a friend who was a teenaged hunt saboteur – got visited a few times by special branch. Such overreaches are very common, though thankfully in the West they’ll almost always amount to nothing.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
11 months ago

His point, it seems to me, is that much of Special Branch-MI5 was itself so hopelessly, pointlessly unimportant, it occupied itself surveilling someone as minor as him.
Never seen The Lives of Others? These pigState bureaucracies always metastasise, just as every brand of the Civil Service, NHS and Stonewall and Oxfam have done, and find themselves enough ‘work’ to justify ever-expanding budgets, staff and powers.
Communism is alive and well – and we in ‘the west’ are sliding right into it.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago

Utterly delusional. TE believes that he was important enough for someone to bother tapping his phone?

James Kirk
James Kirk
11 months ago

Typical naive leftist. If it’s true that he was a threat to national security in those days his home would have had microphones plumbed into the mains electric. Clicks on his house phone would have sent him running for public phones if he was up to anything. If he was so dodgy his handlers would have issued him with a scanning device. More likely he would never use the phone at all.
Probably somebody winding him up or doing some training “Look at the stupid lefty, boys.” He should read some John le CarrĂ© and blush with hindsight. And yes, I do know about these things.

James Kirk
James Kirk
11 months ago

Typical naive leftist. If it’s true that he was a threat to national security in those days his home would have had microphones plumbed into the mains electric. Clicks on his house phone would have sent him running for public phones if he was up to anything. If he was so dodgy his handlers would have issued him with a scanning device. More likely he would never use the phone at all.
Probably somebody winding him up or doing some training “Look at the stupid lefty, boys.” He should read some John le CarrĂ© and blush with hindsight. And yes, I do know about these things.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
11 months ago

“My tutor never tried to recruit me, given that he was aware of my politics”

“The Manager never picked me to play centre back for England, given that he was aware of my politics (I’m square enough to like Maggie Thatcher), and it had nothing to do with the fact that I am in fact hopeless at football, as are all people of Indian descent”

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
11 months ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

You said it. Though actually, India stands at 101st out of 211 in the current FIFA rankings.

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
11 months ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

You said it. Though actually, India stands at 101st out of 211 in the current FIFA rankings.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
11 months ago

“My tutor never tried to recruit me, given that he was aware of my politics”

“The Manager never picked me to play centre back for England, given that he was aware of my politics (I’m square enough to like Maggie Thatcher), and it had nothing to do with the fact that I am in fact hopeless at football, as are all people of Indian descent”

Dominic A
Dominic A
11 months ago

Maybe spooks want you to know, deniably, that they are watching you? Seems to me that might be a great way for them to ‘dampen fervour’ of those they deem to be at some, probably low risk of becoming an enemy of the state. Moreover, a silent tap is surely eminently achievable, and they’d know their taps make a click.

Dominic A
Dominic A
11 months ago

Maybe spooks want you to know, deniably, that they are watching you? Seems to me that might be a great way for them to ‘dampen fervour’ of those they deem to be at some, probably low risk of becoming an enemy of the state. Moreover, a silent tap is surely eminently achievable, and they’d know their taps make a click.

leculdesac suburbia
leculdesac suburbia
11 months ago

I naively assumed that my phone calls w/ a prominent anti-war activist (which were all about our personal lives or esoteric feminist philosophy) couldn’t _really_ have been bugged, though the constant clicks confused me. This was during the early Iraq invasion–and I’ll never forget as he was talking to me in the car driving past a nuclear facility how it went off the charts. That’s when it clicked, so to speak.

Ironically, those documents & transcripts are probably a kind of insurance now that I’m in the pesky heterodox camp. Maybe they’ll reduce my Gulag sentence for becoming a “domestic te*****t” by virtue of advocating online and via picket signs for women’s sex-based rights, for child protection, & for aggressive prosecution of recidivist criminals who’re the scourge of beleaguered Black communities, instead of spouting fourth wave anti-racist grift that’s killing Black people in the US at a rate not seen since the Atlantic passage.

leculdesac suburbia
leculdesac suburbia
11 months ago

I naively assumed that my phone calls w/ a prominent anti-war activist (which were all about our personal lives or esoteric feminist philosophy) couldn’t _really_ have been bugged, though the constant clicks confused me. This was during the early Iraq invasion–and I’ll never forget as he was talking to me in the car driving past a nuclear facility how it went off the charts. That’s when it clicked, so to speak.

Ironically, those documents & transcripts are probably a kind of insurance now that I’m in the pesky heterodox camp. Maybe they’ll reduce my Gulag sentence for becoming a “domestic te*****t” by virtue of advocating online and via picket signs for women’s sex-based rights, for child protection, & for aggressive prosecution of recidivist criminals who’re the scourge of beleaguered Black communities, instead of spouting fourth wave anti-racist grift that’s killing Black people in the US at a rate not seen since the Atlantic passage.

Nathan Ngumi
Nathan Ngumi
11 months ago

Very entertaining!

Nathan Ngumi
Nathan Ngumi
11 months ago

Very entertaining!

Benedict Waterson
Benedict Waterson
11 months ago

Amusing article, in which Eagleton proudly reveals that he consorted on close terms with a paedophile

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
11 months ago

And how do you know YOU haven’t?
Eagleton was unaware of the individual’s peccadilloes. Had he know, ISTM, it would have been pretty clear who the mole was.

Benedict Waterson
Benedict Waterson
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

Yes, ofc. But it does cast a darker shadow over the tawdry little Marxist group he speaks about with such pride, and the sort of people who might have been drawn to it.
There’s another article in UnHerd today about the history of paedophilia within the German Greens. And pushing every sexual boundary has long been a crusade of the Far Left

Benedict Waterson
Benedict Waterson
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter Joy

Yes, ofc. But it does cast a darker shadow over the tawdry little Marxist group he speaks about with such pride, and the sort of people who might have been drawn to it.
There’s another article in UnHerd today about the history of paedophilia within the German Greens. And pushing every sexual boundary has long been a crusade of the Far Left

Peter Joy
Peter Joy
11 months ago

And how do you know YOU haven’t?
Eagleton was unaware of the individual’s peccadilloes. Had he know, ISTM, it would have been pretty clear who the mole was.

Benedict Waterson
Benedict Waterson
11 months ago

Amusing article, in which Eagleton proudly reveals that he consorted on close terms with a paedophile

Simon S
Simon S
11 months ago

I seem to be in the minority here but Terry offers an endearing and there but for the grace of God enduring British ability to look his own and wider history wryly and humanely in the mirror. My only dispute is his spelling of Colombia. And my only regret that I wasn’t there for his talk at Eton. Floreat Etona!

Simon S
Simon S
11 months ago

I seem to be in the minority here but Terry offers an endearing and there but for the grace of God enduring British ability to look his own and wider history wryly and humanely in the mirror. My only dispute is his spelling of Colombia. And my only regret that I wasn’t there for his talk at Eton. Floreat Etona!

Peter A
Peter A
11 months ago

.

Last edited 11 months ago by Peter A
Peter A
Peter A
11 months ago

.

Last edited 11 months ago by Peter A