Cold War History of MI5 successes

From the archive: 25 September 1971: Britain expels 90 Russian diplomat spies | From the Guardian | The Guardian

This may be an apocryphal story. It seems that an author wants to write a history of MI5 and cold war counter espionage.

The above link represents one of MI5 greatest achievements. A defector told them loads of stuff. They believed him and expelled loadsa Soviet diplomats.

The author then asks, as a point of human interest, how MI5 resolved the strange case of "Sid the Benefits Cheat"

"Do remind us", said the MI5 bods

"Well", said the author, "A DHSS office received a complaint from a neighbour reporting Sid, a long term recipient of sickness benefit and supplementary benefit, for working on the side. At an RAF base DHSS went along to the base and shew a photo of Sid. Someone carrying out pipeline installation here recognised Sid coming to work here in a pin stripe suit and carrying a briefcase. The RAF said there was a remarkable resemblance to a member of the Air Vice Marshall's staff who carried out security and operational planning reviews at a number of RAF bases. So DHSS went to the complaining neighbour to re-assure him. Which is where the problem arose"

"What problem ?" ask the MI5 bods

"The new Rover car", answers author "The neighbour said well explain how the Air Vice Marshall's civil servant went to work driving Sid's new Rover. And since Sid been on the chat for years how he afford a new Rover. Sid admitted he had recently come into money, when DHSS confronted him about his automobile purchasing capacity. And repaid a sum of the means tested elements of his claim. Then DHSS reported the matter to Police so that they could ensure there was a resolution of whether Sid had acquired a load of top secret information for onward sale to the Soviets who had just lost the presence of 105 diplomats in UK"

"We'll have to get back to you on this one," said MI5, "By the way which Police Force did DHSS report Sid the Benefits Cheat to ?"

My critical Arrse readership is ahead of me here I trust ................
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