Guy Burgess and other thoughts.

Just watching the Guy Burgess play (?) / screenplay with Alan Bates based on the memoirs of Carol Brown (I think - my Freeview is fecked up so I can't get the details). Something I've always thought, the Cold War was won on the basis of sheer economic power rather than actual ideological soundness of principle of the opposing ideologies, i.e. political principle in this case - despite the weaknesses of the capitalist system as underscored by the current banking crisis. Our weaknesses were less than your weaknesses. Bit convoluted but you know what I mean! Maybe the actual political process is about mobilising the national resources to support the main effort - in this case the Cold War, but you also have to mobilise the civil populace, e.g. through ideology, which is where the likes of Burgess could have been used but were lost. And where we are strugglingly as a nation at the moment - bogged down in too many geopolitical/one issue issues whilst yet strugglingly to deal with our own individual ones. Leaders, that's what we need! Whilst I suppose those two are not necessarily indivisible, it does strike me that at least one very well made suit, as Guy clung too, is actually something that a chap really can't do without and reinforces that self belief - mine is serving me very well through a number of occasions such as Remembrance Sunday, but that whole ethos of being outfitted correctly - such an endorsement of the whole Mil thing - shiney boots, smart turnout etc etc goes more deeply than we realise? Conformity? Being part of the team actually reinforces the team within its place with the greater team? Self evident reality? How are we going to realise radical social change, and thereby self-actualisation, in the greater political sphere, without the external stimulus?

So my question to you, is, are you as bored by Alan Bennett as I am? Has he passed his sell by date - all that echoing of listening to his much disappointed mother? Good when transposed into others mouths, for a while, but such bitterness. Not unlike Oscar Wilde for sure.



Book Reviewer
If only Arrse had a 'Film, Music & All Things Artsy' forum eh?
I wish! The News & Current Affairs Mod (Cpunk?) was complaining about standards last week, i.e. we are all a moaning bunch of so and sos (cheers mate!) and that it was all going down hill, so I am doing my best to rev thngs up a bit - many topics in one!
Oh, irony, I see what you did there...

Well, the main thrust was News and Current Affairs, i.e. it was a many stranded thought process, so it seemed a likely repositary...
I watched Animal Kwackers on YouTube - much better!
Not really sure what you are rambling on about, but I think you mean no one has much ideology any more. At least not the sort that our leaders can inspire in the general population?

There must have been a point in the cold war when the KGB found they could no longer recruit westerners on idealogical grounds. The Cambridge lot were recruited as such because they believed in Marx and bought the propaganda espoused from the soviets but later on it would have to of been cash & lots of it.

The problem now is we have a population that is apathetic on the whole, the youngsters just go with whatever is cool and can always vent on the internet. The politicians will sell their souls just to become electable and also pander to media interests and even get seen for it but still get re-elected. Tony Blair claims to have followed his moral compass in choosing to go to war, yet he clearly sold out to the beliefs he himself as a teenager/young man had once held so passionately.

These days many in our population will give credit to a nut job who makes videos saying our government conspired to kill 52 people in London to push an anti-Islamic ideology whilst at the same time another chunk believe that our government is conspiring to destroy our core values by pandering to foreign values & cultures namely Islam.

In the good old days when people really put their beliefs and ideologies above all else maybe we would have had civil war, a slaughter or even just some proper mass riots if they really believed the above. Not any more, no one can be bothered. Maybe that's a good thing and will let us drift along in general peace and quiet?
I suppose my point was, as you pointed out was we seem to have lost our focus, our moral compass if you like. That move from citizens to consumers. Even listening to London Calling just now, it seems so far removed from what we could be doing, agitating against. I was on a bit of aroad trip yesterday and today, and drove through Stamford Bridge, and reflected on the sheer immense skill and strength of getting an army from there down to Hastings in few days, from one major battle to another. Was the invasion unable to be repulsed through sheer exhaustion rather than loss of the leader? And so many names on the historic place map, this country is full of them, Peterloo for example.
captaincalamity said:
all that echoing of listening to his much disappointed mother?
Thing is, his mother's been dead for years. Alan has her corpse sitting in a rocking chair in the attic. Couldn't bury her as he wouldn't be able to hear her talking inside his head.

Oh - and the cottage where he lives is called 'Bates Motel'.

Speaking of Guy Burgess, I once met Kim Philby's former secretary. It was just around the time the BBC broadcast 'The Cambridge Spies'. This was a 're-imagining' of the story of the Cambridge spy ring.

Apparently it consisted of well intentioned young men who were dedicated anti-fascists and who had Britain's best interests at heart as they committed treason leading to god knows how many deaths. Apparently, they were only driven to seek asylum in Moscow due to the evil machinations of elitist, Tory toffs who had all been at Eton with Adolf Hitler.

I've never seen a woman that old get that angry, before or since.
captaincalamity said:
I suppose my point was, as you pointed out was we seem to have lost our focus, our moral compass if you like. That move from citizens to consumers.
I'm not a citizen, I'm a British subject. Let's have none of that Red Republican nonsense here, please.
It's always made me wonder how fellas like Burgess, Philby and Co, who were without doubt possessed of a certain level of intelligence, could not only buy into all that Stalinist garbage, but continue to believe it despite the very clear evidence that it had nothing at all to do with Communism/Socialism.



Book Reviewer
Slightly off topic (but still conected)

I used to work with Liam Burke
Liam was a nice guy from Ireland who joined the RAF in the 60's and was doing well for himself

Until his brother Sean broke George Blake out of the "Scrubs" in the 60's

Talk about Career damaging you thought you had p1ssed on your promotion prospects

He told me he was wheeled of camp straight home for a nice house search
Secret Service all over his house follwing him everywhere even at the kids school in case Uncle Sean made contact

Took him years to recover and prove he had nothing to do with it (crap postings- no flying units or Germany etc )

Then it all blew up again when Stephen Fry walked out on that play about Blake and Burke in the 90's
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