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Is Spooks one of the best TV series ever?

BBC1’s immensely fascinating insight into the world of counter espionage, as carried out by Her Majesties Secret Service in the guise of MI5, has an edge of reality that is both believeable, and reassuring at the same time. Certainly it makes one proud to be British, knowing such people carry out such tasks in such a selfless way. And relatively unthanked too.

Well, maybe they get an MBE here, a CBE there, maybe the Directorship of a QUANGO or so – or even a career in politics, as the last head of MI5 has only recently embarked upon.

Whatever, the program catches the reality of life as a spy in the same way that the Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister series’ both did for the civil servant/elected representative dynamic.

You get the feeling that these stories really happened, or could have happened. Strangely, it makes me like the US more too. Sure, they have an iffy President at the moment, but I don’t believe for a moment that all US secret service people think like he does. First of all they are far more patriotic (they served their country, George Bush never did) and secondly, they are far more intelligent. They just have to carry out some rather stupid orders at times.
Same for the MI5 staff. They aren’t stupid. And Spooks really shows that.

So, if you know someone from the secret services, pat them on the back for me. Tell them the public do appreciate their sacrifice, even though we cannot understand their burdens. We may even criticise the outcomes of their actions from time to time, but mostly, we are so glad they are there, protecting us.

The only thing I wonder about though, is when Harry says he believes in protecting “this country” which exact idea of this country does he mean? Does he mean the current Government (whichever one is in power right now) or does he mean the system of Parliamentary democracy with a Monarch as Head of State, or some private ideal?

Makes you think, doesn’t it?


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