….S.L. Is there something about the British psyche that makes spying, or at least duplicity, an enticing prospect?
B.M. We Brits are particularly susceptible to the double life, aren’t we? Is it because we are a sort of theatrical, and sort of unfaithful, culture?
J.L.C. I think it’s because hypocrisy is the national sport. For our class in my era, public school was a deliberately brutalizing process that separated you from your parents, and your parents were parties to that. They integrated you with imperial ambitions and then let you loose into the world with a sense of elitism — but with your heart frozen.
B.M. There is no deceiver more effective than a public-school-educated Brit. He could be standing next to you in the bus queue, having a Force 12 nervous breakdown, and you’d never be any the wiser.
J.L.C. When you’ve become that frozen child, but you’re an outwardly functioning, charming chap, there is a lot of wasteland inside you that is waiting to be cultivated.
S.L. David, you’ve spoken about your childhood, your outrageously criminal father, how you were sent to boarding school when you were 5, the lies that permeated everything. How did all this come ….