Shaken, not stirred

BBC: Cambridge Five spy ring members 'hopeless drunks'
Members of the Cambridge Five spy ring were regarded by their Soviet handlers as hopeless drunks incapable of keeping secrets, newly-released files suggest[...]

A short passage describes Burgess as a man "constantly under the influence of alcohol".

Written in Russian, it goes on to recount one occasion when Burgess drunkenly risked exposing his double identity.

"Once on his way out of a pub, he managed to drop one of the files of documents he had taken from the Foreign Office on the pavement," translator Svetlana Lokhova explained.

Moving on to Maclean, the note describes him as "not very good at keeping secrets".

It adds that he was "constantly drunk" and binged on alcohol.

Not wishing to be pedantic, but it sounds to me as if Burgess and Maclean, far from being ‘hopeless drunks’, were actually extremely accomplished drunks.

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.

One comment

  1. Extremely accomplished drinkers, surely, drinking being the process that enables the state of drunkenness to be achieved. We have no evidence at how good they then were at actually being drunk.

    Ah, the heady mix of pedantry and complete b*****ks...

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