Alex through the looking-glass

Old school intelligence collection still matters in a digital world THE spy business is rooted in traditions. Sir Mansfield Cumming, the founder of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (better known as MI6), wrote in green ink. “C”, the real-life head of the foreign-intelligence agency, continues this quirky rite, even in emails. Technology is upending established practices…

Dreaming of a Red Christmas

The scene is set for the Labour Party’s Christmas Carol Service in Party HQ. Jeremy Corbyn is on stage.     Jeremy Corbyn: Welcome comrades to the Labour Party Christmas party; so good they named it twice! Silence around the room Jeremy Corbyn: Tories out! All: TORIES OUT!!! {general cheering} Jeremy Corbyn: Yes, as I…

The Dome of Trust

I wrote this OpEd for a Cyber Security firm in Abu Dhabi who felt it was a little, erm, off the wall for their brand. Never mind, they took another three…     30 September 2047 Dear Ms Bezos, Please forgive this communication by old-fashioned email; I’m told my voice can be a bit metallic…

Gambling on US morality

I spoke this week at a fringe meeting of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) annual forum in Geneva. The Democracy Institute, a public policy think-tank based in Washington DC and London, launched a report titled “Do as I say, not as I do” into a 14-year old dispute between the United States and the tiny Caribbean…