Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Well-‘red’: MI5 spied on prominent academics ‘for decades’, secret docs show

"British intelligence services, including MI5, secretly spied on a number of prominent academics with socialist leanings “for decades,” including Oxbridge dons Christopher Hill and Eric Hobsbawm, secret files disclosed on Friday show.

The historians were among a number academics at the UK’s top universities who were placed under rigorous surveillance by the security services after officers became concerned about their supposed ‘communist’ leanings.
However, instead of secret plots, the files, which are held in the National Archives in southwest London, actually tell of more banal issues, including marital infidelity and forensic academic disputes with the British Communist Party.
The security services used covert techniques including bugging offices and wiretapping phones to build a comprehensive picture of the academics, who were marked out by security services for their support for the communist ideology in the 1930s, as it began to gain popularity in the West.
On the documents, an MI5 officer noted the intelligence was necessary “to establish the identities of his contacts and to unearth overt or covert intellectual communists who may be unknown to us.”
Other academics monitored included AJP Taylor, one of the worlds’ leading figures in 20th-century European history, as well as writer Iris Murdoch and the moral philosopher Lady Mary Warnock, who joined Hill in a march against nuclear weapons in 1959.
“I’d love to see the file, or anybody’s file come to that, to see what was/is regarded as suspicious … I am completely taken aback and even faintly flattered,” Lady Warnock told the Guardian..."
at https://www.rt.com/uk/199008-mi6-spy-uk-academic/#.Vi0PTmUE78M.reddit

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