I have been seriously neglectful of my blog recently but I have been busy visiting and being visited. I think things are now back to normal and hopefully I will get back into the swing of my blog. I will start off with an update on my reading challenge for 2016. For those of you not aware of my challenge it was to read more non-fiction.
I have indeed done so and the books I have read have been a mixed bunch. Here is the first.This book I selected because the Spycatcher was mentioned in the Michael Kirby autobiography I read. Malcolm Turnbull is our present Prime Minister and he had been mentioned in the Michael Kirby book as the attorney who represented Wright in his trial.
The British government’s efforts to block publication of Peter Wright’s Spycatcher climaxed in a sensational trial in Australia in 1986 that cast a shadow of disrepute on the British legal system, the Official Secrets Act and the government itself. Excerpts from the trial testimony reveal that Turnbull uncovered mendacity, hypocricsy and cynicism at the highest levels of the British government, principally during his cross examination of Sir Robert Armstrong, cabinet secretary and adviser on intelligence matters. In 1987 the High Court at Canberra dismissed the case and ordered the Thatcher government to reimburse legal costs to Wright and Heinemann Publishers Australia. Turnbull calls the British conduct in the affair “quite disgraceful” and adds that the experience “galvanized my determination to see Australia rid herself of its sic remaining constitutional links with England”
Had this book not been mentioned in the Kirby book I read I doubt whether I would have read it but I am glad that I did. It reveals the real business of the spyworld that most of us would only know from film and books. It made we want to find out more about the link between the USA and Britain in the Cold War years and it also made me want to find out more about the Russian spy, Alexander Litvinenko who was poisoned in London in 2006.
The book was read quickly and I found it really absorbing. If you can find a copy in a secondhand bookshop I recommend that you buy it.