Sunday Times – 15 January 1989
According to Barrie Penrose (January 8), the CND supporters who organised the escape from jail of George Blake, the Soviet spy, did so because they viewed him as a "prisoner of war". This analogy is bogus.
Our country was at peace – albeit an adversarial peace – with the Soviet Union in 1966. Yet, if it had been at war then, Blake would still not have qualified as a prisoner of war. On detection and capture, he would either have been "turned" as a double agent, or executed in the event of refusal, as is the normal fate of spies and traitors in wartime.
It is salutary to recall the howls of outrage in 1985 when it emerged that MI5 had been keeping a watching brief on the anti-nuclear movement. The appalling affair of the Blake escape has now confirmed the worst fears of those who felt that far too little was being done to monitor Soviet stooges in CND clothing.
Dr JULIAN LEWIS
Policy Research Associates