The security services are a rum lot.
All that intrigue gets to you eventually, and that’s not counting those who sign up with less than laudable intentions. Harold Wilson was paranoid but not necessarily wrong.
So when Jeremy Corbyn’s MI5 file finds its way onto the front page of the Daily Telegraph, even those not well-disposed to the Labour leader could be forgiven for arching an eyebrow. Are the spooks spooked by the possibility of Britain’s first Marxist prime minister?
For those who came up with Corbyn in 1970s and ‘80s, those heady days of the hard-Left when revolution was ever round the corner, this is obviously the case. Their comrade is being done in by the establishment in much the same way as Harry Perkins, protagonist of Chris Mullin’s Bennite potboiler, A Very British Coup. Unable to find any real dirt on him — the best they can uncover is a long-ago romantic indiscretion — the intelligence agencies set to work stitching him up. What Labour MPs would give for Jeremy Corbyn’s sins to be of the flesh.