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Judging the chair of the Booker judges


The Russians find it very funny that the head of the Man Booker judging committee is Britain’s former spy chief, according to this article in Prospect Magazine.

I make a fatal mistake: I begin to explain that the chair of the judges is Dame Stella Rimington and that she is an ex-head of the security services in Britain. And—bam!—that’s it: now everyone is laughing. Oh, the west, they guffaw. Oh, England, they chortle. Oh, hypocrisy. Oh, MI5. Oh, MI6. Even the FSB would not dare! You mean, they splutter, that the winner of your most famous literary prize is judged by the security services? It seems I could not have told them a more perfect Anglo-Russian joke if I tried.

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Richard Davies

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