Will sent me a funny article the other day that is somewhat literally related to SpyParty. Here are some choice snippets:
Guest List and Menu for Its Black-Tie Fete Are Hush-Hush, but Spooks Must Go Dutch
By STEPHEN FIDLER
LONDON — In the Hollywood version of the British foreign intelligence agency known as MI6, elegant black-tie affairs are all part of a night’s work for super spy James Bond. When his real-life counterparts don their tuxedos later this year for an elegant celebration of the MI6′s 100th anniversary, they are being told to pay their own way.
The true life version of MI6 has always been less opulent than its fictional counterpart. But in the midst of a deep recession, when British bankers and members of Parliament are being publicly pilloried for extravagance, the spy agency’s chiefs have decided that British taxpayers shouldn’t be asked to pick up the tab.
The espionage ball, nonetheless, will almost by definition be one of the most remarkable and exclusive of 2009. Along with a host of spies past and present, a carefully screened guest list includes, according to people familiar with the arrangements, the great and powerful of the U.K., from members of the royal family to leading politicians.
Yet while MI6 is tripping the light fantastic, its sister organization — MI5, responsible for domestic intelligence — is celebrating its own centenary more soberly.
Some people in Britain’s tightknit intelligence community grumble that, even though the agency has done its best to keep the event under wraps, it is not appropriate for MI6 to be holding balls.
“It’s a secret service, for God’s sake,” said one individual familiar with the plans.
The rest of the event is shrouded in, well, secrecy. According to people familiar with the matter, the party has been planned for a secure location well fortified against gatecrashers. One person says musical entertainment from more than one band, dinner and dancing are planned. “C” himself signed off on the menu, this person says.
For much of their history, MI5 was the Cinderella organization compared with its more glamorous sister: MI6 officers were said to regard their counterparts as plodding bureaucrats. That may have changed now. But Cinderella or not, it’s still MI6 that gets to go to the ball.
I love the idea of the feuding spy organizations. MI5 has its own new hipster TV show, so maybe they’re feeling better about themselves now.