James Bond would be neither shaken nor stirred by the news today that MI5 is to launch a recruitment drive for gays and lesbians to join the government’s security service.
The story was leaked to the Sun of all places (which we reckon isn’t particularly well-targetted at gays and lesbians in particular).
This is, however, a real turn-around. Until the early 1990s, a gay person couldn’t join the London-based national security service as they were ‘blackmailable’. This position was sooo last century, as it didn’t take account of people that were ‘out’ and therefore inherently unblackmailable. Today’s Fact For Pub Quizes is that it was John Major that changed the rules to allow gays into the UK secret service.
This latest change, however, ramps this up to the next stage – from ‘allowing’ gays into the service, to positively ‘encouraging’ them to do so. Respect here at Londonist Towers for a positive gay article from the Sun, which now seems to agree with us that our public services (police, army, security, etc) should reflect the communities they serve. But we do feel a bit of surprise that they went for ‘The Guy Who Loved Me’ as a headline, rather than something about ‘Roger More’. The temptation must have been huge.
* And yes, we know that James Bond is a) fictional and b) in any case was in MI6, not MI5. Will we see Bond’s first gay scene in the upcoming film?