David Cornwell (John Le Carré), a man of supernal intelligence in deep state secrets and spies, inserts a slashing contemporary opinion in his latest novel, Agent Running In The Field.
He places this opinion in the mouth of Arkady, a man on his third career: once a Russian intelligence agent, then a double agent working for Britain as well as Russia and now, as we meet him in the novel, he’s turning himself into an oligarch.
He has been visited by Nat, a career British intelligence agent, who hopes to get some information from Arkady concerning someone in their mutual past.
‘So tell me this.’ [Arkady] takes another pull of vodka. ‘What sort of bullshit are you Brits selling us traitors these days? Liberal democracy as the salvation of mankind? Why did I fall for that crap?’
‘Maybe you wanted to.’
‘You walk out of Europe with your British noses stuck in the air. “We’re special. We’re British. We don’t need Europe. We won all our wars alone. No Americans, no Russians, no anyone. We’re supermen.” The great freedom-loving President Donald Trump is going to save your economic arses, I hear. You know what Trump is?’
‘He’s Putin’s shithouse cleaner. He does everything for little Vladi that little Vladi can’t do for himself: pisses on European unity, pisses on human rights, pisses on NATO. Assures us that Crimea and Ukraine belong to the Holy Russian Empire, the Middle East belongs to the Jews and the Saudis, and to hell with the world order. And you Brits, what do you do? You suck his dick and invite him to tea with your Queen. You take our black money and wash it for us. You welcome us if we’re big enough crooks. You sell us half London. You wring your hands when we poison our traitors and you say please, please, dear Russian friends, trade with us. Is this what I risked my life for? I don’t believe so. I believe you Brits sold me a cartload of hypocritical horseshit. So don’t tell me you’ve come here to remind me of my liberal conscience and my Christian values and my love of your great big British Empire. That would be an error. Do you understand me?’
‘Have you finished?’