SSSH...don’t tell anyone, but I’m thinking about joining the Secret Service.
I’m probably not alone in planning my new career as a spy as MI5 has begun a new recruitment drive and is openly advertising for staff – but remember, don’t tell anyone you’ve applied.
If like me you occasionally listen to commercial radio while cooking your dinner you may have heard the ads asking for wannabe spies to come forward.
The so called War on Terror has clearly created a heavy demand for more spooks.
The commercial, which is broadcast as though members of the service are whispering in your ear, appeals for high calibre people who think they could make it as a spy to search for MI5 recruitment online, but without a hint of irony reminds them not to tell anyone they’re applying.
As you can tell I’m clearly not cut out for the job as I’ve given the game away already.
I jest of course. I’m sure the appeal for discretion is entirely sensible to limit the damage of having to reveal their talent pool is running dry.
That’s why I was surprised last weekend when I saw a story revealing that GCHQ, the Government’s listening post, has been going into schools to recruit future codebreakers.
The Cheltenham based service said a shortage of science and language graduates was forcing it to begin working with children as young as 12 in a bid to develop the skills required for a career in the security service.
Pupils are being taught how to transmit messages in code and use wire-sniffing devices provided by GCHQ to bust fictional drug-trafficking rings.
They can also opt to learn rare languages useful for spying such as Farsi, Korean and Dutch.
Unfortunately the piece in one of our more prestigious national newspapers named the school where all this snooping is being taught and even identified one of the youngsters being trained in electronics by a GCHQ boffin.
Ever since I saw the article I’ve been wondering if the school has been infiltrated by counter intelligence officers from the CIA, Mossad and the FSB or simply blown up by terrorists?
Surely it would have been better to follow MI5’s lead and keep it quiet?
If anyone at the school is reading this, can you send me a message (in code of course) to let me know you’re all right.