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by John Helmer, Moscow 

A book by a man announcing himself on page one as an undercover MI6 agent, dedicated on page two to “the people of Ukraine as they continue their fight for freedom”, then endorsed on the dust jacket by the Times newspaper as “first class”, can’t be fiction; it can’t be fact;  and because it declares its audience  restricted to those who already believe and don’t need persuading, it can’t be propaganda.  It’s the fourth gender in the cyber universe — transfiction, transfact, and transpropaganda, a genre created by a combination of covert insertions and circumcisions, reinforced by injections of hallucinatory substances, including money.  

This is what has become of the British these days. The book celebrates it. According to Private Eye, it is “too good to be untrue…Russia and dirty Russian money, out here in the real world, has seeped so deeply into British public life it’s not entirely certain we’ll ever get it out again.”

In this British reality, Charles Beaumont’s book, A Spy Alone,  claims to have uncovered the Kremlin plot to cause the British vote for Brexit and thereby destroy the country’s economy;  allow Russian manipulation of British energy supplies and prices;  destroy the careers of the country’s security chiefs, the  Cabinet Secretary, the National Security Advisor, and the Secret Intelligence Service; ignore and  discredit the intelligence uncovered by MI6 field agents and Bellingcat; and allow Russian assassins to roam across the UK,  killing as they go.

All of this, according to author and hero, amounts to “one of [the Russian government’s] deepest secrets”, “the intelligence coup of the century”, “one of the great revelations in intelligence history”, and “the most important intelligence discovery in Britain since the end of the Cold War”.  In short, this does for Britain what the former MIG agent, Christopher Steele (lead image centre) and his Orbis Business Intelligence Limited, claimed to do, and still does, to US presidential elections and Donald Trump in the fabrications of the Russiagate affair.  

In fact, this new book may be Steele’s attempt to repeat Russiagate in England,  reverse the rulings of the courts against his veracity, and make more money. For Charles Beaumont (lead image, right)  is not the author’s real name; the publisher has published an Artificial Intelligence illustration instead of a real face, and since the book purports to be “Beaumont’s” “first novel”, there is no trace of him in the open sources, not even for Bellingcat to find.  “The blurb says [Beaumont] is ex-MI6, but then it would, or he would,” comments a source in a position to know. “If I were choosing a pseudonym I don’t think I’d pick one that already belonged to an – admittedly very different – writer.” The source believes “Beaumont” is working in the business intelligence business.

Private Eye has told its readers to buy “Beaumont” because he “shows how powerful a book can be when the writer looks the country straight in the face and writes about what they see. Le Carré used to be very good at doing that. Now Charles Beaumont has done it too.”  

Amazon, the world’s largest publisher and bookseller, lacks confidence this is either Russiagate or Le Carré quality. Despite 1,568 ratings as “terrific”, “brilliant”, “stunningly accomplished”, and “scarily plausible”, Amazon is marking the book down to clear at a 50% discount. That’s a steal, not a pun on the real plot in this story.

David Cornwell, a onetime MI6 agent who wrote spy books under the name of John Le Carré, produced one of the most successful British intelligence deception operations since the end of the last war. The objective was to convince millions of readers and moviegoers to pay to believe that for all of its faults, British intelligence has gotten one thing right – Russians are evil and deserve to be liquidated, along with the British traitors who help them. Read the Cornwell/Le Carré dossier here.  

David Cornwell/John Le Carré: “His fiction masqueraded as the truth for a strategic purpose — to control and repair the damage which Kim Philby had done to the reputation of British intelligence, especially in Washington”.  

Canelo, a small publisher at a Hatfields, London, address which is a low-rent, short-term location for fly-by-night companies, is so new in the market, it has almost no business record, and draws just three paragraphs of Wiki profile.  “Charles Beaumont” is the only author on the Canelo list to display no photographic proof of himself/herself/itself.  In a promotional podcast, the publisher says that “due to Charles Beaumont's work for the Intelligence Services, our technical division has digitally altered his voice to protect his identity.”  

Canelo lists its address as Unit 9, 5th Floor, Cargo Works, 1-2 Hatfields, London SE1. The fifth floor is the cheapest accommodation in the building’s attic.   

The book repeats MI6’s recent Russian operations as successes in exposing Russian evil bested by British ingenuity – e.g., the 1985 exfiltration of Oleg Gordievsky from Russia in the trunk of a car;   the recruitment of GRU officer Sergei Skripal in 1995; the running of “a loose global network of ethical hackers , transparency campaigners and freelance investigators… anarchic youngsters [who] had shed more light on the murkier corners of international finance than years of effort by state intelligence agencies” (aka Bellingcat).

Notwithstanding, until “Beaumont” and his hero arrive, the Russians had been outplaying the Brits – e.g., advance MI6 spy-source intelligence of a Russian “invasion of Georgia” (August 2008) and then takeover of Crimea (February 2014) was ignored in London because “London is not interested”. So the hero “fired off his resignation and never stepped inside the headquarters again. Simon sees a rampant Russia annexing sovereign territory and a West that is apparently powerless to respond. He also sees the Russians buying up the best properties in London and enthusiastically laundering their money with the help of the City and the compliance of the regulators. He decides he has given enough of his life in service to a state that appears unable to defend its most basic interests”.

But the hero redeems himself with — and “Beaumont” promotes —  the super-secret explanation of why the British have been losing to the Russians. Through a spy ring they recruited at Oxford, the Russians have their agents in the top jobs in Whitehall and Downing Street. This spy ring, code named COSTELLO, is so secret that in Moscow it’s run by the Kremlin apart from the foreign and military intelligence services, the SVR and GRU.  

Surviving Chechen assassin squads, the hero discovers that a Russian agent bearing more than passing resemblance to Dominic Cummings,  chief staff man to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has been masterminding the strategic plot, and forcing resignations of loyal officials bearing more than passing resemblances to Sir Mark Sedwill, Cabinet Secretary and National Security Advisor to Prime Minister Theresa May,  and MI6 chief, Sir Alex Younger.  

Left to right: Dominic Cummings; Sir Mark Sedwill; Sir Alex Younger.

The backfile investigating the facts exposes these claims to be score-settling inside the British deep state.  The evidence, however, is that the domestic potency and media gullibility of the line against Russian evil over the years has been expanding. The book claims the opposite to be the truth.

To paste over this contradiction, “Beaumont” invents a technical improbability. According to A Spy Alone, the Russian services have been able to hack into every police CCTV system in the country, so Moscow knows in real time what happened on March 4, 2018, when Sergei and Yulia Skripal collapsed on a town bench in Salisbury, Wiltshire, allegedly from Novichok poisoning. If “Beaumont” is right, then the three-assassin squad from the GRU in Moscow knew their every movement in Salisbury was being monitored, as well as their airport arrival and departure, their London hotel sex night, their train rides, and so on. How then, a naïve reader might ask, were the knowing Russian spies so careless, so open and unconcealed in front of the all-seeing British cameras, which Russian HQ was also monitoring? “Beaumont’s” answer: Russians operate with impunity because they are protected by British traitors in the highest offices of the land.

That fails to explain why the CCTV records of the Skripal affair, and its alleged sequel, the death of Dawn Sturgess, and the witness statements of the two Skripals, have not been allowed to appear in  open court, or in the public press for six years, through two inquest coroners and a public inquiry under a Court of Appeal judge.  The possibility that MI6 hit the Skripals and then borrowed Sturgess’s corpse to fabricate the Novichok story and cover up the mistakes Sedwill and Younger had made, is the risk “Beaumont” and his book have been invented to neutralize. Read more (right).

Along the way the author arranges for English bluebells to flower in the summer instead of the spring; an Indian restaurant to serve “papadums” instead of papadams; confuses his glass of claret between Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Chateau Lafitte; and betrays his lack of Eton and Oxford education by creating the verb “administrate” in place of old-fashioned “administer” (since 1395 according to the Oxford Dictionary). There is also the fake tradecraft, enabling the hero to spot hostile agents in the street: “It’s their shoes that give them away…sturdy black leather with a gleam of polish…White trainers, no brand but a muddy line on the left one…converse high tops – navy blue.”

In the tradecraft of police interrogators and counter-intelligence experts, interpreting an individual’s involuntary micromuscular movements across the face, pulse rate, and so on is a guide to gauging when a person is telling the truth or lying. For writers, the clue is what clichés are written on the page. Beaumont’s clichés are involuntary; he can’t hold back:  

  • “the Brits are prissy about blackmail”
  • “human intelligence is all about control”
  • “no Russian intel officer does something without a reason”
  • “the amazing resistance of the Ukrainian military, knocking out Russian tanks with Javelin missiles”
  • “That was just the hot air they had blown up his arse”
  • “The power of intelligence to change events and make history”
  • “Here on the Continent history is something that happened to us”
  • Putain
  • “’Who were they? Asks Simon. ’Chechens’, says Alena, as if it is the most obvious thing in the world.’…’Never a good sign,’ says Simon, grimly familiar with the use of Chechen gangsters  by Russian intelligence to carry out their dirty work.”
  • “Socialism was never the objective, it was the means. The objective is power. That’s always the objective.”
  • “Paranoia goes with the territory”
  • “’I just want people like him to stop getting away with it” (continues with several dozen more iterations until on the very last line of the book)
  • “Simon has nowhere to go, nobody to meet, no clear plan. But he knows what he has to do.”

The pattern revealed here is of an avid reader of Bellingcat and Private Eye who has never met a Russian intelligence officer or businessman, has no ear for how they speak, nor eye for how they think. His familiarity with British intelligence operatives and operations is also hearsay, cut and pasted. It’s everything Steele’s Russiagate dossier was paid to achieve, except for the bed-wetting in the presidential suite of the Moscow Ritz-Carlton.  

As MI6 operations go, Beaumont’s book is a golden shower of a kind – the kind which dogs do to trees. This book reveals that MI6 communicates with dogs in a language they understand.  

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