Asian in Britain? You can be a spy

November 20th, 2008 - 5:24 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 20 (IANS) Britain’s secret service wants more black and Asian spies. But wannabe 007s needn’t apply.The head of recruitment at MI6, Britain’s external spying agency, says the service needs to be “more flexible, more adaptable”, after years of a “rather comfortable cold war existence,” the Guardian newspaper reported Thursday.

The man was identified only as John.

MI6 has placed adverts in publications aimed at ethnic minorities for several years, but broke with tradition Wednesday by inviting black and Asian people to meet with serving intelligence officers.

This was the first time in its 99-year history that it had taken a direct approach to recruitment, the paper said.

Ten per cent of the service’s latest fast-track intake of high fliers was from ethnic minorities, and 35 percent were women, but it wants to increase the number.

The high fliers will be trained to gather intelligence and recruit and run agents abroad.

However, wannabe James Bonds have been told not to bother applying.

John said MI6 needed people with discretion, people who were good at sustaining relationships and who could “recruit and run people” as spies.

“We are not looking for a James Bond - people jumping out of windows, running around disobeying orders, drinking dry martinis, clutching women and firing guns,” explained Catherine, an agent.

Although the job might sound dangerous, in general it was not, she added.

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