With his dashing looks, sexual magnetism and sharp secret agent skills, one would think that 007 was the best agent in the whole world. Unfortunately, that myth has just been busted by Alex Younger, the head of UK's Secret Intelligence Service.
Ian Fleming's renowned character, who can get any woman in the world and prefers his Martini shaken, not stirred, is apparently not fit for the intelligence service. Younger was quoted by the Daily Mail UK as saying, "In contrast to James Bond, MI6 officers are not for taking moral shortcuts. In fact, a strong ethical core is one of the first qualities we look for in our staff."
He also added that James Bond would have been rejected though his qualities of patriotism, energy and tenacity were highly regarded by the MI6. James Bond didn't have much respect for the law and that is apparently not a trait that the MI6 likes. Those in the MI6 are required to have a high level of emotional intelligence, teamwork spirit and respect for the law.
The head of UK's Secret Intelligence Service took part in a Q&A, which is quite rare for them. "We know that if we undermine British values, even in the name of defending them, then we have failed," said Younger.
And as for whether the secret service agents are different from the rest of us, Younger said, "'Our staff are not from another planet. They are ordinary men and women operating in the face of complex moral, ethical and physical challenges, often in the most forbidding environments on earth."
The threats to countries today are quite different from those in the earlier days. At a conference earlier in September, Younger had stated that the information revolution was both an "existential threat and a golden opportunity". The information revolution today had changed the 'operating environment of intelligence agencies'.
Given that James Bond was adept at tackling an enemy who was physical in nature, wonder how he would fare in this age of information revolution!