Really. It took them HOW long to figure out that George Orwell was not a (gasp) COMMUNIST?
MI5 did not believe George Orwell was a mainstream communist despite monitoring the socialist writer for more than two decades, records have revealed.
A Scotland Yard Special Branch report in January 1942 said the author of 1984 had “advanced communist views”.
However, an MI5 officer responded that Orwell “does not hold with the Communist Party nor they with him.”
Two fucking decades? They could have saved themselves the time, expense and all-around trouble of spying on him by simply reading either Animal Farm or, yes, Nineteen Eighty-Four. Might have taken them a week, tops…or maybe two, knowing how dense those spooks can be.
Seriously, any high-schooler could have told you he was criticizing communism, especially its Stalinist strain, just from reading either book. I certainly could have when I was sixteen. And I would not have had to rely on ludicrous details like this to render that judgment, either:
The Special Branch report said: “This man has advanced communist views and several of his Indian friends say that they have often seen him at communist meetings.
“He dresses in a bohemian fashion both at his office and in his leisure hours.”
Um, that “bohemian fashion” looks like this:
…in other words, rather like standard genteel-but-not-rich English menswear.
I can just imagine what kind of smile he’d wear, though, if he knew that Big Brother really WAS watching him…and was such a clueless git.