The KGB? They haven’t gone away you know.
But they’ve ended up in the most unexpected places. You’ll never guess.
Here’s the timeline:
1954 – The KGB is a line of initials stretching back to the Cheka. The USSR’s much feared national security agency.
1991 – After years of sneakiness, bumping people off and employing Vladmir Putin, the KGB runs out of steam – along with the Soviet Union.
So where did all those secret KGB squirrels go next? Apart from into ruling Russia that is. Well, South Ossetia and Belarus created their own KGBs.
But the KGB has also established a nifty nook inside the UK. They’re inside both the House of Parliament and the royal palaces – by which I mean Buckingham Palace and the rest.
I’m not joking. I was at the House of Lords the other night at the invitation of the man once dubbed the UK’s most expensive peer. And he told me. (After first dragging me into the toilets, turning on the tap to mask our conversation and lookings over both shoulders.)*
But what are the KGB up to sneaking around the back corridors of Britain’s parliament? Need you really ask?
They’re padding along quietly when no one else is there – early mornings and late nights. Rooting around in bins. Poking into dark corners. Finding out what has been swept under the carpet. Sniffing out bad smells in government. Sticking their noses into all sorts of tight spots most people shy away from.
No really. And they’re hiding in plain sight here.
Cunning eh? Who would ever suspect? They pretend that KGB stands for Kevin and Gina Brown, company founders. A likely story!
So if you spot a man with a floor polishing machine, who looks strangely similar to Vladimir Putin, peeking out from behind the Queen’s shoulder. Well… As was proven on Hong Kong Fooey, it sometimes really is the “mild mannered janitor”.
Bonus top tip for visitors to the House of Lords: If you find yourself deep within the bowels of the House of Lords, frantically dashing about the labyrinthine grand old corridors, dying for a pee. You may see a sign saying PEER. Don’t act upon the guidance you think it’s offering. It means something else entirely. And you may startle a sleeping lordship.
* Everything within the brackets is false. It turned out that he wasn’t dragging me into the toilets for a chat about spies after all. I… I… I can’t say any more. It’s, er, classified.