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True Spies Monday, 14 October, 2002, 16:16 GMT 17:16 UK
Something Better Change
Arthur Scargill
True Spies: Something Better Change was broadcast on BBC Two on Sunday, 3 November, 2002.


To watch an extended interview with former MI5 chief Stella Rimington, select the link:   56k  

To watch an extended interview with Arthur Scargill, select the link:   56k  


The late 1970s and early 1980s were turbulent times for the Secret State with Britain convulsed by strikes and street violence between Far Left and Far Right.

MI5 and Special Branch believed parliamentary democracy was under real threat.

Now, for the first time, top Special Branch agent handlers - and their agents - describe how they responded to the so-called subversive threat by infiltrating groups as diverse as the National Front and the Workers Revolutionary Party.

The spies tell reporter Peter Taylor with astonishing candour how it felt to live with the constant fear of compromise and their victims respond, often with horror, when told of the extent to which they were being spied upon.

True Spies: Something Better Change reveals startling new evidence to show how the Secret State, with Mrs Thatcher at the helm, dealt with the perceived bogeymen of the day.

Targets included Red Robbo, a militant shop steward at British Leyland's troubled Longbridge car works, Derek Hatton and his fellow supporters of the Militant Tendency and last, but most comprehensively of all, Arthur Scargill and the miners during the strike of 1984-5.

Reporter: Peter Taylor
Associate Producer: Julia Hannis
Series Producer: Sam Collyns

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