Smiley almost felt the urgent words enter his semi-consciousness. He blinked slowly several times, and turned his head to look towards the source of the interruption.
‘George!’ The voice repeated. ‘George! Wake up!’
An anthology of obscure German poetry lay open and face down on Smiley’s chest. The reading lamp still burned next to his favourite Queen Anne armchair, in which he lay slumped. Several embers glowed dully beneath a small hillock of ash in the grate. His legs were crossed at the ankles, his feet in tartan knitted woollen socks – a gift from Ann the Christmas just past. His shoes were set neatly next to each other on the carpet.
Smiley fumbled for his glasses which dangled by an arm from one ear. He studiously polished the lenses on the end of his tie, replaced them on his nose with a broad finger, and stared hard at his tormentor.
‘Guillam!’ he muttered grumpily. ‘What time is this? And how on earth did you get in?’
‘Never mind that for the moment,’ Guillam replied. ‘I’ll fill you in later. They need you, George. They need you right away.’
‘They? Who’s they?’ Smiley carefully inserted a leather bookmark, closed the book, and reached for his shoes. ‘Who could possibly need anyone at this time of the morning? If it’s the bloody Circus again, they can damn well wait till a more civilised hour.’
‘It is the circus, but not quite the one you think, George. Down in deepest Middlesex, George. Local council thinks they’ve got a mole.’
‘You’re being ridiculous, Guillam. What on earth could be secret down there? Mislaid their copy of the codes for the nuclear deterrent, have they?’
‘Worse than that, George. Residents have got wind of plans for a massive housing development at Kempton Park. Council’s convinced they’ve got a mole. Someone’s leaking secrets all over the place, George. They’re calling him – or her – the Knowle Mole.’
We jest. Badly, of course. (With sincere and abject apologies to le Carre.)
Document 63, attached, contains the notes made by the then Head of Planning at a meeting she attended with the Chief Executive of the Council, and Mark Boyes and “D” – two representatives of Aspire, The Jockey Club’s development consultants. This was the meeting which took place on 9 December last year, immediately before the meeting attended by three LOSRA committee members, where Spelthorne officials and councillors insisted with some vehemence that the LOSRA October newsletter was a pack of lies from beginning to end.
The top and bottom of the document are redacted because they relate to completely separate topics. The redaction in the middle of the notes is justified to “protect the confidentiality of proceedings” and to “protect the interests of the person giving the information” – in this case Mark Boyes of Aspire. The green highlighting is ours.
Note the use of the phrase “phased development”, three times in the text – all attributed to Roberto Tambini, and the last one a suggestion by him that a phased approach would be less controversial:
RT – suggested a phased approach/ (not quite legible)/less contentious
And the words in brackets right at the end:
[15 yr bld period]
15 years to build?! That’s 100 houses per year. That really is phased development …
Another interesting little snippet, RT again:
RT – confirmed cllrs have not changed their mind
Which cllrs haven’t changed their mind about what?
And then the first paragraph. The laughable bit:
RT – referred to info which has come out from LOSRA.
– only done for aff. housing, give KP cap. receipt for Cheltenham (Sunbury view!!) (RT – leak somewhere)
It must be that mole! The Knowle Mole!
One of our local councillors recently referred to us and other local residents as “the conspiracy theorists round here!”
What a nerve. Maybe we weren’t jesting enough.
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Regards, as always
for Keep Kempton Green