A dissenting note on Angleton and ‘the Wilson Plot’

Robin writes to take issue with my recent post on James Angleton and the resignation of British Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson in 1974.

“Greetings from the UK. I co-wrote a book about “The Wilson plots’: Smear: Wilson and the Secret State. Of course we dealt with the Angleton fantasies about Harold Wilson. A number of points needed to be noted.

1. Angleton got all this nonsense from KGB defector [Anatoly] Gotlitsyn. Angleton was ‘played’ by Golitsyn who fed him material to aggravate his paranoia. It is not yet clear if this was Goltisyn simply playing defector games – telling his new masters what they wanted to hear – or a long-range effort by the KGB to destabilise Angleton.

2. While this baloney was believed a section of MI5, publicly identified with Peter Wright, most of MI5 and the rest of the British intelligence/security complex did not believe it.

3. Wilson resigned on his own timetable. He told his confidants within the Labour Party that he would retire when he reached 60. In his last period in office, 1974-76, he was visibly tiring and drinking a lot. A factor in his retirement was his fear that he would get what we now call dementia: it ran in his family.

4. Angleton and/or the British spooks did NOT make Wilson retire early.



  1. Tom says:

    Robin is, in my humble opinion, full of beans regarding Angleton and Golitsyn. In lieu of a good caning, Robin must read Tennent H. Bagley’s 2007 book “Spy Wars” and his 2014 PDF “Ghosts of the Spy Wars”.

  2. anthony hall says:

    Wilson had to retire early because of the Knighthood to Kagan, who supplied Harold with Raincoats. But MI5/6 had Wilson and various Trades Unions Leaders under Surveillance for possible Russian/KGB links.

  3. Bill Banks says:

    Odd citation used here makes book more difficult to find. Note that only Amazon review is in direct contradiction to Robin’s final bullet point. Might be interesting to learn the studied opinion of lead author Stephen Dorril. (My _guess_ would be that Robin is correct.)


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