Our security services are used to scrutinising the language and actions of foreign powers for clues as to their directions and intentions.
Similarly, it is clear that with the appointment of Sir John Sawers as the next head of MI6, that the South West has taken control of our foreign intelligence service.
Consider the evidence.
Up to 1985 it was the usual parade of well-to-do Home Counties chaps. Then Christopher Curwen was appointed who was educated at Sherborne School on the Dorset / Somerset border.
A brief respite under Colin McColl was followed by Arabist David Spedding who was also educated at Sherborne.
After that came Richard Dearlove who was educated at Monkton Combe on the outskirts of Bath.
Then there was John Scarlett, during the traumatic aftermath of the Iraq war, until order was restored with the announcement that Sawyer was taking over. It turns out out that Sawers was educated at the City of of Bath Boys College, now known as Beechen Cliff, in Bath.
Even as we speak, foreign intelligence services are heading for the South West to start infiltrating our education system. Be alert.
As a postcript, when Dearlove was appointed I was working for the Bath Chronicle and suggested we do bit of digging on his academic record. There was a D-Notice out warning against any publication of information on the new C beyond what the FCO had put out. The editor declined to go further than the official line.
By some weird coincidence a few weeks later I was due to give a talk to Monkton Combe sixth form students on journalism as a career option. So, after the usual preamble, I had great delight in setting a few of them off to find out more about their famous alumni.
Meanwhile we're treated to relatively little about our new head of the Secret Intelligence Service, Sir John. The BBC's profile on this "tall and dashing" man is woeful while The Times calls him 'an outsider' even though it is pretty clear from his CV that he started off as an MI6 officer covering the Middle East.
More of a return to the fold surely?
Update: Hugh Muir over at The Guardian points out that MI5 has its own West Country alumni.