Dear Stella Rimington

The head of the Security Service (ne MI5) may be looking for another job. One of her own staff has some suggestions
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The Independent Online
I notice that you have announced your intention to retire at the end of next year. Obviously, there is plenty of time for you to consider what comes next, but I wanted to alert you to the existence within the service of a personnel officer - myself - who specialises in finding employment for agents in the wider world.

In fact, my role was created mainly as a result of your own efforts to modernise the service. I have quite a track record in personnel services, having worked with Marks & Spencer and Alfred Marks, and have had some notable successes in the past few months - 003, who ran our "safe houses" for many years, is now happily established as an estate agent in Truro and 009, who specialised in dead letter drops, is now running an extremely competitive motorcycle dispatch firm in the West End, to name but two.

I am sure that you will have plenty of offers of directorships, running Oxbridge colleges etc, in the coming months. My role is proactively to facilitate a slightly wider choice of options and, hopefully, to steer you towards something satisfying which you might not previously have considered.

I've outlined a few proposals below, but first of all, I will need a much fuller CV from you than the one we have on our files - I cannot find a record anywhere of how you have spent the past few years. Also, your Who's Who entry is only four lines long: you will need to project yourself much more than you have in the past if you are to get on outside. Think "Try Me, Buy Me", not "Walk On By Me ... "

The Child Support Agency could certainly use your skills when it comes to tracking down fathers who won't pay up. In fact, there may be a wider role for you within the social services as a fraudbuster. Phone taps, surveillance and interrogation are all skills that would be particularly prized in this field.

Have you considered lecture tours? Your Dimbleby Lecture last year made quite an impression and you would be certain of crowds if you kept it fairly light - Russians you've hated and a few amusing stories about bungled operations, for example. We might want to fiddle with your wardrobe for this - a bit more Armani, a bit less M&S; also your hair (highlights?).

Agony aunt. Every newspaper and lots of TV shows have one now but their advice can be a bit wishy-washy. They tend to say, "Dear Jackie, if he wants to fool around, let him - only then will he know what he's missing ... " You would be much tougher. "Jackie, if he wants to fool around, install a small tracking device in the heel of his shoe, establish where they meet and delete the target with a radio-controlled exploding alarm clock."

Please let me know what you think of these ideas. You can call me on 0007, or alternatively place a note for me beneath the cistern in the third stall from the left of the fourth-floor ladies', which is how I get most of my mail.