Spy novelist John Le Carré brands Etonians a ‘curse on the earth’

Spy novelist John Le Carré brands Etonians a ‘curse on the earth’ as he slams Boris Johnson for embodying all that is wrong with the famed school

  • He was not surprised former students were at centre of Cambridge Analytica 
  • He previously taught German and French at the school for two years in 1956
  • ‘Etonians leave that school with a sense of entitlement’, le Carré said

John le Carré has decried Etonians as a ‘curse on the earth’ and revealed he was not surprised to find former pupils of the school at the centre of the recent scandal about the illicit harvesting of personal data.

The former spy turned master of the espionage novel taught German and French at Eton for two years before joining MI5 in 1958.

Le Carré attacked Boris Johnson for embodying all that was wrong with the boys’ boarding school, which counts the former prime minister David Cameron, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the actor Eddie Redmayne among its other alumni.


John le Carré (left) has decried Etonians as a ‘curse on the earth’ and attacked Boris Johnson (right) for embodying all that was wrong with the boys’ boarding school

‘Etonians are an absolute curse on the earth, leaving that school with a sense of entitlement and overeducated cultural posturing perfectly encapsulated in our appalling former foreign secretary,’ le Carré, 86, who was educated at the private school Sherborne, told The Sunday Times.

Alexander Nix, 43, former chief executive of Cambridge Analytica, which harvested data from millions of people’s Facebook profiles without their consent, attended Eton, as did Nigel Oakes, 56, the founder of SCL, Cambridge Analytica’s parent company.


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Discussing how the scandal could almost be the plot of one of his spy novels, le Carré added: ‘We used to have agents of influence during the Cold War, writing our propaganda in newspapers. Now we’re dealing with Cambridge Analytica. At the centre of it all, amorality and, needless to say, Etonians.’

This comes after Eton’s headmaster since 2015, Simon Henderson, declared that he wanted to develop ’emotional intelligence’ in his pupils when he took up the role.



Le Carré revealed he was not surprised to find former pupils of the school at the centre of the recent scandal about the illicit harvesting of personal data (Pictured alumni: L-R former PM David Cameron, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and actor Eddie Redmayne

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