THE BLOG
29/10/2015 10:25 GMT | Updated 28/10/2016 06:12 BST

Licenced to Feel Sorry for Bond

If the James Bond franchise stops after Spectre we won't all be turning the blame on Daniel Craig. No, instead, it'll be the fault of MI6 and its latest recruitment drive that paraphrases down to "Bond wouldn't get a job with us". Ouch.

It's a tongue-in-cheek shock for us 40-something generation to be told that one of our most enduring heroes is out of fashion. The reason, we are told, is that he doesn't display enough emotional intelligence.

Give the man a break - he's seen girlfriends turned to gold, new-wives shot, lovers poisoned and been forced to shoot femme fatale's at point blank range. That's got to leave an emotional scar a mile wide.

But no, the new 'touchy-feely' MI6 is looking for people that understand the 'human side' of spying on people. Wanting recruits who are good at teamwork, they just aren't interested in the 'lonely misogynist' that is James.

Heaven knows he's trying. The current Bond has the lowest notches on his bed post of any predecessor - perhaps linked to his increased drinking during this current incarnation, or, more charitably, associated with a renewed sense of propriety (although, in an earlier attack on him, his drinking was highlighted as likely to leave him impotent).

A bit of me chuckles at the story, as I imagine a 'touchy feely' agent discussing with Jaws how his dental situation may be leading to anger issues. But another, perhaps louder, part of me shouts 'hands off!' - Bond is an institution that we all enjoy and recognise that he's a caricature of a glamorous, dangerous lifestyle that we all know is un-PC.

MI6's new breed of operative is one far more emotionally equipped to cope in the new spying landscape, and there's quite likely a slight chill to the bones of the mature workforce when they hear about this. It boils down to a generational shift, which we will all face at least twice - once as the vanguard and once as rear guard.

Being told a hero is now a has-been is tough, and it's a reminder to organisations everywhere - praising the up-and-coming generation as the 'next great thing' is a tough message to land on those moving out of that phase.

Better to leave them stirred, not shaken.