THE documents declassified by the National Archives today reveal, unsurprisingly, that the Echo’s legendary former editor, Sir Harold Evans, who died this year, was at the heart of affairs as the Russians tried to launch a “decomposition campaign” against Harold Wilson’s Labour government in the late 1960s.

It looks as if Sir Harry, a journalist of great judgement, at the Sunday Times had nothing to do with Russia’s attempts to publicise the memoirs of double agent Kim Philby. Instead, the Russians look to have placed some of traitor Philby’s comments with the Daily Express – a paper that was more rabidly anti-Labour than it was pro-Britain.

The other unsurprisingly aspect of this affair is that even 50 years ago the Russians were covertly attempting to destabilise the British government in order to further their own interests.

In America, the Trump administration has failed to shake off suggestions that his election four years ago was somehow assisted by the Russians. The Trump era, now drawing to a painful close, has not made America great again, but it has diminished the moral standing of the US in the world. If the Russians set out to further their interests through interfering in US affairs, they must think that they have succeeded.