The thing that strikes one in the BBC – and it is evidently the same in various of the other departments – is not so much the moral squalor and the ultimate futility of what we are doing, as the feeling of frustration, the impossibility of getting anything done, even any successful piece of scoundrelism. Our policy is so ill-defined, the disorganisation so great, there are so many changes of plan, and the fear and hatred of intelligence are so all-pervading, that one cannot plan any sort of wireless campaign whatsoever. . .
In his ‘London Letter’ to American readers dated 1 January 1942, Orwell mentions that Dylan Thomas is doing jobs for the BBC and the Ministry of Information. ‘So is nearly everybody that used to be a writer, and most of us rapidly going native.’ It implies that one cannot write for the government and still be a proper writer, but the tenor of this whole piece suggests the opposite.