Britain’s Cold War secret state


Senior Member
In an article about Attlee and his anti-communist positions, there is a sentence about "Britain's Cold War secret state".
The author writes that Attlee implemented "positive vetting" ("a more intrusive screnning process") in parts of the Civil Service to "protect Britain’s Cold War secret state".

Is this phrase common? What would this secret state be? At first I thought it was a mistake for "state secret", but then I found this.
What do you think?

Thank you in advance,
  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    In this context, "secret state" might refer to the parts of the government that kept secrets related to state security, particularly in regards to conduct of the Cold War and of security in general.
    "Secret state" could refer to a hidden power structure or a part of the government that is kept secret or is at least secretive in its actions.
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