Seemingly a word, a concept to infer that which is underhand, disloyal, treacherous. A hidden group waiting to rise up. A look into history shows how the concept can be positive rather than insidious. Think of resistance movements that have risen up in the over throw of tyranny.
It intrigues me to think of what for TSA is its Fifth Column, who and where are its loyal subpopulation? I've seen it I think in various guises. From time to time individuals come through Training College; from time to time individual projects develop; from time to time unique expressions of mission emerge. Radical loyal orthodoxy, a sense of the essence of TSA - but within a different form.
For a fifth column to succeed it doesn't necessarily look like the culture it is loyal to. Invariably it looks very different. The French Resistance would have been foolhardy to wear the official badge and uniform of the French army. I wonder about TSA and its fifth column; occupying their place on the margins they may look different; they may not be officers; they may not wear uniform; they may not even be soldiers. They seem to occupy a place of chaos where creativity can emerge. For those willing to look and support, the Fifth Column offers a critical sense of creativity and in that creativity a critical sense of survival.
Ben Elton's Blind Faith wasn't that well a written novel for me, however he concludes his fascinating concept with a quote that we need to remember.
"For no society based on nothing more constructive than fear and brutish ignorance could survive for ever. No people who raised up the least inventive, the least challenging, the least interesting of their number while crushing individual curiosity and endeavour could prosper for long" (2008:320)I worry when those I respect and gain much from are pushed from their position within the TSAs Fifth Column into either a bland conformity or into giving up entirely.