Saturday, June 06, 2015
David Cameron -vs- Maggie's Hammer
So. The British newspapers this morning are reporting an extraordinary speech by David Cameron, in which he rails against global corruption, and the link between foreign aid, defense build-up and bribery.
I'm not sure whether to launch an all-out attack, or invite Our Dave to write the Foreword to my book, in which I set out a reasonably compelling case alleging the involvement of his (our) British Conservative Party in receiving hundreds of millions of pounds of kickbacks from UK arms sales, and the steps his own government have taken to link UK foreign aid to arms purchases from the UK.
Blimey. Where to start? I know. At the beginning.
In 2006, after Dave became the new Leader of the Conservative Party, I wrote to Dave (a wee bit tongue-in-cheek), inviting him to expose bribes corruption in the Tory Party.
I did so in connection with the first, self-published version of my book, chronicling the painstaking process of determining how my mate Hugh Simmonds, CBE had met his death as a consequence of laundering kickbacks from UK international arms sales to the British Conservative Party - among others.
At the Conservative Party Conference that same year (2006), Dave launched his first personal weblog, called Webcameron. I posted my open letter on his blog. And to his credit, he left it there the entire time of its existence. Got 80 views. Whoop-di-doo. Point is, Dave is aware of me and my allegations.
Dave then becomes Prime Minister of a LibCon Coalition Government in 2010. Promptly announces that he will be making a huge effort to increase UK arms sales, to spearhead a drive for more exports generally. Further announces that he will be complying with the UN request for governments to spend 0.7% of their GNP on foreign aid. And rounds out his announcements by making clear that the 'security' of recipients will be a primary criterion in determining eligibility for UK foreign aid. With the unspoken stipulation that the UK government will regard a recipient as 'secure' if it is buying UK arms to stay 'secure.'
Indeed, throughout the term of the LibCon Government, there was a close connection between UK foreign aid and arms sales. The vetting process for both was run by the same department in the Ministry for International Development, and was overseen by a very senior Conservative politician (Alan Duncan), who had his own controversial past connections with iffy arms deals.
Were there continuing arms bribes under the LibCon Government? I can't say. I'm a one-man investigating band. One man and his dog, without the dog. I can only extrapolate forward from what I was told about the Conservative governments in the Eighties and Nineties, and the Labour administrations of the Nineties and Noughts.
Arms sales continued through all governments, into and including the LibCon Government. The same criteria applied. And there were worrying signs that the same apparatus for bribery was in place. For more detail, you're going to have to read the book. Something of a summary of concerns can be found in this post.
The years passed. And eventually, Trineday, a charming little publishing house out of Oregon, agreed to publish a commercial version of the book. Which will be in print at the end of June. And formally launched in August of this year.
Then, lo and behold, along comes Dave with his speech yesterday. What gives?
On the one hand, there is further worrying evidence that Dave is all set to put the arms sales/arms bribes machine back into top gear. On the other hand, maybe Dave, flush from his second election victory, feels he can now take on the toxic influence of arms bribery in Whitehall and Westminster, and genuinely bring an end to arms political corruption in the UK?
Former British Prime Minister, Sir John Major, tried to do the same in the Nineties, and fell victim to the alliance of the defense industry, civil servants, the intelligence services and the City of London, along with support from right-wing newspapers and rebellious, former Thatcher-supporting Tory MP backbenchers.
So. I am where I began. Can't tell whether Dave is being disingenuous, in order to divert attention from nefarious, continuing naughty no-no's. Or he genuinely wants to break with the corrupting influences within the British establishment and body politic.
What I do know is that it is fascinating that the universe has compelled him to make his speech so in conjunction with my own efforts. Thank you, universe. And maybe I'll drop him a line when the book comes out ...