Tuesday, September 29, 2015

How To Land An Intelligence Officer ...

Once upon a time. There was a guy who turned up dead in the woods. Didn't add up. Blah, blah. Maggie's Hammer. Israeli Intelligence source. But, with a twist.

Ari Ben-Menashe (said Israeli Intelligence source - pic above) pursued the line for the longest time that my mate was a name on a list. Until. I pointed out that he (Ari) couldn't possibly know what he knew unless he'd known my mate, done business with him. And. Maybe more. If you know what I mean. Cf. turning up dead in the woods.

Well, fast forward. And I still do not have an answer to the inherent contradiction. So. I appear on radio interviews. And highlight the contradiction. As in, Ari knows more than he is saying.


Ari calls me last night.


Sigh. You gotta do what you gotta do to get to the truth. And if that includes baiting an intelligence officer, well, I've done it before. Cf. "Europe is not a safe place for you to be."

Sent out a round-robin this morning. To everyone. Ari. Our joint publisher and publicist. Oh yes. As part of this merry-go-round, I introduced Ari to my publisher, who is now reprinting his book. What is that book? Hey! Traitors!!

I know, I know, you couldn't make this stuff up.

Anyhoo's. Round-robined everyone. And said. I love you all to death. But I'm still looking for the truth. This isn't Oprah air kiss time. I will continue to underline dichotomies. In the hopes of getting folks to tell the truth. Whoever they may be. Wherever. And if that is on a radio interview, where Ari and I are appearing jointly. Then, so be it. I will ask him to cough up the whole story. On air. Live.

Um. That's the update. And now, I go make coffees at my co-op. Talk about contrast ...

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Timely and Topical Relevance of 'Maggie's Hammer'

The radio interviews in which I have been engaged this past month or so, promoting my book Maggie's Hammer, have produced almost an epilogue's worth of information detailing the continuing and increasing relevance of the allegations in that book. In no particular order:

Caroline Flint, MP for Brighton Pavilion, addresses the UK Parliament on the obvious connection between Britain's huge sale of hi-tech weaponry to the Middle East (and the fact that many of such sales are covertly on behalf of the US government - my addition, not Caroline's), and the fact that the resulting devastation in Syria and Iraq is the cause of the thousands of refugees landing on the doorsteps of Europe and the US.

This while London hosts the largest arms fair in the world (DSEI). Some 30,000 attendees. Not including representatives for oversight organizations, such as Amnesty International. which have, for the very first time, been excluded. Possibly due to allegations that the technology on offer includes equipment for undertaking torture more effectively.

I have repeated ad nauseam that I really do not like labels like 'military-industrial complex,' 'British elite,' 'New World Order,' especially 'conspiracy theory.'

But. When one in every five people employed in the UK works directly or indirectly in association with its arms industry, such that the socialist trade union movement supports the arms industry, because it provides so many jobs for its members, when the UK government still pimps out its military and intelligence services to undertake clandestine arms sales and special military operations on behalf of the US government, so that the latter may avoid Congressional oversight (and more of that in a moment), then, while avoiding the suggestion that the UK and the US wish to foment war around the globe, is it safe to say that this US-UK arrangement is hardly one that promotes peace?

Is it also fair to posit that, if British politicians are, as my book claims, still receiving millions of pounds in arms kickbacks, there is little political incentive to halt the toxic influence of the UK arms trade or the curious military and intelligence relationship between the US and the UK? Especially when the body responsible for UK Parliamentary oversight of intelligence activity is about to be chaired by someone intricately associated with distributing the kickback largesse?

I mentioned continuing operations by the UK in support of covert US foreign policy. First, a quick example of how the events of the Eighties carried forward and still affect us today. Back in the Eighties, one of the most important geopolitical issues was the huge war between Iran and Iraq, 1980-1988. Both countries were embargoed by the UN from being supplied with military technology with an offensive capability. Which was merely a green light for the West to proceed with supplying them with the same.

Ah ha. You go. Know about this. Iran-Contra? Wrong. Oliver North was a distraction. Deliberately set up to deflect attention from the real trade. North sold $1 billion of utterly useless missiles to Iran (useless because they all carried the imprint of the Israeli Defence Forces). The real pipeline in arms funneled some $80 billion in arms to Iran and some $60 billion in arms to Iraq. A huge amount of it through London.

This technology included nuclear, chemical and biological capability. Which contributed and still contributes to Iran's desire to have its own nuclear capability.

We'll get a little tendentious here. We have Gulf War I in 1991. Consequently, efforts are made to coerce Saddam Hussein into getting rid of his NCB capability. The same one that the West had sold to him. Those efforts fail, when the UN Inspectors are thrown out in 1998. This was the ostensible reason for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 (Gulf War II), led by a left-wing British Prime Minister and a right-wing US President (a coupling which surprised many, but which won't surprise you when you read my book, and understand that Blair was blackmailed by said US President and the British military-industrial complex; you know, that label I hate to mention - and I'l be coming back to that, too). Oops. Apparently no WMD. Apparently, Saddam voluntarily removed every last scrap of said WMD before 2003, and then dared the West to devastate his country and kill him in any event. Iraqi Army disbanded. Iraqi generals need to pay mortgages. Set up ISIS. Lo and behold, they 'discover' non-existent chemical weapons in Iraq. Are now a threat to the world. And the US and the UK have reason for a new war in the Middle East.

Pause, while I replenish my strength with a bowl of Conspiracy Theory Special K.

Just a few weeks ago, Seymour Hersh, a well known US investigative journalist (who features in my book) wrote an article suggesting that the British were arming al Nusra (the not-ISIS opposition group in Syria), on behalf of the US, because such arming might not have gained Congressional approval. A week later, it was reported that the UK had begun its own drone attack program, targeting non-US Westerners, again on behalf of the US, again because the US government would have been unlikley to gain Congressional approval.

In my book, I state that, as a consequence of the UK agreeing in the Eighties to become the outsourcing surrogate of choice for the US government's covert foreign policy, be it to engage in arms sales the US couldn't, or to undertake US-desired special operations that would not pass Congressional muster, London became a money-generating layby for all these US military and intelligence undertakings. As a result of that development, the City of London, ever eager to make money, jumped in on the act, and transformed itself into a global trading exchange for all manner of global covert, as well as the financial overt.

In his book Gomorrah, author Roberto Saviano supports this contention with his own research suggesting that London is now the money-laundering center of the world. Whether for drugs, terrorism, intelligence agencies, whatever. The combination of City expertise with global finance, lax regulation, few exchange controls and political openness makes the City of London the place to undertake any clandestine business transaction. Want a mercenary army, a coup d-etat, a ship for drugs, an assassination, an offshore haven? London is your destination.

Have a good look at the headlines. The banks getting fined for nefarious financial activity are British. HSBC. Barclays. What was going on in the Eighties was mere foretaste for what has now become entrenched. While protest groups focus on the overt demonstration of globalism, the covert element has become focused in London.

Which has us deep in the land of those labels I say I hate so much. So. Let's lighten the atmosphere by underlining the fact that it is no longer only the 'lunatic fringe' using such labels.

The new left-wing leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, apparently and happily believes in the New World Order, the 9/11 'conspiracy' and the con that was the Iraq invasion of 2003.

A well-respected journalist for the London Guardian newspaper, Seamus Milne, writes of unelected peers of the 'British elite,' and a military-industrial complex of senior military and intelligence officials seeking inappropriately to influence Britain's elected leaders.

By the by, while we're on the subject of lurid headlines, the widely reported spat between Lord Ashcroft and David Cameron had nothing to do with donations, government office or pigs. Ashcroft was angry that Cameron denied him access to any share of the $300 million a year in continuing kickbacks from British arms sales. And for more on that, you're just going to have to read the book. So there.

Now, let's end this update with an historical flavor. Just to add gravamen. Here's a question. If British and American political and spiritual leaders talk of Christians under threat in the Middle East, and an Oxford University professor of the history of the Crusades publishes a book talking of Pope Urban II planning the First Crusade in 1095 in order to liberate co-religionists in Jerusalem, does it mean that I'm no longer firmly placed on the 'lunatic fringe' when I write that some in the Middle East see continued Western military involvement in the Middle East as the Last Crusade?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

#PigGate, Misunderstanding About British Elite

I have now read two articles seeking to explain #PigGate in terms of the British Establishment punishing British Prime Minister, David Cameron, both of which essays totally misunderstand what truly concerns the so-called British elite, and the way it works.

First, let's get it quite clear, David Cameron is at the very heart of British elitism. Long established pedigree. Related to royalty. Banking. Eton. Oxford. Empire. And it is this very foundation which militates against the rationale presented by authors who obviously have never actually been anywhere near anything resembling a gathering of this establishment elite.

By the stages. The British establishment in particular is a moving feast. It survives because it adapts. It survives not because it demands loyalty by the imposition of embarrassing initiation rituals. It continues to run all that is important because those who belong and wish to belong voluntarily adhere to its exclusivity.

For sure, there are the schools which train (Britain's venerable and sometimes ancient network of boarding schools), colleges which refine (Oxford and Cambridge), clubs which distinguish (those Grecian palaces which line the finer streets near the most exclusive club of all, Parliament). But even that is but trapping.

As is title, land, postal address, dress code and social class relating to one's birth. The single driving imperative of the British elite is that there is a small group of self-appointed snobs who believe that they are the best, that they should rule. By whatever means is relevant to the day. Again, adapting to the circumstances of the moment.

If we are a nation governed by royalty, then as courtiers. And study history. Some of the most influential courtiers were not of noble birth. This is the genius of the British elite. It is nowhere near as static as outsiders perceive. It refreshes itself by absorbing the best of the best of each new generation.

And not always the best. Merely the most popular. Or the most prevalent. Charles II created an entire network of aristocracy based on the progeny of his coupling with comely wenches from the East End of London.

The British establishment of each generation surveys. Recognizes. Chooses. Flatters. Seduces. Absorbs. And bends new initiates to its will. Again, not through some complex hazing ritual. But by a subtle process of those on the inside accepting that the new entrant voluntarily understands the attitudes, the airs, the graces, the noblesse oblige of those on the inside.

And here's the rub. If you have not a clue what I'm talking about. The subtleties of language, bearing, demeanour necessary for membership, then you're not one of them. It's as simple as that. And if you're not one of them, you seek to rationalize your exclusion, your misunderstanding in terms of visible rituals involving the heads of dead pigs.

Let's talk examples. Mick Jagger. Now Sir Mick. Watches cricket with a former Prime Minister. Only bloke allowed to wear jeans in the lobby of hotel of choice for Britain's elite - Brown's. Why Mick? Because the Empire is gone. Last of it that was worth anything was 'given away' in the Sixties. At which point the elite began to rule the world, not through government, but through culture. Enter Sir Mick, Sir Paul and Sir Elton.

Forget their genesis. They know enough about the manners and mores of the British upper class to know the codes to which to adhere. And this is the part it is truly difficult for outsiders to grasp. This elite is not naturally venal. Look, for sure, its young do daft things. So do the young of all classes. For sure, they behave horribly to those who are not a part of them. As does any gang in South Central. Any gathering of mean girls in the lowliest neighborhood of any large city worldwide. It ain't about class; it's about exclusivity. Self-appointed, self-generating separateness.

But. It only succeeds if it observes, changes, and wields influence through nudge. Again, for sure, there are those who want power and are less than selfless in manipulation. But, the British establishment wouldn't survive and attract if it was driven solely by selfish ambition. The British elite believes in charity and public service every bit as much as any member of the Kennedy clan.

It is the nature of the courtship which defines the habits of the British establishment in each generation. So, back to Jagger, and now throw in Beckham (both of them). The latter could not be more egalitarian. Yet. They have become favorites of the Queen. Why? Because they are favorites of the people.

And how does the courtship unfold? The Beckhams are stroked. The accent of the ruling classes bends to the flat vowels of South London. The Beckhams are honored. The Queen sends her best wishes before the World Cup. The Beckhams learn courtesy, deference, polish and noblesse. Royalty delights in episodes of the EastEnders.

Authors of the articles, such as the two I have read, prefer dark initiation rituals, deep in the bowels of the Tower of London. The reality is nudge, and suggestion, hint and giggle.

Which doesn't make the existence of this elite any less obnoxious, undemocratic and potentially insidious. But it seeks to debunk the misunderstanding currently being generated.

Ok. So, what does this have to do with Ashcroft and Cameron? It isn't that Ashcroft was an outsider. Belize-born. Of British parents. Not the usual educative path. Made his money brutally. None of this would exclude him. Provided he played the game. And the game is one of studied indifference. Not unlike the game-playing the Cardinals go through when electing a Pope. It is generally accepted that the successful Papal candidate is the one who does the least (visibly) to seek the position.

All those who have tried to buy their way into the tight circles of the British elite have failed, precisely because they have tried to buy their way in. Think Rowland. Fayed. Maxwell. And now Ashcroft.

If they had persevered. Quietly. Doing good works. Flattering. But without a trace of self-consciousness. They would have been seduced. But they hammered with demands. Trying to leverage citizenship, title and Cabinet position.

This appalls the truly British elite. And appalling is the ultimate grounds for rejection. Cameron did not appall because of a pig's head. Youthful indiscretion, don't you now? Ashcroft appalled because he was rude. Demanding. Mean. Pretentious. Self-aggrandizing. He had no understanding that the essence of British elitism is a self-aware gentility, borne of the absolute certainty that the world revolves around you, so certain that it needs no expression nor overbearing demonstration. It matters not that you are on the front page of every GQ. If it is accompanied by a gentle self-effacement, then you are a gent. And you are one of us.

Indeed, you are close to receiving a passing grade in this introductory class to British elitism if you 'get' that David Beckham is 'one of us.' Victoria never will be. And she is only 'accepted,' because David has sufficient establishment largesse to spare. Coat-tails, don't you know?

Ashcroft is not and never will be a member of the British elite. He is rough. He is parvenu. He grates. He does not seamlessly adapt. He smarms with greasy unctuousness. He now knows this. After decades of trying too hard. He now knows that he will never be accepted.

Now, we can argue whether the final straw was not being given a Cabinet position by classic insider Dave. Or whether Ashcroft felt slighted because the new insider boys on the block were excluding the Thatcher outsiders from the goodies flowing from the huge arms kickbacks associated with Britain's massive arms industry.

Doesn't matter. Although it helps sales of my book to promote the latter. The essential point is that what underpins Ashcroft's huge investment in a book seeking to trash the current Prime Minister is not exclusion from position or profit, but anger at being rejected by a club he so desperately wanted to join.

And this is where so many of those pretending authoritatively to write about Ashcroft's reason for his book totally miss the point. Ashcroft is not punishing Dave on behalf of the establishment. He is punishing the establishment itself. The establishment love Dave. Don't care a toss what he did in his youth. Dave hasn't betrayed them. Ashcroft has.

I suspect that Ashcroft will leave the shores of Great Britain some time in the next 18 months. To return either to Belize or to Miami. Where money and power do still buy attention. I suspect his book serves no purpose other than as one last almighty great bird flip at the British establishment. In the almost certain knowledge that it will seal Ashcroft's exclusion from insidership.

Not because of any deadly revelation. And this is where Ashcroft betrays his continuing misunderstanding of the nature of the British elite. And, indeed, its very acceptance by so many ordinary Brits (the same ones who devour Downton Abbey). The elite and their admirers don't give a toss about pigs. Their disdain is reserved for the oaf who would seek advancement by using the knowledge to blackmail or to punish. So not done, old boy.

And therein lies a final irony. Perhaps, an unwitting irony. Deep in his heart, I think Ashcroft knows that this final act is outre. That it defines him. And why he will always be 'one of them.' I suspect that, in some deep, dark corner of his repressed inferiority complex, Ashcroft knows what it takes to be British establishment. And he has chosen to prefer an elitism based on the exercise of raw power, rather than one requiring gentle submission to a more genteel, while no less omnipresent and overarching, authority.

And that same misunderstanding continues to be betrayed by some who write about it. Which is where I began ...

Monday, September 21, 2015

Michael Ashcroft -v- David Cameron

So. The question on everyone's lips this morning in the UK. No, not what did the Prime Minister actually do with the dead pig? Rather, why has Lord Ashcroft gone to war on David Cameron?

The answer has nothing to do with Ashcroft's self-serving whine in the Daily Mail. The truth is this.

In the Eighties, people very close to Margaret Thatcher, at her instruction, became involved in nefarious activities, the details of which are covered in my own book, Maggie's Hammer.

Those activities included, but were not limited to, profiteering from illicit arms deals. One of the characters involved in those activities, but deeply hidden until now, was Michael Ashcroft, who was, at the time, a close friend of Denis Thatcher, the then Prime Minister's husband.

I have a source who has told me that, upon Mrs Thatcher's ouster as Leader of the Conservative Party, Sir James Goldsmith initiated a secret plan to take over the Conservative Party, using the ill-gotten gains of the aforementioned arms activities.

When Goldsmith died in 1997, I am told, Ashcroft took over as caretaker of the plan. Since then, Ashcroft has exerted considerable influence within the Conservative Party, based not least on his access to very considerable funds.

It is my information that Ashcroft turned against his Prime Minister when that same Prime Minister, after the General Election of 2010, made it one of his primary ambitions to thwart what he saw as the toxic influence of Ashcroft and 'his' money on the British body politic generally, and the Conservative Party specifically.

Hence, Ashcroft's new book.

Which is not to say that Conservative Party interest in arms sales has waned. But that will have to be the subject of a different Daily Mail story ...

Saturday, September 19, 2015

3rd Carrboro, NC Community Forum On Policing

The third Carrboro, NC Community Forum on Policing will be held on Wednesday, October 28. I am assuming it will be at the Carrboro Town Hall, beginning at 7.00pm, as were the previous two. So, get out your calendars, contact your managers to get the time to attend.

Just to remind you what the Forums are about, and what I am hoping to achieve with my advocacy of Citizen Design of Policing, here is a link.

I wrote to Carrboro Alderman Damon Seils as follows:

“Many thanks, Damon. Again, I’ll give a little nudge to you, to give a little nudge to others to get it set, say, at least a month before, so that NAACP and others can do the best/have enough time to organize the young and at risk (young families) to arrange schedules, babysitters, whatever, so as to be able to attend.

I’m thinking about attendance. I’m sure you have, but maybe again, talk with the likes of el Futuro, NAACP, to see what it is that keeps Hispanics, young, blacks from wanting to attend. Maybe not this time, maybe in the future, maybe we should be taking these meetings into neighborhoods? Rotate. The various apartment complexes have community rooms. El Futuro? Churches they attend. Places they feel safe. And this next one maybe even further down the road. Exploring the possibility that the police attend in civvies. Less them, more us? Just thoughts.”

Damon responded favorably. But it is now up to all of us to do what we can to encourage those who feel most uncomfortable with policing to feel comfortable about coming to this meeting, or to find ways in which they would be comfortable discussing their discomfort. Which is one of the most awkward-sounding sentences I’ve ever composed! But you know what I mean.

Spread the word. See you all on the 28th!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Why Margaret Thatcher On US $10 Bill?

Why would #JebBush suggest in the CNN #GOPDebate this past Wednesday that former British Prime Minister, #Margaret Thatcher, be on the US $10 Bill?

Maybe it is because, better than most, he understands the crucial role the UK has played these past 30 years in giving effect to clandestine US foreign policy?

A role which began when Margaret Thatcher was in office. And when Jeb's dad was US Vice President.

A role which has continued since then, most notably under Jeb's brother, when the UK was the senior partner with the US in the War on Terror and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

My book, Maggies's Hammer, sets out the details of this role, and how I discovered that my best friend, senior MI6 officer and MT's favorite speechwriter, Hugh Simmonds CBE, was a primary member of the secret team set up by Thatcher, whose task it was to provide essential and often deadly security support to the joint US-UK covert activities of the Eighties. Activities which my book alleges have been occurring ever since.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Arms Bribes, Hitmen, Refugees, 9/11

Fourteen years. So much has happened. So much upon which to reflect.

Did we respond correctly? Did we over-react? In the UK, we have yet another Inquiry (the Chilcot Inquiry), dragging on interminably, likely to spread a whole new swathe of blame on politicians we grew to distrust a long time ago. Does anyone care? Is the Labour Party about to elect a complete outsider as its new Leader because it cares that its politics got way out of touch? Or is the Party about to get even further out of touch? Who exactly is the 'ordinary person' any more? Do they even bother to speak up or vote? At the national, state, town or co-op level?

The body politic in Washington, a body we folks are pretty sure is out of touch with everyone, except possibly the aliens I have been told in and around innumerable book interviews in the past two weeks are the ones actually controlling our planet. That body politic is today, while remembering 9/11, overjoyed with itself for having drawn a new red line with a different country in the Middle East, in its efforts to impose will in a region of the world it has no business imposing its will. A red line which all are privately agreed is little more than a green light for more war further down the road.

War which is privately welcomed in some circles. For war is the very best showcase for the devastating weaponry so many of the world's so-called advanced economies like to sell wherever they can (cf. the DSEI London Arms Fair, taking place next week - the largest arms fair in the world, 30,000 arms dealers). And often to both sides.

As my book, Maggie's Hammer, makes clear, how can one expect politicians to oppose war, when their industry is dependent on it for exports, and the politicians themselves may derive benefit from arms bribes?

Furthermore, how can one specifically expect government in the UK to oppose meddling in hot spots around the world (cf. the UK's newly unveiled drone attack program), when that meddling is bought and paid for by the US government, to allow the latter to avoid Congressional oversight (you actually think Mr and Mrs White Van - the UK equivalent of NASCAR man - want their government to be pursuing its own drone attack program?).

Heaven forbid I ever talk about the military-industrial complex. I am a sagely idealistic cynic. I believe what I see, what I hear, what I can prove through sensible questioning of a subject first-hand (the essence of my investigative style in the book). I don't believe in conspiracy theories. If I saw it, it was real. Not a theory. If it makes sense, and reality evidences it, then it is sensible rationale. Not theory.

But, with arms bribes, and the unholy agreement between the UK and the US, for the former to do the latter's dirty work around the world (most recently evidenced in Syria, with the arming of the al-Nusra Front and the aforementioned drone attacks), let's just say there is pressure for armed conflict to happen.

Also, when one creates that pressure, and war follows, and that war is obliterating due to the devastating nature of the new weaponry now on offer, you not only create the hordes of refugees now gathering at the doors to Europe, you also convince a few angry people that maybe those exporting war need a taste of what it is like to have war imposed upon them. That is what happened on 9/11. And it is clear to me that, fourteen years later, we have learned absolutely nothing.

And so. Today. I remember. I grieve for those lost. On that day and in the response since. I hurt for those still wounded or traumatized. I honor the first responders everywhere, who put the lives of others ahead of their own. I salute the men and women who choose a job I would not perform, and try to keep us safe at night. And I abhor the soul-less politicians, who continue to make policy that makes war, and who then send the sons and daughters of those less fortunate to fight those wars, often for no reason other than their own greed.

Through it all, I remain the idealistic cynic. I continue to write. To advocate. To lighten with my music. Believing that it will all have been worth it, if I can but change the mind of one person. If I am permitted to make the life of one other person a little easier.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Maggie's Hammer: Hiding The Arms Bribes?

Just when I think I'm over-reaching. Reality smacks me out of my conspiracy theorist stupor.

Reports today are that former Tory UK Minister of Defence, Liam Fox, will not be getting the top job on the UK Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee (the body which monitors Britain's intelligence activity). In fact, British Prime Minister, David Cameron, ain't even going to appoint him to the Committee, let alone lobby for him to be its Chair. The money is on Alan Duncan to get the job.

Who bloody cares?

Where to start? When Cameron made his government appointments, after his surprise election victory in May, I wrote that it was clear that, with his promotion of certain specific individuals to a number of positions crucial to the British arms sales effort, Cameron was all set to crank up the arms kickback pipeline, now that he was free of scrutiny from his former LibDem coalition government partners.

Thing of it is, even with the LibDems gone, you still gotta do something about that pesky Parliamentary oversight. So, get some 'friends' on the Intelligence and Security Committee.

Interestingly enough, even though it is obvious that Fox was snubbed because he's not a Cameron besty, all three of the Tory names being bandied about as possible new members of the Intelligence and Security Committee have links to the dirty side of arms sales, or Beaconsfield (the home town of both me and Hugh Simmonds, CBE, the subject of my book on UK arms bribes - maggieshammer.com), or both.

Dominic Grieve is the immediate past Attorney General, in which capacity it is difficult to believe that he did not know that government arms sales are accompanied by illegal industry and political bribes. Grieve is also the Member of Parliament for Beaconsfield, which, along with being the political playground for Hugh and me, was also home to the Conservative Constituency Association of which one of the Vice Presidents (along with Hugh) was Peter Smith, at the time (1980's) a senior partner with Coopers & Lybrand, with whom he was the managing accountant responsible for the annual audit of the Conservative Party's accounts, during the period when Hugh was allegedly helping to set up up the pipeline to channel arms sales kickbacks to senior politicians within the Conservative Party. Handy, eh? Long sentence, eh?

Liam had his own connections to Beaconsfield. As all good Tory Scots with serious political ambitions, Liam fought his first parliamentary campaign in a safe Scottish Labour seat. Having thus paid his dues to a hopeless cause, he emigrated south, landing up in Beaconsfield, where he set up practice as a GP, while in his twenties - also in the 80's. And promptly became family physician to the Simmonds family. Indeed, the record shows that the GP who signed Hugh's death certificate was none other than the aforementioned later-to-be UK Minister of Defence. In which capacity, he would have overseen dicky arms deals with dicky arms kickbacks. Handy, eh?

And then we come to Alan Duncan. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Alan was Jonathan Aitken's successor as secret bagman to senior Saudi princes, managing the UK end of their receiving dollops of kickbacks from the billions of pounds in arms deals that Saudi Arabia did with the UK after the 80's and up to the present day.

With this background in mind, in 2010, and notwithstanding the presence of the LibDems in coalition government, Cameron made Duncan Minister of State in the Department for International Development, where he was nominally responsible for financially vetting foreign countries for their suitability to receive British aid largesse. What was not generally known was that the vetting process was also the template used to determine said countries' suitability to receive help under the UK Export Credit Guarantee Program, vis-a-vis said countries purchasing UK arms. As in, you get aid if you buy weapons. Good place for Alan to be. He knew about the seedy side of arms sales financials already. Knew how to keep his mouth shut. And was now ideally placed to negotiate the all-important kickback regime. Libel? Who said that?

Fast forward to nominations to the Intelligence and Security Committee. Now, since we're about to notch up the old arms kickback process a gear or two, who can we trust not to be too diligent in oversight? Oh. I know. What about that nice lawyer from Beaconsfield, who has way too many skeletons in his backyard to be yapping too much. And let's have as Chair that excellent fella we all know down the club as Mr. Kickback himself.

And so. The Merry Go Round. Keeps going around ...

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Refugees Welcome, Not Arms Dealers

British Prime Minister David Cameron has now said the UK will welcome 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020 (#refugeeswelcome #refugeecrisis #SyrianRefugees #SyrianCrisis).

Yet, in early September (next week), the British government will be welcoming 30,000 arms dealers to London (#DSEIArmsFair).

I am currently engaged in a Twitter campaign in the UK, in support of my book (maggieshammer.com), which claims that my close friend, #HughSimmondsCBE, helped to set up the money-laundering pipeline which allows British politicians to receive massive amounts of arms kickbacks - from an account with the Bank of England totaling some $300 million a year.

I see the connection between arms sales (the UK ranks as the world's #5 arms exporter) and the current refugee crisis. The UK did not invent war. But it does invent and sell the devastating weaponry which lays waste to those countries in Africa and the Middle East which buy the weapons, and from which most of the refugees at the moment emanate.

One can hardly expect our politicians to do much to stop arms sales, when economies are so dependent on arms sales and politicians so dependent on their kickbacks.

So. Pitch-time. If you haven't done so already. Buy my book. Find out what is going on in your country. And start pestering your politicians to stop the kickbacks. And maybe find a better outlet for our industrial endeavors.

#CAAT #LondonCAAT #StopTheArmsFair #StopDSEI #OccupyLondon #OccupyDSEI #CAATuk

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Maggie's Hammer: Arms Sales, Arms Bribes, Wars, Refugee Crisis

The radio interviews continue. This week, I also begin my pre-planned Twitter campaign in the UK to raise awareness of the book's contents in the run-up to the various national political conferences which are held each year in early October.

The headlines in the UK are currently overwhelmed by the refugee crisis, as thousands flee the wars in Africa and the Middle East, to find some semblance of hope in Europe.

I am still hopelessly quill pen. 140 characters almost defeats me. But, since my book is essentially about arms bribes going to senior politicians in the UK. As I sit here in the comfort of my air-conditioned apartment in the US. Horrified by the pictures of death and distress the other side of the world. I find 140 characters more than enough space to send my message:

"Arms bribes to British politicians. maggieshammer.com. Arms sales, arms bribes, wars, refugee crisis. #RefugeesWelcome #RefugeesNotMigrants #StopGreed"

[Well. Maybe more than 140. I tailor. My thanks to my sister Maggi for really driving this point home. She will forever be a better humanitarian than me.]