All Julian Lewis has done in the end is frustrate us for a while, but he has also highlighted quite brilliantly what an ass the unfair laws really are. Even more important, how dangerous it can be to fundamental free speech if a maverick, ambitious, and unscrupulous operator like Lewis wishes to take advantage of it. Furthermore, he has infuriated the trade, from the smallest corner shop to even the bastions of the wholesale and retail trade like Smiths and Menzies.
We have also, prematurely, got into electronic publishing, but as the CCO dirty tricks department hire some of the world's best hackers we suppose it is only matter of time before they blitz us from the internet. And that, in itself, will be an important milestone in how low the Conservatives are willing to go to stifle any voice they think may do them harm.
Lastly, Julian Lewis appears to be held in such odium by so many influential and powerful people, that, whatever they may have felt about Scallywag, they felt he was worse and a surprising number of them have rallied round to keep us going.
We are not by any means in the pocket of the Labour party, and when Blair romps home in the next election, he will find we give his government as much scrutiny as this one. But frankly, we do not think in our wildest dreams that a Labour government could possibly be as bad, as treacherous, as conniving, as under the belt, as sleazy, as conspirational, or as downright hypocritical as this one.
By his present actions, the Deputy Head of Research in Smith Square has actually enhanced our precarious stature amongst the growing number of influential people who tend to agree with us. They feel it's going to be healthy for us to be around on the run up to the next election. So, as we are now back stronger than ever, Julian has rather done us a favour.
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He is by far our most conceited politico, and now shown to be a seedier character than one of his fictional crooks, leading one to suppose they might not be quite so fictional after all. He was moaning, not because he has been placed firmly in the political wilderness after a long series of bloopers, but because they only pay him a misery £36 a day attendance fee - what an average researcher would get in the commons. Some peers, like my friend, need the money. Many others do not and are happy to waive it altogether. It had simply not occurred to the odious, and smug Archer to do so. Maybe all that writing has brain damaged him. Far more likely that he thinks he is actually worth the £71,428 his miserable publishers fork out.
This comes heavy on the heels of the discovery of blatant waste of cash on a huge scale in our embassies abroad. And the highlighting of lavish life styles of Governors in such places as Bermuda and Gibraltar. It really is about time too. If a man can die because the nearest hospital bed is 200 miles away, it is nothing short of criminal to squander hundreds of millions of pounds on wining and dining the top brass and the mandarins.
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It's time we showed our gratitude to you dear chap. You have given us no end of fun over the last few months. We loved talking to your friends on the phone, and it was really decent of you to persuade Mercury to waive the bill. We've found it extremely stimulating talking to all your pals in the press. You really do have quite a reputation. Especially at the Sunday Times. Moreover, you're obviously one of our most faithful readers.
Isn't it wonderful that an old friend of yours, Peter Carter Ruck, has volunteered to represent all the wholesalers whom you so generously sued. Small world, hey. It's always nice when old friends get together. It's simply marvelous that you've given Scallywag all this free publicity. You obviously picked up a few tips from John Major, eh? You've really given us a new lease of life. And now, you'll be pleased to know, you can read us every month, as regular as clock-work. That is, until we go fortnightly. D'you wanna subscribe?
Oh, and by the way, you can be proud that your actions have contributed greatly to the reform of the libel laws. That motion in Parliament is only the first of many more. We bet the Party is extremely appreciative. You, alone, have exposed the injustices of the present system, which the government promised to address, but have not yet done so. Embarrassing for them. But you're a man of principal. If you've got to make examples of innocent newsagents, in order to shake up the system, you will. It's a dirty job. Then again, you're not unfamiliar with dirt, are you?
Listen, I hope you'll stay in touch. You're doing wonders for our circulation. Life would be so dull without you. Of course, we're laughing all the way to the bank. but we're sure you can see the joke. The day you took on Scallywag, you're career ended, but, it's a small price to pay for fame. After all, your name will be appearing in the papers a lot more over the next few weeks. Better than merely being a humble pen pusher in Smith Square with nothing to do except listen in to other people's phone calls. You've got our number. Let's do lunch.
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No one was prepared for the Tory tornado that in less than 48 hours blew Scallywag off the streets. Wholesalers throughout the country fled before the storm, every copy of the magazine was withdrawn from the shelves, the landlord changed the locks at the office, (only after batches of confidential papers had mysteriously fallen into the possession of the dirty tricksters in Smith Square) the bank foreclosed, a small fortune in revenue was frozen, and a penniless Scallywag staff scattered in all directions. It was a punishing defeat and one which seemed quite terminal.
Looking back it was not surprising that the Tory fundamentalists had finally lashed out with such ferocity. For months, Scallywag had exposed the sleaze, corruption and hypocrisy that plagues the present regime. Many powerful people had been hurt by what we had published. In particular, we had outraged the new right. When, shortly before Christmas 1994, we attacked the Conservative Research Department, and, specifically, deputy Director Dr. Julian Lewis for allegedly masterminding a campaign of dirty tricks against the Labour Party, Smith Square went to war.
In an unprecedented campaign of intimidation wholesalers and individual newsagents were threatened all over Britain. A selection of the most prominent received libel writs from Lewis. Scallywag was not sued. Soft secondary targets, who were totally unaware of the allegations we had published, were being persecuted. It was a national operation which required money and manpower to enforce. The news trade was being heavily lent on by CCO stormtroopers and support for Scallywag was crumbling.
We immediately responded by suing Lewis for Malicious Falsehood. In an astonishing political volte face libel doyen Carter Ruck joined the fray on the wholesaler's side, while Scallywag employed the same lawyer who had bloodied the prime minister's nose in a previous libel action against the magazine - the pugilistic David Price (a). Labour MP Dale Campbell Savers tabled a motion in Parliament high-lighting Scallywag's plight and the pressing need for reform of the libel laws. The tide was suddenly turning.
It was then that the dirty tricks factory in Smith Square resorted to even more scurrilous methods. We were working from one mobile phone. For weeks this line was bombarded with spoof calls; just white noise to begin with, then sniffing and coughing, then overt menaces. "We know where your children are". etc. etc. The phone was obviously being bugged. Calls would be interrupted or cut off altogether.
A picture was emerging of our adversary. The man whom one ex Tory minister claimed was 'so far right his eye-balls rolled' had a well documented past. Ever since he had earned the backing of the CIA funded Washington Heritage Foundation for spraying CND marches with liquid manure, Lewis had been at it. Over the years, journalists from a variety of national newspapers had exposed his activities. He was obviously ruthless, committed, cunning and highly resourceful. He was, without doubt, a very dangerous enemy.
Perhaps his greatest talent was the ability to move through the political twilight unseen. During several meetings in Parliament with Labour MP's it became apparent that no one really knew who Lewis was. He certainly did not have a counter-part within the opposition. Astonishingly, their research department consisted of little more than alphabetically filed curriculum vitaes on Conservative politicians. Their knowledge of electronic surveillance techniques amounted to one three hour lecture.
Scallywag is not politically partisan. If there is dirt, we'll dish it on both sides of the House with equanimity. However, on balance, it would appear that the Conservative Party is inherently more corrupt than Labour. It is not solely because the Tories have 'gone rotten' during lengthy terms in government, but that the foundations of their ideology provides greater temptations and opportunities to be corrupt. Generally, Labour MP's seem well intentioned, honest, diligent and genuinely caring. Nevertheless, there is a prevailing naiveté and inertia within the Party. The few feet that separates the opposition from the government in Parliament is a wide chasm and Labour has insufficient vision of the unpalatable realities of Conservative power politics. They are hopelessly unprepared for the likes of Julian Lewis, and still suffer the illusion that politics is a gentleman's game.
When the lobby burned with Scallywag's allegations about Lord McAlpine and an underage boy, one Labour MP commented: "I simply cannot believe that this sort of thing goes on" When he was reminded that few people could have imagined that a Tory MP would be found hanging upside down, naked, with a satsuma in his mouth, the MP finally got the point.
No one is suggesting that the Labour Party should adopt the same dirty tactics as their political adversaries, but they should at least be prepared for them. They should have an adequate defence mechanism. And they should be aware. Which they are not.
The recent smears over Tony Blair's choice of school, Michael Foot's alleged involvement with the KGB, even the resignation of Richard Gott from the Guardian are all examples of the CRD's somewhat bizarre guerrilla tactics. Whether these unfounded allegations are true or not is unimportant. They sow the seed of public suspicion. And we have merely sampled the arsenal of dirty tricks in Smith Square. Speculation is rife that their next target will be John Prescot and his formative years with the Trade Unions. Yet again, the veracity of such attacks is highly dubious, but seen cumulatively, it may be enough to tip the scales against Labour with a disorientated, disillusioned and circumspect electorate.
Foot is being represented by David Price (b) in his libel action against The Sunday Times and Rupert Murdoch. We are represented by Price in our libel action against Lewis, who, surprise surprise, is an habitual source with the Sunday Times. Carter Ruck is representing Scallywag's wholesalers and Labour multi millionaire Owen Oysten, who has been the victim of Tory dirty tricks for over 15 years. It is a motley coalition. But, nevertheless, it would appear that we are all batting on the same side.
So what is behind this fusillade of writs? In previous editions, Scallywag revealed the plot which was hatched some 22 years ago in Peterhouse College, Cambridge; the fecund relationship between young Michael Portillo and the guru of the right, Maurice Cowling, who had lectured in history to a lineage of adulatory fags, including Alistair Cook, who occupies the same position as Lewis within the CRD, and Peter Lilley. Many of Cowling's favourites had ascended to influence within the Conservative Party. But Portillo was special. He had all the necessary ingredients to obtain real power. And from his early twenties Cowling nurtured him for nothing less than the premiership.
When Portillo entered politics he was flanked by an entourage of Cowling boys whose loyalty to their master and his dark prince was unfaltering. What cemented the bonds in this post Oxbridge clique was the potent currency of homosexuality and far right ideology. Conservative Central Office was one of the few organisations in Britain at the time where to be gay actually improved your career prospects.
Under Thatcher, this clandestine lobby within the Party flourished. Conspiracies are made of like-minded people who promote one another. Over the years, from the cabinet to the lobby, a veritable underground network of secret homosexuals, many of whom we have since named in Scallywag, came to prominence. We have always averred that there is absolutely nothing wrong with homosexuality in public life. However, when being gay in Parliament is used as political currency, evolving hidden loyalties, secret agendas and codes of practice and when this is adjoined by a dangerous right-wing absolutism, we believe it is of great concern.
When Scallywag began to expose the Party within the Party, we had little idea of the consequences. Since then, we have become convinced that the Peterhouse plot is about to come to fruition. The new right is now extremely well financed, organised, confident and highly placed. The knives are out. Whether there is a coup shortly after the local council elections or later, in the disarray of opposition after a Labour victory in the general election is irrelevant. These people are certain that through ruthlessness and political muscle the ascendancy of this Reich, conceived in Oxbridge cloisters, is assured. To coin a phrase, it will be a very different England should they succeed.
The dirty tricks factory in Smith Square continues to play a small, but faithful part in the greater plan. Scallywag and others continue to play a small but equally determined part in thwarting them. And the very fact that you are able to read this means that despite all their bullying, their power, wealth and influence, they have not succeeded in silencing the outlaw in their midst. It is still an open game Mr. Lewis. Your move.
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During Margaret Thatcher's dozen wretched years in dubious power, hundreds of millions of pounds were raised in her name, and administered by her personal party bank managers. Little of it was ever properly audited or accounted for. A substantial proportion of it was deposited by overseas people, companies or governments who had a vested interest in courting her personally for financial or political gain.
Much of this never even reached the Tory HQ in Smith Square, but was kept abroad. Up to £200 million was deposited in various off-shore bank accounts and has not come directly into party coffers, even though they went on a fund-raising drive before the last election because they claimed they had an overdraft of some £15 m.
A lot of jam was sold at a lot of country fetes for the cause of Queen, Country and Maggie Thatcher. All this, of course, was jolly good flag-waving in the grass root ranks. But it was peanuts compared to the millions being poured in from vested interests.
Only a portion of the "funny funds" accumulated elsewhere actually found its way to England because it would have had to have been explained, not least to the Inland Revenue. And maybe even to the Finance Committee of the party itself, which had been scrupulously kept in the dark.
Most of the dirty slush money was deposited off shore in places like the Cayman Islands, and in banks operated as subsidiaries by the Royal Bank of Scotland. The RBoS is the Tory party bankers. Recently, when the EBoS Chairman, Lord Younger was about to be put on the carpet over his involvement with the Perganau Dam fiasco, he threatened to call in the bank's collateral - the freehold on Smith Square. They quickly found other people to blame. Even Thatcher herself became more vulnerable than Smith Square.
Despite the £200 million, a further £71 million at least went through the coffers at Smith Square during the Thatcher years. There,behind strictly locked doors, Lord Alistair McAlpine carefully laundered it. Only he and the Thatcher family knew where all of it came from and where it went to, but at least £40 million found its way into a Thatcher family account in Zurich where it was added to by payoffs from Mark Thatcher's devious armaments deals.
Curiously, during the same time, Lord McApine himself accrued a nice little personal nest egg of some £35 million, most of it invested in an Australian leisure centre where he is now enjoying semi-retirement.
The Thatchers are only now coming under public scrutiny over their financial affairs. But it now emerges that Mark was probably the dupe in the whole sordid matter; the fall guy, set up by his father Dennis and his golfing pals. Dennis did the business; his wife did the politics and the international PR, and Mark picked up the tabs and took the blame as the front man of the family firm.
Only now is the full story being revealed and even ardent Tories are wilting under the possible backlash of a complete investigation into Conservative finances during the Thatcher years. And there are many surprises.
Anyone who banks with the Midland, for example, is, perhaps inadvertently, supporting Tory party funds. This is because about a third of the Hong Kong and Shanghai bank is owned by a Chinese billionaire called Li Kia Shing, who is a shadowy but official banker for the Chinese People's Republic. During the run-up to Hong Kong's independence, the Chinese bought heavily into the Tory lobby - and on its way smoothed the wheels to buy the Midland without government interference. One of the City's great financial and capitalist concerns is, in fact, largely owned by the People's Republic of China.
As the unofficial accounts at Smith Square - and the private accounts of the Thatcher family - have been known for over a year, how come they haven't been roasted by Blair's ambitious government in waiting? After all, the slush money raised did more than anything else to win the Tories three elections. Something remarkably odd is afoot. But it could be that even many die-hard Conservatives are feeling a change of government is getting more and more plausible and Labour are hoping some of the key money bags will switch allegiance.
The admirable and prestigious Business Age magazine published the full portfolio in 1993, eventually twelve whole pages of facts, figures, and tables, in a well researched expose. Apart, however, from a few raised eyebrows, mutterings in the lobbies, and a couple of derisory questions during Prime Minister's Question Time, the whole damning dossier has remained largely ignored. Fleet Street jumped on the band wagon when a Select Committee was formed to investigate the whole situation, but that (as with most such ventures) curiously droned on until it was virtually forgotten.
It may be thought that private contributions, however large or even suspect, are nothing to do with the ordinary taxpayer. But that is manifestly not true. Because many overseas people and businesses enjoy Tory-invented tax loopholes, Britain has lost out on nearly £50 billion tax. To purchase this benevolence, "friends of the Tories" in such places as the Channel Islands, Bermuda and Hong Kong, have given the Conservatives a paltry estimated £30 million between them. So, indirectly, the average punter is paying some four pence in the pound to help keep the Tories in power. Each single pound invested in the party has bought some £1,600 of tax free credit ultimately paid for by the taxpayer.
Why should the Conservatives Abroad in Dallas and Houston contribute £1.5m between them to Smith Square? It has, of course, nothing to do with the fact that Mark Thatcher runs his end of the "Family Business" from Texas. Nor the fact that he has been vigorously lobbying Washington on his mother's behalf. The dubious, ultra right-wing Heritage Foundation (think tank) ploughed in £4 m to party funds during elections and Conservatives Abroad in Washington chucked in another £650,000 for good measure.
The almost unbelievable fact is that throughout Thatcher's reign the political parties were not required under British law to either publish proper accounts, or to state who has given them money. Only because the donors themselves have to produce accounts has the vast figure eventually come to light. And some of it is very devious indeed. In effect, the cash is spent at the personal prerogative of the Prime Minister. In Thatcher's day she did not even have to inform the Chairman, of how much was in the account, who donated it, and how it would be spent. Only McAlpine knew the full truth.
In law the Conservative Party itself does not exist. It is not a club or a charity, nor a limited company. It is "Thatcher or Major or Party Leader, trading as the Conservative Party"
This went a long way to giving McAlpine immense political protection when a police investigation began getting close to naming him as a member of a notorious paedophile ring. He was forced into maintaining a very low profile for a while. But now the whole thing has blown over (after huge pressure), and he is back in favour.
He is so, not necessarily because he knows so much, but that the Tory financial machine acknowledges it can't do without him. Even as he basks in the Aussie sunshine.
The Sultan of Brunei is the party's personal biggest donor at a cool £5 m. The Saudis are close behind with £3.5 m. These and other contributions from places like Abu Dhabi (£1.6 m) are all connected to politics, trade or armaments. Several contributions from residents in Hong Kong are overtly trying to court favour and influence matters over the oncoming independence. But the backbone of Tory finances is coming from tax havens.
Individual contributions are also most interesting and some very familiar names are prominent. Most of them leave rather a smell. For example: Asil Nadir, John Latsis (Greek shipping), Wafic Said (arms), Hinduja Family (arms), Octav Botner, Sir YK Pao, Michael Ashcroft, Li Ka Shing, Peter de Savery, Gerald Ronson, Frederick and David Barclay, James Sherwood, David Choy, Mohammed Al Fayed, Rong Yiren, Stanley Ho and Ch Tung.
Since the Conservatives came to power they have all contributed at least £71 million between them and almost without exception the money has gone to curry favours, mainly from Thatcher.
Some, like Al Fayed and Asil Nadir thought money would buy them commercial gains, only to find that Maggie and McAlpine were more than happy to grab the money and run - leaving them in the lurch when they most needed the influence they thought they had bought. Very few of the contributors invested because they were keen Conservatives. They were flying their own flags.
At the heart of all this skulduggery was the Al Yammamah arms deal (Scallywag Issue 26, page 20 and issue 27, pages 12-13). The Savoy Mafia - led personally by Dennis Thatcher oiled the wheels by introducing the right people on both sides and making sure his wife was a co-conspirator. Keeping firmly out of the spotlight, however, he let Mark be the fall guy. Wafic Said, one of the most prominent fixers personally donated one and a half million pounds to Tory funds as soon as the deal went through. A further £40 million found its way into the Thatcher family's Swiss accounts.(Table of Contents)
From day one he declared himself to be Thatcher's man - answerable only to her. On his first day at Smith Square he changed all the locks on his office doors, but rarely visited there anyway. Nothing of significance was kept in his Smith Square safe - just to be sure. But it was a sackable offence to enter without his permission, and no one ever dared.
During his decade and a half of fund-raising in various capacities, he found at least £50 million which can be accounted for. It was almost certainly far more. During this period, on top of his published earnings from the family business, he found enough time to amass a personal fortune of some £30-35 million. Only he and Maggie know whether it was commission or not but it did not come from his business, and it did not reach the Tory party coffers.
We know that serious allegations have been made about his private life during this period, and at the same time he was developing a huge leisure complex in Western Australia where he is now, more or less retired. His now known murky management of Tory funds was inherited by John Major. Major's economic adviser, Sarah Hogg, has suggested officially that party finances should be put 'above board once and for all' Even though most Tories agree with her, Major is reluctant to risk it. Even if he had wanted to, he inherited such a secret service that it would be impossible to unravel.
It is fair to say here that even in the rubustuous world of politics and the city, not a whisper has been heard about Major's possible involvement with anything untoward. It's just that as things stand it's all rather above him. He cannot control it. Thatcher made it such a personal domain, run by sycophants for a dozen years, that he's got to like it or lump it, or he might find Tory finances (already at a low ebb) running out completely.
McAlpine ran various off-shore accounts, the biggest in Jersey, and he created a laundering system which could have fooled the Mafia.
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The other key player was Sir Brian Wyldbore-Smith who was very nearly as successful in creating the Tory money smokescreen as McAlpine. Indeed, probably more so, for he managed to stay in a murky financial world without any publicity, just quietly getting on with the job and feeding huge funds into the greedy black hole.
Like McAlpine, he operated various accounts, the largest of which was in Jersey. Like McAlpine he received personal cheques from donors and processed them through his own accounts. He worked independently from McAlpine with a whole separate list of contacts. Again, he was answerable only to the Prime Minister, quietly dropping the names of donors who he thought might gain political of financial credence from the Bank Manager.
Wyldbore-Smith never consulted the party's accountants, Coopers and Lybrand, nor even his own party's Finance Committee. He was not required to do so. As the Tories, for example, ran up to an election, another key player Brig. Sir Henry Lee would discuss the budget with Thatcher and decide what they needed. It was up to McAlpine and Wyldbore-Smith to provide the funds. They never let the mistress down.
In Maggie's last election for example, she decided they needed £3m over and above the normal budget to launch their advertising campaign with Saatchi and Saatchi (even though the latter were always very indulgent about putting in the bill). McAlpine coughed up overnight.
Sir Henry Lee's involvement is even more mysterious than Wyldbore-Smith's but the two maverick fund-raisers needed someone reliable within Smith Square so they could adequately by-pass the financial system. I.e. the money had to be accepted by someone and Maggie and her two fund-raisers didn't want anything official on paper which could be leaked.
In an incredible cloak and dagger operation, then, money could be effectively laundered and no one but the principle players knew where it came from, how much it was, or even where it went to.
For example, after talks with the Sultan of Brunei, the world's richest man, The Sultan would intimate that in return for being "looked after" in his London property transactions, and the fact that we still kept an armed-force free of charge protecting his kingdom, and we certainly fostered his immense oil wealth on favourable terms, he wished to make a "small donation to indicate my personal thanks. We know of two sums. One was official and was paid into the Margaret Thatcher Foundation (completely legitimate). Another £5m at least, was paid to the party funds. The cheque would have been made out personally to either McAlpine or Wyldbore-Smith and deposited in an offshore account. When the party needed extra cash it could be spirited in small sums into British Banks, or into accounts run by the Royal Bank of Scotland, the party official bankers. Smith Square could then draw upon it for its various needs. None of it even need go through the financial system at Smith Square.
But with no records, not even between the conspirators themselves, absolutely no one but them knows how the money was distributed. In theory they could have personally hived off millions for their own use - or reallocated the money to the Thatcher family off-shore accounts. Naturally, with such a secretive and sophisticated system, it would be virtually impossible to prove. But Thatcher and co. could easily disprove them by publishing proper accounts.
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As statutory head of Companies House he is well aware that the facility itself exists so that anyone may walk off the street and find out who owns what in Britain. Yet he has skilfully managed to disappear from all the records of the huge conglomerate of which he is at least a fifty per cent shareholder.
In fact, all the existing records appear to be organised in such a way as to completely frustrate anyone who wishes to pursue his legal right of finding out just what the President's business interests really are.
His mysterious partner, Lindsay Masters, a former super-space salesman, and his lawyers and accountants have managed to create such a muddled yet sophisticated share structure that it is quite impossible to find out who owns what.
At least 15% of most of the range of complicated subsidiaries, is put down to nominees in Jersey, where they have a tax-free status. Most of the rest is divided between nominees, trusts and solicitors. Michael Heseltine, listed as being Britain's 113th richest man with a personal fortune of £118m, is not named once in any documents relating to any of the Haymarket Group.
The Haymarket Publishing Group Ltd., is not even trading and is merely a registered trading company in which 999 of the 1000 shares are held by nominees.
Haymarket Magazines Ltd. publish such prestigious magazines as Campaign and Management Today both huge money spinners and regular profits mean Heseltine can live a life of luxury in a huge Oxfordshire farm house with 800 lush farming acres.
Hesiltine is a close friend of Lord McAlpine and it is very likely indeed the former Conservative party treasurer gave Haymarket full benefit of his expertise on stowing money away in off-shore accounts. Heseltine had his unfortunate heart attack while holidaying with his girlfriend at McAlpine's luxury villa in Venice. It was during the time when McAlpine was being frozen out of party influence as rumours about his private life abounded.
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Obviously, for example, "Friends" in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man (£9.15 m between them) would have been motivated by tax concessions. But the £6.75 m to come in from South Africa during the sanctions period were obviously politically motivated. So was the £1.7 m from Israel - even though many times that was coming in from the Arabs states.
All these donations - and others from Bermuda, Luxembourg, Singapore, Gibraltar, Spain, Taiwan, Malaysia and Greece, as well as very substantial further sums from Hong Kong and places like Saudi Arabia - must have significantly influenced Tory Party policy. Could a Prime Minister whose very existence is due largely because of such funding, be trusted to make an impartial decision if it is going to hurt her "friends"?
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The timing of the vociferous campaign against ourselves and others, directed from the heart of Smith Square, is no coincidence. It marks the start of the run-up to the next general election which most political pundits believe will be held in the autumn of l996. Compared to what the Conservative Research Department has in store for Blair and his people, Scallywag, of course, is very small beer.
Yet the whole might of the Conservative Central Office machine has been employed, in a bloodying operation to sharpen their knives for the big push to come. This has included Dr. Julian Lewis - ostensibly Deputy Head of research, but openly the Tory Chief Dirty Tricks' Hatchet Man - using the staff of Conservative right-wingers to help him in his murky work. He was able to employ researchers of sitting MP's, for example, to roam over London buying up copies of the magazine and finding out from the newsagents who supplied it.
He then forced the magazine's withdrawal by suing the wholesalers. Other staff had spent days, if not weeks, in Companies House finding out the specific names of directors. Armed with this Lewis himself made dozens of menacing calls to individuals.
Others have broken into our offices and stolen documents. The Hampstead home of one of our senior staff was entered, although nothing was taken. There was a permanent bug on our mobile 'phone and in some cases after a sympathiser had talked to us, they were contacted immediately afterwards by an anonymous voice which warned them off further contact.
All very juvenile nonsense designed to spook us and our friends. It is almost certain that right wing pals in GCHQ have provided copies of any sensitive fax we may have taken or sent. (GCHQ receives a copy of every fax transmitted in the UK). It is these same people who, almost in army formation, have been sneaking around the constituencies of virtually every shadow cabinet minister.
This right-wing clique are all of the early seventies Oxbridge Conservative Associations which were exploited by Peterhouse historian Maurice Cowling and later by Margaret Thatcher. Both Michael Portillo and Peter Lilley were recruited to the cause and spent their formative political years in Smith Square.
Most of this clique are also gay. There is a gay lobby operating around Westminster and Pimlico, with headquarters at Dolphin Square, which preys on the 100 or so (mainly Conservative) MP's who are gay. It is not illegal to be right wing nor gay. Nor is it illegal for many of them to be Freemasons. But a combination can be extremely potent. Especially as, in the case of being gay and/or Freemason, everything is usually conducted under cloaks of secrecy.
The security services, both M15 and MI6 are both well endowed with gay right-wingers. There might be little wrong with this, except for the fact that this clique has formed a party within a party. And the "Cowling Cupids" as they were known at Peterhouse in 1972-75 are now spread evenly in Whitehall, Westminster and they have penetrated almost every section of British society which could be deemed powerful.
They have become the bane of John Major's life for he inherited them when they had become deeply entrenched during the Thatcher years. Julian Lewis came to prominence after he led a powerful campaign of dirty tricks against the then CND under Bruce Kent. He represented various ultra right-wing groups such as the British Freedom Association and was first spotted when he went to Washington to smear Kent on a CND rally in the capital.
To the American security services people like Kent were nothing but dirty little pinkoes, to be eradicated as fast as possible. In turn, the Lewis campaign in Washington led to him being 'adopted' by the Heritage Foundation who subsequently paid £4 million into the Conservative party coffers during Thatcher's reign. This made Lewis a hard man to fire.
But is Lewis and Co. part of the Cowling Dream of king making? A successor to Thatcher in which Michael Portillo was to be the principle leading boy If so, it is all fitting together almost exactly as he predicted on a seat in the grounds of Peterhouse in l973. (See Scallywag 27).
Cowling would work on Thatcher to take an interest in Portillo. He would get into Parliament as soon as he'd been blooded in the CCO. Then, as predicted, he would move up the ladder fast as a Thatcher protégé. There was a bit of a hiccup when Thatcher was ousted, but timing wise, it did not make much difference.
As recently as last year, Cowling was predicting the following scenario: There would be a leadership crisis this year. A short term leader would be found. Someone to create a smoke screen, but would probably lose the election. By mid-term in opposition Portillo would seize power and take the Conservatives successfully into the new century.
Well, anything can happen in politics, but this scenario has an uncanny familiarity to it. And somewhere back there Margaret is still pulling an awful lot of strings.
Is it a complete coincidence, for example, that the former party treasury supremo, Lord McAlpine should suddenly bemoan the fact that the Tories deserve to lose the next election? McAlpine is the almost personification of a Thatcherite. Is he poised for a come-back at Smith Square when the right-wing has its day?
For, as we have catalogued elsewhere in this magazine, there is still something like seventy million pounds sitting in off-shore accounts which only McAlpine and Thatcher know about. Will the twosome barter with this knowledge? For if McAlpine did make a come-back, the party coffers would brim again overnight,
Almost all of these funds, as we have catalogued, have rather an odour to them, as have most of the real problems besetting Major's government under siege. Pergau Dam money. The Al Yamamah armaments fiasco. Mark Thatcher's very smelly dealings. Sleaze money for questions. Nearly all of them were inherited by Major.
In fact one of the reasons why the Prime Minister's Party is fumbling around so badly, is that he is simply not devious enough to play the real Tory game. Had he been up to the shenanigans of the Party in the Thatcher years, the coffers would have never emptied so rapidly.
A prominent labour MP told us in the Commons recently, "we just don't need a dirty tricks department. The Tories themselves are doing it for us."
Actually, this is very true indeed. Lewis and CO are having to work very hard indeed to come up with dirt.
Meanwhile, as ministers dropped like ninepins over one genuine scandal or another, a Tory MP was found hanging upside down in lady's clothing with an satsuma in his mouth. Two others were suspended for taking "question money" and the Scott Inquiry has deeply embarrassed just about every cabinet minister who served under Margaret.
The real Labour Luvvies are not Bragg, Follet and CO, swilling their Australian Chardonnay and bleating on about how much they just love Tony. They are a hard bunch of influential, powerful, rich, intelligent and very well-meaning people in the upper echelons of banking, business, commerce, finance, public relations and the media.
There's no parlour politics here. In the past four months we have seen more of the Hilton rooftop bar, the Ivy restaurant, the City, The Albany, Grouchos, even the Garrick, and Westminster itself than we have in the whole of the rest of our lives.
Something's cooking, Julian, and if your research department was doing a proper job and not chasing shadows, you'd know what was coming.
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Blair tried to diffuse the situation by claiming that he had been mis-informed. He thought Utd were buying John Cole, the retired TV political commentator and that £7 million was an awful lot to pay for a 63 year old who had never kicked a ball professionally and could not walk up stairs due to ankle trouble. "Well" said Kevin Keegan, "He's about as fit as Andy then".
Undeterred, the Association issued its call for a single European currency. However, there is a growing feeling that the call may be personal rather than for the good of the nation.
Recently some managers have been complaining that their cut in transfer dealings always comes in the currency of the country from which they signed their player and by the time they've changed it into sterling, their cut is nowhere near as good as they were led to believe.
"I spent three months setting up a deal for a Scandinavian defender who is no better than the journalist whose nose Vinnie Jones bit." A senior source in one first division football team told Scallywag. "What happens? I lose 11% on fluctuating exchange rates and bloody commission to Thomas Cooke and the Bureau De Change at Heathrow. I only bought the player so I could get a good whack. If there was one currency then it would make it much easier to take a percentage. We'd just know where we stood".
John Major is rumoured to have turned a blind eye to the Manager's Association's invisible earnings, on the understanding that after he is booted out of office, he is purchased for £7 million to play defence for Chelsea.
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But, how are they to arrange this matter-particularly as companies are not coughing up as much money as they use to - if any at all.
Apart from charging exorbitant amounts for receptions at central office - £15 for a glass of wine and a polite nod to Gillian Shepherd, they are finding other ways to squeeze until It hurts.
One soft target is those aspiring MP's on the candidates list. In order to remain on the list and be considered for seats, they are being asked for £149 per year subscription. This enables them to receive Tory Party publications, lists of seats they can apply to, boring banal drivel and the heading of Members' Briefs issued by that wonderful public-spirited body, Conservative Central Office Research Department.
The late John Blackburn MP had obviously heard about these parties as he tried to sidle up to Elizabeth on a committee to obtain an invitation - as he told friends. It didn't work, as an invitation was not forthcoming.
Ted was the guiding light in winning the seat for the Tories for Tim Janman. Unfortunately, Janman didn't know where his bread was buttered either and when Ted told him to canvas on an anti-European ticket in the 1992 election, Janman refused and said he didn't want to defy the Govt. as he expected promotion. Needless to say, he lost the seat. Ted knows his locals, alright.
But Rosindell and Spike are heading the same way. Rosindell refused to support Ted in a local committee saying as the candidate he should remain neutral and after a lifetime of work for the Tory party, Ted is very hurt that he should be treated this way.
However one compensation for Ted and his wife Margaret, they were delighted to receive a 50th wedding anniversary card from the other Margaret and Dennis.
It transpires that regular Romeo Tim Yeo MP who resigned as a Junior Minister after he pledged his love for his wife and children and to his mistress and love child, is still ambitious and threatened with a deselection threat from his own constituency, wants to prove he can still hold a position of conceived importance.
And, in plain English, Tim - you want the job for yourself!
For MP Hughes of Harrow West, not to be confused with the principled anti-apartheid campaigner, Robert Hughes MP of Aberdeen North, was known as Hughes Screws.
This nickname came from his candidacy at the Bermondsey by-election, where Hughes obliged Central Office and London Tory agent Sir Donald "fix-it" Stringer, by stepping in so that the unfortunate Sarah Keyes would not stand as the papers were nibbling by then at her relationship with Parkinson.
Persons unknown (but probably Harry Phibbs, who helped have the Federation of Conservative Students be shut down and associated in the Y.C's) produced a leaflet headed "Which Queen Will You Vote For" aimed at Labour candidate Peter Tatchell.
It may well have been aimed too at the Liberal candidate and subsequent victor Simon Hughes.
However, those young imaginative young Tories were also telling voters "Vote For Hughes the only one that screws (normally)" And the name Hughes Screws has stuck ever after.
It's often very curious the way relationships in the House of Commons cross party boundaries and loyalties.
Take Michael Knowles the former Tory MP for Nottingham East and previously leader of the Kingston-Upon Thames Council. He lost his seat with one of the slimmest majorities in the house in 1992 in the wake of the good people of Nottinghamshire telling the Tory party what they thought of Heseltine's policies of closing the mines.
But, regular habitués of the House will often see Knowles propping up the bar of the Kremlin (so named because the number of Labour MP's that use it) with his new employer, with whom he is listed as a researcher.
Now, you may think it was very kind of one of his former colleagues to give him a pass and let him keep in touch with the House.
Not so! He now researches (!?!) for none other than Scottish Nationalist MP Margaret Ewing. She told a Scottish paper recently that she can't stand the loose morals in the House.
And, to complete the cosy situation, Knowles former secretary and confidante Mrs Yvonne Cawley now works as Mrs Ewing's secretary.
Knowles and Ewing first became acquainted when they kept fellow MP's awake on an overseas Parliamentary trip where the hotel walls were excessively thin.
No Wonder English Cricket Is In Such A State!
On a grey mid-November day the staff at Lords felt downcast and are looking for diversions. One of their number (and do remember they don't admit lady members) suggested a cock measuring contest.
All the male staff thus repaired to the Long Room for the event and three members of staff were selected by way of the short straw process.
Strapping Colonel J.R Stephenson, the former M.C.C secretary at the time, laid his member on the table and Colonel James, assistant secretary, announced solemnly declares in stentorian tones, "Nine inches".
An anonymous caterer stepped forward in his turn and was meticulously measured. Colonel James intoned, "Six inches".
Last but not least, one mignon from the "Prospects of Play" switchboard - personnel stepped up next for assessment. The Colonel observes "Three inches". And as this little clerk moves away from the table and adjusts his clothing, he looks proudly around him and announces self-consciously, "good job I had a hard-on."
Of course, the previous story is nothing to the one that has circulated for about five years in cricketing circles.
A Member of the Surrey cricket club was leaving the ground late one night when he spotted a changing room attendant. Expressing surprise at him still being there at that late hour, the member was told by the attendant that he couldn't lock up because three cricketers had been in the showers cavorting with a female.
The attendant added, "You'll not be surprised to know that one of them is Botham , the second is Allan Lamb. And, he added raising his hand as if he were to impart a state secret, "I'm not supposed to tell you, but the third is known as Phillipe Henri!"
Some months later when this story was put to Phillipe Henri, who was by then allegedly experiencing some marital difficulties with his wife Frances, he strenuously denied the story and shouted at the top of his voice, "It wasn't me! It wasn't me!".
But even after a few more months when Phillipe Henri was accompanying Frances to the Oval and spotted the same member approaching him. He bolted so fast for a forty-something year old and was spotted at a great speed heading out of the Hobbs gates!
We hope Greville Janner MP, the Chairman of the Employment Select Committee will be declaring his trip a few weeks ago to Jordan, which he told acquaintances was business and possibly nothing to do with his activities as the Member of Parliament for Leicester West.
Alex Salmond, the leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party has written to the 49 Scottish Labour MP's, asking them which Parliament they will stand for - Westminster or Edinburgh, when Labour carries out their promise after the next election and convenes a separate Scottish Parliament.
But, Salmond has had the wind taken out of the bagpipes. He's now been asked when he's going to resign his Westminster seat.
And, as one member dared to suggest the nation will not be awaiting his reply with baited breath as there are more immediate problems for Scotland such as unemployment, homelessness and poverty to address.(Table of Contents)
From our Westminster Correspondent
It was one of those moments which makes live television so vulnerable - which in turn makes it so exciting. British TV hosts like Kilroy, and Jonathan Dimbleby get into cold sweats worrying about when it will happen to them. So do almost every news team who wheel controversial people into the newsroom for a live broadcast. It is why so-called 'live' shows like Clive Anderson are actually recorded weeks beforehand - so anything untoward can be carefully edited out by the lawyers.
The moment when, on camera, someone says the unpredictable and dangerous. It happened recently on Dimblebys Question Time, and caused a bevy of correspondence on the Internet Super-highway where it was referred to. Indeed, the poor student who mentioned the incident got a serious dressing down from his university after doing so on their computer system. This in turn caused some mayhem between internet subscribers, most of whom objected strenuously against this type of censorship.
Now Peter Lilley, the effete cabinet minister who, with the sanctimonious Bottomley and the odious Portillo, is hell bent on completely dismantling the welfare state, has got the Tory Party writ-issuing frenzy which is presently sweeping through Smith Square and Westminster. He is not only suing London Weekend Television which put on the Question Time show, but Express newspapers, and Associated Newspapers for reporting the incident, as well as issuing injunctions against the entire British press to prevent them from doing so.
A member of the audience, picked by Dimbleby at random, asked Lilley if it was true, as he had read, that he (Lilley) was having an affair with his cabinet colleague, Michael Portillo. In a state of blind panic, Dimbleby side-tracked the question and moved on.
If the wretched Lilley had got an ounce of class in that despicable frame of his he would have met the question head on, stopped the abominable Dimbleby from prevaricating and said, "no, Jonathan, this is one I must answer." He would have then had the chance to scotch the story once and for all, for I think only we would have called him a liar.
Why has he got so hot under the collar all of a sudden?
We published the story in graphic detail - several times throughout the whole of 1994-5. We alleged that Portillo and Lilley were lovers who had been caught enjoying indisputable hankey pankey in the Department of Trade Building by a senior security guard the evening after the last General Election.
None of this is of any real consequence except that it all dates back to the Cambridge days of the early seventies, when the now notorious old queen, Maurice Cowling, a history tutor, hatched his ultra right-wing plot to take over the government in the nineties - a prediction which may now come to fruition, at least by the next century. In order to do so, Cowling recruited his string of lovers across the whole Oxbridge spectrum and carefully fed them into the Conservative system. They are now, like Polly and Lillian, all in key positions either in the cabinet, or at the CCO HQ in Smith Square - or in one of the many lobby groups which extend great power over the 100 MPs who admit to being gay.
It wouldn't matter if these 100 were fanatical merely about eating Mars Bars in secret. They constitute a considerable lobby, and, as they have rarely tended to 'come out', they are sometimes subject to covert blackmail. This includes both Lilley and Portillo.
Lilley is particularly sensitive about the allegation, although he has yet to sue us for constantly repeating it. He uses the old maxim, "they haven't got any money, so they're not worth suing." In fact a simple injunction costs very little and would turn us into law-breakers if we ignored it. But he will not issue an injunction against us because he knows we will defend it and by doing so bring all our evidence in to the public domain.
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Despite the findings of a sensational secret report to the Home Office, homosexual abuse, widespread use of drugs, and dealing in stolen property is still happening daily in Ashworth Hospital, Merseyside, where most of Britain's most desperate criminals, including Ian Brady, are held.
Both beleaguered Home Secretary Michael Howard and Health Secretary Virginia Bottomley were made aware of the controversial report last November. It highlighted a "complete breakdown" in relations between staff and inmates.
The main troubles concerned the notorious Owen ward which houses such arch villains as David McCormack (multiple rape), Mark Roundtree (serial killer). Adrian Ng (chopping three people's heads off), Paul Corrigan (child rapist and murder), Peter Bruce Lee (killed 26 people by fire), Norman Campbell (drugs and murder), and Robert Sartin who is on remand charged with killing 18 people.
In December there were two deaths which have so far remained unreported. They were of Raymond Conner who died while being restrained by staff, and Derek Davies who hung himself after a staff member told him he would never get out. As one now-released former inmate told us, "life was cheap in that place."
The hospital padre, the Rev. Bill Peters, was named in the report for committing buggery with mentally ill patients. He is still there and apparently still recruiting young men into his choir. Even though there are some 30 wards, Peters concentrates on five of them. Three of them, Tennyson, Arnold and Blake, are admissions wards where patients are assessed.
Peters, the allegations maintain, used his interviews to ferret out possible targets, and if they fitted his needs he would use his influence to get them into Forster ward which was nearly all homosexual. These, and Owen ward, were the only ones he visited, although there were over 20 others.
The report was leaked to the Sunday Express in December, but for legal reasons they failed to name names. The report has now been seen by us and we have talked extensively to two members of staff and two inmates who are in non-secure wards, i.e. they are not resident for criminal reasons.
They report that mentally ill patients, some of them dangerous, have been escorted to local strip clubs, pubs and book makers; some rooms look like 'an Aladdin's cave' and have not been properly searched for more than a year; thousands of pounds worth of drugs change hands weekly and there is no restrictions on unlimited money coming into the hospital.
The main currencies in Ashworth are alcohol, drugs and CD systems.
The report named Paul Johnson, a pimp and racketeer, for organising a regular brothel system inside the hospital. As a result he has been moved back to prison. His wife used to smuggle girls in and Johnson would charge fellow inmates £20 a time for sex.
Another inmate who was moved because of the report was Robert Preston, now in Caswell Clinic, Bridgend, who openly traded in £2,000 worth of drugs each week, supplied by his family. He sold single joints for £5 each throughout the hospital.
Despite these and a handful of other removals, our sources allege, illegal sex and criminal trading is still widespread.
Although about 40% of the hospital is set aside for top-security criminals, most of Ashworth is for seriously disturbed psychiatric patients. The accusation that members of staff, including the Rev. Peters, committed sexual abuse also said that some patients didn't understand what was happening.
Ashworth has about 700 inmates in some 30 wards.
The hospital is administered by the Special Hospitals Service Authority under the auspices of the Home Office and Health Service. Staff have told us angrily that if patients complain of abuse to the SHSA they are ignored. "The authorities put it down to mental fantasy," one said.
Moor's murderer Brady has boasted to staff that he traded in the names of two further victims and where they were buried, in exchange for being admitted to Ashworth where life is far easier and more luxurious than prison.
In 1992 the Rowe Report, after a homosexual murder, alleged homosexual acts between inmates were so common as to be encouraged. There is a strong undercurrent of homosexuality in psychopaths. Owen ward is exclusively inhabited by psychopaths. Another earlier report by Louis Blom-Cooper QC described the hospital as having a "brutal and stagnant environment."
According to both reports there is constant bad feeling between medical staff and prison officers which further helps break down morale.
A member of staff told us: "This is not so much a disaster waiting to happen. It is happening right now."
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Wherever there are shops, they are there, blocking the pavements with their massive posteriors, farting and groaning as they heave their mountainous blubber on and off buses which roll and strain under their weight. Wherever there are public telephones and you need to make an urgent call, they are there first, with huge bags of coin, which they pour in to a swollen payphone for hours while they talk to their long lost sister in Queensland about the disgraceful price of potatoes. Wherever there are gymnasiums, every piece of equipment is screeching under the awesome of bulk of females who obviously believe that just by sitting on an exercise machine reading a magazine or by walking all morning on a treadmill while most of mankind queues up behind them, they can turn 20 stone of pap into a model physique. Try swimming in a public pool and it won't be long before you collide with a mother whale in dire need of a harpoon, or are knocked unconscious by the falling continent of two buttocks swallow diving from the top board. Pop into a pub for a quick pint and a bite then wait, wait and wait while the walking lunch menu in front orders the entire fridge. Collect a modest basket of groceries from Sainsburys, then watch a sunny afternoon vanish into night, while a traffic jam of human juggernauts in skirts crush the cashier under tons of cut price cholesterol.
Even when these monsters from the pages of Norse sagas are snoring in their beds, they still pose a terrible threat to the metropolis. For when they are sleeping they are most dangerous. Shit machines in female form, who rise early, to flush the contents of yesterday's supermarkets, the size of fully grown boa constrictors, into a sewage system which can no longer cope. And that is before lunch.
It is understandable if some women should feel persecuted by this article. It was our fault really. It was our fault, as men, to allow you into the workplace, to give you the vote, to welcome you into our pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes. You were quite quaint and loveable when you stoked the kitchens of England, dropped a generation of infant factory workers from wombs the size of Bedouin tents, and fed your long suffering husbands with home made steak and kidney puddings. It was our mistake to let you on to the streets. It is not your fault that you are, self evidently, an insult to any man who is unfortunate enough, even fleetingly, to look at you. There was a time when it did not matter if one's wife resembled a northern slag heap, as long as one kept a pretty mistress in tow, and didn't take one's wife out in public once the knot was tied in an empty church.
If we were only more selective about the females we employ, then through a process of industrial natural selection, we may yet solve the problem. For instance, when interviewing a girl for a secretarial position, get her to walk towards the wall with her hands behind her head. If her elbows touch before her breasts, she is unemployable. Use this simple method, then, perhaps, soon every female who has reason to be out in the day will be called Jennifer or Harriet, weigh nine stone, and dress their 36" 24" 36" little figures in short black mini skirts and high healed shoes. At least then chums, if you are caught in the queue at the supermarket with a Harriet or Jennifer, you can ogle the line of her arse, or get a quick glimpse of her cleavage as she bends over the onions.
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Anyway, I digress. The electric chair does not reduce crime. It merely provides good Christians with a much needed form of entertainment. The Americans can forgive anything if it deserves a TV dinner. Unfortunately, smoking Nick did not play pro football like OJ, who will certainly not go to the chair for brutally killing his wife, as the yanks love the Superbowl even more than a good execution. You don't go to the chair for being a killer, you go for being un-American. Introducing stringent gun laws would radically reduce the number of residents on death row, but that would be un-American. Educating the immigrant poor in California, instead of banning them from the schools, would improve the crime figures no end, but that would also be un-American. The yanks need their ghettos. And they need their killers, just like they need their football players, movie stars and evangelists. And they need ME.
A nation that enjoys institutionalised torture also must consider the public appetite for more visually stimulating forms of carnage. Hanging, drawing and quartering, the removal of organs from the living carcass, the stake, mass decapitations, stoning and the stripping of the flesh from the bone with razor blades are all highly watchable. A country is hardly civilised if it only has three ways of killing their surplus population. But I bless you America. Top marks for effort.
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Hearn's creation "The Matchroom League" was a brilliant stroke of inane marketing which dragged snooker to new lows of monotony, with the help of Sports Non-personality of the decade, Steve Davis.
Having put to sleep green bays of fans up and down the country, as well as tucking up his bank manager, Hearn moved swiftly to boxing, where he signed up Chris Eubanks and turned the normally entertaining middleweight division, into a circus of sporting somnambulism. Even BSKYB got so fed up with Eubank's dreadful fights that they refused to put them out on UK Gold.
Now Bazzer, so he told us, wants to draw the excitement out of football. "I've been talking to the Chairman of Leyton Orient and before he fell asleep, we looked like we had the makings of a terrifically uninteresting deal. Basically I take over the club, solve its financial problems and in return I get the opportunity to bore 5000 fans every Saturday".
Hearn appeared to be moderately excited by the thought. "With snooker and boxing, I can't stage something every weekend. There is dull before duller, where people have the chance to recover from my tremendously tedious sporting events. That's always been a problem I wanted to overcome".
"By purchasing Orient and installing a manager as unexceptional as Phil Neal, I get the chance to control a really uneventful team and make them even more colourless. That's the name of the game. I hate seeing people enjoying themselves. I want the Orient fans to be the flattest, most lifeless supporters in the land. I want silence at the game, or at least snoring. To me that's what sport's all about; charging people for a good nap"
We left Barry counting the stitches on his hand-made leather shoe. 172 would you believe.
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Even the most elementary baboon realises there is a vague difference between the genders. The leading extraordinary claim of the more invidious sections of so-called feminism is that there is not. Or at least, there should not be. Against all the quite overpowering evidence to the contrary, they argue it is pure chauvinism to suggest otherwise.
But every fellow is amply aware of the fact that women's logic extends on an alien plane untouched by man. This is not to suggest that female logic is not logical to them - but it is rarely logical to anyone else. Now it is official - men and women travel on completely separate mental wavelengths.
A brain scanning technique called Positron Tomography used in experiments at the Pennsylvania Medical Centre for the first time has linked the emotional differences between the sexes to the physiological differences in the brain. They have found the primitive section of the brain (in both sexes) which controls sex, emotions, violence and cogitation.
So, can we please get over this silly notion that a man is hopelessly sexist if he deigns to suggest we might not be the same. We are not. That's that. End of conversation.
She got full compensation after the council admitted that all she had done was criticise one of her staff for ineptitude - which she was paid to do. For all this time it has created a situation in the department where no white person could even give advice to a black person - however wrong they may be in a case. In the social services, this is particularly dangerous. They are constantly dealing in human lives, and such things as the abuse of children. No one should be allowed to screw up just because they are black.
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"Dr. Blackstone. I have asked you here on the recommendations of the Royal Physician."(Table of Contents)
"Yah, M'am, I'm truly honoured. I'm sure I can help zee."
"Well, Philip doesn't seem to think so. He's thinks all psychiatry is balderdash. He only said this morning. "I suppose you're going to see that shrink fellow, it means THEY think you're going balmy. I didn't dare ask him what he meant, perhaps you can tell me."
"Vell, Madame, sometimes people need to be talked through their problems. Ve shrinks, as your husband call us, can often identify problems and help put them right."
"Well, I PERSONALLY, don't particularly have a problem. I mean I do have one son who's father is not my husband, another son who prefers hairdressers, the heir to the throne who wants to be a tampax, a daughter-in-law who's in love with the entire guard's regiment and has taken up boxing, another who sucks toes with her financial adviser, an errant husband who lets his mistresses in through the back door, a daughter who wants to be a horse, another son who is still in love with a model, and a sister who's always sozzled and likes penniless playboys. But there's nothing wrong with ME."
"Quite zo, Madame. Maybe that is zee problem. You are having difficulty fitting in with the rest of your family. Vill you lie on the couch and close your eyes please?"
"Most certainly NOT, young man. How DARE you suggest such a thing. Maybe I should try some hankey pankey like all the others, but most certainly NOT on first meeting. I didn't think Sir Henry meant that at all."
"You do not understand, Madame. I merely wish you to relax and try to ease your anxiety. I vood not dream of propositioning you."
"Why not? What's wrong with me? Caernarvon thinks I'm adorable. Especially in riding breeches. Why shouldn't I have a bit of fun like the rest of them?"
"Quite Oz, Madame. Quite. May I suggest we go back to the beginning to find out where this anxiety really began. What is your earliest memory?"
"Sitting on Nanny's knee watching the changing of the guard at Windsor. It was so exciting. They were doing it all for me."
"Good, I zinc vet are getting. Tell me, vhat vas it actually like vhen you first had sex?"
"What an impertinent question, but I do remember it well. We were on a safari honeymoon in Africa and it was a sweltering night. Philip turned the lights out and had a cold shower. He got into bed with me and said: 'Well, old girl, we'd better get on with it. Duty, you know.' Nanny had never told me what would happen next and I was struck dumb. I mean, I thought it was only there to do wee wees. Mummy should have told me that's how you have heirs. Anyway, thank God it was all over so quickly. Philip just sort of made a single lunge and then he just went to sleep in his own room. I didn't talk to him for a week.....until Mummy sort of explained it to me."
"Zo, has it ever been any better? Sex, I mean?"
"Oh, much better, with Tiddles."
"Who is Tiddles?"
"My favourite Corgi. He's such a darling and he seems to understand so much more than Philip ever did. Pity he can't wear a uniform."
"Vell, Madame, Now ve are REALLY getting somevhere. I think you are just as normal as all ze others. You haff nothing to worry about."
"Oh, Goody. I was really beginning to fret. I makes one so insecure, you know. I mean I felt so abnormal. Now I can join them all. I must tell Caenarvon that I'm okay after all."
" I thought I did bloody well on the box the other day Lills. I really have got the hang of believing what I'm saying, without saying what I believe."(Table of Contents)
" I know Polly, just watching you on TV makes me cum in my Y fronts".
" It's important to sound measured, well informed, confident, compassionate, firm, flexible, and totally loyal to our leader. Mind you, I was just itching to say "actually, Mr. Dumbleby, I'd like to shove the ECU up Froggie's rear, sterilise single mothers, hang-em and flog-em, sell the dole dodgers off as slaves, close more hospitals, and dump that snivelling lefty prime minister on the back benches, so I can take his job!"
"Oh, I just love it when you talk dirty. How about a suck Polly?"
"Alright then, give me a quick one. But I'll have to watch this queer stuff Lills, the grass roots don't like it"
"What's wrong with my roots? I had my hair done before that wretched Question Time. I tell you Polly, I'm going to sue Dumbleby for every penny, how dare he let that nasty man ask me such a personal question about my private life. He knows how difficult it is to hide the fact that I love you."
"Just be careful Lills. Don't dress up like a tart if there's a camera around. And no more blow jobs in public, right? Remember, we're not poofs, we're politicians. And none of this ever happened. Use your tongue a bit more Lills, that's it. Oh yes, you've got that little Peterhouse flick down to a tee".
" Maurice always loved the way I did that. I recall his post coital gasp, "Lills, my boy, with a tongue like yours you might not make a prime minister, but you will undoubtedly lick one".
"Don't speak with your mouthful. Now then, I hope you realise that when I'm PM, I'll have to dump the jackboots for more suitable attire."
"But you look so good in uniform, mien fuhrer. So gallant. "
"Well, after I have removed this sceptred Isle from Europe, filled in the channel tunnel using slave labour, introduced stringent immigration laws, muzzled the press, banned the unions, brought back the death penalty, incarcerated the homeless, destitute and insane within HM concentration camps, assassinated my political opponents and appointed Lady Thatcher Queen and her son the Chancellor of the Exchequer, perhaps a nazi uniform will not look amiss in Britain. Unfortunately, until then, I can only wear it for you Lills, and not the Party".
"Well, it's not long now Polly. It's not long now"
From: The Prime Minister Of Great Britain
To: The President Of The United States Of America
Now that much of the hoo-hah has blown over, I thought I'd drop you a note just prior to my next visit to ostensibly discuss present world affairs. I am dictating to Norma because I don't trust a single one of the charlatans in Downing Street. They are all behaving as if my days are numbered. Well, they've thought that before and here I am. Heseltine's got a long way to go before he ousts me, and then he'll have the odious Portillo breathing down his neck. Ha, ha. See how he likes that.(Table of Contents)
Anyway, I think it was a very good ruse to blur the impression of our last meeting with the Gerry Adams nonsense. After all, it was an issue that didn't really bother either of us, but both of us managed to come out of it looking good. I mean, neither of us can afford to take chances. My people tell me that you are presently the least respected President in history. Well, old chap, join the club. The polls tell me quite regularly that I am the most failed Prime Minister this little island of ours has ever known. So it was natural we should find an empathy. A simpatico and to hell with them all. I am sure if we join forces and show vestiges of our inner strength, we'll both come out of this alive.
It is my experience that you can fool most of the people most of the time, and I am not interested, for the time being at least, in all of the people all of the time. I'm sure you'll agree. Now we're going to have to have a public squabble over the wretched little murderer you're going to electrocute. We'll have to go through the motions, of course. But as far as I'm concerned, you can fry the little bastard. I often wish we had the guts to do the same, especially with the handful of bastards who are trying so hard to engineer my downfall.
I'm sure your CIA and certainly our own GCHQ knew that all that time we were pretending not to talk to each other by 'phone, we were in fact having long discussions each evening. But no one else does. It does the image good. You looking like the accommodating and peace-making statesman, and me looking like the hard-nosed politician who is courageous enough to not answer the 'phone to the President of the United States. It made you look so conciliatory and me so stubbornly in charge of my destiny.
If GCHQ leaks the fact that we were chatting amiably about what an areshole Gingrich was, and what a fine bedfellow he'd make of Portillo, I shall never forgive them - and they know it. That's why I'm dangling so many redundancies over them. Keep them in line. Mind you, I don't know if you can do that with the CIA. From what I can see, they're a rum lot who spend most of their time trying to get damaging dossiers on all the heads of state, including you.
Anyway, old chap, Norma sends her love to all of you, and I'm looking forward to a good bitch. Jolly fine that we've got something like an execution to cover our friendship. Wouldn't be very good politics to have an old Tory like me getting on with an old Democrat like you. Even though we're in the same boat.
Don't say that you didn't read it here first!
Having told you lot, in issue 27, that a team detection would hit Warburg, it has happened. Top Equity Caper Market 'bods have jumped ship with six colleagues to Deutsche Bank's new as-yet-to-be-built, London Equity Capital Markets Division.
Make no mistake, brother equity Hoggers, they will succeed, as long as those stuck in the 1950's dolts at Morgan Grenfell don't get in their way. Mind you, tasselled-louvered streak of piss and vanity Michael Dobson has been put 'in charge' of what is being hailed as a MG/Deutsche Bank joint deal. I predict Deutsche/MG to overtake the flagging BZW (Barclays, the Shiny Suit Wedding Ring, as dealing room snobs call them) Natwest Markets and SG Warburg into UK m. I slot in primary equity and advisory, and rival the Yankees in fixed income, very soon.
What of Whoreburg? They need to get commercially married a bit sharpish. To whom, I hear you ask?
Well Deutsche Bank are certainly interested; Whoreburg could sell their 75% of Mercury Asset Management and buy top class second tie US House Donaldson, Lufkin Jenrette off French Insurer Axa. Axa would probably love to have M.A.M. However, a Schroder/Warburg marriage should not be ruled out, but S.W knows why!
Schroder US Arm Wertheim is about second rate at best, and Schroders commitment to securities distribution elsewhere has been bizarre. They started Schroder Securities back in the late 80's, virtually closed it, announced the formation of an equity capital markets group in 1993 headed by their top corporate financier, dreary Gerry Grimstone, and then by 1994 were claiming to 'be independent of brokers by having no securities arm'!!. Strange really, if you talk to Schroder Securities head of Equity Sales, oily and loud little wog Michael Aslett (Sorry, if you can bear to be talked at by him) he will tell you that Schroder are committed to securities. Yeah, sure. No primary capability, no research of any rated standard, no debt market presence whatsoever, no derivatives capability, a fucken great UK Fund Management arm....What kind of investment bank are Schroders?
The marriage of Schroders and Warburg would be the sort of City mis-fit and cock-up that each party are prone to love...and execute....UK fund management...UK advisory....UK equities.....Sterling bonds....The World? Where's that, old boy?
Up, Coming And Bust
Talking of cock-ups, the City's 'Comingmost' investment bank Swiss Bank Corporation, has got a couple of little flies in the ointment recently.
When advising Dutch Insurance Giant ING on the purchase of Legal and Generals reinsurance arm Victory Re, SBC were the only boys in town who seemed not to know that Victory was bust!
As a result ING are suing Swiss bank Corp for £375 million. What SBC didn't realise was that between the middle of the '70's and the late 80's, Victory propped up the Lloyds/London Market reinsurance spiral to the tune of nearly 25%, in Marine Market terms. Who were the next biggest underwriters in this area outside Lloyds? Orion Insurance Co. And who owned Orion? Yes, you've guessed it, ING. To cap it all, ING also wrote Non-Marine reinsurance "threefold" via their NRG London Subsidiary, as well as Orion and Victory.
The real problem for Lloyds and the London Market will come when the ING close up their "run off" of these unfortunate subsidiaries and tell their creditors to go "take a running jump". That will be the big nail in Lloyds coffin.
Swiss Bank recently backed a Lloyds Bank Corporate Vehicle that was so attractive to prospective Investors that a full 60% was left with SBC!!
SBC Insurance man Jonathan Paine shrugged this little mishap/abject and embarrassing failure off by saying that "SBC had a long-term commitment to the London Insurance Market". After the judgement in the ING case, and the ownership of a Lloyds Corporate Capital dustbin, Mr Paine may well not make that "Commitment" himself!
Hugh The Whiz Kid Wanker
This weeks Corporate Finance "Wanker of the Week" award (Prize; a copy of the Ladybird/Early Learning Centre book of Mergers and Acquisitions in simple steps) goes to silly little Welsh git Hugh Evans of Phoenix Securities. Probably in order to give the lad relief from making tea and licking stamps, Evans was given the job of selling troubled fund managers Knight Williams, owned by hugely arrogant and stupid former Irish Hussar Robin Knight Bruce and ex-treasury man John Williams.
Currently trading at a loss, but with a neat future in the right hands, KW was valued by fund managers and sector analysts at the lower end of accepted rule of thumb valuation, at between £4.5m and £6m.
What about whiz-kid Evans? Much to the hilarity of the Fund Management World, Evans dialled up such prospective purchasers Mercury, Henderson, Singer and Friedlander, and Morgan Grenfell, offering this gem of a co. at between £20m and £25m.
All around town the sound of guffawing laughter and slammed down telephones have pierced the air, as Evans is told to "fuck off".
Evan's boss, David Reid Scott ( a man whose sense of humour when it comes to being on the pointed finger end of howling ridicule, is not known to be acute) is even less pleased than messrs Knight-Bruce who have been paying £15,000 a week for the privelege of not having their CO. KW not sold by Phoenix Securities.
Well Hugh, old chap, mabye when Mr Reid Scott gives you your P45, he will remind you of the old adage that the Welsh are living proof that the Vikings shagged goats.
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Here was a man who claimed to have aided and abetted in disposing of no less than seven underage boys. According to Tony Campbell, a veteran Southport hoodlum, a series of murders took place from 1986 to the early 1990's. Some of these murders involved the abduction of teenage boys, pornographic videos, and their subsequent violent death on camera.
The films were then sold on to Amsterdam via an intermediary called Mr. Fatty. On arriving in London, Tony Campbell gave graphic accounts of how his family's victims were disposed of through a local funeral parlour, which the Campbells owned. His testimony averred that legitimate corpses awaiting cremation were removed from coffins and cut up with a chain saw. The murdered boys were then dumped in the coffins, the bits and pieces of the other body laid on top, the lid nailed down, and the coffins cremated soon after. He also described how in a cemetary in Southport graves were dug deeper to accomodate murder victims, and covered over with another funeral.
It was a gruesome tale and one which, if it had not been preceded by over 20 years of arson, shootings, beatings, murders, drug dealing and pornography, would have begged belief. The Campbell clan had a notorious past. They had amassed a small fortune through crime right under the nose of Merseyside police who, curiously, did nothing to bring them to justice. Sources claim that drugs were sold openly on the streets to young boys, who were then enlisted for sexual favours. It was only after Scallywag published an article in 1993 which alleged police corruption, and local newspapers started asking questions, that Alan Campbell, Tony's father, was arrested and charged with fraud and firearms offences. He is presently on remand in Walton prison.
Due to Scallywag's first article, Merseyside police decided to investigate themselves. Not surprisingly, no single grain of dirt was found. The matter was very firmly closed.
When Tony confessed to being involved with the death of seven underage boys, his story was entirely consistent with the profile Scallywag had already composed of the Campbell operation. He also provided new information concerning the unsolved murder of a 36 year old homosexual called Nigel Bostock. This man had been found strangled in his bath and the case had remained open since 1986. According to Tony, Bostock was a lover of Alan Campbell. One week before his death, Tony claims to have witnessed a ferocious row between the two men, which resulted in Alan Campbell threatening Bostock's life.
On a tip off from Scallywag, the Sunday Express recently uncovered a string of unsolved gay killings in Southport and the Merseyside area. Was Bostock connected? Moreover, were the Campbells involved?
If Tony Campbell was to be believed, he had actually helped with the disposal of missing boys. There were also other unsolved murders, of which Nigel Bostock was one. Tony had also been in prison for a total of 12 years. It was unlikely, that if Tony's accusations were true, the Campbells had stopped killing while he was incarcerated. At the very least Tony's story warranted diligent investigation.
Tony Campbell was, at the time, in a secure unit at a London hospital. Astonishingly, three weeks passed before the police finally interviewed him. Meanwhile, Scallywag was due to go to press. On hearing that we were about to publish the story, Scotland Yard panicked. A co-operative relationship turned sour, and Scallywag was threatened with legal action should we continue. Regardless of these threats, Scallywag decided to publish.
Over the next few weeks, Tony Campbell was interviewed by Scotland Yard on several occasions. The content of these interviews is unknown. It is unlikely that Tony Campbell, who was in fear of his life, co-operated fully. But he did provide the police with much more detailed information regarding the activities of the Campbell clan.
In further discussions, Tony Campbell has continued to support his earlier statements. He has also indicated that provided his safety was ensured that he would be willing to divulge corroborative testimony concerning the murders, the Campbell's interests in snuff movies and corruption in the Merseyside police. It would appear that Scotland Yard has not taken him up on the offer.
Is this because they simply believe he is a liar? There is no doubt that Tony Campbell is a con man, petty thief, arsonist and drunk. So are most of the villains that form a network of informers for police forces all over the country. There is no doubt that the Campbell clan was rich in violence, pornography and perversion. There are many videos in existence which prove this; from bestiality to rent boys. Many of these videos star Alan Campbell, his wife, mistress and an entourage of additional people. We also have the identity of individuals whom, Campbell claims, were in possession of snuff movies. To our knowledge, none of these individuals have been investigated by the police.
Based on the extensive dossier that we have on the Campbell family, it is hard to believe that Tony Campbell is simply getting some bizarre kick from winding up the press and the police with red herrings. The police have always been less than eager to police themselves. What would Scotland Yard uncover about the Merseyside force if they delved deeper into the Campbell story? What would they reveal about 20 years of gangsterism which was allowed to flourish by the authorities? What would they discover about the lucrative trade in hard core pornography and snuff movies which has become the subject of so much local folklore? Perhaps, we will never know. Once again, the case is closed.
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Lazio Hospitalla(Table of Contents)
Ward De Cripplelia
What's happened to your promise to keep in touch? Here I am sweating my pasta shell shaped arse off to get fit agains and not soo much as a message on the answer phoone.
Well, in case you've forgotten my many talents, I have taken the time to outline beloow why you should still be building your side aroond my genius.
I may not be able to walk, run or kick a ball. I may be slower than Le Tissier and fatter than John Barnes, but I believe the following will change your mind.
*Who in your current bunch of so called internationals can fall down heavily from a powder-puff challenge to a gasp of dread from the crowd?
*I have sadly nooticed the lack of tongue poking during national anthems.
*I note as well that you have eradicated losing the ball in dangerous positions in our own half. Blimey, I can do that for 90 minutes.
*Although some of the lads can occasionally manage a sniffle, not one of them has been able to carry off a full hearted sob while also kissing their badge.
*Who is there noow to make reckless tackles? Incey dives in, but he always wins the ball. What good is that? You need people to slide in, avoid the ball at all costs and hack down the player. More suspensions please Tell. More me.
* Finally, and perhaps most disappointing of all, is the complete lack of players confessing publicly that they have hit their wives or girlfriends. The crowd love a good woman beater. They can relate to that.
Coome on Tel, if I'm not in your next squad I'm goonna turn up at Scribes with Dennis Wise and throw-up on your waitress, crap on your tables and bust up your toilets.
All my love and continued respect,
It was not just a matter of running out of steam. There were several other factors. Firstly, the lives of the British Royals had become so bizarre of their own accord, that no one could keep up with them. How can you be satirical about a family which includes the Prince of Wales wanting to be reincarnated as a tampax, or a Princess who likes having her toes sucked by her financial advisor? The whole lot of them became much stranger than life.
And so they had with the British Government and the sleaze, the sex scandals, the dirty tricks, the dismantling of the welfare system, piece-meal, and the general crumbling of the nations infrastructure no longer became laughing matters.
No scriptwriter on earth would have dreamt up Portillo and Lilley with their trousers down having a romp in the Department of Trade and Industry, celebrating the last election; or naughty midnight feasts at Number Ten; or a prominent back-bencher hanging upside down tied up in woman's clothing with an orange in his mouth. It was all far too weird and fantastic for even the most original gag-writer.
More important than all this, however, is the demise of comedy writing which has now become an industry. Not so long ago there was a small bunch of very good writers who (mainly on radio) kept the gags flowing. Traditional theatre comedians such as Ken Dodd, had his own closely guarded stable of writers. That Was the Week That Was, followed by Monty Python and many others spelled the change from radio to TV and then into the clubs. Whereas there were once less than 100 top writers, there are now several thousand trying to scratch a living from the art. And, as with most things that has just grown and grown, the standard started going downhill very quickly.
The traditional stand-up comedian on the working man's club circuit, quickly got taken over by the satirical comedy clubs where, even though every town in Britain has at least one - and often a lot more - there were at least six comics trying for the same spot each night. And they were eating up avalanches of material, a lot of it pretty mundane.
The fact is that there are far too many comedy outlets and not nearly enough really high-calibre suppliers of original material.
Lastly, there has been the PC factor. When you start getting rid of such riveting and genuinely funny stuff as Alf Garnett, then you automatically close huge areas of traditional British humour - even if it was only the mother-in-law jokes. This unhealthy factor quickly penetrated the comedy clubs, and then soon after, the TV companies. You could never again make a gay or lesbian joke. Or even a joke about a fat woman. We had eliminated the seaside postcard in a great orgy of denial to satisfy the often demented prejudices of a vociferous minority group.
We are in the satire business ourselves and have first-hand knowledge of the dearth of good material. Satirical writing is an art form which essentially pricks pomposity. But it does not need merely to be rude and vulgar about its chosen subject. It is a lampooning operation, and very few people can get way with it successfully.
It is frankly the same with cartoonists. Again, there are less than a hundred good ones fighting for space, and at least ten times that number who will only make it in the university rag magazine.
It is time for a new voice, a new concept, and a new age of comedy. For a time Spitting Images was it. But any attempts to revive it will render it passé. I'd rather watch old episodes of Python and remember the glory days.
Conditions and esprit de cours in the office are reliably reported as being 'desperate'. At the latter, Dominic Lawson is riding high, and even if you don't like their politics, it's a damned fine read.
The insufferable Sir Peregrine Worsthorne, always a boring old fart much given to the sound of his own typewriter, has been running around their offices like a maverick mare on heat, upsetting just about everyone, as he always does. Now Lawson has fired him, as the Sunday Telegraph once had to do because he got so far up everyone's nose, he'd reached the hairline.
Over at Business Age the ambitious editor and founder, Tom Rubython had sold out and become a thrice-times millionaire, after some five years of sailing very closely to the wind, both in the magazine's finances (it had to cease trading several times) and libel actions. He is now flirting with the idea of a business weekly tabloid newspaper. No doubt, he'll go places. As he has tackled the City without ever looking at a PR handout, but relying on a team of first class investigators to dig deep into financial and political scandals, I personally hope he does.
At the journalist's weekly, the UK Press Gazette, Editor Tony Loins is presently wilting under the demands of a new management who have looked at nothing but the accounts. They have realised that journos are not necessarily high spenders likely to attract the big ads. Rather, they like the media and pubic relations sections, where the purses could quickly grow. In the meantime, and even if most journalists only read it to see what jobs are going, it is virtually the only organ with genuine news about Fleet Street. It is somewhat ironical that the newspaper and magazine industry can't seem to produce anything else which is half decent.
The only sinister element which appears to have crept insidiously into all this, is the ITC's reaction to a film which has been made - critically - of paedophiles. It appears that someone somewhere doesn't like the idea of the programme being aired.
Keep at it Michael.
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The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Jewish Holocaust activated a rash of TV programmes and articles, drawing attention to the apathy of the allies before, during and after the war.
The Pope, Righteous the 23rd in his feeble statements of opposition to the Third Reich could not bring himself to mention the word 'Jew' and the only supposed evidence of his racial views was his later request not to have black US troops stationed around the Vatican after the war, presumably so as not to excite the nuns. Today's Jewish leaders and the few survivors of the camps would like a 'Holocaust Museum' to be built as a reminder of the tragedy. Though they exist in the USA and elsewhere, there isn't much support among the establishment here, after all the same interest exists in 1995 as in 1945 within the Foreign Office towards how genocide operates across the world. East Timor may spring to mind here.
Last year I released a CD which contained a final track titled "Lhasa Town", a folky and catchy tune which tried to give some idea of the situation in Tibet, a country I visited. Such ballads have been sung before people learned to read and write. I had support for this track by Dave Stewart and later I edited a video together from footage shot in Tibet by Sue Lloyd Roberts, now working with the BBC. The result was quite entertaining and to the point; we even included a clip stolen from the Chinese of soldiers beating the shit out of monks a few years back, hence it didn't fall into the 'Take That' TV format.
Many people I showed the video to were moved to tears and they all thought it should have a wide audience. Last year I appeared on some 15 TV shows across Europe and though short clips of it were sometimes slotted between the banal 'brother' questions, only one TV station in Prague broadcast it's entire four minutes. Vaclav Haval alone in Europe has met the Dalai Lama as a 'Head of State' and for that simple recognition has been punished by the Chinese by trade retaliation. As someone who lived under the jackboots of the Russian Empire most of his life, he had the courage to stand up for his beliefs even though his small nation has major economic problems.
In Japan MTV told me the video was 'too political' and as a nation which invaded China prior to WW2 and are currently courting trade links, their money is where their mouth is. In England 'The Word' suddenly latches on to me, a tape was rushed to them and we watched the whole dire show that Friday night. They failed to air it, concentrating instead on a put-down of brothers and offspring's of other stars around the world and how useless they were. They returned the Beta Cam master through the post three weeks later. MTV in this country showed a clip during an interview with me, stressing that 'it was my view of the situation in Tibet'; but you don't really get the view in 15 seconds. Sky news here actually showed more of the video than any other company.
I didn't make a video with the express purpose of pushing the Tibet issue, it just happened that way, and as I became suitable interview fodder, largely because of the family connection, I tried to have the video aired as I thought it valid. The music business though, like any other, has a set agenda, and that doesn't include what they term 'politics'.
Four years ago during the Gulf War, brother Mick released a single titled 'High Wire', a put-down of the conflict, and the arms trade on a wider scale. He invited me to come up with any suggestions, and worked on the lyrics for ten days straight, as he knew they would be scrutinised. The song starts off..."We send 'em missiles, we send 'em tanks, We give 'em credit, just call the bank...". It was immediately seen as a song cashing in on the conflict, anti 'our boys in the Gulf' and banned by the BBC, who never liked to play Rolling Stones anyway.
In my case, it made me more determined to push the issue of Tibet up the agenda, despite the pro-China business lobby.
In brief: Chinese occupation of Tibet to date has resulted in the estimated death of one sixth of the indigenous population, 1.2 million people, a massive transfer of Chinese people into Tibet so that Tibetans are in a minority, environmental damage and deforestation, forced sterilisation of Tibetan woman and abortions, (an anathema to Buddhists) continuing attacks on the religion and language and the deployment of nuclear missiles and nuclear dumping there. Small wonder that China will not relinquish Tibet as it has established that one third of the mineral wealth of China and Tibet is in Tibet, a land under exploited until they arrived. China asserts that Tibet is part of it's rightful country; so why treat people worse than Muslims treat their dogs?
Popular support for Tibet and its culture, which now flourishes in the outside world only, is on the increase largely due to the massive efforts of the Dalai Lama who has become increasingly disillusioned of late with prospect of any improvements in his own land.
There is no machinery in Tibet even to monitor human rights; I myself spoke to two nuns who had escaped after imprisonment and torture; they had been stripped naked and burnt with electric cattle rods. Aged 17 and 18 their crime was to sing Tibetan songs in praise of the Dalai Lama.
Currently the Chinese are seeking to increase their revenue from tourism and allow groups into selected areas of Tibet and with pro-Chinese guides. Even they are not Tibetan. When I visited Tibet our operator didn't speak the language. Currently, any remaining Tibetan Guides, especially those who have had any education in India, are being removed on the grounds that they are not giving the correct political line and are due to be replaced by 1,000 Chinese guides from Beijing.
Towards the end of the trip around the Norbu Linka, the old Summer Palace of the Dalai Lama in Llhasa. In one room was a fresco depicting Llhasa at the turn of the century. The Tibetan caretaker there knew I was English, checked no-one else was around, and removed a small screen to reveal a tiny Union Jack the size of a postage stamp in one corner of the painting. The flag showed the British Mission which had been helpful in driving out Chinese troops in 1912. The caretaker then replaced the screen. For that tiny act the guy could probably have lost his job and been slung in prison, but he retained one act of defiance which helped his will to stay alive despite the desperate situation there. It's a cry for recognition and help from this country which is still amazingly regarded as a bastion of freedom by oppressed countries.
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Meanwhile, the Serious Fraud Office continues to investigate how chief executive and director Philippe Antonie David Le Roux, OBE and various associates brought Norton to the brink of financial ruin.
The SFO investigation followed a devastating report by Department of Trade & Industry inspectors who examined events leading up to the failure of Norton's 1990 rights issue - caused in part, when Le Roux's £200,000 cheque bounced. In early 1991 Le Roux resigned. Now a self-employed consultant, he and his wife and children are said to live in some style near Northampton.
The DTI has launched proceedings to disqualify Le Roux as a company director along with former Norton Chairman Jimmy Tildesley, Norton's former finance director David Gnodde and Simon Fussell, former chairman of furniture maker Minty whose reverse take-over by the then Norton Villiers Triumph Group (NVTG) provided Norton with a full Stock Exchange listing, and awful problems.
Some £34 million appears to have flowed through Norton in the five years that Le Roux was in control. So far it hasn't been traced and detectives are considering the possibility that Norton may have been the key to a massive laundering operation. By the time Le Roux was awarded the OBE, Norton was too broke to make motorcycles. In the end Le Roux himself was so broke that he entered into an individual voluntary arrangement with creditors owed more than £3 million. Le Roux's London accountant Harold Sorsky is senior partner in Sorsky Defries - also recently accused by US customs of being involved in an international money laundering syndicate.
Wherever the £34 million went, it certainly didn't go to making bikes, did it Mr. Le Roux?
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For recipes of some of the world's most deadly explosives can he found in the average household, or at the corner chemists, and any kid with a mind to it, could manufacture them at will in his own kitchen or bathroom.
It highlights one of the greatest dangers of the unregulated internet, which is the huge variance of dangerous information it contains. Sooner or later there will have to be world-wide restriction of some kind. And experienced superhighway travellers dread the day, but accept it as inevitable.
The exchange of paedophile information of the very worst kind - including how to make snuff movies - has already caused huge stir of conscience. Then people cybered in to specific instructions of how to make hard core drugs, including cocaine with simple, cheap and legal ingredients found in any local high street.
But it is explosives and poisonous gases which has worried them most. Simple recipes for gases far more dangerous than those used in Tokyo, can be manufactured in a bath tub by almost anyone who can read. While it would be utterly irresponsible to give the specific detail, for example, the deadly napalm is made from a designated compound of ordinary petrol and ordinary soap powder.. Mix up the right combination in your bath and heat it to fuse, and you can make unlimited napalm.
The trouble is that the whole internet system started between universities valiantly trying to make all their information, papers and libraries, available to every other university. There are probably trillions of items of complicated data, graphs, learned papers, advanced scientific reports, all utterly genuine, available to those prepared to look.
An associate of Scallywag's who wished to look up everything known on a certain drug which causes dementia unless it is carefully controlled (he wanted to know because it would effect the evidence in a miscarriage of justice situation), was able to download thousands of references within a few minutes. That was an entirely innocent inquiry. But he could equally have been looking for heroin derivatives, or Sodium Chlorate explosives. There is even significant data on the serious production of stink bombs using the basic material of an aerosol can of whipped cream.
There is detailed information on how to manufacture gunpowder - and then how to pack it into dynamite and almost all the ingredients can be purchased in any Safeways.
There will clearly become a need for regulation. But how?
The internet is so maverick it borders on anarchy. There are no rules except those self-imposed by its users. They have developed techniques (called Flaming) to jam certain pieces of information, or even eliminate it. But once it is on there, getting rid of it is extremely difficult.
But who should censor it? If it was left to the government in each country, one country or another would censor all of it. What might be acceptable in down town Rio may terrify the mandarins in downtown Shanghai. To control it properly on a global scale would take huge ingenuity, a great deal of money, and full international co-operation.
There would have to be key areas. Information deemed to encourage terrorism; the making of drugs; and hard core pornography could be regulated from a central world censor designated and carefully controlled by a United Nations special body.
But internet users, like amateur hackers, spend a lot of their time trying to buck the system and there will always be a way.
It appears there are nothing but headaches ahead, on a global level. Meanwhile, little Johnny sitting so innocently in his playroom twiddling with his modem could well be plotting to blow up his school.
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The first was proposed by Dale Campbell-Savers, a rugged, shoot-from-the-hip, no-nonsense labour MP from Workington. He is a veteran influential backbencher who is known for doing his research into subjects embarrassing to the 'other side' and, for hanging on by the tail until he gets his way. Determined, almost dogged, he is a socialist of the 'old school' who will dig his heels in over a matter of principle.
Scallywag had been in correspondence with him and had met him in his Westminster office. He had read our extensive dossier on, among other things, the murky dealings of Julian Lewis who at the time had put us temporarily out of business. DS made it plain he was no particular fan of the magazine. He thought we probably deserved everything the CCO could throw at us. But he was "extremely worried" about the implications thrown up by Lewis's series of writs against 'soft' targets, like retailers, wholesalers, distributors and printers.
He realised that, if you took the law as it stands presently to it's full conclusion, there was nothing to stop a determined maverick like Lewis suing, for example, British Telecom for 'allowing' its lines to be used to send a Fax message which might become the subject of legal action. This has also touched on fears about the internet. If a university in, say, downtown Akron, Ohio, provides a data base and line to a third party - and all universities do - are they liable in law if that person publishes a libel, even unwittingly?
Indeed, the Lewis action came at the same time as one by Peter Lilley concerning a question on the Dimbleby programme in which a member of the audience had asked if it were true that Lilley and another minister were lovers. Subsequently, Lilley had issued writs against Dimbleby and the BBC. But when a reference was also made on the internet, Lilley's lawyers also tracked down the 'host' data base, Leeds University, and also threatened them.
There is very little difference between this and threatening BT, neither of which could possibly be aware that a libel may have been committed. A very dangerous state indeed.
So, on behalf of the principle only, Campbell-Savers took up our case and found a surprising number of supporters from all parties.
He had been in contact with the Lord Chancellor's Office and discussed a forthcoming Bill which is aimed at 'reforming' the libel laws - a subject which almost everyone agrees is pressing. He found out that the central 'reform' was simply that the same soft targets could not be sued unless they had been specifically told the article was subject to a libel action. If they then knowingly went ahead and handled the product, they would still be held liable.
He and we realised this meant no real reform at all. All someone like Lewis had to do was send out a load of warnings that he intended to sue and the product would have to be withdrawn. This would by no means only affect precarious publications like ours. But if, say, the Guardian or Observer was planning to run an unfavourable story, Lewis and Co., if they were so-minded, could merely inform Mr. Patel in Kennington High Street that he intended to sue, and Mr. Patel and every corner shop selling the Guardian or Observer, would be forced to withdraw it - whether Lewis and Co., did or did not subsequently issue a writ.
This clearly would be the most insidious form of censorship and the Lewis's of this world would not hesitate to use such tactics. So, following the motion itself, Campbell-Savers and his supporters are also planning several amendments to the Bill when it comes up later this year.
This is all clearly of very great interest to the whole trade and the situation has been highlighted by the Lewis campaign against Scallywag.
For several years they had conspired with another Preston businessman, Michael Murrin, to set Oyston up with the purpose of bringing him down. Unknown to the two MP's (Lord Blaker was then Sir Peter Blaker) Murrin had taped at least 40 hours of conversations between them, quite emphatically arranging dirty tricks against Oyston of the most invidious kind. On a World in Action Programme, still unaware of the tapes, both men had denied all knowledge of the campaign.
Pendry had heard samples of the tapes and knew the two were lying. The Motion asks them to apologise to the House for lying. There has since been a conspicuous silence. And the Motion has been withdrawn.
Set among the sleaze, the dodgy armaments deals, the sex scandals, the heavyweight lying which the Scott Report will reveal, and the other dirty tricks which Lewis and his cronies have set up, this might all seem like small beer.
But if you think of the full implications of the Campbell-Savers motion - a 'back-door' plot to increase British censorship it is very serious indeed. Yet not a single British newspaper has even caught a wisp of it; and the trade itself - from printer's to retailers, let alone magazine publishers who could all be gravely affected - has been curiously reticent to cause waves.
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(a) (b) Profile of David Price.