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Zionism, the CIA, New Labour and the Iraq War


John Simkin
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In the past, attempts to undermine the Labour Party took place either just before or during a Labour Government. Kier Hardy was incorruptible but the ruling elite got rid of Labour’s first government, led by Ramsay MacDonald, with the Zinoviev Letter in 1924. More sophisticated methods were then used on MacDonald after that and by 1931 he was willing to completely sell-out the Labour Party.

It took many years to overcome this treachery but by 1945 the Labour Party was able to win control again. Clement Atlee was also fairly incorruptible but fellow leaders of the party were willing to accept the money of the CIA via Tom Braden and the International Organizations Division to move to the right. This created internal division in the Labour government was by 1951 it had lost its majority.

Harold Wilson was the next Labour prime minister. We now know that MI5 and the CIA began a long drawn out campaign to undermine his government. Edward Heath suffered from the same forces as he was considered by the establishment to be far too left wing. James Callaghan and Denis Healey (one of the original targets of CIA money in the late 1940s) successfully moved Labour to the right after Wilson was finally removed in 1976. Callaghan and Healey introduced monetarism that was developed by Margaret Thatcher’s period in office.

In 1986, the newly elected Tony Blair took a “freebie” tour of the United States. At the time he was a member of CND (we now know that he was recruited by MI5 to spy on CND). While in Washington he announced he had changed his mind and that that the “visit had persuaded him of the value of nuclear weapons”. The intelligence services always prefer their placements to have been a former “left-winger” because they rarely move back again after they have been “converted”.

In March, 1994, Blair was introduced to Michael Levy at a dinner party at the Israeli embassy in London. Levy was a retired businessman who now spent his time raising money for Jewish pressure-groups. After this meeting, Levy acquired a new job, raising money for Tony Blair. According to Robin Ramsay (The Rise of New Labour, page 64), Levy raised over £7 million for Blair.

In an article by John Lloyd published in the New Statesman on 27th February, 1998, the main suppliers of this money included Sir Emmanuel Kaye (Kaye Enterprises), Sir Trevor Chin (Lex Garages), Maurice Hatter (IMO Precision Group) and Maurice Hatter (Sage Software). Later it emerged that David Abrahams was part of this group that worked via an organization called "Labour Friends of Israel".

In April, 1994, John Smith died and Blair won the leadership contest. With Levy’s money, Blair appointed Jonathan Powell as his Chief of Staff. A retired diplomat, Powell was not a member of the Labour Party. In fact, his brother, Charles Powell, was Margaret Thatcher's right hand man.

Alastair Campbell was the other man brought into his private office with Levy’s money. Powell and Campbell were later to become key figures in the later invasion of Iraq. It is of course a pure coincidence that this decision reflected the thinking of Israel’s government.

Another important figure in the corruption of Tony Blair was the media baron, Rupert Murdoch. It was widely believed that Labour Party lost the 1992 General Election because of the anti-Labour campaigns of Murdock’s newspapers.

In 1995 Tony Blair flew to Australia to “pledge his allegiance at a meeting of News International’s executives… an extraordinary act of fealty”. (Peter Oborne, Alastair Campbell: New Labour and the Rise of the Media Class” page 141)

As a result of this meeting Murdoch’s papers were, at worst, neutral towards Labour. Alastair Campbell began writing articles to go under Blair’s name in the Murdoch papers. (Robin Ramsay, The Rise of New Labour, page 67)

To create “New Labour”, Blair had to start removing the links with the trade union movement. Traditionally, the trade unions had been the main providers of money to the Labour Party. However, if Blair was going to this he had to find other financial backers. This became Sir Michael Levy’s job. However, the problem with obtaining large donations is that they always expect something back in return. Businessmen have always seen donations to political parties as an “investment”. Recently, there has been much speculation about this money being used to buy “honours”.

For example, all but one of Labour’s top donors who have given over £1m has received a peerage. The exception is Lakshmi Mittal, the steel magnate. He was rewarded in other ways - the Romanian steel contract. This is the reality of large political donations. The granting of honours is just a sideshow. It is the granting of other political favours that is the real scandal.

For example, soon after he was elected as prime minister, Blair announced that sport was being exempted from the ban on tobacco advertising. Everyone was surprised by this broken election promise until it was revealed that Bernie Ecclestone had given the Labour Party £1 million a few weeks previously.

Another example of Blair’s corruption concerns his relationship with the businessman, Paul Drayson. Blair had a meeting with Drayson on 6th December, 2001. Soon afterwards two things happened: (1) Drayson donated £100,000 to the Labour Party; (2) Drayson’s company, PowerJect, won a £32 million contract to produce a smallpox vaccine. The most surprising aspect of this contract was that it was not put out to open tender. If it had of been the contract would have gone to a German-Danish company called Bavarian Nordic. It is this company that Drayson has purchased the smallpox vaccine from. It is believed that Drayson paid Bavarian Nordic £12m for the vaccine. In other words his £100,000 investment has resulted in a £20m profit. In all, Drayson has given £1.1m to New Labour. This was a good deal for Drayson, he was also given a peerage as a result of this donation.

Another company that has a strange relationship with Blair is Jarvis Engineering. The chairman of this company is Steven Norris. He was formerly a Conservative MP and served as Minister of Transport (1992-1996). However, he decided to leave the House of Commons to become chairman of Jarvis Engineering. Although still a member of the Conservative Party, Norris decided it would be a good idea to make large donations of money to the Labour Party.

This was followed by a change of Labour Party policy. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown had in opposition been strong opponents of the Public Finance Initiative (PFI). A scheme brought in by the Conservative government that enabled private companies to obtain government contracts to provide public sector services. Jarvis Engineering had done extremely well out of this scheme. Blair and Brown decided that this scheme was now a good one. It was not very surprising that Jarvis Engineering soon began winning PFI contracts given out by the Labour Government. Jarvis was not the only company that found it very beneficial to give money to “New Labour”. History shows that it seems a very good way to get PFI contracts.

When Tony Blair was elected he promised to reform the House of Lords in order to make it acceptable in a democratic society. However, he has failed to do this and Robin Cook disclosed in his diaries that Blair was never keen to reform the second chamber. The reasons are clear. Selecting who should be in the House of Lords gives tremendous power to the prime minister. It is also a source of income as Blair has been selling honours for the last nine years.

Giving money to New Labour is good business. In 2001 Richard Desmond gave £100,000 to New Labour. Within days the DTI gave permission for Desmond to buy Express newspapers for £125m. Afterwards he admitted it was a good deal as New Labour spent £114,000 advertising in his newspapers “so I actually made money on the deal.”

Over the last five years, 17 out of the 22 donors who have donated more than £100,000 have been given some kind of honour.

The publicity over links between donations, honours, and government contracts (PFI was always going to lead to government corruption) has resulted in Blair developing a new tactic. This involves businessmen in providing loans rather than gifts. Loans do not have to be declared. The idea is that several years after the contract has been given or the honour awarded, the loan is turned into a gift.

Chai Patel (1.5m), Sir David Garrard (1m) and Barry Townsley (1m) all gave this money to Lord Levy (Blair’s bagman). It has now been revealed that over £14 million in loans was raised by Levy before the 2005 election. As a businessman myself, I find it difficult to understand why Labour has been willing to sell honours in exchange for loans. How are they ever going to be paid back? Since 1997 the membership of the Labour Party has fallen by over 50%. Trade union contributions to the party have also nearly dried up. Therefore, the only way they will be able to pay this money back is by raising this money in donations. It is financial madness? Or is it? Remember, leading Labour Party officials are claiming that they knew nothing about these loans. Is it possible that some members of the party have received money for arranging these loan deals? The Labour Party is in danger of going bankrupt. One of the reasons the Labour Party sought out these loans is that its bankers refused to provide the necessary overdraft to fight the election.

Even this is not the great scandal waiting to be exposed. This involves the relationship between Tony Blair, Jonathan Powell, Alastair Campbell, Michael Levy, Rubert Murdoch, etc. and the funding of the Labour Party and the Iraq War. Is it possible that some of these loans came from companies like BAE Systems who have benefited from the Iraq War? This is of course what has happened in the United States (Halliburton & Bechtel). Is this the reason that Tony Blair is reluctant to reveal who gave such large loans in 2005?

We now know that Lyndon Johnson manipulated Congress in order to start the Vietnam War. We also know that the greatest beneficiaries of the war was three companies based in Texas, Brown & Root, General Dynamics and Bell Corporation. All three companies had been long-term financial backers of LBJ. Will we find out the same thing about Blair and his backers? The fact that the man who arranged these loans was Sir Michael Levy.

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Tony Blair has just released the list of the businessmen who provided the loans.

Rod Aldridge - £1m

Richard Caring - £2m

Gordon Crawford - £500,000

Prof Sir Christopher Evans - £1m

Nigel Morris - £1m

Sir Gulam Noon - £250,000

Dr Chai Patel - £1.5m

Andrew Rosenfeld - £1m

Lord David Sainsbury - £2m

Barry Townsley - £1m

Derek Tullett - £400,000

Total: £13,950,000

The list includes some interesting names.

Andrew Rosenfeld established the Minerva property group with Sir David Garrard in 1996. Rosenfeld stake is worth £49m. He has £30m in other assets. Garrard is also a major supplier of cash to Tony Blair. There is no evidence that they are socialists. However, they do depend on the government to give planning permission for their various property ventures. For example, in January the government gave permission for them to build Minerva Building, a 217-metre office tower in London. Just a coincidence of course, I am sure the reason they supported the government because they wanted Blair to increase the minimum wage.

Most of the named businessmen are involved in property development. If I was an investigative journalist I would take a close look at recent planning applications involving these people: Richard Carling, Gordon Crawford, David Gerrard and Andrew Rosenfield. Lord Sainsbury is another who is very interested in planning permission when it involves his great rival Tesco....

Not that I believe this is an accurate list. Lord Sainsbury denied he was on the list of secret donors when this story was first published in the newspapers. Was he lying then or now? Why would he give a commercial loan to the Labour Party? He has already given £6.5m since becoming science minister in 2001 (an expensive job to buy). I suspect he was telling the truth the first time and is now being used as a cover for someone who is linked to the arms industry.

Nor does the idea of commercial loans make any sense. Where is the Labour Party going to get the money to pay off these loans? The money has already been spent on the last election.

The real scandal is not about the Labour Party selling honours or government contracts. It is about individual members of this government taking money from these businessmen.

I have recently been studying the corrupt activities of Lyndon Baines Johnson. He used several methods of laundering corrupt money. His main strategy was to get his businessmen to pay money into his wife’s television station. This took the form of overcharged advertising payments. Mrs Blair does not own a television station. However, she does make ridiculous sums of money from the “lecture circuit”. Is this how the Blair’s do it?

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." George Orwell
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Political parties have never been very keen on loans. As one official pointed out: Loans are a pain in the arse. Frankly, if you are a fundraiser you want to get the money. And either the bugger wants it back so you’ve only bought time, or you have to go cap in hand and see if they’re prepared to convert it and go through all that.”

Yet Dr Chai Patel, who has never voted for the party, originally offered to give New Labour a donation of £1.5m. However, he got a phone call from Sir Michael Levy and asked to turn it into a loan. How do you explain this?

Although Levy is keen for millionaires to give gifts and donations to New Labour, he is very much against paying income tax. In 2000 the Sunday Times revealed that multimillionaire only paid £5,000 income tax the previous year. It seems that Gordon Brown had told him all about the tax loopholes in the system (in opposition Brown promised that these loopholes would be closed).

The Jerusalem Post has described him as “undoubtedly the leader of British Jewry”. A leading international Zionist, Levy is Blair’s special envoy to the Middle East (that seems a wise choice).

Levy was also a fundraiser for the Conservative Party before the arrival of Tony Blair. He then created a series of “blind trusts” that channeled funds into Blair’s private office without the identities of rich benefactors being disclosed. In 1997 Levy raised £12m for the New Labour election campaign. Blair used Levy to cut Labour’s dependence on the trade union movement so the party’s reliance has declined from two-thirds in 1992 to about a quarter now.

It has been announced that BAE Systems, the British military contractor is in talks with the European Aeronautic, Defence & Space consortium to sell its 20 percent stake in Airbus. This will bring to an end a nearly 30 year partnership that spawned the world’s largest passenger plane. It is estimated that the stake is worth 6 billion.

According to the International Herald Tribune (8th April) the decision to sell is linked to Blair’s foreign policy. The newspaper quotes Andy Lynch, a fund manager with Schroder Investment Management, as saying that Blair willingness to send troops to Iraq and Afghanistan has made the arms industry a more predicable business than the aircraft industry. Especially as Blair has been very keen to give BAE long-term government contracts (the company specializes in land-based artillery). BAE is also a major supplier to the Pentagon. In fact, in the past two years it has bought six military contracting companies in the United States.

The Herald Tribune claims that BAE is in the process of transforming itself into a quasi-American company (in the same way that Blair is a quasi-American prime minister). Apparently it is currently trying to takeover L3 Communications Systems (surveillance systems) and Raytheon (missile maker). BAE Systems is now the world's 4th largest arms company. Each year it sells arms worth around £11bn across the globe.

Is it possible that Blair is involved in a corrupt relationship with BAE and Boeing? For example, Airbus booked record orders for 1,055 passenger planes last year, versus 1,002 for Boeing. With the success of the A380 Airbus is in a good position to become the world’s leading aircraft production company in the world. Business analysts are saying that BAE’s decision to sell is undermining confidence in the A380 and will help its main rival, Boeing.

Is it possible that BAE is to Tony Blair what General Dynamics, Brown & Root, Halliburton and Bell Corporation were to Lyndon Baines Johnson?

Is it possible that it was really the agents of BAE that has been loaning money to Blair and New Labour (covered up by the claims of Lord Sainsbury)? Here is an account of Blair’s relationship with BAE that appeared on the Campaign Against Arms Trade website:

http://www.caat.org.uk/publications/companies/baes.php

BAE Systems has a turbulent relationship with the MoD and has faced accusations of heavy-handed lobbying tactics and poor project management. However, whatever its problem with the Ministry and its civil servants, BAE Systems can always rely on Tony Blair.

Ever since Blair arrived in government in 1997 it has been apparent that he has supported BAE Systems against all comers and all rational argument. He pushed through controversial sales to Zimbabwe and Tanzania and lobbied, amongst others, the South Korean and South African Presidents on behalf of BAE Systems.

Striking confirmation of the relationship was provided by Robin Cook in his book 'The Point of Departure'. He states 'In my time I came to learn that the Chairman of British Aerospace appeared to have the key to the garden door to Number 10. Certainly I never once knew Number 10 to come up with any decision that would be incommoding to British Aerospace'.

The extent to which Blair's love of BAE Systems permeates the UK government isn't entirely clear, but it is clear that BAE Systems receives 5-star treatment from a wide variety of official sources:

• minister after minister trooped out to promote the sale of the Hawk aircraft to India, regardless of the level of conflict over Kashmir.

• corruption allegations, reported to the government, have not been fully investigated.

• changes to guidelines have weakened arms export controls in areas relevant to BAE Systems, most obviously those announced in July 2002 which facilitated the transfer of the company's equipment to Israel via the US.

• the DSEi and Farnborough arms fairs receive financial assistance and ministerial support.

• the Defence Export Services Organisation continues to dedicate 600 civil servants to the arms trade under the leadership of an arms industry boss, currently seconded from BAE Systems.

• there is a proliferation of 'advisory bodies' which give the major arms companies preferential access to civil servants and ministers.

• a new Missile Defence Centre has appeared for no apparent reason other than to help UK companies win US 'Son of Star Wars' contracts, with BAE Systems as the lead contractor.

• and to bring things right up to date, just last month Prince Andrew and the UK's Ambassador to Bahrain opened BAE Systems' first office in Bahrain.

The reason for Blair's affection for BAE Systems isn't immediately obvious. It's often assumed that UK jobs lie at the heart of his interest but BAE Systems' record on that score is poor. In 2003 it stated that it would make 470 workers at its Hull Brough plant redundant if it didn't receive a contract from the MoD for Hawk jets. BAE Systems was duly given the contract even though the Treasury said an open competition would save the taxpayer £1 billion (£2 million for each of the 470 jobs!). In April 2004, less than a year on, BAE Systems announced the loss of 760 jobs and the following week a further 1,000 jobs. There has been little outcry. Jobs appear only to be important when BAE Systems wants to win a contract.

Tony Blair is fully aware of this so we need to look elsewhere to understand his enthusiasm for the company. The most likely explanation revolves around Blair's fondness for big business generally and his zeal for the grand foreign policy/military statement. BAE Systems brings these together in one entity and seems to hit all the right buttons.

BAE Systems continues to receive more than its fair share of corruption allegations. And, despite the unwillingness of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the MoD to investigate, they won't go away.

In September 2003, the Guardian published details of its investigation into allegations of a £20m 'slush fund' set up by BAE Systems to bribe Saudi officials. It reported that a confidential letter from the head of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to the MoD alleged a possible fraud operation involving BAE Systems in relation to the massive Al Yamamah arms deals with Saudi Arabia. Neither the SFO nor MoD pursued the allegations despite being provided with a box of relevant invoices and other documents by a former employee of BAE Systems' front company.

Earlier allegations that BAE paid £7m commission into a Jersey trust for Qatar's foreign minister also ended with a failure to investigate. This, despite the SFO being asked for help by the Jersey authorities, and the UK Government admitting that it had a report of this commission payment in 1998.

Other allegations have been met with an alternative official response, if a similar end result. In June 2003 the Guardian alleged that 'BAE Systems paid millions of pounds in secret commissions' to win a South African Hawk jet contract. Astonishingly, it stated that the UK government had confirmed the payment but refused to reveal the amount paid. The DTI did, however, say it was 'within acceptable limits'!

There have been other allegations relating to the Czech Republic and India, but none of the allegations draw much of a reaction from BAE Systems. The company has a standard response of ignoring specific allegations and offering a variation on the theme, 'BAE operates rigorously within the laws of both the UK and countries in which it operates.' BAE Systems is certainly careful regarding corrupt practices, but the suspicion must be that it is careful to hide them rather than shun them. The Guardian recently reported that in 1997 BAE moved 'filing cabinets full of evidence of corrupt payments to foreign politicians to a vault in Switzerland' using a subsidiary registered in the Virgin Islands.

Ivor Caplin, the former defence minister and member of the Labour Friends of Israel, surprisingly stood down at the last election. His decision now makes more sense. It has just been disclosed that he has taken lobbying jobs with two companies, Foresight Communications and MBDA Missile Systems.

Foresight is run by Mark Adams, Tony Blair’s former private secretary and is involved in the £20 billion Eurofighter contract. MBDA is an American missile company. This mirrors the corrupt relationship between politicians, civil servants and arms companies that takes place in the United States. For example, George Bush’s corrupt relationship with Halliburton.

Caplin has broken the ministerial code and has been criticized by a Whitehall vetting committee. Not that this will make any difference. Caplin and others like Jack Cunningham (a lobbyist for the nuclear industry) are laughing all the way to the bank.

BAE Systems, Britain’s biggest arms company, is at the centre of a major scandal and is being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office. Barry George, acted as BAE’s agent during the government sale of two British frigates to Romania. Apparently, BAE paid Barry George over £7m in commission for this deal.

The deal was arranged in 2003 by William Bach, the government’s arms sales minister. Ironically, Tony Blair has been lecturing Romania on tackling corruption before being accepted into the EU. Obviously, he does not think they are sophisticated enough in their corruption. Maybe he will have to give them advice on this.

BAE Systems have a long record of corruption. Last year, it was alleged in Chile that BAE had paid more than £1m to intermediaries linked to ex-president Pinochet in return for arms deals.

In 1996 a secret £7m payment from BAE to the foreign minister from BAE to the foreign minister of Qatar was discovered in a Jersey account after an arms deal to the state.

In 2003 a whistleblower alleged that a £60m slush fund was being used by BAE to provide presents to the head of procurement for the Saudi air force.

Is it possible that BAE have been involved in providing money to Tony Blair? Maybe that is the real source of Lord Sainsbury’s loans.

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John Reid, the home secretary and member of the Labour Friends of Israel, is planning a new official secrets law to punish intelligence officers who blow the whistle on government policy by leaking secret information. He wants longer jail sentences and the removal of a key legal defence of “necessity” for whistleblowers.

The crackdown is aimed at preventing cases such as that of Katharine Gun, a former translator at GCHQ, who leaked a memo showing that in the months before the Iraq war in 2003 the Americans wanted GCHQ’s help in bugging the homes and offices of UN security council members. The government dropped its case against her after she threatened to use the necessity defence that she broke the law to prevent a greater “crime” in the form of an invasion of Iraq.

If her court case proceeded, her defence team would have been able to explore the legality of the invasion of Iraq in court. The government could not afford this to happen.

Tony Blair obviously fears other whistleblowers coming forward with stories concerning the illegal actions of our government. Breaking the 1989 Official Secrets Act currently is punished by a maximum of two years in prison. The government hopes that longer jail sentences will stop whistleblowers from protecting our democratic system.

Peter Henry Goldsmith, a prosperous lawyer, who gave money to Tony Blair’s New Labour Project. In 1999 he was rewarded when Blair gave him a peerage. An early example of “cash for honours”.

In June, 2001, Blair appointed him as his Attorney General. In this post it become his responsibility to argue the case for the legality of the invasion of Iraq. Blair refused to make the advice public. Lord Goldsmith's original memo, written on March 7, 2003, was eventually leaked to the press, which led to its official publication on 28 April 2005. In the memo, Lord Goldsmith discusses whether the use of force in Iraq could be legally justified by Iraq's 'material breach', as established in UN Security Council Resolution 1441, of its ceasefire obligations as imposed by Security Council Resolution 687 at the end of the First Gulf War. Lord Goldsmith concludes that 'a reasonable case can be made that resolution 1441 is capable in principle of reviving the authorisation [of the use of force] in [Resolution] 678 without a further resolution.' However, Lord Goldsmith did concede that 'a court might well conclude that [operative paragraphs] 4 and 12 do require a further Council decision in order to revive the authorisation.'

In his final advice to the Government, written on March 17th 2003, Lord Goldsmith stated that the use of force in Iraq was lawful. This advice stated Lord Goldsmith's preferred view in more unequivocal terms than his earlier memo, without reference to the doubts expressed therein. This has led to allegations that Lord Goldsmith succumbed to political pressure to find legal justification for the use of force against Iraq. Shortly after the leak Lord Goldsmith released a statement in response to such allegations, saying that the two documents were consistent, pointing to the difference in the nature of the two documents and the firm assurances he had received between 7th and 17th March that Iraq was indeed in breach of its obligations under Security Council resolutions.

The controversy was furthered by the resignation of Elizabeth Wilmshurst, deputy legal adviser to the Foreign Office, on 20 March 2003. A full version of her letter of resignation became public in March 2005. In this she stated that the reason for her resignation was that she did not agree with the official opinion that the use of force in Iraq was legal. She also accused Lord Goldsmith of changing his view on the matter.

This is now the man who will decide if Blair faces prosecution for the "cash for honours" scandal.

I have thought sometime that the main corruption of Tony Blair involves the arms industry. This would help to partly explain the Iraq War and the recent decision to try and get Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system renewed before he is ousted from power. Some reports suggest the system will cost in the region of £79bn. Gordon Brown has already made a speech where he has argued he is in favour of renewing Trident, although it will clearly break the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT).

Article VI of the NPT states that each of the parties to the treaty should undertake to pursue "negotiations in good faith on effective measures" relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race and to nuclear disarmament. In 2005, Rabinder Singh QC and Professor Christine Chinkin stated their opinion that the replacement of Trident is likely to constitute a material breach of Article VI. "The linkage between the principles of non-proliferation and the obligation to negotiate towards disarmament ... indicate that Article VI is a provision 'essential to the accomplishment of the object or purpose of the treaty'.

Last week the Ministry of Defence secured a £1.7bn increase in its budget. Currently we are spending £32bn a year on defence. This is in cash terms, the second biggest defence allocation in the world.

It is not made clear why we need the latest attack submarines or anti-tank weapons. Who are we pointing our nuclear weapons at? We used to be told it was the Soviet Union who wanted to invade us. Since the fall of communism they are only interested in killing its political opponents on the streets of London. What we do know is that our current enemy is extremely to reluctant to use conventional tactics on the battlefield. Nuclear missiles and the Eurofighter is not very good at dealing with terrorists.

The Ministry of Defence agrees with this assessment. In a white paper published in 2003 it stated: "there are currently no major conventional military threats to the UK or NATO ... it is now clear that we no longer need to retain a capability against the re-emergence of a direct conventional strategic threat".

A leaked NATO policy document concedes that "large-scale conventional aggression against the alliance will be highly unlikely". As George Monbiot pointed out in yesterday’s Guardian: “No country that is capable of attacking NATO countries is willing to do so. No country that is willing is capable. Submarines, destroyers, Eurofighters and anti-tank rounds are of precious little use against people who plant bombs on trains.”

Who is making money from this obscene arms trade? The main beneficiary is BAE Systems. In his book Blair’s Wars, John Kampfner records that “from his first day in office Blair was eager not to antagonise British arms companies, and BAE Systems in particular, which developed extremely close relationships with senior figures in Downing Street.” A Downing Street aide told Kampfner that whenever the head of BAE encountered a problem, “he’d be straight on the phone to No 10 and it would be sorted”.

BAE Systems latest problem concerns the Serious Fraud Office’s three year investigations into allegations that illegal commissions into allegations that illegal commissions may have been paid to Saudi royals by BAE Systems. The SOF is also looking at arms deals between BAE and General Augusto Pinochet.

Both these deals date back to Margaret Thatcher’s time in government (her son was also involved in these deals). This helps to explain why Thatcher was so keen on helping Pinochet stay in office and from being tried in court for crimes against humanity.

What has this to do with Tony Blair? Maybe he is keen for these arms dealers to pay off the Labour Party debts (£17 million needs to be paid back during the next 12 months).

BAE is apparently claiming that the Saudis are threatening to pull-out of a £6 billion contract to provide 72 Eurofighter Typhoons and give it to the French if Blair does not call off the SFO.

There is also another interesting point. Today the Guardian revealed that secret payments of millions of pounds from BEA has been found in Swiss accounts linked to Wafic Said, a billionaire arms broker for the Saudi Royal family. Apparently, Said is a close friend of Peter Mandleson. Now, there is a man that Blair finds difficult to refuse a favour.

The current edition of Lobster Magazine includes a quote from a MI5 officer that the publisher removed from Anne Machon and David Shayler's book, Spies, Lies and Whistleblowers:

"Blair was recruited early on his career, around the time he stood in the Beaconsfield by-election in 1982. He was just the sort of agent MI5 wanted at the time, a man who appeared to be committed to the Labour Party but who in fact was - to use Thatcher's phrase - "one of us" ... MI5 terminated Blair in the the late 1980s when it was downgrading its study of subversion and Blair was rising to the higher ranks of the Labour Party."

This helps to explain why Blair was originally a member of CND. Under Thatcher, CND was seen as a subversive organization and as a result a large number of MI5 agents joined the CND to spy on them. It also helps to explain why Blair is so keen to sign a new contract for Trident before he leaves office.

http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/

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This article raises important issues about Blair's relationship with the intelligence services. It has received little publicity in the UK but hopefully the actual testimony will now be published in the world's media.

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article2076163.ece

Whistleblower that ministers tried to muzzle

By Anne Penketh and Andy McSmith

Published: 15 December 2006

Carne Ross wrestled with his conscience for three more months after he secretly submitted evidence to the Butler committee into the use of pre-war intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

Beset by long-standing private doubts about the Government's Iraq policy which he had implemented for four years in New York, he had previously drafted "about six" resignation letters in the past which he never sent.

But after emailing his testimony to the Butler committee from Kosovo where he was on secondment, Mr Ross realised that he had probably jeopardised his 15-year career. After agonising for another three months, he sent another email in September 2004, this time terminating his employment with the Foreign Office. He was 38.

Until then, he had been on the fast track to diplomatic glory, during a Foreign Office career which began in Bonn. In New York, where he worked from December 1997 to June 2002 as first secretary at the UK mission to the United Nations, he was responsible for Iraq policy.

It was a turbulent period, yet he still found time to take a playwriting course, which gave rise to his first play The Fox, performed in New York, in which a young peacekeeping officer is changed for ever after watching a massacre in a country bearing a striking resemblance to Bosnia.

After leaving the Foreign Office, Mr Ross established Independent Diplomat, which assists small, democratic countries with no experience in diplomacy to punch above their weight.

Mr Ross was back in the spotlight last month, following his revelation to the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee that he had testified to Butler, and that he was prepared to share the information. But he said: "I was advised by the lawyers of my union that I might be liable for prosecution under the Official Secrets Act if it was to become public."

Labour's Andrew Mackinley - a long-standing member of the awkward squad - did not agree. He insisted that if Mr Ross handed his own evidence over to a Commons committee, he would be protected from prosecution by parliamentary privilege.

But the committee chairman, Mike Gapes, a government loyalist, needed to think carefully before taking such a step. He tried to close the meeting with the matter undecided, but as it was breaking up, Mr Ross spoke again. "I have given it years of thought," he said. "This has been on my conscience for a very long time, and I was waiting for an opportunity under privilege to share my evidence to the Butler inquiry. I would be happy to share it with the committee."

The committee met again in closed session on 6 December. There are rumours that there was a fierce argument, but the outcome was a letter from the committee clerk to Mr Ross, asking for a copy of his evidence.

The next meeting, on Wednesday, was also held in secret, but again there were rumours of a ferocious argument. Whatever was said, the outcome was that in the morning, the evidence that had been kept secret for two-and-a-half years was available on the internet, at last.

The first two or three months of 2007 represent a dangerous opening for an escalation of war in the Middle East, as George W. Bush will be tempted to “double-down” his gamble in Iraq by joining with Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair to strike at Syria and Iran, intelligence sources say.

President Bush’s goal would be to transcend the bloody quagmire bogging down U.S. forces in Iraq by achieving “regime change” in Syria and by destroying nuclear facilities in Iran, two blows intended to weaken Islamic militants in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.

The Israeli army and air force would carry the brunt of any new fighting albeit with the support of beefed-up U.S. ground and naval forces in the Middle East, the sources said. Bush is now considering a “surge” in U.S. troop levels in Iraq from about 140,000 to as many as 170,000. He also has dispatched a second aircraft carrier group to the coast of Iran.

So far, however, Bush has confronted stiff opposition from the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff to the plan for raising troop levels in Iraq, partly because the generals don’t think it makes sense to commit more troops without a specific military mission.

But it’s unclear how much the generals know about the expanded-war option which has been discussed sometimes in one-on-one meetings among the principals – Bush, Olmert and Blair – according to intelligence sources.

Since the Nov. 7 congressional elections, the three leaders have conducted a round-robin of meetings that on the surface seem to have little purpose. Olmert met privately with Bush on Nov. 13; Blair visited the White House on Dec. 7; and Blair conferred with Olmert in Israel on Dec. 18.

All three leaders could salvage their reputations if a wider war broke out in the Middle East and then broke in their favor...

In early 2007, the revival of this neoconservative strategy of using the Israeli military to oust the Syrian government and to inflict damage on Iran’s nuclear program may represent a last-ditch – and high-risk – gamble by Bush and the neocons to salvage their historic legacy.

If that is the case, then Bush will approve “the surge” in U.S. forces into Iraq, which likely will be followed by some provocation that can be blamed on Syria or Iran, thus justifying the expanded war.

Betting the lives of American soldiers and countless civilians across the Middle East, Bush will follow the age-old adage of gambling addicts: in for a dime, in for a dollar.

http://consortiumnews.com/2006/122006.html

On Thursday the Blair government was severely criticised by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for its decision to terminate the Serious Fraud Office’s inquiry into allegations that BAE paid bribes to Saudi royals. Representatives from 35 countries expressed “serious concerns” about the behaviour of Tony Blair. Britain has been given two months to provide further explanations before the OECD decides what to do about the matter.

Officials from America and France are especially upset because their countries have been trying to enforce OECD’s anti-bribery policies. In doing so, they have been losing contracts to Britain.

A more important development is the admission from Sir John Scarlett, the head of M16, that he never possessed intelligence that Saudi Arabia planned to cut security links with Britain over the BAE Systems investigation. Once again, Blair has been caught lying about what he was told by the intelligence services. As these are “state secrets” Blair assumes he can lie about these matters without getting caught. As with WMD in Iraq, the truth sometimes emerges and Blair is exposed for being a xxxx.

Blair has had a fairly easy ride so far in the UK over this issue. Blair is being portrayed as being someone willing to lie and break the law in order to obtain jobs at BAE Systems for the British people. In today's world this appears to be morally acceptable. However, that is not the real issue. The termination of the SFO investigation is not to protect corrupt Saudi officials, but to protect BAE executives. The investigation into BAE’s Swiss bank accounts shows that a large amount of this slush fund has arrived back into Britain. Some of this could have gone to people working for BAE. An interesting question is what happened after that. Did it go to the people who gave the deal government approval? Did it go to the people who have tried to cover-up the corruption at BAE? If so, that money would have found its way to Tony Blair and the Labour Party. Is it BAE that has really been providing donations and loans to the Labour Party?

We know from the investigations into the BAE deals with Saudi Arabia, Tanzania and South Africa, that the company uses front organizations to pay the bribes. Has BAE been using the same system to provide money to the Labour Party? Does this explain the confusion of Lord Sainsbury when he could not remember paying large sums to the party? It is also necessary to keep a close watch on Blair after he leaves office. It will be necessary for journalists to investigate who is really paying for Blair’s lucrative lecture tours in the United States. They should also take a close look into the financial accounts of Cherrie Blair.

The injuction against the BBC has been lifted. It is now reporting:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6423225.stm

Tony Blair's aide Ruth Turner expressed concern that Lord Levy had put to her a version of events over cash-for-honours which she believed to be untrue.

The concern was put in a document which the BBC has not seen, but which has been supported by more than one source.

Labour fundraiser Lord Levy denies "any wrong-doing whatsoever" and criticised the "prejudiced and distorted" picture presented by recent media reporting.

In the document, one source has told the BBC, Ms Turner said she was worried by Lord Levy's words and she believed the prime minister should be told about it. The BBC does not know whether the prime minister was told.

No charges have been brought against anyone in connection with cash-for-honours - none may ever be, and all involved deny any wrongdoing.

Lord Levy has always maintained he played no role in drawing up the list of those to be recommended for peerages - although he has accepted he may have given his opinions about individuals who appeared on the list.

Neil O'May, from Lord Levy's solicitors Bindman & Partners, said he "categorically denies any wrong-doing whatsoever".

He said that the "current round" of media reporting was "partial, contradictory, confused and inaccurate".

His statement said: "There has been a regular stream of leaks to the media during this year-long investigation, all of which have presented a prejudiced and distorted view.

"Cumulatively, these leaks and reports have created a climate which does not allow for any fair assessment of the investigation.

"Any fair-minded person must realise the intolerable burden that is placed on Lord Levy and his family by this media-style trial when Lord Levy is unable to defend himself on these matters whilst the police investigation continues.

"Lord Levy respects the importance of maintaining the integrity of the police inquiry and so is unable to comment further at this time."

The cash-for-honours probe began a year ago. Police are investigating allegations that honours were exchanged for loans to the Labour Party.

The probe switched its focus recently from the question of cash-for-peerages to allegations of a cover-up.

Last night on C4 Lord Levy’ rabbi claimed that the leaks against him were part of an anti-Semitic campaign. He blamed the police for these leaks. It is difficult to understand the motives of the police in leaking details of the evidence they have against Levy. Unnamed sources from the crown prosecution service claim the leaks are coming from 10 Downing Street. Two possible motives for this action: (i) an attempt to distance Blair from Levy; (ii) an attempt to make the prosecution of Levy more difficult.

Important not to confuse Blairs here... but there a minor storm over a report that Sir Ian Blair was seated at "top table" with Labour's chief fundraiser Lord Levy, at the Jewish Security Trust's annual dinner.

The Jewish aspect to this story is very interesting. Over the last few days the BBC has allowed several spokesmen from the Jewish lobby to argue that the loans for honours case is an anti-Jewish conspiracy. David Rowan the editor of The Jewish Chronicle, argued this point of view on BBC Radio 4 yesterday. When Rowan worked as the editor of Education Guardian he commissioned a regular column from me on important figures in history. I always got on well with him but I completely disagree with his current views on Lord Levy. Rowan's views on the subject can be read here:

http://www.davidrowan.com/2006/12/levy-cas...ple-jewish.html

In his Radio 4 interview, Rowan accused people of being anti-Jewish for pointing out that in March, 1994, Blair was introduced to Michael Levy at a dinner party at the Israeli embassy in London. Levy was a retired businessman who spent his time raising money for Jewish pressure-groups. After this meeting, Levy acquired a new job, raising money for Tony Blair. According to Robin Ramsay (The Rise of New Labour, page 64), Levy raised over £7 million for Blair. All this money came from Jewish businessmen. Can one be really suprised that people are now connecting Lord Levy's actions with Blair's foreign policy in the Middle East?

Attorney General Lord Goldsmith is to step down after six years in office. He said he will leave his post next week - as Tony Blair quits after 10 years as prime minister. Goldsmith says he has resigned but in reality he has been told by Gordon Brown that he was going to be sacked.

The legal spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, Simon Hughes, said Lord Goldsmith would be remembered as "one of the most controversial attorney generals in post-war British politics... He will always share responsibility for the decision to invade Iraq and to drop the investigation into alleged corrupt dealings between BAE and the Saudi government in connection with Britain's biggest ever defence contract."

Hughes is being too kind. Goldsmith is the most corrupt Attorney General in our history. Gordon Brown has made a gesture that he is about to clean-up politics. I only believe that if he orders a re-opening of the investigation into BAE and the Saudi government.

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Even though Blair has been forced out of office I will not end my persecution of him until he ends up in prison.

Interesting development in the BAE scandal has recently emerged. Politicians have to find ways of getting bribes into their accounts. For example, LBJ did it via his wife’s radio station in Texas. The money took the form of paid advertising. If you look through the radio station’s accounts you can find some strange companies buying advertising on the radio station.

The Blairs set up a family trust in 1997. This was used to buy property. This included the famous incident where Cherie arranged for Australian crook, Peter Foster, to buy two flats in Bristol (Cheriegate). It was claimed that these flats were to be for the Blair children when they were at university. This was in itself embarrassing as it was at the same time when Blair had reneged on his promises on university fees. Unfortunately most students don’t have parents to buy them flats while at university.

It has emerged that a company called Thales has paid a large sum for the use of these flats for their Bristol executives. Thales and the Blair Trust have refused to reveal how much money was paid to rent these flats. Thales is a company that gets defence contracts from the government. Alex Dorrian, chief executive of Thales, successfully lobbied ministers to stop the SFO inquiry into the alleged bribery of Saudi Arabia officials in the multi-billion-pound al-Yamamah arms deal. Thales now stands to earn tens of millions of pounds from the supply of Eurofighters to Saudi Arabia, which had been threatened by the bribes inquiry.

Martin Paisner is one of two trustees who run the Blair trust. He is the co-owner of Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), a London legal firm. BAE Systems is also being investigated for corruption by South African officials. They have discovered that Thales paid a £69,000 bribe to Jacob Zuma, former Vice President of South Africa, to stop an investigation into another multi-million arms deal. This money was paid to Zuma via a Berwin Leighton Paisner bank account. Just a coincidence of course.

BAE, Baroness Symons, In Black Operations Against LaRouche

by Anton Chaitkin

http://www.larouchepac.com/pages/breaking_...ns_Blackops.asp

As documented in the widely circulating broadside, "BAE Scandal Demands Cheney's Immediate Impeachment" (see lead article in this section) Vice President Dick Cheney attempted to bury the BAE scandal in both Britain and the United States, precisely because investigation of this $80-100 billion British/Saudi slush fund could reveal the authors of very "black" Anglo-American covert intelligence operations, amongst them 9/11. According to British and other news accounts, Cheney prevailed upon Prime Minister Tony Blair and U.K. Attorney General Lord Goldsmith to shut down the British Serious Fraud Office's investigation of BAE, on "national security" grounds.

Ongoing investigations also shed new light on the role of Cheney crony Baroness Elizabeth Symons in covering up the BAE operation and in British black propaganda attacks on Cheney's leading U.S. political antagonist, Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. Based on this background, it is hardly remarkable that Symons baldly proclaimed to Reuters news agency on Feb. 27, 2007, that the British criminal investigation of BAE was shut down because there was no evidence of bribery—"the reason they did not find anything is because there was nothing to find." Symons' attempt to bury the matter occurred just at the time that the cries of "coverup" were reaching a crescendo in the British press, and major investigations of BAE were developing internationally.

Elizabeth Symons was one of a handful of political operatives who shaped the 1990s rise of Tony Blair's New Labour as a poorly disguised Thatcherism. Her father, Ernest Vize Symons, had been director-general of the U.K. tax department (Inland Revenue), and a governor of the English-Speaking Union, which sought to reunite the U.S.A. with the British Empire. When her father retired in 1979, Elizabeth began working in the trade union division of the Inland Revenue, and later in other unions, in an effort to emasculate the unions and separate them from political power.

In 1996, Tony Blair nominated Symons for a life peerage for having helped create a labor-free Labour Party. By this time, Symons had long been a Fellow of the British-American Project for the Successor Generation, a project to tie together British and American defense and secret services strategists. (This was begun by Sir Charles Villiers in 1985, when his son-in-law, John Negroponte, now U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, was boosting the Contras as Ambassador to Honduras.)

As Prime Minister in 1997, Blair appointed Baroness Symons to the post of Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Foreign Office. Symons represented the Foreign Office in the House of Lords in March 1998, when she was questioned about the coup and countercoup in Sierra Leone in West Africa. Executive Outcomes, a mercenary group tied to the British Crown, had moved a protection racket into Sierra Leone in 1993, taking its payoff in diamonds. When Ahmed Tejan Kabbah was elected President of the country in 1996, he acted on the encouragement of U.S. President Bill Clinton to cancel the British mercenaries' contract, despite the Executive Outcomes threat that he would be overthrown.

A military coup then removed Kabbah; British High Commissioner Peter Penfold, in exile with Kabbah, successfully urged him to hire Sandline, Executive Outcomes' partner mercenary company. Sandline shipped in 30 tons of arms, contravening the United Nations sanctions on arms to that civil-war-devastated country.

Sandline had fully informed the Foreign Office, and others in the Anglo-American black-operations chain of command. A Foreign Office official had told BBC on March 9, 1998, that Baroness Symons was in the circles that had been briefed on the transactions, and that she knew of the ongoing criminal investigation by British law enforcement.

On March 10, 1998, Lord Avebury, a Liberal Democrat in the House of Lords, asked Baroness Symons on the official record, would she investigate press reports that "the future diamond resources of the country have been mortgaged in an illegal arms transaction in which a British company, Sandline International, was involved?"

Symons denied all, obfuscating that "the newspaper article to which the noble Lord refers ... was in several respects not entirely accurate, or at least not on all fours with the reports that Her Majesty's Government are receiving." There were then calls for Symons' resignation, which Blair rebuffed. As BBC reported the same day: "The Prime Minister has leaped to the defence of foreign office minister Baroness Symons, at the centre of allegations that she misled parliament over the arms-to-Africa affair. Tony Blair told MPs ... that he had not asked her to resign and said there was 'not a shred of evidence' that she ... had deliberately misled anyone."

In 2000, Dick Cheney, chairman and CEO of the Halliburton oil services company of Houston, Texas, and candidate for Vice President, was the American co-chairman of a British conference held April 14-16, on the subject of privatizing the British and American armed forces. This was the special project of Baroness Symons, whom Blair had appointed in 1999 as Minister for Procurement in the Ministry of Defence. The conference was attended by all the main Ministry of Defence officials working to implement her plans for military "Public Private Partnerships," the "Smart Acquisition" initiative, and the "Private Finance Initiative." The event was sponsored by the Rand Corporation, and hosted by the Ditchley Foundation, an Anglo-American power elite group in which Baroness Symons is a trustee and governor.

In his opening remarks to the conference, Cheney referred to his own leadership, first, as Defense Secretary (1989-93), in scheming to have private companies and mercenary soldiers usurp the traditional national military function, and then, steering his Halliburton company to play that role. Cheney said: "I have approached the question of privatization of defense support services from several different perspectives: first as a member of Congress, then as Secretary of Defense, and currently as chairman and chief executive officer of Halliburton." He noted that "our British colleagues are far ahead of us in ... successful privatization efforts." Cheney complained that a "challenge for DoD [Department of Defense] is to develop a strategy for countering political resistance. This conference ... provides a tremendous opportunity for us to share experiences, and to learn how the U.S. might take advantage of the concepts and principles that are embodied in the U.K. experience."

Cheney's personal appearance in England at just that moment coincided with Baroness Symons' first planned big privatization: Martin Kitterick, a Defence Ministry consultant on Symons' "Private Finance Initiative," spoke to the conference on the scheme to turn transport of battle tanks over to private companies' trucks and drivers, a contract that Halliburton wanted.

On April 17, 2000, the day after the Cheney-Ditchley conference, the Ministry of Defence announced Baroness Symons' plan for privatizing the British government's giant Defence Evaluation and Research Agency. Baroness Symons then led the parliamentary debate on the plan, reassuring the Lords that she was working closely with the Americans.

After the Supreme Court decision of Dec. 12, 2000, Dick Cheney was designated as Vice President and George W. Bush as President of the United States, to take office Jan. 20, 2001.

The announcement by Baroness Symons, that a consortium headed by the Halliburton company was awarded the £300 million contract to privatize military heavy transport, was graciously delayed until Jan. 24, after the inauguration. Cheney was then presumed to be out of the company, although his Halliburton stock options and continuing compensation became an increasingly heated Washington topic. While Cheney was in England, another British contract went up for grabs. The U.S. Lockheed Martin Corporation was bidding for the Joint Strike Fighter program. In 1994, just after Dick Cheney had taken the helm at Halliburton, his wife, Lynne, had become a Lockheed director, serving on the board's Finance, Nominating, and Corporate Governance committees. Lynne Cheney stepped down from the Lockheed board on Jan. 5, 2000.

On Jan. 17, just before Dick Cheney took power, Symons was in Washington. At the Pentagon she ceremonially signed Britain's commitment to the Joint Strike Fighter program. This Anglo-American venture was labelled "the largest defense procurement program ever conceived." The Defence Ministry announcement awarding British funds to Lockheed in the Joint Strike Fighter program came in October 2001, at a decent time interval from the Halliburton announcement.

On June 11, 2001, Baroness Symons moved out of the Defence Ministry, becoming simultaneously Minister of State for the Middle East, in the Foreign Office, and Minister of State for Trade, in the Department of Trade and Industry.

On July 1, 2001, just after Symons' departure from Defence, the shape of her overall scheme for a private power-and-money grab came before the public. The Defence Evaluation and Research Agency was split into a huge private firm, to be called QinetiQ, and a smaller residual government agency. In the next year, the Blair government shocked some people with the announcement that the Carlyle Group—the private equity fund tied tightly to the Bush family—was to be awarded a large stake in QinetiQ, the "public private partnership." On Feb. 28, 2003, less than a month before the Cheney-Blair-Bush invasion of Iraq, the Carlyle group paid £42.3 million for a 34% holding in QinetiQ. When a large block of QinetiQ stock shares was later put on the public market, the Carlyle Group got about an eight-fold return on its investment. Among those reaping gold from Baroness Symons' planning was former Tory Prime Minister John Major, who had become European Chairman of the Carlyle Group while Baroness Symons was Minister for Defence Procurement.

Baroness Symons' own machinations on behalf of BAE Systems began surfacing in 2005, when the Observer newspaper described her earlier intervention with her Washington circles. This had been in the Summer of 2002, when Cheney was driving hard for war with Iraq.

The story, as told by the British media, is that, at a dinner given by a neo-conservative professor, the Baroness sat next to Attorney David Mills, husband of Tessa Jowell, Blair's Minister of Culture, Media, and Sport. Mills had arranged a $200 million deal with BAE Systems for the Iranian company Mahan Air to buy a fleet of passenger jets. Mills asked Symons to use her influence in Washington to get around the U.S. sanctions law that would penalize a company doing that kind of business with Iran.

On July 9, 2002, ten days after the dinner, Mills wrote to Symons that "BAE will sell or lease as the case may be to [name redacted], a company incorporated in the UAE [united Arab Emirates] and majority-owned by UAE citizens for which I act. It is a condition precedent of the deal that there will be no US objection. It is my understanding, however, that the US government operates the embargo with a degree of discretion. I am sure HMG [Her Majesty's Government, that is, the Blair regime] will wish to offer such support as it can to smooth the path with our American friends, and I would be very grateful if you could do what you can to ensure that BAE get the help they will ... need."

Baroness Symons wrote back to Mills, "Given the obvious political sensitivities you will need to tread very carefully with this one. This is a difficult time to be raising Iran policy in Washington. The advice I have been given, with which I am inclined to agree, is that our official support for you with the administration would raise the profile of the case and, by so doing, increase the chance of eliciting a negative response. So you will need to think very carefully about a lobbying strategy calibrated to achieve the right result. I am pleased that Allan Flood [the BAE Systems director] will be in Washington next week and that he will be calling on the embassy to discuss this further. They are best placed to advise on next steps."

Nothing happened to the Baroness when this was published; David Mills was subsequently charged with money laundering and tax crimes (indicted July 2006) as a cohort of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, an ally of the Cheney-Blair-Bush war axis. That August, Dick Cheney was raving that Saddam Hussein was pursuing a nuclear bomb capability. The same theme was rattling around the Prime Minister's office, where Baroness Symons' husband, Phil Bassett, was a longtime Blair aide. From September 2002 until October 2003, Bassett was senior advisor and headed the Strategic Communications Unit at 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister's office. It was there that Bassett helped pull together Blair's Sept. 24, 2002 "Big Lie" dossier claiming that Saddam Hussein had "weapons of mass destruction" ready to launch at 45 minutes' notice.

Bassett and government Press Secretary Alastair Campbell went to Washington in October 2002, to coordinate strategy for lying about the Iraq danger. With the White House, they established the Coalition Information Centre, which Tucker Eskew, Deputy Assistant to the President in the White House Office of Communications, then went to London to implement with Bassett and Campbell. This apparatus and MI6 continued to produce falsified Iraq intelligence as a pretext for war.

Then a factional brawl broke out in London and in the United States, with intensified opposition in leading circles against the Cheney-Blair Iraq War.

On April 3, 2003, two weeks after the start of the war, BBC interviewed Lyndon LaRouche on the "Live Five" show for six minutes, introducing him as a leading critic of the Iraq War policy, and as a candidate for the 2004 Democratic Presidential nomination. Two days earlier, the LaRouche campaign had released a quarter-million-run pamphlet, "Children of Satan: The 'Ignoble Liars' Behind Bush's No-Exit War." On June 9, 2003, BBC's "Live Five" interviewed LaRouche again, this time for 12 minutes, on LaRouche's recent call for Cheney's impeachment and on Cheney's role in faking Iraq intelligence—faking that Blair, Campbell, and Bassett had also done. In between these two LaRouche interviews, BBC ran two stories (May 29 and June 2), using leading British government weapons scientist Dr. David Kelly as its source, charging that the propaganda team in Tony Blair's office had "sexed up" their Iraq-weapons dossier to make a better excuse for war. After being bullied during interrogation by Blair-controlled members of Parliament, Dr. David Kelly turned up dead, an alleged suicide.

The counterattack by the Blair-Cheney gang also aimed directly at LaRouche. In March 2003, Jeremiah Duggan, a British student studying abroad, committed suicide while in attendance at a Schiller Institute conference in Germany. The Schiller Institute has long been associated with the international economic development proposals of Lyndon Larouche and Helga Zepp-LaRouche. German police and prosecutors thoroughly investigated Duggan's death and ruled it a suicide.

Baroness Symons, however, met on April 1, 2004 with Erica Duggan, Jeremiah's mother, announcing that she would appoint a lawyer to work with the Duggan family to pressure German authorities to reverse their assessment of the case. What has followed has been a lurid international propaganda campaign, alleging that Jeremiah was murdered or terrorized to death, without a scintilla of factual evidence contradicting the German findings. The latest twist in the Symons-steered crusade is the Spring 2007 introduction of a resolution in the House of Commons, agitating for a new British investigation into the death of Jeremiah Duggan.

Since leaving her ministerial posts in 2005, Baroness Symons has been Tony Blair's Special Envoy to the Middle East, and to Saudi Arabia, standing as an inner-circle guard for the British-Cheney-Bandar relationship, and, by extension, the lucrative Al-Yamamah project. She is chairman of the British-Saudi Business Council, and vice president of the Middle East Association.

From her station in the House of Lords, she has chaired the all-party group on Qatar. That tiny Persian Gulf kingdom, bordering on Saudi Arabia, has just set up the Qatar Financial Centre, a projected speculators' paradise modelled on the City of London financial district. The BAE Systems company, shaken by mushrooming scandal and facing several potential U.S. investigations, has reached into Qatar to give itself hoped-for credibility. Lord Harry Woolf, the former Chief Justice of England, now works as "chief judge" in the Qatar Financial Centre, alongside Tony Blair's brother, attorney William Blair, who heads the Centre's regulatory body. BAE Systems has hired the Qatar-based Lord Woolf to head a panel of experts to decide whether the company is completely ethical, or needs sprucing up. On June 28, the Qatar Financial Centre sponsored a conference on the potential uses of the sea of money now washing through the hands of Britain's Persian Gulf clients. Baroness Symons was scheduled to chair the meeting.

Now officially in private life, although still Special Envoy to Saudi Arabia, and so on, the Baroness is a paid consultant to the Anglo-American law firm DLA Piper, long the attorneys for Halliburton. Recently her London DLA Piper office has been home base to Michael Lester, who had been general counsel and a director of BAE Systems from the year (1999) that Symons became Minister for Defence Procurement. He had been responsible for BAE's "ethical policies and principles." Lester's entry into Baroness Symons' firm was announced on Dec. 16, 2006—the day after the Serious Fraud Office dropped its investigation of BAE Systems.

Understandably, the police have been leaking the evidence that they had on the “Loans for Honours” scandal. Some of this evidence has not been made public before.

(1) A draft honours list, drawn up in September 2005, showed that out of the 12 businessmen who provided Blair with undeclared loans, eight were put forward for peerages: Sir Christopher Evans, Rod Aldridge, Andrew Rosenfeld, Sir David Garrard, Barry Townsley, Chai Patel and Sir Gulum Noon.

(2) During the summer of 2005, Lord Levy, Blair’s chief fundraiser, was involved in a series of meetings held at Downing Street to discuss the forthcoming honours list.

(3) At least one of the providers of money to the Labour Party, Sir Gulum Noon, admitted that he was told that it had to be in the form of a loan rather than a donation.

(4) The £14m of loans provided by these businessmen were kept secret from senior Labour Party officials, including the treasurer.

(5) A document addressed to Jonathan Powell, No 10’s chief of staff, revealed that Lord Levy asked Ruth Turner to “lie for him” over the “Loans for Honours” scandal.

(6) The diary of Sir Christopher Evans, one of the businessmen who provided loans to the Labour Party, contained numerous references to discussions and meetings about honours with Lord Levy. This included promises of a peerage.

The Crown Prosecution Service originally agreed that the evidence was good enough to bring charges against Levy, Evans and Turner.

However, before the CPS proceeded with the case they sought legal advice from David Perry QC. Perry has a long record of providing legal advice to Tony Blair, including the invasion of Iraq. Perry advised against a prosecution. He argued that some of the documents, including Evans’ diary and the Turner memo, might be ruled inadmissible in court because they were merely “hearsay” because the alleged meetings, discussions and comments were disputed by Levy. The CPS took Perry’s advice and dropped the case.

Is this the end of the matter, in your opinion? Timed nicely to allow Blair to take up his envoy role over the last few days without a nasty dark cloud over him.

The criticism of the police in some quarters, will lead to more revelations I'm sure. They [the police] seem eager to let the public know that they conducted their investigation in good faith and with good grounds/evidence.

There should be a few more tidbits soon, I'd imagine, with perhaps something held back for a defence against potential counter attacks.

The arrival of Gordon Brown has not changed the funding patterns of New Labour. The Electoral Commission’s quarterly figures show the Labour Party attracted over £5m from donations. This was larger than the money received by the Conservative Party.

The largest Labour donor was Mahmoud Khayami, an Iranian born industrialist. He has so far given £510,000 and has promised a total of £1m. Other big donors are Sir Ron Cohen, the private equity millionaire, who gave £250,000, City financier Nigel Doughty, £250,000 and Peter Coates, of Bet365 online gambling company, gave £100,000.

Despite this money the Labour Party is still £20m in debt and cannot afford calling an early election.

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It was revealed over the weekend that Ray Ruddick was the third biggest donor to the Labour Party this year. Ruddick is a builder who lives in an ex-council house. When he was interviewed by journalists he said he hated the Labour Party and therefore did not give the money. Janet Kidd, the fourth largest donor, refused to answer the journalist questions. Like Ruddick, Kidd is another one who appears not to have very much money. However, Ruddick and Kidd do have something in common, they do work for property developer, David Abrahams, a very wealthy businessman who funds pro-Jewish causes.

Last night Abrahams admitted that he gave money to Ruddick and Kidd and they decided to donate the money to the Labour Party. That was clearly a lie and later he changed his story to say that he did it this way because he did not want any publicity. Of course, he didn’t, the money was obviously a backhander in order to get some land released for building purposes.

Peter Watt, Labour's general secretary, has resigned after it emerged that property developer David Abrahams donated nearly £600,000 to the party, over four years, via three associates. It is claimed that he was the only one who knew that the money really came from Abrahams. I have heard that this sum will increase when it is discovered that another person has been used as a proxy donor. The question still remains - why did Abrahams not want to be linked to the donation? Did he want a knighthood or peerage? Or did he want government planning position for some land he owned?
Brown has announced that Labour Party veteran Lord Whitty will draw up a report into this scandal. Whitty of course was someone who used to be involved in raising money for the Labour Party. As pointed out on other threads today, this is a normal tactic in carrying out a cover-up.

Interestingly, it has been announced that Brown had been offered money from Janet Kidd during his own leadership campaign, but had been rejected as only donations from people known to the campaign had been accepted. However, Harriet Harman, who won the deputy leader election, did accept a £5,000 donation from Janet Kidd. This seems to have been an attempt to compromise Brown and Harman in order to ensure a cover-up if Abrahams activities during Blair premiership, came to light after he left office.

Hopefully, journalists are taking a close look at Abrahams business dealings during Blair's premiership. This includes Abrahams dealings with Lord Levy. Both men were closely connected to raising money in order to ensure Britain had a pro-Israel foreign policy.

It seems that every hour brings out new information. The claim that Peter Watt was the only one who about these concealed donations was a blatant lie. In a television interview tonight, Environment Secretary Hilary Benn claimed he rejected a cheque from an associate of businessman David Abrahams. Benn's deputy leadership campaign was offered £5,000 by Janet Kidd on behalf of north-east businessman Mr Abrahams, be he rejected it, believing the offer was improper. When he was asked how he knew the offer was improper he answered: "Margaret Jay, who was supporting the campaign, made us aware that this donation was on behalf of Mr David Abrahams."

Therefore, Jay knew that Janet Kidd's money was really coming from Abrahams. She is currently refusing to answer questions on this, but what we do know is that Jay was one of those managing Blair's so-called Blind Trust. I imagine that Abrahams was using Janet Kidd to give money to Tony Blair.

Why would Abrahams want to keep this a secret. I imagine it is about his desire to build a multimillion-pound business park development at Bowburn in County Durham. This was initially blocked by the Highways Agency in 2004. This was followed by intense lobbying and the following donations:

John McCarthy 05 February 2005 £25,000

John McCarthy 01 June 2005 £25,000

John McCarthy 22 December 2005 £52,125

Janet Kidd 23 December 2005 £30,000

Ray Ruddick 23 December 2005 £17,850

John McCarthy 21 April 2006 £50,000

Ray Ruddick 24 May 2006 £50,000

In October 2006, the then transport secretary, Douglas Alexander, overruled the Highways Agency and gave Abrahams permission to build the business park development at Bowburn. Alexander of course was Brown's campaign manager for the election to become prime minister.

Abrahams has issued a statement: "Any suggestion that I have made donations in exchange for favours is false and malicious. I will not hesitate to issue proceedings to protect my reputation."

John Poulson - a deliberate echo, presumably. The question is, who has been deliberating - or should that be incubating - this one?

Yes there is connections with the Poulson case. David Abrahams father is Bennie Abrahams, a Labour councillor for the Monkchester ward of Newcastle City Council, and in 1981/2 Lord Mayor of Newcastle. His father was an extremely rich man. I have not been able to discover the source of his wealth but I suspect it involved getting planning position from Labour controlled councils.

Bennie and David Abrahams were members of Labour Friends of Israel, an avid Zionist organization. The Labour Friends of Israel provided Tony Blair with £8 million when he stood to become leader of the Labour Party. John Reid, the former Home Secretary, was a member of this organization. Interestingly, in 2003, David Abrahams was thrown out of the Labour Friends of Israel. According to leaks coming out of the Labour Party last night, the man behind this was Gordon Brown's chief fundraiser, Jon Mendelsohn. However, this morning it has emerged that there is a letter from Mendelsohn to David Abrahams, seeking a meeting with him and thanking him for all the support he has given the party over many years. Mendelsohn's effusive letter raises questions as to whether he knew that Abrahams was a key donor to the party.

Lord Levy was Tony Blair's chief fundraiser and a member of Friends of Israel. Jon Mendelsohn is Gordon Brown's chief fundraiser and a member of Friends of Israel. I wonder why?

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There have been several important developments over the last few days. Gordon Brown’s initial claim that only Peter Watt knew about the proxy donors has turned out not to be true. In fact, two of Brown’s close friends, Jon Mendelsohn (Brown’s chief fundraiser) and Chris Leslie (Brown’s campaign manager) have now been revealed as knowing about David Abrahams use of people to launder money to the Labour Party. According to Brown, Mendelsohn was attempting to seek a meeting with Abrahams to bring this practice to an end. However, Brown has been unable to explain why this did not happen in the two months he has acknowledged knowing about this. Abrahams last night claimed that Mendelsohn has known about this since last April. He also has letters to prove it. He has already published a letter from Mendelsohn that was written only last week that makes it clear that he was still after money from Abrahams. He also says he has other letters from other Labour Party officials.

It is also clear that this practice first started under Lord Levy. These third-party donors were active under three Labour Party general secretaries. All these men were appointed by Blair and worked with Levy.

Questions are now being asked why the original police investigation into Cash for Honours did not discover these proxy donations being made. This story only broke last weekend when a journalist went through the list of recent donors to the Labour Party. Checks soon discovered that the third highest donor was a man who was on record as saying he hated the “Labour Party”. He was also a small-time builder who was living on a council estate. Further investigations showed that three more large donors were from humble backgrounds who were not members of the Labour Party. Why did the police not investigate these donors?

I said over a year ago that I did not believe that Lord Sainsbury had not been donating his own money. I suggested he was being used as a proxy on behalf of the Israeli lobby and the arms lobby. I assumed that they would have done this in a way that made it difficult to expose. For example, use a well-known wealthy Labour Party supporter. However, it seems that in their arrogance they used people who were not wealthy and were not members of the Labour Party.

I am not even convinced that Abrahams is using his own money to pass on to proxy donors. A C4 investigation into his business affairs shows he only has assets of £28,000. It is true that he could eventually become very rich out of his business park that he needed the support of the Labour government and Labour councillors in Durham before it could be built. However, that is all in the future.

A couple of journalists have pointed out the Jewish connection with all these people. The Jewish pressure groups have been quick to condemn this as anti-Semitism. As a result the media has been reluctant to look into the connections between these events and the support of the invasion of Iraq and other pro-Israeli policies.

In fact, the media have been reluctant to speculate on why this disguised money was paid to the Labour Party. As I pointed out when this scandal first broke 18 months ago, this was never just about cash for honours. It was always important to look at the real reasons for bribing Blair and the Labour government. That includes taking a close look at the PFI and arms contracts given out to private companies. For example, Chris Leslie, when he was a MP, was a strong advocate of foundation hospitals as well as the Iraq War. Also, it has been clear that many of Labour’s largest donors are property developers. It is necessary to take a close look at planning permissions that have been granted since Blair took power.

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Guest Gary Loughran

It seems to me that this might be payback by Blair, for all Brown's meddling in the last 2 years of Blair's reign.

As you rightly say there is something not quite kosher, when trying to examine how this funding went previously unnoticed.

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It seems to me that this might be payback by Blair, for all Brown's meddling in the last 2 years of Blair's reign.

As you rightly say there is something not quite kosher, when trying to examine how this funding went previously unnoticed.

I have considered the possibility that Abrahams has set-up Gordon Brown. He is close to Blair and Levy and has been in dispute with Jon Mendelsohn. However, this is a highly dangerous policy because it is possible that the police will investigate third-party donations that took place under Blair and Levy. This of course could explain the reasons why Brown was so keen to support Ian Blair with his recent problems.

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Article in today's Sunday Telegraph:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml...2/ndonor202.xml

Chris Hastings and Andrew Alderson

The elite drinks party took place at a central London hotel four years ago. David Abrahams, the property developer who Labour politicians are now so keen not to know, entered a room already packed with Cabinet ministers and the party's most prized donors.

Moments after arriving, Mr Abrahams was spotted across the crowded room by Lord Levy, the party's chief fundraiser. The Labour peer immediately left his group and swept over to greet Mr Abrahams like a long-lost friend with none other than Tony Blair in tow.

"How are things in the North East?" said a beaming Mr Blair, stretching out his right arm to shake Mr Abrahams warmly by the hand. As the three men chatted animatedly in a tight circle, other party bigwigs were tucking into the Champagne and canapés nearby. They included Hilary Armstrong, Labour's former chief whip, and Baroness Jay, who was destined to play a walk-on part in the Labour donation scandal that has rocked the party for the past week.

Those who witnessed the greeting Mr Abrahams received were left in no doubt just how much the self-styled "very private man" meant to the party he has supported since he was 15 and donated to for the past 40 years.

Later Mr Abrahams claimed to friends that Mr Blair had entertained him several times in Downing Street. The then prime minister, the property developer insisted, had even offered to open his £60 million business park in County Durham - now the centre of controversy - once it was finished.

Last week, as senior Labour politicians took it in turn to distance themselves from Mr Abrahams, it emerged that he had made a series of donations totalling well over £600,000 to the party since 2003 in the names of four intermediaries: his secretary, a solicitor, a builder associate and a lollipop lady who was the wife of another of his employees.

Under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act of 2000, a person who gives money to a political party on behalf of someone else must inform the party that he or she is doing so. The party must, in turn, inform the Electoral Commission, the election watchdog.

Last weekend, Labour was insisting it was "totally satisfied that these donations are in line with the rules". Yet 48 hours later, Mr Abrahams's actions meant the Prime Minister was forced to admit his party had broken the law, the party's general secretary Peter Watt had resigned and others, including the deputy leader Harriet Harman, were fighting to save their careers.

For those in the North East with previous experience of Mr Abrahams and long memories, the fact that he has brought unwelcome publicity to the party did not come as a surprise. In 1990, he had been selected as Labour's candidate for William Hague's seat in Richmond, North Yorkshire. However, months before the 1992 election he was ousted by his local party following revelations that he had misled them over his marital status.

Mr Abrahams, a bachelor, had introduced a woman called Anthea as his wife and an 11-year-old boy as their son. In fact, he had met Anthea Bailey, then 39, only months before being selected and persuaded her to pose as his wife in a "business arrangement" aimed at giving him a family image.

Described by his critics as a Walter Mitty character, Mr Abrahams claims to be 53. In fact, his birth certificate shows him to be 63. Furthermore, he conducted some of his business interests under his own name and some under the name of "David Martin". Allegedly incorrect information was given to Companies House, the register for companies and directors, which has asked him to re-submit the details.

In and around Newcastle, his colourful reputation meant that Labour Party members and supporters treated him with caution. In the South, however, Labour politicians and officials were not so choosy - or so circumspect. Between January 2003 and July this year, Ray Ruddick, a builder and a director of Mr Abrahams's firms, gave £196,850 to the Labour Party; John McCarthy, a solicitor, gave £202,125; Janet Kidd, Mr Abrahams's secretary, gave £185,000, and Janet Dunn, the wife of an employee, gave £25,000.

In addition, Mrs Kidd gave £5,000 to Miss Harman's campaign to be deputy leader and Mr Abrahams gave £5,000 in his own name to Hilary Benn for his deputy leadership campaign. In fact, every penny of all the donations was originally from Mr Abrahams.

The intermediaries, however, are now said to be angry at being "used" by Mr Abrahams. It is understood that some of them have consulted a solicitor with a view to getting legal advice on their position.

Mr Ruddick, who now thinks Mr Abrahams is a "git", suspects the Labour Party knew all along where the money really came from. Speaking at his modest former council house, he said: "The Labour Party never wrote to thank me for 'my' donations, because they knew I wasn't the real donor."

Mr Abrahams, a practising Jew, has strong links with Israel. He is provincial vice-chairman of the Jewish Labour Movement, serves on the executive of the Trade Union Friends of Israel, and supports organisations including the Community Security Trust (a British charity set up to protect Jews living in the UK), Labour Friends of Israel, and Academic Friends of Israel.

Earlier this year, he provided £250,00 to found a chair in International Politics of the Middle East at Warwick University. For many years, he has made regular trips to Israel with Trade Union Friends of Israel and earlier this year, in Britain, he met Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, whom he has also seen in Israel.

His neighbours in Newcastle recall years ago that their road had to be closed for "security reasons" when the Israeli ambassador visited Mr Abrahams at his home.

Mr Abrahams, however, insists that his charity and political donations are from his own pocket -and that he is not the conduit of another mystery benefactor.

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Article in today's Sunday Telegraph:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml...2/ndonor202.xml

Chris Hastings and Andrew Alderson

The elite drinks party took place at a central London hotel four years ago. David Abrahams, the property developer who Labour politicians are now so keen not to know, entered a room already packed with Cabinet ministers and the party's most prized donors.

Moments after arriving, Mr Abrahams was spotted across the crowded room by Lord Levy, the party's chief fundraiser. The Labour peer immediately left his group and swept over to greet Mr Abrahams like a long-lost friend with none other than Tony Blair in tow.

"How are things in the North East?" said a beaming Mr Blair, stretching out his right arm to shake Mr Abrahams warmly by the hand. As the three men chatted animatedly in a tight circle, other party bigwigs were tucking into the Champagne and canapés nearby. They included Hilary Armstrong, Labour's former chief whip, and Baroness Jay, who was destined to play a walk-on part in the Labour donation scandal that has rocked the party for the past week.

Those who witnessed the greeting Mr Abrahams received were left in no doubt just how much the self-styled "very private man" meant to the party he has supported since he was 15 and donated to for the past 40 years.

Later Mr Abrahams claimed to friends that Mr Blair had entertained him several times in Downing Street. The then prime minister, the property developer insisted, had even offered to open his £60 million business park in County Durham - now the centre of controversy - once it was finished.

Last week, as senior Labour politicians took it in turn to distance themselves from Mr Abrahams, it emerged that he had made a series of donations totalling well over £600,000 to the party since 2003 in the names of four intermediaries: his secretary, a solicitor, a builder associate and a lollipop lady who was the wife of another of his employees.

Under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act of 2000, a person who gives money to a political party on behalf of someone else must inform the party that he or she is doing so. The party must, in turn, inform the Electoral Commission, the election watchdog.

Last weekend, Labour was insisting it was "totally satisfied that these donations are in line with the rules". Yet 48 hours later, Mr Abrahams's actions meant the Prime Minister was forced to admit his party had broken the law, the party's general secretary Peter Watt had resigned and others, including the deputy leader Harriet Harman, were fighting to save their careers.

For those in the North East with previous experience of Mr Abrahams and long memories, the fact that he has brought unwelcome publicity to the party did not come as a surprise. In 1990, he had been selected as Labour's candidate for William Hague's seat in Richmond, North Yorkshire. However, months before the 1992 election he was ousted by his local party following revelations that he had misled them over his marital status.

Mr Abrahams, a bachelor, had introduced a woman called Anthea as his wife and an 11-year-old boy as their son. In fact, he had met Anthea Bailey, then 39, only months before being selected and persuaded her to pose as his wife in a "business arrangement" aimed at giving him a family image.

Described by his critics as a Walter Mitty character, Mr Abrahams claims to be 53. In fact, his birth certificate shows him to be 63. Furthermore, he conducted some of his business interests under his own name and some under the name of "David Martin". Allegedly incorrect information was given to Companies House, the register for companies and directors, which has asked him to re-submit the details.

In and around Newcastle, his colourful reputation meant that Labour Party members and supporters treated him with caution. In the South, however, Labour politicians and officials were not so choosy - or so circumspect. Between January 2003 and July this year, Ray Ruddick, a builder and a director of Mr Abrahams's firms, gave £196,850 to the Labour Party; John McCarthy, a solicitor, gave £202,125; Janet Kidd, Mr Abrahams's secretary, gave £185,000, and Janet Dunn, the wife of an employee, gave £25,000.

In addition, Mrs Kidd gave £5,000 to Miss Harman's campaign to be deputy leader and Mr Abrahams gave £5,000 in his own name to Hilary Benn for his deputy leadership campaign. In fact, every penny of all the donations was originally from Mr Abrahams.

The intermediaries, however, are now said to be angry at being "used" by Mr Abrahams. It is understood that some of them have consulted a solicitor with a view to getting legal advice on their position.

Mr Ruddick, who now thinks Mr Abrahams is a "git", suspects the Labour Party knew all along where the money really came from. Speaking at his modest former council house, he said: "The Labour Party never wrote to thank me for 'my' donations, because they knew I wasn't the real donor."

Mr Abrahams, a practising Jew, has strong links with Israel. He is provincial vice-chairman of the Jewish Labour Movement, serves on the executive of the Trade Union Friends of Israel, and supports organisations including the Community Security Trust (a British charity set up to protect Jews living in the UK), Labour Friends of Israel, and Academic Friends of Israel.

Earlier this year, he provided £250,00 to found a chair in International Politics of the Middle East at Warwick University. For many years, he has made regular trips to Israel with Trade Union Friends of Israel and earlier this year, in Britain, he met Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, whom he has also seen in Israel.

His neighbours in Newcastle recall years ago that their road had to be closed for "security reasons" when the Israeli ambassador visited Mr Abrahams at his home.

Mr Abrahams, however, insists that his charity and political donations are from his own pocket -and that he is not the conduit of another mystery benefactor.

Lord Levy and Tony Blair are both refusing to answer questions on their relationship with David Abrahams. Peter Watt, Jon Mendelsohn and Chris Leslie will paid large sums of money to keep quiet about what they know about the funding of New Labour. However, it seems to me that Abrahams is out of control and poses a serious danger to both Blair and Levy. I hope he lives to tell the tale. He is a prime candidate to be an assisted suicide.

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I still believe that Blair's hand is all over this. I'm convinced also that any investigation, if there is one, will be contemporary and not over past donations. Blair likely, with good reason, feels the investigation into his own corruption has passed and IMO highly unlikely to resurface.

I am convinced that the duplicitous Blair holds much unbrage towards Brown.

If Peter Watt was guilty of this offence, what about the two previous general secretaries who received money via Abrahams: David Triesman (2001-2003) and Matt Carter (2004-2005)? All three men served under Blair/Levy. I do not think they have a very good case to be left out of this inquiry. Even so, I suspect you are right and the investigation will concentrate on Watt. He will be paid to keep quiet and will end up as the only one punished.

Matt Carter is an interesting character. He used to be Labour Party organiser for Teesside and Durham. While General Secretary Carter organised the legal aspects of loans from individuals to the Labour Party that were central to the Cash for Honours political scandal.

Below is a photograph of David Triesman looking very much like Lord Levy.

post-7-1196839937_thumb.jpg

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Guest David Guyatt

I would be very interested if anyone here can provide anobjective analysis of the oil industry vis-a-vis the Balfour Declaration and the origins of the state of Israel.

I would need to check but I think Balfour (or those surrounding him) were key members of the Rhodes-Milner "Group". Certainly Lord Rothchilds was.

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I would be very interested if anyone here can provide anobjective analysis of the oil industry vis-a-vis the Balfour Declaration and the origins of the state of Israel.

I would need to check but I think Balfour (or those surrounding him) were key members of the Rhodes-Milner "Group". Certainly Lord Rothchilds was.

I am sure somebody must have carried out research into this topic.

What we do know is that in March, 1994, Blair was introduced to Michael Levy at a dinner party at the Israeli embassy in London. Levy was a retired businessman who spent his time raising money for Jewish pressure-groups. The following month, John Smith, the leader of the Labour Party died of a heart attack. Levy now raises money for Blair's attempt to become Labour's next leader. According to Robin Ramsay (The Rise of New Labour, page 64), Levy raised over £7 million for Blair election campaign. It is not known what happened to the money he did not spend on this venture.

Once he became prime minister Blair appointed Levy as chief fundraiser and David Triesman as Labour Party's general secretary. From this point on, David John Sainsbury became Labour's largest donor. He was also the man who provided £2 million in loans to the Labour Party. After denying it, he confessed he forgot he had given it. Levy, Triesman and Sainsbury are long-time members of the pro-Israel lobby. As is David Abrahams, the man behind the proxy donations.

Gordon Brown told his friends that he intended to sort out the shady donations to the Labour Party. However, the man he appointed to do this was Jon Mendelsohn, Lord Levy protégé and also a member of these pro-Israeli organizations (Labour Friends of Israel, Trade Union Friends of Israel, etc.). Was Brown fooled into this appointment or did he want someone who would not disclose this corruption? Anyway, what we do know is that Mendelsohn kept quiet about what he found: or did he tell Brown and he decided not to take action?

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