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There is little information in the public domain about this elitist group except for an article published in Lobster 33 (kindly forwarded to me and reproduced below). It seems to be a CIA sponsored self selecting group who pretend to 'define' the transatlantic relationship. No mention here of building links between Native Americans and marginalised groups in the UK. The agenda is corporate, the ideology is capitalist, hardly a fair reflection of the best in future transatlantic potential.[TG]
"Disinformation might be the chief job of an intelligence agency." - JAMES ANGLETON, head of CIA counter-intelligence
"Britain's military effectiveness "may depend more on public opinion as influenced by the media than its strength in terms of soldiers and military hardware." - Brigadier C.P.R. PALMER
"Am I wrong in saying all British governments since 1945 have done what the Americans have wanted?" - Tony Benn
1) The Beginnings of Covert Propaganda and Psychological Warfare
3) The Involvement of US Intelligence
4) The Network Widens
5) Thatcher and Psyops
6) Destroying the Peace Movement
7) The Campaign Against Labour
8) How the CIA Took the Teeth Out of British Socialism
9) Splitting the Labour Party
11) The CIA and New Labour
Most of us assume that we are living in a democracy where the sources of information that shape the public's views and beliefs, i.e. newspapers, magazines, books, scientific journals, television and radio news programmes, etc., are free from interference by the state. Sadly, this is not so. For decades, the intelligence services have known that by infiltrating and manipulating the media, they can mould the British public's opinions on a range of issues such as Communism, the unions and the nuclear industry. The pro-Tory bias of the British national press is fairly obvious but many other channels have been taken by British and American intelligence in this country as part of a massive covert propaganda campaign against the left. Today, their influence can be traced right to the highest echelons of New Labour.
MI5's infiltration of the media is covered in The Secret State. This article concentrates on the sinister covert network of agencies and organisations working for British and American intelligence to decieve the British public and to control the left .
In 1948, a secret political/psychological warfare department known as the Information Research Department (IRD), was set up within the Foreign Office, with the aim of embarking on a "propaganda offensive" against the left. To conceal the operation's existence from the public, its funding was obtained from Parliament on the "secret vote".
The IRD had two main purposes. It created "grey" propaganda for overseas' consumption, which was directed against "Communism", a catch-all label that included anything remotely left-wing or anti-imperialist. The primary targets were Western Europe and South East Asia, followed by India, Pakistan and the Middle East. (The Soviet Union was left largely to American intelligence). The IRD's second area of action was the moulding of domestic opinion in Britain. It used anti-Communist material created with government funds to aid right-wing social democrats within the Labour Party and the trade union movement.
Christopher Mayhew, the Foreign Office minister who set up the IRD, later reported to his boss, Ernest Bevin, that he had made arrangements with Herbert Tracey, public secretary of the Trade Union Congress, "for the dissemination inside the Labour movement at home of anti-Communist propaganda which we are producing for overseas consumption."
The staff of the IRD were a mixture of émigrés, carefully chosen writers and journalists, and intelligence operatives. The IRD took part in regular liaison meetings in London between MI6 and the CIA. The head of the IRD between 1953 and 1958, John Rennie, was later appointed head of MI6.
At its peak, the IRD had up to 400 staff working at a twelve-storey office block in Millbank, Riverwalk House. The information from IRD fell into two categories, succinctly described by a department head: "Category A is secret and confidential objective studies re: Soviet policies which are designed for high level consumption by heads of states, cabinet members, etc. . none of this material publishable or quotable for obvious reasons. Category B is less highly-classified information suitable for careful dissemination by staff of British missions to suitable contacts (e.g. editors, professors, scientists, labour leaders, etc.) who can use it as factual background material in their general work without attribution. Success of Category B operations depend upon the activity of British representatives in various countries."
The IRD "ran" dozens of Fleet street journalists in the 1950s and 60s. To start a particular propaganda campaign, IRD would often individually brief a well-trusted journalist. Once the journalist had published their "exclusive" article without even the usual attribution to "official sources", IRD would then transmit the story as gospel all around the world.
IRD had arrangements with several British newspapers which allowed it to reprint and distribute articles from them to foreign newspapers. These reprints made no mention that the articles had initially been planted in the papers by British intelligence. IRD also arranged British government funds for foreign newspapers who were finding it difficult to pay the subscription rates to British news services. For instance, a deal with The Observer's Foreign News Service gave IRD the right to distribute articles cheaply or even free of charge to the media of selected countries. In addition, the department hired some of its personnel as "freelance" journalists to place material in British newspapers without the editor being aware of the source.
IRD tactics often necessitated the repetition of the same doctored story in several newspapers, in order to ensure its apparent credibility. The most enduring success for the IRD was in misrepresenting the Soviet Union, in the eyes of the British public, as the source of a global conspiracy that threatened the entire Western world. A typical IRD operation was its "Red Scare in the Indian Ocean" scheme. In March 1974, two IRD articles appeared, one written by MI5/CIA agent Brian Crozier in The Times and the other by David Floyd in the Daily Telegraph. Both concentrated on the fear of a build-up by the Soviet Navy in the Indian Ocean after the Somali government offered the Soviets a naval base near the Gulf, and described a build-up of Soviet advisers in neighbouring countries. A further article appeared in the Financial Times, followed by the release of spy satellite photos from the U.S. State Department.
By the time the campaign had run its course, a carefully-created illusion had been created that Somalia was a Soviet puppet. (Ironically, this "Soviet puppet" actually kicked out all Russian military advisers in 1977 during its war with Ethiopia).
IRD also took an interest in books as a propaganda vehicle and a number of leading academics contributed to a series of short books published by the IRD subsidiary company Ampersand Books. Amongst IRD operatives were Alan Hare, who worked for the Foreign Office from 1947 to 1961 and became chairman and chief executive of the Financial Times, Lord Gibson, later chairman of the holding company Pearson Longman, which owns the Financial Times, and Charles Douglas-Home, later editor of the Financial Times.
"The Government must promote its own cause and undermine that of the enemy by.... a carefully planned and co-ordinated campaign of psychological operations. There is of course an element of truth in the idea that an effective domestic intelligence system could be used to jeopardise the freedom of the individual. Under an authoritarian regime, freedom of the individual is not particularly relevant." - Brigadier FRANK KITSON (the architect of covert death squads in Northern Ireland)
The work of the IRD established some of the techniques perfected by the intelligence services and other organisations working on their behalf as part of a concerted campaign to infiltrate and control the media (and hence public opinion). This field of operations is termed psychological warfare.
Psychological Operations ("Psyops") is an all-embracing term defined by NATO as "planned psychological activities in peace and war directed towards enemy, friendly and neutral audiences, in order to create attitudes and behaviour favourable to the achievement of political and military objectives . Strategic psywar pursues long-term and mainly political objectives. It is designed to undermine an enemy or hostile group to fight and to reduce the capacity to wage war. It can be directed against the dominating political party, the government and/or against the population as a whole, or particular elements of it. It is planned and controlled by the highest political authority."
U.S. intelligence officers usually pose as diplomats inside embassies; this "light cover" provides the agents with the easiest means of entering a country, as well as the advantage of diplomatic immunity. For more covert intelligence activities, "deep cover" is provided for agents who live as ordinary, legitimate private citizens. The most common types of deep cover are commercial and press journalists.
Frank Snepp, a CIA field officer in the 1970s, described how British intelligence was "using journalists as field operatives . certain MI5 men were operating under deep cover as journalists and we were using them to plant stories favourable to American interests in certain publications that we couldn't reach the same way." Intelligence officers may pose as journalists or working journalists may be recruited as agents, either on contract for a fixed spell or pro rata. MI5 holds a dossier on many journalists, noting their abilities, personalities end recommendations on what circumstances they should be used. Malcolm Muggeridge was acting as an MI5 agent while editorial writer of the Daily Telegraph. Alan Pryce-Jones, editor of the Times Literary Supplement, worked in British intelligence during the war. The Daily Telegraph's Foreign Editor, S.R. Pawley, was recruited by MI6 to help run journalist agents for the paper overseas.
MI5 targeted labour correspondents in both newspapers and broadcasting right up to the 1980s; they were recruited in droves for their contacts with a wide range of trade union officials, and with each other. According to Peter Wright, MI5 always had about twenty senior journalists working for it in the national press. "They were not employed directly by us, but we regarded them as agents because they were happy to be associated with us."
"There should be times when the journalist, when he's examined all the facts and tested all his sources, should come down on the side of the government of the day, the established order and the Establishment as a whole." - Chairman of the Radio Authority.
As well as using the reporters to get close to left-wing union leaders, MI5 particularly targeted Mick Costello, the industrial editor of the Morning Star and later the Communist Party's' industrial organiser. According to one former MI5 officer, as many as three-quarters of the labour correspondents at that time became informants for MI5 or Special Branch. Such was the success of MI5's penetration of the press that new perspective can be put on the remark by Nell Myers, the NUM's press officer during the 1984 miners' strike, that the newspapers' labour correspondents "were basically our enemies' front-line troops."
Terry Pattinson, the main journalist behind the Daily Mirror's campaign against Arthur Scargill during the strike, later admitted that he had been approached by MI5 to work for them. Pattinson's team won the British Press Awards 'Reporter of the Year' prize for their story which was later found in court to be "entirely untrue." John Le Carre (David Cornwall), who worked for both MI5 and MI6, stated that the British secret service "controls large sections of the press". According to the Washington Post, the editor of "one of Britain's most distinguished journals believes that over half its foreign correspondents are on the MI6 payroll."
"We are in a period of considerable social change. There may be social unrest, but we can cope with the Toxteths . but if we have a highly-educated and idle population, we may possibly anticipate more serious conflict. People must be educated once more to know their place." - from a secret Department of Education report
At the BBC, Brigadier Ronald Stonhem liaised with MI5 and Special Branch and advised the corporation on whether or not to employ people. Names of applicants for editorial posts in the BBC were similarly "vetted" by MI5. Reputed journalists such as Isabel Hilton of the Sunday Times and Richard Gott of The Guardian were refused BBC posts because they were not considered suitable. This secret process went on for over forty years until exposure by The Observer in 1985.
"Anyone who becomes involved with the media quickly learns that the advantage of the first news reports being favourable to one's own side is overwhelming. The first reports are usually the ones generally believed and it is hard to reverse an unfavourable first report." - ROBERT EVELEGH, The Lessons of Northern Ireland.
On 25th May 1989, the BBC's Nine O'clock News ran a major smear item claiming that eleven Soviet officials had been expelled from Britain because "they were subjecting Labour MPs to blackmail". The BBC's chief political correspondent John Sergeant had been at an "off-the-record" lunch with William Waldegrave, junior minister at the Foreign Office, who briefed him on the alleged KGB blackmail attempts and links of left-wing Labour MPs with Middle Eastern terrorist states. It was MI5 who had planted the story on Waldegrave. The Foreign Secretary, Sir Geoffrey Howe, was forced to disclaim the smear and acknowledge that there was no truth in the allegations.
In 1991, it was revealed that some 500 prominent Britons were paid by the CIA through the corrupt Bank of Commerce and Credit International (BCCI). They included ninety journalists and broadcasters, many in "senior positions."
The British Army also has a psychological warfare section. By 1971, there were thirty army psyops staff based at three overseas headquarters and one at the Ministry of Defence.
Psyops training is undertaken at the Joint Warfare Establishment in Latimer. There are two types of course; one for staff officers, which includes lectures on anti-Communist propaganda practice, the urban guerrilla, modern advertising techniques and experience from recent psychological operations; and a unit officer's course which includes propaganda and community relations and the role of a unit within the overall psyops plan.
In 1976, the MoD confirmed that in the previous three years, 1,858 army officers and 262 senior civil servants had been trained to use psychological techniques for internal security purposes. The civil servants were drawn from the Northern Ireland Office, Home Office and Foreign Office. Commissioned officers were also seconded for psyops training at the United States Army Special Warfare School at Fort Bragg and instructors from the Joint Warfare Establishment made lecture visits to Commonwealth countries.
In 1974, Sir Colin Crowe submitted the secret Crowe Report, recommending that IRD should take control of the Counter-Subversion Fund (a Foreign Office fund used to finance propaganda operations). The department was then merged with the Institute for the Study of Conflict (ISC), a right-wing propaganda group set up by the CIA and British intelligence in 1970, and run by Brian Crozier.
Crozier was a journalist who worked for both MI6 and the CIA. He was also head of Forum World Features, a commercial news agency which sold weekly packets of news stories to newspapers all over the world. At its peak, Forum supplied over 250 newspapers world-wide. The CIA used it as a conduit for propaganda and also as a cover to send agents posing as "journalists" around the world. Forum received backing from the CIA through Kern House Enterprises, a publishing firm which was a front for the Agency. Further backing came from British companies such as Shell and BP.
A 1968 memorandum from CIA headquarters to CIA director Richard Helms described Forum as having "provided the United States with a significant means to counter propaganda, and it has become a respected feature service well on the way to a position of prestige in the journalism world." Hand-written at the bottom was a note stating that Forum functioned "with the knowledge and co-operation of British intelligence".
Brian Crozier, the MI6/CIA operative involved in extensive covert propaganda activities against the left in Britain. He stated that he preferred to call dirty tricks "benign deceptions."
Forum was suddenly closed down in 1975, shortly before its exposure as a CIA /British intelligence front. Forum's library and some of its research staff were absorbed into the ISC. Files removed from the offices of research director Peter Janke in 1975 showed extensive contacts between ISC and the British police and military establishments.
In June 1972, Janke visited the Police College at Bramshill at the invitation of its commandant, John Alderson, who later became Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall. Alderson wanted ISC to assist in developing a training programme on subversion and terrorism for the police. ISC members have since lectured on numerous occasions at the college and the police make use of the ISC's Manual on Counter Insurgency. The ISC also provides lecturers for several military establishments, including the National Defence College, where courses on psyops are taught.
The ISC has produced a series of special studies on subversion. The first such report was written by Nigel Lawson in 1972, entitled Subversion in British Industry. The report was not for the general public; it was aimed at the heads of industry itself. Brian Crozier noted that the Lawson report "unlocked doors, gave courage to the timid and opened purses".
Amongst the ISC's converts and allies were John Dettmer, chairman of the Economic League (a right-wing private vetting agency for British industry, which kept intelligence files on left-wingers), Michael Ivens, director of Aims of Industry (a right-wing pressure group) and John Whitehorn, Deputy Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
Conservative MP Geoffrey Stewart- Smith (who was funded by MI5) arranged distribution of the group's anti-left propaganda in the run-up to the 1974 general election. Just before polling day, the ISC's report Sources of Conflict in British Industry (which blamed left wing militants for industrial unrest) was published with unprecedented publicity in the national press.
The ISC encouraged the use of pre-emptive surveillance and other measures against a broad range of "subversives", a term which easily included law-abiding trade unionists and anti-establishment intellectuals. Crozier wrote articles advocating military intervention to crush "left-wing insurgency" in Britain.
The ISC's impact extended far beyond its base in Britain. In France, the Pinay Circle, a group of right-wingers formed around former Prime Minister Antoine Pinay, helped pay for an ISC study European Security and the Soviet Problem. The Pinay Circle members were so delighted with the report that they personally showed it to President Nixon, Pompidou, Kissinger and the Pope. In the Netherlands, Crozier worked closely with the East West Institute and its International Documentation and Information Centre, which recorded left-wing activities in Europe.
The ISC's records also show close contacts with top politicians in South Africa and other right-wing leaders around the world. Crozier helped set up a Washington-based Institute for the Study of Conflict in 1975, despite a supposed congressional ban on any CIA-backed propaganda campaigns within America.
Despite supposedly closing down in 1990, the ISC still functions today under the name of the Research Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism (RISCT), based at 136 Baker Street, London W1N 1FH. The Institute's director is Paul Wilkinson, a leading government advisor on counter-terrorism.
The RISCT's council is composed entirely of figures from academia, politics and the military, including former Defence Intelligence chief Sir Louis Le Bailly; counter-insurgency expert Sir Robert Thompson; former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Sir Henry Tuzo; Thatcher speech-writer Robert Moss; and ex-diplomat Sir Edward Peck. The calibre of its personnel, with their intimate knowledge of the workings of the state, makes the institute an influential part of the right-wing lobby in Britain.
Brian Crozier also helped set up the National Association for Freedom (NAFF), along with Norris McWhirter, Lord De L'Isle, Michael Ivens of Aims of Industry, Winston Churchill MP, merchant banker John Gouriet, and Robert Moss.
NAFF was a network of senior military and intelligence figures, senior industrialists and cabinet ministers; its members included Churchill, Jill knight, David Mitchell, Rhodes Boyson and Nicholas Ridley.
When Harold Wilson resigned as prime minister (amidst allegations of an MI5 smear campaign), NAFF's journal Free Nation carried a lead article written by Crozier entitled Affront to the Queen, which stated that the Queen would be within her constitutional rights in refusing to see a new left-wing Labour prime minister and in ordering a dissolution of Parliament and fresh elections.
NAFF changed its name to The Freedom Association (FA) in January 1979, under the chairmanship of Norris McWhirter.
In 1976, Brian Crozier set up a covert advisory committee called Shield, in order to brief Margaret Thatcher and her closest colleagues on security and intelligence. Crozier met secretly with Thatcher on many occasions, at the Thatchers' London home at 2 Flood Street, Chelsea, in her room in the House of Commons, and later at Chequers and 10 Downing Street. The Shield Committee was composed of Crozier, MI6 agent Stephen Hastings MP, Conservative backbencher Nicholas Elliott and Harry Sporborg of Hambros Bank.
With the resources of the ISC at their disposal, Shield produced some twenty papers on various aspects of "subversion" which were made available to Thatcher and three other members of her shadow cabinet: Lord Carrington, William (later Lord) Whitelaw and Sir Keith Joseph.
Crozier considered it one of his prime tasks to strengthen Thatcher's "self confidence" and to "suggest ways in which to cultivate and consolidate a public image of clear-headedness and resolution", to which end he instructed her in a programme of "Psychological Action". Crozier described the programme thus: "The essence of the technique is to find short, sharp answers to three questions: What do people want? What do they fear? And what do they feel strongly about?.... Psychological Action has nothing to do with the intellect and everything to do with gut emotions. Having made a list, the next step is to find the right things to say to carefully selected groups of voters."
As part of his Psychological Action programme, Crozier proposed a list of selected questions to be put in political speeches such as: "Do you think it right that people like Jones and Scanlon (union leaders of the TGWU and AUEW) should tell the government what to do?" and "Is it right that Trots and Commies should order you to strike?" and suggested judiciously chosen side arguments such as: "The trade unions are pricing Britain out of the market and you out of a job," and: "American workers are three times as well-off as you - because of free enterprise".
After reading Crozier's paper, Thatcher sprang to her feet and exclaimed: "From now on Brian, these are my ideas".
On February 11th 1977, Crozier and a group of like-minded people including Nicholas Elliott, General Vernon Walters (former Deputy Director of the CIA and later to emerge as President Reagan's ambassador to the UN) and "a leading figure in a major City of London bank", met to create a 'Private Sector Operational Intelligence' agency whose main aims would be "to provide reliable intelligence in areas which governments are barred from investigating, either through legislation or because political circumstances make such enquiries difficult or potentially embarrassing, and to conduct secret counter-subversive operations in any country in which such actions are deemed feasible."
With an initial budget of $5 million a year, the group named itself 'The 61'. Crozier, an obsessive right-wing fanatic, was motivated by his view of Britain as a nation "dominated by extreme Left Labour MPs and trade unions, whose long term goal.... is to transform Britain into another East Germany or Czechoslovakia. Without a correctly motivated intelligence and security apparatus, the subversives would win".
Between May 1977 and July 1979, Shield produced fifteen strategic papers recommending covert action against "subversives", proposals for reorganising the intelligence and security services, and three papers on contingency planning against strikes and domestic unrest which a Conservative government under Margaret Thatcher might face when it came to power. Crozier proposed an urgent redefinition of the terms of reference of MI5 to enable it "not merely to report on subversion but to go over to the counter-offensive". For MI6 also, he proposed an extension of covert action in Angola and Mozambique, and the fermenting of "internal disruption" within the USSR.
In May 1977, Crozier set about tackling what he saw as "the trickiest of the major areas of subversion in the United Kingdom - television". He set up a study group with Brian Connell of Anglia Television (who described himself as having spent "15 years as an anti-Communist Trojan horse inside the television fortress"), Michael Charlton (the radio and television interviewer) and the interviewer Robin Day (later Sir Robin). A full conference was held on April 21st to 23rd 1978 in W.H. Smith's training centre at Milton House, near Oxford. The participants were a roll-call of those inside the television medium. In the chair was Sir Edward Pickering, former editor of the Daily Express (and later vice-chairman of the Press Council), Sir Robert Mark, former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Kenneth Newman, Chief Constable of the RUC, Colonel Colin Mitchell MP, and media professionals Brian Connell, Robin Day, Richard Francis (the BBC's Director of News and Current Affairs), Christopher Capron (editor of Panorama) and Colin Shaw (Director of Television in the Independent Television Authority), together with Michael Ivens of AIM, Norris McWhirter, Dr Anthony Flood (a consultant psychiatrist) and Sir Robert Thompson (an adviser to the White House and the National Security Council). Thompson set the tone of the debate with the words: "The Vietnam war was lost on the television screens of the United States".
On 19th June 1977, Crozier drafted A Stategy for Victory, which he defined as "the total defeat of the country's enemies, eliminating all risks of their recovery in the foreseeable future".
In July 1978, the Shield Committee met in the boardroom of a City bank, presided over by Margaret Thatcher, and a new body was proposed - the Counter Subversion Executive (CSE), whose function was defined as "not only to counter anti-British subversive activity both in the United Kingdom and in other parts of the world, by all clandestine means, both offensive and defensive; but also actively to conduct a clandestine offensive against Soviet power".
In November 1979, The 61 moved into offices in Grand Buildings, Trafalgar Square, where Crozier set about building up its funds and activities. The 61's prime functions were briefing Western and friendly Third World leaders, covert action to influence policy decisions and the dissemination of anti-Soviet propaganda. A restricted-access newsletter, Transnational Security, was produced for consumption by Thatcher, Reagan, selected politicians and friendly secret services, and a number of trusted journalists. Crozier was to state that "the best thing The 61 ever did was to penetrate and defeat the Soviet 'peace' fronts and the Western campaign groups".
The London section of The 61 infiltrated two moles into the Militant Tendency and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Crozier reported that "both operations were successful". The 61 also created fake "peace" groups to counter the work of CND. One such group, the Coalition for Peace Through Security, was set up by Edward Leigh (who went on to become a Thatcherite MP) and Julian La Lewis (introduced to Crozier by Norris McWhirter), who became The 61's leading activist in Britain.
Crozier was involved in setting up the Council for Arms Control, run by John Edmonds, a former Foreign Office official, and General Sir Hugh Beach. CIA Director William Casey provided Crozier with £50,000 in 1981 and $100,000 the following year to aid with these activities.
Another of The 61's campaigners was Paul Mercer, whose book Peace of the Dead was a savage denunciation of CND. It carried a forward by Lord Chalfont, former Labour Minister for Disarmament under Harold Wilson, who had drifted from the left to the extreme right.
In Belgium, The 61 set up an organisation called Rally for Peace in Freedom, whose influence spread rapidly not only through the Belgian Parliament but into the country's schools, with the distribution of officially approved booklets on defence.
In West Germany, The 61 liaised with the Bonn Peace forum, providing posters and banners for demonstrations which warned students of "the dangers of unconditional pacifism".
In France, The 61 set up a link with the Comite Francais Contre le Neutralisme, which brought together some 75 well-known personalities from politics, the media and education.
In Britain, Julian Lewis and his cronies wrote letters to the press, hired light aircraft trailing anti-CND slogans, organised counter demonstrations and heckled Bruce Kent and other speakers at CND rallies. Anti-CND propaganda was produced in the form of booklets, pamphlets, posters and folders, such as one entitled 30 questions and honest answers about CND.
There was even a plan which sent two operatives - Harry Fibbs, Chairman of the Westminster Young Conservatives, and Peter Caddick-Adams, another Young Conservative - into Moscow to distribute leaflets calling for nuclear arms reduction by the USSR. On their return, the two held a press conference on 10th September 1982, which was covered by nearly all the British daily press.
At the World Peace Conference in Copenhagen 1986, The 61 packed the hall with delegates from imaginary peace groups such as 'Welsh Miners for Peace'. The conference was disrupted when the microphone was seized by a 61 agent, who launched into an anti- Soviet speech, while 61 propaganda leaflets were distributed.
Brian Crozier was to state that his "peace counter-campaign" succeeded with the decision to employ the US missiles Cruise and Pershing II in Britain, West Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands. MI5's F2 Branch (which counters "domestic subversion") was simultaneously involved in covert action against CND. In September 1981, Thatcher convened a number of highly secret 'liaison committees' at 10 Downing Street which were to concentrate on policy areas that night be vulnerable during the forthcoming election, such as Britain's nuclear deterrent. A propaganda drive was organised to expose what she termed "the myths of unilateralism". Piers Wooley, a Tory party official who took part in the campaign, described the nature of the attack as "information, disinformation, and on many occasions, character assassination".
In March 1987, Minister of Defence Michael Heseltine set up a special counter-propaganda unit called Defence Secretariat 19 (DS19) to write anti-CND material. DS19 liaised with MI5, who illegally tapped the phone of CND vice-president John Cox and other members of the organisation.
MI5 officer Cathy Massiter was instructed to carry out the phone-tapping operation by Tony Crasweller, who also supervised the agency's F4 and F6 sections, which ran agents inside political parties and organisations. At the same time, CND member Stanley Bonnett, a former editor of the CND magazine Sanity, was recruited as an informant by Special Branch, on the instructions of MI5. Bonnett gave the intelligence services minutes of meetings and lists of CND activists throughout the country - lists which the officers told him "would be used for political purposes."
Cathy Massiter gathered material on any left-wing affiliations of CND's leaders. A report was then passed to civil servant John Ledlie, who was seconded to DS19, and he passed it on to Michael Heseltine and Sir Peter Blaker MP, Heseltine's lieutenant in the propaganda campaign. Blaker, in turn, passed the information on to the local Conservative Association of Ray Whitney, former head of the Information Research Department.
As the general election campaign was getting under way, the Blaker/Whitney letter was circulated to prospective Tory candidates. The Daily Mail ran an article entitled CND Is Branded a Tool of the Kremlin, which drew from MI5 smears of the organisation and included allegations attributed to Stanley Bennett. In the same period, the private anti-Communist propaganda group Common Cause, which monitors subversion in industry and the unions, published a pamphlet, The Communist Influence on CND, which had been written under the direction of Charles Elwell, head of MI5's F Branch. Elwell was also responsible for targeting the National Council of Civil Liberties (NCCL) as a subversive group.
"Officers of MI5 have no prerogative to justify any of their actions." - LORD DENNING
MI5 officer Cathy Massiter, who quit the service in disgust over its illegal activities against the left.
On leaving MI5, Charles Elwell went to work for Brian Crozier as an editor and researcher on an anti-Communist news sheet, Background Briefing on Subversion, later known as British Briefing. Echoing MI5's line of action, British Briefing's technique against left-wing Labour MPs was to establish "Communist" guilt by association. Its tone was best expressed with this editorial: "The march of Communism through the trade unions, the Labour Party, local government, religion, education, charity, and the media under the leadership of Communists who may or may not be members of the Communist Party, is what BB is all out. BB seeks to provide those who have the means to expose a Communist threat with clear evidence of its existence."
Among the Labour politicians targeted by British Briefing were Neil Kinnock, shadow health secretary Robin Cook, spokesman for social services Michael Meacher and spokesmen for local government David Blunkett (an ironic list of names considering those MPs' right-wing credentials today). The Labour MP Chris Mullin was singled out for his "perpetual vendetta against British security arrangements", while Derbyshire MP Harry Barnes was labelled as "quite a vigorous Stalinist underminer of British parliamentary democracy". Other organisations were tarred with the Communist brush, notably the charity Shelter (for its "Communist affiliations"), the Institute for Race Relations ("effectively controlled by revolutionary socialists") and the World Council of Churches.
The newsletter was printed by the anti- Communist Industrial Research and Information Service (IRIS), whose parent body had been Common Cause. Copies were circulated to "political leaders, MPs, journalists and others", who were requested to treat it as confidential. British Briefing was funded to the tune of £270,000 over a three year period by Crozier's friend Rupert Murdoch.
The 61 was active in attacking the Labour Party in the run-up to the 1981 general election, with Douglas Eden writing a series of articles for the Daily Telegraph alleging Communist penetration of Labour. Tony Kerpel, a Tory councillor in Camden, designed for the Coalition for Peace Through Security a poster of Neville Chamberlain on his return from Munich in 1918 with his piece of paper signed by Hitler, alongside a picture of Labour leader Michael Foot with a piece of paper. The captions under the pictures read: "1938, Neville Chamberlain" and "1981, Michael Foot" with the wording at the foot of the poster stating: "Don't let appeasement cause another World War". The poster was published by Norris McWhirter's Freedom Association.
On February 26th 1985, Crozier met again with Thatcher, when the prime minister asked him to help with a propaganda campaign against the municipal councils, including the Greater London Council (GLC); Crozier suggested a full counter- subversion programme. Also present was the CIA's William Casey, who proposed a "suitably substantial budget" for this rapid expansion of Crozier's UK operations.
Crozier planned action on several fronts, which he called: "penetration, legislation, influence and publicity". An organisation called Campaign Against Council Corruption (CAMACC) was set up, whose director Tony Kerpel was later appointed to the post of special adviser to Kenneth Baker, secretary of state for the environment. In Parliament, CAMACC's main activist was The 61's Edward Leigh MP. CAMACC briefed various peers and drafted speeches for them in relevant debates in the House of Lords. Letters and news coverage were secured in national papers and the councils were branded in much of the British public's imagination as "loony lefties" who were misusing public funds.
With Thatcher's approval, Brian Crozier liaised with Keith Joseph in "certain psychological actions" in the election year of 1987. One move was to brief the television presenter David Frost for a proposed interview with Labour leader Neil Kinnock. Frost met with Crozier at the Connaught Hotel on 6th January, where Crozier supplied a detailed background paper on Kinnock's "views, activities and personal relations in politics". The interview took place on May 24th during the election campaign and Crozier reported that a number of his points were raised by Frost; the interview "made a considerable impact" against Labour.
The 61 produced a booklet The Vision of St. Kinnock, which satirised and slandered the Labour leader. It was distributed to hundreds of Conservative candidates who made "good use" of it in their speeches or election pamphlets. The 61 also supplied to the Liberal Party details of a list of 130 supposedly "hard Left Labour MPs". Liberal leader David Steel published the list under the title Labour's 101 Damnations. For months in the run-up to the election, The 61 continued to provide propaganda material to politically compliant columnists in the national media, including Woodrow Wyatt of the News of the World and The Times, Frank Chapple of the Daily Mail, Bernard Levin and Lord Chalfont.
On 12th June 1987, Margaret Thatcher won her third consecutive term as Prime Minister.
CIA director William Casey, who funded Brian Crozier's activities in Britain. Behind Casey is an aerial photo of the CIA's headquarters at Langley, Virginia.
The CIA works systematically to ensure that the socialist parties of all Western countries toe a line compatible with U.S. interests. In Britain in the 1950s, the CIA's manipulation of the right wing of the Labour Party swung the party away from its pledge to nationalisation (enshrined in the celebrated Clause IV), away from nuclear disarmament and back towards a commitment to NATO. This decisive intervention by the Agency could be said to have changed the course of modern British history .
Following the end of World War II, the Labour Party was elected on a platform of extensive domestic social reform, and of peaceful co-existence with the Soviet Union in Europe. Fearful of the spread of Communist influence, the right wing of the party, under the new Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell, organised themselves around the journal Socialist Commentary, which became their most important mouthpiece. Throughout the post-war period, Labour's Gaitskellite right wing worked closely with MI5, Special Branch and a variety of CIA front organisations to advance its cause and keep the left at bay. Channelled with massive CIA funds, the right grew in confidence and influence, and vigorously campaigned against left-wingers like Aneurin Bevan, whom they denounced as "dangerous extremists".
Socialist Commentary set out to alert the British labour movement to the "growing dangers of international Communism". It was supported by David Williams, the London correspondent of the New Leader, an American anti-Communist publication backed by the CIA. Williams made it his business to join the British Labour Party and to take an active part in the Fabian Society.
In America, the New Leader provided a focus for weekly meetings of professional anti-Communists in the unions, universities and government service. It had a large staff and a world-wide network of overseas correspondents. New Leader began openly to advocate the infiltration of foreign socialist parties. In 1949, it carried a piece by CIA chief Allen Dulles advocating "a commission of internal security to examine subversive activities in the US and to use the institutions of democracy to destroy them"; this was rather like the head of MI5 writing for The Guardian.
In 1954, Denis Healey MP became the New Leader's London Correspondent.
CIA covert financing of the international student movement also began about this time. The student movement was diverging into two factions: those on the left, who supported the Soviet-funded World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY) constituted the most organised section and there was no home for right-wingers and social democratic organisations. To aid the right, MI6 and the CIA helped organise and fund the World Assembly of Youth (WAY).
WAY's initial membership was quite broad and included a number of left-wing socialists with no alignment to Moscow. However it was not long before the right asserted itself in the organisation, turning the student movement into an acceptable stamping ground for those wanting to make their name in preparation for parliamentary politics. Labour backbencher and Sunday Mirror columnist Woodrow Wyatt (who had received many IRD funds in the past) described WAY as "an organisation which does extremely valuable propaganda for the free world, without looking like a propaganda organisation" .
WAY was in contact with major establishment figures: a Friends of WAY Society included Conservative prime minister Sir Anthony Eden, ex-Labour prime minister Clement Atlee, Viscount Chandos (ex-colonial secretary) and Lord Mountbatten's wife Edwina. CIA officer Joseph Burkholder-Smith revealed that 10 (the CIA division which handled front groups) was in liaison with MI6 on all its world-wide front operations, in WAY in particular, and that the CIA were manipulating WAY student leaders.
WAY worked through the Colonial Office to extend its influence in Africa, setting up National Committees in Kenya, Mauritius, Sierra Leone, Seychelles and Uganda. The Colonial Office brought WAY events to the attention of the African colonial governments, arranged for WAY film shows and helped pay the travel expenses of the generally poor African delegates.
During the 1950s, WAY's European Youth Campaign received over £1,300,000 of CIA money, the largest proportion of which went to the British affiliate.
Meanwhile, in June 1950, the New Leader's Melvin Lasky helped set up the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF), a body whose declared purpose was "to defend freedom and democracy against the new tyranny sweeping the world" - namely Communism. Given massive CIA funding, the CCF launched political seminars, conferences, newspapers, periodicals, news services and a wide range of political and cultural activities throughout Western Europe. The CCF was one of the CIA's conduits for funding Brian Crozier's Forum World Features.
CCF also organised world-wide student exchanges and conferences in support of the new anti-Communist youth organisations which were promoted by the CIA.
In 1953, the CCF launched Encounter, a joint Anglo-American monthly journal involving MI6 agent C.M. Woodhouse, a covert action veteran who had been involved in Operation Ajax in Iran (a joint CIA/MI6 plot to overthrow the elected government of Mohammed Mossadeq). The magazine exchanged facilities with Socialist Commentary and used many of the same staff and writers. Encounter became one of the most influential liberal journals in the West.
As the CCF network grew, it embraced many prominent figures in the Labour Party - among them Anthony Crosland, who began attending CCF seminars along with Hugh Gaitskell, Denis Healey, Rita Hinden, Daniel Bell and a bevy of American and European politicians and academics.
Crosland's book The Future of Socialism was a major new political thesis which had been influenced by CCF conferences, in which he argued that growing affluence had radically transformed the working class in Europe and thus Marx's theory of class struggle was no longer relevant. The book was immediately adopted as the gospel of Labour's new leadership under Hugh Gaitskell.
During the 1950s, Gaitskell and his friends in the Socialist Commentary group adopted the argument forcibly put in the New Leader that a strong united Europe was essential to prevent the West from Russian attack. They received support from a New York-based group called the American Committee on United Europe, whose leadership included General Donovan, wartime head of the OSS (the fore-runner of the CIA), George Marshall, the U.S. Secretary of State, and Allen Dulles of the CIA.
This high-powered CIA-funded pressure group financed the so-called European Movement, headed by a friend of Hugh Gaitskell's, Joseph Retinger, who promoted select gatherings of European and American politicians, businessmen, aristocrats, top civil servants and military leaders (Bilderberg Meetings). Founder members of the movement were Hugh Gaitskell and Denis Healey, along with such diverse characters as the president of Unilever and Sir Robert Boothby.
There were also U.S. labour attachés based in the London American embassy. One of them, Philip Kaiser, described his years in London in his memoirs: "The labour attaché is expected to develop contacts with key leaders in the trade union movement and to influence their thinking and decisions in directions compatible with American goals...."
The CIA ran the anti-Communist international trade union movement, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), and its various spin-off groups, such as the trade secretariats. The TUC itself helped fund the ICFTU through its affiliation fees. By the mid 1950s, nearly a quarter of the TUC's annual budget was going to the ICFTU.
No-one has yet assembled the full data of trade union officials and Labour politicians who took advantage of the education programmes and freebie trips run by American intelligence for sympathetic people in the labour movement, but it probably runs into thousands. In other words, much of the international political landscape of the post-war era in Britain consisted of U.S.-funded or directed political propaganda/psychological warfare projects. And this was on top of the formal military-diplomatic-financial influences of NATO, the IMF, World Bank, GATT, the UN, etc.
By the late 1950s, Anthony Crosland was acknowledged as the Labour Party's chief theoretician and his role in the CCF was expanded to "encourage sympathetic people" to participate in CCF-sponsored seminars, congresses and private gatherings all around the world. Hugh Gaitskell and other Labour politicians travelled to CCF functions in Europe, New Delhi, Rhodes, Australia and Japan, where they lectured on the theme that traditional socialism was irrelevant in a modern capitalist society. They spent years working to remodel European socialism in the image of the American Democratic Party, and this was backed up by the fullest publicity in Encounter, Socialist Commentary, Preuves, Der Monat and other CCF journals.
The day after Labour's defeat in the 1959 general election, Roy Jenkins, Anthony Crosland and Douglas Jay were among a small group who met with Gaitskell to propose that Labour drop its old commitment to traditional socialism, particularly Clause IV which pledged "common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange".
In February 1960, William Rogers, general secretary of the Fabian Society, set up a steering committee with Crosland, Roy Jenkins, Patrick Gordon Walker, Jay and some sympathetic journalists. This group started to work on a manifesto to be released in the event of Gaitskell's defeat in the defence debate at the party conference that year.
Gaitskell was indeed defeated and CND won its campaign of committing the Labour Party to a neutralist programme. With widespread press coverage, Rogers and his friends immediately released 25,000 copies of their manifesto, which appealed to Labour Party members to rally behind Gaitskell and "fight and fight and fight again". The group set up the Campaign for Democratic Socialism (CDS)and with large sums of CIA money channelled through the CCF, they were able to take a permanent office and appoint paid staff. Given the full support, resources and unlimited financial backing of the CIA, the CDS had great advantages over their opponents in the party, who had to rely entirely on unpaid volunteer workers. At the CDS's disposal were field workers in the constituencies and unions, whom it supported with travelling expenses, literature and organisational support, as well as supplying tens of thousands of free copies of the manifesto, pamphlets and other CDS publications, plus a regular bulletin, Campaign, which was circulated free of charge to a large mailing list. All of this was produced without a single subscription-paying member.
CDS achieved its objectives: the trade unions cracked under the pressure and the Labour Party returned to its support for NATO at the party conference in 1961. The Campaign for Democratic Socialism - with its CIA backing - was the most effective pressure group the Labour Party had ever seen. Its influence was out of all proportion to its original support among party members and its financial backers could justly claim to have changed the course of British politics.
George Thomson - a pillar of the CDS, who later resigned from Labour's front bench with Roy Jenkins to form the more right-wing Social Democratic Party (SDP) - said of Rita Hinden: "In the 50s, her ideas were greeted with outraged cries of "Revisionism!" But by the mid 60s, the revisionism of Social Commentary had become the orthodoxy of the Labour Movement".
The Labour Party apparatus remained firmly in Gaitskellian hands over the following decades, particularly the International Department of which Denis Healey had been head until he won his seat as an MP. In 1963, The Labour Party's Organisation Subcommittee was chaired by George Brown, one of the CIA's sources in the Labour Party.
In 1965, Healey's old post was taken over by J. Gwyn Morgan, who had been elected President of the National Union of Students on an anti-Communist ticket. Morgan became General Secretary of the International Student Conference, in charge of finance, in which capacity he negotiated with the CIA's foundations which supplied the bulk of the organisation's funds, and supervised expenditure of the several million dollars devoted to world-wide propaganda.
Morgan visited over 80 different countries in five years and got to know personally many heads of government and leaders of the world's principal social democratic parties. In 1965, he became head of Labour's Overseas Department and two years later he became Assistant General Secretary of the Labour Party.
Around this time, a group of Labour leaders, including Hugh Gaitskell and George Brown, made a direct approach to MI5 for records of tapped telephone conversations of Labour left-wingers, bank-account records of payments from Soviet organisations, or names of East European contacts which could be used to smear their left-wing opponents in the party. Informal flows of information between MI5 and Labour's right-wing became more common, and over the years MI5 recruited freely in Labour's headquarters and among the parliamentary party.
The Labour Party, moulded by American and British intelligence in the Gaitskell image, with its policies firmly rooted in Crosland's manifestos, became the programme of the next Labour government under Harold Wilson.
Michael Stewart, foreign secretary in the Wilson government during the escalation of U.S. military action in Vietnam, and Sam Watson, the powerful Durham miners' leader and ally of Gaitskell, were among those who have since been identified as CIA "agents of influence."
Charles Clarke, who was Neil Kinnock's closest political adviser throughout his years as labour leader, had a background as chair of the World Youth Council, which had well-documented CIA links.
The CIA was also involved in ensuring Labour's commitment to Britain's entry into the Common Market through the afore-mentioned European Movement, the elite international pressure group secretly funded by the CIA, which took most of the credit for the founding of the Common Market. The European Movement wanted a United States of Europe and the rearmament of Germany, which the U.S. government saw as a key to winning the Cold War with Russia.
The European Youth Campaign (EYC) was set up as the most active component of the European Movement in 1951. In one year alone it organised 1,899 sessions and conferences, 900 cinema shows, distributed 1.8 million brochures, staged 21 exhibitions and secured 2,400 minutes of radio time for the cause of European unity. The secretary of the British section of EYC was Maurice Foley, later a Labour MP and minister. Virtually every penny he, and the campaign's other organisers spent, came from the CIA. In eight years, £1.34 million of covert funds were passed on to the EYC by the CIA's American Committee on a United Europe.
American intelligence played a major hand in the formation of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). The inspirers of the SDP were Labour's Douglas Eden (who had previously worked for Brian Crozier's Shield as a researcher) and Stephen Haseler (who taught politics at the City of London). Both met with Crozier at his office while he was running the ISC and afterwards. The three agreed with the creation of a new political party in Britain, with the objective of attracting Labour's right-wing, thereby isolating the left and "cutting it down to size".
Eden and Haseler founded the Social Democratic Alliance (SDA), which had some 700 members, mostly municipal councillors, all over the United Kingdom. Crozier gave financial assistance to the SDA and arranged with Eden and Haseler to approach Roy Jenkins to lead their proposed new party. At the end of February 1981, four Labour right-wingers - Jenkins, Shirley Williams, David Owen and William Rodgers -announced the creation of a Council for Social Democracy and left the Labour Party to form the SDP. Crozier lays the blame for the failure of the SDP to fully achieve his aims on Roy Jenkins' policy of aiming not so much to split Labour as to attract moderate anti-Thatcher MPs from the Conservative Party. In any case, the SDP experiment could be regarded as succeeding in the CIA's designs because it divided the anti-Tory vote at the following elections and contributed to the Conservatives' retention of power.
In 1967, investigations in the U.S. revealed that the CIA had manipulated the National Student Association since the early 1950s, with the active connivance of the Association's elected officers, and that CIA money had been channelled through a group of dummy foundations, such as the Fund for Youth and Student Affairs, which supplied most of the budget of the International Student Conference, which in turn was found to have been set up by British and American intelligence to counteract Communism.
Michael Josselson of the Congress for Cultural Freedom admitted that he had been channelling CIA money into the CCF ever since its foundation - at the rate of about $1 million a year - to support some twenty journals and a world-wide programme of political and cultural activities. After these disclosures, the CCF changed its name to the International Association for Cultural Freedom. Michael Josellson resigned but was retained as a consultant and the Ford Foundation agreed to pick up the bills.
The exposure of CIA financial aid to WAY headquarters led to the organisation becoming discredited and the British National Committee was disaffiliated in 1977. The revelation of its network of front organisations persuaded the CIA that its future lay in more discrete operations with better cover. Lots of covert psychological warfare and propaganda think tanks began to appear on the scene; Brian Crozier's Institute for the Study of Conflict was a pioneer in this field.
CIA-backed fronts such as the Labour Committee for Transatlantic Understanding (LCTU) continued to attract right-wing trade union and Labour Party figures well into the 1980s. LCTU was formed "in order to develop a better understanding of the objectives and democratic values of the Western Alliance in the ranks of socialist and trade union movements in Europe and their counterparts in the United States"; it distributes a news service amongst the trade union movement and provides regular seminars and conferences for senior trade unionists and politicians. Speakers at LCTU's conferences have included Dr John Reid MP (later to become Tony Blair's armed forces minister) Peter Mandelson MP, and George Robertson MP (Blair's defence secretary).
Another example of infiltration into the Labour Party was the case of MI6 officer Margaret "Meta" Ramsay. She had attended Glasgow University and had been elected President of the Scottish Union of Students. In 1962, she became associate secretary of the CIA-front the International Student Conference at Leiden, Holland. From 1965 to 1967, Ramsay was secretary of the Fund for International Student Co-operation, which was later identified as another recipient of CIA funds. She became an active member of the Labour Party, attending conferences where party officials were "unaware" of her intelligence connections. In late 1981, she was even on the short-list to become the new chief of MI6. (In the event, Sir Colin McColl, who was due to retire as chief in September 1992, was asked by John Major to stay on for another two years). In August 1992, Margaret Ramsay was appointed to the position of foreign policy adviser to Labour leader John Smith, who was a friend of hers since university days. As well as raising a few eyebrows, this appointment begs the question: What was the leader of the Labour Party doing employing a known high-ranking MI6 agent in such a senior position?
With friends like these, the opportunities that the intelligence services have had for manipulating Labour politicians have plainly been many and varied.
Today, Tony Blair maintains the CIA's designs for the Labour party, with a commitment to the largest military budget in Europe and an unswerving allegiance to NATO. The assortment of transatlantic study trips, scholarships, trade union "fellowships" at Harvard and seminars paid for by U.S. agencies and the CIA continue to mould and influence Labour Party policies. For example, both Gordon Brown and John Monks (an important Blair ally as head of the TUC) were welcomed by the secretive Bilderberg Group (one of the key organisations of the European-American elite.) Brown and his economic adviser Edward Balls were both at Harvard. David Miliband, Blair's head of policy, was at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In 1986, Tony Blair went on one of the myriad of U.S.-sponsored trips to America that are available for promising MPs and came back a supporter of the nuclear deterrent. In 1993, he went to a meeting of the Bilderberg Group.
Jonathan Powell, Blair's foreign policy advisor, used to work in the British embassy in Washington and is suspected by some of having been the liaison officer between British intelligence and the CIA. In 1976, Peter Mandelson was Chair of the British Youth Council, which began as the British section of the World Assembly of Youth, which as we have seen, was set up and financed by the CIA. By Mandelson's time in the mid-1970s, the British Youth Council was said to be financed by the Foreign Office, though this was thought to be a euphemism for MI6.
A variety of senior Labour politicians - Peter Mandelson, George Robertson, Mo Mowlam, Chris Smith, Elizabeth Symons, George Robertson and Blair's chief of staff Jonathan Powell, were members of the British-American Project for the Successor Generation (BAP), a little-known but highly influential transatlantic network of "chosen" politicians, journalists and academics. The fingerprints of British and American intelligence are everywhere to be found amongst the network of BAP members; regular attenders at BAP meetings are defence and security specialists, NATO advisers, Defence Ministry think-tank people and counter-insurgency experts. Also included is Jonathan Powell, the career diplomat who now runs Tony Blair's No. 10 office as chief of staff. Powell is the youngest of the Powell brothers, of whom Charles, the eldest, was Margaret Thatcher's foreign policy specialist. At BAP conferences, subjects discussed include such titles as 'Sharing the Defense Burden' and 'The Welfare State on Trial'.
The first recorded mention of the need for a "successor generation" came in 1983 when President Reagan spoke to a select group, including Rupert Murdoch, Sir James Goldsmith and senior CIA officers, in the White House. Reagan told them: "Last June, I spoke to the British Parliament, proposing that we - the democracies of the world - work together to build the infrastructure of democracy. This will take time, money and efforts by both government and the private sector. We need particularly to cement relations among the various sectors of our societies in the United States and Europe. A special concern will be the successor generations, as these younger people are the ones who will have to work together in the future on defense and security issues."
BAP is funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts of Philadelphia, which was established in 1985 by the billionaire J. Howard Pew, a devoted supporter of the Republican Party and other right-wing groups. These include the far-right Heritage Foundation and the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a foundation which was set up by former CIA head William Casey to sponsor books "widely regarded as influencing Reagan Administration economic and social thinking." One such book was Losing Ground by Charles Murray, the extreme-right inventor of the term "underclass" and advocate of the abolition of welfare.
In the records of the foundation of its "successor generation", BAP describes regular meetings of "24 Americans and 24 Britons aged between 28 and 40 who, by virtue of their present accomplishments, had given indication that, in the succeeding generation, they would be leaders in their country and perhaps internationally."
In its 1997 newsletter, BAP warmly welcomed the elevation of its members to the Blair Cabinet: "Congratulations from all of us!"
All of Blair's new political appointees at the Ministry of Defence, including Defence Secretary George Robertson, have been members or associated with the Atlantic Council and its labour movement wing, the Trades Union Committee for European and Transatlantic Understanding (TUCETU), which formed from the afore-mentioned Labour Committee for Transatlantic Understanding (LCTU), organisations that are backed by the CIA.
TUCETU's membership has included Doug Mc Avoy (general secretary of the National Union of Teachers), Lord Richard (Labour leader in the House of Lords), Lord (John) Gilbert (Tony Blair's defence procurement minister), right-wing trade union leaders such as Bill Jordan (head of the International Confederation of Free Trade Union, the CIA's chief labour movement operation), Lord (Eric) Hammond and Lord (Frank) Chapple, and former Portuguese president Mario Soares (recently revealed to have been a CIA asset).
TUCETU also incorporates Peace Through NATO, the group central to Michael Heseltine's covert MoD campaign against CND in the 1980s. It receives over £100,000 a year from the Foreign Office, as well as payments from CIA-backed trusts. TUCETU chair Alan Lee Williams was a Labour defence minister under Callaghan, who defected to the SDP. He now describes himself as a "defence consultant".
This is just some of the complicated network of British and U.S. intelligence's efforts to infiltrate and manipulate the right-wing of the trade union movement and the Labour Party in recent decades, and there are grave lessons here for the left.
Under the pretence of a media with freedom of expression, the intelligence services have spoon-fed the British public a carefully-controlled political diet of "news" which controls their attitudes and responses to strikes, protests, wars and general elections, while the broad domestic and foreign policies of the Labour Party that the CIA helped establish (pro-NATO, pro-free market economy, anti-socialist etc.) have remained in place to this day.
Robin Ramsey of Lobster magazine, which has uncovered much of Blair's clandestine transatlantic intelligence connections, describes New Labour as just the latest manifestation of the party's social democratic tendency, which has existed since the Cold War, running from Hugh Gaitskell through Roy Jenkins and the SDP and which should more properly be called the American Tendency:
"The people round Blair are all linked to the United States . And here is the source of the tension between so-called Old and New Labour. For who are the Labour Party's traditional constituencies? British domestic manufacturing and British public sector workers. Old Labour is the domestic economy; New Labour is the overseas British economy; in other words, the multinationals, the City of London, and the Foreign Office which represents their interests."
It would be foolish to underestimate the influence of the intelligence services on Britain's political map. We know that the intelligence services never stand idly by and watch events happen. Brian Crozier is but one CIA operative in Britain whose activities have come to light. During the mid-1970s, renegade CIA agent Philip Agee revealed a list of ten CIA officers working in London; MI6 later confirmed to a group of MPs that this was correct. We have seen CIA operatives attain senior positions of influence under successive Labour governments. How deeper does the infiltration of the Labour Party go than has so far come to light, and to what extent are the intelligence services able to manipulate the party's policies?
The whole purpose of trade unions is to be independent workers' organisations standing up for the interests of their membership. The Labour Party itself was originally founded to represent the interests of the working class against the exploitation of capitalism. We have seen a concerted, massively-funded and far-reaching campaign by the intelligence services and other state agencies to covertly manoeuvre the labour and trade union movements in this country to total compliance with the interests of the ruling class. This is not merely undemocratic; it is the mark of totalitarianism.
"Like the United States, Britain has become a single-ideology state with two principal, almost identical factions, so that the result of any election has a minimal effect on the economy and social policy." - JOHN PILGER
"It is not surprising that more and more people are coming to the conclusion that the ballot box is no longer an instrument that will secure political solutions . They can see that the parliamentary democracy we boast of is becoming a sham." - TONY BENN
Ever wondered how you get to be a Bilderberger? Well, there's a kindergarten where you'll learn all you need to know. The British American Project for the Successor Generation (BAP) was set up by Ronnie Reagan, Rupert Murdoch and Sir James Goldsmith in 1985 for the elite of up 'n' coming thirtysomethings from both sides of the Atlantic to be nurtured in the 'special relationship' existing between the two nations. Past members Peter Mandelson and George Robertson have both recently spoken at Bilderberg. BAP has just held its 14th annual shindig (described by ex-member Jeremy Paxman as 'four days of beer') in Harrogate, with this years' theme 'Making Culture Count'. No Tracy Emin here, of course, just Saatchi & Saatchi execs and the like discussing art's role in the global marketplace and in the words of Alison Holmes, chair of the executive committee: "It's all been quite mad, sorting out the world's problems and drinking too much". Quite. BAP emerged in response to worries about the anti-nuke, anti-American drift of the Labour Party in the early '80's and the current co-ordinator is all-round bad egg Lord Carrington, ex-NATO chief and chair of the Bilderbergers for 9 years. Sounds dodgy? Never! As Alison Holmes told a Big Issue journalist: "Bilderwhat? I've never heard of that in all my life."
If you would like to peer at the wannabe élite who intend to run your lives in the coming decades, it would be worth booking in to the Majestic Hotel, Harrogate, from 13 to 16 November. The rates are reasonable by today's standards (£85-a-night for a double room) and, after the air has grown moist from being peppered with kisses, the sessions in the gym booked and anti-social deviants loudly thanked for not smoking, observers will be able to relax and contemplate the degeneration of the mid-Atlantic political class.
The 1999 conference of the British-American Project for the Successor Generation will unintentionally reveal where a century of fawning to America has brought us. It was founded in 1985 and has always seemed a neo-colonial institution to its critics. Each year, 24 bright natives, aged between 28 and 40, are introduced to 24 young Americans. The Brits are encouraged to help their careers by following the American way. Ginny Felton, the director of the project's British office, gushed to me about the push up the greasy pole BAP fellows might receive. The conference would be a marvellous opportunity for 'young achievers to get together, to network, to make friends, to stay friends and use that friendship!' she said.
The network is impressive. In the Cabinet, Mo Mowlam, Peter Mandelson and Chris Smith are project alumni, as is Baroness Symons, the Indonesian military's favourite junior Defence Minister. Journalists who have been elevated to the ranks of the Atlanticist elect include Jeremy Paxman of Newsnight, Charles Moore, the editor of the Telegraph, James Naughtie, the Today programme presenter, and Trevor Phillips, the TV reporter who was briefly a candidate for mayor of London. The project's leading wonks are Jonathan Powell, Blair's chief of staff, and Matthew Taylor, a former Labour hack who became head of the vaguely leftish and nominally independent Institute for Public Policy Research. As the list shows, New Labour's victory was a triumph for the project. The Blair landslide incited an ecstatic headline writer in its newsletter to declare: 'UK election news: Big Swing to BAP.'
Democratic sensibilities are always offended by self-congratulatory cliques on the make, but the main charge against the project is that it is a continuation of Cold War American infiltration of British public life.
In a fascinating book, Who Paid the Piper? (Granta), which deserved far more attention than it received when it was published in the summer, the historian Frances Stonor Saunders detailed the relentless efforts by the CIA to ensure that educated opinion in Britain and Europe became and stayed pro-American. An American National Security Directive of 1950 said that propaganda to influence foreigners in the fight against the Soviet Union was vital. The best manipulation was when 'the subject moves in the direction you desire for reasons he believes to be his own'. The funding of the high-brow 'British' journal of ideas, Encounter, in the Fifties was therefore pushed through front organisations and private individuals. The interventions in the 'British' cinema which ensured that the film version of Orwell's Animal Farm had its final scene changed, in a thoroughly Orwellian manner, to make it less anti-capitalist and more anti-communist was as covert as the provision of secret funding to pro-European movements. (I always find it peculiar that Euro enthusiasts say we must chose between being European or American. For decades, the US State Department has tried to get Britain into an ever-closer European union.)
The liberal-Left was the spies' main target, in part because the Right could be expected to do as it was told and in part because the CIA feared Lefties would fall for the charms of Stalinists. Now I suspect that intelligent Americans might think that the ugliness of a society with heaving death rows, two million in prison, 30 million without health care and incurable racism could disgust the few progressive Europeans who care about such matters. Patronage corrals their concern. It encourages them to look at the world through US eyes and take every policy initiative from the zero tolerance of crime to workfare for single mothers from the United States.
Lobster, a left-wing magazine, found documents recording that Ronald Reagan was so worried about the growth of anti-American sentiment in the early Eighties that he called Rupert Murdoch and Sir James Goldsmith for a conference on how to mount a pro-Nato propaganda war. 'A special concern will be the successor generations,' Reagan told them. 'These younger people are the ones who will have to work together in the future on defence and security.' Whether or not Sir Charles Villiers, an old Etonian who served the secret services during the war, and Lewis van Dusen, a former American representative at Nato, knew about Reagan's demand for action is unclear - the project denies it vigorously - but two years later they launched the British-American Project for the Successor Generation.
The world has moved from the Cold War to global capitalism and the project reflects the new American power. Instead of being backed by spooks, it is sponsored by Monsanto, Philip Morris and arms companies. Instead, of being concerned with intellectual debate, it is obsessed with marketing.
This year's conference is called Making Culture Count. Its star guest will be Maggie Semple. She joined the Project in 1992 and is now responsible for creating the great cultural monument of fin de siècle Britain, the Greenwich Dome. In her paper to delegates, she boasts, with a slack-jawed clumsiness, about its size - it's 'high enough to contain the Statue of Liberty... if inverted under Niagara Falls, the Dome would take 10 minutes to fill with water' - before unveiling the main attraction. 'A highlight of the Dome will be the McDonald's Our Town Story where for 210 days, people will perform and exhibit their town's past, present and future.'
For indeed, the only truly national celebration of 1,000 years of history on these islands will be an advertising campaign for an American multi-national. Semple and her colleagues have given McDonald's the opportunity to send promotional literature and teacher packs into every school in the country. Teenagers, who McDonald's want as low-paid workers as well as customers, will write McPlaylets while learning that the corporation is the benign custodian of their community.
At the turn of the century, British imperialists encouraged eager American adventurers to take up 'a white man's burden' it could no longer carry. In the Cold War, establishment Britain wanted to be the Greeks to the American Romans, offering sophisticated advice to the brash young super-power. Whatever crimes were committed and excused from Jakarta to Santiago, you cannot deny that many Cold Warriors believed they were defending civilisation and freedom and were genuinely interested in the battle of ideas and serious culture. Now a century of battles is over. Freedom has been reduced to the free market. The Dome celebrates the summit of Anglo-American achievement: junk food and duped and spotty children.
The British American Project (BAP) was founded in 1985 to encourage 'transatlantic friendship' between 'future leaders' of Britain and the United States. It is funded by donations from large corporations and was originally known as the 'British-American Project for the Successor Generation'. Each year BAP invites 24 American and 24 British delegates to take part in four days of dinners, parties and discussions.
The aim is to "create, at a time of growing international strains and stresses, a closer rapport between Britain and the United States among people likely to become influential decision-makers during the next two decades". Delegates are nominated by existing fellows. They include George Robertson, Chris Smith, Mo Mowlem, Peter Mandelson, Jonathan Powell, Trevor Phillips, Charles Moore, James Naughtie and Evan Davis. Critics of BAP, such as John Pilger, have suggested that it constitutes a type of right-wing "casual freemasonry".
An expression of thanks to the NUJ for its support 13 years after the event may seem to be little thanks at all. But on the twin principles that late is better than never and that solidarity remembered is solidarity reinforced, I now offer some reflections on those distant days when I was Peter Mandelson's first unsatisfactory recruit to the cause of spin-doctoring for "New Labour" back in 1986.
I won't weary union members only too familiar with the management tactics of the Thatcher years on how the newly appointed Labour director of communications headhunted me to be his deputy and then fired me a few months later with the words: "If we have to terminate your contract I will make any fabrication of the truth and stick by it faithfully".
Those with stomachs strong enough to chew on those unedifying events and the subsequent undermining of John Underwood, Joy Johnson and countless others who Mandelson took against can find it accurately recorded in Paul Routledge's new Mandy biography.
But in expressing belated gratitude to the union for its support in a difficult situation - a general election pending and Mandelson initially unwilling to permit me union representation - let me offer a few thoughts on how a man who later told Conservative MPs he would plead guilty to any accusation of "trying to create the truth", prospered for as long as he did.
Partly, of course, it was sheer hard work, the round-the-clock determination to promote Labour and himself. But what made that effort easier was the willingness of many journalists, particularly in Parliament, to follow his dumbed-down agenda.
Now I don't subscribe to an American friend's description of the Westminster Lobby as a system of synchronised self-abuse: I know enough about coverage of US politics to take lessons from Washington. But it remains true that with a few honourable exceptions, members of the Lobby are not distinguished by their willingness to leave the herd. And their world of non-attribution - the exact opposite of what every young reporter is trained to practise - is precisely the one in which Mandelson, with his stock-in-trade of whisper, smear and innuendo, flourished.
You don't have to take my word for that. In Goodbye to All That, Bryan Gould's valedictory volume, the former Labour MP tells us of how his suspicions of Mandelson, then a party employee, were confirmed when a Financial Times reporter quietly inquired why Peter Mandelson was "out to get" him. Gould concluded that Mandelson's "playing of favourites ... probably did more to undermine Shadow Cabinet unity and to distract major players from the job in hand than any other factor".
In all the publicity that followed the publication of Gould's book and the many subseqent references to the "Prince of Darkness" by many victims before his own departure, few journalists ever spelled out the mechanics of what was going on. Why?
Partly, too, because Mandelson was an important source, close first to Neil Kinnock and then Tony Blair and acting with their approval. (John Smith had more sense and kicked him into touch.) Not to be vouchsafed his briefings meant a drying up of political pap - the daily diet of those reporting the affairs of our democracy.
Undesirable as all this is in terms of truth and accountability, not all of it can be blamed on political journalists. For behind the Lobby system lies the power of the political status quo. Mandelson had powerful friends. With John Birt at the BBC, the Murdochs and senior figures at The Mirror and the broadsheets on his side, how many journalists were willing to go out on a limb?
And to have as a leading Labour spokesman someone like Mandelson who essentially wanted to adhere to establishment orthodoxy exactly fitted the wishes of the powers that be on both sides of the journalistic divide. To have him smearing trade union leaders and opponents in the Labour party - anyone like Gould, for example, who challenged the power of the City and Brussels - was not just easy copy for incurious hacks but pieces of eight for those who employed them.
But the picture is even bigger than that. For as John Pilger is regularly pointing out these days in the New Statesman, Mandelson is part of an elite transatlantic security and defence network, the British American Project for the Successor Generation. In addition to Mandelson, current senior Government members include Chris Smith, Mo Mowlam, Lyz Symons and George Robertson as well as the former diplomat turned No. 10 chief of staff, Jonathan Powell.
The BAP journalistic membership includes senior BBC journalists such as Jeremy Paxman and James Naughtie and leading figures from The Independent, The Economist and, almost inevitably, News International. What better for the international status quo than a well-heeled freemasonry of politicians and journalists setting the news agenda?
Let's start with the easiest question: what do George Robertson, Chris Smith
and Marjorie 'Mo' Mowlam have in common? They are, of course, all strong
Tony Blair supporters in the new Labour Cabinet. And what about Peter Mandelson
and Elizabeth Symons? Not yet quite Cabinet members, but both are key figures
in the 'modernising project' in Blair's 'New Labour' government: Mandelson
as Minister without Portfolio having a roving brief to monitor, coordinate
and brief the press on all areas of government activity and Symons, the former
leader of the union for top civil servants, the First Division Association,
is the Foreign Office Minister in the House of Lords.
Symons shares her unelected status with two other key figures in the new Blair administration, Jonathan Powell and Michael Barber. Powell, a former British diplomat in Washington, is now Blair's chief of staff at 10 Downing Street and Barber is special adviser to Education Secretary David Blunkett. And what do these two and the four ministers in the new government share with Ms Symons? They are all members of the British-American Project for the Successor Generation (BAP for short) - an elite transatlantic network launched in 1985 with $425,000 from a Philadelphia-based trust with a long record in the US of supporting right-wing causes.
Its membership reaches beyond formal politics to include rising figures in finance, industry, academia, the military and the civil service. Media members include Economist political editor David Lipsey, Independent economics editor Diane Coyle, Times Educational Supplement editor Caroline St John-Brooks and BBC journalists Jeremy Paxman, Isabel Hilton, Trevor Phillips and James Naughtie.
The first recorded mention of the need for a 'successor generation'
came in 1983 when President Ronald Reagan spoke to a group, including Rupert
Murdoch and Sir James Goldsmith, in the White House. The reason for the 21
March gathering that year was US fear of the rising opposition to the siting
of Cruise and Pershing missiles in Western Europe. Reagan's administration
took this movement so seriously that it recalled its ambassador to Ireland,
Peter Dailey, to Washington. He was given the task of coordinating a strategy
to defeat the broad-based opposition to Reagan's 'evil Empire' policy and
with it the first major European challenge to the NATO orthodoxies
of the previous 35 years. The meeting, organised by National Security Council
staff with the support of USIA director Charles Wick, was intended to recruit
'private sector donors' to help in this task.
In a confidential NSC memorandum Walt Raymond, the CIA director of operations who had left Langley for the NSC shortly before, described the upcoming meeting as 'the first session with donors and Charlie [Wick] has focused this meeting specifically on our needs in Europe ... I do not know whether the group assembled on March 21 will serve as the core for a large funding effort which could support the ³National Endowment for Democracy² or whether the group, by background and interest, will remain focused on Europe. The problems of European public opinion, however, are sufficiently great that this is enough of a task to take on at this time.'
When Reagan stepped into the Situation Room that March afternoon his audience was not only Murdoch and Goldsmith, but also Ambassador Dailey, now restyled 'Chairman, European Public Diplomacy Committee', George Gallup, chairman of the polling organisation and Joachim Maitre, 'coming as personal representative of Axel Springer, German publishing executive.'
Reagan told them: 'Last June I spoke to the British Parliament, proposing that we - the democracies of the world - work together to build the infrastructure of democracy. This will take time, money, and efforts by both government and the private sector. We need particularly to cement relations among the various sectors of our societies in the United States and Europe. A special concern will be the successor generations, as these younger people are the ones who will have to work together in the future on defense and security issues.' (emphasis added) 1
The British-American Project's own account of its foundation makes no reference to the President's remarks, but clearly shares the same concern for an improvement in US-UK relations when, in the early Eighties, both the Labour and Liberal parties opposed the major arms spending increases - nuclear and non-nuclear - central to Reagan and the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher.
In the BAP version of its foundation it would appear that the institution of regular meetings of '24 Americans and 24 Britons aged between 28 and 40 who by virtue of their present accomplishments had given indication that, in the succeeding generation, they would be leaders in their country and perhaps internationally' was the idea of two old Oxford friends - Sir Charles Villiers and US Rhodes scholar Lewis Van Dusen. Villiers, an old-Etonian banker, was a wartime Special Operations Executive veteran who subsequently became chairman of the British Steel Corporation. Van Dusen, senior partner in the law firm Drinker, Biddle and Reath, was deputy to the first US representative to NATO between 1950 and 1952.
The BAP account describes a dinner between the two old friends early in the Reagan presidency and observes that Villiers' 'relationship between him and Lew [Van Dusen] had implications far beyond their personal friendship and in fact provided networking for personal friendships and broader relationships between Britain and the US, with countrywide benefits. He [Villiers] further observed that such relationships were not continuing as they had hoped.
'Arrangements were made for Charles [Villiers] to see Robert I Smith, then the head of the Pew Memorial Trust. Subsequent discussions resulted in a grant underwriting the first three years of the Project. Advisory Boards were established in the US and Britain. The School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns Hopkins University, Washington DC, would administer the American side. The Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House, London, would serve a similar function in Britain.
'Since that time, alternate conferences lasting approximately four days have been held annually in the US and Britain. All expenses including travel are paid for first-time delegates. Initially topics for study and discussion were proposed by Chatham House and SAIS.'
One of the Britons chosen for the delicate task of selecting participants for the Successor Generation project was George Robertson MP, the former Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland who, to the surprise of some, was made Defence Secretary in the new Blair government. Why there should have been any shock in this move is in itself surprising because Robertson has been a pillar of the Anglo-American/NATO establishment from the time he left the service of the General and Municipal Workers' Union (as it then was called) in 1978 to become Labour MP for Hamilton.
A former secretary of the right-wing Labour Manifesto group (most of whose members defected to the Social Democratic party in 1981), Robertson joined the government-funded British Atlantic Committee in the same year that it was publicly attacking the Labour party's non-nuclear defence policy. He was on the Council of the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House) from 1984 to 1991 and on the steering committee of the annual Konigswinter conference for much of that time. He has been a governor of the Ditchley Foundation since 1989 and was vice-chairman of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy from 1992 to 1994. A man more likely to be given the defence brief and less likely to include the possession of nuclear weapons in the Blair government's newly announced defence review can scarcely be imagined.
Robertson was helped in the task of selecting promising transatlantic talent for the early years of the BAP by David Lipsey, a man who also started life as a researcher with the GMWU. After Oxford Lipsey got to know and admire Anthony Crosland, the Gaitskellite MP, author of The Future of Socialism and one-time consultant to the CIA-funded Congress for Cultural Freedom. Crosland became Lipsey's mentor, hiring him as adviser at the Department for Environment and then at the Foreign Office. After Crosland's death in 1977, Lipsey moved to the office of Prime Minister James Callaghan. With the defeat of Labour in 1979 Lipsey switched to journalism, first at New Society and then the Sunday Times before returning as editor of New Society in 1986.
At the time he was helping to launch the BAP he was also involved in setting up the Sunday Correspondent, the short-lived and largely US-funded weekly. When it folded in 1990 he became associate editor of Murdoch's Times, quitting that for the Economist in 1992 and becoming its political editor two years later. Along the way he has been chairman of the Fabian Society, a visiting professor at the University of Ulster and a non-executive director of the Personal Investment Authority.
An old Streatham Labour party friend of Lipsey's from the Seventies, Butler is a central figure in the British-American Project. Alongside a career in British Petroleum, Butler has combined political activity in the Fabians (for many years he was its treasurer), Chatham House and Konigswinter with writing for the US Council for Foreign Relations journal Foreign Affairs. The Cambridge-educated Butler jointly authored with Neil Kinnock Why Vote Labour in 1979 and through the Fabian Society was deeply involved in the former Labour leader's successful efforts to move the party away from unilateral nuclear disarmament in the late Eighties. His wife, a former senior BBC current affairs executive, now works for the Institute for Public Policy Research.
Butler has been deeply involved in the BAP programme from the outset. He was UK treasurer when, in 1984, the Pew Trust Æ a big funder of the right-wing Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute at the time Æ chipped in with the $425,000 launch money. After Robertson, he is the senior Labour member of the UK advisory board, which is chaired by the former conservative Foreign Secretary and NATO secretary general Lord Carrington. The two other party political members of that board are Alan Lee Williams and Lord Holme of Cheltenham. 3
Alan Lee Williams
Williams was Labour party national youth officer under Hugh Gaitskell's leadership before becoming an MP. He was parliamentary private secretary when Roy Mason was Defence Secretary and he followed when Mason became Northern Ireland
Secretary. Defence was a constant interest of Williams, chairing the Parliamentary Labour Party's Defence Committee and, after losing his Hornchurch seat in 1979, chairing Peace Through NATO. In addition to work for the European Movement - he was treasurer from 1972 to 1979 - he has strong US links. He is currently director of the Atlantic Council. He became one of David Rockefeller's Trilateral Commission members in 1976 and has chaired the European working group of the right-wing Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington since 1987. In 1981, Williams was one of the founding members of the Social Democratic party and subsequently of the Liberal Democratic alliance.
Lord Holme of Cheltenham came to that alliance via the Liberal party of which he was president in the year the SDP was launched. After Oxford and Harvard, Richard Holme became active in the Liberal party and stood for them unsuccessfully on several occasions. A director of RTZ-CRA, which now helps fund the Successor Generation project, Holme is a central figure in 'centre' politics. He has directed the Campaign for Electoral Reform; chaired the Constitutional Reform Centre; remains a director of Political Quarterly, as well as vice-chairman of the Hansard Society for Parliamentary Government and, in addition, chairs Threadneedle Publishing, a major publisher of political reference works.
He has been chairman of Brassey's, the defence publishers once owned by Robert Maxwell with a US subsidiary chaired by the late Senator John Tower, (President George Bush's unsuccessful nomination for Defence Secretary). He took over the chairmanship of the consultancy firm Prima Europe from Dick Taverne, the former Labour MP turned Social Democrat. Until his election as policy adviser to the Blair government, Prima also employed Roger Liddle, the former SDP candidate who jointly authored The Blair Revolution with Peter Mandelson.
Holme acted as treasurer of the Green Alliance for 11 years, during some of which time Tom Burke, an SDP activist turned adviser to Conservative governments, was director. Burke, a former adviser to David Owen, was one of a batch of younger SDP figures selected by the UK board for Successor Generation membership in its early days a decade ago.
Others SDP activists receiving early invitations to join the Successor Project were Sue Slipman, the former Communist president of the National Union of Students; Penny Cooper, an old Communist party and NUS colleague of Slipman's who, like her, was a founder member of the SDP; Becky Bryan, a defence analyst and later BBC reporter who was 1983 Alliance candidate for East Hampshire, and Rabbi Julia Neuburger, a member of the government-backed multilateralist Council for Arms Control in the early Eighties and a prominent member of the SDP national committee.
Slipman, Bryan and Neuberger were joined at the 1986 BAP gathering in Philadelphia by George Robertson's fellow Cabinet colleague, Chris Smith. The MP for Islington South is no stranger to the United States. Between his first degree at Cambridge and his doctorate there, a Kennedy scholarship took him to Harvard for a year. A few years in local government earned him the chance of a seat and shortly after being elected became, first, secretary and then chairman of the Tribune group of Labour MPs.
Even more familiar with the United States is another Blair Cabinet member with a doctorate and a past involvement in the Tribune group, Northern Ireland Secretary 'Mo' Mowlam. After Durham University, Mowlam studied and taught in American universities for most of the Seventies. After winning Redcar in 1987 she followed Smith as secretary of the Tribune group at the time it was becoming less the voice of the radical Left in the parliamentary party and more of a support group for Neil Kinnock in his 'modernising' moves, particularly on defence.
Mowlam attended the 1988 gathering of the BAP in St Louis, where she was joined by the Labour Party's then director of campaigns and communications, Peter Mandelson. The theme, 'Present Alliance, Future Challenges', was very relevant to a world in which the Cold War was moving into a new phase with the crumbling of the former Soviet empire. Kurt Campbell, a Harvard academic who had lectured on Soviet studies in what was then apartheid South Africa, led the first session on 'New Empires for Old'.
In the subsequent discussion Æ led, according to the confeence report by British participants Æ Mowlam and Mandelson heard the contributions of Tim Gardam, the editor of the BBC TV current affairs programme, Panorama, and Michael Maclay, at that time a producer for 'Weekend World', London Weekend Television's rival programme on which Mandelson had been working before his Labour party job.
Maclay is an interesting figure in the BAP network. A career Foreign Office official, he left the diplomatic service for a media career, first at LWT and then, with David Lipsey, as a founding figure of the Sunday Correspondent. After that paper's collapse Maclay was rapidly recruited to Robert Maxwell's new newspaper venture, The European. His latest appointment has taken him out of journalism and back into diplomacy as special adviser to the European Union's High Representative in the former Yugoslavia, the Swedish Conservative, Carl Bildt.
Colonel Bob Stewart
That same 1988 BAP gathering also included a soldier subsequently widely known through television for his presence in Bosnia and subsequently as a supporter of BBC war correspondent Martin's Bell's 1997 election candidature in Tatton - Colonel Bob Stewart. Less well known, perhaps, is that Stewart was a key figure on NATO's military committee and between 1994 and 1995 was chief of policy at Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers, Europe. Since resigning from the Army in 1996 Stewart has been hired by the international public affairs consultants, Hill and Knowlton. 4
Also at the same BAP meeting were Jill Rutter, now Chancellor Gordon Brown's Treasury publicity chief who in 1988 was private secretary to John Major. Her attendance in St Louis was during her Harkness Fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley. Her fellow Treasury colleague Douglas Board was along with her, as was Colin Walters the then head of the police division at the Home Office. So, too, was Iain Elliott, associate director of the CIA-funded Radio Liberty and former editor of Soviet Analyst.
Andrew Gimson, a former Conservative Central Office researcher who was then editorial page editor of the Independent newspaper was one of two British journalists present, the other being Yasmin Alibhai Brown, then an editor of the New Statesman and now a freelance writer whose work appears widely.
The purpose of the 1988 gathering - as of all the BAP functions Æ was summed up by Tory MP David Willetts, previously director of studies at the Centre for Policy Studies founded by Margaret Thatcher and Sir Keith Joseph in 1974. Willetts said: 'The object of the conference is to enable bright young people from the United States and the United Kingdom to get to know each other in a friendly environment. This will help reinforce Anglo-American links, especially if some members already do, or will eventually, occupy positions of influence.' Given the result of the 1997 general election, it is unlikely that David Willetts will have quite the same influence for Atlanticism he exercised as a Tory minister or as a pathfinder for privatisation at the Centre for Policy Studies.
But there are plenty of Successor Generation members around to carry on the work. Robertson, Mowlam, Smith and Mandelson are central figures in the Blair regime. In place, too, is 1990 BAP attendee Liz Symons, the partner of Rupert Murdoch's labour editor at the Times, Phil Bassett. The BAP's 1996 newsletter welcomed her elevation to the Lords as follows: 'Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean, aka Liz Symons, has tendered her resignation as general secretary of the FDA following the announcement of her life peerage in August. She will continue there until the end of 1996. After that she can be reached at House of Lords, London SW1A 1AA. Congratulations from all of us.'
Symons came to trade unionism by a somewhat unusual route, being an official of the Inland Revenue Staff Federation while her father, Ernest Vize Symons, was the Board of Inland Revenue's director general. (He was also, coincidentally, governor of the English-Speaking Union at about the time Alan Lee Williams was successfully seeking a post-parliamentary career as director of the ESU). Alongside her as a trade unionist within the Project is Barry Reamsbottom, the former editor of the Civil Service union paper Red Tape. Since 1992 he has been general secretary of the Civil and Public Servants' Association - the other end of the public service spectrum represented until last year by Symons at the FDA.
A third trade unionist with long-standing US connections was an early participant in the Successor network. He is John Lloyd, then of the electricians' union, the EEPTU, as it was called at the time of his participation in the 1987 conference.5 Lloyd's successive bosses at the union, Frank Chapple and Eric Hammond, are long-standing anti-Communist, pro-NATO figures in the trade union movement. Both were active in the US-funded Labour Committee for Transatlantic Understanding and Alan Lee Williams's European Working Group at the CSIS in Washington. 6
The only other figure with a trade union connection in the BAP network would appear to be Michael Barber, the University of London education specialist who was, for a short time, a policy official at the National Union of Teachers. Barber now has the role of principal policy adviser to the new Education Secretary, David Blunkett.
Readers who have followed this catalogue of careers and connections thus
far might ask why they have read and heard nothing of the Successor Generation
network in the media - after all, it has been in existence since 1985 and
some quite important figures have taken part in its deliberations.
One reason might be that the network contains lots of journalists, a group who are often less willing to disclose their own activities than those of others. Of the most familiar names James Naughtie, the co-presenter of Radio Four's daily current affairs programme Today, is probably least surprising to find on the BAP's list of alumni. Naughtie's postgraduate studies were in New York at Syracuse and in 1981 he was awarded the Laurence M Stern Fellowship to spend a summer working on the Washington Post. A review of his radio documentary output makes it clear that transatlantic relations are a key field of interest.
Jeremy Paxman, Newsnight interviewer was a BAP participant in 1990, along with BBC current affairs producer Margaret Hill. Christopher Cragg of the Financial Times, kept them company, as did George Brock, the foreign editor of the Times.
Before them had come Michael Elliott and Daniel Franklin of the Economist; Isabel Hilton, at the time Latin America editor of the Independent and now freelancing, among others for the BBC and the Guardian; Frederick Kempe of the Wall Street Journal; Charles Moore, then of the Spectator and now the editor of the Daily Telegraph; Trevor Phillips, an ex-National Union of Students president at the time with LWT and now, more recently with the BBC and Pepper Productions, a joint UK/USA/South Africa production company, and Hugh Raven of the Sunday Telegraph.
The journalists' list is completed by Diane Coyle, a Treasury economist turned economics editor of the Independent and Caroline St John-Brooks, a former colleague of David Lipsey at New Society and the Sunday Times. After a spell working with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, she has this year been appointed to edit Rupert Murdoch's Times Educational Supplement.
Dotted around these annual gatherings are always a few defence and
security specialists. Calum McDonald, the University of
California-educated Labour MP for the Western Isles, is a stalwart opponent
of unilateralism. Raj Thamotheram founded Saferworld, a defence
and foreign affairs think-tank opposed to unilateralism. Colonel Tom
Thomas is a NATO adviser with expertise in counter-insurgency.
James Sherr is a New Yorker based in Britain who has worked for Group
Captain Bolton's RUSI and the Heritage-funded Institute for European Defence
and Strategic Studies, the latter a fierce opponent of the Labour party and
the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the Eighties. Gloria
Franklin has headed the Ministry of Defence's civilian think-tank and
has been responsible for the annual Defence White Paper. Steve
Smith of the University of East Anglia lectures on strategic issues and
Gregory Treverton of Princeton and Harvard has worked closely with
the Council for Foreign Relations, the US sister organisation to Britain's
Last, but by no means least, on the foreign policy and defence front, we have Jonathan Powell, the career diplomat who gave up his posting at the Washington embassy to work for Tony Blair in opposition and now runs his No 10 office as chief of staff. Powell is the youngest of the Powell brothers, of whom Charles, the eldest, was Thatcher's foreign policy specialist and the middle one, Chris, advertising adviser to the Labour party. Jonathan Powell was the smiling presence at the Successor Generation's 10th anniversary get-together at Windsor in 1995.
The British organiser of that conference was a member of a familiar, if not quite so influential, family. Matthew Taylor is the son of sociologist-cum-media personality Laurie Taylor. Taylor Jr is the Labour party's new policy director. His US counterpart, Nina Easton, looked back proudly on that Windsor meeting.
'Once again the project demonstrated its commitment to grooming leaders for a new generation, and highlighted the leading global role that these two allies will continue to play in promoting democracy.'
A decade after calling on his visiting White House multi-millionaires to help create a reliable 'successor generation', a fitter Ronald Reagan might today have cause for a chuckle. The Labour administration his successor Bill Clinton came to smile upon in May seems safely in the hands of an elite well-groomed in the ways of Atlantic cooperation.
Subject: British American Project - CFR/RIIA Study Group
In 1997 Lobster Magazine, a British journal of intelligence, parapolitics, and state research published an article about the British American Project.The article identifies the groups administering the project as:
> The School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns
> Washington DC, would administer the American side. The Royal Institute of
>at Chatham House, London, would serve a similar function in Britain.
The School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is a Council on Foreign Relations think-tank and spook training school, see Foundations of War http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/2807/foundation.html. The SAIS has a branch in Red China that has a greater influence on Chinese policy then the Chinese do.
The Royal Institute of International Affairs is England's CFR sister organization.
Serendipitously, the Council on Foreign Relations and Royal Institute of International Affairs were formally established at another Majestic Hotel in Paris on March 19, 1919, by a group of Rhodes's secret society members who attended the Paris Peace Conference as diplomats, members of the British Secret Service, or members of the first U.S. central intelligence agency the INQUIRY. Edward Mandell House, close personal advisor to President Woodrow Wilson, and the first U.S. National Security Advisor, hosted the meeting.
Propaganda, is the effort to alter the picture to which men respond, to substitute one social pattern for another. Propaganda is used to create false reality worlds using sleight of mind. Psycho-political operations are propaganda campaigns. Strategic psycho-political operations focus propaganda at powerful individuals, or small groups of people capable of influencing public opinion or the government of a particular country. Tactical psycho-political operations focus propaganda at the masses by interference in specific events, their comments, and their appeals through mass communication media ( i.e. newspapers, radio, television, textbooks, educational material, art, entertainment, etc. ). Both forms of propaganda are used to manipulate public opinion to attain foreign policy goals in a given period. If the operations are designed to conceal both the operation and the sponsor the operation is clandestine. If the operations are designed to conceal only the sponsor the operation is covert.
The CFR/RIIA has become so successful at scripting, directing, and implementing psycho-political operations that we are now living in an age of rationalized propaganda backed by a powerful press and technical media that consciously manipulates symbols and myths in a calculated manner to suit CFR/RIIA goals. High international tensions are whipped up with astonishing rapidity at the dictate of the controlling groups. Tensions meant to maximize profits of CFR/RIIA controlled medicine, munitions, media, food, and banking industries which profit most during periods of unrest and war. Illusions and delusions are deliberately imposed on large masses on an international scale to conceal real social conflicts of greater significance.
The Secret Society of Cecil Rhodes used "discussion-groups" to generate material used in propaganda campaigns for shaping national policy and influencing public opinion. The Council on Foreign Relations, Royal Institute of International Affairs, and other secret-society branch organizations use "discussion-groups," and a more formalized program known as "study-groups" to this day. "Study-groups" are organized to investigate an important national policy issue. A designated expert prepares a draft statement and presents it to a group of fellow experts who often hold widely divergent views. The issue is discussed thoroughly, sometimes at several successive meetings, and the discussion recorded by a research secretary. A digest of the discussion and a position paper with a written analysis and policy conclusions credited to a single author is produced. Material generated is used to shape national policy and influence public opinion.
The British American Project is nothing more than a Council on Foreign Relations/Royal Institute of Internal Affairs, sponsored study-group, meant to generate material for creating covert strategic, and tactical psycho-political operations for influencing public opinion to allow CFR/RIIA industries to maximize their profits at the expense of the public at large, and to further the CFR/RIIA goal of forming one world government run by CFR/RIIA members. Hosting the meeting at the Majestic Hotel is a clue for future historians to credit the formation of the New World Order to the Secret Society of Cecil Rhodes and the organizations that evolved from it.
The British-American Project exists to reinforce the long-standing special ties between the United States and Britain by bringing together young people from the two countries who have achieved distinction in their chosen fields. The Project's primary activity is an annual intensive four-day conference, which brings together 24 exceptional people from each side of the Atlantic to tackle a specific issue of importance to both countries.
Delegates are chosen for proven leadership in their field, and are drawn from a wide range of backgrounds and views; they include senior representatives from business, government, the media, voluntary /non-profit organizations, law, medicine, and the armed forces.
Since its first conference in 1985, the British-American Project has built an influential Fellowship of more than 600 members, many of whom return to the annual conference in subsequent years. The success of the Project is remarkable, and its impact on those who attend lasting.
"You discuss ideas, you face challenges, you have your prejudices questioned, you make friends, you learn a lot and you have fun. It's an incredibly worthwhile venture."
The Rt. Hon. Chris Smith, MP, Secretary of State forCulture, Media & Sport, UK Fellow
"The Project is one of the most valuable and eye-opening experiences I have ever had. It gives me a wonderful perspective on international relations, and an unprecedented opportunity to mix with a highly stimulating and knowledgeable group."
Senator Jay Dardenne, Senate Floor Leader for the Louisiana Legislature, US Fellow
While the Fellows return at their own expense, the Project funds the attendance of participants in their first year to ensure the broadest possible gathering of talent. In addition, the Project produces newsletters and reports on conference deliberations to promote deeper trans-Atlantic ties.
The Project is run by its Fellowship whose elected officers and its Advisory Board, led by the Rt. Hon the Lord Carrington KG, manage its development. Their challenge is to ensure the long-term financial viability of the Project so that its valuable and distinctive contribution to Anglo-American relations can continue.
1st Common Bonds and Common Burdens Middle Aston, Oxfordshire, 1985
2nd Common Bonds and Common Challenges Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1986
3rd The Pace of Change Turnberry, Scotland, 1987
4th Present Alliance, Future Challenges St. Louis, Missouri, 1988
5th The Management of Change Buxted Park, East Sussex, 1989
6th The Management of Diversity Airlie, Virginia, 1990
7th The Process of Change Buxted Park, East Sussex, 1991
8th Effecting Change Through Individual Responsibility Atlanta, Georgia,1992
9th The Management of Conflict Newcastle, Northern Ireland, 1993
10th Beyond Conflict - Shaping the Pluralistic Community Oakland, California, 1994
11th The Renewal of Civil Society , Old Windsor, 1995
12th Science and Society -Separation or Synergy Dallas, Texas, 1996
13th The Politics of Identity Peebles, Scotland, 1997
14th Are you Global? New Orleans, Louisiana, 1998
15th (an arts theme, being developed) Harrogate, York, UK, 1999
16th (tbd) New York, NY, 2000
'One of the most intellectually stimulating experiences of my life.'
Robert Hoffman, President, The Coca-Cola Bottling Group (SW) Inc.
'A marvelous way of meeting a varied cross-section of trans-Atlantic friends.'
Jeremy Paxman, Journalist and BBC broadcaster.
'The small-group, public policy discussions I had with Fellows made the British-American Project conference the most intellectually engaging and stimulating I've ever attended. '
Tom Proulx, author of Quicken software and co-founder of Intuit Inc.
'The lasting relationships that are built up are the only way to underpin an enduring Special Relationship. Takes the working out of networking.'
Jonathan Powell Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister, The Rt. Hon. Tony Blair, MP.
'A unique and extraordinary opportunity to build personal relationships with our British friends that can endure a lifetime. '
Robert Mosbacher, Jr., President, Mosbacher Energy Company
'The British-American Project performs an invaluable role in promoting contact and friendship between the United States and Great Britain.'
The Rt. Hon. Stephen Dorrell, MP
'My involvement with the British American Project ranks as one of my life's intellectual and cultural high points. '
Jimmie Lee Solomon, Executive Director of Minor League Operations, Office of the Commissioner, Major League Baseball.
'The British-American Project provides an invaluable understanding of the way our two systems of government and business can best operate. '
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean, Under Secretary of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office
'I had always thought of the relationship as special and this program gave that idea a deeply human meaning.'
Jack Fuller, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chicago Tribune
'The dialogue is unique. There is no other forum that allows you such breadth of vision.'
Rabbi Julia Neuberger, Chief Executive, The Kings Fund
'Young Britons need to know America and Americans. The British-American Project provides them with an attractive way of doing so.'
Charles Moore, Editor, The Daily Telegraph
'The opportunity to interact with a diverse group of worldly people from the United Kingdom and the United States was both interesting and intellectually stimulating. The experience was invaluable.'
The Hon. Vanessa D. Gilmore, United States District Judge
A. H. Belo Corporation
Air Touch Communication
Apple Computer, Inc.
Baker & Botts
British-American Commerce Association
Chicago Tribune Foundation
The Chubb Corporation
Coopers & Lybrand
Dallas World Salute
Deloitte & Touche
Delta Air Lines
Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Inc.
E. I du Pont de Nemours and Company
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
Grand Metropolitan, Inc
HJ Russell & Company
Hughes & Luce
ICL Fujitsu-ICL Systems, Inc.
Int'l Licensing & Marketing
Isadore & Joan Scott
Langley & Branch
Lewis Van Dusen
Locke Purnell Rain Harrell
Pew Charitable Trust
Philip Morris Companies
Russell & Miller, Inc.
Ryder System, Inc.
Saatchi & Saatchi
Southwestern Bell Telephone
Texas Commerce Bank
The Coca-Cola Company
The Pillsbury Company
The Sun Company
Vinson & Elkins
Wagg & Co. Ltd.
Waste Management of Alameda
Wells Fargo Bank
William T. Kemper Charitable Trust
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
Under the sponsorship of Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), the British-American Project is exempt from Federal income tax under section 101(6) of the Revenue Act of 1934. This ruling was affirmed on May 6, 1938 and December 5, 1951, under section 101(6) of the revenue Act of 1936 and section 101(6) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939.
The exemption of the University is currently applicable under section 501(c)(3) of the 1954 Code which corresponds to section 101(6) of the above- named Acts and the 1939 Code.
The Tax Exempt Number is 8200-5482401. * The Federal I.D. Number is 520-595-110.
Checks should be sent to Carobel Calhoun, US Project Director, British- American Project, at the address below and made payable to: Johns Hopkins University/SAIS and marked for the British-American Project
For more information, contact Carobel Calhoun c/o SAIS, 1740 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20036; phone 703-553-9188; fax 703-553-9189; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
US Project Director, Carobel Calhoun. She can be reached by e-mail: Carobel@aol.com
UK Project Director, Ginny Felton. She can be reached by e-mail: GinnyFelton@compuserve.com
George Robertson is in BAP http://www.mod.uk/aboutmod/ministers/sofs.htm
BAP Project email list? http://home.ease.lsoft.com/archives/baproject.html
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