Thatcher let Mandela rot in apartheid prison

This video is called Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013) Official Trailer.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Thatcher left Mandela to rot in prison

Friday 3rd January 2013

PMs glossed over issue in controversial talks

Newly released cabinet papers put paid yesterday to longstanding Tory boasts that Margaret Thatcher used her controversial courting of South Africa’s apartheid-era government to help win the release of Nelson Mandela.

Government minutes from 1984, published under the 30-year rule, show that Thatcher made little or no effort to secure Mandela‘s freedom during her first official meeting with South African prime minister PW Botha.

The documents record a summit between Thatcher and Botha, supposedly to discuss the country’s policy towards its black population.

Yet the British PM did not mention Mandela once during the official discussion.

In a report sent by adviser John Coles to Roger Bone, then private secretary to Sir Geoffrey Howe, Number 10 suggested the issue was raised at a short “tete-a-tete.”

No note-takers were present during the discussion but Coles says the issue was raised by Thatcher, who was rebuffed by Botha who claimed he was unable to “interfere with the South African judicial process.”

In the officially minuted meeting that followed no further mention was made of the matter – apparently despite Foreign Office advice to do so.

Thatcher went on to infamously brand Mr Mandela and the ANC as “terrorists” in 1987, while the ultra right-wing Federation of Conservative Students notoriously wore “Hang Nelson Mandela” badges in the early 1980s.

In the wake of Mandela’s death Prime Minister David Cameron and other senior party figures have rushed to distance themselves from their previous stance.

But in a special parliamentary session former Labour cabinet minister Peter Hain claimed the Tories were attempting to “rewrite” the history books and attacked the Thatcher government for its “craven indulgence to apartheid rulers.”

“We all say in Britain we were against apartheid, and doubtless we were,” Mr Hain said.

“But some of us did things about it and others didn’t.

“But it really does stick in the craw, when Lord Tebbit, Charles Moore and others similar claim their complicity with apartheid, for that’s what I think it was, somehow bought its end.”

Film: Mandela- Long Walk to Freedom (12A): a critical review is here. Another one is here.

A new book on Joe Slovo and Ruth First pays due tribute to an inspirational couple in the struggle for liberation in South Africa, says JOHN HAYLETT: here.

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British complicity in torture cover-up attempt

This video is called Britain’s MI6 linked to Libya torture scandal.

It says about itself:

7 dec 2013

An Al Jazeera investigation has traced how intelligence extracted by torture in a Libyan jail cell may have been used in the British legal system. A leading Libyan politician says that he was forced to name dissidents, who were then detained by the authorities in London. Al Jazeera’s Juliana Ruhfus has this exclusive report.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Anger as Ken Clarke tries to palm off torture probe

Thursday 19th December 2013

Human rights campaigners accuse government of backtrack on its pledge to investigate British complicity in torture

Human rights campaigners reacted with anger yesterday to reports that the government is trying to backtrack on its pledge to investigate British complicity in torture.

In July 2010, David Cameron announced that an independent, judge-led inquiry would be established to examine the grave allegations amid mounting evidence.

However it has been reported that Cabinet Office Minister Ken Clarke will announce today that the task is to be handed over to the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), a body made up of MPs and peers appointed by the Prime Minister.

Despite being tasked with oversight of the intelligence services, the ISC has been heavily criticised for failing to spot a number of recent scandals and controversies.

Legal action charity Reprieve points out that in 2007, three years after the MI6-orchestrated “rendition” of Libyan dissidents Abdel Hakim Belhadj and Sami al-Saadi, along with their families, the ISC produced a report which claimed there was “no evidence that the UK agencies were complicit in any ‘extraordinary rendition‘ operations.”

The charity also cited the “pantomime” of the committee’s toothless questioning of the heads of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ in the wake of the recent US NSA surveillance scandal.

While hailed by the government as a major step forward for security service transparency there was little in the way of probing questioning and it subsequently emerged that the spy chiefs had been provided with the questions in advance.

None of the ISC members are judges, although it includes a former defence secretary, a former Home Office minister, and a former cabinet secretary under Tony Blair.

Reprieve executive director Clare Algar said: “If the government takes this course, it will be breaking its promise to hold a genuine, independent inquiry into UK involvement in torture.

“Worse still, it will be handing the task to a committee of MPs hand-picked by the Prime Minister, which has consistently missed major scandals involving the security services.

“The ISC not only lacks independence, it has also sadly been proven to be completely hopeless as a watchdog.

David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ken Clarke have all personally pledged to hold an independent, judge-led inquiry into torture. They must not abandon their promise in favour of a whitewash.”

British Conservative Profumo, scandal and musical

This video from Britain says about itself:

BBC News – Fifty years since John Profumo ‘sleaze’ resignation

5 June 2013

It is 50 years since Britain’s Secretary of State for War, John Profumo, resigned following an affair with Christine Keeler – who was allegedly also having an affair with a Russian spy.

The 1963 scandal, which is the subject of an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London, laid bare the corruption at the heart of the British establishment.

Nick Higham reports.

At least in one respect, Profumo’s government was more honest than the present one in Britain and in many other countries. Profumo was Secretary of State for War; not for “Defense”.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

Tory scandals set to music

Tuesday 17th December 2013

PETER FROST looks back half a century to the Profumo Affair

THE case of Tory war minister Jack Profumo, good-time girl Christine Keeler and society osteopath and portrait painter Dr Stephen Ward first hit the headlines in the early summer of 1963.

Now some of that story is being retold in the somewhat unlikely guise of a West End musical with story and lyrics by Christopher Hampton and Don Black and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, no less. It opens this week at the Aldwych Theatre, London.

This music video from Britain says about itself:

Stephen Ward Musical – You’ve Never Had it So Good (Andrew Lloyd Webber – New Musical)

Andrew Lloyd Webber launches his latest West End musical Stephen Ward, based on the 1960s Profumo affair between Christine Keeler and politician John Profumo.

The cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Stephen Ward perform an exclusive live version of You’ve Never Had It So Good at the West End launch event held by Andrew Lloyd Webber and the cast of Stephen Ward in London on 30 September.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit West End and Broadway musicals include Evita, Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Starlight Express and many more.

The Peter Frost article continues:

Over the years the Tories have been no strangers to sleaze and sexual scandals.

Despite their hypocritical outpourings about “family values” they have a rich history of adultery and other transgressions.

Prime minister John Major and Edwina Currie kept their almost unbelievable adulterous affair secret for almost two decades.

Thatcher’s darling Cecil Parkinson got his secretary pregnant but kept his career.

Jeffrey Archer lied on oath about his relationship with a prostitute, yet remains a lord.

Operation Yewtree, the inquiry into Jimmy Savile’s paedophilia and necrophilia, will no doubt flush out a few more skeletons among Tory cupboards.

We do know Jimmy spent every New Year with Maggie Thatcher and her friends.

It was health minister Currie who appointed Savile to head a task force to run the secure hospital at Broadmoor, where he had his own accommodation and keys to wards and the mortuary.

More recently the Tory Party has been rocked by allegations of sexual assault against deputy speaker Nigel Evans. His case for sexual assault and rape will come to trial next March.

Today Tory politicians, caught at it, rush to the courts seeking injunctions or even superinjunctions to cover up their indiscretions.

Fifty years ago in 1963 they hadn’t invented superinjunctions, but then they didn’t really need them. A tame media and a few toothless judges that could produce a whitewash report worked just as well.

For nearly six months in 1963 the Profumo affair was headline news. Harold Macmillan and his Cabinet was shaken by Keeler’s revelations that she had had sex with both Profumo and Eugene Ivanov, a Russian intelligence officer and the Soviet assistant naval attache in London.

Profumo first met Keeler when she climbed naked out of the swimming pool at one of Lord Astor’s parties at Clivedon House beside the Thames. She was 19 and he was 48.

Minister Profumo was married to Valerie Hobson, beautiful star of classic Ealing comedies such as Kind Hearts and Coronets.

These Clivedon events were famous as a place where the rich and famous, including many Tory politicians, could meet pretty and available young ladies, or indeed boys, many who had been invited by Ward.

Prime minister Macmillan knew all about adultery and sexual scandals. His wife had a 30-year affair with another Tory MP, Robert Boothby. Bisexual Boothby also enjoyed a homosexual affair with one of the notorious Kray twins.

On March 22 1963 Profumo lied to Parliament. He delivered a personal statement to MPs denying any “impropriety whatsoever” in his relationship with Keeler. Downing Street hoped the scandal would go away.

By June 1963, however, Profumo was finally forced to resign when Ward was arrested and charged with living on immoral earnings.

For Profumo it was the end of a very promising career. He had been tipped to become foreign secretary and even a future prime minister.

His affair with Keeler was brief and casual. It was probably one of many such liaisons he and other Tory Cabinet ministers engaged in. It might have ended without becoming public but for a bizarre turn of events.

Keeler was also sharing her affections with the Russian Ivanov, whom she met through Ward, and with a West Indian petty criminal called Johnny Edgecombe.

Christine sharing pillow talk with Ivanov and the minister of war was seen as a potentially serious threat to national security.

Westminster and Fleet Street gossip went further than Profumo. It linked other leading Tory politicians with call-girls and sex orgies.

Macmillan and his Cabinet secretly feared Ward would use the publicity about his trial to name other Establishment figures involved in these sexual scandals.

However the story did not really break until the jealous and mentally unstable Edgecombe started to stalk Keeler.

Finally Edgecombe fired a revolver into Ward’s London mews home where Keeler was staying.

The whole story unravelled and became public.

The rumours surrounding the case, including one that a Conservative minister attended an orgy wearing only a maid’s frilly apron and a mask, led to an inquiry by Lord Denning, the master of the rolls.

Not surprisingly Denning’s whitewash found all the rumours to be completely untrue.

The media were quick to condemn the women in the case, implying that Keeler and her friend Mandy Rice-Davies were clearly prostitutes.

Misogynist Fleet Street couldn’t even contemplate that these might be feisty young women making their own decisions on their choice and numbers of sexual partners. That was what rich and powerful men did.

After all, if they were not prostitutes then how could Ward be prosecuted as a pimp and for living on immoral earnings?

The Establishment who had been so keen to get an invitation to Ward’s orgies turned on him, blaming him for bringing down the “decent minister” Profumo.

Persecution and eventual prosecution drove Ward to take his own life. He committed suicide after being found guilty on some, but not all, charges.

The Establishment had successfully hounded him to his death and silenced him forever.

What of Profumo? A dozen years of charity work in the East End won him a CBE in 1975.

He received the honour from the Queen herself, signalling his return to respectability. He lived well on his substantial inherited wealth.

In 1995 Thatcher invited him to her 70th birthday dinner, where he sat next to the Queen. Jack Profumo died, aged 91, in 2006.

One good thing came out of the scandal. It ended 13 years of unbroken Tory rule.

Labour leader Harold Wilson won the 1964 election with a majority of just five.

Now half a century later one version of Ward’s colourful, if tragic, life is being played out on the West End stage set to music.

It might make a good night out, but I doubt it will tell the whole wicked but fascinating story.

Child abuse and the British government

This video from Britain says about itself:

Pretty Chilling: Jimmy Savile And His “Love” For Margaret Thatcher

29 dec 2012

Jimmy Savile‘s hold over Downing Street in the 80s is revealed in a series of letters in which he declares his “love” for Margaret Thatcher, according to newly released records.

Very disturbing: Jimmy, UKs posthumous “worse than Jack the Ripper”, telling the Prime Minister about his jealous “girl patients”…

(Courtesy of skyNEWS)

By Steven Walker in Britain:

Parliament’s record of child abuse

Thursday 3rd October 2013

What has happened to Cameron‘s promised inquiry into paedophile networks in Westminster’s corridors of power, asks STEVEN WALKER

As the Tories wind down from their bread and circuses festival in Manchester, the last thing they need to be reminded of is the outstanding public inquiry into claims that a “powerful paedophile network” may have had links to a former prime minister, No 10 and Parliament.

Labour MP Tom Watson told the House of Commons in October last year there was “clear intelligence” suggesting a notorious group was connected to a former No 10 aide and suggested that a widespread cover-up had been orchestrated. Yet nothing has been done about it.

Hansard recorded last year that the police file relating to Peter Righton, who was convicted in 1992 of importing child pornography from Holland, needed to be re-examined.

“The evidence file used to convict Peter Righton, if it still exists, contains clear intelligence of a widespread paedophile ring.”

The central allegation was that a large body of material seized in a raid on Righton’s home had not been fully investigated.

Though Righton was the subject of a BBC profile, The Secret Life of a Paedophile, little has been done to follow up the leads from the case.

A specialist unit at Scotland Yard had the material which supplemented a wider investigation into organised paedophile rings at children’s care homes.

A recent Channel 4 Dispatches programme outlined the allegations that arose regarding the role of senior politicians, the security services and the Crown Prosecution Service in covering up the abuse carried out by former Liberal MP Cyril Smith over five decades.

The overlap with another famous predatory paedophile, Jimmy Savile, in terms of who knew about this abuse were laid bare.

Conservatives Edwina Currie, Gyles Brandreth and Rod Richards have made damning statements of how it was well known in Westminster circles that Chester MP Peter Morrison was a dangerous paedophile – and yet his career was unaffected as he rose to be deputy chairman of the Conservative Party.

He was Thatcher‘s parliamentary private secretary in 1990 and her campaign manager that same year despite this knowledge having been around for many years.

Tim Fortescue, Edward Heath’s chief whip from 1970-73, made public on Michael Cockerell‘s 1995 BBC documentary called Westminster’s Secret Service that there was a tried and tested method for cover-ups named the “dirt book system.”

Talking about the role of the chief whip, Fortescue said: “For anyone with any sense who was in trouble would come to the whips and tell them the truth … a scandal involving small boys … we would do everything we can because we would store up brownie points. And if, I mean, that sounds a pretty, pretty nasty reason, but it’s one of the reasons because if we could get a chap out of trouble then, he will do as we ask forever more.”

There is an extensive history of paedophile activity and Parliament.

For example, in June 1986 The People newspaper published claims that Tory MP Harvey Proctor had taken part in spanking and cane beating of teenage male prostitutes in his London flat.

The recent McAlpine fiasco and BBC Newsnight’s ineptitude ensured that any allegations against others could be dismissed as malicious, plain wrong or someone out to make money from compensation.

Meanwhile the Metropolitan Police’s Operations Fernbridge and Fairbank are among the latest ongoing investigations into paedophile activity and it is expected that their findings are going to be sensational.

The following year Proctor was charged with gross indecency. At his trial in May 1987 Proctor pleaded guilty and was fined a total of £1,450.

More recently, former Tory Party general election candidate Michael Powell was convicted and jailed for three years for downloading hardcore child porn.

The mainstream media, political spin doctors and crafty public relations outfits have a long history of colluding with cover-ups that threaten the reputation of the Establishment and supposedly sacred institutions like Parliament.

But the drip-feed of facts over the past 20 years amounts to an extraordinary, damning indictment against those who conspire to abuse the most vulnerable citizens in society, while posturing at their party conferences about the sanctity of the family and children’s welfare.

Steven Walker is a former child protection social worker.

British Conservative politician charged with rape

This video is called Britain: Legislator Is Charged With Sexual Assault and Rape.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Deputy speaker Nigel Evans to be charged with sexual offences

Commons deputy speaker resigns from role after CPS announces charges of sexual assault, indecent assault and rape

Ben Quinn

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Nigel Evans has resigned as a House of Commons deputy speaker after the director of public prosecutions announced that the Conservative MP would be charged with sex offences against seven men.

The 55-year-old politician, who denies all of the allegations and pledged on Tuesday night to continue working as an MP from the backbenches, is accused of two counts of indecent assault, five counts of sexual assault and one rape count.

Evans, who represents the Ribble Valley constituency in Lancashire, answered bail on Tuesday having previously been arrested in May and June. He was rearrested and interviewed by detectives throughout the day before being charged. …

The indecent assaults are alleged to have been committed between 1 January 2002 and 1 January 2004; the sexual assaults between 1 January 2009 and 1 April 2013, and the rape between 29 March and 1 April 2013. He will appear before magistrates in Preston on 18 September.

Keir Starmer QC, the director of public prosecutions, said on Tuesday night: “Following an investigation by Lancashire police, the Crown Prosecution Service has received a file of evidence in the case of Mr Nigel Evans MP which concerns allegations of a sexual nature.

“After careful consideration, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to prosecute Mr Evans.

“Lancashire constabulary has therefore been authorised to charge two counts of indecent assault, five counts of sexual assault and one count of rape relating to a total of seven alleged victims.

“The decision in this case was taken by Joanne Cunliffe, an experienced specialist rape prosecutor, in consultation with John Dilworth, head of the CPS north-west complex casework unit, and in consultation with an external and highly experienced criminal QC.

“I have also been consulted on this case. The decision has been taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and the CPS legal guidance on rape and sexual offences.”

In all of the cases, for which Evans was arrested in May and June, the complainants were men who were in their 20s at the time of the alleged offences.

Evans was first elected to parliament in 1992, regaining Ribble Valley from the Liberal Democrats at the general election in that year.

MP Nigel Evans moaned yesterday about facing “financial ruin” after clearing his name of sex assault charges in court — despite voting to cut legal aid for Britain’s poorest: here. And here.

British Conservative accuses Cameron in journalist’s partner arrest scandal

This video from Britain is called Greenwald‘s partner David Miranda on his detention under terror laws.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Cameron ‘approved Miranda detention’

Tuesday 20 August 2013

A former minister escalated the furore over the detention of the partner of a journalist at the centre of a whistle-blowing scandal today after accusing the government of approving the operation.

David Miranda, partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, was detained at Heathrow airport under draconian anti-terror laws as he changed planes on a journey from Berlin to his home in Brazil on Sunday.

Mr Miranda was held and interrogated for nine hours before being released without charge. Agents confiscated his laptop, memory sticks and a mobile phone.

Mr Greenwald has written a series of stories revealing the National Security Agency‘s electronic surveillance programmes, based on documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The newspaper also published stories about blanket electronic surveillance by Britain’s GCHQ, also based on documents from Mr Snowden.

The Home Office claimed it was not aware of the operation, despite the White House confirming it had been given a “heads up.”

But David Davis [Conservative] MP, who was Foreign Office minister under John Major, dismissed the claims and said senior figures, including the Foreign Secretary and “almost certainly the Prime Minister” would have also been in the loop.

“And what that means is that of course they didn’t direct it – no-one’s suggesting they directed it – but they approved it by implication,” he said.

“If the Home Secretary is told this is going to happen and she does not intervene, then she’s approving it.”

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper also called on Home Secretary Theresa May to say whether she or the Prime Minister had been informed about the decision.

“The Home Secretary needs to tell us whether she or the Prime Minister were informed or involved in this decision,” she said.

“Is it really possible that the American president was told what was happening but the British Prime Minister wasn’t?

“The government needs to explain who authorised the use of terrorism legislation in this case and what the justification was.”

A Downing Street source said Number 10 was “kept abreast of the operation in the usual way” but denied any political involvement in the decision.

Meanwhile lawyers for Mr Miranda have said they are to bring a legal action against the Metropolitan Police challenging the legality of his detention.

Cameron preparing more police state measures: here.