A New, Better Future

619736132The objective of the Conservative Campaign for Compassion, Against Corruption is to encourage the Conservative Party leadership to live up to its promise of conservative compassion; to come clean about its involvement in arms corruption; and to help to heal the wounds caused by that corruption.

David Cameron and the Conservative Party leadership can not hold themselves out as the future, until they have cleaned up the past.

In that regard, the Campaign has addressed an open letter to David Cameron, setting out steps he and the Party should take to rectify what they did in the past, and to prevent its recurrence in the future.

Those steps are simple:

1) Come clean about each and every one of the detailed allegations contained in the book, Dead Men Don’t Eat Lunch. Anything short of a firm and categorical denial is confirmation of the book’s premise that the last Conservative Government instituted a regime of systemic arms corruption within Westminster and Whitehall, a regime that has been perpetuated by Tony Blair and his New Labour Government.

2) Do justice by those who were, and are still being, hurt by that arms corruption. In particular, Dr. David Kelly, CMG, and Hugh John Simmonds, CBE, who was formerly a Conservative Party Wessex Area Treasurer. Both these individuals died because they knew too much about the UK materiel comprising Iraq’s WMDs. Their families deserve to know the truth. The Conservative Party leadership should openly argue, as a beginning, for a re-opening of the coroner’s inquiries into their deaths.

3) Make a binding public promise to end the corrupt ‘back-door’ that both Conservative and New Labour Governments have used to arrange illegal arms deals, and to garner corrupt personal commissions.

For further information, contact Geoffrey Gilson, author of Dead Men Don’t Eat Lunch, by e-mailing him at conservativecompassion@gmail.com, or by using the feedback form below:

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Tory Arms Corruption

toryThe book, Dead Men Don’t Eat Lunch, alleges that when Margaret Thatcher took power in 1979, she was met with a Great Britain that had been bankrupted by the socialists. She knew that to put matters right would take strong medicine. And that one of the side-effects would be decimation of what was left of Britain’s industrial base. So, Mrs. Thatcher set in motion a plan to revive the country’s manufacturing core based upon a massive expansion of the arms industry.

The plan worked. Today, Great Britain has as strong a manufacturing sector as any in the western developed world; it holds the No. 2 position for arms exports worldwide; and almost one in every five employees in Great Britain is associated in some fashion with the arms industry. But this success has been achieved at a huge cost. Namely, the systemic and comprehensive corruption of Whitehall and Westminster.

In order to build up arms sales, and then to maintain continuity of supply, both the Conservative Governments from 1979 to 1997, and the successor New Labour administration, have had to be prepared to do business with embargoed countries and entities, and by employing unacceptable business practices, including wholesale bribery. Legitimate arms deals have been processed through the ‘front-door.’ For more questionable dealings, a semi-official, and highly-organized, ‘back-door’ has had to be put in place.

It is the contention of Dead Men Don’t Eat Lunch that Dr. David Kelly, CMG, was fully aware of the biological technology that had been made available to Iraq through that ‘back-door,’ and by both Great Britain and the United States. The book also states that Hugh John Simmonds, CBE, former member of the Conservative National Board of Finance, and one of the best friends of the author of Dead Men, was a primary part of the ‘back-door’ during the Thatcher administration.

The British media have known for some time of the illicit arms activities of the Conservative Party. What they have lacked is the money trail to prove it. Dead Men Don’t Eat Lunch provides the definitive clues as to that money trail, which was originally set in place by Hugh Simmonds.

Interested parties could start by doing the following:

A) Ask Tony Blair either to confirm or deny whether or not Hugh John Simmonds was ever connected in any way with any activity involved with the British intelligence and security apparatus. Blair could follow up by then releasing all files the British Government hold on Simmonds’ activities.

B) Ask John Major to come clean about what he knows about Simmonds’ illicit activities on behalf of the Conservative Party.

C) Demand of the Law Society that they release all of their files on their own, prematurely truncated, investigation into Simmonds’ finances; and that they release Carratu International (the private firm of investigators hired by the Law Society), and its then lead investigator, Geoffrey Hughes, to speak freely about what Carratu found, and what Carratu was not allowed to find.

D) Demand of Tony Blair that he release from the restrictions of the Official Secrets Act one Dr. Reginald von Zugbach de Sugg, allegedly Simmonds’ erstwhile intelligence partner, a former officer in British Military Intelligence, and a member of the faculty of the Department of Management Studies at the University of Paisley. Zugbach knows all of the circumstances of Simmonds’ illicit activities on behalf of Margaret Thatcher, and the then Conservative Government.

Dead Men Don’t Eat Lunch alleges that both Simmonds and Kelly died because they knew too much about the arms corruption, originally set in place by the Conservatives, and then perpetuated by Tony Blair and New Labour. Much is known of the circumstances of Kelly’s unfortunate family. Less is known about Simmonds’ family.

The Law Society bankrupted Simmonds’ Estate, valued at some $1.75 million, and then closed the books, leaving Simmonds’ family destitute. Simmonds’ father had to dig deep into funds that he had spent a lifetime accumulating, just to rescue Simmonds’ family.

At the time of his death, and whatever the nefarious circumstances surrounding it, the fact is that he was acting for the then Prime Minister of Great Britain. Simmonds’ family deserve to know the truth about Simmonds’ death. They should not have been left to suffer the attendant financial consequences and stigma, all on their own. And the same goes for the family of Dr. David Kelly.

The Conservative Party and the New Labour Government need to live up to their responsibilities. In particular, David Cameron needs to become the living embodiment of the conservative compassion that he preaches. In the latter regard, the Conservative Campaign for Compassion, against Corruption has addressed an open challenge to David Cameron to come clean either before or during the upcoming (2006) Conservative Party Conference.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect facing the Conservative Campaign, and which its open letter specifically asks David Cameron to address, is the fact that Cameron has made appointments to the Conservative Party machinery, and to his Front Bench Team, which suggest that a new Conservative Government will comprehensively revive Tory arms corruption.

The objective of Dead Men Don’t Eat Lunch and the Conservative Campaign is not just to engage in a meaningless discussion about the Tories’ past. They are tools, the purpose of which is to end what is still happening now, and to prevent its revival under a new Conservative Government. Wittingly or unwittingly, David Cameron has set in place the apparatus which fully intends to bring about the wholesale revival of Tory arms corruption – unless he stops it.

Alan Duncan, whom The Sunday Times have already fingered as the successor to Jonathan Aitken, as the Saudis’ intended Conservative arms bagman in Great Britain, has been appointed as Shadow Trade and Industry spokesman. As and when a Conservative Government is re-installed, Duncan will be responsible for overseeing the Export Credit Guarantee Program. During Thatcher’s efforts to expand the arms industry in the Eighties, both by the ‘front-door’ and by the ‘back-door,’ this Program was illicitly commandeered massively to underwrite all manner of arms deals, which never paid off, and left the Program almost bankrupt.

In addition, three individuals, heavily involved with Tory arms corruption in the Eighties, are now back in the new Cameron line-up: Michael Ashcroft, as Deputy Chairman of the Party; and Julian Lewis and Gerald Howarth, as Shadow Ministers at the Ministry of Defence, where, if the Conservatives regain power, they will be directly responsible for all arms sales, legitimate and illegitimate.

In its letter to David Cameron, the Conservative Campaign for Compassion, against Corruption challenges David Cameron to come clean about the Tory’s arms past, and to do the right thing about those individuals that have been harmed. The letter invites him to make the appropriate declarations of intent either during or before the Tory Party Conference.

This Campaign maintains the position that it is only by dealing with the ugly past of the Conservative Party in a forthright, definitive and compassionate manner, that Cameron can truly live up to his claimed identity as the Party’s modernizer. Only then can he and the Conservative Party hold true to their claim as the new face of conservative compassion.

[Please note: all of the information on this blog was written in 2006. Much has happened and changed since then. I try to keep up with anything that throws new light on the possibilities by adding interesting notes and articles to a commentary I penned after the 2010 UK General Election. You can find that commentary and the notes/articles here.]

For further information, contact Geoffrey Gilson, author of Dead Men Don’t Eat Lunch, via the feedback form below, or e-mail him at conservativecompassion@gmail.com:

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Hugh John Simmonds, CBE

beacHugh John Simmonds, CBE, turned up dead in the woods, outside of his home town, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, in November 1988. $7.5 million was missing from his law firm, Simmonds and Company. The incident made international headlines: Simmonds had been Margaret Thatcher’s favorite speech writer.

However, this was not the first time Simmonds had attracted public attention. He had already made a name for himself publicly by becoming the only Prospective Conservative Parliamentary Candidate to be de-selected twice from safe Conservative seats: first, from South-West Cambridge, in 1983, when the Cambridge Hunt discovered his wife was anti-hunting; and then again in 1987, when the Association of South Warrington found out that Simmonds had an illegitimate son.

However, all this unsavory press coverage belied Simmonds’ true influence in the Conservative Party, where he was well respected by the voluntary, professional and Parliamentary wings.

Simmonds was a former Treasurer of the Conservative Party’s Wessex Area (1982-1986), and served on both the Conservative National Board of Finance and the Party’s National Union Executive Committee. Some saw him as a future Chairman of the NUEC. In addition, Simmonds was one of the founding officers of the Selsdon Group in the early Seventies.

Simmonds was an honorary legal adviser to Conservative Central Office, and was regarded by all as a potential Cabinet Minister – as long as he could avoid his propensity to self-destruct.

What was not generally known was that Simmonds was also a senior officer in MI6, and had specialized in legal money-laundering, at the London law firm of Wedlake Bell, where he had been one of its youngest partners, in the late Seventies and early Eighties.

It was this combination of skills, experience and contacts that made Simmonds the ideal candidate to perform the clandestine arms functions, requested of him by Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative Party in the Eighties, and which form the subject of Dead Men Don’t Eat Lunch.

It is not the intention of either Dead Men Don’t Eat Lunch, or the Conservative Campaign for Compassion, against Corruption to vindicate Hugh Simmonds. The man was no angel – he had huge flaws. That’s why he was a senior Intelligence Officer, and why he was chosen by Margaret Thatcher to do the ‘dirty work’ associated with Tory arms corruption: you don’t hire boy scouts to do the devil’s work.

Margaret Thatcher had her reasons for choosing a brilliant, but flawed, individual to perform the role of her personal arms troubleshooter, not least the fact that he would accept, and that he would then be eminently deniable. True to form, Simmonds did accept. He got into some sort of trouble. And he was duly denied. That was his choice. But, it was not the choice of his families. They didn’t get a vote.

If, as this Campaign and Dead Men Don’t Eat Lunch contend, Simmonds was, at the time of his death, acting at the personal behest of then British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, then he was technically performing duties on behalf of the British Government. And his families should not have been abandoned.

Enter the Conservative Campaign for Compassion, against Corruption, the primary objective of which is to encourage the new Leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron, to own up to his Party’s corrupt past, and to live up to his call for compassion, by now campaigning for justice to be done by the families of Hugh John Simmonds, CBE, and Dr. David Kelly, CMG.

For further information, contact Geoffrey Gilson, author of Dead Men Don’t Eat Lunch, by e-mailing him at conservativecompassion@gmail.com, or by using the feedback form below:

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Letter to David Cameron


Letter to David Cameron
The Right Honourable David Cameron, MP
House of Commons

October 1st, 2006

Dear David,

I write as an expatriate, but as one who spent some ten years working with the Conservative Party, at the highest level, and as one who still regards himself as a Tory loyalist.

I believe you when you say you wish truly to modernize the Party; but I also believe that you can only offer the Party as the future when you have first taken care of the past.

I attach a copy of my book, Dead Men Don’t Eat Lunch. I invite you take up the following three challenges, either at the upcoming Party Conference, or before it:

1) Come clean about the allegations in the book. Namely that the Conservative Governments of 1979-1997 instituted a systemic regime of arms corruption in Whitehall and Westminster, that has had an ongoing and distorting influence upon its successor New Labour administration, and upon the internal workings of the Conservative Party itself.

2) Agree to do the right thing by the families of Hugh John Simmonds, CBE and Dr. David Kelly, CMG. In their different ways, they were both servants of their respective Governments, who died as a consequence of knowing too much about arms corruption. Their families deserve better. At the very least, they deserve to know the truth.

3) Dismantle the apparatus that you have already put in place, which, whether you know it or not, has the fullest intention of reviving Tory arms corruption when the Conservatives return to power. As a first step, immediately annul the appointments of Michael Ashcroft, Alan Duncan, Julian Lewis and Gerald Howarth to their respective Party and Front Bench positions.

David, you have a wonderful opportunity to show that you are, indeed, a different sort of politician. One who truly stands shoulder to shoulder with ordinary people, against forces that would wantonly distort their everyday lives. Break the mould, David.

You are the same age now that Hugh Simmonds was when he died so unnecessarily in 1988. Show the world that you have the mettle to stand up to the corrupting influences in the British body politic.

Help those families who have no reason to hurt, but who hurt nonetheless, because of the callous actions of those corrupting influences. Show your country that you stand at the head of a Party which not only talks the talk, but walks the walk, when it comes to conservative compassion.

Take a stand, David. Modernize all of the Conservative Party. Take it away from its dishonourable past, and into a future of genuine honesty and compassion.

I am,

Yours sincerely,

P. Geoffrey Gilson

For further information, contact Geoffrey Gilson, author of Dead Men Don’t Eat Lunch, by e-mailing him at conservativecompassion@gmail.com, or by completing the feedback form below:

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