The 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.]