Political Elite Networks Exercise Real Power
The power of networks is considerable – they ensure the flow of money, people, and ideas that strengthen certain lines of thought and action while simultaneously marginalising others. Networks tend to legitimise some ideas and policies, making them “normal” or “conventional”, beyond dispute at basic level. They tend to unify a range of people and organisations – public and private – and help develop new ideas or leaders. Being elite networks, they are by definition well connected with the media and politics and thereby gain a broader audience, skewing the “free market of ideas” in specific directions.
it is not only the extreme right in British and American “mainstream” politics that maintains such “charitable” networks: the British-American Project, funded by major oil and other corporations and by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the subject of little public awareness or enquiry, represents a similar network on the centre-left, along lines Tony Blair and Gordon Brown approved. Indeed, it complemented the various schemes under which the future leaders of “New” Labour were primed for high office, under the tutelage of the FCO’s Jonathan Powell, who later went on to become Blair’s chief of staff. Indeed, Powell was a member of BAP, as was David Miliband for many years.
The leftwing journalist John Pilger, who has been uncovering American manipulation of other countries’ politics for decades, described BAP as a “casual freemasonry” and “by far the most influential transatlantic network of politicians, journalists and academics”. The historian Frances Stonor Saunders, who has written extensively about the American use of earlier, similar networks to influence western opinion during the cold war, sees close parallels with BAP: “All that’s changed is that BAP are much more sophisticated.”
How the Anglo-American Elite Shares It’s ‘Values’
When the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown spoke about his government’s devotion to the United States being, “founded on the values we share”, he was echoing his then Foreign Office minister Kim Howells, who was preparing to welcome the Saudi dictator to Britain with effusions of “shared values”. The meaning was the same in both cases. The values shared are those of rapacious power and wealth, with democracy and human rights irrelevant, as the bloodbath in Iraq and the suffering of the Palestinians attest, to name only two examples. The “values we share” are celebrated by a shadowy organisation. This is the British-American Project for the Successor Generation (BAP), set up in 1985 with money from a Philadelphia trust with a long history of supporting right-wing causes. Although the BAP does not publicly acknowledge this origin.
The British-American Project for the Successor Generation is a Transatlantic Fellowship (BAP)
November 1981, three weeks after CND had held its biggest ever protest in London, Reagan made a speech in Washington warning that “some young people do not understand. why we need nuclear weapons and Nato’s roots in defending freedom.”Margaret Thatcher was deeply unpopular, and the Labour opposition influenced by an anti-Washington party membership, a new British official attitude to America looked quite likely. “It is possible to argue that had a Labour government been formed,” the historian Peter Jones wrote of the early 1980s in his book America and The British Labour Party, “it would almost certainly have led to a complete collapse of the ‘special relationship’.”
A 27-year-old British economist called Nick Butler decided to intervene. For someone of his age and profession, he already had unusually useful and diverse connections: he worked for BP, but he was also treasurer of the influential left-leaning pressure group the Fabian Society and a promising junior player in the Labour party. He also loved America. “The UK was in a bad state,” he says. At the same time, he felt the Labour party needed fresh ideas from abroad. “My perspective then was that my generation – I would have been described as ‘right wing’ in the 1982 Labour party – were totally stifled here. No prospect of being in power.”
That spring, Butler wrote a memo proposing “some form of regular contact for Britons and Americans”, to reduce “hostility to all things American” promoting “mutual understanding over a wide range of policies, how cities are regenerated, how market forces worked, and so on.” For the membership of what was to become BAP, he had a specific transatlantic group in mind: “Bright people, in many different fields, who were likely to influence outcomes in those fields. People who were interesting. Interested in change. In doing things. In progress.”
In tandem with Butler, responding to a growing anxiety in Washington about the increasing opposition in Britain to nuclear weapons, especially the stationing of cruise missiles in Europe, President Reagan in 1983 making numerous references to “shared values” called for “successor generations” on both sides of the Atlantic to “work together in the future on defence and security matters”. “A special concern,” he said, “will be the successor generations, as these younger people are the ones who will have to work together in the future on defence and security issues.” A new, preferably young elite – journalists, academics, economists, “civil society” and liberal community leaders of one sort or another – would offset the growing “anti-Americanism”. Attending the opening ceremony in the White House Situation Room were the ideologues George Gallup, chairman of the polling organisation, Joachim Maitre, “coming as personal representative of Axel Springer, German publishing executive.” Rupert Murdoch and the late James Goldsmith, founding members of ‘Project Democracy’ a group of wealthy businessmen,(each contributing $300,000) President Reagan had put together to ‘support democratic institutions abroad’.
Butler’s gifts for alliance-building and persuasion turned BAP from a paper proposal into an international organisation in less than three years. Between 1982 and its first conference in 1985, he recruited a shrewdly broad range of supporters, co-founders and financial backers: Sir Charles Villiers, a liberal Tory businessman with a long personal attachment to America; the US embassy in London, which gave Butler a grant to go to Washington to test reactions to the BAP idea; and the Pew Charitable Trusts, a very large and wealthy American foundation.
BAP was subsequently founded in 1985 “to perpetuate the close relationship between the United States and Britain through transatlantic friendships and professional contacts”. Regular meetings would be instituted comprising 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.
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. From 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.
There are now over 1,000 leaders, rising stars and opinion formers from a broad spectrum of occupations, backgrounds and political views. It is an elite corporate/political talking and networking organisation. Members include some of the most powerful men and women in the UK. Its aims are to ensure that the left and liberal intelligentsia are not hostile to US foreign policy interests. It holds an annual conference to which journalists are not invited and at which everything said is, officially at least, not to be repeated to outsiders. It rarely features in the mainstream media, instead, it makes tantalisingly vague and fleeting appearances in those corners of the internet where conspiracy aficionados gather.
BAP is unashamedly a vehicle for American foreign policy, recruiting Britons of liberal or left-of-centre inclinations and political talent and connections when they are young, indoctrinating them with propaganda about the virtues of American capitalism and America’s role in the world, and then watching them approvingly as they steer British politics in an ever more pro-Washington direction. The project’s greatest success has been New Labour.
Sir James Goldsmith
BAP conferences are held alternately in the US and Britain. Since 1985, BAP “alumni” and “fellows” have been brought together courtesy of Coca-Cola, Unilever, Monsanto, Saatchi, Philip Morris, Coopers & Lybrand, American Express, Apple, British Airways, BP, Cadbury Schweppes, Camelot and other multinationals. Busy politicians and other public figures have crossed the Atlantic, some of them repeatedly, to attend BAP conferences, which can last for five days. One member describes proceedings as “a quasi-religious experience. Nick Butler, formerly a top dog at BP, continues to be a leading light.
The aims of the network, according to David Willetts, the former director of studies at Britain’s right-wing Centre for Policy Studies, are simply to “help reinforce Anglo-American links, especially if some members already do or will occupy positions of influence”. A former British ambassador to Washington, Sir John Kerr, was more direct. In a speech to BAP members, he said the organisation’s “powerful combination of eminent Fellows and close Atlantic links threatened to put the embassy out of a job”. An American BAP organiser describes the BAP network as committed to “grooming leaders” while promoting “the leading global role that [the US and Britain continue to play”.
1997-New Labour Elected to Office
In the summer of 1997, a few weeks after New Labour won power, a striking article about the election appeared in a privately circulated newsletter. Under the cryptic headline Big Swing To BAP, the article began, “No less than four British-American Project fellows and one advisory board member have been appointed to ministerial posts in the new Labour government.” A list of the names of these five people and of other New Labour appointees who were members of BAP followed, Mo Mowlam, Chris Smith, Peter Mandelson, Baroness Symons, George Robertson, Jonathan Powell (Blair’s chief of staff), Geoff Mulgan and Matthew Taylor.
Other New Labour names: Baroness Scotland, Douglas Alexander, the precocious Foreign Office and Trade Minister, Baroness Scotland, the politically favoured criminal justice minister; Julia Hobsbawm, a prominent public relations executive and New Labour associate; Adair Turner, a senior business ally of Labour and author of the recent official report on the future of pensions, Geoff Mulgan, Matthew Taylor and David Miliband. Some are Fabian Society members and describe themselves as being “on the left”. Trevor Phillips, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, is another member.
Prominent journalists also mentioned; David Lipsey, who offered the view that, “BAP was one of a number of streams that came together in New Labour.” Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and assorted Murdochites. The BBC is well represented: James Naughtie, whose broadcasting has long reflected his own transatlantic interests, has been an alumnus since 1989. Newsnight’s newest voice, Evan Davis, formerly the BBC’s zealous economics editor, is a member. BBC broadcaster Jeremy Paxman is a BAP poster boy.
The Blair Brown years
Butler has maintained and extended his political and commercial connections like a model member of the “successor generation”. He remains close to Mandelson and other senior New Labour figures. Thanks in part to Butler, BP – where he became, Group Vice-President for Strategy and Policy Development – became known as “Blair Petroleum” for the warmth of its relations with Downing Street.
December 2001, in response to a parliamentary question from the Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker, Tony Blair said that the organisation “arranges meetings, including with ministers, for young leaders from the business, economic, professional, cultural, artistic, governmental, academic, scientific, medical, military and social life of the two countries”.
Each autumn, BAP hires a hotel, or a large part of one, for a long weekend, alternating between British and American venues. Conference rooms are reserved, boardroom-style tables arranged, themes chosen for discussion. A purposeful timetable of seminars and larger gatherings, dinners and group excursions is drawn up. Lighter interludes are scheduled for drinking and bonding and organised fun- but the overall atmosphere remains somewhere between an international summit and a corporate retreat for young executives. Even at the more intimate seminars, there are papers and water jugs on the tables, and some of the men like to keep their ties on.
The 2002 conference reported, “Many BAP alumni are directly involved with US and UK military and defence establishments. An account followed of a conference excursion to the Pentagon: “Our BAP group was welcomed as ‘old friends’.” Butler is frank about the link. “The military are quite important, quite influential.”
UK members of the British-American Project include:
Douglas Alexander; Foreign Office and trade minister.
Wendy Alexander; former Scottish Executive minister.
Allyson Stewart-Allen; Brand expert Allyson Stewart-Allen, founder and CEO of global consultancy International Marketing Partners. An active Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Fellow of the British American Project, Member of the Marketing Society, Member of the American Marketing Association, International Women’s Forum and Senior Advisory Board member of the Institute for Leadership Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Allyson holds a BSc in International Business from the University of Southern California and MBA from Claremont Graduate University under the direct tutelage of Dr. Peter Drucker. A British and US dual-national, she has been London-based since 1988.
Michael Barber; University of London education specialist. Was, for a short time, a policy official at the National Union of Teachers. Undertook role of principal policy adviser to then Education Secretary, David Blunkett.
Brian Barton; 1998. MD, The Turquoise Holiday Company, Beaconsfield
Rob Beckley; 1997. Chief Operating Officer, College of Policing, London
Douglas Board; Member of Treasury team with Jill Rutter. Attended 1988 BAP gathering in St Louis.
Group Captain David Bolton; Director of the Royal United Services Institute, Britain’s senior defence forum Provided a different professional perspective on traditional links across the Atlantic: even in the military sphere,”connections had faded”. With the reduction in the size of forces and the opportunities to serve together, the number of personal contacts was greatly diminished.
George Brock; Foreign editor of the Times. Was a BAP participant in 1990.
Caroline St John-Brooks; 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 was appointed to edit Rupert Murdoch’s Times Educational Supplement.
Yasmin Alibhai Brown; Columnist and broadcaster. Editor of the New Statesman. Freelance writer whose work appears widely. Attended 1988 BAP gathering in St Louis.
Becky Bryan; Defence analyst, later BBC reporter. SDP candidate for East Hampshire in 1983.
Tom Burke; Director of the Green Alliance. Adviser to David Owen. Adviser to Conservative governments. One of a batch of younger SDP figures selected by the UK board for Successor Generation membership in its early days a decade ago.
Nick Butler; BP group vice-president, strategy and policy development. 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 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 – a big funder of the right-wing Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute at the time – 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.
Sarah Churchwell; 2007 UK’m Professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities at UEA, and a journalist and broadcaster.
Murphy Cobbing; Senior BBC producer. Treasurer of BAP.
Dr Christopher Coker; Original member of BAP. Defence expert and lecturer at the London School of Economics with distinctly conservative views.
Hillary Coffman; Married to David Hill, (see below)
Stephen Colegrave; 1999. Managing Director & Founder, Boston Books Ltd, London
Penny Cooper; Communist party and NUS colleague of Sue Slipman’s. Founder member of the SDP.
Christopher Cragg; Financial Times. Was a BAP participant in 1990.
Diane Coyle; Treasury economist and former economics editor of the Independent. Acting head of the BBC Trust following resignation of Lord Patten.
Stephen Dorrell; former Conservative health secretary
Iain Elliott; Associate Director of the CIA-funded Radio Liberty and former editor of Soviet Analyst. Attended 1988 BAP gathering in St Louis.
Peter Florence; 1993 Runs the Hay Festivals which are held every year in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, India and Africa.
Daniel Franklin; Executive Editor of the Economist
Gloria Franklin; Headed the Ministry of Defence’s civilian think-tank. Responsible for the annual Defence White Paper.
Tim Gardam; Editor of the BBC TV current affairs programme, Panorama,
Sarah Gee; 2004 Sarah was elected as a fellow of the British American Project and in 2009 was made a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts (FRSA).
Andrew Gimson; Conservative Central Office researcher who was then editorial page editor of the Independent newspaper. Attended 1988 BAP gathering in St Louis.
Colleen Graffy; Academic director of Pepperdine’s London Law Program, has become the new chairwoman of the Society of English and American Lawyers (SEAL), an organization designed to promote friendship, co-operation and understanding among English and American lawyers.
Haani Ul Hasnain; 2006. Chief Inspiration Engineer, Harmonised World, Newcastle
David Hill; onetime bagman for Roy Hattersley, who now works for the giant Bell Pottinger PR operation so successfully stung by The Independent under its new editor Chris Blackhurst. Sister is Margaret Hill (below). Married to Hillary Coffman, (see above).
Jane Hill; BBC news presenter. Attended 2005. has a Politics degree from London University, and worked for the Democrats in the US Senate after graduation in 1991. Jane is a Fellow of the British American Project
Margaret Hill; BBC chief editorial adviser current affairs. Was a BAP participant in 1990.
Isabel Hilton; Editor-in-Chief of Open Democracy (left 2007). Formerly a BBC journalist. Expert in Chinese affairs MA Edinburgh.
Steve Hilton; Conservative special adviser.
Julia Hobsbawm; public relations consultant. trustee of the Jewish Community Centre for London
Peter Jukes; 1999 Dramatist, Author, Screenwriter, Speech writer, Lyricist,
Lord Richard Holme of Cheltenham; came to the SDP via the Liberal party of which he was president in the year it was launched. After Oxford and Harvard, he 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, Holme acted as treasurer of the Green Alliance for 11 years.
Frederick Kempe; Wall Street Journal
Lord David Lipsey; author, economist, political editor and Labour peer. Started working life as a researcher with the G.M.W.U. After Oxford 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.
Roger Liddle; Employed by consultancy firm Prima Europe. Former SDP candidate. Jointly authored “The Blair Revolution” with Peter Mandelson.
John Lloyd; Of the electricians union, the EEPTU, as it was once called. Attended the 1987 BAP conference. (Lloyd’s successive bosses at the union, Frank Chapple and Eric Hammond, are/were long-standing anti-Communist, pro-NATO figures in the trade union movement. Both were active in the US-funded Labour Committee for Transatlantic Understanding.
Edie Lush; 2005 Chairman. Journalist & Communications Coach, London
Michael Maclay; 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 he 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.
Calum McDonald; University of California-educated Labour MP for the Western Isles, is a stalwart opponent of unilateralism
Peter Mandelson; Director of Campaigns and Communications. EU trade commissioner. Attended 1988 gathering of the BAP in St Louis. The theme for discussion was, “Present Alliance, Future Challenges”, which 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 – led, according to the conference report by British participants.
Steve Mannix; 2004 Treasurer. Freelance Consultant, London.
Lucy P. Marcus; CEO, Non-Exec Board Director, Prof IE Biz School, Project Syndicate & BBC columnist, host Reuters Lucy is the founder and CEO of Marcus Venture Consulting, Ltd, which works with venture capital and private equity funds, institutions and corporations to build strong funding businesses. She is also Professor of Leadership and Governance at IE Business School focusing on corporate governance, ethics and leadership. Lucy writes opinion columns for Project Syndicate and the BBC and hosts a tv show, Reuters “In the Boardroom with Lucy Marcus”, on the intersection of boards and leadership. non-executive director, board treasurer and fellow of the British-American Project. She served on the board of the Wellesley College Business Leadership Council, chaired The Global Task Force on Building Women Leaders, and founded High Tech Women.
Ed Miliband; Leader of the Opposition.
Jason Mitchell; 2012. Co-Manager, GLG Global Equities Fund, London
Charles Moore; former editor of the Spectator then the Daily Telegraph
Mo Mowlam; Former Labour Northern Ireland Secretary (deceased). Attended Durham University then studied and taught in American universities for most of the Seventies. After winning Redcar in 1987 she followed Chris 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. She attended the 1988 gathering of the BAP in St Louis.
Geoff Mulgan; former head of Downing Street’s policy and strategy unit.
Rabbi Julia Neuburger; Member of the government-backed multilateralist Council for Arms Control in the early Eighties. Prominent member of the SDP national committee.
James Naughtie; Broadcast journalist and author. Naughtie’s postgraduate studies were in New York at Syracuse. 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.
Richard Norman; 2012. Head of Strategy for Defence Information Business, BAE Systems, Lancaster
Sir Michael Palliser; One of the original BAP members. Former head of the Foreign Office. Special adviser to Margaret Thatcher during the Falklands War.
Jeremy Paxman; Broadcast journalist and author. The former,”Newsnight” interviewer was a BAP participant in 1990.
Rowan Pelling; 2004. Writer, Journalist and Presenter.
Trevor Phillips; Ex-National Union of Students president. Employed first with LWT then the BBC and Pepper Productions, a joint UK/USA/South Africa production company. Chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality.
Nicola Pitts; 2013 Head of Process, National Grid, London
Jonathan Powell; Tony Blair’s chief of staff. The career diplomat who gave up his posting at the Washington embassy to work for Tony Blair in opposition then in government, 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.
Gideon Rachman; The Spectator Chief Foreign Affairs Columnist.
Hugh Raven; Sunday Telegraph.
Barry Reamsbottom; 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 Baroness Symons at the FDA.
Laura-Jane Rich; 2013. Presenter, Programme-Maker & Professional Composer, London
Lord George Robertson; Former Nato secretary-general. Former secretary of the right-wing Labour Manifesto group, member of the British Atlantic Committee. Member of the Council of the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House) from 1984 to 1991. Long term member of the steering committee of the annual Konigswinter conference. A Governer of the Ditchley Foundation since 1989. Vice-chairman of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy from 1992 to 1994.
Aaron Ross; 2011. Founder, Ruffl, London
David Ruebain; Chief Executive of Equality Challenge Unit; solicitor; former director of legal policy at Equality and Human Rights Commission; widely published on education, disability and equality law; member of editorial board of Disability and Society; fellow of the British-American Project; founding member of The Times newspaper law panel
Jill Rutter; Private secretary to John Major. Attended 1988 gathering in St Louis, during her Harkness Fellowship studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Took up the role of Treasury Publicity Chief to Gordon Brown.
Baroness Scotland; Home Office minister. Attorney general for England Wales & Northern Ireland. It is considered preferable to exclude Attorneys General from cabinet meetings so as to draw a distinct line between them and the political decisions on which they are giving legal advice. As a government minister, the Attorney General is directly answerable to Parliament
Scotland’s husband, Richard Mawhinney, (the brother of former Tory chairman Brian) is a barrister specialising in personal injury at London’s Outer Temple Chambers. She returned to the Bar in 2011 after stepping down as Attorney General. She practises at 4 Paper Buildings and last year was made Prime Ministerial Trade Envoy to South Africa.
Maggie Semple; 1992. Responsible for creating the great cultural monument, the Greenwich Dome. Boasting of her achievement she said, it’s ‘high enough to contain the Statue of Liberty… if inverted under Niagara Falls it 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. An earlier post revealed the true cost of the shambolic project mis-managed by John Prescott.
James Sherr; 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.
Sue Slipman; former Communist president of the National Union of Students. Founder member of the SDP.
Michael Smeeth; Conference Co-Chair. Director, Healthcare Infrastructure, GE Global Operations, London
Lord Chris Smith; former Labour culture secretary. MM for Islington South. Between his first degree at Cambridge and his doctorate there gained a Kennedy scholarship which 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. attended first BAP gathering in 1986 in Philadelphia.
Steve Smith; University of East Anglia. Lectures on strategic issues.
Colonel Bob Stewart; former commander of British forces in Bosnia. Attended 1988 BAP gathering in St Louis with Peter Mandleson and Mo Moulam. Widely known through television for his presence in Bosnia. Less well known, 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.
Lord Dennis Stevenson; A key figure in the BAP network and in the 2008 banking collapse. Chairman of Pearson, the media conglomerate, appointed Rona Fairhead to her first senior position at Pearson Publishing.
Baroness Elizabeth Symons; Attended the 1990 BAP conference. The BAP’s 1996 newsletter welcomed her elevation to the Lords and Foreign Office minister, as follows: “Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean, aka Liz Symons, has tendered her resignation as general secretary of the Top Civil Servants Union (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 on the Board of Inland Revenue’s director general. Her partner is Phil Bassett, Labour editor of the Times.
Matthew Taylor; Head of Downing Street.
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.
Gregory Treverton; Princeton and Harvard has worked closely with the Council for Foreign Relations, the US sister organisation to Britain’s Chatham House.
Adair Turner; head of pensions commission and ex head of CBI
Martin Vander Weyer; 1994 UK Advisory Board member and former UK Executive Chair. Business editor and columnist for The Spectator magazine. Regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph. Author and playwright.
Pieter Vlieland; Original BAP founder. Sunday Telegraph journalist. Involved. together with his wife (below) in organising Königswinter. They also ran a business called Specialist Conferences.
Maxine Vlieland; Original BAP founder. General secretary of the Hansard Society for Parliamentary Government and organiser of the British side of the Königswinter conferences.
Colin Walters; Head of the Police Division at the Home Office attended 1988 BAP gathering in St Louis.
David Willetts; Attended the 1988 Gathering of BAP in St Louis. Entered Parliament in 1992 as MP for Havant. quickly established himself in Parliament, becoming a Whip, a Cabinet Office Minister, and then Paymaster General in his first term . During this period Willetts gained “Two Brains” as a nickname. Forced to resign from his post by the Standards and Privileges Committee over an investigation into Neil Hamilton in 1996, when it found that he had “dissembled” in his evidence to the Committee over whether pressure was put onto an earlier investigation into Hamilton. On return to government of the Tory Party he was appointed, Minister of State for Universities and Science. A post he held until the July 2014 cabinet reshuffle. He is the Member of Parliament (MP) representing the constituency of Havant in Hampshire.
Alan Lee Williams; 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 driving 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 SDP Alliance. Was director-general, of the English-Speaking Union, and one of the first members of the UK Advisory Board.
Lucy Winskell; heavily involved in the British American Project (BAP), a networking organisation which aims to enrich the relationship between the two countries and to which she is deeply committed. She is currently UK chairman of BAP. A licensing and gaming specialist at Sintons Solicitors in Newcastle, Winskell also works as a consultant with the College of Law in addition to serving on the boards of organisations as diverse as the Arts Council North-East and the Darlington Building Society. She is also a governor at her old school in Gosforth
Benjamin Zephaniah; poet and activist.
Credits to the original writers.
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