Counter Terrorism and Bulk Surveillance Powers – New Legislation
David Anderson QC, is the official reviewer of counter-terrorism legislation. He was asked by government to conduct an independent review of the operation and regulation of investigatory powers, with specific reference to the interception of communications and communications data. He delivered his report to Downing Street on 6 May, the day before the general election.
He has said his review considered safeguards to privacy, issues of transparency and oversight as well as powers needed by the authorities to meet the challenge of changing technologies.
21 May 2015: Investigatory Powers The Anderson Report
I was required by DRIPA 2014, (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/27/section/7/enacted) which passed through Parliament in only four days back in July 2014, to conduct an independent review of the operation and regulation of investigatory powers, with specific reference to the interception of communications and communications data, including under RIPA. That review was distinct from my normal function of reviewing the operation of the terrorism laws.
Parliament asked me, in particular, to consider:
“(a) current and future threats to the United Kingdom,
(b) the capabilities needed to combat those threats,
(c) safeguards to protect privacy,
(d) the challenges of changing technologies,
(e) issues relating to transparency and oversight,
(f) the effectiveness of existing legislation (including its proportionality) and the case for new or amending legislation.”
As I tweeted at the time, my report was completed and submitted to the Prime Minister on 6 May 2015 – the day before the General Election. A process of security-checking and preparation for publication has followed.
Given the size of the canvas that the Review was asked to cover, it will come as no surprise that it turned out to be a substantial piece of work. I am grateful to all who provided written submissions and who met with me in various parts of the UK, Berlin, California, Washington DC, Ottawa and Brussels, as well as to the small team of self-employed persons that assisted with the Review.
I am asked several times a day when the report will be published. The short answer is that the Prime Minister will decide, and that I have no privileged insight into the timing.
27 May 2015: Security services’ powers to be extended in wide-ranging surveillance bill
Surprise extension of bill’s scope beyond legislation to modernise law on tracking communications data was agreed only this week. The government is to introduce an investigatory powers bill that is far more wide-ranging than expected, including an extension of the powers of the security services in response to the surveillance disclosures by the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The legislation will include not only the expected snooper’s charter, enabling the tracking of everyone’s web and social media use, but also moves to strengthen the security services’ warranted powers for the bulk interception of the content of communications.
The surprise extension of the scope of the bill beyond legislation to “modernise the law” on tracking communications data was agreed within government only this week. It appears that David Cameron has decided to take advantage of his unexpected majority in the Commons to respond to Snowden’s disclosures by extending the powers of the security services.
The Home Office says the investigatory powers bill will “better equip law enforcement and intelligence agencies to meet their key operational requirements, and address the gap in these agencies’ ability to build intelligence and evidence where subjects of interest, suspects and vulnerable people have communicated online.”
Ministers promise to provide for “appropriate oversight arrangements and safeguards”, but there is no immediate detail on how the complex web of intelligence and surveillance commissioners and parliamentary oversight might be strengthened.
The government also promises that the legislation will respond to issues raised by David Anderson QC, the official reviewer of counter-terrorism legislation, in his assessment of bulk surveillance powers used by the police and security services under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.
Anderson delivered his report to Downing Street on 6 May, the day before the general election, and it is expected to be published in the next few days. Anderson has said his review considered the safeguards to privacy, issues of transparency and oversight as well as the powers needed to meet the challenge of changing technologies. He has said it was a “substantial piece of work” and included him travelling to Berlin, California, Washington DC, Brussels and Ottawa.
“The report won’t please everyone [indeed it may not please anybody]. But if it succeeds in informing the public and parliamentary debate on the future of the law from an independent perspective, it will have done its job,” he said on his blog.
Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, said: “The government is signalling that it wants to press ahead with increased powers of data collection and retention for the police and GCHQ, spying on everyone, whether suspected of a crime or not.
“This is the return of the snooper’s charter, even as the ability to collect and retain data gets less and less workable. We should expect attacks on encryption, which protects all our security. Data collection will create vast and unnecessary expense.”
Renate Samson, chief executive of Big Brother Watch, said: “Whilst the title may have changed from a communications data bill to an investigatory powers bill, it will be interesting to see whether the content has radically changed. “We have yet to see real evidence that there is a gap in the capability of law enforcement or the agencies’ ability to gain access to our communications data.”
The extended scope of the bill may follow some of the recommendations of the intelligence and security committee (ISC), which suggested in March that the entire existing surveillance legal framework should be replaced by a single new act of parliament.
The MPs and peers suggested that the new legislation should list every intrusive capability available to the security services and specify their purpose, authorisation procedure and what safeguards and oversight procedures exist for their use. This presumably extends to the kind of GCHQ bulk data collection programmes such as Temp0ra and Prism disclosed by Snowden.
The ISC said the introduction of the new communications data legislation was “critical”, but added that a new category of data called “communications data plus” should be established. It said this would acknowledge that some forms of communications data could reveal private information about a person’s habits, preferences or lifestyle choices, such as websites visited. “Such data is more intrusive and therefore should attract greater safeguards.” they recommended.
The other four Home Office bills are largely as trailed. The extremism bill will include powers to “strengthen the role of Ofcom so that tough measures can be taken against channels that broadcast extremist content”. This is despite warnings from Sajid Javid, the business secretary, that the initial proposals threatened free speech.
The bill also includes the introduction of employment checks enabling companies to find out whether an individual is an extremist so they can be barred from working with children. This is alongside already announced proposals for banning orders, extremism disruption orders and closure orders to be used against premises that are used to support extremism.
The immigration bill will create a new enforcement agency to tackle the worst cases of exploitation as well creating an offence of illegal working and enabling wages to be seized as proceeds of crime. Ministers promise to consult on the introduction of a visa levy on businesses that recruit overseas labour to fund extra apprenticeships for British and EU workers.
The five bills mean that the home secretary, Theresa May, will be one of the busiest cabinet ministers in parliament. Her policing and criminal justice bill will implement her mental health reforms, end the use of police bail for months or even years without judicial check, and introduce sanctions on professionals including social workers who fail to report or take action on child abuse.
Ministers have been silent on the sentencing aspects of this bill but the Conservative manifesto promised the introduction of short, sharp custodial sentences for persistent offenders. The new justice secretary, Michael Gove, may be looking again at this proposal.
The psychoactive substances bill or legislation to introduce a blanket ban on legal highs is to be introduced this week. It will criminalise the trade in legal highs with prison sentences of up to seven years but will not make personal possession a criminal offence. The legislation will distinguish between everyday psychoactive substances such as alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and some medicinal products and new designer drugs that imitate more traditional illegal substances. http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/may/27/security-services-investigatory-powers-bill
UK government quietly rewrites hacking laws to give GCHQ immunity
The UK government has quietly passed new legislation that exempts GCHQ, police, and other intelligence officers from prosecution for hacking into computers and mobile phones.
While major or controversial legislative changes usually go through normal parliamentary process (i.e. democratic debate) before being passed into law, in this case an amendment to the Computer Misuse Act was snuck in under the radar as secondary legislation.
According to Privacy International, “It appears no regulators, commissioners responsible for overseeing the intelligence agencies, the Information Commissioner’s Office, industry, NGOs or the public were notified or consulted about the proposed legislative changes… There was no public debate.”
Privacy International also suggests that the change to the law was in direct response to a complaint that it filed last year. In May 2014, Privacy International and seven communications providers filed a complaint with the UK Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), asserting that GCHQ’s hacking activities were unlawful under the Computer Misuse Act.
On June 6, just a few weeks after the complaint was filed, the UK government introduced the new legislation via the Serious Crime Bill that would allow GCHQ, intelligence officers, and the police to hack without criminal liability.
The bill passed into law on March 3 this year, and became effective on May 3.
Privacy International says there was no public debate before the law was enacted, with only a rather one-sided set of stakeholders being consulted (Ministry of Justice, Crown Prosecution Service, Scotland Office, Northern Ireland Office, GCHQ, police, and National Crime Agency).
Despite filing its complaint back way back in 2014, Privacy International wasn’t told about the changes to the Computer Misuse Act until last week; until after the new legislation became effective. The UK government is allowed to do this, of course, but it’s a little more underhanded and undemocratic than usual.
According to Privacy International’s legal experts, the amended Computer Misuse Act “grants UK law enforcement new leeway to potentially conduct cyber attacks within the UK.” Following Snowden’s leaks throughout 2013 and 2014, a cynical person might see this new legislation as something of an insurance policy: under the previous Computer Misuse Act, the courts might have found GCHQ’s hacking activities within the UK to be illegal—now they’re on more solid ground.
27 May 2015 – The Iraq War Was Based On Lies: Top Bush Era CIA Official
Twelve years after George W Bush initiated the illegal invasion of Iraq, ostensibly under the premise of pre-emptive self-defence, a stark majority — as many as 75% in 2014 — feel the so-called war was a mistake. As evidence rapidly accumulates that Bush’s yearning to launch an aggressive attack was likelier due to a personal grudge than anything else, that number will surely swell.
Indeed the former president’s intelligence briefer lent yet more plausibility to that theory in an interview on MSNBC’s Hardball, making an admission that the Bush White House misrepresented intelligence reports to the public on key issues.
Michael Morell’s stint with the CIA included deputy and acting director. During the time preceding the US invasion of Iraq, he helped prepare daily intelligence briefings for Bush. One of those briefings, from October 2002, is an infamous example in intelligence history as how not to compile a report.
The National Intelligence Estimate, titled “Iraq’s Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction”, (https://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB129/nie.pdf ) was the ostensibly flawed intelligence cited continuously by Bush supporters as justification to pursue a war of aggression against Iraq.
However, this claim is dubious at best, and serves more as a smokescreen to lend credence to a president who was otherwise hell-bent on revenge against Saddam Hussein, as evidenced in his statement a month before the report, “After all, this is the guy who tried to kill my dad.”
In the Hardball interview, host Chris Matthews asked Morell about Cheney’s notorious statement in 2003:
“We know he [Saddam Hussein] has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.”
MATTHEWS: Can you answer that question? Was that true? MORELL: That’s not true.
MATTHEWS: Well, why’d you let them get away with it? MORELL: Look, my job Chris—
MATTHEWS: You’re the briefer for the president on intelligence, you’re the top person to go in and tell him what’s going on. You see Cheney make this charge he’s got a nuclear bomb and then they make subsequent charges he knew how to deliver it…and nobody raised their hand and said, “No that’s not what we told him.” MORELL: Chris, Chris Chris, what’s my job, right? My job—
MATTHEWS: To tell the truth. MORELL: My job—no, as the briefer? As the briefer?
MATTHEWS: Okay, go ahead. MORELL: As the briefer, my job is to carry CIA’s best information and best analysis to the president of the United States and make sure he understands it. My job is to not watch what they’re saying on TV.
MATTHEWS: So you’re briefing the president on the reasons for war, they’re selling the war, using your stuff, saying you made that case when you didn’t. So they’re using your credibility to make the case for war dishonestly, as you just admitted. MORELL: Look, I’m just telling you—
MATTHEWS: You just admitted it. MORELL: I’m just telling you what we said—
MATTHEWS: They gave a false presentation of what you said to them. MORELL: On some aspects. On some aspects.
And the host pushed just a little further:
MATTHEWS: That’s a big deal! Do you agree? If they claimed they had a [nuclear] weapon, when you know they didn’t. MORELL: It’s a big deal. It’s a big deal.
He’s absolutely right, of course, and even further to that point, Morell made another admission of a direct misrepresentation: “What they were saying about the link between Iraq and Al Qaeda publicly was not what the intelligence community” had found. “I think they were trying to make a stronger case for the war.” Which the administration had to do, considering no such case existed.
As a matter of fact, Cheney’s statement directly conflicts with what the NIE actually stated, which is that the intelligence community only found a “[lack of] persuasive evidence that Baghdad has launched a coherent effort to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program.” Which is in line with the International Atomic Energy Agency report that came to the same conclusion: “[W]e have to date found no evidence that Iraq has revived its nuclear weapons program.”
All of this solidifies what former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan resolutely stated about the US invasion of Iraq in 2004: “I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN charter. From our point of view and from the charter point of view it was illegal.”
The question most deserving an answer, and increasingly posed by the populace at large: If George W Bush, Dick Cheney, and others in the administration, deliberately misled the public on false pretences, directly contradicted intelligence information through misrepresentation, and ultimately initiated a wholly illegal invasion of Iraq that led to the deaths of well over 1 million civilian, non-combatants. WHY have they not been charged with war crimes?
The Chilcot Report – Millions of words without meaning – Philppe Sands both catalogues the report’s criticisms of Blair and points to its failings:
“Yet the inquiry has chosen to hold back on what caused the multitude of errors: was it negligence, or recklessness, or something else? In so doing it has created a space for Blair and the others who stood with him to protest that they acted in good faith, without deceit or lies. To get a sense of how this space was created requires a very thorough reading of the report. But two techniques can be identified immediately.
First, the inquiry has engaged in salami-slicing, assessing cause and motive in individual moments without stepping back and examining the whole. The whole makes clear that the decision to remove Saddam Hussein and wage war in Iraq was taken early, and that intelligence and law were then fixed to facilitate the desired outcome. On legal matters, Blair manipulated the process, forcing the attorney general to give legal advice at the last possible moment, with troops already massed and a coalition ready to roll. He would have known that Goldsmith was less likely at that stage to have said that war would be illegal. […]
Second, on the basis of material I have seen but isn’t in the public domain, I believe the inquiry may have been excessively generous in its characterisation of evidence.” Philppe Sands
A prosecution of Tony Blair for a ‘crime of aggression’ over the military invasion of Iraq in March 2003 has never been on the cards. A report is still awaited from the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on whether preliminary examination of new evidence (e.g. with the Chilcot Report) may result in Blair’s prosecution for complicity in crimes over the conduct of the war and occupation.
The domestic common law crime of ‘misconduct in public office’ offers scope for prosecution. For this to proceed, an indictment must be prepared by the Crown Prosecution Service. A police investigation is first necessary to produce a file or charge sheet with evidence from which an indictment can be made.
What might a charge sheet for this offence look like for Tony Blair. Areas of the decision process which initiated the military invasion for potential examples of ‘breaches of duty’, resulting in serious betrayal of public trust, from which the offence of misconduct may be applied. http://www.iraqinquirydigest.org/
Airstrikes that went wrong, (April-mid August) against targets in – Zliten, Sirte and Tripoli. Carried out under the UN remit, authorising NATO aircraft to prevent Government air forces from attacking civilians.
21.03.2011 NATO Air strike Gharyan Western Libya. Many civilians killed.
07.04.2011 NATO Air strike Tripoli Libyan Arab Association For Human Rights buildings destroyed.
27.04.2011 NATO Air strike Misrata 12 Killed 5 wounded.
30.04.2011 NATO Air strike Tripoli Downs Syndrome School destroyed.
30.04.2011 NATO Air strike Gaddafi’s family, (Son Saif Al Gaddafi 29 and 3 grandchildren (all under 3 years of age) targeted and killed.
09.05.2011 NATO Assistance Boat in trouble sent out SOS, which was ignored 600 people died.
13.05.2011 NATO Air strike Brega Mosque. 11 imams (spiritual leaders of Islam) killed and 50 civilians injured.
17.05.2011 NATO Air strike Anti-Corruption Agency buildings destroyed,(all records destroyed).
12.06.2011 NATO Air strike Tripoli. University buildings destroyed. Many dead. Numbers not yet known.
15.06.2011 NATO Air strike Kikla. Attack on passenger bus. 12 killed and 2 injured.
19.06.2011 NATO Air strike Triploi. 9 civilians killed in bombing attack.
19.06.2011 NATO Air strike Sorman. All members of the Al-Hamedi family 15 civilians, including 3 children, were killed.
22.06.2011 NATO Air strike Libya. Great Waterway Irrigation System, (supplying drinking water to 4.5m) attacked causing major damage.
22.06.2011 NATO Air strike Zliten. Many civilians killed in bombing attack.
28.06.2011 NATO Air strike Tawergha east of Misurata. 16 civilians (one complete family killed) and more than 20 injured.
15.07.2011 NATO Air Strike Kikla City. 12 killed and 2 injured when the air strike hit a bus carrying innocent civilians.
17.07.2011 NATO Air Strike Tajura and Seraj. Many urban areas bombed. Upwards of 60 to 75 bombs dropped according to eyewitness reports.
23.07.2011 NATO Air Strike Factory manufacturing pipes for water systems maintenance bombed. 6 employees killed.
24.07.2011 NATO Air Strike Torghae City. Farming, Cattle and Poultry project bombed. Buildings, animals and birds destroyed.
24.07.2011 NATO Air Strike Tawergha. 15 civilians killed
24.07.2011 NATO Air Strike Zliten Hospital 50 civilians many of them children killed.
25.07.2011 NATO Air Strike Zliten. Food Storage buildings and contents destroyed.
25.07.2011 NATO Air Strike Bir Al Ghanam 20 civilians killed.
30.07.2011 NATO Air Strike Libyan television station destroyed. 3 killed 15 injured.
02.08.2011 NATO Air Strike Zliten Law School buildings destroyed. Woman & 2 children killed.
07.08.2011 NATO Air Strike Vegetable market in Tripoli destroyed.
08.08.2011 NATO Air Strike Zliten. 32 Women, 20 children and 20 men killed
Not long after the start of the troubles in Libya Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son and heir apparent of the Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi went to the Western press. (The Washington Post) and provided first hand an explanation of events in Libya from the beginning of the year. In doing so he offered a way forward which, had it been accepted would have avoided the massive loss of life and on-going fighting which has brought the nation to it’s knees and rendered it ungovernable. At the time of the interview he attributed external air power aggession to France and the UK believing rhetoric emanating from the White House that the USA would not be involved in any aggression against Libya. How wrong he was.
17 April: The following are excerpts from a Washington Post interview with Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi.
On the international conspiracy to destabilize Libya:
* He said “What occured was a major media attack on Libya by rebels in the Libyan press and Telecommunications Companies backed by foreign press and governments spreading disinformation through the internet, creating alarm and despondancy within the country.
* The British foreign minister Hague lied when he said that Gaddafi had fled to Venezuela.
* Al-Jazeera lied with breaking news “Gaddafi has left the country and then another headline “Saif is dead, his brother killed him”. All lies.
* The internet was flooded with misinformation. So much that it crashed due to overload.
* No telephones, television, information (except rumours of major coalition ground attacks). All this created chaos.
* There followed many raids on arms dumps and military barracks and theft of large amounts of ammunition. Armed insurrection. All orchestrated from outside Libya.
* It is not the intention of the government to kill our people, we want to build our country and live in peace. It is not in the interests of anybody to see chaos in Libya. * But unfortunately Arabic countries like Qatar, they are playing this role.”
On why he thinks the U.N. Security Council was wrong:
* The UN Security Council resolution was based on — what?
* The Libyan air force is bombing Tripoli, and bombing Tajoura and Fashloom, two districts [in the capital]. * They mentioned two districts. Show me one trace, one bit of evidence that we bombarded Tajoura.
* We took diplomats and journalists to the areas. There was no damage. No bombing.
* But now Libya has an embargo placed on it. Coalition planes are bombing Libya day and night.
* Libya is being systematically destroyed by the West in the same way as was Iraq.
On You-Tube videos of protesters being shot in Tripoli:
* They repeatedly played a “recent” video of protesters being shot. But the incident occurred over one year ago, in the city of Ras Lanuf.
* But it had nothing to do with the government of Libya. It was a problem between two tribes fighting for a new housing projectin Ras Lanuf.
* They said the government had recruited many thousands of mercenaries which is not the case.
* Were mistakes made? Were some people shot? Yes of course there were but numbered in single figures not the many thousands reported in the Western media.
On reports of widespread arrests of opposition activists:
* This is true but only in an attempt to recover the huge amount of arms and ammunition that had been stolen in raids on arms dumps. Arms and ammunition was evertywhere
* But the police have started releasing those arrested and I am taking a personal interest in this. * Why? Because, they are my people. We are living in the same country and it is not in our advantage to humiliate, torture or kill them.
* Even those who took up arms against the government are being released.
* There are prisoners. You may visit the prison and meet with them. They are in healthy, no torture. Eating well, showers, clothes, everything. No violation of human rights.
On the siege of Misurata and evidence that government forces are shelling civilians:
* What happened in Misurata? I refer you to the Cold River,in Tripoli, Lebanon where the Lebanese army attacked a number of civilian districts fighting Jund al-Sham, the soldiers of Islam, you know that terrorist group in Lebanon. They destroyed half the city, civilians died, they fought the terrorists because they were inside the buildings.
* The Americans, the West, they supplied the Lebanese army, and it was considered a legitimate mission to fight terrorists inside Tripoli, Lebanon. You remember? And I remember they sent an airlift with the Hummer vehicles, arms and munitions.
* A similar event occurred in Grozny, Chechnya, when the Russian army fought terrorists, because the terrorists went inside the buildings in Grozny.
* And what about the Americans in Fallujah. You know Fallujah? in Iraq It’s exactly the same.
* The military are not fighting or killing innocent people or civilians, because it is not in the interests of anybody to kill civilians, but the fact is terrorists are there.
* The French foreign minister said we should allow shipping to use Misurata without restriction since NATO could guarantee ships would not carry illegal cargo.*
* But arms, ammunition and terrorists are being shipped into Misurata illegally every day which is unacceptable.
* And (due to a much extended dialogue) attempting through failed negotiation to persuade them to lay down their arms and return home. the rebels fortifications are much extended making it more difficult to displace them.
* And, in case you hadn’t noticed the rebels kidnap and execute people. They utilise their own warped version of Islamic law and have their own courts, police, army. No government in the world will allow such a behavior.
* But you should discuss this with the Red Cross people. They attempted today to assess the situation. You know what happened? They shot them.
* Excuse me, shooting at the Red Cross. Today they shot the Red Cross people, because the Christian cross is crusader or whatever.
* So they are infidels who should be killed. Okay, maybe they are not Muslims but they are here to help. Not to be murdered.
* The rebels have mortars, anti-tank rockets and anti-aircraft machine guns. They are using Libyan army ammunition. * They are firing from houses, from shops, from everywhere. We will not stand back and let terrorists take our country. That is why we are fighting not for my father.
On the rebels:
* We told the World that al-Qaeda are in Libya. The West said we were lying. Perhaps you are aware of today’s statement from al-Qaeda? It’s their own statement, not mine. They announced “We are al-Qaeda in Libya, we are fighting and we have our emirates.”
* In Zawiyah and Nalut there were Algerians, Egyptians, Pakistanis fighting with Al-Queda. Many are terrorists, others Islamists, yet more are just gangsters, like in Benghazi.
* The city of Benghazi is where Al-Queda are present. If we take and hold Benghazi we will win. The problem is just the city of Benghazi.
* So there it is. So called rebels comprising Al-Qaeda, various Islamic groups, gangsters and ex-prisoners. So many groups with differing agendas fighting each other and the government of Libya. Shades of Iraq.
* The BBC and Sky News reported an attack on a hotel and street fighting in the centre of Benghazi. Many explosions and heavy fighting. But there is a change. Many of those fighting against the rebels are residents of the city fed up with the Al-Queda and the terrorists. Yet NATO continue to provide air support to the rebels. How misguided they are supporting a few hundred terrorists against 6 million Libyans. The West is talking to the wrong side
On former friends and colleagues who defected to lead the rebellion:
* They were my friends, we drank together, we ate together, we sat together, we travelled together, they were my close friends. Now I get messages from these former friends working with the terrorists. They tell me “After the victory, you, Saif, will have no place in Libya. Everything bad that has happened is because of you. You brought them to Libya, and helped them to be ministers and big guys in Libya. You and your friends have no place in the future, in Libya.
* So, I brought them here, I helped them, I supported them. But then, Saif is finished, so we jump ship like rats. We jump from the ship and go to other ship.
* But people are weak. One month ago they were ministers and heads of security, and now they find themselves sitting with Hillary Clinton, with the British, with the French, with the whole world, Qataris sending them private jets. So okay, yesterday I was minister, today I can be a president. So the West is contributing to this crisis, because they give them false hope they will be something in the future. Those people, they were our people one month ago, we know them very well, I brought them to Libya.
On Mahmoud Jibril, a U.S.-educated professor brought back to Libya by Saif to help run economic policy, who is now the rebels’ foreign affairs representative:
* He was my best friend, he changed completely, I don’t know why. We used to talk together, work together, he was one of my best friends. He was my friend when he was living in Tripoli. Now he is sitting with Hillary Clinton, with [British Foreign Secretary William] Hague, and with [French President Nicolas] Sarkozy in the Elysees. Excuse me, he said, ‘Saif, you are too insignificant for me now.’ ”
* But his head has been turned. The entire Western world is praising him. America, U.K., France, sending private jets, telling him “You are the President of Libya. You get the oil. You get the money. Come on, he is a human being at the end of the day.
* They are selfish and they have their own self-interest and they have their own advantage. They want to advance their own advantage. They want to be famous, they want to to be rich. They want to be powerful. ‘Okay, one month ago, I was a minister here in Libya, now I will be a president, I will control Libya.’ Libya is a rich country. Everyone wants to rule Libya, its oil, gas, money. I understand it. I don’t respect it, but I understand it.
On whether there are people within the rebel movement who just wanted democracy and freedom of expression:
*Of course, yes. I know them very well. But where are they now? Ha ha. Where are they now? I tell you something. Those people, maybe they did start the story, but now they vanished. Now they have no word, they have no say with the Al Queda armed militia.
* Is it possible to have a dialogue with al-Qaeda? How can we talk with people who are killing red-cross workers and burning people to death in Misurata. * In the 21st century, they killed someone, they took his heart, they burned the heart in front of people.
* You are aware that they hanged people in Benghazi? In Eastern Libya, they hung from bridges and filmed it for the media.
* The West keep talking about democracyand the constitution. But this is not the priority of the people. Ask any Libyan if they want democracy? They will tell you “No, we want peace, security, food, drink, we want schools. The freedom of the press is not a priority anymore. Now we are at war with each other.
* If you want to help us, assist the Libyan government in restoring peace and security, then we’ll talk about reforms and national reconciliation and constitution. But now people are at war, and everybody is fighting everybody, and you are talking about democracy? S
* I know Libya. For nearly 10 years I have been talking about the constitution, freedom, democracy, everybody laughed at me. They said “What? We want houses, we want money, we want hospitals, we want cars, we want hotels. Democracy is not priority.”
* They told me. Come on, it’s just the elite here in Libya, that are talking about these things. I disagreed and committed them to writing an agenda.
* Mahmoud Jibril and all of the committee who wrote the draft of the new Libyan constitution. Now they are against us.
* But the draft constitution is my draft. It is the Libyan people who should conduct a national deliberation on the draft. If they are happy with it they should accept it, and we will introduce it.
* We need local governance, because we want a federal system and strong local governance and a new law for the media and civil society. That’s it. It would be like Switzerland.
* But nobody in Libya is talking about democracy anymore. People are talking about just one thing, peace, security and law and order, that’s it.
On his uncompromising speech when protests started:
* I told them “listen, Libyans. There is a big conspiracy against Libya, you will have a civil war, you will destroy your country, you will destroy the oil and you will have a foreign intervention,” and those four things came to be. Sometimes you have to be very serious with your people. It is a very serious issue.
On why people are fighting:
* Vice President Joe Biden. Had a son, who was fighting in Iraq. He said, “I am proud of my son, who is fighting for America and defending his country”. Biden the vice president so proud of a son fighting innocent people many thousands of kilometers from from America, He is proud of his son. So to are we Libyans. We are in our country and we are fighting for our country.
* So there is time for peace and there is time for war. We have terrorists on the ground and NATO in the air. We will stand up and fight for our country, it is our country. We want peace. We want freedom. We want a constitution. We want democracy. But I will not be happy seeing Libyan’ getting killed every day, by the bombs of NATO and the terrorists.
* Here we are the Libyans. If we fight we fight together. If we stop, we stop together. We are united and one family. We are so united.
* Nobody here in Libya is interested in revenge. Revenge, it’s not in our agenda. The agenda is national reconciliation. This is the desire and the wish of everybody. We want peace, we want security, we want to build our country, we want to have a better future, we want to go forward. Nobody is talking about revenge.
On what would happen if his father left now:
*Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. Everybody knows that.
On the way forward:
* The biggest issue, the terrorists and armed militia. The moment we get rid of them, everything will be solved in one hour in the whole country.
* One European country, a very important country, came to us with a proposal, with an initiative, we have the African initiative.
* No army in the cities, no armed militias in the cities. Armed militias and army should leave the cities, police should come in. The army should control the border
* The American’s can help us do that. Come on America, help us get the army and militias away from the cities. Bring the police in.
* Elections. We accept this. Bring supervisors from Europe, America, from everywhere. Do it.
On being an ally one day and a pariah the next:
* After WikiLeaks, Hillary Clinton tried to call my father, but spoke to the ex-foreign minister, saying “We are sorry for this.” Just two months ago. She said, “We are happy with Libya. We are doing good business with Libya. We want to strengthen relations with Libya. Libya is a very important country. We are friends and we are sorry for this.” This is two months ago. Now she is saying “Mr Gaddafi should leave.” It is clear that when you are strong, everyone is nice to you, if you are weak, bye-bye.
On his response to the letter from President Obama, Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron:
* To be honest, Obama is different from the British and the French. It was big shock at the beginning when the Americans did attack Libya.
* Nobody in the Middle East, and especially in Libya, thought that one day President Obama will attack Libya or an Arabic country.
* Because he came after Iraq and after Afghanistan, his name is Barack Hussein. He is of African origin, he is a peace man. And all of sudden he is sending hundreds of Tomahawk [missiles] to Libya. It was a big shock, a big shock for everybody including my father. NATO attacking us exactly like Bush attacked Iraq, because of false reports and rumours.
* As we are aware the USA is supporting the British and the French in Libya because they supported the USA in Afghanistan.
* Libyans are happy that the Americans are to withdraw from the crisis for our country and are to adopt a neutral stance unlike some other countries.
* But, we want the Americans to send a fact-finding mission to identify exactly what happened in Libya. We also want “the Human Rights Watch” to come to Libya to work with us.
* We are not afraid of the International Criminal Court. We are confident and sure that we didn’t commit any crime against our people.
* The terrorists recruited boys, 10, 11, 12 years old to fight, they killed hostages, prisoners, hung and tortured innocent people. They filmed everything so identification of the criminals will not be difficult.
* For us, we are doing the right thing, we are fighting the right cause, and we fighting for our people. We are uniting the Libyan people. The Americans should support us.
* The Libyan case is not difficult to resolve but to say Gaddafi should leave makes it very complicated. Priorities need to be decided. Either they are help Libya or to destroy Gaddafi. If the choice is too destroy Gaddafi that’s fine. But don’t then say “We want to help Libya.” But, in Libya the reception for the Americans will always be kind to the USA but so the Europeans.
On his father:
* The most important person now in Libya is the Prime Minister. Ask any Libyan, the Prime Minister.
* My father is not talking about contracts, about laws, about companies about business, about this, this is the executive work, this is the work of the prime minister.
* He is the most important person in Libya, and in the new constitution you will have an elected Prime Minister and also an elected president.
* As President my father is like a symbol of the country, he is purely symbolic.
* But the people who will run the country will be elected. This is in the draft [constitution]. We worked on this draft for the past four years.
* There will be a President and a Prime Minister. There will be a parliament. The way forward is the constitution.
Libya – Sledgehammers and nuts – Gaddafi’s Airforce was grounded on day one on receipt of a warning from the UN – This is what the UK , France and a few NATO countries and the USA deployed against him
The UK has Tornado and Typhoon fighter jets stationed at the Gioia de Colle airbase in southern Italy. These have carried out bombing missions in Libya using Storm Shadow cruise missiles. Nimrod and Sentinel reconnaissance planes have also been deployed for surveillance. Warships HMS Cumberland and HMS Westminster are also in the Mediterranean for support.
Dassault Rafale fighter jets were the first to be used in allied operations in Libya. Around 20 planes, also including Mirage 2000, have been involved in bombing missions to neutralise Libyan air capacity. The Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier was expected to join operations on Tuesday.
As well as making its air bases available for allied planes, Italy has provided eight aircraft, including F-16s and Tornado jets. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has said they will not shoot at targets.
Madrid has provided four F-18 fighter jets that were used in operations on Monday.
Belgium has provided six F-16 fighter jets.
Has supplied six F-16s.
Six Norwegian F-16 fighter jets landed at a NATO base on the Greek island of Crete on Monday, ready for deployment.
Athens has allowed the allies the use of three NATO bases. One is in Crete, the other two in the western of the country. Greece has said it will not take an active part in operations.
The Dutch foreign minister said on Monday that the Netherlands will not get involved in military operations against Libya until formally requested to do so by NATO.
Canada has supplied six CF-18 fighter jets and two 2CC-150 Polaris transport/refuelling aircraft to the allies’ cause. Four CF-18s took part in a military sortie on Monday, without opening fire. The planes are based in Trapani, Italy.
US hardware being used in Libya is thought to include several attack submarines and destroyers (USS Providence, USS Scranton, USS Florida, USS Stout and USS Barry) These carry cruise and Tomahawk missiles that have been fired at Libyan targets. The command ship USS Mount Whitney is also in the Mediterranean to oversee the joint operation. Reconnaissance aircraft RC-135 also deployed as well as E-3 Sentry (AWACS) warning and control aircraft. The US has 42 F-16s at a base in Aviano, Italy. B-2 stealth bombers also used in strikes at the weekend.’ http://www.euronews.com/2011/03/19/international-forces-in-libya
Libya – The Poor Humpty Dumpty State – Ripped Apart By The West – They Cannot Put It back Together Again – So What Are We To Do?
2011: In December 2010 trouble broke out in Tunisia resulting in the overthrow of the government and removal of it’s President. The event proved to be the catalyst for disaffected populations across the arab middle east and resulted in the much vaunted “Arab Spring”. Governments and leaders of many countries affected by unrest feared Western style democracy and were not willing to give up long established controls and systems of governance widely accepted by Muslim society.
This included Libya tightly controlled by Gaddafi for decades. Fearing a growing influence of hard line Islamic agitators including Al-Queda within Libya, (in particular Bengahzi) he clamped down hard on any disturbance. The West, keen as ever on spreading democracy persuaded strict Islamist arab countries, unfriendly with Gaddafi (who was more relaxed about the imposition of Islamic law on Libyans), to apply pressure.
Quatar, (backed by the UK, USA and others) started supplying arms and ammunition to rebel groups encouraging their growth and influence and faced with growing unrest Gaddafi instructed his forces to destroy any islamist groups operating against his government. This they speedily accomplished within a matter of days.
Small pockets of resistence took up sniping positions within Benghazi and there was a deal of hard fighting before they were dislodged. Unfortunately there were many civilian casualties caught up in bitterly fought exchages between government forces and the rebels.
Failure by the rebels to establish themselves in Libya was imminent and France and the UK went to the UN seeking a mandate allowing NATO forces to be deployed over Libyan airspace preventing Libyan government airforces from attacking the civilian population, (which had been reported to the West from within Libya).
The UN supported a very narrow remit allowing NATO aircraft unrestricted access to Libyan airspace, but strictly only to provide the humanitarian support to the civilian population as stated in the request placed with the UN. Many countries abstained from the vote so it was not inanimously agreed.
The UK and France armed with their remit consulted NATO members seeking support but the response was disappointing. Only 3 countries agreed to get actively involved. President Obama, facing an election advised that the USA would not become directly involved but would provide logistic support to the effort.
What occurred over the next 9 months invited shame on the USA, UK France and Italy who, by their actions brought about the wholesale destruction, (NATO planes flew 22,000 sorties over Libya over a period of 9 months) of Libya. NATO ignored the UN remit and brought about regime change the adverse effects of which are being foisted upon the EU through a mass migration of many thousands of muslim refugee’s which is expected to increase further over the next decade. The population of Libya is reduced by about 25% so it is not a good place to be.
The full impact of uncontrolled unremitting migration will bring about major difficulties within the EU and may well result in some countries withdrawing from it adopting isolationist agenda’s taking control of their own immigration policies.
This is the sequence of events: 16 February: Riots break out in Libyan city as regional unrest deepens
* Hundreds of people clash with police and pro-government supports in the Libyan city of Benghazi in a rare show of unrest.
* Crowds armed with petrol bombs and rocks clashed with police and government supporters in the city of Benghazi in a rare show of unrest in the oil exporting country.
* According to local media reports and witnesses, protesters gathered outside a government office then marched to the city’s Shajara square where the clashes began.
* Libya has been tightly controlled by leader Muammar Gaddafi for over 40 years but has also felt the ripples from popular revolts in its neighbours Egypt and Tunisia.
* The Quryna newspaper, based in Benghazi, said rioting was now over and that government supporters had taken over the square, although tensions have remained high.
* Fourteen people were injured including ten police officers, none of the injuries are reported to be serious. The clashes came ahead of a planned “Day of Rage” by on Thursday.
* Witnesses said those involved in the clashes were relatives of inmates in Tripoli’s Abu Salim jail, where militant Islamists and government opponents are held.
* Libyan state television said separately that rallies were being held across the oil exporting country on Wednesday in support of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
* Libyan state television showed footage of a rally in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, of government supporters.
18 February: Human Rights Watch reports 84 deaths since the start of riots.
22 February: Arab League suspends Libyan delegates from its meetings.
* UN Security Council calls for an end to the use of force against protesters and reminds the Libyan government it must “meet its responsibility to protect its population.
* Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calls the situation “unacceptable” and says it must “immediately stop.”
24 February: European Union diplomats meet to discuss sanctions
* To include EU travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo.
* EU suspends negotiations on bilateral relations with Libya.
16 March: Saif al-Gaddafi asks Sarkosy to repay Libyan contibutions to his presidential campaign.
* He said “Sarkozy must repay Libya the money he took for his election campaign. * We financed his election campaign and we have all the details and we are ready to publish them.
* The first thing we ask of this clown Sarkozy is that he repay this money to the Libyan people.
* We helped him become president so that he would help the Libyan people but he has disappointed us.
* Very soon we will publish all the details and the documents and banking pay slips.* What is being seen in the streets is not protesters but armed militias who kill people and frighten them and hang them.
* You have seen them in Albayda executing police officers, hanging people from the bridges, and in Misrata they burned a man in the public square.
* These people don’t believe in dialogue or human rights or democracy. They are criminals and luckily they take photos and videos of what they do and publish them.
* Today the Libyan people have revolted and are defending their land and their country.
19 March: International forces in operations in Libya.
* Several Western countries as well as some Gulf states intend to lend their military support for the operation to impose and maintain a no-fly zone over Libya.
21 March : Not long after the first wave of coalition airstrikes, the bitter battle for control of the rebel-held city of Misrata
* Shortly before the Gaddafi regime claimed it had ordered a ceasefire, government forces entered the last city held by rebels in the West of Libya.
* Tanks are in position and snipers stationed on rootops in a bid to maintain control.
* Warnings of heavy casualties and horrific injuries as troops shelled homes and businesses.
* Residents also claiming government boats were circling the port, preventing aid from reaching the city.
* News of the invasion came just hours after about 20 air-defence sites in Misrata – and the Libyan capital Tripoli – were battered by air strikes from French jets.
* The jets began a second night of patrolling Libyan airspace to enforce a no-fly zone.
* Abdelbasset, a spokesman for the rebels in Misrata, said the number of rebel casualties was rapidly growing.
* He said “There is fighting between the rebels and Gaddafi’s forces. Their tanks are in the centre of Misrata … There are so many casualties we cannot count them.”
* One resident, called Sami, said snipers killed two people in the port. “They are supported by four tanks, which have been patrolling the town.
* It’s getting very difficult for people to come out. There are also boats encircling the port and preventing aid from reaching the town.”
* Dr Khalid Abufalgha, who works at Misrata’s main hospital, pleaded for help “The international community has to come to protect the civilians.Yesterday, I have 25, today, since morning I have three and they are coming. They are amputations … severe injuries, crushing – I don’t know what they are using but please, come and protect the civilians – babies, women, all the civilians that is coming here, they have no … water, no food.”
* Residents in Misrata claimed that Gaddafi forces were shelling homes “with some force”.
* On a strategic road in East Libya, heading towards the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, Colonel Gaddafi’s wrecked tanks and other army vehicles smouldered.
* The coalition strike appeared to have taken government forces by surprise, placing a dramatic halt to the advance towards the city.
* Many bodies litter the roadside, about 14 Gaddafi tanks, 20 armoured personnel carriers, two trucks with multiple rocket launchers and dozens of pick-ups all destroyed.
* One tank a blackened wreck with its turret blown off. Another tank, a tank transporter and armoured personnel carriers smouldered.
* A few hundred metres ahead, munitions were still exploding as flames licked around vehicles.
* The attack gave rebels, who had been driven back to their stronghold of Benghazi by the Libyan leader’s air, sea and land offensive in the past two weeks, the chance to return to the town of Ajdabiyah – the hard fought over gateway to the East.
* Rebels, have mainly relied on 4×4 pick-ups with machine guns, heavily outgunned by Colonel Gaddafi ‘s forces before the airstrikes.
* Pharmacist Mohamed Joma said the planes had struck about 4am that day. “The tanks were pointing to Benghazi,” he said. “They wanted to go to Benghazi. They did not escape.”
* Agricultural worker Jamal al-Majbouri, who owns a farm nearby, showed no sympathy for the Gaddafi forces. He said “Tell the West to destroy Gaddafi slowly, piece by piece by piece, the way he did to us for 40 years.”
4 April: Gaddafi’s few friends leave limited exit options
* Dozens of chanting supporters stood alongside the Libyan leader in his bombed-out bunker in Tripoli, waving their flags.
* It is the image that Colonel Gaddafi would like to portray to the world. A Libya where “everyone loves me”, as he said in an interview before the coalition strikes began, denying there was any meaningful uprising against his rule.
* The defiant stance is good for morale. But Gaddafi has not made an appearance like this – or any outing in public – since mid-March. Far from loving him, several of his entourage have been queuing up to leave. First there was the ex Libyan Ambassador to the UN, then Moussa Koussa the Foreign Minister, and this weekend came the turn of his adviser, Ali Triki.
* Even before foreign ministers gathered at the London summit, the U.S Secretary of State said that people close to the Colonel were making overtures, seeking a possible way out.
* Hillary Clinton told the summit “We must continue to pursue the broader goal of a Libya that belongs not to a dictator but to the Libyan people.
* We agree with the Arab League that Gaddafi has lost his legitimacy to lead.
* We agree with the African Union on the need for a democratic transition process.
* Although the Libyan opposition want Gaddafi brought to book, the main goal is an end to the fighting and his regime.”
* A scenario where that could be brought about by the dictator fleeing the country would have its merits.
* The question is who would want him? His friends are few and far between.
* Hugo Chavez has defends Gaddafi. His vociferous anti-Americanism is well known.
* At the start of the conflict false rumours had the Colonel on a plane to Venezuela.
* Chavez’s own future is in question. Welcoming an international outcast may not help.
* A possible shelter closer to home has been mooted. Like Gaddafi’s Libya, Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe has not been averse to using terror to crush opponents.
* Saudi Arabia has been a haven for ex- dictators. Tunisia’s Ben Ali fled there. But Gaddafi is no friend of King Abdullah, and the Gulf state is not seen as a serious option.
* So, the solution may have to come from within Libya itself.
* Unless more defections cause the regime to collapse, the coalition’s main hope must be that the opposition can seize the moment.
* Air strikes have paved the way. But rebel inexperience and disorganisation have been exposed. If their will outlasts that of their long-term oppressor may well be decisive.
* As Colonel Gaddafi’s envoys travel across Europe proposing a whole raft of peace settlements, representatives of the Gaddafi regime still insist that the ‘Brother Leader’ will not step down and that forces loyal to the regime are not killing civilians.
* Commentators note that this volley of peace proposals may, in fact, be no more than a delaying tactic designed to destabilise the coalition currently enforcing UN Resolution 1973 and give Gaddafi time to re-consolidate his hold on power.
* The defection of Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa has been seen by the West as a blow for the regime although the Libyan spokesman has denied this.
* Saif Gaddafi, the most high-profile of Gaddafi’s sons, still appears to be angling for a solution in which his father retires, handing the reins of power on to him.
5 April: ICC prosecutors seek Gaddafi arrest
* International prosecutors are seeking an arrest warrant for Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, accusing him of committing crimes against humanity.
* A son of the Libyan leader as well as his spy chief are also targeted.
* International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said “The evidence shows that Muammar Gaddafi personally ordered attacks on unarmed Libyan civilians. His second eldest son, Saif al-Islam, is the de facto prime minister. And (Abdullah) al-Sanussi, Gaddafi’s brother-in-law, is his right hand man, the executioner, the head of military intelligence. He personally commanded some of the attacks.”
* Saif has become a recognisable face on the international stage, defending his father’s crackdown on rebels.
* Libyan officials have already denounced the ICC prosecutor’s actions, saying the court is a creation of the West to prosecute African leaders.
* But rebel-held Benghazi had been crying out for such a move. ICC judges must now see if there is enough evidence for warrants to be issued.
1 July: Internal Report Shows Libya’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) Was in Chaos Even Before War,
* Internal audit completed by the Libyan Investment Authority, dated April 2010 revealed multi-billion dollar SWF pegged at a value of $64billion as of November 2010.
* Wracked by mismanagement and confusion almost a year before the country became embroiled in a civil war.
* In their analysis the auditors identified there were no effective policies in place to insulate the fund’s managers from conflicts of interests or taking bribes.
* Portfolio management tools, risk management tools, investment accounting, reconciliations and reporting systems are urgently required.
* Report detailed startling missteps and blunders, such as how the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) bought large currency hedges for currencies that it did not own.
* Picture emerges of Western firms descending on the fund taking advantage of the fund’s inexperience, overcharging selling it investments it didn’t need.
* Another leaked document dated September 30, 2010 revealed a furious LIA directing anger at its investment partners.
* Investments with BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, and the Permal fund of hedge funds all targets of criticism.
* High fees directly responsible for the poor results, the conclusion.
* SEC investigating multiple firms over possible illegalities involved with the LIA.
2 August: Libyan state television broadcasts a defiant message from Colonel Gaddafi’s son, at a time when the conflict shows signs of getting mired in stalemate.
* Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, who along with his father is accused by the International Criminal Court of crimes against humanity, told a group of families from Benghazi that fighting the rebels would continue come what may.
* No one should think that after the all sacrifices we have made and the martyrdom of our sons, brothers and friends, we will stop fighting. Forget it. Regardless of whether NATO leaves or not, the fighting will continue until all of Libya is liberated,” he said.
* If that did not happen, he added, they would continue fighting until they were all killed.
* The broadcast followed attempts to marginalise the Libyan leadership. Last month rebels welcomed an African Union offer to hold talks with the government without Colonel Gaddafi’s involvement.
* Britain’s Defence Secretary Liam Fox has admitted that military efforts alone will not be enough to topple him, saying the best chance of doing so is via a coup.
19 August: Ben Shatwan says billions stolen in Libya
* Questions are being asked about some in the Libyan rebel leadership. Who are they, and do they have clean hands?
* One of its leading spokesmen, Dr. Fathi Ben Shatwan was the industry minister for several years and then energy minister for two years.
* For years he was as close to Muammar Gaddafi as any non-family member, until 2006 when he quit the regime and fled on a small boat to Malta and from there to France.
* At interview he said “When the revolution began on February 20th I went to Misrata, my home town, with my family. I joined in the revolt for freedom, but after 45 days myself, Mustapha Abuljalil, the Justice Minister, and Interior Minister, Abdulfattah Younes and some others thought it would be better serving the revolution from Malta.
* He went on “As you know the revolution began peacefully, But the regime embarked on a violent route, which surprised everyone. This is the reason Britain, France, the United States and some other countries intervened. Remember when the bombardment of Benghazi began. If that had continued many innocent civilians would have died.
* I was Energy Minister, but in name only since for the last 10 years Saif Al Islam has been in charge of all economic affairs, the Libyan economy was in his hands.
* Those who worked on the Popular General Committee took their orders directly from him.”
* He was also in sole charge of transferring money and channelling funds abroad.
* Assessing oil production these last few years it would be safe to say that between $200-250 billion dollars US would have acrued.
* The bulk of it would have been transferred to investments or in other some other form.”
* Referring to Ghadhafi he said “I think the vice is tightening. He is encircled in a 50 kilometre circle around Tripoli.
* There are two options open to him. Continue to fight on with resulting high casualties or agree to a safe passage from Libya.
23 August: Gaddafi’s son free and confident of victory
* Saif al-Islam the son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has made a sudden appearance in the centre of Tripoli.
* Only hours earlier rebels and the International Criminal Court had said the 39-year-old had been captured.
* After jubilant supporters welcomed his arrival Saif al-Islam told journalists his father was safe and well and in Tripoli.
* Firstly I want to deny all the rumours, NATO and the West have modern technology and they blocked and jammed communications.
* They sent messages to the Libyan people through the internet. They stopped state broadcasts, and they’ve created a media and electronic war to spread chaos and fear in Libya.
* He told the BBC that by entering Tripoli, the rebels had fallen into “a trap” and that fighters loyal to his father were winning the battle for the capital.
* Gaddafi’s other son Mohammed who was taken by rebels while giving a live interview is now said to have escaped from house arrest.
* Muammar Gaddafi has not been seen in public since June although at the start of the uprising, he made several spontaneous and often bizarre appearances.
* Speculation is rife over the Libyan leader’s whereabouts. He could be in his Tripoli compound which his troops are fiercely defending or he could have fled to his home region of Sirte.
* Refuge in foreign countries cannot be ruled out although he has always vowed never to leave Libya.
24 August: White House: Obama method for regime change better than Bush method
* This week’s toppling of the Qaddafi regime in Libya shows that the Obama administration’s multilateral and light-footprint approach to regime change is more effective than the troop-heavy occupation-style approach used by the Bush administration in Iraq and Afghanistan, a top White House official told Foreign Policy today in a wide-ranging interview.
* Despite criticism from Congress and elsewhere, President Barack Obama’s strategy for the military intervention in Libya will not only result in a better outcome in Libya but also will form the basis of Obama’s preferred model for any future military interventions.
* On the role of the NATO operation in Libya, the civilian protection mission continues but that consultation will soon begin in Brussels on the conclusion of the mission.
* The need for the NATO protection mission is still present for now, Rhodes said, but the White House doesn’t anticipate the TNC requesting a peacekeeping force from NATO or the United Nations that involves any foreign boots on the ground. “There’s no plan for that type of effort,” he said.
* Rhodes said the drive to release between $1 billion and $1.5 billion of Qaddafi’s frozen assets to the TNC is moving along quickly. “We think that should be complete in the next few days and we don’t foresee an insurmountable problem there.”
* The Obama administration feels confident the TNC can manage the money and prevent it from being stolen or funneled to unsavory actors.
* The administration will also try to ensure the money goes to the urgent needs identified by the TNC.
27 August: Obama: ‘leading from behind’ on Libya
* Downfall of Muammar Gaddafi has been claimed by the White House as a vindication of President Barack Obama’s decision to “lead from behind”.
* Almost as soon as the rebels reached Tripoli, the administration’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, Ben Rhodes, began spinning the media that Obama’s light footprint approach to regime change was infinitely superior to the Bush approach.
* Administration officials fell over themselves to point out that the entire operation had not cost a single American casualty. One official even crowed that “Reagan targeted Gaddafi; George W Bush targeted Bin Laden; Obama has done both.”
* American commentators were not far behind the administration in declaring this operation as a victory for President Obama.
* Some wondered whether the Libya operation would aid President Obama’s chances at re-election. Others declared it a “nuanced victory” for a reluctant wartime president.
* Still others complained that President Obama was not getting enough credit from Republicans for his strategy of “limited engagement” in Libya.
* Even the normally sensible Fareed Zakaria heralded the Libya operation as ushering in a “new era in US foreign policy”.
* Such fulsome praise put the Republicans in a particularly difficult bind. Most of the current Republican leadership were cheerleaders for President Bush in his bloody experiment with regime change in Iraq, but are now tying themselves in knots trying not to credit Obama for his own regime change intervention in the Middle East.
* Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham even released a statement that congratulated the British and French but expressed “regret that this success was so long in coming due to the failure of the United States to employ the full weight of our airpower”.
* The most evasive response came from GOP candidate Mitt Romney, who kept changing the subject in his media appearances by insisting that Libya hand over those behind the Lockerbie bombing to US authorities.
* Such self-aggrandisement, spin and dishonesty is predictable but disheartening. At the most basic level, the Beltway take on Libya reveals the narcissistic myopia of the American political establishment.
* On both sides of the political divide, American foreign policy experts seem incapable of imagining a crisis that does not demand more American “leadership”.
* They cannot believe that events such as the revolution in Libya are possible without the backing of America or that such events are not necessarily a referendum on the foreign policy of the sitting American president.
* Neither side questions the hyperactive interventionism of American foreign policy or challenges the premise that “regime change” should be pursued even when (as in Libya) it falls well outside the limits of the UN mandate.
* The focus on scoring this war as a “win” for one side in American politics is merely symptomatic of how detached and self-regarding this establishment is.
* It is absolutely true that the US deployed special forces to coordinate with the rebels and used its intelligence and satellite assets to facilitate Nato airstrikes in support of their advances.
* But any glance at television images from Libya makes clear that those doing the fighting (and dying) are Libyan.
* The overthrow of this odious regime – one that murdered its own people, supported terrorism and committed grave human rights abuses – should be credited to the Libyan people, not to Obama, Prime Minister Cameron or any of the other supporting players.
* Even if one wanted to engage in point-scoring for domestic American politics, it is hard to call this messy war a victory for the Obama administration.
* As argued previously, the Obama administration’s “strategy” in Libya – if, indeed, it merits the term – has been incoherent and contradictory.
* The performance of Nato hardly inspired confidence, taking six months of sporadic bombing to remove a decrepit regime that had already lost control of half of its territory.
* And as many others have noted, neither the US nor Europe appears to have a plan for managing the aftermath of the regime’s collapse.
* If this is a victory, it is one produced by circumstance and a fair amount of luck, rather than any ingenious plan from Washington.
* Obama administration has also waded into this mess in Libya without pausing to consider its regional implications. Until very recently, Gaddafi was held up for praise as a rehabilitated former enemy who gave up his weapons of mass destruction in return for diplomatic ties and trading relationships with the US and Europe.
* But when his people turned against him, his new allies were willing to throw Gaddafi under a bus to get on the right side of the Arab Spring.
* Of course, there were reasons for this: better to bet on the side of the young people seeking their freedom than on an autocratic ruler who had held power for 42 years.
* But even if the decision to abandon political support for Gaddafi was prudent and morally justifiable after the Libyan uprising, it does not follow that the US had to go further by supporting the rebels in forcing his removal, especially if this has dangerous regional implications.
* What conclusions will Syria and Iran draw from this turn of events?
* The decision to militarily back the rebels will remind these nervous regimes in the Middle East of the value of WMD programmes as an insurance policy against an aggressive and opportunistic America.
* Before he surrendered his weapons programme in 2003, Gaddafi was courted and threatened, but his regime remained intact; without them, he was cast aside as soon as a credible alternative appeared.
* After this experience, Iran, Syria and similar regimes may conclude that surrendering their weapons programmes or even opening themselves up to the West carries more dangers than it does rewards.
* It is one thing to withdraw support from a dictator who was past his sell-by date, but it is quite another to militarily back the overthrow of a regime if the consequence is to accelerate the nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
* Finally, it is hard to call this a victory for the US given the blatant unconstitutionality of the operation.
* President Obama waged the entire campaign to overthrow Gaddafi without authorisation under the War Powers Act because his lawyers insisted that “US operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve US ground troops.” But the last few days have shown that this was clearly untrue.
* The US ultimately fought a covert war for regime change in Libya – its third violent overthrow of a government in the Middle East in ten years – without congressional authorisation and with barely a word of explanation to the American public.
* Even those glad to see the end of the Gaddafi’s rule will find it hard to celebrate yet another war waged by presidential prerogative alone.
29 August: wounded Gaddafi loyalist calls for peace
* Many Gaddafi loyalists wounded in the battle for Tripoli are now in the same hospital in the Libyan capital.
* Mustafa Saeed Awedat was wounded. His father is an important military commander whose clan is close enough to that of the Gaddafi’s to make him part of the family.
* Mustafa advised he had only taken part in fighting in Tripoli and had not left the city.
* I want to send a message to all the Libyan people, to my family, to my people to my brothers. They all love Muammar Gaddafi and should still love him but without bloodshed.
* Those who support the rebels can stay with the rebels also without bloodshed.
* The February 17 revolution came with freedom and democracy.
* Don’t let freedom of speech be built on blood between you, and don’t let it be like my legs,” he added, pulling back the blanket to reveal heavily bandaged limbs.
* Don’t let the hatred between you make you enemies. It’s not like people say, that Libya is many tribes. Libya is one tribe – it’s the tribe of Libya.
9 September: Interpol ‘Red Notice’ issued for Gaddafi
* Interpol has joined the hunt for Muammar Gaddafi.
* The world police organisation has issued what it calls a Red Notice for the arrest of the former dictator.
* His son Saif Al-Islam and former director of military intelligence Abdullah Al-Senussi are also the subject of notices.
* The International Criminal Court has requested Gaddafi’s arrest on charges of crimes against humanity, including murder and persecution.
* Gaddafi has so far avoided capture, but opposition forces say they are confident he will be found.
* A convoy of pro-Gaddafi officials, including a top general, this week fled to Niger, and there has been speculation that Gaddafi himself may try to go there.
* But Niger says it will respect its commitments to the International Criminal Court if the ousted leader or his sons enter the country.
20 October: Nato Winds Down Libyan War Effort After 26,000 Air Missions
* Nato’s conduct during the campaign heavily criticised, particularly over the potential damage it has done to the UN concept of “responsibility to protect”.
* Dr Jonathan Eyal, senior fellow at Rusi, advanced “The moment the resolution passed, the West proceeded to interpret it in any way it wished.
* Officially, military intervention intended to protect civilians in Benghazi. But after Benghazi had been secured, the operation expanded and became open-ended.
* Officially the aim was not regime change, but many argued that this was precisely the objective.
* UN arms embargo had been set aside allowing Qatar to supply the rebels. A senior Whitehall source conceded “It was inevitably about regime change at the end of the day.”
* Though Nato insisted it worked within the UN resolution, it took its meaning to the legal limits to help bring down Gaddafi, and then provide support to hunt him down.
* Eyal said “the more this strategy is repeated, the more reluctant other countries will be provide a handful of western nations a blank cheque to use force.
* The West may be preventing the concept of humanitarian intervention from taking shape through its own short-sighted behaviour.”
* On a more parochial level, Libya stretched the British military. It was the first time Eurofighter Typhoons unsuited to the task had been used in a ground attack role.
* RAF relied heavily on ageing Tornado’s due to be slashed in number. The UK badly missed the aircraft carrier Ark Royal, scrapped in defence cuts the year before.
20 October: Colonel Muammar Gaddafi obituary • Muammar al-Gaddafi, politician and soldier, born 1942; died 20 October 2011
20 October: Muammar Gaddafi’s death averts legal headache for National Transitional Council
* Death of Muammar Gaddafi avoids a potentially fraught legal process that could have pitted Libya’s NTC against the demands of international justice.
* His death will have prompted huge relief in several western capitals. In the dock, there was every prospect that the former dictator, with nothing to lose, would have spilled embarrassing secrets about Libya’s relations with leading European powers, international oil firms and former statesmen such as Tony Blair.
* Many oil corporations struck lucrative deals with his regime. including BP, Italy’s ENI and France’s Total. They too must be breathing a sigh of relief.
21 October: Has Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam been arrested?
* Captured or still on the run? The question remains with conflicting reports about the fate of Muammar Gaddafi’s most high-profile son, Saif al-Islam.
* Some sources say he has been arrested in the coastal city of Zlitan, around 300 kilometres west of Sirte, after suffering serious injuries in a bombing raid.
* Others suggest he escaped the clan’s final showdown and is heading across the Sahara for Niger, which has given refuge to another son and other senior aides.
* Saif al-Islam, once considered a possible heir-apparent to his father, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
23 November ICC: Saif al-Islam to be tried in Libya
* Libyan transitional government has been given a stamp of approval by the international criminal court.
* ICC had earlier issued a warrant for Colonel Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam. But they now say they have confidence, that the new government can deal with his trial, internally.
* Abdullah al-Senussi, Gaddafi’s former spy chief, is also to be put on trial. He was captured by fighters not far from where Saif al-Islam was seized a day earlier.
* France has said it may ask for his extradition in relation to an airliner bombing in 1989.
* Louis Moreno-Ocampo, ICC chief prosecutor said “Libya is now established, it is a new government and they have the right to prosecute Saif and Sennussi here, and in according to our rules the primacy is with the national system. If they conduct the proceedings, the court will not intervene.”
* It has not been all plain sailing for the new government however, as a number of Libya’s clans have said they will refuse to recognise it.
* Colonel Gaddafi ruled the country for over 40 years and expertly managed the tribes, but rivalries are beginning to revive which threaten the countries stability.
23 November: New Libyan government aims to soothe rivalries
* Security, stability and a return to normal life are the priorities outlined by Libya’s new transitional government, unveiled by interim Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib.
* National reconciliation is another key aim amid growing signs of regional tension, three months after the end of Muammar Gaddafi’s rule.
* A Tripoli resident said “I would like to advise them to look after the Libyan people as they have suffered for 42 years under Gaddafi’s regime and before that under Italian and Turkish colonisation. But we are optimistic and hope for the best. We hope good times lies ahead.”
* The NTC cabinet will run Libya until elections are held. And that is no easy task in a country still deep in the wreckage of the failed state that is Libya.
7 October 1986: Hansard question – Andrew Dunlop identified as a SPAD
Mr. O’Neill: Asked the Secretary of State for Defence in what capacity Mr. Andrew Dunlop is working for his Department; what is his Civil Service status; if the normal rules of establishment have been waived in each case; for what duration he is employed; what are his duties; what payments he will receive from public funds; what is his grade; and what access to classified documents he is to be given.
Mr. Younger: Mr. Andrew Dunlop has been appointed as my special adviser. His role is to assist me on defence policy matters generally, with particular reference to their political aspects. His appointment has been made on the same basis as that of other special advisers, which is that for the period of his appointment he is a civil servant and is subject to the appropriate terms and conditions of service in force in the Civil Service. He will be paid by the Ministry of Defence at a rate on the grade 7 (principal) pay scale, currently £16,899 per annum. Mr. Dunlop has been subject to positive vetting and he will have access to official documents on a need-to-know basis. http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/written_answers/1986/oct/27/mr-andrew-dunlop
Viscount George Younger
1987: Identified as, Scottish and right wing, Andrew Dunlop, together with John Houston, David Cameron and a few other bright young future leaders were transferred to 10 Downing Street to work for Margaret Thatcher’s inner cabinet. He left politics and formed his own consultancy in 1991. (But old friendships never die, see later)
David Cameron & Mrs Thatcher
8 February 2002: Andrew Dunlop’s – Politics International – forms a working alliance with Scottish Agency – Pagoda PR
Andrew Dunlop’s, London-based lobbying shop, Politics International formed an alliance with Scotland-based Pagoda PR, formerly PS Communications. The agencies will jointly pitch for new business and embark on marketing initiatives. Pagoda is an Edinburgh-based PR and lobbying company run by the former head of the Institute of Public Relations Scotland Ian Coldwell.
Former Edinburgh Council leader Keith Geddes
Sir Michael Hirst
2005: Pagoda PR ran into controversy in a conflict of interest case.
An argument over a lucrative contract involving some of Scotland’s highest-profile PR firms has landed on the desk of Communities Minister Malcolm Chisholm. It follows Edinburgh City Council’s decision to award a £250,000 deal to work on the Edinburgh housing stock transfer programme to Pagoda PR, based in Edinburgh.
Pagoda – chaired by former Tory minister Sir Michael Hirst and with former Edinburgh Council leader Keith Geddes as policy director – won a four-way pitch for the prestigious contract. However, concerns have been raised when it was revealed that Pagoda also listed Communities Scotland, the stock transfer regulator, as one of their clients.
Pagoda had already undertaken a number of consultation programmes on housing stock transfer programmes throughout Scotland. The firm had worked with Scottish Borders Council from the initial tenant consultation through to a successful ballot in favour of transfer providing advice on public consultation, focusing on tenants and other stakeholders such as housing staff, voluntary agencies, elected members, community organisations and the wider public.
Pagoda worked with the Highland Council on 52 public meetings and roadshows consulting tenants on the options for future ownership and management of council housing, and the firm was working with Inverclyde and Aberdeen City on a similar consultation and communication exercise.
Ian Coldwell, managing director of Pagoda, said he was awaiting confirmation from Edinburgh Council to confirm the housing transfer account was theirs. He said they no longer worked directly for Communities Scotland: “We carried out a short internal communications audit for Communities Scotland a year ago and are no longer retained by them. We do not see why this is in any way relevant. “We are extremely pleased to have won the Edinburgh tender. It is the latest of a number of communication contracts we have won against Beattie in recent months. We believe we have a very strong public sector offering and are disappointed that Beattie should choose to respond in this way.” A spokesperson for Communities Scotland confirms that Pagoda worked for them in 2003 on an internal communication project for their staff.
In April 2015 Pagoda bought fellow Scottish PR firm Porter Novelli International to form Pagoda Porter Novelli. They operate out of the existing Pagoda offices in Eyre Place, Edinburgh. Porter MD Angela Casey is the MD of the firm, Ian Coldwell, former MD of Pagoda, is deputy chairman and Sir Michael Hirst remains as Chairman.
Ian Coldwell & Angela Casey
Angela Casey is the managing director of the new company, Pagoda Porter Novelli, the firm created by the merger between Porter Novelli International and Pagoda Public Relations. She is the former managing director of Porter Novelli. Casey who is a former Conservative Party advisor, working ‘for a time with one of the sector’s largest practitioners, the London-based Westminster Strategy, where she spent four years. Before working for Mr Portillo, she was PA to Lynda Chalker MP between 1984 and 1987. She was formerly part of Countrywide Political, which then became part of GPC.
The CM Porter Novelli bio states: A former assistant to two government ministers, Angela Casey has worked in PR and public affairs in Westminster, Brussels and Scotland and has a background in PR and politics at national, UK and international levels. Angela is an expert in crisis and issues communications and has unparalleled experience in improving communication between business and politicians – she currently runs a number of high profile public affairs campaigns. Angela also has a track record of professional service PR having worked with a range of firms to raise their profile through thought leadership and commentary, including: Baker Tilly; Fyfe Ireland WS; WS Society and Hewlett Packard. She has led many successful client programmes and has particular expertise in campaigning and public sector issues, having worked for OSCR, City of Edinburgh Council, VisitScotland and FETA. She is Chairman of the Scottish PRCA – the representative body for the PR industry; a past Convenor of the Association for Scottish Public Affairs; and a member of the Institute of Directors (IOD) Scotland Committee.
John Houston( 2nd.right)
5 July 2002: Andrew Dunlop’s – PA shop Politics International – forms an alliance with Brussels lobbying firm – Houston Consulting Europe.
The firm this week announced a deal by which it will pitch for business and jointly market services with the Belgian shop. It marks another step in the company’s attempt to establish a Europe-wide lobbying network. Agency MD Andrew Dunlop and Houston founder John Houston said the arrangement would be exclusive but both firms would remain financially independent. They have known each other since they advised Thatcher’s Tory government – Dunlop to defence secretary George Younger and Houston to foreign secretary Geoffrey Howe. Houston clients include JP Morgan Chase. PI clients include Virgin Atlantic and shipbuilder Vosper Thornycroft.
John Houston is considered one of the most influential financial sector lobbyists in Brussels. He is a former member of the Cabinet of the European Commissioner responsible for financial services and ran his own lobbying consultancy for many years until becoming a senior partner at public relations firm Kreab Gavin Anderson in 2008.
John Houston is a senior public affairs consultant and one of the most prominent Brussels consultants in the financial services policy field. has worked for most major banks at some point. He advised several of the world’s largest companies and financial institutions on EU matters. He has been in the consultancy business since 1988, initially in the City of London and since 1990 in Brussels. Previously, John was a member of the Cabinet of the European Commissioner responsible for financial services, a political journalist, and a special advisor to the British foreign minister. He was the founding chairman of the European Public Affairs Consultancies Association and sits on its management committee. According to the Financial News he was described by one banking sector public relations professional as the best industry lobbyist in Brussels.
2005: Site identfying the worst examples of European Union Lobbying in the year.
Houston and his firm were nominated for the 2005 Worst Lobbying Awards, for their role ‘role running the European Parliamentary Financial Services Forum (EPFSF). The EPFSF brings together Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and lobbyists from Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, Société Générale and numerous other financial services giants. Their success was quoted in the Wall Street Journal, who describe how banking lobbyists used the EPFSF to water down the EU Money Laundering Directive, voted on in May this year’. http://archive.worstlobby.eu/2005/nominees/houston.html
6 October 2008: Kreab Group has bought the Brussels based Houston Consulting Europe.
Houston merged with Kreab Brussels, (later Kreab & Gavin Anderson Worldwide) in September 2008. John Houston became a Senior Partner in Kreab Group and the combined Brussels team comprised more than 40 specialists.
Charlotte Erkhammar, CEO of Kreab. “For Kreab, this is a substantial step forward. Since we established our business in Brussels in 1992 we have grown to be a leading force in European Affairs. Acquiring Houston Consulting provides us with an opportunity to extend our expertise further.”
John Houston, Founder and CEO of Houston Consulting. “I am immensely pleased to be joining forces with Kreab, a company that shares a similar approach to building long-term relationships with clients. Our existing customers will now have access to a wider range of high quality services and the international reach of Kreab Group”.
Georg Danell, Managing Partner of Kreab Brussels: “With our combined offering we represent a formidable force in Brussels. In addition to our leading positions in other fields such as competition and environment, we can now add a very impressive capacity in financial sector issues. We are looking forward to developing the benefits that will result from joining together two highly skilled multi-cultural teams”. http://www.gorkana.com/news/all/general-news/kreab-acquires-houston-consulting-europe-2/
22 August 2011: Andrew Dunlop’s Interel (formerly Politics International Ltd, founded 1991) Shortlisted for Consultancy of the Year 2010/11
The ‘revolving door’ culture of business, lobbying and government sees senior political figures work on behalf of companies as lobbyists, often using political connections to gain political access.
Almost 20 years of Dunlop’s professional life is linked to a corporate lobbying company which he founded. In 1991 after leaving No 10 Downing Street, he founded and greatly expanded the lobbying firm Politics International (now Interel Consulting) in 1991. He later coordinated a merger with Interel in July 2010.
After the merger in 2010 George McGregor was promoted internally to MD and Andrew Dunlop became Executive Chairman. The energised team won a series of major blue chip clients and increased turnover in the first six months of trading and added a slew of major names to the roster over the course of the year. The award entry is based on the outstanding success since it’s launch. The team was then strengthened with five additional consultants including senior advisors from the Conservative and Liberal Democrat election teams.
The company continues to provide political advice to major companies, including their relations with government. The Scotland Office did not comment on whether Dunlop’s work as a corporate lobbyist represents a conflict of interest in his new role by time of publication
Clients of Politics International:
Airtanker Ltd Amicus Healthcare Ascent Astrium Ltd BAA Stansted BACTA BALPPA BBCWorldwideBritish Horseracing BoardBritish Transport Police Authority BCP Ltd BT plc Careers England Chemical Industries Association, CIPD, Cory Environmental Ltd, Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence, Covanta, Disability Rights Commission, DSG International, EADS, Fairbridge, General Healthcare Group, Independent Airport Park & Ride Association, Kapsch TrafficCom AG, Learning 21 Ltd, Local Government Association, Medical Research Council, Met Office, National Express Group, Paragon Group of Companies Plc, Peel Environmental Ltd, Portman Group, Regional Airports Ltd, SAB, Miller plc, Serco Integrated Transport, St John Ambulance, Total E&P UK plc, Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd, Virgin Management Ltd, VT Group Plc, Wellcome Trust, World Challenge Expeditions
Clients of Intelel:
Abellio, Baby Products Association, Balppa (British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers & Attractions Limited), Berwin Leighton Paisner, BMT, Careers Development Group, CH2M Hill, The Coca-Cola Company, Coca Cola Great Britain, Covanta Energy Ltd, Electricity North West, General Dynamics UK, Invensys plc, Kapsch TrafficCom AG, Manchester Airports Group, Mersey Gateway, A Nelson and Co Ltd, North Asset Management, Northrop Grumman, Oikos Storage Ltd, Paragon Group of Companies plc, Paypoint plc, Peel Environmental Ince Ltd , Peel Holdings (Land and Property) Ltd, Project Management Institute, SAAB Training Systems, SABMiller plc, Sahaviriya Steel Industries Public Company Limited, St John Ambulance, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Management Ltd, Virgin Money Ltd, Virgin Trains, VT Defence, VT Government & Critical Services, VT Group plc, Wise Employment.
Major Players in the London Office:
Andrew Dunlop – Chief Executive Chairman – was born in Helensburgh, schooled in Glasgow and studied politics and economics at Edinburgh University under former Labour MP for Berwick and East Lothian and leading proponent of devolution, Professor JP MacIntosh. He founded Politics International Ltd. in 1991 and served as its Managing Director. Started his career in international banking, before joining the Conservative Research Department, first as an Adviser on Trade & Industry matters, and then as head of its Political Section. He went on to become Special Adviser to Sir George Younger and John Major. He graduated to Mrs Thatcher’s inner circle as one of the seven members of her “policy unit”, specialising in defence, employment, tax reform and Scotland. In that capacity, for two and a half year’s he played a key role in discussions over the introduction of the hated Poll Tax in Scotland in 1989 – a year earlier than the rest of Britain. He has worked for a broad range of clients, specialising in the transport, defence, and financial services sectors. He also advised clients involved in mergers and acquisitions, co-ordinating Politics International’s Competition & Regulation Practice. He graduated in economics from Glasgow University and holds a Post Graduate Diploma in European Competition Law from King’s College, London. He has spent most of his working life south of the Border and is a well-known right wing Thatcherite in the Conservative power structure.
George McGregor – Managing Partner and Group Head of Public Affairs – Works with a range of blue chip clients providing strategic counsel, devising their public affairs strategies and lobbying campaigns. His client work won him a UK Campaign of the Year Award organised by Public Affairs News. He was Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for Scotland (Helen Liddell) Having lead responsibility for ensuring partnership working between the UK Government and the Scottish executive, and shaped media strategy for the department. Served as a Member of Labour’s National Policy Forum, responsible for drafting sections of Labour’s Scottish manifesto for the 2001 General Election. Before that, he was head of policy for UNISON Scotland, an economist for the Employment Department and a researcher for a U.S. Congressman in Washington DC. George graduated from the University of Glasgow with an MA (Hons) in Economics and Politics.
Stephen Edwards – Deputy Managing Partner – Specialising in national and local public service delivery. He is also Group Head of Technology. He started his career as a researcher at the Foreign Policy Centre, the leading foreign policy think-tank, and at the Highways Agency. He has also worked in local government. He is a highly experienced public affairs operator with over twelve years of experience. His Mersey Gateway campaign won the CIPR PRiDE gold award in 2012, and he was short-listed for Public Affairs News Consultant of the Year in 2012. He holds an MSc in Politics from LSE.
Lee Whitehill – Group Marketing Director – Worked for the Labour Party, before and during the 2005 General Election after which he joined Politics International as a Consultant of Politics, focusing on its defence and aerospace clients. Based in London where he now leads the consumer and leisure sector he has worked with a number of major clients in food and drink, customer services and technology. He has deep experience of defence and security and political campaigning. In 2010 he won the Public Affairs News campaign of the year award and has worked on a number of successful commercial procurements in defence and the emergency services. Before joining the company, he was Head of Campaigns and Media for Amicus, Britain’s largest private sector trade union where he dealt with a range of high profile national issues on behalf of the Union, at both a national and the European level.. He was a founding director of the Corporate Social Responsibility Foundation. He holds the Chartered Institute of Public Relations Diploma.
Katherine Morgan – Director and Group Head of Financial Services – She has over seven years’ consultancy experience. She has provided strategic counsel and advice to a range of organisations from Blue Chip companies to trade bodies and charities. Her previous clients include RSA Insurance Group, EDF Energy, Network Rail, and Everything Everywhere. She has also successfully delivered lobbying campaigns for a wide range organisations from large national trade bodies to private equity groups and pension funds. Prior to consultancy, she worked for the civil service in the Treasury and European Commission for eight years. She worked on euro and macro-economic policy; health and expenditure policy and specialised in national and international taxation. She also worked for three years as the Private Secretary to a Minister of State, The Paymaster General. She has a BA in History and a Masters degree in European Politics and Policy from the LSE.
Oliver Waghorn – Corporate Communications and Public Policy, UK Ministry of Defence – Joined Interel in 2013 to head up the Defence and Security practice. Prior to joining the team he worked as a freelance public policy and political risk adviser supporting a range of corporate clients in the UK and overseas. Before that he was appointed as Special Adviser by the UK Prime Minister to the Ministry of Defence working in a range of policy areas including industrial policy, finance and trade. He brings with him extensive corporate communications skills, an in-depth understanding of Government policy and a detailed knowledge of the aerospace and defence sectors.
Stephen Bramall – leads on transport in London – With over thirty five year’s experience of working in the transport sector, both within government and as a seasoned public affairs practitioner, he has unrivalled experience in developing comprehensive strategies to inform and shape transport policy and to manage campaigns to advance a client’s commercial interests. With significant experience of the various legislative processes, procurement procedures and stakeholder engagement strategies, He provides the highest level strategic counsel to transport interests, as well as providing hands on practical advice on the most effective way to inform and shape transport policy and procurement strategies.
Lindsey Paterson – leads on strategy and innovation across the Group – She works on a number of client accounts at a strategic level, particularly in relation to new technologies and digital campaigning and manages Interel’s digital and creative team. Her background spans both the private and the public sector – she has significant experience in public affairs in the UK and in the EU, as well as experience in development aid and of running her own business. She trained as a solicitor before being appointed Director, International at the Law Society of Scotland. She also ran a technical assistance programme at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which helped the countries of Central and Eastern Europe to join the EU. She lived in France for 10 years, where she started a business, and consulted for the European Commission, the Council of the Bars and Law Societies of Europe and for Iconoculture, a global future trends consultancy.
Toby Kay – leads Interel’s digital practice across the group – Works collaboratively with our offices around the globe. Responsible for developing Interel’s internal and external digital strategy, He also leads on key client projects and accounts. He has been working in digital since 1997. He started his career as a journalist for The Times before moving into digital strategy for News International. Since then he has headed digital departments a wide range of companies in the media and travel sectors. His previous campaign experience has been with organisations as diverse as Royal Mail, English National Opera and Thomas Cook. He holds a BA and an MA in English literature from Queen Mary’s, London University.
Bob Lewis – Group Head of Association Management practice – Provides strategic counsel to clients, specialising in certification programs, outreach campaigns, strategy and business development. With a 27 year management career spanning public (education), private and voluntary sectors, he has built a strong track record of highly effective leadership, advocacy and stakeholder management. Prior to assuming chairmanship, he was Interel’s Group Chief Operating Officer for 5 years. He has also held a number of voluntary positions including member of the Open University Governing Council and has contributed to a range of national and international advisory groups including the Africa Policy Advisory Group at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the New Deal Advisory Group at the Treasury, both for the UK government.
Mary McCue – Director – Began her career in association management in 1989 as an International Marketing Specialist at Smith Bucklin & Associates in Washington DC, where she conducted worldwide export promotion programs under USDA grant funding for three associations in the agricultural commodities and agribusiness sectors. In 1993, she left Washington to launch Interel Association Management in Brussels, Belgium. During her tenure as Director of IAM Brussels from 1993-2001, she served as Executive Director or Marketing Director for six trade associations, one professional society and one international trade federation. The industry and professional sectors of her clients included food & agriculture, human resource management, strategic account management, telecommunications & enterprise computing, manufacturing & home textiles. In 2001, she moved to London as Managing Director of LoBue & Majdalany Association Management, tasked with setting up L&M’s newly formed UK subsidiary to serve two clients in the telecommunications and technology sectors. She returned to Interel Association Managemnent in October 2014 as a Director in the UK office. Before entering the association management profession, she worked in marketing for the translation division of Berlitz International and at the Institute of European Studies in Vienna, Austria. She has lived and worked in Europe for over 25 years. She holds an MBA (Merit) from Open University London and a B.A. in German from Rice University, Houston Texas.
Hannah Carmichael – Associate Director – With considerable experience of communications and event organisation in association management, she joined Interel in November 2011 and is currently focused on furthering the Project Management Institute strategy to develop awareness in large UK corporations. She previously worked for the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions prior to joining Interel successfully raising its profile in the UK and internationally. Within the leisure industry she has worked with a number of other professional and trade associations as well as key industry stakeholders and the UK government to deliver a consistent strategy across the tourism sector.
Brian Wadsworth – Associate Director – Formerly Director for Strategic Roads, Planning and National Networks at the Department for Transport. He is Chairman of the Board of the European Maritime Safety Agency and enjoys a global reputation in shipping following 10 years as Director of Logistics and Maritime Transport at the Department. He has extensive experience in transport privatisation and restructuring and led on the liberalisation of the rail freight sector and is a former advisor to the World Bank. He has also served as a Private Secretary to two Ministers of Transport.
Craig Stanley-Adamson – Head of Research and Intelligence – Joined Interel in 2014. Leads the Research and Monitoring Team having spent the previous 2 years in policy research roles in the House of Commons and leading think tanks. Following the completion of his postgraduate studies in 2012, Craig interned at the United Nations Office in Geneva working on Mine Action across the world’s conflict zones and weapons conventions. He spent the next 12 months as assistant to two Conservative Party MPs in the House of Commons researching various current issues and Government policies. In 2013 Craig worked on UK foreign affairs policy at the Henry Jackson Society and UK tech policy at techUK. Craig completed a BA in History & International Relations in 2011 and a MA in International Security & Counter-terrorism in 2012.
Amanda Gdula – Political Consultant – Joined Interel’s Defence and Security team in 2014 after completing her MA in War Studies at King’s College London. Previously, she worked providing in-house Government Relations insight at European defence contractors EADS and Thales. Before that, she supported clients in US local government, health, and defence at a Washington D.C. public affairs consulting firm. She brings a wealth of knowledge in policy analysis, strategic communications, and defence procurement to the Interel team. Prior to her studies in London, she conducted research at the International Institute for Counterterrorism in Herzliya, Israel. She holds a BA in International Relations and Marketing from American University in Washington D.C., and has completed language and economics coursework at universities in Italy and Argentina.
Anna Jobbing – Consultant – Returned to Interel in May 2014 as a consultant, having previously completed a placement year in 2010 as a Monitoring and Research Assistant. She has valuable experience across both public affairs and PR after spending two years at a consultancy specialising in public policy campaigns. During this time she co-ordinated stakeholder engagement programmes and media delivery across a range of sectors, including education, finance and transport. Her clients included FTSE 100 companies, national charities and international organisations. She has also worked in the House of Commons for Glenda Jackson MP and in the communications department of Essex County Council.
Mike Blakeney – Consultant – Joined Interel Consulting in September 2013 and works with clients spanning the consumer, leisure, tourism, energy and professional sectors. Prior to joining Interel he worked at Bell Pottinger and Good Relations. His work involved public affairs and communications campaigns for a range of clients including supermarket chain Waitrose and the Queen’s private estate, the Duchy of Lancaster. He graduated with a BA (Hons) in Politics from the University of Surrey in 2008 and later completed an MSc in Political Communication. During his MSc he was also involved with the campaign to get current UK Labour leader, Ed Miliband, elected in 2010.
20 October 2011: British political scandal – The Atlantic Bridge Charity
Atlantic Bridge connected right-wing political groups in America and the UK, including senior economic and military figures. It claimed to be a charity and educational group. Dunlop sat as a trustee on its board, before it was wound up following criticism of its activities by the Charity Commission. The Commission demanded in 2010 that Atlantic Bridge’s “current activities must cease immediately” because “the activities of the charity have not furthered any of its other charitable purposes in any way”. Investigations into its conduct found that “the activities of the charity are promoting a political policy which is closely associated with the Conservative Party”.
The Atlantic Bridge scandal resulted in the resignation of Liam Fox as a Tory minister. Investigations focused on Adam Werritty (executive director of Atlantic Bridge) and his relationship with Fox. The role of Atlantic Bridge trustees in the scandal largely escaped scrutiny due to the distraction provided by the departure of Liam Fox..
24 October 2011: Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Secretary, Philip Hammond recruits Interel consultant as special adviser (SPAD)
Graham Hook moved to Interel after the 2010 general election, having been an assistant director in the Conservative Party’s research department. At Conservative HQ, Hook managed the ‘briefing team’, responsible for briefing David Cameron and members of the shadow cabinet for high-profile media appearances. Graham Hook is to be a special adviser for the secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs Philip Hammond. He gets paid an annual salary of £65,000 for his special adviser role. He previously worked as a special adviser to Justine Greening in her role as transport secretary in October 2011.
Hague, Cameron, Osborne
18 March 2012: Cameron’s recruits old friend and colleague Andrew Dunlop as a SPAD to his referendum team
Andrew Dunlop, at 52 several years older than the Prime Minister and a genuine greybeard quietly left Interel. Recruited on a £74,000 salary as the Prime Minister’s personal adviser on Scottish affairs, with a special remit to help defeat independence. His links to the campaign are unlikely to improve relations between the UK Government and the Scottish Government or engeder trust and cooperation..
Yesterday SNP MSP Stuart Maxwell said: “Questions must be asked on what role a young Mr Dunlop – a policy adviser to Thatcher in tax reform and Scotland in the late Eighties – had in the implementation of the Poll Tax in Scotland. It is also interesting that the Prime Minister has employed a so-called expert on Scotland who lives in the south of England. The people of Scotland deserve transparent politicians, not Tories who don’t even live in the country they hope to rule over. Cameron’s new Thatcherite appointment will result in even more people opting for home rule with independence.” http://www._express.co.uk/news/uk/308827/Questions-over-Cameron-s-new-independence-adviser-s-link-to-poll-tax
2 July 2012: Tory lobbyist Andrew Dunlop – the attorney general, the charity and a lucky escape
There is a epilogue to the saga of The Atlantic Bridge, the faux charity chaired by ex minister Liam Fox. It was wound up last year after complaints to the Charity Commission that its business was not charity but politics. The Trustees were Professor Patrick Minford, of Conservative Way Forward, Lord Astor of Hever and the Tory lobbyist Andrew Dunlop. Forgive them, said the commission; they didn’t know the law governing their responsibilities. And with the release of a supplementary report, we have a better sense of one of the factors the commission had to consider in deciding what to do about the misapplication of charitable funds and the possible recovery of those funds from the trustees themselves. For “such proceedings can only be brought with the consent of the attorney general”. No evidence of bad faith was found, the commission makes clear, so perhaps the issue is moot. But it would have been fascinating to see what Dominic Grieve would have done, had the hot potato of Tory charitable shenanigans reached his desk.
05 September 2013: Policymaker Roundtable with Andrew Dunlop
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23 December 2013: Scotland slams UK-Spain independence ‘stitch-up
Alex Salmond, the Scottish First Minister, has accused the Spanish and British governments of “plotting hand-in-glove” to “stitch-up” Scotland ahead of its forthcoming referendum on independence from the United Kingdom.
The comments were made on Saturday after it emerged that a Cabinet Office official working on Scottish constitutional issues and Andrew Dunlop, Downing Street’s Scotland adviser, were apparently invited to visit by the Spanish government.
Details of the trip were met with fury by Alex Salmond who lambasted the meeting as an attempt to sabotage the ‘pro-independence campaign, which he leads. He told the Scottish Sunday Herald: “David Cameron’s Spanish stitch-up exposes the fact that anything the Prime Minister of Spain says about Scotland is at the behest of the Westminster Tory government. “We now know that the Prime Minister sanctioned Downing Street plotting with their Spanish counterparts to interfere in Scotland’s referendum, and they are clearly working hand in glove.” The trip follows damaging comments by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy about Scotland’s EU membership in the case of a vote for national independence.
13 Jan 2014 Point of Order Andrew Dunlop – Hansard
Angus Robertson (Moray) (SNP): On a point of order, Mr Speaker. At Prime Minister’s questions last week, the Prime Minister said, in relation to the Scottish independence referendum, that the subject was one for “debate among the people in Scotland.”
However, we have learned that a Cabinet Office official working on Scottish constitutional issues and Andrew Dunlop, who is Downing street’s Scotland adviser, have been co-ordinating in Madrid with the Spanish Government in opposition to independence. Meanwhile, the official ITAR-TASS News Agency has cited a source in the Prime Minister’s office as confirming a desire in Whitehall for Russian support in opposition to Scottish independence. What options are open to Members to scrutinise UK Government special advisers, given the Prime Minister’s assurances that the issue is one for debate among the people in Scotland?
Mr Speaker: Order. First, Ministers are of course responsible for the accuracy of what they say in the House, in common with all other Members. Secondly, the hon. Gentleman asks what avenues are open to Members to enable them to scrutinise special advisers and undertake scrutiny more widely. The answer is that there are manifold mechanisms available to them, including the use of the Order Paper and, dare I say it, the ingenious, and some might think occasionally outrageous, deployment of bogus points of order. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm140113/debtext/140113-0002.htm
26 January 2014: Cables reveal UK pressured 28 countries and their leaders to oppose Scottish independence including Putin
A Foreign Office department ostensibly set up to promote the Scottish Government’s interests is being used against it in the independence referendum, diplomatic cables have revealed. The Devolution Unit, created by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 2012 to deliver abroad the “utmost co-operation”, now appears to be at the heart of Westminster’s anti-independence drive, amassing hostile reactions from overseas.
It is understood the FCO has contacted the governments of China, Russia, the US, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the 28 EU nations about the Scottish referendum in a global search for allies who might oppose independence. One recent cable showed UK embassies being ordered to forward a Westminster paper critical of independence “to their host governments and other local contacts” and then feed their comments back to the Devolution Unit “ASAP”. It would help the Unionist cause if countries raised their concerns about an independent Scotland joining international bodies such as the EU and Nato.
The action is in spite of Prime Minister David Cameron insisting that September’s poll is purely “a debate between Scots” – the argument he uses for refusing to debate with Alex Salmond. The First Minister yesterday issued a fresh challenge to debate to Cameron, saying he had “a responsibility to let people hear his case for the No campaign and for Scotland remaining under Westminster control”.
The Sunday Herald has already revealed two examples of Westminster discussing independence with foreign governments. In December, Downing Street’s Scotland adviser Andrew Dunlop and a Cabinet Office official flew to Madrid to discuss the referendum with Mariano Rajoy’s government. With the visit coming soon after Rajoy had undermined the SNP by warning an independent Scotland would be left outside the EU, Alex Salmond accused the Spanish prime minister of plotting a “stitch-up” with Cameron. The Sunday Herald also revealed how Russia’s top news agency had reported Cameron’s office was “extremely interested” in getting president Vladimir Putin’s support for a No vote. The SNP last night said the Devolution Unit’s behind-the-scenes activity was “a disgrace”.
The Unit’s head, Annie McGee, a former vice-consul in Madrid, appeared at Holyrood’s European and External Relations Committee last July and told MSPs: “Our focus is on working with the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive on their foreign policy interests. I make sure visits overseas run smoothly and that there is the utmost co-operation with our posts. We work with colleagues in the Scottish Government … to ensure areas of interest are explored as they should be.” Europe Minister David Lidington told MSPs at the same session the Unit was about co-operation. “We are building a working culture between the United Kingdom Government and the devolved administrations in which we co-operate effectively on European policy,” he said. “The Unit … gives a bit more focused support to that co-ordination role, particularly with regard to the interests of the devolved administrations.”
However, official UK government material suggests that, far from advancing the Scottish Government’s case, or remaining neutral, the Devolution Unit is actively engaged in promoting Westminster’s desire for a No vote. Last week, after Foreign Secretary William Hague launched the latest in Westminster’s Scotland Analysis papers on the problems which could face an independent Scotland, the FCO sent a diplomatic telegram, or “Diptel”, message about the document to its staff overseas.
The Sunday Herald has seen its content. It said: “EU Posts are requested to circulate the paper ASAP to their host govts & other local contacts. “Other posts particularly Washington, Ottawa, Canberra, Wellington & UK Rep Brussels may wish to do so. “You should refer to previous FCO guidance sent to Posts on how to present the referendum work. “Report back to DEVO UNIT, FCO. Other local reaction (public or private) ASAP.”
Other Diptel messages released to the pro-Yes National Collective group under Freedom of Information also show the Unit acting as a clearing house for reactions from overseas governments to Scottish independence. Angus Robertson, the SNP’s Westminster leader, said: “In public David Cameron has pledged that the referendum is for people in Scotland. “In private he’s using UK diplomats around the world to support the ‘no’ campaign. “Governments internationally have said they won’t get involved in this democratic debate in Scotland. “It’s a disgrace that the Prime Minister is breaking his word, encouraging foreign interventions while running scared of a debate with First Minister Salmond.”
A Westminster source said the SNP’s attack was “frankly quite ludicrous”, as Salmond was in regular touch with other governments, and it was routine for the Westminster government to share information abroad, “especially about issues that have ramifactions outwith the UK”. A Downing Street spokesman added: “The SNP can debate about debates all they like. We are getting on with informing the debate with detailed analyses so that people can decide.” http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=a0f_1402218132#SZ1w4rDS1LXVkrIW.99
11 September 2014: Background guy plays major role in fightback against Yes camp
The business fightback against Scottish independence has been organised from behind a desk in 10 Downing Street by a former aide to Margaret Thatcher with a minimal public persona.
Andrew Dunlop, a Jaguar-driving rightwinger who advised the Iron Lady on tax reform at the time of the poll tax, is one of the least recognisable figures in the coalition. But he has played a major role in attempts to persuade executives to air their concerns publicly about a Yes vote.
A Number 10 aide refused to give the FT even basic facts about Mr Dunlop: “He is a background guy,” he insisted. The bearded Mr Dunlop, who is in his fifties, comes from Glasgow but now lives on the edge of the South Downs National Park in West Sussex. That is some 450 miles away from Edinburgh, a point made by the Scottish National party, which criticised the “Thatcherite appointment” when it was made in early 2012. Since then, Mr Dunlop has been an influential Tory voice in cross-party Better Together negotiations and in encouraging the corporate world to come off the fence.
Lauren McEvatt, until recently a special adviser in the Welsh Office, said Mr Dunlop was “unbelievably calm” and thoughtful. “He is the kind of guy who sees the whole chess board rather than the individual pieces.” As a young man Mr Dunlop was special adviser to George Younger, the former defence secretary. Afterwards he joined Thatcher’s policy unit, working alongside others including David Cameron, Andrew Lansley and Lord Hill, Britain’s new European commissioner. Mr Dunlop subsequently advised two other Tory leaders, John Major and Michael Howard, on Scotland.
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Election insights. 20 policies to expect from the new Conservative Government
1. The Conservatives have pledged an extra £8billion a year for the NHS by 2020, and Cameron will begin to take the first steps to delivering a truly seven-day NHS. The £8bn figure comes from Simon Stevens’ Five Year Forward View, in which he stated that £8bn is the funding gap between what the NHS currently receives and what it needs to implement a modernisation programme. As yet, it is unclear where the funding will come from, and what the money will go towards.
2. The budget and spending review will set out where the government will attempt to make £30 billion of spending cuts, and with his promise to maintain health spending, Cameron will have to make deeper cuts elsewhere. He has already pledged £12billion in welfare cuts, which are as yet unspecified. The Office of Budget Responsibility has described the profile of the £30bn planned cuts in this five-year parliament as a public spending “rollercoaster ride’. The OBR has said that the Conservative plans imply cuts of more than 5% implied in 2016-17 and in 2017-18 – twice the size of any year’s cuts over the last five years — to be followed by a pre-election increase in spending in 2019/20.
3. High on the list of the Conservatives’ priorities will be the implementation of plans to hold an in/out EU referendum. The 2017 date was set in anticipation of a minority or coalition government, but now that he has a majority, Cameron will likely want to get on with this as quickly as possible. There are plans to bring it forward to 2016, given that it is an issue that has plagued his party for so long and he will be eager to keep backbenchers happy. The Conservatives will draft a European referendum bill and will begin the process of renegotiation, including restricting access of EU migrants to welfare benefits for their first four years, and on elements of free movement. David Davis has called for the Prime Minister to demand the right to exercise a UK opt-out from all EU legislation, however this would amount to a complete re-write of the rules of the single market which is not currently on the PM’s agenda.
4. The Conservative manifesto stated that a Conservative government would “honour in full our commitments to Scotland to devolve extensive powers”, including the right to set its own levels of income tax. The Party will be likely to implement the proposals of the Smith Commission which called for the Scottish parliament to be given full power to set income tax rates and bands and about £3bn of welfare powers including the housing elements of universal credit. Nicola Sturgeon’s 56 MPs will no doubt be calling for devolution above and beyond the Smith Commission proposals, so Cameron will have to manage the situation carefully.
5. The Conservatives will quickly address the issue of English votes for English Laws, and will accompany the implementation of the Scotland Bill with new legislation giving English MPs a veto over matters that only affect England, including an England-only income tax to be introduced by next March’s budget, on which Scottish MPs will be barred from voting.
6. There will be legislation on devolution in England, using Manchester as the vanguard for English devolution with the model being replicated elsewhere if it is a success. James Wharton’s appointment as Minister of State at DCLG with responsibility for the Northern Powerhouse shows that the Conservatives are serious about creating better deals for English regions.
7. The Conservatives will introduce a housing bill to extend the right to buy scheme to 1.3 million housing association tenants in England. Cameron says this is about giving thousands more families the security of their own four walls. They have also pledged to build 200,000 new starter homes so we can expect this to be brought in quickly.
8. The Conservatives will introduce 3 benefits cap of £23,000, reduced from the current cap of £26,000 which was introduced by the Conservative-led coalition government in the last parliament. They will also introduce a new scheme which will see young people with no work experience being required to take part in training or work placements or have their benefits removed, and they will remove housing benefit from under-21s on Jobseeker’s Allowance.
9. Cameron has pledged that his government will draft a bill for jobs and apprenticeships, to continue the progress they have made since 2010. He has said the goal is two million more jobs, or full employment. There will also be legislation to provide three million more apprenticeships, which will be paid for by reducing the benefits cap to £23,000. They may also include a legal duty to tell parliament what progress has been made in providing these.
10. With their modest majority, the Conservatives are likely to seek to entrench their position in Government by pressing ahead with boundary changes to overcome what is seen as a bias in favour of Labour. However, the Sunday Times has reported that the Prime Minister is to scrap plans to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600.
11. The Conservatives will undertake a Strategic Defence and Security Review which will evaluate the entire cross-government defence and security system, with the aim of completion by the end of 2015. They will also seek to renew Trident with a like-for-like model, which will inevitably meet resistance from the newly enlarged SNP contingent in the Commons.
12. One of the first things the Conservatives will do will be to begin the process of scrapping the Human Rights Act and introducing a British Bill of Rights. This could have been a bone of contention within a coalition, especially with the Liberal Democrats, but now that the Conservatives have a majority it is likely that they will quickly seek to push through legislation to repeal the Human Rights Act, overseen by new Justice Secretary Michael Gove. We can expect an early bill to pave the way for the abolition of the Act, which will ultimately be replaced by a British Bill of Rights. Theresa May has also indicated that a majority Conservative government means that the data communications bill, also known as the ‘Snooper’s Charter’ which was blocked by the Liberal Democrats, is also now back on the cards.
13. Cameron has announced that the Conservative Government will implement new powers to tackle radicalisation through a counter-extremism bill. The bill is expected to include: banning orders for extremist organisations who use hate speech in public places, but whose activities fall short of proscription; new Extremism Disruption Orders to restrict people who seek to radicalise young people; powers to close premises where extremists seek to influence others; strengthening the powers of the Charity Commission to root out charities who misappropriate funds towards extremism and terrorism; and further immigration restrictions on extremists and more power for Ofcom to take action against channels which broadcast extremist content.
14. More devolution for Wales and Northern Ireland will also have to be addressed with the generous package being offered to Scotland already resulting in the other regions of the UK calling for more recognition.
15. A new bill to deliver better schools will be introduced, including legislation to force coasting as well as failing schools to accept new leadership, continuing on their academy school programme. There will also be a focus on ensuring young people leave education with the skills they need.
16. David Cameron has reaffirmed that the Queen’s Speech will include plans to take anyone working 30 hours a week on minimum wage out of income tax by linking the personal allowance to the national minimum wage. As part of their appeal to be seen as the party of working people, David Cameron has said that this will be the ‘centrepiece of the first Queen’s Speech of his new government’.
17. Business Secretary Sajid Javid has already reiterated the Party’s manifesto commitment that they will introduce tougher new rules on strike ballots. Under these plans, a strike affecting essential public services will need the backing of 40% of eligible union members and have a minimum 50% turnout in strike ballots, and restrictions on using agency staff to replace striking workers will be lifted. Javid said these ‘essential’ changes to the law are to be announced in the Queen’s Speech.
18. The Conservatives will introduce legislation to promote enterprise and small businesses, and help Britain become the best place in Europe to do business by 2020. There will also be £10billion of further cuts in red tape, the trebling of start-up loans to 75,000 and the introduction of a Help to Grow scheme to provide finance to fast-growing small firms. This is another aspect of the Conservative’s plan to position themselves away from being the party of big business.
19. They will also legislate to double free childcare allowance for three and four-year-olds to 30 hours, worth £5,000 a year. This is in addition to plans to introduce tax-free childcare for every child, another clear attempt to send a message to working families saying “we are on your side”.
20. The Conservatives are also likely to introduce legislation guaranteeing no rise in income tax rates, VAT or national insurance before 2020, as well as increasing the inheritance tax threshold on family homes to £1m by 2017. In addition, Cameron has previously pledged that he would raise the tax-free allowance from £10,500 to £12,500 by 2020.
20 October 2011: British political scandal a push-back against Israeli Mossad activities
Britain’s intelligence services are taking off the gloves over Mossad’s high-level penetration of the British government. As a result of leaks to the press, one high-level Tory Cabinet minister, Defence Secretary Liam Fox, was forced to resign over his granting of access to classified defence information to his reputed homosexual love partner and Israeli-connected lobbyist Adam Werritty.
On October 16, the Independent on Sunday (IOS) reported that Werritty arranged for a high-level 2009 dinner meeting in Herzliya, Israel, the location of Mossad headquarters, between Fox, British ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould, and top Mossad officials. The major item on the menu was the overthrow of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The IOS reported that Werritty was working closely with neo-cons in the United States to carry out the Iranian operation.
Matthew GoldIranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Werritty, who falsely passed himself off as Fox’s chief of staff, also attended high-level meetings between Fox and government officials of Sri Lanka and Dubai. In addition, Werritty used his connections to Fox to approach the governments of South Sudan and Iraq, as well as the Libyan rebel leadership in Benghazi, for lucrative contracts.
According to The Guardian, Werritty used a charity called Atlantic Bridge, which succeeded an entity known as Security Futures, to fund his lobbying operations. Atlantic Bridge, via Pargav Ltd., a not-for-profit firm set up by Werritty, was partly funded by pro-Israeli lobbyist and head of the British Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) Poju Zabludowicz, a Finnish Jew based in London who owns Liechtenstein-based Tamares Investment Group, formerly a major investor in casinos in Las Vegas with its partner Barrick Gaming Corporation.
A former vice chairman of BICOM Michael Lewis , is reported by The Guardian to have made payments directly to Pargav, Atlantic Bridge, and Fox. Werritty’s travel expenses were paid for from Pargav funds.
Another major donor to Pargav, according to The Guardian, was Good Governance Group (G3), a private intelligence firm started by South African Andries Pienaar, formerly with the CIA-connected Kroll special investigations firm. A number of ex-MI6 officers work for G3.
Poju Zabludowicz BICOM
Michael Lewis BICOM
A U.S. branch of Atlantic Bridge was set up by the right-wing Republican entity American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which is backed by major U.S. corporations, including Koch Industries. The U.S. Atlantic Bridge was a contrivance to launder U.S. corporate funds to Tory politicians in the U.K. in the same manner it laundered campaign funds for Tea party candidates in the Republican Party.
Zabludowicz, whose father founded the Israeli weapons firm Soltam, which mainly manufactured mortars, is the chairman of Pocal Industries, Inc. of Scranton, Pennsylvania, which supplied mortars to the U.S. military.
Werritty was an important British liaison between Fox, American neo-cons and Israel supporters, and the Republican-controlled Tea Party.
During the 2009 trip to Herzliya, Werritty passed himself off as “Dr. Adam Werritty, Advisor, Office of Shadow Defence Secretary; UK Executive Director, The Atlantic Bridge.” Werritty was invited by an entity called the Atlantic Forum of Israel.
Michael Hintze, the chief of the Convertible & Quantitative Strategies (CQS) hedge fund in London and a former Australian Army captain who served as the head of equity trading for Goldman Sachs before starting CQS, provided Werritty with an office at CQS and provided the CQS private jet to fly Fox and Werritty to the United States in May.
Hintze also serves as a papal knight in the Order of St. Gregory. The new Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, who has praised his predecessor, has been hosted by Hintze at plush political fundraising dinners.
Another one of Fox’s “advisers” was identified by the Daily Mail as John Falk, an American who is managing director of Kestral-USA in Washington, DC.
Kestral-USA is a branch of the Pakistan-based Kestral Holdings, which was a sub-contractor in Pakistan to the former Blackwater, now known as Xe Services.
Kestral Holdings was sub-contracted to Blackwater SELECT, which was based in Karachi.
Kestral is linked to former Blackwater head Erik Prince; Vision Americas, a firm run by former U.S. State Department chief for Latin American affairs, Roger Noriega, and former State Department South Asian affairs chief and CIA South Asian specialist Christina Rocca; and Firecreek Ltd., self-described as a “Washington D.C. based Advisory Firm providing its clients with International government relations, federal contracts and procurement law expertise, and strategic business development advice in the Defence, Homeland Security, Law Enforcement and Advanced Technology sectors.”
Firecreek’s managing director is John Falk. One of Vision Americas’ partners is Demoman International Ltd., a military and intelligence training firm based in Israel that has briefed members of Congress on the battle of Fallujah, Iraq.
Roger Noriega John Falk
In addition, intelligence surveillance information was tipped off to the Daily Mirror about Tory Cabinet Policy Secretary Oliver Letwin, who is closely connected to Israeli intelligence assets in London, tossing over a hundred classified and sensitive Cabinet documents in St. James Park rubbish bins for later retrieval by Israeli embassy intelligence operatives.
Letwin’s document dumping operations were secretly photographed and published by the Mirror.
Only due to the Mirror retrieving some of Letwin’s documents from the rubbish bins, does the public know about their contents: five letters from the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee, Al Qaeda links to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya, Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and the Dalai Lama of Tibet.
Letwin’s “disposal” of documents for his Mossad handlers arose at the same time that the scandal involving the Israeli-connected Fox and Werritty had reached a crescendo. The Mirror has reported that one of the documents thrown away by Letwin involved a defence company that was under the purview of Fox.
The British media is under tremendous pressure from Israeli and Jewish interests in London not to link the Fox/Werritty and Letwin scandals because of the exposure factor for Israel.
However, British intelligence is having none of it and there is an expectation that further information on Mossad’s thorough penetration of the British Conservative-Liberal Democratic government, including Number 10 Downing Street, will be forthcoming.
The chairman of the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, a Tory, has defended Letwin, even though one letter “thrown away” by Letwin was addressed to Rifkind.
Along with Letwin, Rifkind is a major supporter of Israel. Letwin and Rifkind are both Jewish. Letwin covered his activities by being a vocal critic of government security breaches.
Oliver Letwin Sir Malcolm Rifkind
British intelligence has been on the warpath with Mossad ever since the Israeli intelligence agency was implicated by MI-6 in the murder of Gareth Williams, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) employee who was seconded to the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI-6) and whose badly decomposed body was found stuffed into a sports bag in an MI-6 safe house in the Pimlico neighbourhood of London on August 23, 2010.
Williams was a victim of a professional Mossad hit team. A “Mediterranean looking” young man and woman, believed to be between 20 and 30 years of age, are still suspects in Williams’s death, now believed by British police to have been due to poisoning. “Mediterranean” is a politically-correct code phrase used by British police to describe the Israeli Mossad hit team. The FBI uses a similar code phrase, “Middle Eastern-looking,” to describe Israeli spies in the United States. The Mossad duo was last seen entering the MI-6 residence where Williams lived in July 2010.
Gareth Williams British Secret Intelligence Service (MI-6) and whose badly decomposed body was found stuffed into a sports bag
With an Israeli-connected duo, Fox and Werritty, exposed and Letwin feeding rubbish bins Cabinet documents for Mossad handlers, MI-6 and MI-5 have had enough of Israeli espionage in the United Kingdom.
The word is that other gay caballero Tory officials with connections to Israel are in MI-6’s exposé sights — with Foreign Secretary William Hague at the top of the list.
Foreign Secretary William Hague (retired from politics 2015)
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report. Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report – See more at: