Unravelling and reporting on the many plots and subterfuges of politicians is an impossible task. It is sadly often the case that they enjoy long and successful political careers within which the finger of fate may be pointed in their direction but never sticks.
This article highlights some of the players who’s influence and machinations have shaped Scottish politics to the advantage of Unionists but to the detriment of Scotland.
Malcolm Rifkind, (the leader) :
Architect of the hated “Poll Tax” 1986.
As Minister of Defence decimated the regular army transferring responsibility for the defence of the nation to “Cruise missiles” and the Territorial Army 1994.
As Foreign Secretary had charge of Britain’s secret services 1995-2000
Founder of Better Together 1998.
Out of government. Took up executive roles in a number of Security, Defence, medical companies outside parliament 2002-2004.
Armour Group, (Rifkind, Executive Director) awarded multi-million security contract in Iraq, by Jack Straw, Labour government Foreign Secretary 2004.
Recruited Andrew Fulton, ( ex MI6 senior spook) to the Armour Group in 2007.
Returned to Westminster, ( retained and expanded a number of executive roles in private companies). Appointed Chairman of the Standards and Privileges Committee of the House of Commons 2005-2010
Appointed, Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee (actively involved in the work of Britain’s Secret Services). Supported military action against Iraq, Libya and Syria 2010 -2015.
Chairman of the British Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), overseeing MI5, MI6 and GCHQ – (the most important position in the UK intelligence community) has charge of the disinformation campaign.
Politicians for hire? Jack Straw & Sir Malcolm Rifkind embroiled in “cash for access” scandal. Rifkind forced to retire from politics. Straw denied place in the House of Lords.
Andrew Fulton ( ex MI6 senior spook) was sent to Scotland to assess the political situation and report back to Westminster 2008-9. Subsequently appointed Chairman of the Tory Party in Scotland.
April 1998: Rifkind Calls for Pact to Block Nationalists
Rifkind called for the formation of a cross- party movement to protect the Union and prevent the SNP taking power. The former foreign secretary’s comments were the first clear indication that the Tory party north of the Border believed that Labour, the Tory’s and the Liberal Democrats needed to make common cause in an attempt to halt the rise of the SNP. He said: “I think there will be a need for a non-party movement in Scotland to support the Union.”
Scotland got that when “Better Together” was sent into action at the time of the 2014 Scottish Referendum. Planning had been in place from 1998!!
He also accused Labour of fostering the mood of nationalism within Scotland by exploiting “nationalist language” during its spell in opposition: “The genie is out of the bottle and, like all genies, once they are out of the bottle they are difficult to put back in.” (Highbeam)
2004: Former Foreign Minister Malcolm Rifkind Cashes in on Iraq Invasion
A private security company headed by former Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind is making millions from a contract to protect Foreign Office staff working in Iraq, it emerged last night.
Armor Group, the biggest ‘mercenary’ security firm working in Iraq, is one of two companies that have raked in a total of £15m between them for providing round-the-clock cover in the treacherous environment of post-war Iraq during the past year.
Rifkind, the Tory candidate for Kensington and Chelsea, sparked protests from political opponents last month when he took over the chairmanship of Armor Group, which has 700 employees in Iraq. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw admitted the UK government is financing the company to the tune of £50K each and every day providing protection to British bureaucrats stationed in Iraq.
Furious MPs condemned the outlay as “appalling value for money”, and claimed the Labour government should not be ploughing money into a controversial industry that is making huge profits as part of the reconstruction effort in Iraq. (Scotsman)
2007: Andrew Fulton (formerly MI6) became the first high-profile former spy to join a listed British company when he was appointed adviser to the Armor Group.
Early 2008: Increasing Strength of the SNP in Scotland Attracts the Attention of the Secret Services
The continued growth in nationalist support in Scotland alarmed the US and Westminster. The Labour Party was in meltdown and it was entirely possible an SNP government would be in place at Holyrood in 2009. This would bring with it calls for Scottish independence and a referendum. An anti-nationalist strategy was needed designed to neutralise any potential problems.
There were also on-going problems within the Scottish Tory Party, which had suffered yet another bad election defeat. Voices within the Party in Scotland had begun to raise the spectre of a split from Westminster control so that the Party in Scotland would revert to its former Unionist Party status forming its own distinctly Scottish policies whilst retaining a more hands off relationship with the Conservative Party at Westminster.
Andrew Fulton, (former MI6 senior agent and close colleague of Rifkind’s for many years) was identified as the most effective “agent for change” available. It was agreed he would apply himself and his extensive resources to the tasks of completing a root and branch reorganisation of the Tory party in Scotland, removing any person, (no matter how senior) who did not fully commit to Westminster Conservative Party ideals.
He would also design a long term strategy undermining the SNP government ensuring any referendum for independence would fail.
An informed insider wrote;
Fulton is a major player in the military corporate nexus. He has been placed in an overtly political position because the UK government is extremely worried about Scottish secession. He is there to coordinate the destabilisation of the SNP government. Golf and cappuccinos are just distractions, he is a very dangerous individual.
Autumn 2008: Former spy Takes top Scottish Tory Job
Former high ranking MI6 intelligence officer, Prof Andrew Fulton. An MI6 spy who served behind the Iron Curtain at the height of the Cold War is in line to become chairman of the Scottish Conservative Party in a surprise move agreed by David Cameron and Annabel Goldie, the Scottish leader.
Fulton, whose last posting was “Head of Station” in Washington, has emerged as one of the favourites for the post that fell vacant when Peter Duncan, the former MP for Dumfries, stood down last summer. The appointment of the former intelligence officer, will be seen as an attempt by senior Tories to inject fresh blood and new thinking into the Scottish party, which has struggled to recover from its 1997 wipe-out when it lost all its Scottish MPs.
Fulton has operated in Scotland before. He was unmasked as a former spy in 2000 when he was forced to step down as a member of the Lockerbie Trial Briefing Unit which provided media briefings on the trial in Holland of the two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing.
His cover was blown soon after he was included in a list of MI6 officers published on the internet by a disaffected agent in 1999. The revelation raised concerns that he may have been in a position to influence the way the Lockerbie trial was being reported to ensure the minimum of criticism of the British and American intelligence services.
In his MI6 days, Fulton reportedly had been posted in East Berlin, Saigon, and New York. He had served as “Head of Station” in Washington, D.C., and at the peak of his career he was the sixth-most powerful official in the organization.
In 1992, Fulton became the security officer who headed up European operations: “He was one of the MI6 chiefs handed the plans to kill Serb President Slobodan Milosevic.”
He is presently the Senior adviser to the (All-Party Parliamentary MENA* Group at Westminster)
*The term MENA is an English-language acronym referring to an extensive region, extending from Morocco to Iran, including all Middle Eastern and Maghreb countries. Fulton is the senior intelligence person advising the most senior political group in Westminster on all matters.
June 2009: Is Andrew Fulton, Tory Chairman still an MI6 Spy or Asset?
The former MI6 Station Chief, is currently Chairman of the Tory Party in Scotland. He is also listed as an advisor to a number of organisations involved in intelligence matters. He has history in Scotland. He was placed by the UK government with the Glasgow University Lockerbie Briefing Unit. The title, “Visiting Professor” was awarded to him by then Glasgow University Principal, Graeme Davis. Davis held membership of, “The Scottish North American Business Council” (SNABC), chaired by Fulton.
The unusual thing about Fulton’s Professorship was that he had never worked in the legal profession in any capacity, had never taught classes and did no research at Glasgow University. So it beggars belief how he qualified as a Visiting Professor of Law? Did Graham Davis permit MI6 to plant Fulton in the University Media unit. The American ambassador to the UK, Philip Lader was also a member of the (SNABC) at the same time. Useful front for meetings to discuss Lockerbie without attracting the attention of the UK press.
The (SNABC) is a little known but well connected atlanticist body aimed at fostering closer relations between business in Scotland and the US. It is the Scottish chapter of the British-American Business Council. It has interesting intelligence connections.
The current Chairman is former MI6 man Andrew Fulton, who was exposed as having been a former MI6 agent whilst working inside Glasgow University based Lockerbie Commission. The former US ambassador to the UK Philip Lader (also chair of the board of spin conglomerate WPP) is also on board.
The Council retains Media House International for PR and its executive chairman Jack Irvine is a former board member.
July 2010: Veteran Rifkind to Lead MPs’ Watchdog
Former foreign secretary and defence secretary, Sir Malcolm Rifkind is perhaps the best-placed MP to chair the Commons committee on intelligence and security.
For five years until 24 February 2015 he was responsible for the security service MI6. He fully supported NATO military intervention in Libya and supplying arms to the Libyan rebels. (highbeam)
July 2011: Top Scots Tories fire broadside at Ex MI6 Spy Andrew Fulton over denial of natural justice
Ex MI6 Spy Andrew Fulton, isn’t the flavour of the month with senior Tory stalwarts with decades of service under their belt. They are rightly upset regarding the disgraceful treatment of Malcolm Macaskill who was removed as a candidate to make way for publicly unelectable Ruth Davidson. Davidson is now a Glasgow list MSP although she lives in Edinburgh.
November, 2011: Scottish Tory Party duly elect Andrew Fulton’s protégé as new leader.
Order is restored in Scotland. The threat of a Scottish Unionist Party breakaway is extinguished. Conservatives on-side with Cameron have been placed in all key posts. Scottish Unionists told behave or to get on their bikes. A joyous new party leader Davidson said, “This is the first time that our members have been asked to elect a leader for the whole party in Scotland and I’ve met our members from Selkirk to Shetland and all points in between. They’ve been engaged, they’ve been enthusiastic, they’ve been welcoming and they’re excited about our bright future too.”
2013: Margo Macdonald wrote to the Head of the UK’s Security Service and asked for but never got an assurance that MI5 Spies would not interfere in the Independence Referendum.
In a letter to MI5’s director general, Andrew Parker, Margo MacDonald wrote: “I will be obliged if you can give me an assurance that UK Security Services will not be used in any respect in the lead-up to the Scottish referendum on sovereignty, unless, of course, the Scottish police have sufficient evidence to justify normal responses to potentially overtly criminal acts. I do understand that the Security Services are vital to all the countries and regions of the British Isles and the potential for law-breaking may be heightened during the forthcoming campaign. As action on the Security Services’ part is calculated to keep communities safe and aid cohesion, I would welcome an assurance from you that this will continue, and that no other consideration will inform your Department’s work.”
At interview Margo said the recent comments of former chancellor Denis Healey, who said the Labour Government of the 1970s had underplayed the value of oil revenues, underlined her concerns. She said: “The influence of the security services was insidious. If the opportunity came up to depress the self-confidence of Scots, then the opportunity was taken.” Asked if she believed the SNP and the wider Yes movement was currently infiltrated, she said: “Of course the security services have people in the SNP.”
A former intelligence adviser to the Joint Intelligence Committee, said he believed MI5 would monitor the independence debate. There’s definitely a national security angle to Scottish independence that the security services would be aware of and the agency would have a concern about the knock-on effect of independence on Northern Ireland.
Early 2013: Rifkind Controlled the Secret Services Throughout the Scottish Referendum Campaign (ex MI6 senior spook)
”Sir Malcolm Rifkind known as “Malcolm the poof” is ( ex MI6 senior spook) chairman of the British parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), which oversees MI5, MI6 and GCHQ – the most important position in the UK intelligence community. The ISC reports first to the prime minister, who retains – and uses – the right to censor material in ISC reports before parliament views them”.
2015: Craig Murray Provides an Informed Insight of MI5 Activities
Is it not strange that such a broad spectrum of the mainstream media react with instant vitriol to the very notion that the security services are active against the Scottish independence movement, when we know for certain that environmental campaign groups have been heavily penetrated by agents and agents provocateurs? When such tactics have been used against the Irish Republican movement for decades? When our intelligence services were up to their ears in torture and extraordinary rendition and repeatedly lied about it? When Edward Snowden has revealed the massive scale of surveillance by GCHQ?
In the days when the corporate media had a monopoly on the dissemination of information, simply shouting “conspiracy theorist”, “tinfoil hat” and “lizards” at somebody, excluding them from corporate media access, would be enough essentially to prevent anybody from reaching the public with information. But that no longer works in the age of new media, and especially it doesn’t work in Scotland after the referendum experience.
For the avoidance of doubt, let me spell this out. I have certain knowledge from an inside source that disruption of separatist activity in Scotland now features in MI5 tasking. The “tasking” of the security services – and that is what it is officially called – is a very formal written exercise conducted by the Joint Intelligence Committee on an annual basis, though it is possible (but very difficult) to insert new tasks in-year.
I have personally taken part – often – in Cabinet Office meetings of JIC sub-committees determining tasking, though in my case more for MI6 than MI5. It is a system I know very well. None of the “journalists” abusing me above has ever sat on a JIC committee. None of them actually know anything about it. None has contacted me to ask me why I have stated there is an MI5 anti-SNP operation. It is so much easier to collect your pay packet, quaff another Merlot and drunkenly catcall “zoooomer!”
2015: Julian Assange says SNP right to be concerned about MI5 spying
Speaking via video link from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, he said that Scottish nationalists were not paranoid to be concerned that they were under surveillance. He told the Commonwealth Law Conference in Glasgow, “They are correct for a number of reasons.The attitude of the UK government is that this is a national security issue, that Scottish independence is, in effect, a threat to the state. This means that the full capacities of the GCHQ, for example, will be deployed. There is also the conduct of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office communicating secretly and extensively across the world lobbying other States to get involved influencing the Referendum result against the nationalists.