Baroness Smith and the High Court Scandal
Set up by former MI6 executives after the end of the Cold War, Hakluyt provides intelligence for many FTSE 100 companies and a number of UK, US and European clients. The calibre of directors is high and includes many ex MI6 agents, diplomats, journalists and former special advisers to government ministers.
Baroness Elizabeth Smith was a member of the Hakluyt Foundation of which a former employee said: “the firm’s main commodity is the provision of focused, timely intelligence.” But following an extraordinary libel trial in which former foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind gave evidence, there were question marks over the quality of the intelligence Hakluyt provides. In fact, a report produced by Hakluyt on Czech oil tycoon Karel Komarek and his father, which contained allegations of corruption and murder, led to Scottish oil company Ramco being sued for libel. Ramco had employed Hakluyt in good faith on the recommendation of its consultants, Mr Rifkind and Baroness Smith.
The John Smith Foundation
Founder member, Baroness Smith of Gilmorehill: MI6 agent of long-standing and very influential politically. Widow of the late John Smith, Labour Party Leader. Board member of a number of organisations with interests in Russia and FSU countries.
The activities of the Foundation are overseen by a Board comprising members of the Smith family, University of Glasgow alumni, public service practitioners and academic staff and is accountable for the conduct, leadership and management of the Centre. It sets the priorities; benchmarks best practices, and reviews performance to enable the Centre to achieve its aim to promote trust in politics and public service and to empower and attract more people to contribute to public life.
The Board of Management
Catherine Smith: An Advocate. Daughter of Baroness Smith. Vice-Chair of JUSTICE Scotland, the Scottish arm of the London NGO. Involved in work promoting the rule of law and human rights in developing democracies and sustainable development in societies in transition.
Stephen Gethins: Former SNP MP for North East Fife and shadow SNP Spokesperson, Foreign affairs. Worked with Craig Oliphant in Eastern Europe before entering politics for the SNP.
David Charters: Former diplomat. Particular personal interests include cyber security and evolving forms of conflict.
Alex Just: Transitioned from law to high-level strategic communications.
Prof. Lord Alderdice: Liberal Democrat member of the Lords since 1996. Currently Director of the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict at Harris Manchester College, Oxford.
Craig Oliphant: A senior member of the Integrity Initiative.
Other political persons associated with members of the foundation include:
The John Smith Trust (JST)
The sales pitch
The Trust runs intensive, four-week Fellowship Programmes twice a year in the UK for emerging leaders from 12 of the countries of the former Soviet Union. The Programmes are built around three pillars – unique insight into UK institutions, personalized meetings and leadership skills development – which together offer both a broad picture and an individual focus.
The political psychology programmes delivered by the Trust are designed to influence the thought processes of individuals confronted with a wide range of political situations so that they select options that most reflect the political system chosen by the Trust. Achieving success means that it has imprinted on the minds of course participants that the ideal is the western-style democracy, with its human rights legislation protecting individual and minority rights and good governance. Shades of “The Manchurian Candidate”.
Members and Associates
Catherine Smith (Chair): John Smith’s youngest daughter.
Professor Anne Anderson OBE: multidisciplinary educational activist.
Rt Hon Ed Balls: Hard right rich boy and “new Labour” politician
Dr Matt Carter: Blair’s man. Right-wing “New Labour” political strategist.
Ruth Davidson: Baroness Ruth. Her rise from nowhere is being guided by
David Muir: Ultra right-wing “New Labour” strategist. Gordon Brown’s man.
The Baroness Smith of Gilmorehill: Very influential politically has had a very long career near the top of the British secret services. Widow of the late John Smith, Labour Party Leader.
Andrew Wilson: Held a number of posts, including Deputy Chief Economist and Head of Group Communications. at the financially incompetent and ultimately disgraced RBS Group. Founder of the increasingly influential political media company, Charlotte Street Partners.
Kezia Dugdale: Former leader of the Labour Party in Scotland is the Director of the Centre.
Organisations closely linked to the Trust
The Integrity Initiative:
In 2006, NATO Special Advisor Chris Donnelly co-founded a fake charity, the “Institute for Statecraft and Governance” (IFS) together with Daniel Lafayeedney, previously condemned as untrustworthy in business matters by a judge. The IFS which authored and published articles on threats to NATO imperialism, the biggest being Russia, was registered to a semi-derelict mill in the Fife constituency of Board member and ex-SNP MP Stephen Gethins.
In 2015, the IFS established the Integrity Initiative, an organization described by the British government as a counter-Russia-disinformation campaign that received many £millions from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In typically language a U.S.-British disinformation campaign.
This is what the Scottish Charity Regulator thought of the organisation:
The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator conducted an inquiry into the activities of the Institute for Statecraft and found that “its most significant activity the project “Integrity Initiative” did not provide public benefit in furtherance of the charity’s purposes”.
It also found that trustees had “breached their trustee duties to act with care and diligence in the interest of the charity, some of them to a serious extent”.
The 77th (CYOPS Brigade
A Black Watch soldier, Brigadier Alastair Aitken, formed the 77th (CYOPS Brigade, referred to in the media as ‘Twitter troops‘ or ‘Facebook warriors‘, which he described as the largest integrated government communications organisation in Europe. Additional links to Scotland include Scottish Labour Party candidate and former “Better Together” boss Kate Watson who refused to explain her links to the “military propaganda unit” within the British Army.
A Scottish government official commented: “In any future Scottish independence referendum will the 77th Brigade be neutral or see the yes campaign as a threat to national security and conduct a campaign to protect the constitutional status quo? The SNP leadership needs to ask these questions and get answers before it’s too late.”