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#0127* – John Prendergast GOURIER 01-Jun-1935 – 04-Sep-2010 Age 75.

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 27/09/2010

#0127* – 

John Prendergast GOURIER 01-Jun-1935 – 04-Sep-2010 Age 75.

John Gouriet

John Gouriet, who died on September 4 aged 75, was a pioneering campaigner in the 1970s against the abuse of power by Britain’s trade unions; the lawsuits he brought paved the way for Margaret Thatcher to clip their wings.

John Gouriet
Gouriet, a former Army officer, was a Thatcherite before Thatcherism. He worked to halt the advance of “communo-socialism” in Britain; campaigned against Soviet “oppression”; fought sanctions against South Africa; and latterly was preparing to challenge the legality of Britain’s membership of the EU.
Though Gouriet campaigned throughout his entire post-military life, he was at his most effective as director of the National Association for Freedom (Naff), which he founded with Norris McWhirter after the IRA’s assassination in November 1975 of McWhirter’s twin brother, Ross.
His signal achievement was to persuade the Court of Appeal to allow him to launch legal action against Post Office unions blocking phone calls and mail to South Africa – despite attempts by Labour Attorney General, Sam Silkin, to prevent such an injunction. 
Though the ruling was overturned by the House of Lords, it humiliated Silkin and caught the imagination of Mrs Thatcher, then leader of the Opposition, who attended Naff’s victory banquet. Handing down the decision, Lord Denning memorably declared: “Be you ever so high, the law is above you. The Attorney General has no prerogative to dispense with or suspend the law of England.” 
John Prendergast Gouriet was born in London on June 1 1935, the only son of a survivor of the Somme who went on to fly fighters in combat; John’s mother was the daughter of an eminent Winchester Cathedral organist. 
Educated at Charterhouse, where he was an all-round sportsman, he was commissioned from Sandhurst into the 15th/19th King’s Royal Hussars at the end of 1955, joining his regiment on active service in Malaya. For a year until their disbandment in 1960, he was second-in-command of a company of the Somaliland Scouts; during this period he raised an orphaned cheetah cub in his bedroom. 
Gouriet was adjutant of the Trucial Oman Scouts until 1963, then served as GSO3 Intelligence to the director of operations in Borneo. After Staff College he passed up promotion from major to become a squadron leader with his old regiment in Germany. He retired from the Army in 1973 when deputy assistant adjutant and quartermaster-general at the MoD.
He then joined the merchant bank Rea Brothers as assistant to Sir Walter Salomon. On a grouse-shooting trip as Britain’s economic and union problems intensified, he told his fellow guns: “It’s no use complaining, then doing nothing” – and there and then decided to “take up the cudgels”. 
His first – non-political – venture was Young Enterprise. Gouriet set up companies with a nine-month life cycle, during which young people were taught the basic principles of business from flotation to liquidation. 
Gouriet consulted Ralph Harris (later Lord Harris of High Cross) at the Institute of Economic Affairs about a coordinated opposition to the erosion of personal liberties. Harris introduced him to Ross McWhirter; at the 1975 Conservative Party conference Gouriet and McWhirter leafleted every seat. 
He launched his first legal challenge when P&O ferry workers, sacked on returning to Southampton, stranded passengers’ cars on board. Gouriet persuaded a publican whose car was at the very back of the queue to launch a test case; before it came to court P&O struck a deal with the union. 
Next Gouriet tried to persuade the Home Secretary, Roy Jenkins, to offer a £50,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of IRA terrorists. When Jenkins refused, McWhirter launched the appeal himself – only to be killed on his doorstep by the IRA. 
A week later, on December 2 1975, Naff was launched at the Savoy, with Gouriet as campaign director and Norris McWhirter as vice-chairman. Its first act was to pay for six parents of children in Tameside, Greater Manchester, to intervene against a move by the Education Secretary to force the borough’s schools to go comprehensive. 
With the Labour government spurning the unveiling of a memorial in London to Polish victims of the wartime Katyn massacre for fear of offending the Kremlin, Naff formed the unofficial British party; Gouriet was decorated by the Polish government-in-exile. 
Most of Naff’s campaigning revolved around the Post Office. At Christmas 1976 it supported a Broadstairs woman who set up her own delivery service, challenging the Royal Mail’s monopoly. 
Weeks later, Post Office unions decided to block all communications to and from South Africa as a protest against apartheid. Gouriet sought an injunction under the Post Office Act, which made it an offence to tamper with the mail. Silkin refused his consent and Gouriet challenged this in the High Court, losing but on appeal being granted a temporary injunction by Lord Denning. 
Silkin told the Court of Appeal that it had no power to examine his reasons for refusing Gouriet consent. Lord Justice Lawton said: “All we are concerned about is whether Mr Gouriet has a right to stop himself being interfered with by what on the face of it appears to be plainly political conduct.” After a four-day hearing the court ruled for Gouriet. Naff’s membership shot up overnight; Silkin was greeted in the Commons by shouts of “Resign!” 
The Lords reversed the decision, and Naff was left with costs totalling £90,857; the money was raised after Gouriet warned that failure to pay would “spell the end of Naff and probably any organised resistance to the advance of communo-socialism in Britain”. 
Meanwhile, Gouriet was taking a key role in the Grunwick dispute, over the refusal of a north-west London photo-processing firm to recognise a trade union. The ensuing strike brought violence on the picket line and entrenched attitudes on both sides, particularly when George Ward, Grunwick’s owner, refused to accept a ruling by Acas and recognise the union. 
Advising Ward, Gouriet took legal action to stop the Post Office unions blacking mail for Grunwick. He then, in July 1977, orchestrated “Operation Pony Express”. At 1am on a Saturday, two articulated lorries swept through the picket line to collect a backlog of 100,000 processed films. The packages were taken to a depot where stamps were stuck on them; 250 volunteers drove them to be posted at boxes throughout the country. 
Gouriet left Naff suddenly in June 1978, having fallen out with its chairman, Viscount de Lisle. It was renamed the Freedom Association that winter. He became chairman of Stevens-Lefield Foods, which made pouch meals for yachtsmen. From 1991 he was a director and consultant to General Portfolio. 
His campaigning continued unabated, though without an organisation behind him he achieved less. 
He pressed Mrs Thatcher to support Ian Smith’s internal settlement for Rhodesia, and after Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan co-founded the Campaign Against Soviet Oppression, lambasting “those manic geriatrics in the Kremlin”. 
He demanded the full rigour of the law against whomever in the Libyan People’s Bureau had shot and killed WPc Yvonne Fletcher. 
Gouriet twice threatened to stand against John Browne, his local Conservative MP. He urged Tories to rally behind Mrs Thatcher as the party’s MPs moved to depose her, and as the rebellion grew against the Maastricht treaty, hailed the dissenters as “the real heart of the Tory party”. 
In 1997 he stood for the Referendum Party in West Derbyshire, polling 2,499 votes. Two years later he ran the Earl of Burford’s Kensington & Chelsea by-election campaign against Tony Blair’s “treasonable” exclusion of most hereditary peers from the Lords. Gouriet tried to challenge Lords reform in the courts, and was left with a hefty legal bill. 
Gouriet joined forces with Norris McWhirter again in 2002, founding Defenders of the Realm. He chaired the group until his death, appealing for funds to mount a judicial review of EU membership for violating Magna Carta, the Declaration of Rights and the 1688 Coronation Oath Act. 
In 1981 he published a novel, Checkmate, Mr President!, emphasising the West’s lack of strategic minerals. Hear, Hear! (2010) brought together more than 700 letters – many to The Daily Telegraph and articles he wrote during the Blair-Brown years. 
A bon vivant whose company was valued by both friend and foe, Gouriet also took a great interest in natural history, in particular ornithology, and in field sports. 
Gouriet survived heart attacks in 1993 and 2007; after open heart surgery he praised the care he received from the NHS.
He married, in 1963, Sarah Barnett, who survives him with their three sons.

To view the original obituary CLICK HERE

I first met John through Peter Watson & Harry Randall in the days of Sovereign Britain and also with Elizabeth Beckett who died in February 2009, also in association with other friends Idris Francis and Ashley Mote – I was interested to be asked by John to help with the setting up of The F&M Campaign with Salmons in Bristol and took that forward with Val Lusmore and Tony York, Cristopher Booker & Richard North, Mark Oliver and also Peter Troy and his relentless partner the inexhaustible Elaine, those who were involved might care to spare a thought for the sterling work and generosity of spirit of Val Sinclaire who achieved so much who has been cruelly zapped too young with a brain stem stroke from which she is fighting back as one would expect but hugely disadvantaged and with great loss of sight!

John and I had very different values, but perhaps they complimented each other!

John’s, Memorial Service is at 12 noon Friday 22-Oct-2010
At: All Saints’ Church, Westbury, BA13 3BT (jpgmem@hotmail.co.uk)

I have been asked to circulate the following:

Gouriet in 2010

You may be unaware of John Gouriet’s sad and sudden death on Saturday 4th September 2010, as a result of heart failure.
Please, therefore, be advised that this email address will no longer be in operation and we would therefore be grateful if you would delete it from your mailing list with immediate effect.
Many thanks and kind regards
R Gouriet
 INDEPENDENT Leave-the-EU Alliance

&
Work With THE MIDNIGHT GROUP to
Reclaim YOUR Future 
&
GET YOUR COUNTRY BACK
Write Upon Your Ballot Paper at EVERY election:
(IF You Have No INDEPENDENT Leave-the-EU Alliance Candidate)
to Reclaim YOUR Future 
&
GET YOUR COUNTRY BACK

Posted in Harry RANDALL, Idris FRANCIS, John GOURIER, Peter WATSON, Val LUSMORE, Val SINCLAIRE | Leave a Comment »

#511* – Idris FRANCIS – BULLETIN

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 01/06/2009


#511* – Idris FRANCIS – BULLETIN


BULLETIN: FRANCIS, Idris
of: St. Meons, Near Petersfield.


On Thursday last:

Idris Francis had a fall whilst working on his car outside.

He thought he had fallen into his work pit in the garage but that does seem unlikely as the boarding planks were still in place if rather ‘displace’.

Idris does not remember the event but came into the house in a confused state and collapsed onto the settee.

In view of his condition his aunt (Win) who is more or less totally wheelchair bound at 87 was unable to assist overly much and called an ambulance.

The ambulance came and took Idris to A&E at Winchester Hospital
where he was admitted to a ward after various tests.

Chatting to Win today (SUNDAY), who I have known for around a dozen years, she tells me that although it is uncertain it does in fact seem that Idris either tripped and fell backwards or had ‘a bit of a turn’ and fell backwards, as he badly cut the back of his head and hurt his back.

The settee was ‘debrised’ with grass and bits of gravel as was his head wound, this leads to the belief that he fell at the edge of the driveway.

That this led to blood stains on the settee – Kindly be more careful in future Idris – make sure you bleed more thoughtfully 😉

Idris was released from hospital but earlier today due to impaired mobility due to back pain and a failure to be able to control the headache/pain Win felt, since she is ill equipped to act as carer, that Idris would be better cared for back in hospital and he being (as those who know him will understand) far from the best or most patient of patients is now back in Winchester Hospital.

Idris was readmitted via ambulance and A&E and after further checks is now on Freshfield Ward, where I have just spoken with the ward Sister 03:15hrs 01-Jun-2009 who advises he is sleeping without medication and is stable after a fall, with no apparent complications at this stage (as is her duty she was a bit ‘cagey’).

Fortunately Idris has good neighbours and they are keeping an eye out for Win and are doing her shopping for her and would do so for Idris when he comes out, should he need help..

The exact nature of the cause of the injury (beyond a fall) is not certain as also the actual medical damage – let us hope it is no more than bad bruising and nothing more serious.

I will be speaking with Win regularly and will pass on any relevant information.

Win is naturally concerned but does not feel that the matter is ‘serious’ for as she said ‘he is a tough enough old chap but it is hard to know how bad it is as he is a difficult patient’ – why am I not surprised 😉

Would all senior citizens reading this please be a little more mature and accept the irrefutable fact that they just don’t bounce as well as they used to!!

I have asked Win & the nursing Sister to convey best wishes from his EUroRealist friends.

Let us hope he is back to his normal self fit and confident very soon – we need him to maintain the pressure on our politicians as their conscience to get us OUT of the odious EU.

Best wishes to all.

Regards,
Greg L-W.
01291 – 62 65 62
if you want an update.

UPDATE:

MONDAY – 01-Jun-2009 20:15hrs.

Ashley Mote & his wife have just returned from a visit to Winchester Hospital.

They were Idris’ only visitors so far.

He is obviously in considerable pain in his back, as the fall slipped a disc which has slipped before and been replaced.

The hospital are not doing anything beyond offering painkillers. They assume he will (when well enough) go to see his own osteopath in Gloucester. At present he does not feel well enough to undertake the journey.

He also has a headache which – he has been told – may last several weeks owing to bruising of the brain from the fall. But – fortunately – there is no internal bleeding.

Otherwise he was his usual grumpy and engaging self, and for very good reason. He even managed to talk about enjoying the rest of the summer with his vintage cars, as well as producing a litany of criticism about the way the hospital is run!.

We are just down the road from his home, and have been in touch with Wyn to offer help. Immediate neighbours already in charge, so no problems for the moment.

Will keep in touch with developments, but at present Idris expects to be home in the next day or so. He will then have to allow his wounds to heal and restore his strength so that he can get to Gloucester to have his disc replaced.

By all means pass this update to anyone who has asked for news

regards,

as ever
Ashley

UPDATE:

I spoke with Ashley’s wife a couple of hours ago and have just spoken with Win and gave her such details as I could add.

Win is OK and much relieved that there seems to be no sign of bleed on the brain thus largely ruling out a stroke.

I will inform if anything needs updating – So many people know Idris from his douty performances as a heckler at the Conferences of all Political persuasions in his determination to oppose Britain’s membership of The EU.

UPDATE:

07-Jun-2015

Hi, earlier today I received the following somewhat curt communication from Idris Francis, which will please many and it was good to hear he has fully recovered but claims his aunt, his friends and others were in fact wrong!
Here are Idris Francis’ recollection of events some 6 years after the event:

Greg

I came across your web page about me by chance this evening and would be obliged if you would corrrect the following errors at
http://greglancewatkins.blogspot.co.uk/:

1/ I reversed my 1939 Alvis out of my garage, intending to polish it for the imminent national Alvis day. I walked back into the rather dark garage – I had not bothered to switch on the lights as I intended to polish the car outside – and as I walked I looked across the garage for polishing cloths, not where where I was walking.

2/ I forgot that the inspection pit over which the car had been parked did not have its boards in place due to the last job I had done on the car had involved being down in the pit.

3/ I cleary remembered, then and now, walking back into the garage, and why and I clearly remember waking up on the settee – it was only the fall I do not remember at all, though I do vaguely remember climbing back out of the pit.

4/ I also remember driving the car back into the garage, as the ambulance crew watched, and that the boards were still not in place.

5/ I made a full recovery over the following months, including a brain scan that confirmed no effect in my brain

Idris

You will note the details of the event do not exist at:

http://GregLanceWatkins.blogspot.co.UK nor at http://GregLanceWatkins.com

so i trust his update here will reassure people.

Regards,
Greg_L-W.

Posted in Idris FRANCIS | Leave a Comment »

 
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