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UKIP: Is there a hidden agenda?
by Tebbit, Norman
Norman Tebbit has uncovered an intriguing story about a possible link between
I HAVE heard more than a few conspiracy theorists telling me of plots against the Queen or how the KGB had infiltrated the Vatican, not to mention absolutely reliable sightings of Little Green Men from Mars. The Little Green Men fraternity are not too much trouble. A promise that their news will be passed to the special unit monitoring LGM is sufficient cover to escape. The conspiracy theorists are more difficult as they are reluctant to accept that the cock-up theory is more often right than the conspiracy one. So when a disgruntled ex-employee of the United Kingdom Independence Party told me that the party had been infiltrated by – of all things – MIb, my first thought was `Here’s another one’.Mr X did not impress at first sight. Though he was not wearing an anorak, he had the air of a man who would. His credentials, however, were good: a long-time Labour supporter, opponent of entry into the Common Market, assistant to the late Eric Heffer when the party’s policy (to which young Tony Blair subscribed) was to negotiate Britain’s exit from the EEC. He told me a story full of circumstantial – but not direct – evidence. One phrase and two names stuck in my mind.`However often you take off the overcoat,’ he said, `it still fits when you put it back on.’ He claimed (and I agree with him, but the leaders of UKIP do not) that the party had veered away from a policy of standing against sitting Europhile MPs to one of standing in seats where a sitting Tory MP might be ousted or a Tory candidate might be kept out, however good their Eurosceptic credentials might be. Many such seats are in the West Country where the arch-sceptic Patrick Nicholls has a majority of only 281 over the Liberal Democrats, with 13,000 Labour votes available to be squeezed. UKIP polled 1,600 and clearly has no chance of winning, but maintain that their candidate will take votes mainly from the LibDems and Labour, not from Patrick Nicholls. I find that hard to believe.If I am right, UKIP’s intervention will be immensely damaging to the Tories, and will give their Europhiles the platform to overturn a Eurosceptic leadership; Lord Brittan fired the first shots in that campaign in the Times earlier this week. Nigel Farage who left the Tories at the time of Maastricht – is confident that I am mistaken. If he is wrong, however, UKIP will have played into the hands of Blair and Brussels. A badly battered Tory party plunged into a leadership crisis would offer Blair the perfect opportunity to bounce Britain into the euro before the sceptics could be rallied to organise a No cam aian. That overcoat fits. It even fits with Blair’s fanatical obsession not just to beat but to destroy the Conservative party.Then there were the two names. Mr X had no proof, but he believed that they had links to a British intelligence service. Somewhat half-heartedly, I made my own inquiries and unexpectedly struck gold. There is no doubt in my mind about what is known in the trade as their ‘provenance’. I challenged one directly: `Are you or have you ever been a member of [that agency]?’ Denial came there none, only an angry retort that I should be ashamed of myself for asking such a question.The agency does not answer questions of that sort either – and quite right too. Its practice is firmly but non-attributably to deny that it would ever sanction an agent on the active list to intervene in the affairs of a British political party. The agency would say that the recent legislation on political oversight of the intelligence services makes it impossible for such action to be authorised. However, I am perfectly sure that the individuals had been active agents, although both would claim to have retired some years ago, well before joining UKIP.The conspiracy theory was given a boost when I discovered this week that during the 1997 election both individuals worked for Jimmy Goldsmith‘s Referendum party. The first to be employed promptly recruited the other. With its single manifesto commitment to seek a referendum on British membership of the European Union, it was seen, and proved to be, a more credible contender than UKIP, polling more than 800,000 out of about one million Eurosceptic votes. It was a poor return for Goldsmith’s 20 million investment. I have often reflected that I could have made much better use of that money to advance his cause.After the 1997 election both individuals moved to UKIP. One is still there. I understand the other resigned his post some three months ago, having lost the confidence of some of his colleagues. I do not believe the leaders of UKIP were aware of the background of these people when they were employed. Although there was no shock at UKIP when I told them what I knew about the person who had left, there was some surprise about the other one.There is nothing illegal or improper in former intelligence officers joining political parties as staff members or to seek election. There are former agents in both Houses of Parliament, but to find two in such small organisations as the Referendum party or UKIP is somewhat against the odds. It is easy enough to postulate innocent explanations for the activities of these two people. One can believe the denials of the agency for which they worked – although in the immortal words of Miss Mandy Rice-Davies, `They would say that, wouldn’t they?’ It is possible that they might have been recruited by a non– British agency with a particular interest in the politics of Europe in this country.Maybe the leaders of UKIP, whose good faith I do not doubt, are right to believe that hordes of former LibDem voters are poised to jump ship from the most extreme Europhile party in Britain to vote for the most anti-European party in Britain. I can only say that I will be as surprised as Charles Kennedy if it works out that way.Since Attlee’s Labour government helped to create Nato, all three major parties have agreed that membership of that alliance is in the British national interest. Through the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s those opposing membership were regarded as certainly misguided and possibly subversive.It is possible to draw a parallel with the present agreement of the three major parties that Britain should remain within the European Union – in, of course, our national interest. A party whose sole raison d’etre is British withdrawal might be regarded as subversive. Already New Labour equates patriotism with membership and describes calls for withdrawal as `unpatriotic’.The Cold War is over. The EU is not Nato. UKIP is not a danger to the United Kingdom (though it may be to the European Union). If the Conservative party moved further into Euroscepticism, even contemplating withdrawal, the state would not be endangered, so interference in UKIP could not be justified.Once away from the heat and dust of an election compaign, it would be wise to set up an independent inquiry to establish whether anything improper has gone on. I hope it would conclude that despite apperances there has been nothing more then a string of coincidences and some bad political judgements. In the meantime, the voters should be informed of the facts and left to make up their minds by 7 June.They should also listen to what the parties say about Europe. Essentially the Blair position is that anything the EU wants goes. There is quibbling but no lines drawn in the sand. Labour might drag its feet or grumble – but in the end it agrees to what our partners want. Hague is different. His position on the euro was painfully caricatured by John Humphrys: `If you are only committed to the pound for one parliament, what about the monarchy?’ Hague’s answer is sound. He cannot commit the British people for more than one parliament. He sees not just an ephemeral economic advantage from keeping the pound but that, if our currency goes, the Bank of England’s economic policy will too, with tax and public expenditure following soon after. He has no need to offer a referendum. The election promise is to keep the pound, but Hague’s refusal just – to say `No euro on principle; No for ever’ has allowed Tory Europhiles to accept his policy.More broadly, the slogan `In Europe but not ruled by Europe’ makes sense to millions of voters nervous of the trauma of disengaging from the European Union. In practice Prime Minister Hague might find our ‘partners’ unwilling to offer that option. What then? Who would favour `in and ruled by’ and who would opt for `out and rule ourselves’?Hague’s promise not to ratify the Nice Treaty would shock Europe. His policy to allow other states to integrate, even into a single state if they wished (getting the British dog out of the federal manger), would require a fundamental rewriting of the Treaty of Rome. That could allow the Central European states into the EU, with Britain and several other states ‘in’ a Europe to which they did not have to concede the right to independent self-government. Germany and France could merge – if that is what they wanted – into a federal republic, a more realistic project than the merger of ten or 20 states.Hague’s proposal for `reserved powers’ to prevent the EU from overriding Parliament in areas where we never intend to give powers to them sounds innocent enough, but is bound to lead to clashes with Brussels. This, too, could be resolved only by British surrender or a new treaty. The refusal to ratify Nice would be a clear signal and a powerful bargaining token.Whatever the outcome of the UKIP affair, even UKIP knows that only a victory for Hague can prevent Britain being bounced into the euro in a rigged referendum and dragged down the federal road to the point of no return. Not even ten seats for UKIP could stop that – and I’m afraid they will not win even one.UKIP supporters who want their votes to count would be wise to vote for Tory candidates wherever the seat might otherwise fall to Europhile LibDems or Labour.
To view Norman Tebbit’s Article in context CLICK HERE
Here is the ancient ‘STORY’ attributed to Norman Tebbit by ‘Right Now Magazine’ in 2001:
Norman Tebbitt – now Lord Tebbit was asked by ‘Right Now’s’ interviewer:
“During the general election campaign (presumably this means the l997 election) you alleged that UKIP had been infiltrated by the security services, to spoil Conservative changes in particular seats. Can you recapitulate the story?”
Lord Tebbit replied:
“A disgruntled former employee of UKIP came to see me. His credentials were excellent – he had a long career on the Left of the Labour Party and had once opposed our membership of the European Community. He said UKIP had been manipulated by two people at least – whom he named – whom he believed to be working for British secret intelligence. The story sounded unlikely, but I discovered that both of these people were, indeed, ‘former’ agents, although I was told they were no longer active. I rang one of the people concerned and asked if they were still active. I was told this was a ‘disgraceful’ and ‘shameful’ thing to ask, to which I said ‘You can dispose of the question very easily by saying ‘No’. The ‘phone was slammed down – so I concluded that the person concerned was at the very least a former agent. I then discovered that the same two people had entered the Referendum Party before the l997 election in exactly the same way – one entering first, and then recruiting the second. And of course, Jimmy Goldsmith didn’t achieve as much as he ought to have done, despite his determination and expenditure. I think this may go some way to explaining why UKIP deviated from its earlier tactic of standing principally against Europhile candidates towards a new tactic of concentrating a great deal of fire in seats where Eurosceptic Conservatives were either defending a narrow majority or had a chance of overturning one.
It may seem incredible that British intelligence should intervene in the affairs of a political party, but if you look back at the past it’s not so incredible. First of all, the Central Intelligence Agency was funding the European movement in the early 1970’s, presumably with our government’s consent. Secondly, after the Attlee government’s brave decision to help establish NATO , there was always pressure from the Left for Britain to pull out of NATO. Since all three major parties had declared that it was in Britain’s national interest to be part of NATO, there was a locus for the intelligence services to take an interest – to put it mildly – in small parties or individuals within the major parties that tried to get us out, or who were trying to get their party’s policy changed. Today, all three major parties have been saying for some time that it is in Britain’s national interest to be part of the EU. The same logic could presumably apply.”
I understand the two supposed Agency staffers were as I recall allegedly Heather Connyngham and Mark Daniels though in fact more likely to have been Christopher Skeet (you may remember The Express article of that time as I recall) – there were of course malicious claims, long after this frippery from Norman Tebbit, that one of the Agency staffers was I and the other Lindsay Jenkins.
That there were claims that it was me shows just how desperate some of the fantasists in UKIP are to lie and defame in the invention of their conspiracy theories to account for their greeds and personal failures in life and as people of any repute – you will note many of them are too cowardly and ashamed to even put their names to their defamatory lies, spin and malice.
Some of you may also be aware of the lies and spin published by Notes From The Borderland – for which of course there was no shred of sustainable evidence at the time and the malicious repetition of the pack of lies of that conspiracy theory has been desperately promoted to the present day by some of UKIP’s failures, too idle, malicious, or stupid to check the facts.
Similarly the lies and distortions deliberately put about regarding Anna Lindh in yet another effort to defame for their personal gain – so often from behind the shield of false names and cowardly anonymity aware of how foolish they look and too ashamed to put their names to the lies.
For further details and facts CLICK HERE
The claim that UKIP had much effect on Tory holding of seats was largely a myth put about by Richard North and I as the polls closed where we decided a plausible number where we could make a believable claim would be around 25-30 seats where UKIP blocked or lost the Tories the seat – clearly that would not have stood a prayer of causing the political mud slide that brought New Labour into power nor the continued mud slide that kept them there the slump in their mud bank that moved them out to watch the coallition was of no making of UKIP’s.
That UKIP may foolishly and damagingly for EUroScepticism have overturned the Tory majority of 281 in Patrick Nichol’s seat in the South West IS more than probable as UKIP polled 16?? which had they not would have kept in place one of the most outspoken of Tory EUroRealsts speaking out loudly for Fishermen and leaving The EU and most effectively so.
Indeed UKIP’s presence has in real terms been more hinderance to EUroRealism than it has been help as it has betrayed its electorate and done so very little that has been other than crass, self serving and completely incompetent.
Would that UKIP had been, as I and others had hoped, our lifeboat but sadly the scum that has floated to the top and the parasites in support has brought our only lifeboat to a standstill and all but swamped it in corruption and defamatory lies to keep the sel;f enriching and the self serving in the boat at the cost of Patriotism and genuine UKIP supporters and activists.