Grooming Tomorrow’s Despots

One may wonder what surprises die-hard Blairite Lord Falconer, who is the Labour Party’s Shadow Justice Secretary, has in store for Jeremy Corbyn. Clues however may be found by reflecting upon the political interests of his associates at the memorial trust set up to honour Tony Blair’s reactionary predecessor, John Smith.

The John Smith Memorial Trust, where Lord Falconer acts as chairman, aims to “nurture a new generation of leaders committed to making a difference in their countries,” especially in the Former Soviet Union and Middle East.

“We do not attempt to indoctrinate,” the Trust explains, just “introduce them to models that may help them shape their societies.”

Memorial trustees active in this grooming of malleable and aspiring leaders include Peter Charow, the Vice President for Russia and Kazakhstan of BP, and General Sir Mike Jackson, who served as NATO Commander-in-Chief during the Iraq War.*


The Programme Director in charge of not-indoctrinating-future-leaders at the Memorial Trust is Brian Brivati, who runs a similar programme for the big business lobbying organisation, D Group.

Working with Brivati at D Group is Jeremy Corbyn’s corporate hack-namesake, Jane Corbin, whose ‘journalism’ in support of the powerful is unrivaled.

Consider the way that Corbin’s Panorama documentary, Death in the Med (2010), glosses over the murder of human rights activists by Israeli commandos: exhibiting a bias in tune with her late husbands parliamentary work for the Conservative Party’s Friends of Israel.

Ominously, D Group works closely with Britain’s leading military arms dealers, many of whom were in London last week at our Government’s notorious DSEI weapons bazaar, flogging strike aircraft’s to the world’s leading despots.

Former BP executive, Sir Richard Paniguian, is a central D Group advisor, having just retired from seven years as Head of the UK Government’s Defence and Security Organisation.

Or consider D Group’s Development Director, Major Alastair Watson, who as Prince Andrew’s Private Secretary supported The Duke as the “cheerleader in chief for the arms industry” (according to the Campaign Against the Arms Trade).

Royal ties to the brutal Saudi regime have always been close, and Major Watson is honoured to be a board member of the Arab British Chamber of Commerce – a body chaired by Labour peer and D Group advisor, Baroness Symons.

The latters warmongering was exposed some years back. Secret memos published in the national media outlined how:

“Five months before the March 2003 invasion [of Iraq], Baroness Symons, then the Trade Minister, told BP that the Government believed British energy firms should be given a share of Iraq’s enormous oil and gas reserves as a reward for Tony Blair’s military commitment to US plans for regime change.”

Baroness Symons later took up an advisory post with MerchantBridge, one of the largest private equity profiteers in Iraq.

In stark contrast, there can be no questioning Jeremy Corbyn’s commitment to democracy. But evidently his preference for global peace has already riled some, like a senior serving General who is already threatening “a mutiny” from the Army (September 20, Sunday Times)!

Stated baldly, it seems that the alternatives are socialism or barbarism; and I know which one I prefer.

This letter was emailed to the Leicester Mercury on 21st September.

*Another interesting trustee of the John Smith Memorial Trust is Roger Munnings, the recent CEO of KPMG Russia and current board member of Sistema, which is Russia’s largest publicly listed holding company – a company which also employs Lord Mandelson upon their board of directors.



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