MATTHEW JAMISON | 11.06.2017 | OPINION
Mrs. May & MI5 In Disarray
MI5, the so-called domestic security agency of the UK, has a self-styled image of being one of the best security, monitoring and surveillance agencies of any in the world. The British rarely do modesty. After all, they feel the need to insert in their official country title «Great» Britain. Yet strange events have been happening in Britain recently in the run up the General Election which have blown apart MI5's self-generated reputation for competence, efficiency and greatness.. There was the Westminster Bridge terror attack in March. Then there was the Manchester Bombing in May and ten days later the London Bridge attack. What do all of these attacks have in common apart from the hallmarks of the perverted ideology of extremist Islamist fundamentalism? In all three terror attacks now it has come to light that British authorities, specifically, the UK Home Office and MI5 knew of the attackers before the event. In some cases British authorities who knew of their nature even let them into the country without subjecting them to surveillance and monitoring. Indeed it is not just the latest three attacks in quick succession that MI5/Home Office knew about the attackers, their identities and their nature before the events. The Lee Rigby murder - MI5 knew about the attackers before the event. The Westminster Bridge attack - MI5 knew about the attacker before the event. Manchester bombing - MI5 knew of the attacker before the event. London June 3rd attacks - MI5 knew of the attackers before the event.
In the case of the Lee Rigby murder the culprits had been under surveillance only three days before it had happened and had previously worked for MI5. In the case of the Westminster Bridge attacker he had a criminal record and had done prison time. In the case of the Manchester bomber MI5/Home Office had been warned by the FBI and several UK citizens before the attack. And now in the case of the London Bridge attackers one had featured in a Channel 4 Documentary: «The Jihadis next door» while a neighbour of one of the attackers had actually reported him to the Government's anti-terror hotline and the response from the British authorities was in the words of the neighbour: »Nothing, absolutely nothing. They didn't get back to me».
Now we learn that a second of the three London Bridge attackers was able to enter the UK, despite being placed on an EU-wide watch list, before entering the UK. Youseff Zaghba was stopped at an Italian airport on his way to Syria last year and was put on an EU-wide database but was not stopped from entering the UK or placed under surveillance. So that is now two out of the three London Bridge attackers that the Home Office and MI5 knew about. When Zaghba entered Britain, Home Office staff at passport control should automatically have been alerted by the Schengen system, BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said. «One unconfirmed report suggests that did happen, apparently when Zaghba arrived at Stansted Airport in January – but that Home Office border staff still let him in», he said. I wonder why? The Home Office has so far declined to comment. Of course they would decline to comment.
There are really only two explanations why all these attackers have been known to British authorities before they carried out their attacks. 1) The Home Office and MI5 are grossly incompetent and negligent and not fit for purpose as the former Home Secretary John Reid said of the Home Office or 2) Something much more sinister is behind all this. I am reminded of that line in Julius Caesar: «Cry havoc. And slip the dogs of war». But one matter is very clear. MI5 and the Home Office under the leadership of the British Prime Minister Theresa May and her protégé Amber Rudd have not been doing their job properly. As The Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson put it MI5 will have to answer serious questions about why known Islamic extremists managed to carry out these attacks without being stopped. His comments go much further than Theresa May, who has said she would not comment while the investigations are ongoing. Johnson told Sky News: «People are going to look at the front pages today and they’re going to say ‘how on earth could we have let this guy or possibly more through the net? What happened, how could he possibly be on a Channel 4 programme and be committing atrocities like this?’ That is a question that will need to be answered by MI5». Yet in true, classic British Whitehall Whitewash style it is the very organisation that needs to answer the questions that will do the questioning. MI5 will conduct an internal review covering all three attacks, to see what lessons can be learned and whether it missed opportunities to prevent them. An internal review! What is the point in that? An external review is what is required.
I have been trying to raise the alarm bell about the inefficiency, incompetence and ridiculousness of so-called British intelligence, particular MI5 for some time. I wrote an article back in the autumn of 2015 for which I was criticized by a former colleague, the dubious and pathetic Michael Clarke. His successor, the equally charming and delightful Karin von Hippel, an emissary of Mrs. May's and other people (I can never bring myself to use the word von with its German aristocratic Nazi high command connotations) also sent me a grubby, hostile little email based on lies when I started to ring the alarm bell about Mrs. May and her too close for comfort relationship with the spooks of MI5. I think now with everything that has happened I was prophetic and both Clarke and Hippel owe me an apology. As Home Secretary for six out of the last seven years Theresa May was the one ultimately responsible for the so-called security service MI5 and was the one signing off on all the surveillance warrants. Her successor, Amber Rudd, astonishingly stated during a political debate in Cambridge that she spends two hours a day closely studying and examining the surveillance warrants that come across her desk. She obviously has not been studying hard enough.
As I have written before MI5 is more than just a security agency. It is a highly politicised, deeply conservative, propaganda arm of the British State or even Conservative Party. It conducted a smear campaign against the Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson ludicrously claiming he was a KGB sleeper agent without any evidence and of course it was proven to be absolute rubbish. If MI5 is truly a national security agency dedicated to fighting threats such as terrorism what on earth is MI5 doing labeling British citizens and British Labour Party politicians such as Jeremy Corbyn and Dianne Abbot as «Political Subversives» and wasting taxpayers money, time and precious resources monitoring them round the clock for years? Who is it in MI5 who gets to decide who is a «political subversive» and who is not a «political subversive». A highly subjective, politicised judgement.The incumbent Tory Home Secretary? If MI5 spent more of its time, resources and taxpayers money focusing on the real threats perhaps all these attacks would never have happened? And funny how it is always Labour Party politicians labelled by MI5 as «political subversives». How many Tory politicians have been labelled as «political subversives»? So much for a free society based on liberal democracy.
It is no coincidence that during the middle of a General Election campaign it was leaked to the ultra biased Tory supporting Telegraph that MI5 have been watching and monitoring Labour Party politicians like Jeremy Corbyn and Dianne Abbot for years . If anything the last few weeks have shown the British public and the world that MI5 need to focus on the real threats and do their job properly not spy on political opponents of the Conservative Party, wasting taxpayers money, precious resources and time. I wonder how many people on the Government's «terror watch list» are in fact simply political opponents of the Conservative Party who rubbed Theresa May and her Tory colleagues up the wrong way and not actually national security threats? What a waste of taxpayers money and a diversion from dealing with the real national security threats.
And like ferrets in a sack Mrs. May and her appalling, lightweight co-Chiefs of Staff Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill are now fighting amongst themselves with their former best buddies in MI5. As David Cameron's former Director of Strategy Steve Hilton put it: «Theresa May [is] blame-shifting again. her spin doctors attack MI5, but she was in charge of them for years…» Meanwhile a source with high-level MI5 experience of counter-terrorism work said: «I hope she (May) realises she will never regain the trust of important people such as MI5». Important people like MI5? Is MI5 the tail that wags the May dog? This pointless, vacuous, pathetic British General Election has done nothing but expose Theresa May for the empty, incompetent, callous lightweight she is and the disarray, incompetence and inefficiency of her domestic-security agency MI5. As Hugh Wright writing in the Telegraph put it:
«The election has, if nothing else, unmasked a nervous and insecure Prime Minister who is incapable of thinking on her own feet; a Maybot who relies on the facile and content-free soundbites programmed into her by Crosby and her campaign team; a slack-jawed pole-climber, floundering hopelessly out of her depth, whose mouth quivers alarmingly when subjected to even the most modest of criticism and cross-examination. Good luck in those Brexit negotiations, my esteemed British chums!»
Indeed, after this nonsense of an election is over it will out of the fire for the UK and into the frying pan with the impending Brexit negotiations. I am sure Brussels have been licking their lips while watching the spectacle of Theresa May's «strong and stable» leadership come crashing down with U-turn after U-turn and self inflicted wound after self-inflicted wound. As Jeremy Paxman put it of Mrs May: «You're a blow-hard who collapses at the first sound of gun-fire». She is hopelessly out of her depth both politically, socially and intellectually and that has, if nothing else, shone through during this miserable election. As John Major said of her, Mrs. May engages in «cheap talk». She is a paper tiger. Or as the brilliant Polly Toynbee put it:
«Under the stiff carapace is a hollowness, a lack of empathy, language or political imagination».
It is not only MI5 who have serious questions to answer. May and her Tory Party must explain why, against warnings from the Police Federation, they cut almost 20,000 Police Officers over the last 7 years. When brave police officers tried to warn Mrs. May that her ghastly cuts to the police would lead to an increase in terrorism she spat at them to stop »crying wolf» and stop «scaremongering». The British police are at breaking point. They do a fabulous job with limited resources and often do not get the credit or respect they deserve in Britain. Theresa May has to take responsibility. The problems lie not with the police but with Theresa May, her MI5 minions, the Tories and the Home Office. Funnily enough for a party that professes itself to be so tough on law and order and so supportive of the police Theresa May's 2017 Conservative manifesto doesn’t mention anything about additional funding for or an increase in police officers. The Labour Party are the only major British political party to pledge to »recruit an additional 10,000 police officers to work on community beats», which they estimate will cost £300 million. This is the biggest increase in officer numbers offered by any of the three parties, although it will only replace half of the officers cut under the Tories.
And now Mrs. May has engaged in more blow-hard cheap talk stating she wants tougher anti-terror laws, more extreme surveillance and is willing to rip up civil liberties and human rights in order to satisfy her handlers in MI5. But as Tim Farron of the Liberal Democrats and Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP have made clear MI5 already have some of the most extreme and powerful surveillance laws of any supposedly liberal democratic country in the Western world. There has already been too many extreme surveillance powers concentrated in the hands of MI5 which they have abused for political purposes. Theresa May rammed through Parliament at the behest of MI5 an extreme Surveillance & Investigatory Powers Bill which the United Nations rapporteur for privacy rights has said was «worse than scary». Is the UK headed towards a 1984 Orwellian Gestapo state. Perhaps we are there already. If Mrs. May thinks the laws need to be changed what has she been doing as Home Secretary and Prime Minister the last 7 years!?! MI5 have enough powers already. The powers are not the problem. MI5, the Home office and the Tory Party are the problem. If MI5 and the Home Office would just do their job properly; stop whipping things up for other agendas and acting as an arm of the Conservative Party spying on peaceful, democratically elected Labour Party politicians or political opponents of the Conservative Party who are not national security threats. .
People should be under no illusions about MI5. It can be a thoroughly sinister organisation run by cold, callous psychopaths. Some of the people that MI5 recruit to do their work are the dregs of society. Criminals. Thieves. Former Prisoners. Very damaged people. The poorly educated and easily manipulated. Societal drop outs. Useful idiots and Lazy, mediocre parasites. Child Abusers. Sick parents who use their own children as spying tools and are willing to take their babies into harms way because the Home Secretary tells them to do it in the interests of «national security». Some very sick, nasty people who MI5 get their hooks into because they are vulnerable and easily manipulated and controlled.
MI5 in many respects represents all the worst aspects and stereotypes about the English. The world-famous two-faced hypocrisy which George Orwell wrote of. The lack of empathy and cold, callous stiff upper lip. The double dealing un-trustworthiness. Perhaps Dianne Abbot was right in 1989 to sign a House of Commons Early Day Motion calling for the abolition of MI5 and a fresh start with a new agency dedicated to really protecting people from real threats. After all the UK have the police, they have special branch, they have the National Crime Agency. What exactly does the UK need MI5 for when they never seem to really do the job they are «officially» supposed to be doing? What precisely is the real purpose and real function of MI5 and who does it really serve? Sources close to the security services say monitoring all potential suspects, even high-risk ones, is impossible». Rubbish. They would say that, wouldn't they? Sources close to....covering their own backs. If MI5 want to monitor a high risk suspect round the clock they can. They have all the powers and resources required to do so and unlike the police have got the numbers, huge amount of numbers to do so. If they can monitor Jeremy Corbyn and other British politicians like Dianne Abbot for years upon years round the clock why not the real security threats?
Also, why has the British Government of Theresa May/MI5 suppressed a report into the sources of funding and support for Islamist ideology in Britain? Perhaps because Britain's number one arms client Saudi Arabia is the main source and the money that the British arms industry get from selling Saudi Arabia weapons of mass destruction is far more important than putting a stop to the funding and promotion of Islamist extremism in Britain. And also because the British Royal Family led by Prince Charles are all over the Saudi Royal Family like a rash.