New book of Establishment conspiracies and cover-ups now published worldwide

A sensational new book by a retired investigative journalist lifts the lid on 18 of his award-winning investigations into Establishment conspiracies, cover-ups and corruption.

After 28 years in UK newspaper and magazine journalism Nic Outterside took early retirement in 2013. During those years he scooped more than a dozen major press awards, including Scottish Daily Journalist of the Year, Scottish Weekly Journalist of the Year, North of England Daily Journalist of the Year, and in 1994 was given a Judges’ Special Award for Investigative Journalism. That same year, 53 MPs signed an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons, praising his enquiries into a link between the firing of Depleted Uranium (DU) artillery shells and Gulf War Syndrome and cancer.

In 2015, Nic set up his own publishing house – Time is an Ocean – and his new book Contacts – Collusion, Cover-up, Conspiracy and Corruption is his 12th paperback publication. Two earlier books – Death in Grimsby and Bones both became Amazon best-sellers.

Now Contacts pulls together 18 of Nic’s newspaper investigations, including a likely masonic conspiracy behind the Dunblane Massacre of 1996 and the deselection of a Conservative parliamentary candidate; life threatening leaks of radiation at nuclear facilities in North Wales and Scotland; the death of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed, the dumping of deadly war-time munitions in the Irish Sea; the truth behind the 2001 Foot and Mouth Disease epidemic and the aforementioned Depleted Uranium investigation.

Wolverhampton-based Nic said: “The idea for this book came to me last year while sorting through old newspaper cuttings and I suddenly realised just how many investigations I had broken over the years.

“Each of the chapters is a separate story, starting in 1990 with my exposure of deadly radioactive contamination of workers at Trawsfynydd nuclear power plant in North Wales and ending with a post retirement piece investigating the poisonings of former Russian spies Alexander Litvinenko and Sergei Skripal.

“The book is a culmination of 30 years research, 30 consecutive days writing and almost six months of editing, revising and proofing. Labour of love is an over-used cliché, but after spending most of my life as an investigative journalist, this really is the culmination.”

Contacts is now available worldwide both as large format paperback book and as a Kindle e-book.

Contacts is available as a (6”x9”) paperback priced at £10.99 (Free Delivery) from Amazon.

It is also available as Kindle e-book priced at £3.99.

Shropshire student sees her holiday photograph chosen for new book cover

A Whitchurch teenager, currently training to be a teacher, is over the moon after one of her holiday photographs was chosen to be the cover of a new blockbuster paperback.

Chlöe Edwards, 19, who is studying for a BA in Education at the University of Chester’s Riverside campus has developed a hobby in photography. And her candid pictures caught the eyes of Wolverhampton based editor and publisher Nic Outterside.

Now her photo of an old rural red telephone box, taken while she was on holiday in Devon, forms the stunning cover for Nic’s latest book Contacts.

After 28 years in newspaper and magazine journalism, Nic, formerly of Whitchurch himself, took early retirement in 2013. During those years he scooped more than a dozen major press awards and had an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons praising his work.

In 2015, Nic set up his own publishing house – Time is an Ocean – and his new book Contacts – Collusion, Cover-up, Conspiracy and Corruption is his 12th paperback publication. Two earlier books – Death in Grimsby and Bones both became Amazon best-sellers.

Contacts pulls together 18 of Nic’s newspaper investigations in series of eye-opening stories from radiation contamination to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Nic said: “The idea for this book came to me last year while sorting through old newspaper cuttings and I suddenly realised just how many investigations I had broken over the years.

“The book is a culmination of 30 years research, 30 consecutive days writing and almost six months of editing, revising and proofing. It is titled Contacts because every good journalist relies on his or her contacts to break front page stories.

“But I needed a strong picture for the cover… then I discovered Chlöe’s work on Instagram and saw the red phone box photo and immediately thought Wow… that’s the picture.”

Chlöe is a former school friend of Nic’s son Nathan while both were students at Sir John Talbot’s School in Whitchurch, which makes the book tie unique.

Chlöe said: “This whole experience has been amazing from start to finish. I couldn’t believe that a quick edited snap could go so far. It has been a real confidence boost and has shown me what an amazing tool social media is too.

One of Chlöe’s other photographs has already been selected for the cover of another of Nic’s books Western Skies, scheduled for publication next spring.

Contacts is available as a large format (6”x9”) paperback priced at £10.99 (Free Delivery) from Amazon.

A Kindle e-book edition will be published later this summer.

Lies, propaganda, scapegoats and cover-ups

FMD

DURING a recent dinner party a couple of long-time friends asked why I ‘always blame’ the so-called Establishment for so many of our current problems.

“Surely, if the BBC report it as fact, we can believe the BBC,” one friend added.

That was the excuse I needed, and fuelled by a few glasses of wine I began to burble a list which started somewhere around the creation of Israel, took a detour to the murder of Princess Diana, the real terrorists behind the 9/11 atrocities and crudely ended with Margaret Thatcher’s deployment of nuclear weapons during the Falklands War.

Yes, I suppose I am a bit of conspiracy theorist… but only when that conspiracy has credibility, and that credibility is supported by cast iron facts.

As a journalist I have witnessed far too often the lies and dirty tricks that the Establishment will stoop to, to get their own way.

Murder, war and disease are the forerunners.

And as a journalist, I know the deadly propaganda that our mainstream media – including the BBC and Sky – will feed the population to give credence to those lies.

The distorted reporting surrounding the recent poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia are a case in point… but that would be another detour!

So to answer a few questions I have decided to dig out and reload one of my published investigations.

This one dates from early 2001, soon after Foot and Mouth Disease devastated British farming.

Conspiracy?

You bet!

THE British, Canadian, US and Mexican Governments were preparing for the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease FOUR months before it emerged on a Tyneside farm.

An investigation has discovered that all four countries were staging a co-ordinated Foot and Mouth simulation exercise in October 2000, despite the fact that Britain had not been struck by the disease for 34 years and the USA and Canada had not been affected since 1929.

And North timber merchants have confirmed that they were approached for urgent supplies to tackle the disease by Ministry of Agriculture officials as early as December.

Today scientists called for the Government to admit it knew that Foot and Mouth was present in the UK long before it was officially pinpointed at Bobby Waugh’s Heddon-on-the-Wall pig farm on 23rd February.

And Mr Waugh has called for a public apology from the Government after the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food (MAFF) consistently blamed his farm as “the likely source of the outbreak”.

An investigation has discovered that last October the United States and Mexico began preparing for “a simulated outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease” in all three countries.

According to papers leaked from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the exercise – which took place between 6th and 9th November – was “for the purpose of emergency planning”.

It took place in Ontario, Alberta, Texas, USA, and Tamaulipas, Mexico.

The papers say: “This exercise is the first of its kind and provides all three countries with a unique opportunity to apply their emergency response plans in the event of a real disease outbreak.”

Yet neither Canada, the USA nor Mexico had been affected with Foot and Mouth Disease since 1929.

And the exercise – which is estimated to have cost over $1million – was the first US “Foreign Animal Disease Response Simulation” of any kind since 1993. At the same time the UK Government was preparing its own “contingency plans” for a Foot and Mouth outbreak.

Yet the last Foot and Mouth outbreak was in 1967.

We discovered that MAFF officials began telephoning timber merchants as early as December asking if they could supply wood for pyres, should Foot and Mouth strike.

Mike Littlehales, who ran a timber yard in Staffordshire said he received a phone call “out of the blue”.

He said: “I got this call from a lady who said ‘This is the Ministry of Agriculture. Would you be interested in supplying timber in case of foot-and-mouth?’ because she wanted to update her records.

“It surprised me, and I thought it was doubly strange when three weeks later the Government tell us we have an outbreak of the disease.”

Mr Littlehales said the last time his timber business had received a similar call was during the Foot and Mouth outbreak in 1967.

Fran Talbot, a timber merchant at Eccleshall, said she was approached in first week of February and asked about the availability of railway sleepers in the event of a FMD outbreak.

“The woman said ‘are you still in a position to supply timber for burning animals in case of an outbreak of Foot and Mouth’.

“It was a very odd thing to happen just three weeks before an outbreak.”

Mrs Talbot’s firm had supplied sleepers during the 1967 outbreak, but had not heard from MAFF since.

Tommy Norman, who runs a timber yard at Longtown, Cumbria – the centre of scores of cases of Foot and Mouth Disease – confirmed he had received a similar call from MAFF in January.

“It’s difficult for me to say any more,” he added. “I have provided masses of wood for MAFF pyres, but they still owe me a large amount of money.”

Top US scientist Dr Patricia Doyle, who has led a stateside campaign to discover the truth about the UK Foot and Mouth outbreak, said: “I am convinced that MAFF knew about the virus was on the loose long before this February.

“And the US Government was protecting its back because they weren’t sure how far the virus had leaked.”

Amble-based geneticist Bruce Jobson, added: “This confirms what we knew all along, that the Government was aware Foot and Mouth was on the loose long before they identified it at Bobby Waugh’s farm.

“The new Department of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) must now admit that MAFF had covered up the real cause of this outbreak”.

Newcastle-based microbiologist Dr Harash Narang added: “I firmly believe that the virus escaped from a MAFF experiment and had infected sheep as long ago as last October.

“This evidence now supports that belief.”

Mr Waugh said he felt vindicated that he was not responsible for the Foot and Mouth outbreak.

“Again, again and again I have been blamed for this disease, when I knew all along it wasn’t me.

“I now want the Government to admit they got it wrong and tell us all how this thing really started.”

Stuart Renton, a vet for almost 30 years, who works out of the Newcastle Foot and Mouth centre in Kenton Bar, Newcastle, launched a scathing attack on his MAFF employers.

He said he and many other vets working for MAFF believe Mr Waugh is innocent.

Dr Renton says he has seen enough evidence of ‘old’ Foot and Mouth sores on infected sheep to convince him the disease was present in the UK long before 15th February.

And he blasted the Government for adopting the wrong policies to deal with the outbreak. “They made our work extremely harrowing,” he said.

The 50-year-old North East vet’s contract with the MAFF may now be on the line for daring to tell what he believes is the truth.

Throughout the entire Foot and Mouth epidemic MAFF vets have not been allowed to speak about the crisis.

Instead any official comment has only come from MAFF press office in London, its chief scientist Professor David King or Agriculture Minister Nick Brown.

Dr Renton said: “Long standing Foot and Mouth lesions are being found in sheep nationally, indicating the disease was probably present long before the so-called initial outbreak in Heddon. We are still getting pockets of infection in sheep which we cannot trace back to Heddon.”

Dr Renton has been part of the MAFF team diagnosing and overseeing the destruction of animals since taking on a case at Black Callerton, Westerhope on 26th February.

He said: “Along with a number of the veterinary surgeons involved, I have serious doubts over the culling policies being adopted by the Government, which makes our work in this outbreak extremely harrowing,” he said.

“And from day one MAFF has been terribly under-resourced to cope. I knew when I took on case number 10 on 26th February that we were on the edge of a disaster and it’s been playing catch-up ever since.”

MAFF said it was ‘unfortunate’ one of its vets should choose to speak to the press. “We will investigate this immediately,” said a spokeswoman.

Although Dr Renton’s contract with MAFF could be terminated by his decision to speak out, we understand it is unlikely he will lose his job because of a shortage of replacement vets.

A spokesman for the Canadian Government said he was unable to comment on its Foot and Mouth simulation exercise due to agreements it had made with the British Government.

“Due to the sensitivity surrounding events which have occurred since February this year, we are unable to comment further on the reasons or results of the November exercise,” he added.

But a DEFRA spokesman denied that MAFF had tried to cover-up the outbreak.

He said: “We did not know of Foot and Mouth in this country at a time earlier than 21st February, when it was identified at the abattoir in Essex and then traced to Mr Waugh’s farm in Northumberland.

“There has never been any deliberate concealment.

“From time to time we do emergency planning exercises and the inquiries about wood may well have been of this nature.”

According to official records the last official UK Foot and Mouth contingency plan was in 1993.

  • NOTE: This investigation led directly to me receiving an honorary doctorate in written journalism from an US university.

This isn’t anti-Semitism… this is the reality of the killing fields of Palestine

Pal Flag

LAST Saturday, thousands of Palestinians attended the funeral in Gaza of a volunteer female medic who was killed by Israeli fire during protests near the border with Israel.

Gentle Razan al-Najar, 21, was shot dead as she ran towards the border fence last Friday to help a casualty.

The death of Razan followed weeks of killings and crippling woundings by Israel’s IDF forces on the Gaza-Israel border.

More than 100 men, women and children have been killed by Israeli forces amid protests in support of the declared right of Palestinian refugees to return to their ancestral homes in what is now Israel.

Israel claims its soldiers have only opened fire on people trying to break through the border under cover of protests, and has blamed the group Hamas for orchestrating the violence.

But UN and human rights officials have accused Israel of using disproportionate force.

At Saturday’s funeral procession, Razan’s body was carried through the streets of Gaza wrapped in a Palestinian flag.

Her father carried her blood-stained medical jacket, while other mourners demanded revenge.

The Palestinian Medical Relief Society said Razan had been trying to reach an injured protester when she was shot near the city of Khan Younis.

“Shooting at medical personnel is a war crime under the Geneva conventions,” it said in a statement.

UN envoy for the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov tweeted that Israel needed to calibrate its use of force.

The UN’s Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) also said it was “deeply concerned” and called for the protection of medical workers.

Israel’s military claimed its troops along the border had been attacked by militants with gunfire and a grenade on Friday.

It said in a written statement that it would investigate the death of Ms Najar.

The day after Razan al-Najar funeral, Mohammed Naaim Hamada, 30, died on Sunday morning east of the Gaza Strip as a result of wounds inflicted by Israeli security forces on May 14.

Hamada’s death takes the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since the protests began to at least 121.

Palestinian health officials say another 10,000 have been seriously injured by Israeli troops over the past six weeks at a series of protests along the border.

Sixty died on one day alone, when 40,000 took part in demonstrations that coincided with the controversial relocation to Jerusalem of the US embassy.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel’s military of carrying out “massacres” of unarmed civilians.

Hamas and other groups organised the protest campaign, dubbed the “Great March of Return“, in support of the declared right of Palestinian refugees to return to land they or their ancestors fled from or were forced to leave in the war which followed Israel’s founding in 1948.

The Israeli government, which has long ruled out any right of return, said terrorists wanted to use the protests as cover to cross into its territory and carry out attacks.

Before the protests began, Israeli officials said soldiers would be permitted under certain rules to fire live ammunition at anyone attempting to damage the border fence, and even against people coming within 300m (985ft) of it – a figure that was reportedly later reduced to 100m.

They said Israeli soldiers deployed near the Gaza protests were required to operate according to the international legal framework applicable to police and other law enforcement officials, which is part of international human rights law.

It holds that the “intentional lethal use of firearms may only be made when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life”.

“An attempt to approach or crossing or damaging the fence do not amount to a threat to life or serious injury and are not sufficient grounds for the use of live ammunition,” said Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“This is also the case with regards to stones and Molotov cocktails being thrown from a distance at well-protected security forces located behind defensive positions.”

Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East director, said: “This is a violation of international standards, with Israeli forces in some instances committing what appear to be wilful killings constituting war crimes.”

Last month, the group documented witness testimony, video and photographic evidence that it said showed Israeli troops were killing and maiming demonstrators who posed no imminent threat to them.

The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said the open-fire orders were “manifestly unlawful” and called on Israeli soldiers in the field to refuse to comply with them.

Last month, six other human rights groups asked the Israeli Supreme Court to revoke the military’s rules of engagement that they said permitted live fire at protesters classified as “key agitators” even when they did not pose an immediate threat to life. The groups said soldiers should instead follow the law enforcement framework. The court’s decision is pending.

Palestinian campaigner Nahida Izzat sets out the ongoing crisis in Gaza in startling black and white: “We the Palestinian Nation have been victims of insanely sadistic cruelty, assassinations of pregnant mothers, torture of children, psycho-terror, loss of land, loss of peace, security and independence, loss of health, destruction of our architectural and archeological cultural heritage, loss of collective and personal property, loss of economic means, all at the hands and policies of a foreign and psychopathic body of Jewish Zionist terrorists and their international network of accomplices, for more than seven decades.

“Myriads of Jewish-Zionist funds and foundations continue to raise and collect sums in the billions from international Jewish communities, to finance (either overtly or covertly) the destruction of our nation and our homeland.”

For the past 85 years there have been four major Intifadas (uprisings) in Palestine in 1929, 1936, 1987, 2000.

For six generations there have been 10 wars of aggression by Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982, 1996, 2006, 2008/9, 2012 and 2014.

Tens of thousands of innocent and peace seeking civilians now lie dead.

Nahida Izzat continues: “Yet, the racist supremacist occupiers Israel still have not learned how to co-exist and live peacefully without violence or aggression.

“Their ideological supremacy and fanaticism is now worsening and spiralling out of control.

Yet, comes those fake “doves” who want to hoodwink Palestinians and the world into believing that “coexistence” and “peace” with violent, nuclear-armed supremacist is not only possible, but only just around the corner!

“I call this behaviour a deception of the highest order.

  • If every single one of us, 11 million Palestinians, agrees to “coexist” with those who raped our land and dispossessed us;
  • If we all become ideological clones of Mahmoud Abbas;
  • If we run with open arms smothering our occupiers with hugs and kisses;
  • If we agree to absolve them of all the century of crimes;
  • If we embrace them under the banner of “equal rights for all”;

“The supremacist occupiers would sneer, turn their heads away in contempt, while plotting for their next expansionist war, for how could a “chosen” ever be “equal” to a “goy”?

“The six million dollar question now is, why on Earth do Jewish supporters ignore the fatal need of Israeli supremacists to learn about equality and co-existence and frenetically chase us, to preach co-existence to us and teach us about equality instead of their own?

“It is time to cut the crap, once and for all, and stop the lie of preaching co-existence to Palestinians when you know fair well that Jewish racism and supremacy lie at the heart of the problem.”

Nahida is right, the root cause to all the problems in the entire Middle East is the ongoing denial of Palestinian freedom.

Israel has chosen occupation over peace, and used negotiations as a smokescreen to advance its colonial project.

Every government across the globe knows this simple fact and yet so many of them pretend that returning to the failed recipes of the past could achieve freedom and peace.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

There can be no negotiations without a clear Israeli commitment to fully withdraw from the Palestinian territory it occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem; a complete end to all colonial policies; a recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people including their right to self-determination and return; and the release of all Palestinian prisoners.

Maybe it is useful to remind the world that Palestine’s dispossession, forced exile and transfer, and oppression have now lasted for 70 years.

Palestinian Liberation is the only item to have stood on the UN’s agenda since its inception.

The entire world knows that Jerusalem is the flame that can inspire peace and ignite war.

Why then does the world stand still while the Israeli attacks against the Palestinian people in the city and in Muslim and Christian holy sites, notably Al-Haram al-Sharif, continue unabated?

Israel’s actions and crimes not only destroy the two-state solution on 1967 borders and violate international law, they threaten to transform a solvable political conflict into a never-ending religious war that will undermine stability in a region already experiencing unprecedented turmoil.

Israel’s domination of Palestinians makes violence inevitable

The latest round of attacks is shocking, but no anomaly. There will never be quiet as long as one group of citizens are forced to live without rights, and with no way out

No people on the globe would accept to coexist with oppression.

By nature, humans yearn for freedom, struggle for freedom, sacrifice for freedom, and the freedom of the Palestinian people is long overdue.

And in words that would have sat easily with Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King, Nahida Izzat adds: “We the Palestinian people aim to steer our own struggle towards liberation those who want to steer in the same direction are welcome, those who want to steer in a different direction, to protect our killers and secure their future from any upcoming natural justice, are advised to jump across and join the other camp right away, rather than waiting for the future.

“We refuse to grant legitimacy to supremacists, mass-murderers and baby-killers.

“The only fair solution for such chronic grave injustice, to right the wrong of a century of crimes against humanity is the Algerian model of the full Liberation of Palestine.”

Indeed, now is the time to Free Palestine.

Spread the word!

Death is Not the End – the conspiracy surrounding the deaths of John Bauldie and Matthew Harding

John Bauldie

I NEVER thought for one minute that a life-long obsession with music legend Bob Dylan would collide head on with my 30 year career as an investigative journalist.

But it has done… in the most unexpected way imaginable.

It is a story of a common love, friendship, a sudden and tragic death and an ongoing murder conspiracy.

A conspiracy which may touch the highest levels of British society.

My love and obsession with Bob Dylan has now spanned more than 40 years.

But it was back in 1987-88, while I was hospitalised in Cardiff with cancer, that a new world of Dylan was unexpectedly opened to me.

And with it an equally unexpected friendship.

To while away the hours and weeks of radiotherapy, my mother bought me a copy of Robert Shelton’s definitive Dylan biography No Direction Home.

I consumed the book in a couple of days. And while meandering through the appendices I noted mention of a quarterly Bob Dylan fan magazine, simply titled The Telegraph.

With an annual subscription of just £10, including delivery, I wrote off and subscribed to the magazine instantly.

And so began the expansion of my world of Bob Dylan and an enduring friendship with the magazine’s editor John Bauldie.

John was an ebullient personality, sometimes sounding dour with his native Lancashire drawl, but always enthused by anything to do with Bob Dylan and his hometown football team Bolton Wanderers.

And as a fellow journalist, we automatically had a lot in common.

John was one of the world’s foremost authorities on Dylan’s music. He wrote several key books on him as well as – since 1981 – editing and publishing the superb Telegraph.

Yet there was nobody less like the stereotyped “anorak” than John.

A former lecturer in English literature he was a dapper and cultured man, who brought a well-rounded intelligence to his quest.

His vocation was to amass the data and win for his hero the serious appraisal due to an outstanding 20th century performer.

He only met Dylan once, and that was by accident.

Following a US tour, he was passing the singer’s tour bus when Dylan sauntered out.

The two men held a brief and genial conversation, in the course of which John won a much prized endorsement for his magazine.

“The Telegraph?” Bob murmured. “I seen a few issues of that. It’s pretty interesting.”

That was all the recognition that John required.

Then in 1987 – coinciding with our first contact – he left his teaching days behind him and joined the small team at the newly-launched Q magazine, as a sub-editor.

Meanwhile, I quickly became a regular contributor to The Telegraph and would often engage in long telephone conversations with John at his home in Romford, swapping his immense knowledge of Dylan with my suggestions for magazine lay-out, typography and style.

He seemed like a god to me and was always the first person I turned to for tickets to Dylan gigs – usually after he broke the news of the great man’s next tour.

John loved to travel with his longstanding partner, Penny Garner, and would invariably plan his year around Dylan’s interminable tour itineraries.

And he always cut a memorable figure at those gigs. You’d spot him, immaculately turned-out in his camel-hair coat as he shared his insights and a few drinks with fellow fans.

And it was wholly due to John that I joined him on a flight to Brussels in the summer of 1989 to follow Bob Dylan around Europe, and witness Dylan’s greatest gig at the Statenhal in Den Haag.

When I moved to Scotland in late 1990 to begin a full-time job as a newspaper editor, our telephone conversations became less frequent, but we still had time to meet for a chat before Dylan’s gigs at Glasgow’s SECC in February 1991.

And my quarterly copy of The Telegraph still arrived promptly every three months.

So, it was in total shock and disbelief when I discovered that John, aged just 47, had been killed in seemingly freak helicopter crash in Cheshire.

It was the same crash which killed Chelsea multi-millionaire vice chairman Matthew Harding and three other people on 22 October 1996.

Harding had given John a lift in his private helicopter to watch his love Bolton Wanderers, defeat Chelsea in a Coca-Cola cup tie at Burnden Park.

Ironically it was their mutual love of Bob Dylan which first brought John and Matthew Harding together.

Some months later I wrote to John’s widow Penny, expressing my condolences and deep sadness at John’s death.

Penny replied almost immediately and I have treasured her hand written letter for the past 20 years.

And there my grief and memory of John Bauldie should have remained.

But, last month my investigative senses were stimulated by a chance conversation with another Dylan fanatic at record fair in my local town.

He told me that Penny had died homeless and destitute a few years after John’s tragic death, and both their deaths were not as they might seem.

On arriving home I quickly found online a copy of the official report into the helicopter crash which took John’s life.

The report, dated November 1997, said that the pilot of the twin-engined French Aerospatiale AS 355F1 Squirrel had neither the qualifications nor experience to control the aircraft after it got into difficulties.

Michael Goss, 38, had gone off route on the night of the crash and headed for an area of high ground which a weather forecaster had advised him to avoid.

The report said that after taking off from Bolton after the match, the flight had to operate below an overcast cloud layer which was below the minimum safe en-route altitude.

But, 20 years later there are now allegations that Matthew Harding and his fellow passengers died, not because of an incompetent helicopter pilot, but because of their knowledge of police and local council corruption in property development schemes within the London Borough of Havering.

And it was the friendship between Harding, John Bauldie and his partner Penny, which now may explain the conspiracy surrounding their deaths.

Penny Garner was a Biology lecturer at Havering College of Further and Higher Education – not far from her and John’s home in Romford.

She prepared her students for their A-levels and future careers in Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Industry.

During the mid 1990s Penny witnessed criminal issues at the college, created in a failed attempt to close the college for property development.

She struggled with these issues not least due to the wayward management of a faculty head who failed to deal with staff who had purchased a machine gun with live ammunition on college premises.

The machine gun was fired on college grounds with a resulting flood of calls to Havering police.

The college had a large number of students from Irish backgrounds and with the Northern Ireland troubles still flaring many feared there might be links to IRA terrorism.

But witnesses later swore that a Conservative councillor encouraged the sale of the machine gun at the college, via a third party intermediary resident in Lake Rise, Romford.

The gun was later resold, by a science technician in Penny’s faculty, who was encouraged by a well-known local Tory activist involved in the property development plans.

Allegations soon surfaced that the firearms sales, random assaults and thefts were part of a dirty tricks campaign by local Conservative activists and councillors in attempt to close the college.

There were further allegations that their friends in the local police had full knowledge of this campaign.

Penny made John aware of these events.

John and his editorship of The Telegraph was already being investigated without just cause in an attempt to find “dirt” against those opposing the closure of the college for property development.

The corruption involved was such that the attempt to close the college was stopped for fear of official enquiries into the conduct of the Romford, Hornchurch and Upminster Conservative Parties and associates in Havering Borough Police station.

Shortly before his death, John told Matthew Harding about the events at the college. Matthew Harding took a keen interest to find out more and promised to look into the matter.

Harding also had a political axe to grind as he disliked the Conservative Party and recently donated funds to Tony Blair and New Labour.

But the conspiracy gets deeper…

Just two years ago it came to light that murdered BBC Crimewatch host Jill Dando had been probing the death of Matthew Harding and his four friends.

Ms Dando was gunned down on her doorstep in Fulham, south-west London, in April 1999. The killer has yet to be caught, but much evidence points to police, MI5 and political corruption at the highest level.

“Jill told me she was investigating the death of her friend Matthew Harding and money laundering claims,” said a BBC colleague.

“She was killed after ignoring two warnings to back off.”

The source claims Harding first told a friend, Irish investigative journalist Veronica Guerin, about his fears about corruption and money laundering over property developments.

But Ms Guerin was then murdered in 1996 while working on a drugs inquiry in Dublin.

A panicked Harding then repeated his concerns to BBC journalist Ms Dando.

He died just four months later.

The source added: “Jill told me she had begun investigating Matthew’s death and the concerns he had shared with her.

“Somebody tried to warn her off but she persisted in her inquiries.”

The conspiracy remains unsolved, but as someone once said: “This can of worms only opens from the inside”.

Watch this space!

Suppression of the Truth – Part 3: The Hidden Power of the Freemasons

I FIRST met Bill Hodgson in February 1991, just four months after taking up my initial newspaper editorship at the Argyllshire Advertiser on the west coast of Scotland.

Bill, a former farmer and wine importer, had been selected in September 1989, as the Conservative parliamentary candidate in the Tory/Lib Dem marginal seat of Argyll and Bute.

In 1979, he had achieved the largest Conservative swing in Scotland in the safe Labour seat of East Kilbride. Eight years later he came within 916 votes of ousting Labour in Carlisle, after what supporters called “the best political campaign the city has ever seen”.

Bill was now touted to do well in Argyll against the incumbent MP Rae Michie.

He had already moved his family to a spacious detached villa in Campbeltown – at the southern end of this vast rural constituency which took in Oban, Lochgilphead, Inveraray, Dunoon and Bute and the Inner Hebridian islands of Islay, Jura, Mull and Gigha.

Although I admit to being a Tory activist as a teenager, my personal politics at the time were well to the left of Bill and I had no natural affinity for a Thatcherite Conservative government which had ruined Britain over the previous 12 years.

But Bill, 54, and his politically astute wife Eelan, were gregarious, self-effacing and above all, seemingly honest – rare in any politician.

After an initial meeting, both the Hodgsons were regular visitors to my newspaper office, usually sharing a newsworthy story or a tip-off over a cup of tea.

It soon became obvious that Bill was a bit of a maverick – a go-getting politician who was not afraid to speak his mind.

And I quickly became aware of his track record.

Within two months of his selection, Bill became involved in a bitter row with one of Argyll’s biggest landowners, Douglas Campbell, who had flouted planning orders and felled a forest of trees in order to build 40 luxury holiday chalets.

In the local weekly newspaper the Dunoon Observer, Bill was reported as saying the tree felling was the “misconduct of a barbaric Philistine”.

Mr Campbell was one of 13 applicants who had stood against Bill for the Conservative nomination for Argyll.

Douglas Campbell was also a prominent Freemason and close friend of Ian Campbell, the 12th Duke of Argyll, first cousin to the Queen and a Master Freemason in Scotland.

Bill’s words were ones which Douglas Campbell did not forget and they would soon come back to haunt him.

Just before my own arrival in Argyll, Bill had also fallen out with the Conservative Party’s constituency secretary Noel Facenda.

Facenda had placed Christmas adverts in the local press (including my own paper) which were a clear breach of electoral law and potentially threaten Bill’s candidacy.

Bill was livid with what he regarded as incompetence.

Then soon after my first meeting with the Hodgsons, Bill attacked Argyll and Bute District Council – in which the Tories shared power – for overspending and called for the council’s chief executive to be replaced.

This ruffled the feathers of some prominent Tories and a shadowy campaign to “get Bill out” began.

On 25 May, the simmering row began to spill into open warfare with the resignation of constituency chairwoman – and close friend of Douglas Campbell – Margaret Forrest, who claimed she had been subjected to “verbal assaults” from Mr Hodgson.

It was at this point Bill became a personal confidante and began briefing me weekly about the shenanigans and moves to unseat him by some of his own party officials.

This was despite the fact that among party members in Argyll and voters at large, Bill was seen as being popular and positively electable… a Tory closer to the people than to the landowners who dominated the power plays in Argyll.

Then on 16 August 1991, Bill suffered a minor heart attack. But he was quickly assured by his doctors that a simple heart-by-pass operation would ensure a return to perfect health.

But, while he awaited the operation, rumours about his status as a candidate began to circulate.

His Labour opponent Des Browne (later to become Secretary of State for Scotland) went on the record saying: “Bill Hodgson won’t last long, his own party are out to get him.”

At a small dinner party at his home, Bill told me he had taken enough and was going to fight back.

On 9 September, as the rumours of a coup against him began to harden, Bill told 40 supporters at a meeting in Campbeltown that there was an inside plot to oust him as candidate.

He said the perpetrators were using his health as a smokescreen. “There has been an energetic commitment to apathy, disloyalty and the worship of incompetence,” he said.

It was true, but it was also pouring oil onto the smouldering fire.

His statement was discussed at a constituency meeting called the very next day. Tempers were roused.

But Campbeltown councillor Archie McCallum, who had replaced Margaret Forrest as chairman, denied there was any plot to oust Bill as their candidate.

“We are only interested in his health,” said Mr McCallum, who along with Mr Facenda were also active Freemasons.

But on 23 September, three days after Bill’s heart by-pass operation in Glasgow, the local party executive held an emergency meeting to discuss his future.

The Duke of Argyll – prompted by Douglas Campbell – proposed a motion calling for Bill’s resignation. It was passed by 27 to 17, despite the fact that many members who were entitled to vote were given late notice of the meeting and had been unable to attend.

I rang Bill the next day, and from his hospital bed he issued a press statement in which he said: “What has really annoyed me has been the sneaky, chicken-livered way in which the plotters have behaved. Now they have been rumbled, no doubt they will try to blame someone else.”

The local party was now about to split sharply down the middle.

At the executive meeting, Michael MacRoberts, chairman of the Colintraive branch of the party, demanded that no-one should speak to the press about what had been discussed.

But within 24 hours, more than half a dozen of those present had breached the ruling.

The gloves were now off and the fight was about to escalate to the highest echelons of British politics.

Bill was rarely off the phone to me with updates or advice and it was here that for the first time in my career as a journalist that my telephone was bugged and my calls with Bill were intercepted.

I have never found by whom, but the machinations which I am now about to tell may give powerful clues.

The first to show his true colours was Archie McCallum.

In a private letter dated 1 November to a party member, McCallum detailed the case against Bill.

“The whole blame lies with Bill,” he wrote.

At another executive meeting on 9 November, it was decided to try and take some heat out of the situation which was by now being reported by Scotland’s national press.

The decision of 23 September was rescinded and members decided to ask Bill to account for himself at the next meeting on 7 December.

But McCallum was quick to up the ante.

He claimed that at a private meeting in late November Lord Willie Whitelaw, former Conservative Party Chairman and Home Secretary, and leading Freemason, had recommended the constituency “ditch Bill Hodgson”, claiming he had run into problem in Carlisle in 1987.

It was a lie, but given the word of Lord Whitelaw the lie became fact.

McCallum was later coy about the meeting with Whitelaw and refused to repeat the words used in the meeting.

Later it was established that the private meeting was at Inveraray Castle – home of the Duke of Argyll – with the duke and Douglas Campbell also present.

The Masonic plot against Bill Hodgson was almost complete with a cousin of the Queen and a former Home Secretary at the hub.

(Ironically, last year it was revealed that detectives are now investigating claims of another Masonic conspiracy in which Lord Whitelaw ordered police to drop an investigation into a VIP paedophile ring.

Whitelaw told a senior Metropolitan Police boss to quash a year-long investigation into a gang accused of abusing 40 children, the youngest of whom was six.

The intervention came in 1980, after a newspaper revealed the country’s chief prosecutor was considering 350 offences against the gang, including allegations it ‘obtained young boys for politicians, prominent lawyers and film stars’.)

So with the power brokers stacked against him, Bill appeared before the constituency executive on 7 December 1991. He was voted down by 36 votes to 33 and his resignation demanded forthwith or they would pursue his deselection.

McCallum defended the move saying: “Bill wanted everything done yesterday, and in an area where tomorrow is good enough, it was not good enough for him. I’m afraid that Bill has shot his bolt.”

But, Bill’s supporters claimed the meeting had been rigged to exclude delegates who supported him.

In a letter to Scottish Conservative Party Chairman Lord Sanderson, John Maclean, an executive member, claimed that branches likely to have backed Bill had been excluded from the vote.

Asking Sanderson to conduct a secret postal ballot, Maclean also alleged that other pro-Hodgson party members had been excluded on “various flimsy grounds”. Had those branches and individuals been allowed to attend, there would have been an eight vote majority in favour of Bill.

A week later, during a meeting with Lord Sanderson – another leading Scottish Freemason – and Michael Hirst, President of the Scottish Conservative Association, Bill refused to resign.

He had public opinion with him and was backed by four branches and hundreds of members who threatened to leave the party if he was forced to step down.

Two weeks later 205 party members signed a petition demanding a general meeting of the constituency party to discuss Bill’s candidacy. It was clear that they would win the day.

But always expect the unexpected.

Less than 24 hours after the demand for the meeting was tabled; with orders from Central Office, the Scottish Conservative Association stepped in and dissolved the entire constituency association in Argyll. Thus they deselected Bill as parliamentary candidate and excommunicated hundreds of Tory party members in one blow.

Michael Hirst said that the decision to disaffiliate the Argyll association was made with “considerable reluctance”.

“Not in living memory of those here has this ever happened before,” he added.

Donald Nicholson, chairman of the Ardchattan branch said what many were thinking: “What happened to Bill is a travesty. These things will never be forgotten as long as Argyll is a constituency.”

Argyll constituency vice chairwoman Sheena Dixon said: “Bill was a professional and worked incredibly hard in the two years he was here. It seemed he worked too hard for some and upset others whose power will not be upset.”

Another party executive member added: “Bill’s future was decided by a cabal of powerful people within our party. The one thing that unites them, other than being Conservatives, is they all belong to one secret society.”

Such is the power of the Freemasons, which I would come to witness many other times in my career as a journalist.

The final words I will leave to Bill: “I am saddened by the damage to the party. My abiding memory of the last four months is the callous and uncaring announcement of my dismissal while I was lying in hospital.

“I have a feeling of sickness for those who have campaigned so venomously for my deselection using lies, libels and vile innuendo as their weapons.”

 

Footnote 1: Bill’s successor as Conservative candidate for Argyll and Bute, John Corrie, failed to unseat Lib Dem MP Rae Michie in the 1992 General Election taking just 27% of the vote. By 2015, the Tory vote in the constituency had fallen to just 15%.

 

Footnote 2: Bill sadly died in October 2010. He left me with many happy memories of wine-fuelled chats by his fireside and his wonderful sense of humour.

He also left me a letter with the immortal words: “A man is known by his friends and not his enemies, I am grateful to count you as a friend.”

Lord Whitelaw died of natural causes at his home near Penrith, aged 81, in 1999,

Ian Campbell, the 12th Duke of Argyll died of heart failure during surgery at a London hospital in 2001, aged 63.

Douglas Campbell died in May 2015 aged 79. Ironically his obituary said he was: “One of the most innovative farmers of his generation, who diversified into tourism with holiday parks and leisure facilities.

“He and his family built up a considerable business from his base in Lochgoilhead, with hotels, shops and eight holiday parks.”

 

You’ve been blown and shown pity in secret, for pieces of change

A couple of days ago I republished one of my newspaper articles while working as an investigative journalist in Scotland and North East England. It looked at the likely governmental conspiracy over the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in 2001.
Today I reload a piece I wrote in 1999 about the ultra-secret Bilderberg organisation.
Forewarned is forearmed!

THE world’s most powerful secret society is to meet in Portugal next week on the eve of the European elections to carry forward its plans for a globalised world government.
Top of their agenda is a strategy to allow the UN to directly tax global electronic commerce to strengthen its world-wide power base.
There are also proposals for the replacement of NATO forces in Kosovo with a “European Army”.
But their meeting has been damned by a Tory MP as a collection of “very powerful forces” whose intention is “to undermine and destroy the nation state”.
He says the time has come to expose their agenda and awake political leaders to their threat.
Bilderberg, one of the most secret organisations in the world, comprising politicians, top industrialists and financial leaders, will meet on Thursday at a heavily guarded holiday complex at Sintra in the Estoril region of Portugal, we have discovered.
Their high-powered conference takes place at a crucial time, just days before the European Parliament elections and G7 and G8 summits.
The Bilderbergers are strong supporters of the European Union and have spent years lobbying hard for a single European currency. Their wider agenda is to create a “one world” government.
The 120 Bilderberg delegates, under the Chairmanship of former NATO Secretary General Lord Peter Carrington and led by US billionaire David Rockefeller and media magnate Conrad Black will meet to discuss a range of global issues.
According to a Bilderberg source top of this year’s “massive agenda” is a plan to tax global E-Commerce with a slice going directly to the United Nations. This strategy will strengthen the current reforms of the UN and “assist the process of world governance”.
Other topics at this year’s meeting include:
* addressing the deepening crisis in Kosovo, the “dismemberment of Yugoslavia” and the replacement of NATO with a European Army.
* plans to create an Asian economic and political block under the leadership of Japan.
* preparations for a middle East Peace settlement and the creation of a Palestinian state
* the creation of an Americas Economic Union – a follow-up meeting has been timetabled for early next year in Quebec. This claims the Bilderberg source will be the first step to “full hemispheric union”.
* the US stock market speculative bubble. An abrupt collapse could have devastating world-wide consequences
* the development of a new “transatlantic marketplace” – stage two in the Bilderbergers’ plans to begin incrementally knitting together the three global regional blocks into one global trading, monetary and political union.
* the extension of the EMU to Eastern Europe, and the early entry of Britain into this second common European currency system.
The Observer editor-in-chief and political commentator Will Hutton who attended the 1997 conference said: “The Bilderberg conference is one of the key meetings of the year. The consensus established there is the backdrop against which policy is made world-wide.
“It is, in essence, a collection of people who are either up-coming or former top politicians and the cream of the world’s business leaders – the conference is a well-argued talk fest,” he said.
Hutton believes that the Bilderberg conference along with Davos [World Economic Forum] and IMF meetings provides the “common-sense background against which G7 takes its position.”
He said the issue of ‘globalisation’ would almost certainly top this year’s Bilderberg agenda.
“Following the US led fuck-up in Kosovo we need better social protection and more military common-sense if the globalisation aspired to by Bilderberg is to continue,” he said.
The Bilderberg conference is credited with selecting and nurturing political talent. Tony Blair first attended in 1993 when he was a junior opposition spokesman and Bill Clinton attended the 1991 meeting in Baden-Baden, Germany before he announced that he was running for president.
The Bilderbergs control the central banks, such as the Federal Reserve in the US, and are therefore in a position to determine discount rates, money supply levels, the price of gold and which countries should receive loans.
Just as NATO has bound Europe and North America together militarily so the Bilderbergers appear to have bound together American and European strategic and economic interests.
But their meetings and discussions are bound in the strictest secrecy.
According to the official Bilderberg line the publicity black-out surrounding their meetings: “makes discussion more intimate and candid. There are no massive indiscretions, but exchanges can be quite heated. “Bilderberg is just a flexible and informal international leadership forum in which different viewpoints can be expressed and mutual understanding enhanced.”
Critics claim the secrecy enables “this shadow world government” to plot their agenda which is then foisted upon the political movers and shakers of the western world.
“Their power and influence must not be underestimated,” said Bilderberg watcher and Scottish TV producer Sara Brown.
“These men live and work in the shadows and they don’t want it any other way.”
Bilderberg meetings are only held when and where the hosts can provide the highest levels of security for their guests. Last year Mail on Sunday reporter Campbell Thomas was arrested and held for eight hours by Strathclyde police for daring to ask a hotel chambermaid about the Bilderberg conference being held at the Turnberry Hotel.
According to US journalist and Bilderberg specialist Jim Tucker any intruders to Bilderberg conferences are manhandled, cuffed and jailed, and if they resist arrest or attempt to flee, they will be shot.
After 45 years on annual secret get-togethers the Bilderbergers are now facing some penetrating observation and questioning about their activities. Former BBC reporter Tony Gosling has spent the last two years campaigning for greater disclosure of the Bilderbergers’ activities.
Along with Tucker and Canadian John Whitley he has compiled a massive dossier on their membership, organisational structure and political agendas.
He believes it is no coincidence that this year’s conference falls on the eve of the European elections and G7 and G8 summits.
“With this roll-call of the richest and most powerful men in the world it is quite clear that their determination is to control the outcome of other political forums,” he said.
“And when you consider the inclusion of senior representatives from the IMF and all the major central banks that power can be used and abused at will to control global decision making.
“It is all done in secret and is completely unaccountable,” he added.
Washington reporter Tucker, who has followed the activities of the Bilderbergs for more than 15 years, says: “They want you to believe they are simply improving international relations. But they are controlling the world and making decisions that affect all of us with absolutely no democratic control on what they do.
Leading Tory Euro sceptic and Ludlow MP Christopher Gill has led a personal crusade to expose the workings of the Bilderberg group.
“I believe there are some very powerful forces at work and their intention appears to be to undermine and destroy the nation state,” he said.
“It is all the more sinister that when I ask questions about their activities I run into sand and don’t get answers.
“Their agenda seems to be to promote world government. It is a difficult enough job fighting against a European super state but how, as an individual, one can counteract the activities of a group which seems determined to create one-world government is a major task of our times.
“I believe the only course is to try to convince one or other of the main political parties and their leaders to recognise the enormity of this threat to our democratic rights and to fight to defend them.”
Gill has been supported in his quest to “out the Bilderbergs” by fellow Tory Nicholas Winterton MP.
Winterton has tabled numerous parliamentary questions asking government ministers for assessments of the power and influence of the Bilderbergers on world trade. Each time he has received either blank or “holding replies.”
However, Euro sceptic and close political ally Theresa Gorman is less conspiratorial, claiming Bilderberg is little more than a rich club for superannuated freemasons”.
These conferences are just a gigantic boomdoggle,” she said.
I don’t think any group like this can mould the world to one set of ideals – I think their importance is completely overplayed.”
Last night Scottish academics also doubted the real power wielded by the Bilderberg conferences.
Anton Muscatelli, economics professor at the University of Glasgow said: “An off-the-record forum makes sense for this type of gathering. The last thing large companies want is to be seen to have opinions that are politically loaded. Powerful companies are anyway going to have powerful influence”.
Muscatelli said he was sceptical about the Bilderberg group’s proposals for a global tax on E-commerce.
“Unless you ensured that every country went along with this, it would be extremely difficult to police. It really would require world collaboration.”
It seems a trifle ambitious,” said David Bell, professor of economics at Stirling University. “I just don’t see how you could make it workable.”
Two pro-European British Tories who have attended Bilderberg conferences in the past were both “out of the country for the next week” when the Sunday Herald tried to contact them.
A spokes woman for former chancellor Ken Clarke – a UK representative on Bilderberg, who attended their 1993 and 1998 conferences – said he would return a telephone call to the Sunday Herald.
When told it was to discuss Bilderberg, the spokeswoman said Mr Clarke was unavailable.
Sir Malcolm Rifkind – who attended Bilderberg in 1996 – was similarly unavailable and “out of the country”.
Scottish Conservative leader David McLetchie refused to discuss the issue of the Bilderberg conference.
Note: The Caesar Park Pengha hotel and conference suites to be used by Bilderberg in Sintra lie adjacent to a huge leisure complex owned by British property millionaires John and Douglas Hall – the owners of Newcastle United FC.

Whatever it Was, it Drove Them to Their Knees

DURING a recent dinner party a couple of long-time friends asked why I ‘always seem to blame’ governments and the Establishment for so many of our problems.
Fuelled by a few glasses of wine I began to burble a list which started somewhere around the creation of Israel, took a detour to the murder of Princess Diana and crudely ended with the Falklands War.
Yes, I suppose I am a bit of conspiracy theorist… but only when that conspiracy has credibility.
As a journalist I have witnessed far too often the lies and dirty tricks that governments and the Establishment will stoop to, to get their own way.
Murder, war and disease are the forerunners.
So I have decided to dig out and reload a few of my published investigations.
This one dates from early 2001, soon after Foot and Mouth Disease devastated British farming.
Conspiracy? You bet!

THE British, Canadian, US and Mexican Governments were preparing for the outbreak of foot and mouth disease FOUR months before it emerged on a Tyneside farm.
An investigation has discovered that all four countries were staging a co-ordinated foot and mouth simulation exercise in October 2000, despite the fact that Britain had not been struck by the disease for 34 years and the USA and Canada had not been affected since 1929.
And North timber merchants have confirmed that they were approached for urgent supplies to tackle the disease by Ministry of Agriculture officials as early as December.
Today scientists called for the Government to admit it knew that foot and mouth was present in the UK long before it was officially pinpointed at Bobby Waugh’s Heddon-on-the-Wall pig farm on February 23.
And Mr Waugh has called for a public apology from the Government after MAFF consistently blamed his farm as “the likely source of the outbreak”.
An investigation has discovered that last October the United States and Mexico began preparing for “a simulated outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease” in all three countries.
According to papers leaked from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the exercise – which took place between November 6 and 9 – was “for the purpose of emergency planning”.
It took place in Ontario, Alberta, Texas, USA, and Tamaulipas, Mexico.
The papers say: “This exercise is the first of its kind and provides all three countries with a unique opportunity to apply their emergency response plans in the event of a real disease outbreak.” Yet neither Canada, the USA or Mexico had been affected with foot and mouth disease since 1929.
And the exercise – which is estimated to have cost over $1 million – was the first US “Foreign Animal Disease Response Simulation” of any kind since 1993. At the same time the UK Government was preparing its own “contingency plans” for a foot and mouth outbreak.
Yet the last foot and mouth outbreak was in 1967. We discovered that MAFF officials began telephoning timber merchants as early as December asking if they could supply wood for pyres, should foot and mouth strike.
Mike Littlehales, who ran a timber yard in Staffordshire said he received a phone call “out of the blue” He said: “I got this call from a lady who said ‘This is the Ministry of Agriculture. Would you be interested in supplying timber in case of foot-and-mouth?’ because she wanted to update her records.
“It surprised me, and I thought it was doubly strange when three weeks later the Government tell us we have an outbreak of the disease.”
Mr Littlehales said the last time his timber business had received a similar call was during the foot and mouth outbreak in 1967.
Fran Talbot, a timber merchant at Eccleshall, said she was approached in first week of February and asked about the availability of railway sleepers in the event of a FMD outbreak.
“The woman said ‘are you still in a position to supply timber for burning animals in case of an outbreak of foot and mouth’. “It was a very odd thing to happen just three weeks before an outbreak.”
Mrs Talbot’s firm had supplied sleepers during the 1967 outbreak, but had not heard from MAFF since.
Tommy Norman, who runs a timber yard at Longtown, Cumbria – the centre of scores of cases of foot and mouth disease – confirmed he had received a similar call from MAFF in January.
“It’s difficult for me to say any more,” he added. “I have provided masses of wood for MAFF pyres, but they still owe me a large amount of money.”
Last night top US scientist Dr Patricia Doyle, who has led a stateside campaign to discover the truth about the UK foot and mouth outbreak, said: “I am convinced that MAFF knew about the virus was on the loose long before this February.
“And the US Government was protecting its back because they weren’t sure how far the virus had leaked.”
Amble-based geneticist Bruce Jobson, added: “This confirms what we knew all along, that the Government was aware foot and mouth was on the loose long before they identified it at Bobby Waugh’s farm.
“The new Department of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) must now admit that MAFF had covered up the real cause of this outbreak”.
Newcastle-based microbiologist Dr Harash Narang added: “I firmly believe that the virus escaped from a MAFF experiment and had infected sheep as long ago as last October.
“This evidence now supports that belief.” Mr Waugh said he felt vindicated that he was not responsible for the foot and mouth outbreak.
“Again, again and again I have been blamed for this disease, when I knew all along it wasn’t me.
“I now want the Government to admit they got it wrong and tell us all how this thing really started.”
Last night a spokesman for the Canadian Government said he was unable to comment on its foot and mouth simulation exercise due to agreements it had made with the British Government.
“Due to the sensitivity surrounding events which have occurred since February this year, we are unable to comment further on the reasons or results of the November exercise,” he added.
But a DEFRA spokesman denied that MAFF had tried to cover-up the outbreak.
He said: “We did not know of foot-and-mouth in this country at a time earlier than February 21 when it was identified at the abattoir in Essex and then traced to Mr Waugh’s farm in Northumberland.
“There has never been any deliberate concealment. “From time to time we do emergency planning exercises and the inquiries about wood may well have been of this nature.” According to official records the last official UK foot and mouth contingency plan was in 1993.