I am not rejoicing at the return of Old Etonian Simon Mann from jail in Equatorial Guinea. His failed coup attempt was just one of a series of ventures in which a group of upper class public school English former officers worked with former apartheid era forces to try to seize control of mineral resources across Africa.
You can find the story of my own involvement with them, the full background and the untold evidence of Blairite complicity in my book The Catholic Orangemen of Togo.
Long term readers of this blog will know that Mann’s erstwhile mercenary partner, Lt Col Tim Spicer, frightened my publisher out of the book by commissioning Schillings to send threatening letters under the UK’s notorious libel laws. But the book is entirely true, eyewitness stuff, as witnessed by the fact that, since self-publication, over a thousand copies have been sold while tens of thousands have read it free online – but there has been no sign of the threatened libel action from Spicer.
New Labour, of course, went on to consummate their relationship with Spicer by making him a multi multi millionaore providing mercenaries to their invasion of Iraq.
Had Mann’s coup succeeded in gaining the oilfields of Equatorial Guinea, it would almost certainly have resulted in the deaths of large numbers of Africans, just as Mann and Spicer organised in their in Executive Outcomes days. That is why I think he should still be in jail.
Strangely, I share that desire with Jack Straw and the with the Foreign and Commonwealth Ofiice, for very different reasons. They are pressing Mann to keep his mouth shut.
Straw has admitted the FCO had prior knowledge of the coup attempt. Just how far their involvement went is something they appear keen for Mann not to tell us.