Agents Provocateurs 46

The insurmountable problem for those who categorise any accusation of the state acting deliberately wrongly as a “conspiracy theory”, is truth. There is, beyond any doubt, a police operation to infiltrate left wing groups in the UK with spies.

The case of the extraordinary Ratcliffe Power Stations convictions shows how very wrong this can go. The courts have ruled not only that the police acted as agent provocateur, but that police colluded with our supposedly independent prosecutorial service to withhold vital information from the court.

The lord chief justice was among the appeal court judges who published this yesterday:

“It is a case which has given rise to a great deal of justifiable public disquiet, which we share. Something went seriously wrong with the trial. The prosecution’s duties in relation to disclosure were not fulfilled. The result was that the appellants were convicted following a trial in which elementary principles which underpin the fairness of our trial procedures were ignored. The jury were ignorant of evidence, helpful to the defence, which was in the possession of the prosecution but which was never revealed. As a result justice miscarried.”

The court here is making a stand against the contempt for political liberty that emanated from the very top of the Blair government and spread to affect the policy and operations of all governmental institutions in the UK. The mindset that made it OK for the government to set up young environmental activists, was no different from the mindset in which MI5 agents thought it was OK to collude in the torture of Binyam Mohammed.

But here lies the rub. The appeal court is trying to right the wrongs done to middle class white people. The amount of infiltration and agent provocatuer activity against “Muslim extremists” has been of a much higher order. The “fertiliser bomb plot” is one example of an attempted crime by deluded people who had been penetrated and very probably egged on from the start. The “airline bomb plots” and “Manchester Easter bomb plots” both involved the shadowy double agent Rashid Rauf.

Furthermore, precisely that openness by the prosecution the appeal court demands is deliberately denied to Muslim defendants on terrorist charges, who are frequently not allowed to see and thus to challenge the provenance of “Evidence” against them by the security services.

There has, thankfully, been a steady stream of overturning of crazy “terrorist” judgements on appeal, including the truly appalling conviction of the woman for writing “terrorist poems”. But it nonetheless remains true that we are yet to recover sufficiently from the Blair poison to give the full benefit of law to Muslims in the way we have just done to middle class white people.

46 thoughts on “Agents Provocateurs

1 2
  • ingo

    Thanks for pointing out the double standards that exist, but since Twyford Down in the late 80’s, the emphasis has changed.
    Since then, those who used non violent direct action against the Governments attempts to roadbuild themselves out of a transport crisis of their own making, have been more and more politicised.

    Environmental and human rights protesters were called ‘ecoterrorists’. It is my believe that they were always infiltrated, just as political parties, and that those black block individuals at recent demo’s displaying the violent excesses we reject, have worked into the hand of the police, by theitr sheer actions. That alone makes their intentions suspicious.

    There are, at least, two laws in operation, this practise is partially responsible for the demand by some Muslim voices prefering to be judged by sharia law.

    The secrecy surrounding police operational matters has amplified this misappropriation/perversions of the law, lets call it for what it is.

  • conjunction

    Blair’s legacy was the weight the dice in so many ways, and then to lie about it in a very blatant way, without even bothering to cover his tracks, both practices then becoming acceptable.

  • Ruth

    At least there’s been some movement in terrorist appeals. In those involving excise and VAT fraud there’s none. Take for instance the case of Barry Beardall in which there was very strong evidence that the principal was an agent provocateur. Very little if any evidence was disclosed; there were numerous P11 hearings. This is the situation in all such cases and now I understand that Customs has been limiting information during trials not only on the case at hand but on other connected cases. In the research of the VAT frauds I’ve done I’ve found they all have common links. So the question arises why is Customs hiding so much information when the taxpayers have lost billions.

  • OldMark

    ‘There is, beyond any doubt, a police operation to infiltrate left wing groups in the UK with spies.’

    Not just left wing groups- any group with a strongly nationalist agenda is likely to suffer the same problem, be it Irish, Scottish, English or ‘British’.

  • willyrobinson


    That sounds interesting – where can I read about this?

    “The insurmountable problem for those who categorise any accusation of the state acting deliberately wrongly as a “conspiracy theory”, is truth.”
    Most of the time we’ll never know the whole truth. As a reader I am far more interested in actions that are symptomatic of state wrongdoing (like handing over a media investigation to a pet anti-terrorism unit of the police for no good reason) than events that are suspicious because of timing or celebrity (like the death of Sean Hoare, or the rape trial of DSK). In the first instance we can dig a wee bit,follow-up and test the systems that led to such decisions. In the second instance we are as slaves to post-mortems or DNA evidence that we may never examine or never accept.

  • Azra

    God… and here I was thinking that only in Egypt building janitors were secret police…

  • Albert Jay

    As usual, apologists fo the State refuse to address the core of this problem; the State itself. If your true aim is justice, then you must be for the abolition of the State, and its monopoly on the provision of security, money creation and justice.

    None of these infiltrations, miscarriages of justice, the violent acts of Agents Provocateurs whenever a demonstration takes place – none of these could happen in absentia of the State.

    As an ex-ambassador, the author of this blog is intellectually wedded to the idea of the State, and believes that it is inherently legitimate. Nevertheless, the Nation State is neither legitimate or needed for prosperity and security and is in fact, on its way out. The question is what is it going to be replaced with. The moral people in this world hope that it will be replaced with nothing.

    “What the State fears above all, of course, is any fundamental threat to its own power and its own existence. The death of a State can come about in two major ways: (a) through conquest by another State, or (b) through revolutionary overthrow by its own subjects – in short, by war or revolution. War and revolution, as the two basic threats, invariably arouse in the State rulers their maximum efforts and maximum propaganda among the people. As stated above, any way must always be used to mobilize the people to come to the State’s defense in the belief that they are defending themselves. The fallacy of the idea becomes evident when conscription is wielded against those who refuse to “defend” themselves and are, therefore, forced into joining the State’s military band: needless to add, no “defense” is permitted them against this act of “their own” State.

    In war, State power is pushed to its ultimate, and, under the slogans of “defense” and “emergency,” it can impose a tyranny upon the public such as might be openly resisted in time of peace. War thus provides many benefits to a State, and indeed every modern war has brought to the warring peoples a permanent legacy of increased State burdens upon society. War, moreover, provides to a State tempting opportunities for conquest of land areas over which it may exercise its monopoly of force. Randolph Bourne was certainly correct when he wrote that “war is the health of the State,” but to any particular State a war may spell either health or grave injury.

    We may test the hypothesis that the State is largely interested in protecting itself rather than its subjects by asking: which category of crimes does the State pursue and punish most intensely – those against private citizens or those against itself? The gravest crimes in the State’s lexicon are almost invariably not invasions of private person or property, but dangers to its own contentment, for example, treason, desertion of a soldier to the enemy, failure to register for the draft, subversion and subversive conspiracy, assassination of rulers and such economic crimes against the State as counterfeiting its money or evasion of its income tax. Or compare the degree of zeal devoted to pursuing the man who assaults a policeman, with the attention that the State pays to the assault of an ordinary citizen. Yet, curiously, the State’s openly assigned priority to its own defense against the public strikes few people as inconsistent with its presumed raison d’être.”

  • Dick the Prick

    Good job we’ve got an appeal court, eh? Moving on, Darren Clarke did well. 42? Yeah, right – and some, maybe.

  • John Goss

    I have some sympathy with Mark Kennedy, estranged from his wife and family, depised by both police and environmental protesters, and living abroad. He is still a human-being, albeit one who made mistakes. Agents provocateurs (and spies) live in a world of make-belief, in other words lies. People who lie to themselves and to others can be trusted by nobody, and many, like Kennedy, end up not knowing who their masters are, or who they are themselves. However the jobs they do are more despicable than they are. The cost to the taxpayer of £250,000 per agent per annum is an outrageous misuse of public funds. The Muslim community is suspicious as I learnt when I went to a barbers in Sparkbrook. The other customers were Asians. I sat there half-reading, half listening to mosque chants through the radio. After a few minutes one of the barbers asked “Do you want something?” “Yes, I’d like my haircut”. Many of the people I work alongside are Muslims and I mentioned this to a Moroccan, Hicham, who burst out laughing.

  • dreoilin

    “The amount of infiltration and agent provocatuer activity against “Muslim extremists” has been of a much higher order. The “fertiliser bomb plot” is one example of an attempted crime by deluded people who had been penetrated and very probably egged on from the start.”
    — Craig
    Glenn Greenwald has a good article on exactly the same thing (going on in the United States):
    “The FBI successfully thwarts its own Terrorist plot”

  • craig Post author


    Yes, good article. One of the New York airport plots – La Guardia, from memory – was a truly blatant agent provocateur operation too.

  • craig Post author

    I met the guy who founded Agent Provocateur lingerie – who I think might have been Vivienne Westwood’s son, but that might have been too much champagne – at Julian Assange’s bash. He was an extremely nice man, and runs (and I think funds) the humanaid human rights charity. Vivienne Westwood gave me a copy of her Active Resistance to Propaganda pamphlet No. 2, which is written in the form of dialogues, and explores some very useful concepts.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    John, that’s a very funny account, but also sad. It’s also due to mental ghettoisation and an excess of tribalism in some metropolitan conurbations, some of which, I regret to say, is self-imposed and/or socially engineerd by various complex dynamics. It’s pretty shameful that you were treated like that, though. If the situation had been reversed, we would have been outraged; I know the power dynamics are unequal, though. Nonetheless…

  • Suhayl Saadi

    After the fall of the USSR at the end of 1991, much security service/Specila Branch activity shifted away from leftist groups (such as there were thereafter) and towards environmentalist and anti-arms trade groups. The subsequent winding-down of active systemic large-scale conflict in Northern Ireland and the rise of groups purporting to be Islamic provide a nice little budget opening (to the tune of mny billiosn of ‘black’ and ‘grey’ monies; this type of thing may dovetail with some of what Ruth was describing, or it may not) for the spooks. Anyone who studies the recent history of Northern Ireland will come to realise that both there and on the UK mainland wrt Islamist groups, many such groups are either heavily infiltrated to the point of being taken-over by the spooks or else were front organisations entirely created by them in the first place. Sometimes, it’s so obvious, it’s almost comical. For example, ‘mullahs’ with hooks and eye-patches who name their organisations with titles like ‘The New Holy Army of Very Angry Muslims in the UK’, and who previously were pornographic drug-dealers ought to ring alarm-bells. Has anyone see that hilarious film, (what’s it called?) starring, I think, Omid Djalili?

  • Suhayl Saadi

    And when I say ‘spooks’, of course I include those agents (as opposed to case officers to whom they report) who are in the pay of the security/intelligence services/Special Branch. Some of these people (at least abroad wrt the SIS) used to be on regular salaries; I’m not sure whether or not that continues today, either domestically or overseas, or whether they’re simply paid as ‘freelancers’ via a ‘project-based’ corporate approach. I am almost certain I have comes across a few such people, locally in Scotland – if one is attuned to assessing/creating individual personae, one sometimes can detect such dynamics – but of course I have no proof.

  • John Goss

    They were probably just surprised, Suhayl. If you very rarely get a white customer (I went there once before and was just treated like any other customer) I guess it might create a feeling of unease in the present climate. I had my hair cut by a Muslim barber in Amasya, when I was cycling across Turkey, and it was one of the best haircuts I can remember (he even singed the hairs out of my ears with a taper) and, although I couldn’t speak the language made me feel special. People in Small Heath, who would remember me from the Stop the War Campaign, would not have been suspicious of why I was there, nor those with whom I work. As Craig says, Tony Blair was responsible for creating these barriers, which never existed before his wars, and hopefully will disappear with more speed than which they arrived.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Yes, John, of course it was probably just a misunderstanding. And I agree that most of the time, in most places, there is no problem. And of course I agree too about the awful Blair and his wars, etc. But some members of my own family (and also those of some of my friends) are white – either Afghan White or British White – and they occasionally – I emphasise occasionally – over the past four decades (i.e. long before Blair, Islamism/9/11/7/7. etc.) have experienced even straightforward anti-white racism from a very small minority of South Asians (who happened to be Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, whatever). It’s stating the obvious, I guess, but I think that South Asians in particular have yet to address their own normative attitudes towards, not only white people but also and especially black Africans (think of Kenya, Uganda, etc.) or African Carribeans 9and probably vice-versa, I guess). I make these points, not to hammer people on the head (as it were), but in some ways as a self-critique, you understand.

  • John Goss

    You’re right, Suhayl. Racism is not the total prerogative of the National Front and exists in all countries to a greater or lesser degree (and some of the African countries provided the worst examples of racist extremism). I like to think of people as people, and I’m sure you think the same. It doesn’t help when feelings of mistrust are engendered through the infiltration of agents into organisations, phone-hacking and the like. At the time of the French Revolution nobody knew who was a government agent. It led to “The Terror”. Rather than a “War on Terror” the Bush/Blair alliance has created a period of uncertainty and mistrust.

  • ingo

    Sorry for being off topic, would it be an idea to have an offtopic tread thats always on the front page?

    Ruth, if you know about VAT fraud, you might be able to help.
    Can a contractor ask for two VAT payments for the same work?

    To explain. I’m sharing a trench with my neighbour for a new watermains, we both have been charged for the work and we both have VAT on top for the same work? Can they do this?

  • KingofWelshNoir

    And while we are on the subject of agent provocateurs let us not forget Martin ‘Abdullah’ McDaid the former Royal Marine who worked with two of the July 7 bombers at the Iqra bookshop.
    “Martin ‘Abdullah’ McDaid did most of the talking, most of the ranting and raving; and as an ex-Marine, he knew about matters military”
    Hmmm. He didn’t get much airplay in the press did he?

  • Azra

    Suhayl, you are right racism is not restricted to any specific group. I lived Egypt for a while, and the amount of prejudice and racism towards Nubians was mind boggling.. they were the butt of every joke, even upper Egyptians who lived side by side with Nubians looked down on them, yet they were amongst the best to my mind.Isometime wonder maybe the reason is that we as human being feel taller when someone has been pushed down on his back…

  • CheebaCow

    Whenever that ‘very angry Muslim’ is mentioned I straight away think of the series John Safran vs God. In the first episode the Safran convinces the ‘angry Muslim’ to place a Fatwa on a rival TV personality. In the same episode Safran goes to America and takes Peyote for spiritual visions. He also takes the piss out of Scientology. Anyway, people should check it out:

  • dreoilin

    Agent Provocateur lingerie – I hadn’t heard of it, but what a great name. I had a quick look for Active Resistance to Propaganda (pamphlet No. 2) online, but no go. I assume it’ll turn up in .pdf form at some stage.
    Very welcome, Azra.

  • Anony

    Again, on the subject of agent provocateurs in UK ‘terrorism’ cases:

    ‘Dawood’/’Doud’, a Special Branch officer who worked undercover to secure the convictions of Hassan Mutegombwa & subsequently, Mohammed Hamid.

    Mohammed Junaid Babar, whose testimony featured in the trial prosecutions of Kazi Nurur Rahman, (Canadian) Mohammed Momin Khawaja, the Operation Crevice (fertiliser) alleged plot & the ‘7/7 Helpers’ case (Shakil, Saleem & Ali).

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Thanks, John, Azra. Cheeba Cow – ta, will that check one out, sounds hilarious! I remember the title of that film with Omid Djalili in now: ‘The Infidel’. It’s really funny.

  • ingo

    And here we have more agent provocateurs at work, in the US senat, house of representatives and in the Knesset, what a conicidence.
    These agents are of a kind that rejects citizenship and open Government in favour of a controlled fascists dogma, money lenders, greedmerchants called bankers and powerhungry politicians are dangling on strings between the two, all are planning George Orwell vision for real.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Anony, that account to which you linked is powerful and incisive. Thanks for sharing the link. Apart form the agents provocateur aspect, the other thing that comes out of it is that ‘Ex-Jihadism’ is a big racket (just as Jihadism is). ‘Ex-Jihadis’ seem to be all over place, trying to get ghost-written book deals. A lovely colleague of mine had been approached by I think possibly (if I remember correctly) a literary agent re. ‘a client’ in the UK wanting them to ghost-write their account of their association with Jihadis in Pakistan. They were too busy and very kindly wondered if I’d be interested in ghost-writing it. But I was too busy too. And anyway, do I really want to be involved in helping to reward people for being idiots, twice-over? Not really.

1 2

Comments are closed.