Saturday, 25 November 2006

Litvinenko Accused Putin of Pedophilia

by Charles Pooter

Keeping the conspiracy thread going, it seems that in July this year, murdered Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of pedophilia. Here is the original article (now only available through Google's cache) and here is the full text:

July, 05, 2006

The Kremlin Pedophile

By Alexander Litvinenko

A few days ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin walked from the Big Kremlin Palace to his Residence. At one of the Kremlin squares, the president stopped to chat with the tourists. Among them was a boy aged 4 or 5.

'What is your name?' Putin asked.

'Nikita,' the boy replied.

Putin kneed, lifted the boy's T-shirt and kissed his stomach.

The world public is shocked. Nobody can understand why the Russian president did such a strange thing as kissing the stomach of an unfamiliar small boy.

The explanation may be found if we look carefully at the so-called "blank spots" in Putin's biography.

After graduating from the Andropov Institute, which prepares officers for the KGB intelligence service, Putin was not accepted into the foreign intelligence. Instead, he was sent to a junior position in KGB Leningrad Directorate. This was a very unusual twist for a career of an Andropov Institute's graduate with fluent German. Why did that happen with Putin?

Because, shortly before his graduation, his bosses learned that Putin was a pedophile. So say some people who knew Putin as a student at the Institute.

The Institute officials feared to report this to their own superiors, which would cause an unpleasant investigation. They decided it was easier just to avoid sending Putin abroad under some pretext. Such a solution is not unusual for the secret services.

Many years later, when Putin became the FSB director and was preparing for presidency, he began to seek and destroy any compromising materials collected against him by the secret services over earlier years. It was not difficult, provided he himself was the FSB director. Among other things, Putin found videotapes in the FSB Internal Security Directorate, which showed him making sex with some underage boys.

Interestingly, the video was recorded in the same conspiratorial flat in Polyanka Street in Moscow where Russian Prosecutor-General Yuri Skuratov was secretly video-taped with two prostitutes. Later, in the famous scandal, Putin (on Roman Abramovich's instructions) blackmailed Skuratov with these tapes and tried to persuade the Prosecutor-General to resign. In that conversation, Putin mentioned to Skuratov that he himself was also secretly video-taped making sex at the same bed. (But of course, he did not tell it was pedophilia rather than normal sex.) Later, Skuratov wrote about this in his book Variant Drakona (p.p. 153-154).

Via Rigorous Intuition

Friday, 24 November 2006

Minister for arms dealing - poor old Stephen Milligan, begin again.

by Edwin Hesselthwite

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." - President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his farewell address.

While the Cash For Peerages scandal rages across the media, it seemed a suitable time to address the issue of governmental corruption and conspiracy. Corruption is the elephant in the room when it comes to government; I doubt that there is an administration in the world completely free of it, and where the seeds grow large it contaminates the system all the way down. Yet, while the idea of seeing Mr Blair escorted from No 10 in handcuffs has me at the point of salivating, this is more of an Al Capone is arrested for Tax Evasion situation than genuine concern about the honours system (one word here – Iraq, ok lets add his attacks on the English tradition of liberty). The peerage system may be corrupt, but its corruption is long institutionalised and in plain sight – it lacks the odour that comes from the corruption kept unseen but known to those above.

That stench, of compromised individuals who have got into the habit of bending the system, hangs lightly on The Blair Government, although I am sure it is already taking, or has taken, hold beneath the surface. In this piece I'm going to discuss the last administration, not with the intent to suggest they were worse than the current incumbent, but because we have just enough distance to see their misbehaviour clearly. A couple of ledes for this post - I am about to raise two unarguable, well documented conspiracies from this era, and a third that may be altogether more sinister. Underneath the propaganda that Murdoch’s media called “Back to basics” there are a series of points that may form something altogether nastier than sleaze. So put on your Fox Mulder hat, because we’re going back to the early nineties to describe a particularly ripe pong.

There’s one position in government above which I suspect the flies have always circled – it is currently held by Lord Drayson; who has been previously implicated in Cash for Peerages. The post is the number three position in The Ministry of Defence, named Defence Procurement. As is the case in the United States, the defence complex is a focus for subsidy led growth – pork barrelling - and Defence Procurement sits uncomfortably on the borderland between military capabilities and economic growth. Defence is a difficult industry to monitor, but the Institute For Strategic Studies estimated in 2004 that Britain annually exports material with a market value of $1.9 billion, making Britain the fourth largest arms exporter after the US, Russia and France. With an industry of this national value, and any government’s tendency to buy the products of their own companies, it is to be expected that the issues should become muddy. It is natural that when the government orders research and development into a new line of equipment from, say, BAE (the world’s fourth largest defence contractor), the resulting product will inevitably be sold on the open market. This benefits both parties (being able to produce a lot of arms fast has got to be good for the defence establishment), but there are significant risks of conflicts of interest in an industry that does not like to be watched.

Under the Labour government the stench has been partially aired by demoting it from a Minister of State position to a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and by their tendency to appoint a member of the Upper House to the job, but under the Conservatives it was considered a job for an MP.

"So what does it matter where it was when it was hit? We could have sunk it if it'd been tied up on the quayside in a neutral port and everyone would still have been delighted." - Alan Clark, on the sinking of the Belgrano.

I have found it difficult to find a complete history of the post, this article will focus on its tenants following the 1989 reshuffle, when Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher appointed Alan Clark to the position. Clark’s previous appointment had been in the Department of Trade And Industry (DTI), an office with a very similar pork barrel agenda. To get the measure of Clark I strongly recommend reading his extremely amusing and politically fascinating diaries. The impression they left on me was of an amoral, extremely intelligent individual with the sense of entitlement that comes from members of the aristocracy. The most corrupt individuals in public life seem to have a charm and capabilities that allows them to deflect accusations that were obvious in retrospect; Archer, Mandelson, Maxwell and Livingstone all show/showed similar traits. If there is a figure in politics less suited to dealing with issues as morally ambiguous as the arms trade, I cannot imagine them. By nature of his appointment Thatcher was either complicit in military corruption or unimaginably incompetent.

While in the DTI Clark was involved in authorising the sale of Matrix Churchill (a machine tools firm) to a holding company that were a majority held asset of the government of Iraq. Machine tools produced by these companies were ideally suited to the manufacture of weapons, and their sale directly violated a government ban on arms trading to either side in the Iran/Iraq conflict. On being moved to Defence, his involvement in this process increased and both departments were implicated by The Scott Inquiry into the affair after the first Gulf War.

I’m not going to use this piece to grind out the details of the Arms To Iraq scandal – the Supergun, The Scott Inquiry and Clark’s famous quote of being “Economical with the actualité” when questioned in court. I raise this to show the flavour of the department, The Scott Inquiry (published in '96) leaves little room for doubt that Clark had a responsibility for promoting the interests of British Industry when his post was intended on paper to equip the British Army, and furthermore that the levers of state were used the protect the department at the expense of the directors of Matrix Churchill who were on trial for the illegal export of munitions.

"The actual offence was small. It was the cover-up... I should have learned from Nixon's mistake." - Jonathan Aitken on his libel case. Aitken was notable for writing a favourable biography of Richard Nixon.

Following Clark (who left parliament in '92, after Thatcher's loss of power), the post was awarded to Jonathan Aitken. It didn't take long for Aitken to plough the same furrow as his predecessor. History remembers him for his sword of truth speech and his imprisonment for perjury after losing his libel case against The Guardian. However, this story led back to a Guardian investigation (The story of the investigation as told by the Guardian Journalist himself is here) into a weekend he spent in Paris in September of 1993 (told first hand here). This was the venue for a meeting with a Saudi representative, Said Ayas, where a defence contract between British Companies and the Saudi government was discussed. The affair took years to grind out, The Guardian published its investigation in '95 which lead to the collapse of the libel case in '97 and Aitken's imprisonment for perjury in '99. History has never completely cleared up what happened in Paris (no inquiry occurred).

Aitken claims to this day that he was guilty only of the cover-up, but the Guardian has a detailed special report here that suggests some truly staggering corruption. The Saudi Representative, Said Ayas, is said to have taken $150 million in commission into Swiss bank accounts for such deals, The Guardian gives the incredible figure of $1.2 billion in such commissions to the Saudi Prince over a period of twenty years - and Aitken, for whatever reason, was facilitating this illicitly.

Stephen Milligan MP, in the only photograph I can find.

So far, so well documented. But now we move onto the potentially juiciest but hardest to support issue attached to this post - around which there was demonstrably a culture of deceit. Five months after the Paris meeting, on the 7th of Febuary 1994, Stephen Milligan's corpse was discovered by his cleaner in his London flat. Milligan was one of the new intake of MP's from the '92 election and had an impressive history workin
g as a journalist for The Economist and The BBC. The obituary published by The Guardian suggests he was feted for high places, and he had been appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Jonathan Aitken. PPS is probably the least illustrious job in government and primarily consists of keeping a Minister informed of the events taking place in The House - it is the first step on the ladder. It is, nonetheless, known for expanding to fit the occupant and all current commentary suggests that Milligan was considered among the best of his generation.

In order to discuss Milligan, I'm going to have to mention the circumstances in which Milligan's corpse was found. Note should be taken that I can find no authoritative source on this topic on the internet. There was chord (although some sources say electrical flex) around his throat, he was dressed in women's stockings and possibly underwear, with a bin bag over his head, there was no evidence of drug taking but (and for some reason this has become the most well known fact about his death) there was a segment of either orange or satsuma - depending on your source - in his mouth. The coroner's report gave a verdict of death by misadventure, and in the eyes of history he has become the definitive figure (along with Michael Hutchence) linked to auto-erotic asphyxiation.

If ever there was a manner of death that totally overshadows the person's life, it was that of Milligan. It is entirely possible that his death was indeed the result of scarfing, I suspect that being a single man in politics must be a lonely life, and Milligan comes across as a high achiever with drive. However, I find the lack of information stongly suggests, at the very least, a cover-up by general consent after the inquest. The press did not want to tear into one of their own, and The Conservatives didn't want a scandal. Much like Churchill's stroke while in office in '53, here was a situation where everyone involved decided to step back from the issue. The Guardian's obituary is a case in point since it avoids discussing the implications of his death. Milligan's death is unique in the history of British Politics, but there is almost nothing on the topic on the internet. The most I can find is one badly written conspiracy theory by a local constituency hack. By this bizarre circumstance of death, Milligan the man (the fiance of future MP Julie Kirkbride) disappeared.

Lets treat Milligan as a man, and try to visualise the time leading up to his death. Milligan sat down at the kitchen table and removed his clothes. He clothed himself in some women's underwear that he kept in the flat, carefully putting on the stockings (maybe they were Julie's). He prepared the electrical flex, placing the noose around his neck (in order for this to work you would probably have to tighten it from your legs or a secure inanimate object). He then put a fruit segment in his mouth, placed a bin bag over his head, and grasped his member.

The circumstances are certainly arresting, and run at the edge of human behaviour (I have trouble imagining a person doing this). If there is a reader with more knowledge can you please explain the bin bag, or why you would perform something erotic (he's wearing women's underwear after all, this isn't just mechanical) at the kitchen table? The circumstances are quite so embarrassing it's as if the whole country had a "The Office" moment and let it slide.

So, lets look at the circumstances leading up to his death with a slightly more conspiratorial eye. Firstly, there is the timeline: Milligan died 5 months after Aitken's meeting in Paris - by the account of the Guardian journalist, he had already contacted The Minister asking for clarification on the circumstances of the meeting, and governm
ent (all the way up to and including Major) was closing ranks. The Scott Inquiry had been running for 2 years (and had 2 more to go) and had been hounding the MOD for documents that the report suggests had only been released under duress. It would be a further 1.5 years before The Guardian launched its attack on Aitken, but the Back To Basics "sleaze" backlash was already in full swing. Don't underestimate the siege mentality that gripped Whitehall at the time, 'since 93 the party had been groaning under a daily assault of illegitimate children, bribed politicans and underage affairs. And in it's centre we have an unstable government that already has an established history of corruption. These people had watched Clark and Aitken at work, and Aitken was promoted in the next reshuffle, they may not have known the details but there was complicity there. The Milligan affair wasn't to be investigated, it was to be dismissed as soon as possible.

Milligan alive was a successful professional journalist, and at the time these were the least popular people in the eyes of The Conservatives and particularly the MOD, his instincts and training would have grated badly against their reaction to the Scott Inquiry. Milligan dead was an embarrassment best kept out of sight. As a journalist in the MOD, Milligan was the nail that stuck up at a time of departmental crisis.

When discussing the possibility of an execution, lets take into account we are talking both vast sums of money in the form of, at the least, the Saudi commissions. We are also talking about the Ministry Of Defence, who's purpose at least in part is to be able to execute such operations. There are many ways both institutional and freelance that were within the senior MOD's options. In retrospect, if this was a murder, it was a truly inspired way to kill someone in the public eye with minimal fuss. If this is murder, it was utterly ruthless and they destroyed him in the eyes of his family, his friends, and history. We have motive, we have means, and we have opportunity.

I've had difficulty in concluding this piece: there was corruption at the top under the Conservatives (well, duh), it's possible that Stephen Milligan was murdered (I think the facts as presented here speak for themselves), that there is always something rotten in the state of government (I think most LMWN readers will agree with that anyway). But it is my view that no society is free of corruption, it is flawed processes that lead to it, and that the British Minister Of Defence Procurement was a post so horrendously compromised by its very nature - vast sums of money involved, no oversight, secrecy and ammorallity - that eventually someone died. If that person was an elected representative of the people who died in the public eye and no one even noticed. Well so be it, that's the game.

I'm no conspiracy theorist, and the reason I began this little research project was because, to be honest, I always thought there was a play to be written about sleaze, in the same way a play was written about Blunkett: something grand with elements of Shakespeare and Greek tragedy. I fell on the story of Milligan because it was the one with the best hook. Maybe I'm too quick to turn this series of events into a narrative but I will admit that I have convinced myself. No one ever properly investigated this story - there was unquestionably a cover up - and the timeline speaks for itself.

The scandals that destroyed Aitken and Clark only emerged as the result of accidents - The Scott Inquiry only took place because Britain went to war with the country they were dealing arms to, Aitken was only caught because Moha
mmed Al Fayed (who was implicated in the Cash For Questions scandal) decided to hand the receipt from his Paris Ritz stay to The Guardian. In the following years the Arms industry has continued to grow, with British Aerospace merging with Marconi in '99 to form BAE. There have been no fresh scandals.

Tuesday, 21 November 2006

A piece about RSS subscribers, beer and humongous moustaches.

by Edwin Hesselthwite

This represents one of those unfortunate situations (sadly familiar to us from experiences in the past century, damn you Sir Anthony!) where we at LMWN are forced to draw out the begging bowl. On this occasion it has nothing to do with spurious litigation. So, with heads hanging down we come to request of you, IT professionals and Googlers of hairy chinese kids, a favour.

In the process of the site upgrades we have moved our RSS feed from Bloggers automatic feed system to Feedburner - a more sophisticated tool for the job. Feedburner provides some very basic monitoring tools to tell us how many subscribers we have and where they have moved around to on the site, the aim of the exercise is to find out how many people are actively choosing to read the place, as opposed to those who stumble on it in attempts to find out the words to the Pug Nose Face song from Extras. We realise this is a little intrusive, but I'll make an admission here - LMWN is still a little bit fledgling, and it makes a serious difference to my personal productivity if I know there's an audience out there for my words.

So, I'm requesting that you cancel your current RSS feed and re-subscribe, the place is now set up such that all attempts will send you to Feedburner , thereby giving us an idea of how many of you there are out there.

Thanks readers, we appreciate it. Next time you're in The Big Smoke, I'll buy you a beer.

One little thing, take a look at this site. It and LMWN were made for each other - "a hirsute appendage of the upper lip, with graspable extremities"


Monday, 20 November 2006

London’s greatest myth, finally back in print - Alan Moore's From Hell!

by Edwin Hesselthwite

"London calling to the faraway towns.
Now war is declared, and battle come down..." - London Calling, The Clash

While I was raised elsewhere, I believe I have enough heritage in this city to say the words “I am a Londoner”.

To me, this brings forth a whole swathe of imagery, from the smoky Soho bars where English intellectuals debated the founding principles of Liberalism (The Red Lion of Soho is the pub where Marx, Engels and a crowd of other alcoholics hammered out The Communist Manifesto in a dark week in 1847), to Cable Street where the Jews and trade unionists of the East End fought a battle/riot that was the beginning of the end of Sir Oswald Mosley’s brand of fascism in the UK. But unlike New York, which wears it’s mythology (Jazz and Film Noir) heavily in literature and cinema - with Woody Allen and Paul Auster its most obvious proponents – or Paris, which has a long cinematic tradition of sophistication mixed with brutality, London does not strongly project its mythology to the world.

In my opinion, the single greatest recent work in London mythology is Alan Moore’s epic graphic novel From Hell. I first read this several years ago and I’ve been trying to obtain a copy for over a year, during which time it has been frustratingly elusive. In a cheeky bit of sharp practice I ordered a copy of the 2004 edition from Amazon well over two months ago, only to find the new edition – apparently released this week – landing in my letterbox this morning; long after I had assumed the order dead. The reissue is unarguably a good thing; it was a tragedy that such an influential work, amongst the most literary in the medium of graphic novels, had been allowed to drift by the wayside.

An image of Christ Church, Spitalfields in From Hell, taken from here, where there is an interview with Moore discussing the novel.

There is little to say about From Hell that hasn’t already been written better elsewhere, but due to its medium it is still too easily overlooked. Alan Moore is Anglophone comics’ pre-eminent writer, he gained his name writing the most intelligent works in the superhero genre and From Hell is a sprawling, uncompromising masterpiece where he cashed in this creative credit and wrote something that read like a terrible idea on paper – a literary graphic novel about Jack The Ripper. I have a lot of time for Moore, an eccentric, controversialist, self-declared warlock anarchist. In From Hell, Moore took the story of The Whitechapel Murders and used it to draw an epic tale of corruption and murder that runs all the way to Buckingham Palace, poverty and humanity amongst the prostitutes of Whitechapel, and a series of myths and histories about the society, structure and architecture of the capital of The Empire. The emphasis of the story is in drawing out the atmosphere of Dickensian London, with carefully crafted characters performing acts of sensitivity and brutality. There is a mysticism to Moore’s world view that pervades FH, with ancient Druidic legends mixed with Masonic symbolism, giving the story a sublime scale. It is quite so rigorously researched that the edition comes with a massive explanatory appendix sufficiently complete that it renders interpretations such as this irrelevant.

It would be disingenuous to write a piece on From Hell and not mention Eddie Cambell’s artwork. These scratchy ink works are perfect at capturing the tone of Moore’s narrative, simple for images of violence and conversation, followed by virtuoso demonstrations of technique when rendering the architecture of the city. The imagery, from the first frame of a dead seagull lying on a beach, is impressive. A quick note to those who only saw the Johnny Depp movie, Moore has a well deserved reputation for hostility towards Hollywood, it is a virtual certainty that he had no input into the film. The result is not a bad movie, but it does not do justice to the novel at all.

Moore has recently released a work of pornography in a similar uncompromising vein called Lost Girls, which includes graphic imagery of sex between the characters of Alice In Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan. We at LMWN would really appreciate the comments of any readers who happen to have read this, because we can’t bring ourselves to pay money for something that sounds like such a bad idea.

So, we salute Knockabout Comics for their reissue - don’t let this happen again! The smoke and crime of London makes me feel at home - I live by the river!


Click to read reviews on Amazon

Monday, 13 November 2006

Commercially Viable Opium

by Unknown

Viewed by a sufficiently (but not excessively) long-lived entity, mankind’s obsessive and unhealthy interest with the newfangled ‘TV’ shares all the hallmarks of a destructive drug addiction.

There were the early experiments, the youthful exuberance and experimentation whose memes were so powerful that even now they persist despite being swamped by newer, brighter, types. Some of that early stuff left it’s scars.

Then came global availability, lowered street price and a massive increase in usage. If you succumbed your family fell quickly with you, this stuff was addictive. The children use more than their parents, the grandchildren start earlier. Noisy child? “A little bit will keep him quiet, it does no harm”.

Only now we are seeing the rising fatalities. Impure product is infiltrating the system. Auntie has stopped caring and the content is poor and hurtful. Bloated and gorged but always wanting more the helpless addicts sit trapped in their homes waiting for the heart attack or stroke that will follow.

The using public is splitting, a bi-polar entity with the vast, accepting herd on one side sinking ever deeper into the incident pit of their own apathy. Stuffed with facts but knowing nothing. The ‘TV’ gives them a window on the World outside their window.

On the other side are the minority staring in horror at the flickering light, the foil takeaway containers like discarded syringes and the drawn curtains protecting the fragile image and hiding furtive goings-on. More and more money spent, a bigger screen needed now to get the same pleasure, more and more miles of cabling, special additions, special addictions until like Tolkien’s pitiable beast you are at the dealers’ bargaining for a few pounds off the next deal because you wants it, you neeeeeeeeeeds it.

Religion as the opiate? You poor deluded fool. We know religion is dead because we saw it on ‘TV’ last night.

I have to go now. I’m missing Top Gear.


Picture from Here, a blog on intellectual property law, LMWN plays with fire!

Friday, 10 November 2006


by Charles Pooter

The name Charles Pooter is now a name that people associate with such esteemed celebrities as Roger Melly, Billy the Fish, Mr Logic and T Parceltape of Oxford. Yes, I have been published in Viz!

Fame at last! I prefer the original version, but who am I to argue with the creators of Paul Daniels' Jet-Ski Journey To The Centre Of Elvis.

Thursday, 9 November 2006

Site renovations, please mind the dust and the dangling electrical cables.

by Edwin Hesselthwite

Over the past couple of weeks we at LMWN have been going through a little bit of a dip in productivity, and would like to apologise to any regular readers who’ve been hitting the load button only to find no new content here.

The reason for this should be immediately apparent – we’ve been renovating the place. Please note the new origin section down the right hand side, the new randomised rotating pictorial banners, the improved chat-room and the arrival of Pritchard Buckminster onto the - fully salaried - contributors list. In the true spirit of LMWN we would like to make it clear that these features have always been there; it’s your memory deceiving you again if you think otherwise, we suggest you see your psychiatrist.

So, we thank you for your patience and hope you enjoy the shinyness, a shinyness we hope will soon turn to yellowed oak and tarnished silver.


Wednesday, 8 November 2006

Reality Bites

by Unknown

Over the last few years I have noticed that I increasingly wish to ban reality from my living room. I’m not talking about those awful “reality” shows (quote marks very much necessary) but anything in which the main theme is suffering or pain.

Be it Saw III (which created the brilliant term ‘gore porn’ but still, ugh) or the documentary ‘The Boy With No Skin or Eyes Who Has to Work 25 Hours a Day Down T’Pit etc etc’ these vomitous outpourings of over-active imaginations (fiction) or over-invasive reporting (everything else) leave me feeling very uncomfortable.

Yet this is the time in our society when we should fully immerse ourselves in the data stream lest those sneaky corporate puppets running [ruining] this country sneak another morally ambiguous war past us. Those of us who always assume we are being lied to and therefore have a responsibility to pay more attention are, I suspect, the most likely to be bruised by the dehumanised nature of the data feed.

Propositio. The current trend in media development is a subtle attempt to leave us open to the idea of violent behaviour in light of probable future interactions in global events.

Occurro Propositio. I’m turning in to an old man and already slipping behind what is acceptable and utilising conspiracy nonsense to add an air of dignity to my fear.

And yet… within the books with which I coccoon myself violence and pain abound, they are necessary…. demanded even. What is the distinction? Is it the common nature of the medium tied with the content that causes repugnance or is it simply that the pictures in my head are filtered through, well, me? Do I act as my own censor or is it that, like Wilfred Owens’ masterpieces, horror is lessened when wrapped in beauty and understanding, something that the lowest- common- denominator-oriented moron box cannot aspire to?

Can it simply be that the unacceptable, like beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder?

Or is your acceptance defined by how much beer you hold?