On 13 March 1996, Hamilton, armed with four hand-guns, opened fire on a junior school class, killing 16 children and one teacher before turning the gun on himself, shattering forever the idyllic 13th century Scottish town of Dunblane.
The controversy is certain to topple the Blair government, which has already issued a D-Notice to gag the press from revealing the names of known paedophiles within the British executive, including at least two senior ministers; and the case highlights the government's antipathy toward the Sunday Herald and its brand of independent journalism that has, among other things, exposed the role played by the domestic security agency, MI5, in helping the IRA to carry out terrorist atrocities.
As reported by this journalist last month at Propaganda Matrix and Counter Punch, and by the Sunday Herald's Home Affairs Editor, Neil Mackay, the British intelligence services are actively engaged in preventing any further child sex revelations that could incite further hostility to an already unpopular Prime Minister and destroy the morale of troops set to invade Iraq. An intelligence officer told Mackay that "a 'rolling' Cabinet committee had been set up to work out how to deal with the potentially ruinous fall-out for both Tony Blair and the government if arrests occur."
Some commentators, mindful that one of Tony Blair's closest confidante's is a practising paedophile, are even suggesting that this particular scandal, and not Blair's repeated lies and fabricated reports in regard to Iraq, may well prove the downfall of a government mired in sleaze and corruption. The Sunday Times is reported to have obtained an FBI list of Labour MPs who have used credit cards to pay for internet child pornography, and Blair has responded by imposing a massive news blackout, failing however to stop the arrest of one of his most important aides, Phillip Lyon.
The latest allegations came to light following a campaign to lift the secrecy on the Dunblane massacre. Large sections of the police report were banned from the public domain under a 100-year secrecy order. Lord Cullen, an establishment insider, also omitted and censored references to the documents in his final report. Parents and teachers were advised to concentrate their efforts on a campaign to outlaw handguns instead of focusing on how the mentally unstable Freemason, already known by the police to be a paedophile, had obtained a firearms licence for six handguns. Hamilton allegedly enjoyed good relations with both local Labour luminary George Robertson and Michael Forsyth, the then Scottish Secretary of State and MP for Stirling. Forsyth congratulated and encouraged Hamilton for running a boy's club. Hamilton was also found to have exchanged letters with the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth.
The rumours and allegations concerning Lord Robertson's ties to Hamilton, and the possibility that the American intelligence services may be blackmailing Tony Blair into continued support for a U.S. invasion of Iraq, have been given fire by internet investigator and intelligence expert Michael Keaney:
"An additional, and potentially explosive, aspect of US leverage over Blair is the FBI's investigation of users of child porn websites which has already claimed a number of high profile scalps. [....] The biggest two fish that come to mind are indeed high profile: firstly there is George Robertson, who today has announced that he will step down as NATO Secretary General after four years and two months in the job. Were he to be fingered the fall out would be spectacular but short-lived -- he's been a long time out of the cabinet and is sufficiently distant from Tony to be regarded as not requiring the presentational finesse of a "rolling" Cabinet committee, whatever that might be. However, our second candidate is most certainly very closely identified with the prime minister, and retains a high profile [and] continues to operate at a very high level indeed, whether in Europe, Japan, or even the Middle East."
"Peter Mandelson began political life as a member of the Communist Party, soon "seeing the light" and instead getting involved with the CIA/MI6-financed Socialist International youth wing and the Labour Party, through which he rose in parallel with his experience working at London Weekend Television with other A-list regulars like John Birt and Michael Maclay, now public mouthpiece of Hakluyt, the private sector spook outfit run by a bunch of "ex" MI6 types including the widow of ex-Labour leader John Smith. This sort of background and connections makes Mandelson very useful in the sort of corridors-and-alleyways diplomacy and networking that is the real substance of international relations and intelligence gathering. [....] If Mandelson is indeed the suspect, then the damage this could cause may fatally wound Blair."
"An interesting development that may, or may not, be related to this, is the publication of an article in last Sunday's Observer by David Aaronovitch. He and Mandelson are longtime friends, having been together in the Communist Party and at London Weekend TV. Aaronovitch was, until recently, a leading political commentator for the Independent, on whose "international advisory board" (the standard vanity collection of august persons put together for the ego of newspaper proprietors like Tony O'Reilly and Conrad Black) sits Peter Mandelson."
"Since switching to the Guardian Media Group at the beginning of this year or thereabouts, Aaronovitch authored an article on child abuse in which he pleads for common sense to prevail, rather than the lynch mob: 'Strangely I trust the police to act sensibly (because, like the analysts, they’ve seen it all): it's the rest of us I worry about.'"
"That much depends upon the behaviour of the US Justice Department, which ultimately has responsibility for the investigation, must be a worry for Blair. One need only imagine how this must colour the views of John Ashcroft regarding the moral fibre of British cabinet ministers and the laxity of the prime minister who chose them in the first place. How easy would it be for the suspect to be named in a story that miraculously surfaced outside of the UK (thereby circumventing the D Notice and leading potentially to a re-run of the Spycatcher fiasco of 1987)?
"Whoever is on the suspects' list, we can see that already this 'rolling' cabinet committee is busy leaking stories that serve at least to delay the shock of the inevitable, eventual revelation, buying valuable time if nothing else. Thus you can depend on the Guardian to save the day for Tony, and here's some helpful tip-offs courtesy of MI6 that help to distract from what's really going on, whilst bolstering the reputation for integrity and financial propriety that has marked Blair's dealings with businesspeople like Bernie Ecclestone, Richard Desmond, Lakshmi Mittal, etc."
"I have come to the considered conclusion," says a correspondent of Keaney, William Palfreman, "that the events surrounding the Dunblane massacre, and the subsequent submissions to the Cullen enquiry that have been put under to 100 years of secrecy, far out weigh in political significance issues such as our opposition to the EU [and] what it entails. It is inconceivable that T Blair, Jack Straw [and] Gordon Brown can survive in office as this matter becomes known. It totally undermines the Labour government, and could easily be a case of the Queen feeling she has to use reserve powers to call an emergency general election, such would be the loss of confidence."
"This scandal is far more important that anything that has happened here in living memory, in fact I can think of no parallel for it. It certainly pisses all over anything that happened to Kennedy or was done by Nixon. I am surprised, given the gravity of this matter, that [an] attempt has yet to be made on his life, for surely we are dealing with desperate people here. It also explains a few strange things, such as just why T Blair & co. were so keen to ban all handguns, and why such obviously talentless nobodies like George Robertson have risen from being backbench nobodies a couple of years ago to Defence Secretary, and now Secretary-General of Nato."
"[....] Now where in this is there a national security risk so great, that documents part of the public enquiry are now state secrets to be held for 100 years? Funny kind of public enquiry. Why, when Thomas Hamilton's application for a gun licence was turned down, due to him being regarded as a man of unsound character [and] him being the object of several paedophilia investigations, did his MP, our friend George Robertson (now Lord Robertson, Secretary-General of NATO), write him a glowing character reference, and personally see to it that his application was successful, when he knew the grounds for the original refusal were because he was suspected of procuring boys for sexual services?"
"Or take a certain boat seized on Loch Ness [Loch Lomond] by the Strathclyde Police. It is a very rare thing for assets to be seized in the UK, as [there] are no asset-forfeiture laws. When it does happen, there is normally a trial at least, with things only being seized if they are proven to be bought with money proven to be consequence of a proven crime. Even then, they are sold by public auction. How come, then, was this very valuable boat sold for the tiny sum of £5000, without an auction, to none other than our friend Thomas Hamilton, a man of no financial means whatsoever, nor a sailor, nor lived anywhere near any open water. Why did not the boats owners complain about having their property stolen from them in this manner? I can only conclude because it was being used for some very serious criminal activity, and those on board were merely glad to escape prosecution. Also, it seems rather odd in such circumstances that not only were the owners happy to avoid prosecution enough to lose a valuable boat, but that the Strathclyde Police were not willing to prosecute. And yet, after these improbable events, it wound up in none other than our friend Hamilton's hands. Could he have been a blackmailer as well as a paedophile?"
"But the main thing is what might explain sections of the public enquiry are now under the hundred year rule. There are only three levels of secrecy in the UK for state secrets, the 30 year rule, the 80 year rule and the 100 year rule. Normal secrets, like Cabinet discussions, government papers, espionage, all that, are under the 30 year rule. Only a very small number of things ever reached the 80 year rule, particularly events in the Sudan with Kitchener in 1902, where it seems that an act of genocide was committed, and some things that happened 1914-18, as well as things like potential peace negotiations in 1941, and just about everything to do with the IRA (after all, people are still alive after 30 years) come under the 80 year rule. Of them, the darkest of state secrets, when the events of '02 were getting a bit close to their limit for comfort, a further class of secrets was created to last a hundred years, and tiny number of things were put in it - e.g. Kitchener in '02, some World War I things."
But none of these things can be said to apply to Dunblane. That was a case of a common criminal [and] sexual pervert committing some fairly ordinary murders, of a kind that happen from time to time. Even if a backbench Labour MP was implicated, or may have been involved in a large paedophile ring in Scotland, that is not a matter of vital national importance. You have a prosecution, there is a bit of a scandal, everyone is disgusted and one MP goes to prison. Big deal: such things happen. You certainly would not make such information a state secret just to save one unnamed backbench nobody's miserable neck. Governments simply don't go to such extreme lengths to save nobodies - power broking just doesn't work like that. There must be issues of profound national importance working here, and I put it to you that anything that involves certain events in Scotland is more likely to be someone of cabinet level than anything else.
If the physiologically flawed [although Thomas Hamilton was these were the words of Tony Blair when speaking of Gordon Brown] Thomas Hamilton was the centre of a paedophile ring in Scotland that procured boys to people of the amongst the highest rank, and Tony Blair [and] Jack Straw covered this up by the Official Secrets Act (They would do the covering, as both the Prime Minister's [and] Home Secretary's permission is needed to put some something under the 100 year rule.) it is hard to see how they or their close colleges could possibly remain in office, even if they were never inclined to such flawed behaviour themselves. The government would fall."
That prospect seems to be energising a government now considered to be fighting for its political life, even to the extent of killing the review process by which some of the banned sections of the Cullen Report would be made public, arguing that freedom of information would somehow harm other abused children in Dunblane.
In a recent interview with the Guardian newspaper, Michael Matheson, the Scottish National Party's shadow deputy justice minister, said: "There are more documents covered by the 100-year rule than this police report. Some of them have nothing whatsoever to do with children. We need to look at why such a lengthy ban has been imposed on them. I have been contacted by a number of families affected by the tragedy who are anxious to ensure this information becomes public. And so far we have no guarantee that it will. We only have a review."
"It is important we make available, if it is at all possible, any information that is available about people in the public eye," said the Scottish first minister, Jack McConnell.
When Tony Blair took office following a landslide victory in 1997, few commentators would have suggested that this man would be willing to drag his country into a war of unjustified aggression against a people that have done no harm to the British public. Nor would anyone have surmised that a Labour government would hitch its political fortunes to a shabby cabal of fanatical neoconservative Zionists working to make real their much-touted biblical Armageddon. And no one could have predicted that Blair's nominally "Christian" administration would transform itself into a licentious club of flamboyant homosexual cruisers and out-of-control paedophiles.
But it is now becoming shockingly clear that the slavish adherence of Tony Blair and Jack Straw to the Bush line on Iraq may have less to do with principled arguments, and much more to do with the fear of CIA and FBI revelations that would make them two of the most hated politicians in modern British political history.
There is only one way out for Tony Blair - resign.
(The British Labour government, 1997-2003. Rest In Peace.)
Michael James is a British freelance journalist and translator, resident in Germany for over 11 years.
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