18 April 2009

Download the book Open Secret by Stella Rimington

I have been sent a couple of links where Stella Rimington's autobiography "Open Secret" can be downloaded. If you have not read it it is worth reading to see just what she has got up to in her life.

Go here for an English language version or here if you prefer it in Russian.

12 April 2009

My job application to EMI Electronics in 1976

I was asked at my trial whether I had lied on my application form in order to get a job at EMI Electronics (Feltham), which gave me access to secret material. I stressed that I had not lied, but the impression was given in court that I had deceived EMI. Strangely, the Prosecution brought no exhibits to court to prove the matter one way or the other.

Where this allegation that I had lied arose from I have no idea - possibly it was one of Stella Rimington’s tricks, to make me look bad in the eyes of the jury. However, it was impossible for me to prove it one way or another without access to my paperwork, which was all in the hands of the Police. My Defence Counsel apparently never saw this as an important enough issue to either contact EMI, or to look for evidence amongst my own papers.

Malcolm McLeod, the Policeman who interviewed me, said shortly after my arrest (during the interviews): "You were successful with EMI because you lied on your application form, about your past connections with the Communist Party."

Later he repeated this claim: "When you filled in your application form for EMI, one of the questions, and it wasn’t too difficult to answer, did you have any connections or affiliations with any communist organisations, but you misled them."

During the investigations before my trial, Police went to EMI Electronics and spoke with staff there. I am certain that my application form was still lodged in their personnel records, and if I had lied on any points I am sure that the form would have been an important exhibit used at my trial. But this ever happened, and it can only be because I spoke the truth, that I did not lie to get a job at EMI Electronics.

I have now found the copy I made of the 3-page application form I signed on 9 May 1976, and apart from removing two addresses I can publish it here to indicate what questions I was asked and what my answers were. I defy anybody to identify that I either lied or tried to mislead the company. I believe I answered all questions truthfully.

EMI Electronics Application Form page 1

EMI Electronics Application Form page 2

EMI Electronics Application Form page 3

03 April 2009

Michelle Obama at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School

I heard on the news yesterday about the big event when Michelle Obama visited a girl's school. It was only today that I realised that it was the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in Islington.

I suppose it is no big deal that Mrs Obama would visit a school, but I was especially interested that it should be this particular school. Over several years in the 1980s I visited this school every week to take flamenco dance lessons, and we used this very hall where Mrs Obama was speaking. We worked up quite a lot of passion as we rhythmically stamped on that floor for many hours. Although it all seems a distant memory now, it was one of the most enjoyable times of my life.

Another thing I remembered about this school was that during one of our flamenco dance lessons my car was broken into in the school's car park, the only time I have ever suffered a vehicle robbery. The person who smashed my car window and stole my brief-case probably never knew that there were sensitive papers inside it, associated with correspondence I had had with the Ministry of Defence about my security clearance. Luckily the brief-case was found in the waste disposal chute of a nearby bank, and everything except my electronic calculator was recovered.

Michelle Obama speaking at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School