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'Girlie bars'

Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 3:53 pm
by 1980sstJ
Mail on Sunday
November 13, 1994
Ex-Thatcher aide in US bid for RAF contract $ 1m
Adrian Lithgow,Political Editor
A FORMER political aide to Margaret Thatcher is on a huge 'win bonus' to secure a ?1.5 billion RAF contract for the United States at the expense of British jobs.
His firm's fee is believed to be as much as ?750,000 if US giant Lockheed beats British Aerospace in the huge battle to replace the RAF's 80 Hercules transport planes.
Last night Labour called for the sleaze-probing Nolan Inquiry to inves-tigate the role of top lobbyist David Boddy, a former Tory Party communications director who, The Mail on Sunday has discovered, is behind the Americans' bid to secure the biggest defence deal for years.
He heads a hugely influential Westminster lobbying firm, Market Access International, and is playing a crucial behind-the-scenes role in convincing top officials and Ministers to buy American. And next week Opposition MPs will table Commons questions about Lockheed-sponsored trips by British diplomats, Defence officials and RAF officers to its base in Georgia, where British guests are said to have relaxed in their spare time at night clubs and a 'girlie bar'.
Lockheed is desperately keen to replace the ageing Hercules C-130 heavy transport planes it supplied to the RAF with its improved version, the C-130J. But the US has rejected it and rival BAe claims it falls far short of the standards of its own Euro-project, the as yet unbuilt Future Large Aircraft. Lockheed's sales team stresses the C-130J's advantages. At ?25 million each they are comparatively cheap and they could be delivered in 1997. The early date has added importance because of fears among Defence planners that the Treasury might claw back available funds if a final decision is delayed. BAe's FLAs would cost ?40 million for delivery in 2002. But they would come with state-of-the-art avionics, and have the vital ability to carry larger Army equipment. And because of their longerrange, fewer would be needed. And BAe fears that unless the Government is committed to the FLA, not only will the country lose an additional 7,500 aerospace jobs, but its standing as an international manufacturer will be fatally damaged.
MPs want the most controversial defence deal since the Westland Affair to be decided on its military and economic merits - not by the skills of West-minster's highly-paid professional lobbyists.
Industry speculation has put Mr Boddy's fee at between $ 1 million and $ 2 million, but last night the senior lobbyist dismissed the latter figure. 'We generally take fees which is certainly what we are doing on this contract,' Mr Boddy said.
'There is also a commission payment if there is success. But these rather fanciful figures are in the minds of other people.'
Lockheed's vice chairman, Al Hansen, in London to oversee the company's bid strategy, refused to discuss his firm's relationship with MAI.
'Market Access do not get a special commission deal and if they did I wouldn't tell you,' he said.
'I don't think these are the sort of questions I should respond to. They are a consulting comp-any. We use them on all of our deals.
'I think you are asking a lot of inappropriate questions. These are int-ernal company dealings.'
Lockheed has vigorously denied being involved in a bribery scandal when it sold five C-130Js to Egypt five years ago.
But the revelation that a Westminster-based firm is directly working against the interest of a major British company has raised serious concern in Parliament.
It follows a recommen-dation by the Ministry of Defence's Equipment Approvals Committee for an initial order from Lockheed of ten C-130Js.
The decision will have to be ratified by Ministers before it gets the final go-ahead.
Shadow Defence Procurement Minister Derek Fatchett has written to Defence Secretary Malcolm Rifkind asking him to clarify his depart-ment's rules in
relation to lobby firms.
And he has asked him to refer to the Nolan Inquiry the way Lock-heed has approached the tender, which has inc-luded hiring senior RAF staff, contributing to RAF benevolent funds, sponsoring events and entertaining MoD personnel in the US.
'This affair, particularly when there is such an important decision at stake for British industry, raises again concern about the role of lobbyists,' Mr Fatchett, MP for Leeds Central, said.
'I feel strongly it is time for the Minister of Defence to issue clear guidelines and I think the Nolan Committee should be looking at this case in terms of its own investigation into the role of lobbyists.
'It is outrageous for a bonus to be offered in this way when Britain's technological future and British jobs are at risk.'
France, Spain, Italy and Germany are already committed to the FLA, and if they go ahead alone BAe's wing-manufacturing contribution will be handed to a German firm.
That in turn would put a massive question mark over BAe's continuing presence in Airbus Industrie, which could well turn to the German firm to make wings for the Airbus as well as the heavy transporter.

Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 4:05 pm
by bella
So what happened then? I'm not up on current RAF equipment.

is that why SES are so powerful ?

Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:03 pm
by Saint James
I thought SES meditation preaches peace ?

Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:24 pm
by Keir
1980sstj wrote
He heads a hugely influential Westminster lobbying firm, Market Access International, and is playing a crucial behind-the-scenes role in convincing top officials and Ministers to buy American. And next week Opposition MPs will table Commons questions about Lockheed-sponsored trips by British diplomats, Defence officials and RAF officers to its base in Georgia, where British guests are said to have relaxed in their spare time at night clubs and a 'girlie bar'.

Mind not on the job of headmaster? No wonder he looked so relaxed whilst spinning his 'potter' nonsense. I suppose he might spin it that the American branch of our world family needs the work more than we do!

Would his influence have anything to do with his air of untouchability? or does he provide cheap places to the contractors children in return for 'consideration'. Its like peeling an onion.

After his TV appearance and innaction I am beginning to believe that the more militant members of this board are right. Scrap the key personnel and start again!

Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:05 pm
by sugarloaf
remind me again what his qualifications and experience are for a job in education?

I've read and re-read the CV he attached to the school prospectus. Am I missing something?

Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 5:42 am
by Free Thinker
Certainly a background in PR for a "trickle down" theorist leader, and then work in the military industrial complex is qualification enough, right?


Hey, where'd everyone go?!!

Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 8:46 am
by chittani
I remember reading the above 'expose' in 1994 and thinking to myself what a lot of crap it was.

$1m Bonus to Beat Britain! Shock, horror! John Bull must be turning in his grave. To think that we should live to see the day that a New Zealander should be employed as a lobbyist by a company trying to do down ... the UK Rockets & Bombs Industry!!

The Mail on Sunday is a dreadful, jingoistic, middlebrow rag and always was. This article is nothing more than PR spin, funded by ... UK Rockets & Bombs plc!!

Surely there must be something more damning we could dredge up from the past? Freddie Starr in Hamster-related dining incident?

Oh, I forgot, Freddie Starr does not presently work at St James.

Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:02 am
by 1980sstJ
Do you think when people go to girlie bars they put their hand inside the potters wheel? Or just touch the potters wheel from the outside?

Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:36 am
by chrisdevere
I think the more interesting point is that he heads an influential lobbying company.

Aircraft the Mail and the fact that the C-130j does not meet RAF standards aside. SES claimds to have no political influence or agenda, yet here it clearly shows that there is a dedicated SES member with considerable high level access and possible influence. Whilst Locheed might pay for lobbying services. I would find it hard to belive that a lobbyist and comitted member of the SES would not take the opportunity to push his views and beliefs, to potentially try and win over sympathy/support for an "educational trust"???????????????

I wonder how much access the SES does have to "The corridors of power"!????

Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:17 am
by chittani
I wonder how much access the SES does have to "The corridors of power"!????

Not much. As soon as anyone gets near even the front porches of power they usually leave the School - eg Sir Kenneth Jupp (High Court Judge), Roger Pincham (Chairman of Liberal Party), to avoid conflicts of interest.

Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:50 am
by Free

Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:21 pm
by chrisdevere
I dont think you can "leave" in that respect. If you still fundamentally accept the teachings of an organisation and that is what your belief system is built around you are still going to promote that belief.

If you are a Christian but suddenly stop attending church regularly, does that stop you being a christian? Or would you still accept christian values and beliefs and wish to promote them.

Likewise if your friends were members of the SES and your beliefs were those promoted by the SES, would you not still seek acceptance of your views from your peers?

In that respect it would be possible to renounce the SES. A firm SES believer has not left the SES just because they break visible ties for the purposes of not appearing to have a conflict of interests.

Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:43 pm
by chittani
Yes, but that assumes that there are fundamental teachings that are universally and uncritically accepted.

Maybe that was the case 20 years ago, but some of us have read the Upanishads, the Gita, the Conversations, and a lot of other source material. Having done so, we can form our own opinions about what philosophy means. And I think a lot of ex-St James people have made similar journeys of their own.

But anyway - I still think this thread is a total wild goose chase (no pun intended against FT's avie). The issue of "penetrating the corridors of power" is a non-starter. We are too small, not to mention timid, to dare attempt any such thing, even if it was thought to be desirable.

And whatever anyone says about David Boddy, he has done a lot to increaase transparency. Maybe more than anyone. Does anyone recall the Andrew Billen article in the Observer (I think)? That happened because DB invited him to spend a week at St James.

That article was much more worthy of a thread than this Mail garbage.

Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 2:14 pm
by Free

Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2006 2:28 pm
by chittani
Hear, hear.

I used to have a copy long ago. It was balanced and intelligent, critical of the kookiness (it was called "School for Scandal" and the front cover featured the lower halves of two long-skirted girls. There were boxes inset giving "cult facts") but what stood out for me was Billen's remark that there was an atmosphere of love - one notably absent from his own educational experience.

He also gave his card to a number of the girls (I think it was just about the Senior girls) so that they could contact him if there was anything they wanted to tell him in private ... but not one of them did.

Plainly it was already by this time a different place.