Friday, January 14, 2005

Lord Lucan's politics

Lord Lucan, who in 1974 accidentally murdered his children's nanny while trying to murder his wife in the dark - don't you hate when that happens? - then disappeared, and has not been heard from since, turns out to have been part of a group of like-minded aristos in early 1970's Britain who were considering a fascist coup. From an article by Martin Bright:

"One biographer, Patrick Marnham, said: 'Seen from the Clermont Club [Lucan's favourite gambling haunt], the country was starting to resemble the less stable years of the Weimar Republic. Sir James Goldsmith began to develop his theory of "the Communist infiltration of the Western media". Over the smoked salmon and lamb cutlets, the talk turned to the pros and cons of a British military coup.'

It may seem difficult to believe now, nearly eight years into the most secure Labour government in British history, but across the country pockets of the traditional ruling class were preparing for military action. General Sir Walter Walker, former commander of allied forces in northern Europe, formed the Concerned Citizens' Vigilante Association to stamp out Communism in Wiltshire, and Colonel David Stirling, founder of the SAS, invited volunteers to join his 'strike-breaking army' to crush the unions.

According to former MI5 officer Peter Wright, a group of his colleagues, including Margaret Thatcher's mentor Airey Neave, began discussing a political coup. According to Wright, they believed that the Labour government had been infiltrated by the KGB and should be overthrown. He also claimed they were backed by a right-wing financier. Goldsmith always denied he put the money behind the group or discussed MI5 matters with former intelligence officers."


While the British toffs just talk and dress up in funny clothes, the Americans get down to work and have one coup after another. Lucan may very well still be alive, as my guess is that the kind of upper-class twits of the year who were his friends wouldn't be able to resist the lure of easy tabloid money to tell his story as soon as he was dead.

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