Tag Archives: Robert Harris

Icke and Enigma – the hidden world exposed

What can an ex sports personality gone turquoise new age conspiracy theorist have to do with a wartime codebreaking drama?

I’m always pleased and surprised by the links between seeming unrelated things that I pick up at once. Enigma was a little gift to self to complete my Kate Winslet set, where I finally got a DVD with extras on it, which I had to import. David Icke was a book I found in the spirituality section of a shop that kind of waved and say, sit down with me a moment. You might be surprised.

Sometimes David’s tone doesn’t help his incredulous sounding messages – I’ve yet to understand how the Reptile Alien Dynasty fits in. I’d put David’s rants (may we be on first name terms?) in the same stylistic category as Michael Moore’s, or George Galloway. Whether I can also call David well meaning and genuine despite his faults, I am not yet sure.

How do you tell a real spiritual leader? By the one that opens you out to expand, to think for yourself, to not be persuaded to follow them with consequences if you refuse, who wants make a better, more equal world. And who is ultimately about love. At first, David seems to fit this… but there may be another post on this and I may change my mind (I already have since first posting this).

David says he is telling us about what’s really controlling us, what we’re not meant to know and why it suits certain people to not have it known.

And Enigma, based on the Robert Harris novel, is about secrets of the establishment that were hidden from even spouses who worked together on it. I’ve made reference to his novel before on here but I shall concentrate more on the 2001 film this time. I’m intrigued and angered by wartime propaganda and how this film and its extras propound it. The US trailer’s voiceover speaks of Britain as “our greatest allies”. Characters are often spoken of as war heroes, and there’s mention of success and winning the war (can there be winners in war, truly?). Some of the anecdotes about real life codebreakers were also daunting and weren’t questioned by cast or crew. The lady who helped Kate Winslet for her role as Hester told her that after a 12 hr night shift, she was made to stand on a train to give way to a woman in army uniform. A rude fellow passenger had demanded that this plainclothes lady, who was doing nothing for the war effort, be deferent to this brave serving hero. And because her work was secret, the codebreaking lady felt she had to obey.

I’ve shared my displeasure before at the crossword competition that was as trick to forcibly recruit for codebreaking and to make people like Hester sign at gunpoint for something they didn’t understand. Why would you want to carry the secret of what you did in the war for 30 years, even from your partner, as so many at Bletchley did till it was no longer an official secret? Why couldn’t you tell people even which hut you worked in on the same site? I’m upset at a system that would attack its own in the name of a cause which may not be what it seems. It concerns me that the history we’re presented with may not be the whole one, as Icke and others speak of the Middle Eastern wars of today as being about something other than what our governments and some newspapers would have us believe. And there’s the No Glory In War campaign about World War one, asking us all to look at the real reasons for that war and not to celebrate it at its centenary as something to support current conflict.

Michael Apted in his director’s commentary on his film says that Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire was the start of computers and the surveillance state. The film was released in Britain shortly after the twin towers, when security rules were stepped up and civil rights corroded with new laws. Now we’re seeing the reverse beginning, I hope, with new laws coming in which tighten the secret service’s rei(g)n, and with exposure of the secret snooping. Icke is credited with predicting the Twin Towers in 2001; he claims the webs beneath us are rather Matrix like and that who’s spinning them are linked and invisible people who are a layer below the public and official faces supposedly responsible. Money and power are big factors, and the few are trying to control the many through peer pressure – just like the wartime lady on the train. In Enigma, Hester and Tom don’t let secret service threats stop them discovering that the Katyn atrocity was known by the British government and ignored because they wanted Russian support against Germany. And the film tells us that Russian politicians apologised, but never that British ones did, and the final cut removes the scene of a newspaper with Katyn on the cover.

I’ll keep my review on the actual film Enigma for Amazon, but wanted to share this link of propaganda and secrecy, bullying one’s own to keep them conforming, and that I hope we’re seeing full circle, and that divide and conquer secrecy and ideology is being eroded like English cliffs and we’re seeing the truth – and that often takes more courage than those on the battlefield.

 

 

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Justice is restored but the chickens are gone

by me

I have been researching for my next post and I wanted to get it right. I have views on Poppy Day which passed before I had consolidated them. I had read various stories relating to war and the secret service, but also felt frankly afraid to voice them.

You will notice by now that I write against harmful systems and for justice and liberty. I am against control and propaganda. What I have to say this time particularly concerns those, linked by my unlikely sounding title.

‘Justice is restored’ refers to a missing statue. In that same town, something else that’s a known local feature has disappeared – the wild chickens who refused to move when their home became a roundabout on a busy bypass.

I saw a local news headline that ‘justice has been restored’, but then I wondered about that in larger terms. Each time I pick up a newspaper, I read something else which makes me angry because justice is being evaded or distorted. The people meant to protect justice curtail or suspend it for the citizens they are mean to be servants of. Policing of riots and protests; secret courts; laws coming in by a government we didn’t choose to make it ever harder for the public because of actions by rich people who are still rich. I suspect whatever country my readers are from, you can relate to this in some way.

I read Robert Harris’ wartime code breaking novel Enigma and again felt anger at the secret service. It may be fiction, but it is based on some truth. The public are recruited by a crossword competition; in the book Hester is told to sign the Official Secrets Act and stick to it or the gun on the desk beside the form will be used on her. She has not yet volunteered nor understands how her cryptic puzzle solving skills will be used or what threat she may be under. Tom is also recruited in an underhand way that leaves him little choice. He is threatened by security service officers who appear in his home to scare him off something he accidentally discovers.

It struck me that in the name of protecting democracy, secret services go against the very values that the countries they serve are built on: openness, honesty, trust; protecting the public so that we can go about our lives freely, without fear. I am always appalled when I read of how much control the military and government exerted in the war. What system can be worth fighting for when refusing means that your own side turns on you? Why does an army find the resources to harm conscientious objectors from its own people? In the 1970s TV series, Wonder Woman turns a Nazi through demonstrating that the German army did not care for its own and were happy to kill them. Wonder Woman implies that hers is the better side for its contrasting ethics and treatment. I did some wondering of my own.

After being shocked again at the Katyn forest massacre of Polish prisoners of war and how that the British knew but pretended not to, I decided to watch the Polish 2010 film Katyn to see what they had to say on it. I was horrified at how anyone could shoot thousands of men and dump them in a mass grave, as I was to see a country’s own police demand entry and haul its own people out of their homes to concentration camps in Sarah’s Key. Note none of this was Nazi doing.

Nationalism frightens me when it threatens to make us hate other people and to incite acts of cruelty against them. It is one thing to be proud and loyal of one’s country, another to use that to create otherness instead of brotherness (girls included). The world is our neighbour, not just those with the same passport.

I am struck by the propaganda about war in my own country and am wary of how public statements may be used to influence peer pressure and curtail dissent.

The head of Britain’s MI6 gave a speech about how secrecy is necessary for our country and the rest of the world to go about safely. Yet I don’t feel safe – not because I especially fear terrorism, but the shadowy world of government endorsed crime fighters. I am appalled that the tax office can use spying and that financial safety is a reason to for secret intelligence  – along with that much used slippery phrase ‘threat to national security’.

To complete my trilogy, I watched Fair Game, from the memoir of Valerie Plame Wilson, the former CIA agent (starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn). She was deliberately outed after her ex-diplomat husband Joe spoke out that he found no weapons of mass destruction and therefore the basis of the 2004 Iraq war was spurious. They fought a long battle against the CIA and the US government. I am unsure exactly where she stands on some issues – in her DVD commentary she does not comment on the question: ‘have you killed people’ or that the CIA bound and beat recruits as part of a training exercise to find their breaking point. Or that she recruited people by manipulation and stealth and that they were not protected by the agency but killed.

I did like her line: security should not stop freedom.

If people fear police and military and security agencies more than terrorism; if liberty is curtailed in the name of keeping us safe, then security ‘services’ are no longer morally or operationally justified as it is acting against their very raison d’être. I read that there have been calls to abolish some secret services. I wonder if any such an agency is really necessary or the best way to combat these problems.

A service built on secrecy and deception is not sound and clashes with the morals and codes of many faiths and ideologies. It involves falsely presenting oneself not only to the adversaries but to one’s own loved ones, meaning isolation for employees as well as anyone who is recruited or who accidentally has a brush with one.

Just as a faith and its true believers are more than and separate to the official church, a nation is not its government, its laws or its leaders and figureheads. These organisations do not get to say what it is we are defending or believing in.

A national interest is not something than an agency or minister defines.

You can’t have equal opps laws and boast of your diversity on one hand whilst enforcing conformity on another.

I am glad of the attempts by the intelligence agencies to be accountable in my country and of the laws which govern them. But then we don’t chose or scrutinise the ministers that call into account or make the laws. Democracy means ‘rule by the people’ but many of us in those kinds of societies don’t feel we get to do the choosing and have the input that so titled society ought.

The  ‘C’ of MI6 speech speaks of enjoying public confidence – which it needs. But stories about Guantanamo Bay, like those on the Canadian Homes Not Bombs site, and Britain’s foreign secretary’s ideas undermine that. I believe that is just part of what many of us are speaking out against. (I have also seen Friday’s news about US police and Occupy protestors).

If secret services fight threats to economic stability that harm the public, I consider they ought to be busy – at all those who caused the recession and its effects. There’s more damage done there by our own  supposed legit institutions than terrorists.

And lastly to those chickens. What do they represent? Freedom despite control. Not being part of the regime. A reminder of nature and how we try to dominate it. A Unitarian hymn at first shocked me by its triteness – but there’s something affirming about ‘the grass that breaks through the concrete’ and the chickens that roost despite the tarmac and concrete built round them. I see those chickens as a symbol of a simpler, more natural life, a refusal to let human bureaucratic control spoil their lives. Their absence therefore concerns me.

After calls to remove them, they were poisoned and attacked and then were rehoused reluctantly by the man who had been feeding them. I know what I infer from that.

And my final word for today on security:

To paraphrase what the Governor of Oregon said today regarding execution:

“I do not believe that these made us safer and certainly they did not make us nobler as a society.”

http://www.chickenroundabout.co.uk/

You can even buy a board game of it!

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