Will nobody stop Dame Pauline?
NEVILLE-JONES. Cameron's adviser has 'form'.
TORY leader David Cameron is grabbing the headlines from obliging media with a speech damning "multi-culturalism" and accusing Muslim organisations of fostering separation and being akin to the British National Party.
Who is helping David Cameron with his homework? Up pops the new leading thinker heading Cameron's advisers, Dame Pauline Neville Jones. On TV tonight she admits that her target is not just those who use or advocate violence and terrorism, but anyone whose ideas "threaten the liberal foundations of our society". I'd guess that could include us Marxists, as well as Muslims, folks.
Especially, once that "multicultural" idea is out, those of you whose efforts to be more British than the British aren't judged sufficient. Whether it's your origins or ideology that are "alien" you'd better watch it!
We've met Dame Pauline before. Back in the days when people were being butchered as "Muslims", even if secular ones, while much of the Left preferred looking the other way and had not discovered the word Islamophobia. Pauline Neville-Jones was a Foreign Office political director and chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee. She stood with Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd for maintaining the arms embargo on Bosnia. Hurd said easing it would only create a "level killing-field". While the Chetniks (Serb nationalists) could sow cluster-bombs and anti-personnel mines, Britain would not let those resisting them even buy mine detection equipment.
Neville-Jones was senior British official at the Dayton peace negiotiations imposed on Bosnia. "Balkan experts remember her from Dayton as a 'very tough' negotiator who was continually pushing the Bosnians to accept the de facto partition of their nation". (Francis Wheen, Guardian, 4 September 1996).
Three months after quitting the Foreign Office, Lord Hurd joined NatWest Markets, investment arm of the National Westminster Bank, on a salary of £250,000 a year. His qualifications for the world of finance were not obvious, but he knew people, and he had a helper - Dame Pauline. The dire duo went out to Belgrade in 1996 for breakfast with Slobodan Milosevic, whose government was strapped for cash, with Serbian workers demanding unpaid wages. NatWest helped Milosevic sell off the post and telephone system, PTT, and obtained a contract to advise on debt management. It eyed up Serbia's electricity industry and oil for further privatisation. While it was Italian and Greek money that went into the telecomms deal, NatWest did well out of tending advice, and so did Lord Hurd and Dame Pauline.
Then Neville-Jones was off to fresh fields. She became a BBC international governor in January 1998. In 2004 the Corporation was brought to heel over its coverage of Iraq, and the Blair government's dodgy dossier on Weapons of Mass Destruction. Following the Hutton report, and after Greg Dyke was made to resign as director general, some people questioned Dame Pauline's objectivity as a governor. It was revealed that besides her intelligence past, she held £50,000 shares in the privatised former Ministry of Defence firm QinetiQ and had earned £133,000 the previous year as chairman.
Last year, the US Carlyle group, - whose investors have included George Bush senior, Colin Powell, former Defense Secretary James Baker and, at one time, members of the Bin Laden family - floated Qinetiq on the stock exchanges, and once again Dame Pauline must have done well out of it. But money, though it doubtless comes in handy, is not her first interest, and off she went last February for an "Intelligence Summit" in Arlington, Virginia, though I dare say her US hosts didn't see her out of pocket for this.
Among those taking part with her were former CIA directors John Deutch and James Wooley, as well as Steve Pomerantz, former director of "counter-terrorism" for the FBI. Not to be confused with Cointelpro, the FBI's programme of domestic infiltration, disruption and assassinations which has been reinstated as part of "Homeland Security". But also billed to appear were Colonel Oded Shoham, Israel army reservist, Yoram Hessel , "former senior Mossad officer", and Israeli-born Yousef Bosasky, now director of the Congress Task Force on Terrorism.
Another speaker was Rachel Ehrenfield, who two years previously warned of dangerous efforts by Tony Blair and the World Bank to pressure Israel into concessions that would lead to "an independent terrorist Palestine state".
Now I'm not suggesting that the head of David Cameron's political advice circle would have agreed with all those she might have rubbed shoulders with at Arlington, anymore than in Belgrade ten years previously. But I can see people asking whether her advice on multiculturalism and Muslims is well-meant, and even questioning her right to lecture anyone on association with extremists.