This is a comment from “LooseStool” in the thread below.
Have commented on Guardian website under this name. What prompted it was this clip from BBC audio that I hadn’t heard before. Its primness rather annoyed me.
Please compare this [BBC programme in which a senior undercover police officer, “Steve” talks about the importance of not crossing the line and “going native”, and in particular having sexual and romantic relationships while undercover] with this [Bob Lambert at a meeting].
Same person? Was the news out two months ago then?
It is you, isn’t it Bob? Can’t get used to calling you Robert somehow. Do you think another name change will make much difference? It sort of worked for Anthony H.Wilson in an ironic way, so good luck with that. Let us know how you get on.
It’s been quite a while – December 1988, in fact. I’d always wondered what had happened to you, how your “escape” to Spain went and if you had been an undercover agent as rumour suggested.
I never really thought so, mostly because of the gratuitous nature of your personal involvements and how blurry all the lines must have been. No cop would have done all that stuff, I thought – the non-activist girlfriend who you attempted to indoctrinate as an anarchist, introduced to all your hardline mates (she’s fine, by the way but pretty pissed off.) and left behind with them for safekeeping, the proud showing off of the famous McLibel leaflet (Go on, tell us – did you write it?) the involvement of people like me who were nothing to do with anarchist politics, the intermingling of all areas of your life. No, surely not. No cop would do all that.
I dont really have problem with undercover police, per se , and some of the people I met through you were proper creepy, particularly the hard-core incendiary setters I fould holding a meeting in our kitchen one day. They were just like something from Conrad’s The Secret Agent. And I rather enjoyed knowing you anyway. You were bright, very likeable and I’m sure that you enjoyed knowing us, too, confusing as it must have been for you. I still sometimes tell the story of how some crusty (or was it a ciderpunk)spilled a bottle of amyl nitrate on your hair at the nightclub/squat in Hackney. It’s even funnier now I know it was in the line of duty.
But hearing you speak about never getting romantically involved whilst undercover gave me a bit of a start. Because you did, didn’t you?
And there’s little ~*snipples*~ of course. He must be about ~*snipples*~ now. What does he think his father’s name is? Do you still see him?
You must have known as soon as the Jim Boyling stuff came out that this publicity was coming and it’s probably not going away soon. There are several formidable and angry women, experienced litigants some of them, who feel strongly that they were done over by you and your underlings. I believe you met some of them last weekend, so you’ll have gauged their mood.
As for your new friends on the not-really-violent-in-this-country Islamist political scene, they seem to be taking the line that you put forward in this article, that your past doings are irrelevant and you’re still their favourite ex-copper. Yep. Definitely ex. A relief, I’m sure. Looks like the Guardian still keeps that faith, too.
For what it’s worth, I’m buying as well. You really do believe we have to deal with ambitious mediaevalists because they might feel marginalised in this cruel modern world. It’s a sort of good-cop/bad-cop situation and we’ll just have to trust you on that.
Anyway, good luck with salvaging your academic career.
All the best, from your old mate
Simon from Margery Park Road. Happy days!
Further to preevious posts:
I hadn’t heard the entire podcast of the “Living with Secrets” programme until just now. It’s definitely worth a listen and has some startling bits in it.
Naively perhaps, because of his behaviour with women, I’d always assumed Bob to have been single at the time – not so. I feel a bit bad about mentioning the kid he had and whom I met – around 2 years old when I knew him, so conceived whilst underground. What the hell, though, it’s done. He had a story about being entrapped into fatherhood by the mother, with whom he was on so-so terms. I never met her, though I did once sit in the car whilst he popped into her house – on the East Ham/Barking borders as I remember.
Regarding the single funniest bit of the saga, the McLibel leaflet, he does refer in the prgramme to “producing leaflets”.
Something else has returned to mind this week, too, following the perjury allegations against Jim Boyling. In the programme, he represents his cover at the time as being “an ordinary worker in a small company”. No. His schtick was that he was an unlicensed minicab driver, hotcabbing with a mate called Terry (a whole-cloth fabrication, I’m sure, no-one ever met him) who did have a permit/insurance etc. Bob told a great story about getting done for illegal touting at Heathrow. When the cab was searched, Plod found a load of nicked hairdryers belonging to Terry in the boot that Bob hadn’t known about. The story was that he went to court and through the whole process as “Terry”, who paid the fine and sorted him out with a good stiff drink. All a story, I do now see, but where would he have got the idea from?
He talks about betrayal of his friends in the programme and that’s an interesting point. Some doubtless were: a couple of people (not sure if I ever met them) got jail terms for serious animal rights illegality and I believe he even went to visit them there. They must look back in some anger, but then, they were combatants and up to naughty stuff. Big boys’ rules.
His girlfriend of 18 months, my dear friend of 30 years, is well brassed off. She really loved him, was in no way involved – I cannot overstress this – in politics before she met him and we’re baffled as to why he dragged us into his business. He even had her flat raided in an attempt to maintain his credibility. Before his staged exit, which I believe was timed to extract him from personal entanglements, I even hid him for a few days – because I liked him and felt sorry for his apparent plight.
Looking back, I think he just lost it. In the programme he talks about those 4 years undercover the best part of his service. Well, yes. If you like playing games. Hence doing this interview, he can’t help himself. What a charade. What a bullshitter.