Bob Lambert, a police spy who ran a controversial operation infiltrating various Left wing organisations, and who himself participated in the long term infiltration of London Greenpeace, has come out fighting.
It is an unintended consequence of the Guardian’s reporting that critics who object to the fact that I granted legitimacy and status to many politically active Muslim Londoners by working with them as partners should now claim I was spying on them – or, worse, that they were paid informants of mine.
Let me be clear.I dispute the Policy Exchange argument that my Muslim partners were extreme or subversive, and fit only for the role of paid informants or to be secretly infiltrated. I did not recruit one Muslim Londoner as an informant nor did I spy on them. They were partners of police and many acted bravely in support of public safety.
Let us be clear. By “politically active Muslims”, Bob Lambert means “members of organisations which are directly linked to Islamist political parties”. The parties in question are Jamaat-e-Islami and the Muslim Brotherhood. It is the Muslim Brotherhood who funds his faux-research institute at Exeter: the European Muslim Research Centre.
His partners are supporters of attacks on British troops overseas, and terrorism aimed at innocent civilians. They are cheerleaders of the most horrific misogyny, homophobia and antisemitism. They are institutions which not only hold these vicious beliefs privately, but actively and energetically promote them.
What Bob Lambert does, professionally, is to advance the cause of these organisastions. He vouches for them. He defames their opponents, including liberals who are Muslims and who are absolutely frantic about what is being done by extremists to their communities.
So, when Bob Lambert describes these activists as “politically active Muslims”, he might as well also describe the British National Party or Combat 18 supporters as “politically active Englishmen”. It is a euphemism too far, and it doesn’t wash.
What do you make of Lambert’s mealy mouthed conclusion?
Government policy risks taking us back to the days of cold war counter-subversion and away from a focus on terrorism and politically motivated crime of all kinds. Instead we should learn from past mistakes and foster where we can an alternative model of counter-terrorism partnership policing built on real trust; a trust that is sometimes necessarily undermined by recourse to the tactics of covert policing.
Is that a note of regret? Is Bob Lambert saying, in a round about way, that his career as an infiltrator of Left wing organisations was a “mistake”?
The trouble is this. Bob Lambert is determined that the police build “trust” with people who are only of interest to the police in the first place, because of their proximity to domestic terrorists. He’s saying that we should “trust” people who foster hatred and animosity between communities in the United Kingdom. He’s arguing that we ought to “trust” him to know where mere hate speech ends and incitement to terrorism begins.
Well I’m sorry Bob. I don’t trust you. You’re sacrificing gays, Jews, women, liberal Muslims, all of us to that exercise in trust building.
So, when Bob Lambert says:
I did not recruit one Muslim Londoner as an informant nor did I spy on them. They were partners of police and many acted bravely in support of public safety.
– a better interpretation is this. Bob Lambert did recruit activists in Islamist organisations as informants. He didn’t pay them with money. He “paid” them with political influence.
I have a disturbing suspicion that Bob Lambert defends men who want to see gays executed, who believe that the best sort of government and society is one ordered by an authoritarian interpretation of religion, who think that women ought to know their place: because that’s basically his view as well. I don’t trust him for that reason too.
And, were I an activist in an Islamist organisation who had attended one of the many extremist events, featuring supporters of violence and terrorism, put on by Bob Lambert’s “partners”: I wouldn’t trust him and I wouldn’t trust my leaders either.
The gig is now up.