Was He Fair Gamed? Story of An Old Gov't Ally.


Formerly Fooled - Finally Free
Story of an Old Ally who fought against the expansion of St Hill, was sued for libel and was vindicated of the charge. Was He Fair Gamed afterwards by Scientology ? Remains to be seen. Maybe some of the old St Hillers here has some info.

Never the less, the timing seems accurate for GO involvement to attack by planting 'bogus' evidence via another. Remember Paulette Cooper and the bogus letter? And Bob Minton and the Nigerian scandal later retracted by the accuser?

Politics Obituaries
Sir Geoffrey Johnson Smith

Sir Geoffrey Johnson Smith, who died yesterday aged 86, was a charismatic television reporter who switched to politics and enjoyed a 41-year career in the Commons.

12 Aug 2010

[..] A respected figure on the Conservative benches, he seemed destined for high office. But his prospects were dashed when it emerged that he — imprudently, in his critics’ view — held a meeting while Minister for the Army with the bank robber and self-styled MI6 agent Kenneth Littlejohn.

Johnson Smith was one of a clutch of Oxford Union debaters who graduated to television as it took off as a popular medium in the early 1950s, reckoning it a stepping stone to Parliament; they included Robin Day (who was never elected), Jeremy Thorpe and the athlete Chris Chataway.

Dashing, urbane and gentlemanly, but tough when necessary, Johnson Smith was an effective presenter of party broadcasts, often with Chataway, and was given much of the credit for the Tories’ election victory in 1970.

A party vice-chairman under Edward Heath, Johnson Smith was unfailingly loyal to the leader of the day. He served for more than 20 years on the 1922 Committee executive , keeping Margaret Thatcher, John Major and William Hague in touch with backbench feeling. When Mrs Thatcher lost the leadership in 1990, he held the line for her until the last minute; and when Major came under attack from rebellious Euro-sceptics, he found his task depressing.

The most humane of Tories, he once appealed in vain to the party’s Central Council not to vote to bring back the birch. He was a consistent opponent of capital punishment, and one of the first MPs to defend the banned novel Fanny Hill. He was consistently, but not provocatively, pro-European.

The controversy that halted his rise broke in August 1973, when Kenneth Littlejohn — an ex-paratrooper who had been discharged for theft and jailed for robbery — and his brother Keith were sentenced in Dublin for their roles in a £67,000 bank hold-up. They claimed the robbery was part of a British intelligence operation in the course of which they had infiltrated the IRA.

They produced a letter from the Ministry of Defence confirming that Johnson Smith had, in 1971, met Kenneth Littlejohn, then using the name of Austen, to receive information — later found to be bogus — about the Provisionals’ sources of arms. The minister had reported what he was told to the “relevant authority”. The Littlejohns claimed that following the meeting — which took place while Kenneth Littlejohn was on the run from the West Midlands police — they were recruited as spies.

The MoD stressed that the meeting had been arranged by the Defence Secretary, Lord Carrington, and that Johnson Smith had behaved with complete propriety. But the revelations were an embarrassment to Heath’s government . Labour pressed hard for an inquiry, but Carrington resisted. When the Conservatives lost power in 1974, Johnson Smith left the front bench, never to return. His integrity was not in doubt — he was immediately appointed to the select committee which set up the Register of Members’ Interests — but a small cloud was left hanging over his judgment. [..]

Johnson Smith, who was later to launch a successful campaign on behalf of haemophiliacs who had been given infected blood , fought a long battle to curb the Church of Scientology, which had its headquarters near East Grinstead, in 1970 enduring a six-week libel case before a jury vindicated his stance.