Self-Sufficiency in Style
stop the world?
In parts one to four we brought you up to the start of Britain's Swine Fever Epidemic and made some startling claims about its worldwide significance.
The writer introduced himself and his wife into the story and explained how that caught a government veterinary surgeon faking a blood test and travelling between clean and infected farms.
We thought the woman was an impostor and after an abortive attempt to discretely warn someone in authority that there was a problem, considered our options. Now, we know she was actually a real government veterinarian, who remained in charge of a large area of Scotland during the subsequent Foot and Mouth epidemic. There were further complaints about her conduct.
We introduced the possibility that Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and heir to the throne of England was involved - and risked ridicule.
Today, nobody is laughing at the writer, St James' Palace is in disarray.
As we write, the Prince himself is being questioned about a whole range of strange matters including selling gifts and receiving huge sums of money from a Turkish man facing jail for billion dollar fraud in the United States.
In November 2000, we were busy trying to get something done about a
government veterinarian faking blood tests in the middle of an epidemic of
The writer had been warned by a former policeman to be careful of government persecution for daring to complain, so a carefully scheduled and documented complaints procedure was put in hand.
Nothing sensible happened and the writer started investigating just what was going on outside his door.
It was clear that lies were being told about the source of the infection and the method of spread.
What was going on outside?
Scotland at risk!
it looked as if they had recruited an impostor, the government, Ministry
of Agriculture (MAFF) seemed anxious not to do anything about the reports.
We were baffled until late November, when we realised on the 24th that we
were not talking about an impostor at all.
A friendly vet had sent us the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Register and Directory.
The "impostor" was a real veterinarian and not just temporary help recruited to help in a crisis.
This was a government vet - and quite a senior one too - in charge of a whole region of Scotland
|We were horrified and not a
little afraid for our own safety.
We were right to be concerned, the same woman was later to face charges of falsifying documents during the subsequent Foot and Mouth disease.
Little did we know then that the full weight of the power of the State was to fall upon us.
Fortunately, although we were by now very concerned, the writer did have some experience that should have helped.
can forget the slavery bit.
The day when England was to join France, a date at the Mother of Parliaments.
Most people remember where they were when they heard that President
Kennedy had been assassinated. The writer certainly can.
How many Britons can recall where they were when it was announced that Britain was no longer to be an island?
Margaret Thatcher had certainly secured the writer's full attention in 1981.
He was in the House of Commons giving evidence on Britain's need for more seaport facilities.
The leading witness, then Chairman of the Port of Felixstowe and of European Ferries, Geoffrey Parker CBE, was called to mainland China that morning and the writer had to step into the breach at short notice.
The questioning was detailed, the subject controversial and the enquiries
were taking an unexpected turn - the changed situation in view of the proposed
Britain to become connected to Mainland Europe was the topic of the day.
Being pounded for about ninety minutes by experienced parliamentarians on an unanticipated bombshell subject is quite an interesting event in anyone's life.
The writer did his best, aided by his usual breakneck speed of speech - a personal characteristic that floored the best stenographers in the land - Hansaard.
"Mr Gardiner! Sorry to remind you again, but will you please slow down. We can't keep up."
"Hansaard" is the daily record of debates and evidence in Parliament.
Many Commonwealth legislatives have Hansaards too.
The menu was not the main thing on the mind.
It was lunch on this unusual day, that was to return to the memory many
years later. It was taken near Parliament, in the Institute of Engineers
Club - or similar. The host was Robin McLeod, a famous port operator later
to go to manage Thamesport. Then, he was at Felixstowe.
We had a Parliamentary Agent with us. That is a kind of superior Barrister specialising in drafting Bills for Parliament. Felixstowe was a rare statuary company and needed a special Act of Parliament.
No doubt, seeing the panic-stricken look on the writer's face, he issued a warning. "No alcoholic drink!" He was familiar with the shipping community's habits clearly.
He went on to explain the draconian powers enjoyed by The Speaker in
respect of witnesses. If their conduct fell short in any way, they could
be consigned without the intervention of the Courts to the dungeons
beneath the House, until they had purged their contempt.
These were the very dungeons that had been used by Guy Fawkes in his ill-fated plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605 - The Gunpowder Plot.
He also explained something else: the protection that witnesses to a Select Committee enjoyed - similar to that enjoyed by any witness before any Court, but in this case in the hands of the Speaker.
The Speaker is a powerful man.
Even the Sovereign, Her Majesty the Queen has to have her official, Black Rod, knock on the door of the House to secure permission for her to enter at the State Opening of Parliament. A ceremony familiar to all Britons and most of her subjects in the Commonwealth.
It is to remind us that we live in a Parliamentary democracy.
Things like this stand in the memory, as you can imagine.
The dungeons of the House are not considered a desirable destination - even today.
Desperately trying to stop a maverick vet infecting a whole countryside.
In early November 2000 we had made repeated attempts, formal and
informal, to get something done about the behaviour of the errant vet.
Trading Standards in Norfolk seemed to try. They mentioned a senior MAFF official- a Divisional Veterinary Manager, who was said to be a "good chap" and able to handle the matter discreetly.
There was reason for discretion; a bald announcement of an errant vet could have caused panic in the countryside and disrupted the attempts to control the epidemic. We were concerned to behave responsibly.
We shall call this DVM, Mr X. He was said to be coming to see us. He was not to arrive until much later - and in very different circumstances.
We had also asked Trading Standards to make sure the police were informed at a senior level.
We think they did do so - although much later we discovered that the official we had talked to was to have an interesting and unusual role in a Court case that was to act as a curtain raiser for the subsequent Foot and Mouth outbreak.
By mid November, we were sick and tired of playing games. They were
obviously trying to find out what we knew, presumably to be able to destroy
the forensic evidence. Indeed, that was exactly what did happen, but much
later, virtually in front of our eyes.
We learned there was a Select Committee Meeting of the House of Commons on December 11th, 2000 to enquire into the handling of the Swine Fever epidemic.
We still recalled that witness to a Select Committee could, if necessary, enjoy the protection of the Speaker. We thought this the best way of ensuring that there could be no retaliation, if MAFF were as bad as the former policeman had suggested.
In measured tones, on one side of a piece of paper, we sent a submission in the required twenty copies. We told Parliament that blood test faking had been going on and that MAFF were doing nothing about it. Mr X was named, but not blamed.
This was sent recorded delivery on November 24th 2000.
When it was handed over the Post Office counter, we breathed a sigh of relief. Nobody would dare try to intimidate or interfere with a witness before a Select Committee.
We underestimated the criminality of Britain's dreaded State Veterinary Service.
Evidence to the Select Committee.
The old school tie rule - "don't tell tales."
Now an outdated code exploited by the third-rate.
The writer still felt a bit uncomfortable. Perhaps there was some
legitimate reason for Mr X not turning up to see us as promised.
"Don't tell tales!" was beaten into our generation at school. A discrete warning was sent through a mutual acquaintance.
We were, at least, giving Mr X the chance to prepare his excuses. He didn't take the opportunity - he had other nastier plans.
We certainly did not believe that our "crazy" vet would be allowed to continue in her post, let alone into the subsequent foot and mouth epidemic and to become the subject of further complaints to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons disciplinary committee.
They then apparently decided, in secret, that no action would be taken, but this, of course was long into the future.
The RCVS were obviously so scared of the government they were protecting their members from the consequences of fraudulent certification. "They were ordered to do it" was the pathetic excuse from a snivelling institution.
The last time this excuse hit the headlines was Nuremburg. The RCVS are now in very serious trouble.
Outside our home, the situation was going from bad to worse. Dread was in
The epidemic was spreading. Pigs could not be moved and were dying by sinking into the mud or under the sheer weight of numbers. About 400,000 were to die prematurely in usually cruel circumstances.
Mrs P was struggling through the mud each day to feed and try to help our poor pigs in their misery.
We were very afraid that MAFF might fabricate a cruelty charge to retaliate against us. It was a wet Autumn with much flooding.
The writer became increasingly concerned for his wife's safety...his bad heart meant that trying to help in the prevailing conditions was impossible.
It was not like this. This was cruel to man and beast.
More blood tests - then cancelled.
The Ministry decided they wanted yet a further blood test, then on
November 7th cancelled it because of another outbreak in the
On November 15th, without a blood test, they decided to slaughter our pigs "as dangerous contacts."
Our pigs had not been in contact with any others and the infected farm was quite some distance away.
We now know that this action was illegal although, at the time, we believed that it was necessary to protect the few remaining neighbouring farmers.
We now know that none were left nearby. All the pigs were dead.
We could not check because the Ministry kept the names of the farms secret.
We were never to object or impede the slaughter for any reason and
offered every co-operation.
The pigs, later turned out on laboratory tests to have been healthy.
Our hearts were heavy, but not as heavy as they were to become later.
We simply could not believe the events that followed.
The pigs were healthy.
To take issue with a future King of England!
Oddly enough the writer's tiny home church on the road from London to Canterbury is one of the oldest in England. St. Thomas à Beckett prayed there on his way to be murdered at Canterbury by friends of the King Henry II.
Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest? (Shakespeare)
is new in England.
How a retired shipbroker with a bad heart can get involved in such a mess
remains a mystery to the writer.
All we ever wanted to do was to retire into the country away from the stress and worry of the modern world.
To become involved in the worst constitutional crisis that Britain has seen since the Abdication, is unbelievable.
To take issue with the man who is destined to be the next King of England, simply breathtaking.
To find our lives threatened and to have to sit with our passports in our pockets for months on end was not exactly what we expected.
We will tell you more, in a few days, if we can. Threats by criminals
within Britain's State Veterinary Service are again being made to the
writer's friends and helpers.
The writer's many contacts abroad should take a copy of this site. It may well become a family heirloom. This is history being made.
We still expect to be silenced and they can help the cause of freedom and decency by publishing it themselves, should we be removed from the web.
Please feel free. There is no copyright, no restriction on "Stop the World."
Your efforts may well save the New World from some of the problems of the old.
Attention overseas friends, Please!
Don't think about it, do it now.
Just in case anyone should think that the writer is exploiting the current difficulties, see Current Complaints, of Prince Charles by being wise after the event, you can check on Google.
You will find that the writer was asking an agricultural newsgroup, involved in Foot and Mouth, if they had any information on April 7th 2001:
You may need to copy and paste this long url to get it to register on your address bar. If that is too difficult, use Google Groups to search uk.business.agriculture for "prince charles"
There are many records of Prince Charles' personal donations to the human victims of Swine Fever and FMD. His generosity is not in dispute, just the involvement of his friends and associates.
uk.business agriculture is a British newsgroup which became heavily involved in Foot and Mouth. You will find some furious exchanges chronicled by Google. Their search engine will help trawl this important source.
http://www.warmwell.com/vetsfeb24.html carries a photostat dated February 2002 of the Scottish Edition of the Sunday Times detailing complaints against Scottish veterinarians. This report is not available elsewhere on-line.
Hansaard is not available on-line for the period in question, but it would be available in printed form in government libraries in capital cities. The Channel Tunnel is now a fact of life as is the extended world class port of Felixstowe. The Act was passed.
A blow by blow account of the Swine Fever Epidemic, in arrears, was published on Pigging It!
The East Anglian Daily Times carried many relevant reports at the time, but most are now difficult to trace.
The original "Times" report linking Prince Charles to Swine Fever was on http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,31143,00.html .
can no longer be found, but the obituary of the then ultimate owner of the
company can be found on http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,60-209715,00.html
You can trace much about the Swine Fever Epidemic from http://www.pighealth.com/csf.htm .
The best independent source of information on Foot and Mouth can be found on Warmwell.
|Norfolk, March 5th 2003|
the world of food and agricultural crime
the appropriately named Hangman's Cottage, just to the south of Misery Corner.
Parts 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15