MI5 Coup against labour in the seventies?

#1
Do we really believe that a coup was imminent and averted by Wilson's resignation?

As a pad brat in the sixties and seventies, I certainly recall hearing the rumour well before his resignation, and before the documents were released a few years ago.

Are the key players really still at large in prominent positions, and if so - are they dusting off the operational files?
 
#2
Hairy_Fairy said:
Do we really believe that a coup was imminent and averted by Wilson's resignation?

As a pad brat in the sixties and seventies, I certainly recall hearing the rumour well before his resignation, and before the documents were released a few years ago.

Are the key players really still at large in prominent positions, and if so - are they dusting off the operational files?
One can only hope.

Will they be providing free pitchforks?
 
#4
Aaah, the "Mayfair Set"! It's about that time again, isn't it?
 

LancePrivateJones

MIA
Book Reviewer
#5
Off the top of my head this rumour came about when Wilson granted interviews to 2 journalists at the end of his time as Prime Minister.
Wilson apparently showed signs of increasing paranoia and he claimed that his 'phones were bugged by MI5 and volunteered information that the Labour Govt of the 60's narrowly averted a plot to overthow him and at this time (1974) they where still trying it on.

The plot later surfaced again via Chapman Pincher and the chap who wrote 'Spycatcher', Peter Wright I think.

Apparently a newspaper boss Cecil King called a meeting with such luminaries as Hugh Cudlipp, Prof Sir Solly Zuckerman and Lord Mountbatten and suggested a coup d'etat repacing Wilson with Mountbatten.
Zuckerman accused King of treason followed by Mountbatten and all left the meeting with King left alone. King was dismissed from his post as head of the International Publishing Corporation not long afterwards.

It was later proven that Wilson was in the early stages of Alzheimers when he gave his interviews and for the rest of his life was increasingly paranoid.

I believe that a book was written about Wilsons fears and it was called 'The Pencourt File'.
 
#6
This comes from a Wiki
A military coup in 1974?
On the BBC television programme The Plot Against Harold Wilson, broadcast on March 16, 2006 on BBC2, it was claimed there were threats of a coup d'état, which was corroborated by leading figures of the time on both the left and the right. Wilson told two BBC journalists, Roger Courtiour and Barrie Penrose, that he feared he was being undermined by MI5. The first time was in the late 1960s after the Wilson Government devalued the pound sterling but the threat faded after Conservative leader Edward Heath won the election of 1970. However after a coal miners strike Heath decided to hold an election to renew his mandate to govern in February 1974 but lost narrowly to Wilson. There was again talk of a military coup, with rumours of Lord Mountbatten as head of an interregnal administration after Wilson had been deposed. In 1974 the Army occupied Heathrow Airport on the grounds of training for possible IRA terrorist action there, however Baroness Falkender (a senior aide and intimate friend of Wilson) asserted that it was ordered as a practice-run for a military takeover or as a show of strength as the government itself was not informed of such an exercise based around a key point in the nation's infrastructure.
Wilson's last years were full of funny stories
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Wilson_conspiracy_theories#A_military_coup_in_1974.3F
 
#7
Am told that many Old Old Labour feel that the winter of discontent was part of an MI5 destabilisation plot (and nothing to do with the unions bringing the country to its knees)

Trotsky
 
#8
Trotsky said:
Am told that many Old Old Labour feel that the winter of discontent was part of an MI5 destabilisation plot (and nothing to do with the unions bringing the country to its knees)

Trotsky
I heard it all started in America :roll:
 
#9
Within MI5 there were many circles of influence, some sympathetic to the Wilson government but many more not.
The era of the spy that brought down governments is still with you, the leaders of the country, as in Wilson’s day, have established relationships within all areas of power through their Education and Business dealings, which bring with them an ability to undertake very extensive and disruptive operations to further their desire for control.
Wilson had many enemies within the quasi military officers of MI5 but even more in his own circle of political brothers.
The only certainty about Wilson’s resignation is that the truth is yet to be revealed.
 
#10
jemadarjo said:
Within MI5 there were many circles of influence, some sympathetic to the Wilson government but many more not.
The era of the spy that brought down governments is still with you, the leaders of the country, as in Wilson’s day, have established relationships within all areas of power through their Education and Business dealings, which bring with them an ability to undertake very extensive and disruptive operations to further their desire for control.
Wilson had many enemies within the quasi military officers of MI5 but even more in his own circle of political brothers.
The only certainty about Wilson’s resignation is that the truth is yet to be revealed.
Horseshit
 
#11
" Horseshit "



Some form of elaboration would be appreciated
 
#12
None really required.

Unless you were a cleaner in Curzon Street.
 
#13
I seem to remember that the military members of the alleged plot had earlier been part of a group called Cromwell whose stated aim was a military take-over with things run by a junta but loyal to HM. Cromwell was late 60s.
My dreams or anyone know more?
 
#14
Yes, they evidently wanted............one million dollars.....mwahh....

Come on fellas.
 
#15
jemadarjo said:
" Horseshit "



Some form of elaboration would be appreciated
Nothing to do with MI5, Wilson and company?

'Pincher is noted for his strong support for the work of the intelligence agencies and for Conservative politics. He was at one point close to Peter Wright, who he knew suspected Harold Wilson of having been a Soviet agent, and according to the biography of Wilson written by Ben Pimlott, Pincher was trying to get information from Wright so that he could accuse Wilson in public.

Pincher was convinced that, alongside Wilson, many other members of the Labour party were Soviet agents. Critics claimed that his greatest delusion concerned Tom Driberg. Pincher claimed that Driberg was an active double agent for MI5 and the KGB despite his well-founded reputation for total indiscretion. Lord Brockway characterised Driberg as "utterly indiscreet ... could never keep a secret". In 1999 KGB archives revealed that in fact Driberg was a spy for the Soviet Union, with the codename LePage [1]'.
 
#17
There's more on wiki.

My recollection is of mountbatten being involved - so thinking the late 60's - Cromwell or not - that was maybe the 1660's.....

Anyway - time for it to happen now I say.
 
#18
OldRedCap said:
I seem to remember that the military members of the alleged plot had earlier been part of a group called Cromwell whose stated aim was a military take-over with things run by a junta but loyal to HM. Cromwell was late 60s.
My dreams or anyone know more?
It's a hard story to pin down.
There were accusations from Russian defectors that Wilson, Callaghan and many others were in the pay of Moscow during the 50's, 60's and 70's and there did seem to be some genuine fears about who really ran the UK.

Added to this you have Wilson in the early stages of a progressive disease (Alzheimers) that usually changes the personality, plus Wilson's distrust of the Security Services who he knew were investigating members of his Govt and quite a few Labour MP's.

The Mountbatten meeting actually happened (in the Cafe Royale?) and Wilson would have known about this.
What Wilson didn't need to know about was the planned army exercise at Heathrow in '74ish but when he did find out he went ballistic and started to throw accusations all over the place hence his invitation to Penrose and Courtier and his strange interviews with them.

When Wilson resigned in 1976 I wondered why he made way for an older person (Jim Callaghan) and it remained a mystery until quite recently.
He had Alzheimers, this doesn't mean to say there was no conspiracy but I am inclined to think the plot was more like 'Pub and Club' gossip from 5 and 6.
 
#19
Without any doubt, Wilson left because, had he decided to continue his premiership the vast fortunes of the Swiss banking families would have been used to bring the socialist experiment in the UK to an end. The forces against him and his almost Marxist views were economically overwhelming, resulting in the threat that control of Westminster would come from Zurich.
If Wilsons vision were to be reflected in another UK politician today, that person would unfortunately be Mr. Prescot, as he would appear to be the last working class member of the Labour Party
 
#20
jemadarjo said:
Without any doubt, Wilson left because, had he decided to continue his premiership the vast fortunes of the Swiss banking families would have been used to bring the socialist experiment in the UK to an end. The forces against him and his almost Marxist views were economically overwhelming, resulting in the threat that control of Westminster would come from Zurich.
If Wilsons vision were to be reflected in another UK politician today, that person would unfortunately be Mr. Prescot, as he would appear to be the last working class member of the Labour Party
Well well, there was me and many others thinking he resigned because he was a sick man.

NB Did'nt fatty Prescott say "We are all middle class now" back in the nineties? Made me laff that did.
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top