Before continuing with this story I am going to make this interjection; it’s 23rd March 2010, and last night I watched the Dispatches programme on Channel 4, and I am at present listening to the coverage on Sky TV about that programme.
Three ex cabinet ministers, a baroness, and two MPs, all caught on camera saying how they could influence policy for cash. Nothing surprising about that I suppose, after hearing all about the MPs expenses scandal.
But it was just one of the names mentioned, by Stephen Byers – Peter Mandelson — who Byers said had influenced the policy on food labelling for Tesco’s which just seems a bit ironic, especially now I am at the stage where I am going to relate the second conversation between Waite and the Major.
The ins and outs of the whole conversation I couldn’t even try to explain, because as I have said, a lot of what was going on, and being discussed, was way above my head, but, the gist of it was to do with export licences.
Waite was questioning how this hurdle could be overcome, when the Major mentioned Peter Mandelson and Waite seemed shocked and surprised saying, ‘Mandy? He’s Labour!’
To which the Major replied sneeringly ‘He’s one of ours.’
This set Waite off laughing, and saying ‘He’s a Mason as well is he?’
The Major just nodded.
So there we have it.
The next conversation was between me and Waite that same evening. Well, when I say between us, I mean he did most of the talking while I listened, trying to make some sense of it all, and just asking a few questions were it seemed appropriate, and apparently there was some sort of trade embargo on these Dorva patrol boats they were dealing to some Arabs.
I asked him, ‘Are they gun-ships or something?’
‘No.’ He laughed, ‘They are rubber boats, fucking rubber boats!’ ‘
‘What’s the big deal with that?’ I asked.
‘The mad bastards pack them with explosives, and use them like torpedoes; they’re fucking crazy scouse, they blow themselves up, they don’t give a monkey!’
‘Hmm that’s lovely.’ I thought. Oh, and I would like to add that they sounded like the one that was used to blow up the USS Cole, killing twenty of its crew.
The next morning I decided to go into town, have a walk, and look at the shops and maybe buy a couple of things, but it was mainly to have a break away from the lot of them, and that’s just what I did.
When I got back to the house, Waite was excited and started babbling on about these deals getting sorted, and that things were moving, and telling me that he had booked two berths on an overnight train from Plymouth to London, one for him and one for me, quickly adding that it was all on expenses.
The trip was for him to meet up with one of his contacts in the Hotel in Paddington Station, (whom I recognised from the TV some years later as, one of the Hinduja brothers) and then we would be joined by Mike Abbots, the CEO of the Tyne and Wear ship yard, of the Sir James Group of Companies, then we were all to go to The Bank of India, where they were having a meeting.
The reason he wanted me with him, or so he said, was that after the finance had been sorted we would be going to meet a contact of his in an embassy, and he might need his catalogues, but rather than carry them around with us we would leave them in the left luggage at the station, and if he needed them then I would go and get them. ‘
‘No problem.’ I told him, ‘I don’t mind that.’, and besides it was a day out. So that’s what we did.
We travelled overnight, sat in the Great Western Hotel and ordered coffee, and before it was brought to the table we were joined by this Indian guy who shook hands with us, sat down, said a few words to Waite, shook our hands again and left. And he looked very nervous, or maybe shifty is a better word.
Before we had finished our coffee, Mike Abbots turned up. We were introduced, then he asked where the Indian guy was, and Waite said he was making his own way because he was worried that he may be getting followed, and that he was going to meet us at the bank. Abbots seemed to understand, and we made our way into the station, and jumped on the tube. We made a couple of changes, then left the underground, and whichever station it was, it wasn’t far from the bank because we walked it in minutes, and as we arrived, so did our little Indian friend.
He led the way up the steps, and when we got inside were met by a young Indian girl who was expecting us. They went into an office, and I sat in the seating area, and was served coffee and some biscuits, and waited for them to finish.
After about an hour, Waite and Abbot appeared in the doorway. Being ushered out by the same young lady that had shown them in, they shook hands, and the three of us left. I never saw the Indian guy again, until, I saw him on the TV. We ended up in some very plush hotel, whose name I can’t remember but I know it was near the Churchill Club because John Waite pointed that out as we left.
Anyway, they were both agreeing that the negotiation skills of the Indian guy were excellent, and Mike Abbots was suitably impressed. We shook hands, and Abbots left. Waite and I finished our coffee, and then walked to some embassy that was within ten minutes of the hotel, and were ushered into a room, and a very smart Iranian man, who I believe was some sort of diplomat met us. They talked about how the deals would proceed, and the Iranian guy told Waite he would contact him, and that was that. We left, made our way back to Paddington Station, picked up the arms catalogues, and caught the train back toPlymouth.
Waite was very excited and pleased, and as we were having a meal in the buffet car, couldn’t resist telling me that they were all his contacts, and how powerful they were, and how good things were going, and how he wanted me to work for him once again; promising me bucket loads of cash. But I only had to look at this man, and I felt sick, I really was beginning to detest him.
The next day, even more little deals came to light, and he really did start showing his true colours, the same as did his dutiful and shy little trophy bride. They were a right pair, who twisted and turned like a bucket of worms.
It was impossible for Waite to do some of this business without me knowing, but by this time he was sure I was on his side, and had even started running Roger down, and cursing Elaine, saying, if Roger didn’t get rid of her, he would get cut out completely, but always adding that he would still see him ok, but with just one lump sum settlement.
The next thing that came to light was that he was buying second hand Mercedes cars and shipping them to Thailand, making thousands of pounds on each and sending sometimes up to three a week,. But this was his sideline, and had nothing to do with Roger, and I was sworn to secrecy, and of course I just agreed with him saying, ‘Well, what are you supposed to do when he’s out there doing nothing?’ And I agreed with him over Elaine, which pleased him no end.