Whitewash: Ian Greer
Scallywag issue 33, March-April 1997
Silver-haired pansy Ian Greer, the former architect of modern-day Tory sleaze, had a marvellous opportunity to 'tell all' when (recently unemployed over the still raging Al-Fayed – Neil Hamilton 'cash for questions' scandal) he decided to pen his memoirs. It should have been a salacious confession in which he could easily have driven the last set of nails firmly into the Conservative party coffin. They had, after all, deserted him quite dreadfully at his time of need.
Instead it was a bland, almost pathetic excuse for his sleaze activity without mentioning his clandestine sexual-political manipulations.
In this dubious self-aggrandising tome he takes Private Eye to task for not having the guts to call him a faggot. They referred, he said, to the fact that he had a live-in male 'companion', but did not go the 'whole hog' and call him gay.
He refrained from saying that over a two-year period Scallywag had done so on many occasions. Although he has not ever come 'out' in print, at least he is not a hypocrite, like so many Tory gays. He was blatantly, almost gloriously, a raging poofta who wore make-up and regularly hosted notorious gay parties in which he dressed up in exotic silk clothes, sometimes of Eastern origin.
Not only that, he ran the world's most successful 'boys for questions' agency to first woo and then exploit many of the hundred or so homosexuals on the Tory benches. (Source: Matthew Parris, himself a former Conservative MP, now a celebrated Times Parliamentary columnist who has 'come out' and has said in print that there were at least 100 gays in the Parliamentary Tory party).
Greer's now scandalous Christmas parties were virtually all-male shindigs to which many of the gay MPs were invited to dance with a whole bevy of handpicked rent boys. But during the rest of the year he would also regularly throw wild and very exclusive gay parties for MPs, either at his elegant Pimlico flat, or at a suite his company hired permanently in Dolphin Square.
This only came to light when Scallywag and others obtained affidavits from young men who had been recruited from children's homes in North Wales - a sordid, ghastly paedophile network which, after years of wild rumour and several successful prosecutions, is only just being fully investigated in a year-long judicial probe.
If the inquiries are allowed to go the whole way, then the path will lead directly to Pimlico where, we alleged, Lord McAlpine, among many others, was a regular visitor. (See next item).
Apart from his live-in lover, the two of them enjoy the company of a raving queer butler and two highly active poodles.
Naturally, it is not known how many times Greer Associates exploited the situation when his guests got back to Parliament. The scam was that he charged his clients exorbitant fees to pay MPs but pocketed the money himself and paid out only the modest fees for rent boys.
When it was realised that a scorned Greer was about to publish his memoirs, many an MP had a few sleepless nights.
As we now know, they could have slept sweetly.
The other 'boys for questions' sleaze artist, by coincidence also in residence at another Pimlico flat, was Derek Laud, then standing for Parliament against Bernie Grant in North London. (See Portillo files). Laud, who ran the highly successful but deeply controversial Ludgate Communications, also has a live-in lover - but no butler. He prefers instead the affections of his chauffeur. And, of course, the regular friendship of the Defence Minister.
Laud was forced to pull out of the election when he was found guilty of drunken driving while on a clandestine trip to New England. He thought he had got off lightly when he was sentenced to 80 hours community service. But now the passengers in the other car are suing him for nine and a half million dollars and he has gone into hiding. Are his friends helping him?
Laud was a regular visitor to the Portillo household, especially to the private party to celebrate the return of Portillo and friends from Barbados. Michael Brown was one of the revellers in the West Indies and is an 'outed' gay. He is also one of the three MPs being officially investigated by the cash-for-questions scandal inquiry into Neil Hamilton (the other is Tim Smith, another listed Portillo partygoer).
Other constant visitors to both men's male dens of iniquity were the many gay incumbents of Tory Central Office at Smith Square. They constitute a sort of glorious old schoolboys network. This naturally included Scallywag's most devoted fan, the ebullient Julian Lewis, now in Parliament for the New Forest.
Whitewash: Alistair McAlpine
The media has lauded Lord McAlpine's recent memoirs, something about being Thatcher's bagman, as being "controversial, biting, and very revealing". It was according to various breathless accounts in the newspapers, "sweeping through Parliament like wildfire".
In fact, it is merely bitchy and completely whitewashes the real truth about Tory finances when he was their fundraiser - and Thatcher's favourite Boy Scout. It is bitchy because McAlpine is a bitch.
It is only remarkable in what it does not reveal. One minute he is pouring scorn on Michael Heseltine, then claiming him as a friend. He refers to the fact that his wife nursed Heseltine at their opulent Venice home when Michael had his heart attack. What he does not reveal is that at the time of his demise, Heseltine was on the job with his titled long-time mistress who had to be hustled onto the next plane as Mrs Heseltine rushed from London. They must have passed mid-air. According to other pundits, Heseltine had gone out there to find out where the 'missing millions' had gone from Tory party funds. Apparently they had one 'hell of a row'.
He bitchily has a go at Major for asking him to approach the dubious Greek shipping tycon, John Latsis, who immediately signed a banking order for half a million pounds. But he fails to mention that Thatcher had already stung the maverick millionaire for similar sums. And that he had fixed it.
A book like this had a golden opportunity to explain the 'Missing Millions' once and for all. In a wide-ranging investigation by Business Age, recently re-launched, the magazine alleged that at least £150 million were completely unaccounted for during the Thatcher years.
This is an allegation which is widely accepted throughout Parliament and led directly to the Nolan Report, which heavily recommended that all parties should reveal the identities of their sponsors and the amount of their donations. Despite this wise suggestion, applauded by John Major himself, Tory Party finances are still a "bag of worms" (Guardian).
During her long and boring tenure in office, Margaret Thatcher, and her family, became very rich indeed. McAlpine himself lost millions (at least £120m) in an abortive scheme in Australia to build a sort of rich man's Disneyland.
All McAlpine had to do to sort out the widespread rumours was use this opportunity to explain exactly where the money went to.
Major, by the way, immediately announced that he never took part in any fund raising and let the CCO work entirely autonomously. This is claptrap. The Prime Minister, any Tory prime minister, is the de facto 'chairman' of the CCO. It is entirely his tool. It is accountable to no one else, not even accountants, for they are not required under present law to present their accounts for any kind of proper perusal.
On charges that he is a paedophile there is not a word, except a mention by Lynn Barber in the Observer Review in which she had asked him why he had not sued us. He refused to comment, except to say that if she repeated the allegation he would sue the Observer.
He dismisses, in the book and in subsequent interviews, the cabinet meeting in which Margaret Thatcher and the rest of her Government considered the consequences to the Tory party if senior police investigations into the paedophile activities resulted in a prosecution. Thatcher herself decided he would have to go, and if he went quietly, they would say no more about the matter unless there was an arrest. It was that close.
When he slid away, breathlessly relieved at the close shave, to go abroad in voluntary exile for 'tax reasons', the Tories were £10m in debt. Yet he claimed he had raised £150m for them. It literally doesn't add up.