Keeler - victim of institutional hypocrisy. |
Or plot by sinister cabals ?
Christine Keeler – an icon of the sixties at the tender age or 22 was on the lips of practically everyone who even so much as listened or glanced at any piece of media garble. The dashing long legged media star who rocked the Government of Britain and now in her seventies, looks and feels worn down to little more than a mess of her former self. The story which did the rounds of the world press was typical of the hysterical material which grabbed the headlines at the time.
It had all the Hollywood ingredients of critical State security, upper class debauchery espionage a la Mata Hari and with it, the call for the heads of all who brought it about. However, effectively, it was no more than a storm in a teacup if ever there was one, taking into account the exhilarating sexual revolution of those curious days – a revolution which shook the very foundations of the harsh hanging rulers of the West and which was supposed to find its own level all by itself. It took disease, although unrelated, to bring it to a grinding halt – which makes the mind wonder.
For once, in the likes of class ridden societies like Britain, the rich and famous mixed with the pretty sensual and poor in the same beds and the lascivious hard to please party merchants required agendas to cope with choices of the day. In Chelsea and the West end, “clubs” offered darkened rooms to scores of visitors of every age and gender for gropes which led to fancy cars outside ready to take them to one penthouse or castle for the finale. A naïve girl called Christine Keeler, caught up in those days of foot loose and fancy free gambols was hardly even the type one would call a prostitute, awkward by character and lost in that sort of permissiveness. Money was not the object but then what women could resist such enjoyably frivolous encounters with the powers of influence. I doubt however that they had vat invoices in the hands. I knew of at least three who married into power and social status with obviously that in mind and that did not include Keeler or Rice Davies. There were those of course who utilized the services of their advisers and professional friends to have the odd fling selectively. As a parliamentary lobby correspondent in those days, it was not difficult for me to see what went on after dark and which painted sepulchre pointed the finger at another. Jealousy and Politics seemed to go hand in hand as John Stonehouse, probably one of the most impressive politicians of the day in all respects, underwent verbal (and behind the scene) defamatory attacks from the likes of household names who preferred to have had him in conservative ranks rather than in the labour controlled government of the time. The lamentable sequel to a promising life, can be understood and perhaps foreseen, as his fortunes run aground too suddenly taking the wrong way out under little understood pressures. But then, this is exactly what many wanted him to do – to discredit the left by encouraging belief in the loss of standards by whatever hypocritical means.
A step too far
Christine Keeler was soon to nibble beyond the lower crust and inadvertently put a Government Minister,despite being married to a luscious film star, on the social scaffold. The demise of John Profumo and his eventual return to grace, is well known and millions of inches of press columns attest to it. It could have all worked out in the end with the wild parties in the cradle castles of the aristocracy, the hooded butlers of great speculation, the beetle beds with sound and spotlights reflecting the mad imagery on the ceiling mirrors and the see through mirrors on the bedroom walls for the voyeuristic husbands needing to lend substance to their failing manhood or pockets with the occasional lease on their wives.
In the Keeler days, there was not even talk of the incipient drugs that were coming in - like purple hearts, LSD and the rest. These came in later and remained in the province of a select few who had the mind for it. For most, even pot was not so readily understood or available and free sex was more than enough stimulus for a while. For Keeler and her entourage, it was no more than cashing in on the social climb. There was no sense of irresponsibility or any inkling as to wrong combination of lovers. The average citizen with a bit of lust probably took on much more than these two girls who were to become the scapegoats of a hypocritical, conservative dominated society which eventually led to the early dismissal of the dreaded labour Prime Minister himself. Getting close to the real champagne and the glossy personae who were all suddenly coming out of the cupboards (or turrets) was the aspiration of all and sundry as it is today.
I remember it well with as much of a laugh as a nostalgic twinge for an age free of fear of fatal diseases and more in line with innocence and wonder as to its easy to follow rules and cartloads of fun. Yet, one man, a serious, well connected psychiatrist by the name of Stephen Ward, driven by the inferno of the tabloids, committed suicide – a British Minister of Defense married to an international celebrity fell from the great heights of social acceptance – and two fun loving model types were thrown into the vortex of the time, tipped off in those rarefied circles to be taken for granted when needed. Prostitution ? Perhaps but not in the ugly sense of the word that the accepted trade flourishing at the time, meant. Neither the serious Christine nor the hilarious Mandy were set on such careers but then, presents and banknotes are hardly ever refused by women with aspirations in those quarters. Keeler however would have given anyone she disliked, a wide berth. The intelligent and well situated Dr. Stephen Ward, would have most definitely never plied them beyond the intrinsic social jostling of the times. It was therefore a shame, shared by all, to learn that he had been driven to take a way out. The girls without doubt knew what they could and would go to bed for, for messenger work - never. The grey men however were well instructed and prowling to get their hands on the handles of the social change as was to be seen in more than one of these “example” manipulations of the judicial system. Even they, had their license to enjoy it all “but for different and more honorable reasons” - as one of them told me discreetly.
The Honor Merchants
Unfortunately for all, the sour and malicious hypocrisy within the sealed cartels of the establishment ganged in on the two girls and the wretched osteopath to the final hearings and trajedy. It was an ideal opportunity perhaps to set an example and get social circuits back on moral line. Police, judges, politicians, party ideologists etc were not the ones who could honestly brandish the sort of reforms that they, as the press in later years was to confirm, appeared to be addressing. During those years and shortly beyond, a number of executed, so called criminals like Evans, Hanratty and Ruth Ellis, were later to be declared innocent or victims of deliberately withheld information. A traditionally unarmed police pour ruthless bullets into a harmless citizen at the wheel waiting at traffic lights. A case of mistaken identity which changed the face of the police force for ever. A famous singer with no more than party lust, called Janie Jones is sentenced to hell for no more than bra waving and literally thrown on the laps of a one of Britain´s deranged murderers at Broadmoor, (known to be Lesbian)- for what ? None would be able to say today, but those sinister, so called Dad´s Army guardians of purity held their handshakes and fell on those they thought could frighten the horses. Crusades within a hitherto respect judicial system ? Or perhaps to cover up what now appears to be clandestine, officially ignored, genuine perversity in some circles, aided by less than transparent police inspectors as in Janie Jones´ case.
Calculated Malice. The crack in the private shells of those spiked to set an example and which enabled the State to do these things in the Keeler case, were the unfortunate romps with a Russian (diplomat, assumed spy) and a cabinet minister on the other. Such scandalous behavior on the part of a dizzy British citizen, however fun loving, said more about the stupidity of those who blew it open than those who were deemed capable of playing treason. Keeler´s ability to play war games and Profumo´s supposed assumed veneer of weakness bordered on the ridiculous and the standard word in his ear from the right department would have put an end to it all. In fact, the dirty tricks establishment is well known to do those things very well as Mr. Bond would no doubt comment on and a casual connection on the bed sheets between a Minister and a spy would have hardly damaged foreign relations. In fact, it could have possibly improved things with the word that the Brits were fun. In short, hardly the sort of situation that could not be corrected with timely, discreet intervention without turning it into the sort of circus that it would become. Jealousy and hypocrisy makes more sense. But it was Mandy Rice Davies who titillated the world with her more than obvious perplexity and salty comments who should have been given a resounding round of applause for bringing the farce to a close. She was to become a much sought after piece of notoriety and earned her alias of “Randy Mice Davies” which she no doubt was tickled pink by. The real victim, Dr. Ward was a man of some moral conviction and professional capability, (who was probably urged to take his life). The world thought so at the time. Christine Keeler who disappeared into the background did not cash in on her limelight, as others would have done and in doing so, proved to the world after a ludicrous charge of perjury and imprisonment that money was not what it was all about.
Others paid the ultimate price.
It takes at least one generation to set the record straight on these things as also happened with the intensely mud-dragged witness to the killings in Gibraltar, but for those caught in the web of behind the scene intrigues as Janie Jones found out the horror story that was to unfold was as evil as any Edgar Alan Poe novel. The devious judge (he even interfered with the publishing of her memoirs in order to get his in first) should have been locked up instead. The frustrated police plants who no doubt envied her lifestyle, bribed genuine alley cats to lie about the nature of the parties and so called use of drugs. Those who knew Janie in those days respected her star quality and knew of her disregard for substances of that nature. Even then, imprisonment with serial killers was an extinction of every human right in the name of what could be called the murky corridor of justice. The singer, would never completely recover again and adequate compensation would not be forthcoming. How she survived at all for just throwing relatively noisy parties with complete absence of anything remotely incriminating, is more of Providence than a mystery, but she did. It does however show how in a historically respected democracy, evil usurpers of key roles, can betray the same powers one would expect to find in tin pot republics. It goes on in Europe with fair regularity, unnoticed and coldly in the protective name of internal affairs of member states. The silent cries are unheeded until the powers that be and the jailers decide. For some in the European dungeons of total unspeakable neglect, only suicide can end it all.
Perhaps the children of Christine Keeler who shunned riches to lead a simple life, will take faith in the better aspects of her remarkable retreat to the shadows and cast their forbidden love on their wrongly persecuted mother, who was never the whore that she was conveniently made out to be.
Michael Mifsud was a House of Commons Commonwealth correspondent at the age of 16. He published Britain´s first trade journal for Drivers and became the youngest full member of the Commonwealth Press Union sharing platforms with the press barons of the day. He traveled with the Royal family for over a decade as a member of the accompanying press team,becoming much sought after on matters of Monarchy by the media. He had his own TV programe on culture and art (as a keen collector and art investigator)in Marbella, Spain and has recently published a very successful book on the nature of the unique people of Andalusia,called, Al Andalus - a trail of Discovery.He has been the subject of TV interviews in Spain and the UK on Princess Diana (whom he knew before she married)the Templars of which he became a high executive and Royal exiles whom he met regularly as a director of the Monarchist League of Great Britain. Reuters recently featured him in an exclusive interview on Templars on the eve of the da Vinci premiere which was sent all over the world and was a an important contributor to the controversial books, Holy Blood and Holy Grail and The Messianic Legacy in which he is actually interviewed. He is mentioned in others like The Sword and the Grail as an interpreter of the real meaning behind the Templar battle cry. His research over 30 years on the Knights has accumulated thousands of pages on their real beliefs and potential secrets via the deciphering of symbols. He was included in the 500 most inspiring people in the world according to the American Academic BWW society for the advancement of Peace which has gone into libraries like that of the American Congres, throughout the world. He delivered a paper on the failing role of the world press in Paris as an official delegate of the organisation and published two papers on Culture and Globalisation. As a result he has been offered an editorial seat on the board which advises its academic members throughout the world. He is a Freeman of the City of London and holds Polish, Serbian and Afghanistani decorations gleaned during his early life in London. Business interests included publishing,academies, airline operating, airport carparks and hotels. retirement will be spent on getting all outstanding books out on the market.
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Christine Keeler, Profumo, Mandy Rice Davies, sexual liberation, sixties,