Written in Flames
Written in Flames is a pamphlet published in 1987 which listed the names, jobs and addresses of British Corporate directors.
It was accused by the Research Foundation for the Study of Terrorism of encouraging attacks on corporate leaders.
The text below is the introductory preamble and the other expository sections. the links are to the relevant extracts on particular companies.. At the bottom is a pdf of the whole pamphlet.
These companies have all hacked-up their British workforces in the last few years. Have moved factories to countries of cheaper labour, closed down plants, sold their assets. Meanwhile the British state has helped them increase their profits by creating unemployment, cutting state benefits, hatching anti-union laws and increasing police violence. This recession shows clearly what's good for the ruling class is no good for us.
Managers are rewarded for their company's increased profits. They increase profits by making wage cuts, redundancies, by forcing longer hours.
Successful managers get salary increases, share options, directorships, and knighthoods. We fight each other for low wage jobs, jealously guard our overtime and bonuses, or scrape by on state benefits. Here are some of the men who have found success in our repression.
- BAT Industries
- Shell Transport and Trading
- Grand Metropolitan
- Hanson Trust
- Rio Tinto Zinc
This run down of the top UK companies wouldn't be complete. Without dealing with the nationalized industries.
They often seem to escape the old boy network of non-executive directors. Instead their bosses are technicians from within the industry. On the board of the Electricity Council, the company behind the CEGB, only the part time deputy chair, Oliver Brooks, has had a career outside the state owned electricity supply. Associated with the traders. Inchcape and the P&Q lines, he lives at The West Penthouse, Cardinal Court, Grand Avenue, Worthing in Sussex
Compare this to the privatized British Telecom which has on its board : Deryk Weyer, a Barclays Bank director and former chairman, of 96 Old Church Street, Chelsea SW3. John Raisman, former chair of Shell UK and David Scholey, chair of Mercury International, the owners of S.G. Warburg merchant bank. Scholey is 52 and lives at Heath End House, Spaniards Road, Hampstead Heath NW3. He went to Wellington military college and Oxford.
These figures of power become involved in nationalized industry both from the state capitalist plans of a Labour government or from the demand for economies from the Thatcher cabinet.
Sir Michael Edwardes, the South African chairman of the battery-making Chloride Group, found fame when he became the government's hatchet man at the head of British Leyland in '77. Now he's returned to chairing Chloride and is a director of Hill Samuel merchant bank. He lives at Keepers Cottage, Anningsley Park, Ottershaw in Surrey
Lord Keith was a merchant banker from public school background. He created the Hill Samuel Group and chaired it for ten years. A labour government brought him into Rolls Royce and British Airways to act as chief executive. Lord McFadzean was a Shell careerist who chaired Shell Transport and Trading from '72-76. Then he succeeded Keith as chair of British Airways and, afterwards, headed Rolls Royce.
McFadzean's son-In-law is former Labour Minister, Lord Richard Marsh, now chair of TV AM and Lee Cooper jean company. McFadzean is on the board of Shell and the Beecham Group and lives at Woodside, Quarry Woods, Marlow in Bucks.
Lord Keith, now 71, Is chair of Standard Telephones and Cables (STC), the UK subsidiary of the giant American corporation ITT. He lives at The Wlcken House, Castle Acre, Norfolk aruL9 Eaton Square, Belgravia SW!
Between the empires of the multinationals there Is a cross over of directors. Executives from one company act as advisors to another In the role of non-executive director. After a career In one company, the chairman can expect to retire straight Into the arms of another business empire. Having designed world-wide operations for years, these old men become non-executive chairmen of another giant company. Sniffing at the power they can't live without. Becoming the voice of experience on the board. The men above the petty squabbles of competition. The men who are the carriers of ruling class consciousness.
Sir Kenneth Durham was chairman of Unilever, which he joined after a spell In atomic research. In 1986 he retired. He was 62. Now he's chairman of Woolworth Holdings, which includes B&Q and Comet. He's also director of British Aerospace and of the Morgan Grenfell merchant bank. He's on the advisory committee of the Chase Manhattan Bank. He lives in Buckinghamshire, at Chalmadale, Troutstream Way, Loudwater, Rlckmansworth
Sir Peter Baxendell was the head of Shell Transport and Trading and chairman of the committee which runs the Royal Dutch SheII Group. He retired in '85 when he was 60. Now he's chair of the military and specialist engineering company, Hawker Siddeley, still a director of Shell and Jives in Chelsea : 10 Upper Cheyne Row, SW3
Sir Alex Jarratt spent most of his career In Reed International, managing IPC who pub1tsh most of the popular magazines. He was chair of Reeds for nine years, retiring when he was 61. He flopped straight into the chair of Smiths Industries, a group making defence systems for aerospace, medical equipment and drugs.
He's also on the UK-South Africa Trade Association. He lives at Bam Mead. Fryerning, 1-D-Essex He was dining with the Air Commodore and the Air Chief Marshal at an Air Force banquet at RAF Bentley Priory In February. Also there was the Duke of Kent, the Secretary of State for Defence, and the boss of De la Rue, the security printers, Sir Arthur Norman.
Sir Anthony Tuke is onto his third chairmanship. He's a member of one of the Barclays ruling families and after Wlnchester and Cambridge, he joined the bank, becoming chair in 1973. At the age of 61, he retired. He became chairman of Rio Tinto Zinc. Now he's head of the Savoy Hotel company and 67 years old. He's deputy chair of the Royal Insurance Group and still an RTZ director. He 1tves at Freelands, Wherwel1, near..Andoveer .1n...Hampshire
Sir David Orr, the son of an old Irish rut1ng class family, made his career in Unilever. He was chair from 1974 to '82. Then he took over as head of Inchcape, a company which has its roots in the East Indies trade, founded by the Mackay family, the owners of the P&O Line. Inchcape have a network of franchizes around Singapore and Hong Kong, selling Toyota, owning tea plantations, running shipping fleets. Orr is still an Inchcape director, though no longer chairman. He's also a director of Shell Transport and Trading and of Rio Tinto Zinc. He 1tves at Home Farm House, Shackleford. near Godaiming, in .Surrey and 81 Lyal1 Mews West, Belgravia SW1
Some former chairmen content themselves with an array of smaller directorships.
John Raisman retired from his chairmanship of Shelll UK tn '85. Now he concentrates on directorships in Vickers, the Glaxo drug company, British Telecom and Lloyds Bank. He's 58 and Jives by the Thames. at Netheravon House, Netheravon Rd South. Chiswick, W4
Sir Les1ie Smith who transformed British Oxygen into the transnational BOC Group. left his chairmanship in '85. He's now a director of Cadbury Schweppes and British Gas and chairman of the British Industry Committee on South Africa. It was this 68 year old man who was behind the intensive anti-sanctions lobby of the Thatcher government. He lives at Cookley House, Cookley Green. Swyncombe near. Henley-on-Thames
John Elton went to public school and Cambridge and built up the British Alcan Aluminium company. At 63, no longer chairman, he relaxes at Salternshill farm, Buckler's Hard, near Beaul1eu and goes sailing on The Solent. He also serves on the board .of Consolidated Gold Mines, the mining company with an appalling record in South Africa. He's a director of the Hill Samuel Group which. coincidentally. has a large financial stake in South Africa. Elton's town house is 33 Eaton Mews South, Belgravia SW1
For other bosses the end of their careers in industry may mean that they concentrate on banking directorships.
Sir Donald Barron, was chair of the confectionery company Rowntree Mackintosh from 1966-81. Then he became head of the Midland Bank. retiring this year. at the age of 66. He lives at Greenfield, .Sim Balk Lane, Bishopthorpe, near.York.
Sir Lindsay Alexander, former chair of the shipping company. Ocean Transport and Trading, became, on retirement, deputy chair of Lloyds Bank. He's also a director of British Petroleum and engineers Hawker Siddeley. He Jives at Corton Denham House, Corton Denham... near...Sherbourne in Dorset. He's 67.
Lord Raymond Pennock, ex-CBI head, was chair of the cable makers BICC, retiring to become deputy chair of Plessey electronics In '85. He was an active director In the Morgan Grenfell merchant banking reorganization and is also on the board of the Standard Chartered Bank. He was head of the Channel Tunnel consortium, retiring mid-'87. He lives at 46 Blackheath Park SE3.
Sir Kenneth Corfield (63) was chair of Standard Telephones and Cables (STC) until .85 and in the powerful position of vice president of Its US parent ITT's European section. Now he's a Midland Bank director and lives at 14.Elm. Walk, on Hampstead Heath NW3
THE LAND OWNERS
The landed gentry and county society doesn't seem to have changed since feudal times. lord lieutenants and High Sherrifs still represent the royal power In the shires, as if Robin Hood was still around and mugging travellers on the A1. Like the Squires before them, the magistrates are the local property owners. Chief constables of rural counties can rise Into a world of hunt balls and coming-out parties.
Land-ownership is still the symbol of power. Successful executives, like Weinstock of GEC, buy Wiltshire farm land or Scottish grouse moors. Directors, like Angus of Unilever, may already own farms and estates. Still more retire into country houses.
Not all aristocrats live off the National Trust or sit back collecting their rents. Many are still at the heart of power. Passing on their tricks.
The Barings, as an old banking fami1y, combine nobility with finance. The family of the 6th Baron Ashburton, 89 year old Alexander Baring, is inter-married with the Viscounts Hood and Harcourt.
Alexander's son and heir, Sir John Baring, is chair of the Baring Brothers merchant bank, a director of the Bank of England and of British Petroleum. He's also the receiver-general for Prince Charles' Duchy of Cornwal1. He's 61 and lives at Lake House, Northington, Airesford and Flat 7, 34 Bryanston Square, Marble Arch W1
The 3rd Earl of Cromer is George Baring. He was a page boy to George V, ambassador to Washington, managing director of Barings Bank and chair of IBM (UK). He's still an advisor to the family bank and a director of Shell Transport and Trading.
His brother-in-law, Viscount Rothermere, is chair of the Associated Newspaper Group, who publ1sh the Da1ly Ma1l. George lives in tax exile in Jersey ; Beaufield House, St, Savlour.
The 7th Baron Camoys, Ralph Stonor, made his career in banking, becoming vice chair of Barclays Merchant Bank from '84-86. His fam1ly trace their title back to the 15th Century. Really it was started up by Queen Victoria to reward her courtiers. Ralph, who's 47, lives at the ancestral home of Stonor House set in its own deer park, near Henley-on- Thames He's still a Barclays Bank director
The 29th Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, Robert Lindsey, was Heath's Foreign Minister from '72-74. His fam1ly goes back to the 14th Century. He's the vice chair of Sun Alliance insurance company and a director of the National Westminster Bank: At 60, he divides his time between Balcarres, Colinsburgh, in..Fyfe. the family seat, and 107 Frognal, Hampstead NW3, his town house
The 10th Viscount Boyne is a lord in Waiting. He's also a director of the National Westminster Bank. At 57, Gustavus Hamilton-Russell, who comes from an Irish 18th Century family, lives at Burwarton House, Bridgenorth Shropshire
61 year old lord Thomas Ashton, 3rd Baron, an Oxfordshire landowner and magistrate, is a Barclays Bank director. He lives at .Fir Farm, Upper Slaughter, Bourton-on-the-Water , in the Cotswotds
Sir Richard Butler (58) is ex-president of the National Farmers Union and has been high sherrif and deputy lieutenant of Essex. He's the son of Baron Butler and his brother is Minister for Northern Ireland in the Thatcher cabinet. Richard is a National Westminster director and Jives at Penny Pot, Halstead, .in.Essex.
THE ARMED FORCES
Recruits to the high ranks of the armed forces tend to come from ml1ttary families who have tradltional1y sent their sons Into the services. This tends to isolate the armed forces from other sections of the ruling class. However, some young men designed for a service career, took a different path.
Richard Lloyd. the chairman of Hill Samuel's merchant bank, was born son and heir to Major Sir Guy Lloyd, baronet. and was sent to Wellington military college. He married the daughter of a brigadier. Although he went Into banking. he hasn't strayed too far away from the services. As well as being a director of Legal and General Assurance. he's also on the board of the tank makers Vickers and the Spitfire Scheme Nomlness company. He's 59 and Jives at Sundridge Place, Sundridge. Sevenoaks, Kent.
Sir David Steel, former chairman of British Petroleum, 15 the son of General Arthur Steel and married the daughter of Major-General Price. But after training to be a solicitor, he joined the legal department of BP. He's now, at 11, a director of merchant bankers Kleinwort Benson. He lives at 51-0nslow Square, South Kensington SW1
Charles Tidbury, the son and son-in-law of brigadiers, was chair of Whitbread from'12-84. On retirement, he became director of Barclays Bank, Mercantile Credit, the Nabisco food and drinks chain and Vaux breweries. He lives at Crocker Hill Farm, Forest Lane, Wickham, in Hampshire and 22 Ursula Street, Battersea SW11.
Sir John Harvey-Jones, the former ICI boss, came from a Raj family and was sent to Dartmouth Naval Col1ege. He joined ICI after serving w1th naval Intelligence.
Military families are the backbone of the land-owning class. Many directors from the traditional, public school background, like Timothy Bevan of Barclays and Patrlck Sheehy of BAT, will have served their obligatory term In a Guards regiment. And many old war horses end up with directorships through their position In county life.
John Henderson, son of Major Henderson, went to Eton, Cambridge, was ADC to Montgomery. He's vice lord lieutenant of Berkshire, lives at West Woodhay House, Inkpen, near Newbury, and is a director of Barclays Bank.
For James Ramsden, 1t was the political wing of the MOD which drew him Into company life. He's the son of Captain Ramsden and son-in-law of Colonel Sir Charles Ponsonby, baronet. After commanding the Kings Rifles, he became a Conservative MP. He was Minister of Defence for the Army and Secretary of State for War in '63-64. Now he's a director and former deputy chair of the Prudential Corporation, the insurance giant, and an ex-director of STC. He 11ves at Old.Sieningford Hall, near Ripon, in North Yorkshire.
The armaments Industry has, by necessity, a close relationship with the military. Many young officers and cadets have become sidetracked this way.
Sir Peter Matthews, the son of Major Alec Matthews, became managing director of Vickers in 1970 and chairman from '80-84. Then he was chair of the valve-makers Pegler-Hattersley and is now director of Lloyds Bank and the Sun Alliance Assurance Company. He's on the Armed Forces Pay Review Board. At 65, he lives at Ladycross House, .Dormansland .in Surrey.
The 2nd Viscount Caldecote, Robert Inskip, went to Royal Naval College at Greenwich and then joined Vickers. He crossed over to the military suppliers GEC and ended up as chair of the naval supplying Delta Group from '72-82. Now at 70, he's a director of Lloyds Bank and lives at Orchard Cottage, South Harting, Petersfield In Hampshire
At times, this affair between the military, the politicians and the armaments companies can seem like a conspiracy. An Army Board Dinner on 13th November '86, at the state apartments of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The Minister of State for the Armed Forces presided over a banquet at which the guests were General Sir Nigel Bagnail, Chief of General Staff, General Sir Roland Guy, Adjutant General, Lt-Col Sir Charles Huxtable, commander of the training establishments, Sir Colin Fielding, controller of research and nuclear programme – Cheviots Rosemount Drive, Bickley, Kent - Sir Robert Andrew, permanent secretary at the Northern Ireland Office, Robin Leigh-Pemberton, the Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Peter Matthews, as we've seen, former head of Vickers, Sir Godfrey Messervy, chair and chief executive of Lucas Industries, the electronics and aerospace company, and Sir Alistair Frame, chairman of uranium suppliers, Rio Tinto Zinc
There are two parts to the civil service. There's the under-paid disciplinarians who do menial jobs like payout benefits. And then there's the other lot who form the permanent government to this country. They're the fast stream. recruited from Oxford and Cambridge and carefully chosen for their good manners and lack of brains. Trained In the old civil service technique of never giving a straight answer and never rocking the boat. Ruling Britain in secrecy. top civil servants become used to power and intrigue. They become devious men. And getting on to retirement. they will be eagerly bidded-for by the companies. They bring a lifetime’s knowlege of the tricks of the State.
Sir Peter Carey. formerly permanent secretary to the Department of Industry from '73-83, Is now chairman of the agribusiness company Dalgety, and. In early '87 was running Morgan Grenfell merchant banking group In the absence of a chief executive. He's also a director of the telecom company. Cable and Wireless and at 64. l1ves at Rose Cottage, .67 Church Road, Wimbledon SW19.
Sir Douglas Wass : permanent secretary to the Treasury from '73-83 and joint head of the Home Civil Service. He joined the Treasury after Cambridge and was a director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). On retirement he became a director of Barclays Bank, the bank note printers De la Rue, Equity and Law Life Assurance company and consultant to accountants Coopers & Lybrand. He's 64 and lives at 6 Dora Road.. Wimbledon Park SWI9.
Sir Michael Palliser, with an Admiral for a father and a background in Wellington military col1ege, Oxford and the Coldstream Guards had little choice but to join the Foreign Office. He was permanent secretary there from '75-82. In 1983 he became director of BAT Industries, of the animal feed and health food group Booker, of Shel1 Transport and Trading and the McVities to Pizzaland, United Biscuits chain. As If that wasn't enough, in '84 he became chair of Samuel Montagu, the merchant bank owned by the Midland. He's 65 and lives at l2b Wedderbum Road, Hampstead NW3.
Lord John Hunt was Cabinet Secretary from '73-79. Now he's chairman of the Prudential Corporation and of the Banque National de Paris. He's a director of Unilever and of IBM(UK). He's 68 and lives at 8 Wool Road, Wimbledon SW20.
Diplomats are also very popular with the companies. Sir Peter Ramsbotham, former ambassador to USA, governor of Bermuda, son of a governor-general of Ceylon and heir to the 2nd Viscount Soulbury, is a director of Lloyds Bank and the Commercial Union insurance company. He's 68 and Jives in Hampshire, East Lane, Ovington, Airesford.
So what directorship will Sir Anthony Acland get when he stops being permanent secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth' Office? His brother, Major-General Sir John Acland of Feniton Court, Honiton, Devon, Is already a director of Allied Breweries (Allied Lyons). The Prime Minister's permanent secretary, Nigel Wicks, was a British Petroleum executive for ten years before joining the Treasury. He's already a director of the IMF. Sir Michael Quinlan, permanent secretary at the Employment Department, is a governor of Henley Management College, a position he shares with many directors. Sir Alex Jarratt, now chair of Smiths Industries and former chair of Reed International, who started off in the civil service, is chairman of the college.
.The United Kingdom Company. is a phrase used by Tory MPs and anarchists al1ke to describe the comp11cated relationship between British capital and the British state. At its simplest, it means that the foreign and internal pol1cies of the state act to further the interests of British companies and defend the state's own power. Sometimes, the two contradict each other. The detailed involvement of state with capital can be traced through the Docklands and New Town Development Corporations, Enterprise Boards and Economic Development Committees. Through the lobbying of Whitehall by the Institute of Directors and the CBI, or by combinations of companies, as in the Tobacco Industry. Individual MPs represent the interests of particular companies and many MPs hold directorships. This is most obvious when senior politicians are acquired by the companies when they leave the office of Minister.
James Prior, who quit Thatcher's cabinet in '84 after being secretary of state for Northern Ireland, became chair of GEC and director of Barclays Bank, United Biscuits and Sainsbury’s. He's still an MP at 60 and lives near Lowestoft, at Old.Hall, Brampton .in...Suffolk and.in..Belgravia, 36-Morpeth Mansions, SW1
Lord Robert Carr, Heath's home secretary from '72-74 was chairman of the John Dale company while still an MP. Now he's a director and former chair of the Prudential Corporation, and on the boards of Cadbury Schweppes and Securicor. He moved from his house in Barnet because the Angry Brigade blew it up. He now. lives at The Old Rectory, Farmington, near Northleach, Cheltenham , in... G1oucestershire.
Lord Anthony Barber, Heath's Chancellor of the Exchequer, was chair of the Standard Chartered Bank from leaving office in '74 up to '86. He's also a government appointed director of British Petroleum and lives at 15-Montpeller Square, Knightsbridge SW7.
Lord Thomas Boardman, Heath's Minister for Industry, became vice chair of Allied Breweries, a director of the property company MEPC and then chair of the National Westminster Bank. He's 68 and lives at The Manor House, Welford, Northamptonshire and 29 Tufton Court, Tufton Street SW1, his Westminster flat
Some directors have a special relationship with government. They become political favourites. Sir John Cuckney has mixed a career of directorships with many public appointments. He was involved in the MOD while still a director of Brooke Bond. He was the Thatcher government's choice for the chairmanship of Westland hel1copter plant, which he guided through political scandal. He's also chair of the Royal Insurance Group and John Brown shipyards, and director of the Midland Bank and Touche Remnant financiers. He lives in Westminster, to be near his Whitehall chums: 6 Marsham Court, Marsham Street SW1
Derek Rayner of Marks & Spencer was brought into the administration by a Conservative government to promote efficiency. More recently, Sir Robin Ibbs, a director of ICI, was seconded to the Cabinet Office from '80-82 as head of the central policy review staff. In '83, he became advisor to the PM on efficiency. His reputation of having Thatcher's confidence has made him a particularly influential director. He lives at.32 St Leonards Terrace, Chelsea SW3.
Sir John Sparrow, a Morgan Grenfell director, succeeded Robin Ibbs in the cabinet office as head of policy review. He's also a director of Short Brothers, the Belfast firm currently supplying the Contras with arms, and of the Coalite Group. He's on the Peterborough Development Corporation. He lives in Buckinghamshire, at The Oaks, Manor Lane, Gerrards Cross.
Bribery and patronage also, play their part.
The magazine Private Eye hinted at a link between the Hanson Trust's £50,000 funding of the Tory Party and Lord Hanson receiving his life peerage. Perhaps it'd be closer to say that Hanson's asset stripping is exactly what the '80s Tory ,government would reward. But when the government was trapped in the embarrassing Westland Affair, Hanson bought up West land shares, losing money, to allow the government to do what it wanted and se I I the company to the US. Just afterwards the Monopol1es and Mergers Committee gave the go ahead to Hanson's bid for the Imperial Group while blocking his competitor's bid
LAWYERS AND JUDGES
Barristers and judges live In a world of their own. The barristers sitting at banquets In the Inns Of Court. The circuit judges lodging in manor houses, waited-on by servants. The law is saturated with the values of traditional wealth.
Many barristers use their law experience as a way Into pol1tlcs or Into a company career. Many of the directors In this booklet had their training as barristers.
Mark Littman Is a good example. A barrister from '47, he stopped practising In the late 60s to become director of RIo Tlnto line and then deputy chair of British Steel a post he held tll1 '19. Now he's working as a barrister again while sU11 holding directorships of RTZ, Granada, the Burton Group and the US Amerada Hess Corporation.
To get promotion and especlal1y to be considered for selection as judges, barristers have tocl1ng to the accepted values of the law. The number of barristers who wll1 go against these unwritten rules, who will take risky cases Is very few. A barrister with an eye to the future. will be considering what wl11 please someone like Mark Littman. who Is on the Senate of the Inns of Court and an Influential figure. He's 67 and lives at 79..Chester Square. Belgravia SW.L
Some barristers use their law training as a route to power through pol1tlcs or the companies. And some become judges. High Court. circuit judges and recorders are chosen by the lord Chancellor - a Cabinet Minister. Appeal Court judges and law lords are chosen by the Prime Minister. Their choices are made with the advice of cabinet members who were former barristers and with the guidance of the top civil servants In the Chance11or's department.
Barristers gain power as Judges through their former colleagues who found power through other parts of the state. The power of judges to interpret the law is the same as the administration’s power to make laws. The background of the judges then, is the same as the other heads of the ruling class.
Although they have no obvious links with the companies or the administration, it's no surprise to find judges passing the sentences, creating the ban conditions which exactly suit the needs of the police, the Home Office, or, more distantly, the strategies of the state and the companies.
Nearly all the law Lords and Appeal Court judges are from an Oxford or Cambridge background. Many are from public schools like Marlborough and Charterhouse. At the lord Mayor's Banquet, top politicians, heads of the Church, selected aristocrats, and law lords and appeal court judges sit next to -distinguished guests from the Civil Service, commerce and industry-. Here is the ruling class at one table.
The London clubs provide another setting for the discreet mixing of the judiciary with their class mates.
And on 3rd November '86, the lord Chancellor and six of the thirteen appeal court judges and many high court judges were at a reception at Claridges. Also invited to this judicial banquet was a man with no legal connections at an, Sir Anthony Tuke, former chair of Barclays Bank, former chair of Rio Tinto Zinc and now chair of the Savoy Hotel which owns Claridges.
The gentlemen's clubs, clustered In the West End of London, are an important part of the background of shared social life which reinforces the network of directors.
These exclusive clubs provide convenient havens for the rul1ng class in the heart of their company town. Neo-classical buildings with coffee rooms, bars, dining halls, dominated by stately portraits and guttering chandeliers. An elite male membership, fine food and wines, the silence libraries, the rustle of newspapers, the murmur of deals made.
Membership of these clubs starts at £400 a year and depends on being proposed and seconded by members and being agreed by an election committee. The clubs may have a membership of between 500 to 1,000 so directors belonging to the same club can't be assumed to know each other social1y. But the clubs exist for that very purpose.
They're the symbol of a class and serve to unite it.
Certain clubs are popular with particular professions or groups. Whites is known as the aristocrats' club so it's no surprise to find Lord Cowdray of Pearsons printing and banking company and the Earl of Inchcape, Kenneth Mackay, president of the trading group Inchcape, both dining there. Life peers like Lord Keith, head of STC, the US-owned cable company, also belong to the nobles' club. And men like Robert Henderson, chair of Kleinwort Benson bankers, who is related to the land-owning class, like to hob nob with titled gents.
The Garrick Club is popular with judges and barristers. law lords Fraser and Griffiths both claim membership in their Who's Who entries. So does at least one Appeal Court judge and several High Court and Circuit judges. Barrister, Mark Littman, a Rio Tinto Zinc director, also uses the Garrick. Kit McMahon, the new boss of the Midland Bank, and Peter Ramsbotham, former diplomat now Lloyds Bank director, have no legal connections, but both frequent the judges' club.
Not all judges go to the Garrick. His Honour Judge Paul Baker, a Circuit judge , was the chairman of the Athenaeum in '86. lord Denning, former Master of the RoJ1s goes there. So does law Lord Scarman. The Athenaeum is also very popular with the top Civil Servants. Sir Robert Armstrong, cabinet secretary and head of the Home Civ1J Service, Sir Cliive Whitmore, permanent under secretary at the Ministry of Defence, and the permanent secretaries for Education and Health and Social Security all go there.
They might easily find themselves dining next to Kenneth Durham, former Unilever chair, of John Harvey-Jones, ex-head of ICI, at the Athenaeum Club table. Peter Holmes, boss of Shell, may find it convenient to socialize with the heads of state administration and the judiciary. The chair of Lloyds Bank, Sir Jeremy Morse, the former head of the Midland, Sir Donald Barron, and the past Governor of the Bank of England, Lord Gordon Richardson, may find something more than an excellent wine cellar tempts them to use their Athenaeum club membership.
Other clubs like Brooks; favoured by Lord Hanson of the Hanson Trust and Sir Anthony Acland of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, or the Reform, frequented by Barclays new boss, John Quinton and the permanent secretary at the Treasury, Sir Peter Mjddleton, show the same coincidence in membership.
BANKERS AND FINANCIERS
There's meant to be a big division between the City and the companies. between finance capital and production. In fact there Isn't any rigid division.
Many companies - l1ke British Petroleum - have whole departments playing the stock market dealing In currencies and bonds. Commodity brokers S&W Berrisford, who own the Sl1ver Spoon sugar-beet refiners, British Sugar. are among the most profitable of UK companies, buying and selling sugar, coffee and speculating on the futures market. Companies like Burtons and Marks & Spencer, owning their own credit card schemes, want to set up their own banks. Small manufacturing Industries set up property companies to make the most of their assets and every company uses Its pension fund as finance capital
A conglomerate like BAT Industries - orlglnal1y a manufacturing Industry - bought Allied Dunbar and Eagle Star Insurance. In this way, one of the most successful of financiers. Mark Weinberg has become a company man. This South African born barrister made his name as managing director of Abbey Life and Hambro Life Assurance companies. He was personal1y paid £10 million for the sale of Alied Dunbar. He's 56 and lives at .11-Addlson Road, Hol1and Park, W14
The Banks grew up alongside the first merchant adventurers and trading companies. Making money from the slave trade and creating the new slavery of the British Empire. Bankers are drawn from this Imperial ruling class. In their background are pubic schools and Guards regiments.
We're always being told that the City Is a place of young whizz kids driving sports cars and making £200.000 a year. the deregulation of the City has opened-up an English club to foreign banks and many City firms are coming under American Australian or Japanese owners.
But the Club Is still there and still In control. And the foreign banks and rich young professionals will make sure that nothing real1y changes. Because they want to join It.
NATIONAL WESTMINSTER BANK
The National Westminster was formed by the merger of several family banks and the Coutts and Touche families are still important in it.
Deputy chair I Dudley Danvers Granvi11e Coutts, Viscount Sandon, is heir to the Earl of Harrowby, a title going back to 1756. He's chair of the Powell Duffryn fuel distribution group. He's 65 and lives at 5 Tregunter Road SW10 and Sandon Hall, Stafford, Burnt Norton, Gloucestershire
Former deputy chair, Sir Anthony Touche (60), 3rd Baronet, went to Eton and became a partner in Touche Ross accountants. Now he's a director of investment trust managers Touche Remnant and he lives at Stane House, Ockley, near... Dorking, in Surrey.
David Burdett Money-Coutts (56) is also on the board. He's the managing director of Coutts Bank, part of Nat West. His uncle Is 7th Baron Latymer, he went to Eton and Oxford and now I1ves at Magpie House, Peppard Common, Henley-on- Thames. He's a director of Sun Alliance.
The vice chair of Sun Al1iance and former Tory Minister, the 29th Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, Robert Lindsey, is a Nat West director.
Nat West's chairman is another former Tory Minister, Lord Thomas Boardman.
Other landowners on the board are the courtier, 10th Viscount Boyne, Gustavus Hamilton-Russell, and the gentleman farmer, Sir Richard Butler.
Sir Edwin. Nixon, chair of the UK division of American computer giants IBM, is the new deputy chair Sir Edwin (62) went to a minor public school and joined IBM after Cambridge. He's a director of Royal Insurance and of Covent Garden Opera. He lives at Starkes Heath, Rogate, Petersfield.
Other company heads linking the bank to industry are:
Sir Alex Jarratt, head of Smiths Industries and former head of Reed International; Anthony PlIkington, chair of P11kingtons glass company and Peter Waiters, head of British Petroleum.
Financiers include Alan McLintock, the 62 year old chair of the Woolwich Building Society, who lives at The Manor House, Westhall Hill Burford in Oxfordshire and the deputy chair of Equity and Law Life Assurance, Martin Harris (65), a De la Rue and Westland director of 29 Belvedere Grove.
Until this year. the chairman of the Midland was Sir Donald Barron, former boss of Rowntree Macintosh. His place has been taken by the ex-deputy governor of the Bank or England, Christopher “Kit” McMahon. 60 years old, a former Oxford tutor In economics, he lives at 5 Alwyne Place, Canonbury N1
The Vice chair Is Sir Patrlck Meaney (62) head of the cinema, bingo hall, holiday camp owning Rank Organization. He’s also a director of ICI and J1ves at Stambourne House. Totteridge Village near Barnet,
Of all the banks, the Midland has the closest relationship with executive directors of industry.
There's Sir Derrick Holden-Brown (64), head of Allied Lyons, the breweries and food chain. He's also a director of Sun Alliance insurance and lives at Copse House, Milford on Sea, Hampshire, doing his drinking at Lymington Yacht Club.
The chair of GKN, the engineering parts company, Is on the Midland's board as we11 as on Thorn-EMI's. He's Sir Trevor Holdsworth (60) and he has a flat behind St James' Palace, Flat 2, 25..St James' Place, SW1l..
Former bosses on the board are ex-STC chair, Sir Kenneth Corf1eld and Sir Jack Callard, ex-head of British Home Stores, a Harvard Business School graduate of Crookworth Cottage, High Row, Docray, Penrith.
Royal Insurance chief and political favourite, Sir John Cuckney, heads the Midland subsidiary, Thomas Cook travel agents.
Lloyds, like Barclays, was originally a Quaker bank. Now it's headed by Sir Jeremy Morse (59), a Winchester and Oxford man who made his career in banking. He was director of the International Monetary Fund from '66-74 and became Lloyds chair in '77. He lives at 102a Drayton Gardens, South Kensington SW10.
Lloyds deputy chair is Sir Lindsay Alexander, the former head of Ocean Transport and Trading.
Another former chairman on the board is the Viscount Caldecote, Robert Inskip, of the Delta Group. His military background is shared by fellow director, Sir Peter Matthews, former head of Vickers.
John Raisman, former boss of Shell UK, also a Vickers director is on the board. He holds other directorships In the drugs company, Glaxo, and in British Telecom.
The chairman of British Telecom, Sir George Jefferson, whose career was in Royal Ordnance and armaments design, is a Lloyds director as wel1.
Sir John Greenborough was managing director of Shell UK just before John Raisman became chairman. Now they share Lloyds directorships. Greenborough is chairman of the McAlpine's construction and property holdings Newarthill, and deputy chair of the packaging company Bowater Industries. This ex-US naval officer is 65 and lives at 30 Burghley House, Somerset Road, Wimbledon.
Sir Robin Ibbs, the ICI director favourite with the Thatcher government and Eric Swainson, former managing director of the engineering company IMI are the other industrial executives on the Lloyds board
Swainson, who joined IMI after Sheffield University, is 61 and lives at 268 Station Rd. Knowie, Solihull.
Former diplomat, Sir Peter Ramsbotham, heir to the 2nd Viscount Soulbury, and Sir Henry Plumb, ex-president of the National Farmers Union, are Lloyds link with country life.
Plumb Is now President of the European Parliament and a director of Fisons chemicals and United Biscuits, the McVities, Wimpy Bar, Pizzaland chain. He's 62 and lives at Southfields Farm, Coleshill, Birmingham .and 2 Queen Anne's Gate, James Park SW1
Even more than the Big Four clearing banks, the Merchant Banks have been controlled by aristocratic dynasties. Barings and N1 Rothschild are still owned by their ruling families; the landed Hambro clan retired only last year from control of Hambro's Bank. Lazards Is owned by the Pearson family, headed by Lord Cowdray. The de-regulation of the City has forced the merchant banks to merge with stockbrokers and jobbing firms and has left them vulnerable to International competition, Many merchant banks are now combining a variety of services, Investment management and business consultancy, Issuing shares, setting share prices, dea1tng with bonds and currencies and commodity trading.
Morgan Grenfell has been the first bank to fall foul of this new competitiveness. First an Insider deal1ng scandal and then the Illegal share fixing In the Guinness buy-up of Distillers. Morgan Grenfell tripped over its own eagerness to maintain a reputation as the salary-trebling “take-over bank”.
Two directors responsible for share dealing and takeovers were the first to go. Then chief executive, Christopher Reeves was forced to retire from his £300,000 a year position.
At this point Morgan's non-executive directors proved their Importance. A committee of former Unilever chief Sir Kenneth Durham, ex-CBI head Lord Raymond Pennock, former top civil servant Sir Peter Carey and Insurance broker David Palmer was set up to review Morgan's activities.
Chairing the committee and head of Morgan GrenfeJ1 Holdings is Lord Stephen Catto (65), who succeeded the 1st Baron Catto, who was manager of Morgan Grenfell and governor of the Bank of England in the 4Os. Catto went to Eton and Cambridge, then joining his father's merchant ban
He's been a director of GEC for most of his career, now he's also a director of New International, Murdoch's Sun and Times publishing racket. He lives at 41 William Mews, Lowndes Square, Knightsbridge W1. Flat 6 l2-Charles Street, Mayfair W1.and the House of Schivas, Ythanbank, Aberdeenshire
David Palmer is chair of Wil1is Faber and represents their share holdings in the Morgan board. He went to Stowe, held a command in the Life Guards and lives at 8 Egerton Terrace, South Kensington SW3 and Burrow Farm, Hambledon, near.Henley.
Sir Peter Carey, formerly permanent secretary at the Department of Industry and now chairman of Dalgety, became executive head of Morgan during this period.
The Hill Samuel Group owes Its present form to Lord Keith who plotted the merger which created it and who chaired It from 1970-80.
The present chairman 15 Sir Robert Clark (63) who trained as a sol1cltor after Oxford but entered merchant banking Instead. He's a director of IMI, McAlpine's and Shell Transport and Trading. He lives at Munstead Wood, Heath Lane, Godalmlng.in Surrey
His chief executive, Chrlstopher Castleman, went to Harrow and Cambridge, and at 46 Is earning £314,000 a year. He lives at 23 Chepstow Villas, Westbourne Grove W11
Head of the merchant bank is Richard Lloyd, former head of William & Glyn and heir to a baronet 1n his military family.
Peter Samuel (76) Is heir to the 3rd Viscount Bearstead who was chair of the bank from 1948-66. His grandfather, Sir Marcus Samuel, a shipowner and merchant founded both the bank and Shell transport and Trading, now the anglo-dutch oil colossus. The 3rd Viscount, Marcus Samuel, lives at Upton House, near Banbury, 1n Oxfordsh1re. Peter Samuel has a country house near Reading, at Farley Hall, Farley Hill. and grouse moors at Phones, Newtonmore, Invernesshire
Sir Michael Edwards, formerly of BL, now head of Chloride, Peter Elton, ex-head of Alcan Aluminium and Consolidated Gold F1e1ds director are both on the Hill Samuel board
So is Bob Wilkins, chairman and chief executive of Thorn-EMI, the consumer and military electronics group. He's an Exeter University graduate and former chief executive of the Beechams drug company. Now he's also a director of Courtaulds textiles. He lives at Alceda, Walton Lane, Shepperton-on-Thames.
Robert Henderson (70) was a director In merchant banking before the merger which created Kleinwort Benson Lonsdale plc and placed him at Its head. He'd been to Eton and Cambridge; he's related to the 3rd Baron Annaly and his brother-In-law Is Lord lieutenant for Northamptonshire. His role in Kleinwort Is now advisory and he acts as deputy chair for the confectionary and soft dr1nks giant, Cadbury Schweppes. He's also deputy chair of British Airways and director of the trading company Inchcape. His country seat Is North Ecchinswell Farm, Ecchinswell, near Newbury and his town house is7 Royal Avenue, Chelsea. Kleinwort’s executive head Is Michael Hawkes, Oxford graduate and barrister, who I1ves at Brookfield House, Burghfield Common. Berkshire and 78 .Denbigh Street, Pimlico 5W1.
Thirty minion pounds In Kleinwort shares are in the hands of Sir Kenneth Kleinwort. 3rd Baronet, grandson of the original banking partner. This 52 year old director now lIves in the French Alps.
The 6th Earl of Limerick also holds three ml1l10n shares In trust (t 18m) and Is executive deputy chair of Kleinwort. He's Patrick Pery, 57 years old, with a title going back to 1803. He lives at Chiddlnglye, West Heathly, East Grinstead _and 30 Victoria Road, Kensington W8. He's also on the board of De la Rue who print banknotes, make credit cards and are trying to sell Scotland Yard a computerized, extra-fast fingerprint identifier.
The chairman of De la Rue is himself a Kleinwort director. Sir Arthur Norman (70), also vice chair of Sun AJl1ance, Iives at Elat..3, 24 Sussex St.,..Pimlico .SWL
Another insurance boss, David Robertson, head of Provident Mutual life Assurance Is a Kleinwort man. Also aged 70, he's been through Rugby, Oxford, the Welsh Guards and a career In merchant banking. He lives at Ketches, near.Lewes, .in Sussex
The former chair of Commercial Union insurance, Sir Francis Sandilands, is 74 and still a director of Kleinwort and the electronics company Plessey. He lives at Thackers, Gelderston, near Beccles .in..Suffolk and 53.Cadogan Square, Chelsea SW1..
Former Kleinwort vice chair and now chair of M&G investment management group, is John Caldecote (63). He's a director of Whitbread, Blue Circle cement company and the Chloride Group. He lives at 42 Tregunter Rd. South Kensington. SWI0.
Sir David Steel, former British Petroleum boss, chairman of the Wellcome Custodian Trustees, was made a Kleinwort director after the launch of Wellcome plc, the drugs company.
OWNERS AND CONTROLLERS
There are companies, including some multinationals, which are owned and controlled by their own executives. Half the shares in Lonrho, the mining, plantation-owning, publishing group are owned by its boss, Tiny Rowland. Trust House Forte is headed and largely owned by the Forte family. Pergamon Press, parent of The Mirror Group and others, is a private company owned by Robert Maxwell.
But these are the exceptions. Most of the wealth of UK companies is owned in shares by the insurance companies and pension funds, and through them, very distantly, by the policy holders and pensioners.
Despite the Thatcher government's much advertized share sales, private ownership is still very small and maybe even declining.
Share ownership only gives control over a company when there are sizable amounts held or when the owners can combine with other share holders. What makes the insurance companies and pension funds so powerful is that they own large blocks of shares and whether they sell or buy can change the fate of companies and their management. Share holders like this aren't interested in the activities of a company but in what profit it makes.
The Insurance companies have come a long way from their roots. They were set up as self-help enterprises by the skilled workers of the 1abour aristocracy. Now their bosses are drawn from the real aristocracy and their directorships are shared out among former heads of Industry and banking.
The Prudential Corporation is a life assurance and general insurance company, manages private pensions and unit trusts, owns estate agents and Issues mortgages. It has £20 bil1ion to invest. It owns about 4% of the average UK company.
Prudential Portfolio Managers oversee Its investments, £3 billion of which are In property, the rest on the stock market. This team is headed by Mick Newmarch of l.6.Cranboume Drive, Pinner, Middlesex.
A major Investment decision will be taken by Ronald Artus (56), chief investment manager and Prudential director. He went to a Gloucester pubic school and then onto Oxford, marrying Brenda, daughter of Baronet Sir Norman Touche which links him to the ruling Touche family of Nat West and the merchant bank Touch Remnant. He lives at Flat 7a Ridgmount Gardens, Bloomsbury WC1. His decisions then go to the main board for agreement. The Prudential's chief executive is Brian Corby (58), a Cambridge man who's now a Bank of England director. He lives at Fairings, Church End Albury, Ware, In Hertfordshire
He's surrounded by famous names, like Sir Alex Jarratt, chair of Smiths Industries, Robert, Lord Carr, ex-Home Secretary, Cadbury's director and formerly the Prudential's chairman, William Haslan, boss of British Coal, who lives at 6 Ashbourne Road, Ealing, W5
Lord Gordon Richardson was governor of the Bank of England from '73-83. Now he's on the Prudential's top board as well as being a director of GEC. He went to Cambridge and Camberley Staff College, trained as a barister and went into merchant banking, becoming vice chair of Lloyds Bank. He's 72 and a Lord Lieutenant of City of London. He lives at 25 St Anselm's Place, Mayfair, W1.
Chair of the Prudential Is the former cabinet John Hunt : Unilever, IBM director, chair of the Banque National de Paris.
The former deputy chair is James Ramsden, secretary of state for war from '63-64. Deputy chair now Is Peter Moody, who was chief investment manager unti1 '80, He's 69 and lives at 49 Brookmans Avenue, Brookmans Park, Herts.
Pension funds involve the company workers in the world of capital but they hold riches beyond the small amount the pensioners receive. Pension funds become the prize to be snapped-up in a company take-over as their surplus of money from smart investments grows far beyond the needs of retiring workers
Pension funds are organized to suit the desires of capital not to meet the needs of workers.
The National Coal Board (British Coal) Staff Superannuation and Mineworkers' Pension Scheme has £7 billion to be invested.
Postel, the pension fund for the Post Office and British Telecom has £10 billion.
The pension funds are supervised by representatives of the company directors and of the unions. In practice, these leave everything up to the Fund Managers, merely demanding a fast growth in profits. When the NUM did try to control where their members' money was going, and tried to stop the National Coal Board Pension Fund putting millions into real estate in California, a High Court judge ruled against them.
The Fund Managers see their job to get a quick return on the future pensioners' money. But they meet together in the National Association of Pension Funds and can exercise collective power as they did In the case of the NUM. They're not much different from the bankers and company directors they deal with.
Hugh Jenkins was already a director of the London & Manchester Assurance Company before he retired as Fund Manager for the National Coal Board Pension Fund. Now he's head of the Heron Financial Corporation and on the main board of Heron International, the property and garage company, and a director of Allied Dunbar, the insurance wing of BAT Industries.
Ralph Quartano (60) is investment manager for Postel which owns shopping centres in Leicester, Nottingham, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Leeds. He went to Sherborne public school and Cambridge, and was manager of many private companies before he joined the Post Office. Now he's also on the Securities and Investments Board, the Stock Exchange's watchdog, where he mixes with bankers and financiers like Mark Weinberg and Sir Martin Jacomb.
Some companies, Hke Unilever and Habitat, farm their pension funds out to banks or insurance companies, like Prudential Portfolio Management. But even when a company has its own Fund Managers, the merchant banks are called in as investment advisors.
So the fate of the workers' contributions in the Coal Board's fund is influenced by a panel including Sir Ronald Macintosh, director of the specialist chemical suppliers, Foseco Minsep, of the merchant bank S.G. Warburg and, curiously, of the same London & Manchester Assurance Group of which the Fund Manager, Hugh Jenkins was also a director.
Postel use the merchant bank Schroder Wagg as advisor. Head of Schroder Wagg Investment Management 1s the 8th Baronet, Sir Richard Wibraham (53) who went to Harrow and had a spell in the Welsh Guards before joining the bank. He's a trustee of the Duke of Westminster's billion pound Grosvenor Estates. He lives at 41 Carlyle Square, Chelsea and Rode Hall, Scholar Green, Cheshire.
The men who control our money are threaded into the web of and shared directorships acquaintances. They are bonded by power.
But power can be broken. Use this book as a map.
- I-Spy Productions Written in Flames: Naming the British Ruling Class London: Hooligan Press ISBN 1869802071. Undated, but published in 1987.