Detective Chief superintendent David Cook (left) was allegedly under surveillance by News of the World during an investigation into the murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan (right)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

#Met #Freemasons and Daniel Morgans concern.

The Guardian have removed all images of their SCOOP from January 1997 , images of FREEMASONS in the MET., so much for Nick Davies and his honest reporting . This article is from the Independent.

To the untrained eye it looked like a convention of dry cleaners - thousands of middle-aged men in dark suits milling around outside a London landmark all carrying identical plastic suit carriers.

To the untrained eye it looked like a convention of dry cleaners - thousands of middle-aged men in dark suits milling around outside a London landmark all carrying identical plastic suit carriers.

The only clue to the true identity of the 5,000 individuals who squeezed into the Royal Albert Hall yesterday was the gold lettering printed on the side of each of the dry cleaning-style blue bags: "Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London. October 1st 2003."

The largest gathering of Britain's freemasons in more than a decade was a suitably discrete affair. The day-long ceremony in the famous concert hall marked the formation of a new central organisation for the capital's 1,585 lodges.

For, despite a comprehensive effort to dispel its image as a secretive brotherhood dedicated to protecting the mutual interests of its rolled trouser-legged membership, the masonic movement still prefers to conduct its business behind closed doors.

To the satisfaction of many of those waiting to attend the second of the day's ceremonies, headed by the Duke of Kent, who as Grand Master is Britain's top mason, the Home Office yesterday confirmed it has dropped plans to require all freemasons in the police service and criminal justice system to identify themselves.

Robert Taylor, 47, a "legal professional" and a mason for 14 years, who was technically committing a breach of masonic tradition by allowing an amount of purple silk brocade and gold from his ceremonial apron to spill out from his commemorative suit carrier as he waited outside the hall (regalia can only be worn inside a lodge meeting), said: "I have no problems with being a mason and saying so but if you are saying that someone has to declare it by law, then that implies there is something wrong or dodgy about it."

Home Office sources confirmed that the compulsory registration scheme, proposed after a parliamentary select committee found in 2000 that there had been cases of improper masonic influence in the criminal justice system, was dropped after the United Grand Lodge, the umbrella body for freemasons in England Wales, claimed it would breach the Human Rights Act.

But ministers are to continue to press the issue with police chiefs after a voluntary scheme put in place by Jack Straw when he was Home Secretary recorded rates of registration for police officers far below those of 88 per cent for magistrates and 96 per cent for judges. Ten of Britain's 43 police forces refused to take part.

A Home Office spokesman said: "There are no current plans for compulsory disclosure. But discussions are continuing with the Association of Chief Police Officers to find other methods of resolving the problem of under-registration."
Those representing the 300,000 freemasons in England and Wales have been at pains to improve its public image after decades of secrecy, throwing open the doors of many the country's lodges during a nationwide open day last year.

Although the cliché about rolled up trouser legs still holds true for some ceremonies, the United Grand Lodge points to modernisations - for example, the threat to slit the throat of any member who betrays masonic principles has been dropped.

Perhaps more importantly, it also adds that the brotherhood raised £24m for charity last year and has given out £100m in the past five years, making charitable fund-raising and giving its principle activity. Despite the preponderance of white middle-class males outside the Albert Hall, organisers also believe that their level of ethnic membership is in line with the general population - 7.5 per cent - although no accurate figures are collected.

John Hamill, the United Grand Lodge's head of communications, said: "We are diverse and open organisation with members from across the community. All we ask our members is that they believe in a Supreme Being."

In that case, surely it would not be a problem for The Independent to witness proceedings? Nothing doing. Mr Hamill said: "The ceremonial aspect of what we do is still regarded as being private."