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Exclusive: How Shell and BP financed Britain’s Cold War propaganda machine

“Handsome” sums were provided by BP and Shell to the Information Research Department (IRD), which was Britain’s Cold War propaganda arm between 1948 and 1977, declassified files show.  The IRD used the secret subsidies to fund British covert propaganda operations during the 1950s and 1960s across the Middle East and Africa, where Britain’s oil interests […]

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Anger as Queen bags ‘generous’ gift from dictator

The Queen is facing calls to return a gift she received from a foreign dictatorship last month. Azerbaijan’s authoritarian president Ilham Aliyev sent Queen Elizabeth a horse named ‘Shohrat’ as part of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations at Windsor Castle. Her Majesty said the gift was “very kind” and “very generous”. Azerbaijan is the third repressive […]

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Revealed: UK ignored Chechnya war crimes to push BP’s oil interests as it worked to get Vladimir Putin elected in 2000

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The British government sought, in 2000, to integrate Putin’s Russia into the Western-ruled economic system, despite its brutal military campaign in Chechnya, documents obtained by Declassified show.

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Whitehall does little to stop the revolving door between politics and fossil fuel firms (Photo: Can Pac Swire / Flickr / CC)

Revealed: Dozens of UK former senior officials profit from fossil fuel corporations, rubber-stamped by Whitehall committee

New research reveals that dozens of senior UK defence, foreign office and intelligence officials find employment with oil, gas and mining corporations once they leave public office, rubber-stamped by a Whitehall committee which pays little attention to potential conflicts of interest. Such private profiting from energy companies is likely to restrict Britain from taking stronger action to address climate change.

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John Major praised Gulf ruler’s power grab, newly declassified files show

Former British prime minister John Major praised Oman’s dictator, Sultan Qaboos, for passing a law that gave him absolute power, describing it as ‘clearly a most imaginative and constructive step forward’. The law enacted in 1996 by the close British ally effectively banned political parties, independent media and criticism of the ruler.

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