Food Control, World Control: Suez Crisis, Northern Dairies, Marks & Spencer (Occult Yorkshire 7)

To read the full article (& rest of this series), order The Vice of Kings: How Socialism, Occultism, and the Sexual Revolution Engineered a Culture of Abuse.

“You needn’t carry a card or even have heard the name Fabian to follow the wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing flag. Fabianism is mainly a value-system with progressive objectives. Its social club aspect isn’t for coalminers, farmers, or steam-fitters. We’ve all been exposed to many details of the Fabian program without realizing it. In the United States, some organizations heavily influenced by Fabianism are the Ford Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Stanford Research Institute, the Carnegie Endowments, the Aspen Institute, the Wharton School, and RAND. And this short list is illustrative, not complete.”
— John Taylor Gatto, Underground History of American Education

In the early 1950s, Northern Dairies was approached about going public and the firm was approved by the afore-mentioned Lord Piercy, who then approached Labor MP and Fabian Society member Ian Mikardo. Mackintosh was also represented in the Northern Dairies board, and Alec was “reasonably certain of a successful issue in 1956.” It was at this point that Alec was approached by the Orthodox Church of Russia to take a team of churchmen to the Soviet Union. “Then came the Northern Dairies share issues in 1956,” Alec writes in his short memoir, “and happily, providence decided that General Nasser would nationalize the Suez Canal on that very day, so demand was not high.” I am not well-versed in stock-talk (despite being myself a major shareholder in Northern Foods from the age of eighteen to twenty-four), but what I deduce from this is that, because of the timing of the company going public with an international crisis, there was a flurry of insider trading when the price of the shares remained low. “Although all shares were taken up the price hovered around . . . the same price that our friends and customers the Mackintosh Group had acquired theirs.” Alec adds that “several members of the Mackintosh family actually bought significant quantities of our shares, and a happy relationship has continued to this day.”

When I first began this exploration of my family history, I had not even heard of the Suez Crisis. I soon discovered that it was a major turning point in global politics. For one thing, it spelled the end of then-British Prime Minster Anthony Eden’s career, due to a combination of failing health and a seriously compromised reputation. For another, it is on record as heralding the end of British predominance in the Middle East (once the US refused to back Eden’s government in trying to kill Nasser and retake the canal)—which is not far from saying the end of the British Empire. (The canal was of major importance to European industry due to the fact that two-thirds of oil supplies to Europe passed through it.) So in 1956, apparently on the very same day that Northern Dairies was going public, General Nasser, the president of Egypt, seized the canal in response to the withdrawal of Anglo-American funding for the Aswan Dam.[1] As a result of this act of “providence,” Alec and his buddies were able to make a big business score. Considering Alec’s close relationship to power, it begs the question as to just how “providential” this timing was.

Also of note here is that David Astor’s media empire was instrumental in bringing down Eden’s government after the crisis: The Observer accused Eden of lying to Parliament, and of working in collusion with France and Israel to seize the canal.[2] The Suez Crisis also comes up in relation to my father, in his Guardian obit: “[His] politics were always radical. In his youth, he had been a prominent protester against the Suez fiasco and an Aldermaston marcher.” If my father was protesting against Eden’s siding with France and Israel in 1956, this would have been a year or so before he left the UK and began traveling around the US and Canada, trying, or at least hoping, to be a writer (he met my mother in New Orleans in 1958). Did something happen to drive him from the UK, and from the intense paternal pressure to join the family business (which he ended up doing anyway, after he married my mother)? And did it relate to Northern Dairies’ “happy” transition from a private to a public corporation?  Was this a time when my father got a whiff of the sort of interests Alec was really serving? (It’s probably worth noting here that, after going public, Northern Dairies’ first major expansion was into Northern Ireland.)

To give a little background to this story, the transformation of Alec’s local dairy into an international corporation began during World War II. As the website Reference for Business relates it:

“Recognizing that the time of the small dairyman was over, Horsley embarked upon an energetic and ambitious campaign of expansion, acquiring other dairies one by one. The larger the business grew, the more attractive it became to small firms beset by the bombing (Hull was very hard hit during the war), the chronic shortages, and the difficulties of adapting to rationalization [rationing]. As the firm expanded it actually became more efficient with each new addition, as Horsley chose the best dairies and plants when consolidating operations. By 1942 Horsley controlled a considerable network of retail and wholesale businesses scattered throughout Humberside and Yorkshire, and the retail end of the company was renamed Northern Dairies to reflect this (although the wholesale operations continued to be known by their individual names).”

For a company to become public as Northern Dairies did in 1956 means it can begin selling shares to “the general populace”—i.e., to rich people—and so become part of the stock exchange. This allows the company to raise funds and capital through the sale of their securities, in other words, to make money off money. Shareholders don’t do anything to make money, they just own shares and receive dividends. It’s pure capitalism, and about as far from a socialist philosophy as it’s possible to get. I should know: as one of these shareholders, from about the age of fifteen or so, I knew that (if I played my cards right) I would never have to work a day in my life. Once I turned eighteen and took ownership of my stock, I embraced a life of social freedom and irresponsibility (i.e., I did whatever the hell I pleased). Here’s a description of my lifestyle from the one piece I ever managed to get into The Guardian (the “Experience” section, open to everyone):

“On an average day, I woke around 1pm, ate, drove my black Opel Manta to the West End and spent £200 on records, videos, comics and books. On less adventurous days, I rented three or four movies from the local video store, ate an M&S dinner, rolled five or six joints, and spent half the night getting high. If I already had movies, I often didn’t get out of bed, just rolled a joint and turned on the TV. On my 20th birthday, I moved to New York. Beyond the locale, nothing much changed. When I wasn’t enjoying pot and movies in my Bowery bedsit, I was drinking tequila and snorting cocaine in an East Village bar. If anyone asked what I did for a living, I took great pleasure in telling them: ‘You’re looking at it.’”

This was the legacy of my “socialist” father and grandfather, and it was one that, within six or seven years, I found so burdensome that I effectively threw all my shares away.


To read the full article (& rest of this series), order The Vice of Kings: How Socialism, Occultism, and the Sexual Revolution Engineered a Culture of Abuse.

3 thoughts on “Food Control, World Control: Suez Crisis, Northern Dairies, Marks & Spencer (Occult Yorkshire 7)”

  1. The Big Dipper logo is according to Peter Levenda, the key, or the sacred 7, the ladder to heaven: “Reinforced by visits to the Buddhist shrine of Borobudur in Indonesia, Levenda concludes that there was a myth common to peoples across the ancient world that an ascent to the heavens was possible using a ladder of seven stars, a process running parallel to the alchemical idea of the perfection of metals and the perfectibility of the soul.
    This concept was enshrined in the rituals of the Western secret societies of the 19th and 20th centuries such as the golden dawn and the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, and influenced the development of new age occultism. exhaustive in scope and revealing in its scholarship, Stairway to Heaven casts a fascinating new multidisciplinary perspective on the mystical practices of heavenly ascent.”

  2. Your description of how you ‘lived off your shares’ very much mirrors the history of my own father (who’s father owned a large successful AM Radio station in California). He eventually got clean of drugs and alcohol–I only met him once I was 13–and he died young, of a brain aneurysm, in 1998. I’ve intentionally left off researching that side of my family history for now. I’m afraid it will lead me to find that I’m a decedent of the infamous Cecil Rhodes.

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