Random Reflections of a Domestic Extremist

We need to talk about Martin

Posted in Uncategorized by emapple on 22/10/2012

Please excuse the cliche, but I think we need to talk about Martin. It’s been a while coming – next year it will be ten years since we first found out our friend, colleague and comrade was in fact a BAE spy, but it’s finally time to write about what happened in detail and with the hindsight of perspective.

So, I’m planning to write a book about my dear “friend” Martin, the secular Godfather to my son, and my close friend for the best part of five years. This will be the account of our times together, from planning meetings and pints, to arrests and tear gas on the streets of international summits. This will be the story of what I believed was our journey together, and how this narrative has been shattered and replaced only with questions.

But I would also like this to be a piece of exploration and examination. There is so much which will always remain unanswered. There are no truths, because the one person who could answer so many of the questions is a professional liar. I don’t know yet whether Martin will be prepared to talk to me. I don’t know whether I want to talk to him. Although I know, without doubt, that if the opportunity arises, I will grab it with both hands. But I’m not holding my breath. He hasn’t had any contact with anyone for years, and I doubt he’s suddenly going to break his silence now.

However, I want to explore his motives and agendas; the relationship he had with other people. This is going to involve many painful and honest conversations, and I really hope people will feel able to engage and talk with me both about their experiences, but also their analysis of who they think Martin really was.

Over the years, I have come up with a myriad of excuses for what Martin did ranging from complete denial to a vain hope that there was a limit to the information he was passing on. However I am coming to accept this was just naive posturing. There can be no excuses for what Martin did, for the betrayal, the manipulation and the lies. There is no middle ground, no half truth that makes sense of his actions. This has been the hardest part to accept; not to make excuses for my friend; not to let him still have a small piece of my heart.

So, does anyone else want to talk about Martin? I’m asking anyone who knew him, loved him, or simply worked with him to get in contact. I’m hoping to get as much information as possible to build the fullest picture of Martin that we can, what he said, they way he operated, thoughts, feelings and gut reactions. I want to dissect the whole sorry mess. I know that’s it’s painful, and I know it may be too difficult to talk about. However, I’m also hoping it could be a positive experience, both in understanding how a corporate spy lived and worked amongst us for so many years, and in processing the pain.



6 Responses

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  1. Ciaron O'Reilly said, on 23/10/2012 at 12:34 pm

    We (Liverpool Catholic Worker) were infiltrated (1996-99) by the same group employing Hogblin working for BAe. The agent using the pseudonym “Alan Fossey* who we now understand was really Alaister who had served as a British Army Sgt in the north of Ireland with 14 Company. He was deployed from Hull to Liverpool following the acquittal of the 4 plowshares women August 96 and LCW becoming the activist hub for continued nvda at Warton (96-99), He played a significant role in the eviction and closure of the Liverpool Catholic Worker

    It is is unfortunate that this infiltration (CAAT contained at least 6 agents) was not processed at the time by all who were at the receiving end of it. My understanding is that this did not happen because CAAT were sitting on the option of legal action. It seems that the recent Kennedy/ Stone wave of infiltration is being processed better by the activists who experienced it.

  2. […] considered Martin Hogbin a good friend to share their thoughts. At her blog, beautifully called Random Reflections of a Domestic Extremist, she announced her plans earlier this […]

  3. […] evening, I was meant to edit some gut reactions and questions  I have about Martin into something resembling a blog post.  However, I got distracted by Ellie Mae […]

  4. […] evening, I was meant to edit some gut reactions and questions  I have about Martin into something resembling a blog post.  However, I got distracted by Ellie Mae O’Hagan’s CiF on […]

  5. somebodyelse said, on 04/09/2013 at 12:36 pm

    I think one of the advantages is that are putting themselves in a position of power, a place in which they tell themselves that they are not being emotionally vulnerable, a sociopath either professionally or by nature’s consent.

  6. Clive said, on 21/10/2013 at 5:40 pm

    I knew Martin. He usually drove the van that we jumped out of, to blockade arms fairs. I sometimes wondered why the police usually failed to stop us establishing those blockades. Now I think I know why. BAe probably even chose which gates we we would blockade, at which times. I never suspected Martin of being a spook until someone else discovered it, many years later.

    I believe on one occasion, after I was invited by Martin to to go to Portsmouth to help “organize” a demo against a forthcoming arms fair there, I was the only person, out of the three of us, who went to Portsmouth, who was not working for BAe. I also have reason to believe that another BAe infiltrator in CAAT, who said he was CAAT activist, travelled from London to Portsmouth by helicopter (something that few genuine activists could afford to do). This happened after I had caused some confusion, at Waterloo Station, by refusing to go to Portsmouth unless my ticket was paid for, by CAAT, in advance (as I originally requested). The other guy said that I had to buy a ticket and then reclaim the money from Martin, who would meet us in Portsmouth. I already suspected the other guy of being an infiltrator, so I refused to go. Afterwards, I changed my mind, bought a ticket and got on the train. It was a fast express train that didn’t stop anywhere between Waterloo and Portsmouth. When it pulled into the platform at Portsmouth, the guy who I had last seen at Waterloo, shortly before the train left there, was standing, with Martin, on the platform, at Portsmouth, waiting to meet me. While I was in Portsmouth, I lost my diary. I’ve always assumed it was stolen from from my bag.

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