Peter Blaker

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Person.png Peter Blaker  Rdf-icon.png
(lawyer, politician)
Born 4 October 1922
Hong Kong
Spouse Jennifer Dixon
Founder of Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies

Lord Peter Allan Renshaw Blaker (born 4 October 1922) is a British conservative who has been affiliated with a number of Atlanticist groups.

Early life and education

Blaker was born in Hong Kong on 4 October 1922, the son of Cedric Blaker, CBE, MC and Louisa Douglas Blaker (née Chapple). His father was a businessman in Hong Kong who later chaired the HSBC.[1] He went to school in Shrewsbury, before studying classics at Trinity College Toronto. He then took at Masters at New College Oxford. [2]

Career and affiliations

Blaker served in the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders from 1942-46 as a captain, on leaving the army he became a solicitor and was then admitted to the Foreign Service in 1953 stationed at the embassy in Phnom Penh (1955-57) and at the UK High Commission in Ottawa 1957-60. At the Foreign Office from 1960-62 he was Private Secretary to the Minister of State for Foreign affairs from 1962-64. [3]

He attended a disarmament conference in Geneva as part of the UN General Assembly in 1962 and 63 (shortly after the Cuban Missile Crisis) which led to the signing of the test ban treaty in Moscow in 1963. He became an MP representing Blackpool south from 1964-92, an opposition whip (1967-67) and Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Edward Heath) (1970-72), moving to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Army) at the MOD from 1972-74 and a minister of state at the FCO 1979-81 and for the Armed Forces 1981-83. [4]

He was a member of the executive committee of the British-American Parly Group 1975-79 and chairman of the board of the Royal Ordinance factories 1972-74, a member of the Council of Chatham House 1977-79; the Council for Arms Control 1983-; a member of the Freedom Association 1984–97; Vice Chairman of Peace through NATO 1983–93; vice-president of the Conservative Foreign and Commonwealth Council 1983-; a member of the council of the GB USSR association 1974-92; a Governor of the Atlantic Institute 1978-79; Chairman McLean Hunter Cablevision Ltd 1989-; Integrated Asset Management; Central Lancashire Television; World Trading & Shipping Ltd. Recently he has joined Constantia [5]

In 1991 with Lord Chalfont and right-wing MP Julian Lewis [6] he launched a campaign against ‘Generals for Peace and Disarmament’ led by the Gulf War veteran Brigadier Michael Harbottle stating: "We have convincing evidence that it is intimately linked with the World Peace Council and other organs of the Soviet propaganda machine."[7]

Blaker is also a member of the committee of The European Atlantic Group and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Conflict Issues which is sponsored by UnLtd. [8] Blaker was also a member of the Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies.

Family connections

In 1953 Blaker married Jennifer Dixon, the daughter of Sir Pierson Dixon who was Permanent Representative of the UK to the United Nations during the Suez Crisis, and briefly a Director of Westminster Bank, (which later became Natwest)[9]

The Owen Oyston Affair

Blaker had listed directorships in Central Lancashire Television, East Lancshire Cablevision, East Coast Cablevision and a consultancy with BT. Blaker has said his interests in these firms, which were rival bidders against Owen Oyston for licences, prompted his moral and financial support for a campaign waged against Owen Oyston by Michael Murrin, the owner of a fish and chip shop in the village of Longridge, Lancs, that was also backed by another former government minister, Sir Robert Atkins. [10]

Owen Oyston told police he had been subjected to a "very nasty and vicious" campaign for 10 to 12 years and named Lord Blaker — formerly Blackpool South — and ex-sports minister Robert Atkins, MP for South Ribble, as having mounted the conspiracy against him. Oyston told Liverpool Crown Court that he had 48 hours of tape recordings of conversations between Lord Blaker, Mr Atkins, Blackpool businessman William Harrison, a man named Michael Murrin "and a whole range of other senior people in the Conservative party" and that the tapes showed Blaker, Harrison and Atkins "were running a conspiracy against me and members of the North West Labour Party." [11] Oyston served 3 years of a six-year sentence.

Writing

He has written 'Small Is Dangerous' (1985) was subtitled 'Micro States in a Macro World' which was edited by Sheila Harden. This emerged from a study group appointed by the David Davies Memorial Institute with texts adopted by consensus of a group consisting of Blaker as chairman, Donald Anderson, Hugh Hannig, Rosalyn Higgens, David Kessop, Patrick Keatley, Peter Lyon, Patrick Mayhew, Malcolm Shaw, Jack Spence and Donald Cameron Watt. Among the areas covered were the Falklands Islands and Grenada.[12]



References

  1. ‘BLAKER, Cedric’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, 1920–2007; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007
  2. ‘BLAKER’, Who's Who 2008, A & C Black, 2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007
  3. ‘BLAKER’, Who's Who 2008, A & C Black, 2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007
  4. ‘BLAKER’, Who's Who 2008, A & C Black, 2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007
  5. ‘BLAKER’, Who's Who 2008, A & C Black, 2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007
  6. Dr Julian Lewis MP 'Fellow-Travelling Generals Re-Emerge' Freedom Today – April 1991
  7. Quoted by Julian Lewis MP on his official website
  8. All-Party Parliamentary Group on Conflict Issues, Members & Supporters (accessed 29 January 2009
  9. ‘DIXON, Sir Pierson (John)’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, 1920–2007; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007
  10. Andrew Rosthorn, 'Our Friends in the North West: The Owen Oyston Affair', Lobster 34, 1998
  11. 'Oyston names conspirators', Lancashire Evening Telegraph, 9 May 1996
  12. Mark Bray, 'Small countries in international development', Journal of Development Studies, Volume 23, Issue 2 January 1987 , pages 295 - 300