Sir Alan agreed with Mandelson.
“Marmon has a file full of metaphorical green ink letters. All sorts of evil wished upon him.”
“I didn’t see any such file in his home,” I told them.
“That’s because I have it,” said Mandelson. “He gave it to me a few days ago. At the diner that we had here. The one you were just asking about. And, Detective Rosewood. It is full…Just full of what I surmise are juicy leads for you. It’s a file full of nothing but Far-Right hate mail.”
Ch 19 – The Letter
“I was going to show it to Nick Clegg, tonight,” Mandelson told me. “Such a high profile figure as Marmon receiving such a torrent of bile and abuse. The police have only detained a fraction of those leavers who want to do Bixby emotional and even physical harm. Its a disgrace really, it is.
Do you know someone approached him, holding a milkshake, just last week?
Luckily Anna Soubry was with him. And she grabbed the person and shoved him into a Pillar Box. Then sat on him until the police arrived.
Actually it turned out the person was probably just a passer by. Wrong place, wrong time. But you can never be too careful. No charges were brought. The Milkshake holder was a Remainer. So lucky escape, I say.”
He looked over at the other people in the Reform Club and I followed his gaze.
Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. Having drinks or a meal. Just a boozy, social, night out. Interest in our table had waned.
“I can arrange to have copies of the file sent to you if you would like,” Peter offered me.
“I would like,” I told him. I would like very much. Juicy leads are just what I wanted.
Though not too many. There’s only me and Dacia working the case.
“Did Bixby mention anything specific to you? Anyone following him? Figures in the street? Calls to his phone with
no reply? Circling drones?”
Mandelson and Stuart glanced at each other. They found this idea less amusing than the one of Bixby having only a few enemies.
I noticed Mandelson give a slight nod to Stuart. Sir Alan then told me, “Bixby had received a strange letter. Normal letter. Hand delivered. Not electronic. Claiming to be from the “Sons of Tommy.” They are a very radical, anti-everything bunch.
Brexiteers who insist on No Deal and No Trade and No Immigration of any kind, by anyone, ever. They are the ones who were supposed to have been behind the original Town Hall action. A splinter group from the Blue Jackets.”
The Blue Jackets were just the British version of the French Yellow Vest protesters. Only in Blue Hiz-viz jackets. With catchy slogans printed on them. So they were a walking protest slogan when they marched.
Blue Jackets as a name was very clever. Taking inspiration from the French movement. So instantly capturing the idea of what they were about. But also as Bluejacket was a term for both Royal Navy and US Navy sailors. The protest organisers had been seeking United States funding and assistance and recognition of their movement. And there were many veterans among the marchers.
It all started promisingly. However, as always happens, extreme elements were attracted. The marches became rallies. Became flashpoints. Became demonstrations and then plain old rioting and looting. And support from the middle classes waned.
However, once Brexit was denied for a third time, after the third 50.01% leave to 49.99% remain, they started marching again. In greater numbers than before.
Robinson was a part of it of course. As were many others. They had a LOT of support, but in limited places. Then extreme violence flared up, but only by a handful of those taking part in the wider movement. The whole Brexit Anarchy action group probably was attractive to only 1% of the population.
Violent and threatening. And sounding off about everything under the sun, from face coverings to face painting. They would have died out. Gone the way of football hooliganism and the BNP. If the authorities hadn’t done their usual dumb trick of arresting and outlawing every person connected with them who had expressed even only a mild grievance.
So, there were many arrests. A Catalan level of policing was carried out. Arrests of pensioners who were wearing the A-UK symbol. Who had done nothing more than man a leaflet stall.
Mothers who registered support had their children taken into care. Even though the support was simply a tweet, ‘Out Now!’
And, of course, the HATE FIGURE himself, Tommy, NHRN, Robinson. He was arrested at least once a week on the thinnest of evidence.
The Westminster panic was total. New laws were passed almost every day. No face coverings in public. No printed political signs in public. All hastily withdrawn when the government realised it was now criminalising religious minorities and Greenpeace.
The public reacted with fury at the continuing chaos and ineptness, and bias of the ruling bodies.
When the Town Hall campaign began, instead of a half a percent of support for violence and direct action, there was tens of thousands wanting to show their anger.
Three hundred Town Halls were identified by the new, more radicalised, BlueJacket Movement.
Nice, fat, soft targets. Plump symbols of the state. Town Halls. Defended by nothing more than a CCTV tape and a security glass door.
The corporate home of the excessive waste of local government.
On the first night, three went up in flames. Caused a shock.
Next night, ten. And predictably, all without a real response from the government, who resorted to inaction in case they made a bad situation worse. Which, by doing nothing, they did.
By the weekend, with copycats and general vandalism, plus the get-even grudger’s, over two hundred Town Halls had been attacked.
By Monday, finally, the response. All police leave cancelled and private security drafted in on good contracts. Then, the military on the streets.
I was drafted in for the Department. Not the worst duty I ever had. Being stationed in a County Council building. Sitting into the night in the lap of luxury watching state of the art surveillance equipment. Drinking Waitrose’s finest coffee and feeding the staff’s tropical fish. With a skeleton of the council’s own staff in attendance through the night.
My Sergeant and I had a very timid blonde lady from their administration department, who we spent the time with. Trying to shock her with our outlandish, and mostly exaggerated police tales, of extreme violence and our extreme heroism in the face of it.
A good duty that was. Not often you get the chance to eat chocolate Hobnobs while half the country is burning. A very good duty. Until we were drafted in for the Robinson arrest.
But I already told you about that.
Within a few weeks all the Blue Jacket leaders were under permanent arrest and curfew and a new tax to pay for the damage caused, meant that the movement sank.
The early support was lost once taxpayers were told the bill for rebuilding was coming from additional council taxes. And then Woolaston, formerly of the forgotten C-Uk-Tigs, now an MEP for the rejuvenated Lib Dems, arranged to have legislation passed that Remain voters would be exempt.
Explained as Remain voters would never burn down the EU’s coastal state NW region, property. So they couldn’t be held liable.
And so it all kicked off again.
Bad times for everyone. Northern Ireland 1970’s across the entire nation. Except Scotland. Who had their own cushy deal with both EU and UK.
The ongoing violence and daily obstructions to normal life continued.
Enough mental reminiscing. Time I focused on the issue at hand.
“What was in the letter?” I asked them both.
“It said something about “The sons of Tommy” holding Bixby personally responsible for the failure to pass Art 59. The leave without paying the hundred and thirty nine billion pounds to the EU, one.’ Marmon was opposing it all the way. As I’m sure you know.
The letter said that he would ‘Pay for his treachery. Be “Squashed from existence.
Like a bug.”
“And why was that more worrying for Lord Bixby than any of the other letters he received?”
“Well..as I said..It was the reference to the ‘Sons of Tommy’ that really worried him.
Sounded a bit..I suppose..like an Old Provisional IRA cell, sort of thing. Usually these nutters rant and scream their impotence at us through their letters. But they aren’t really harmful. Though we pretend they are to elicit sympathy and stop any more groups sprouting up.
But this sounded more organised. More as if the letter sender might be one of the insurgent group members. Some of the Faragist, TBP types have gone quite off the deep end since the UK put in for membership of Common Market 2.0.”
With good cause, I thought.
“How long ago did he receive this letter, Lord Mandelson?” I asked him.
“Oh, only a short while. A week. Perhaps ten days ago, I suppose. I’m not suggesting this letter IS connected to his disappearance, in any way, you understand?”
“I’m just thinking that it was something that Marmon showed to me that he was worried about. Perhaps there is a hint that it was in some way connected to his sudden absence.”
“I understand,” I told him. Though I didn’t understand why he was labouring the point. Or rather, I didn’t understand just yet. But I’m sure I would. Because as I keep telling the clients, and you readers, I really am a very, very good Investigator.
“And because it was sent to his home address,” Lord Peter continued. Staring right at me as if he wanted to make sure I was understanding what he was saying to me.
“Not to his work, campaign group offices or the House of Lords. But to his house.
Someone knew where to find him.”
“Its not hard too find that out. Public domain. Its pretty simple.” I told them.
“But to deliver the letter to the door? Through the locked gates of the Grounds?
Without being seen. And without any CCTV or body image, or latent heat trace?
Bixby checked the cameras. There was nothing.”
“I see.” I said. That actually was odd. Delivering a letter without body-image trace.
That wasn’t so hard to do. But it took some technical skill and some planning.
Showed a level of technical expertise above ‘mindless anarchic thug.’
“How could the sender have done that, Detective Rosewood?” Sir Alan asked me.
“I’d do it by drone.” I replied. “Fly very high, until directly above the premises. Then drop down to the door and drop the letter. Same way AmaZrones do.”
But that wasn’t totally convincing. There should be some traces. I suppose Bixby wouldn’t have known what time it was delivered. He wouldn’t have checked hours of images. Only the most recent footage. Or maybe none if the monitor display said no physical presence. But I would think his system would have a remote monitor. That service should have some records. I probably could find something on his CCTV set up. I’d seen the cameras at sensors at his house. Looked like a top of the range system. Given a time frame. I would need to ask Vanessa to get the CCTV monitoring service to give me a call so we could see what had arrived at Bixby’s house. She would authorise them to speak with me.
I’d ask her later or call her tomorrow to set that up. Right now, this letter.
“There was also a number on the back of the envelope, Detective. A PIN number.” Sir
Alan said to me.
“Really? A PIN number for what?”
“Marmon said it was his own bank account PIN number.”
Unexpectedly, Sir Alan took an envelope from inside his jacket pocket and handed over a letter to me. Which, with some reservations, I took. There would be enough prints on it by now, that a few more of mine wouldn’t obliterate anything that wasn’t already made unusable, I consoled myself with that thought as I examined the item.
The envelope was printed but in script so that it appeared handwritten.
“Is that the letter?” Lady Vanessa asked him. She had been very quiet. Saying hardly a word as the two men spoke to me. Now she sat forwards and peered at the envelope.
“Yes,” Sir Alan confirmed.
To Sir Marmon-Herrington Bixby esq.
Which was normal enough.
Though the word, WANKPUPPET 0406 printed in bold capitals on the back, was less so.
“0406?” I said to Vanessa. I thought I wouldn’t mention the Wankpuppet bit in the present company. She suddenly looked even more pale.
Her eyes widened and she replied, “Yes. That’s his PIN number. For our joint account. 0406. It’s also the day and month of my birthday.”
To be continued….
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file