Jinnie’s Story – Book Two, Chapter Twenty

Jinnie’s idea

WorthingGooner, Going Postal
The evils the Third Reich have inflicted on us and the rest of the occupied nations.
Paris, Parade deutscher Panzer,
Ernst Herrmann
Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

Jinnie was in the unit’s minibus on the way to the shooting competition in Southampton when her mobile rang and a voice said, “Please hold for the Prime Minister.” Seconds later the now familiar voice of the PM came out of the speaker. “Good Morning Miss Walsh, I know that my time is hardly up but I am an impatient person and I am itching to find out what you have to tell me.” Jinnie thought for a moment and then replied, “Good Morning, Sir. I am currently on a minibus heading to a shooting competition in Southampton. I would love to chat but I’m not in the best of positions at the moment.”

The PM was quiet for a few seconds and then said, “OK I understand, would it be possible for you to come to No 10 tomorrow afternoon, I am free after lunch. Say about 3 o’clock. If you present yourself to the police at the pedestrian entrance to Downing Street I will arrange for you to be escorted to the rear entrance. Be sure to bring your SIS card to identify yourself. Larry is looking forward to meeting you again.” Jinnie replied, “Right Sir, I will see you tomorrow.” And the phone went dead. Jinnie glanced around the minibus and saw that several of the occupants were watching her, so she calmly smiled at them, said nothing, killed the call and popped her phone into her pocket.

Jinnie didn’t let the phone call disturb her too much and still won her match, helping the team win the competition. Once again there were moans about the Cambridge team fielding a “ringer” when they spotted Jinnie’s snipers badge. It was pointed out to them in no uncertain terms that she was a student at Cambridge, a genuine member of the CUOTC and was such a good shot she had passed the sniper course. In the end they backed down but were clearly not happy. In the minibus on the way back, Jinnie spent the time sorting out in her head what she was going to say to the Prime Minister.

Jinnie got back to a very happy house on Saturday evening. Nigel was happy because Camilla was staying for the weekend. Carole was happy because she had scored a goal and got an assist on another when playing for the college, then she had learnt she was to play for the university the following weekend. Her only worry was that she could get injured playing for the college on Wednesday afternoon. Finally, Jason had played for the seconds for the first time as a selection and not as a stand-in. He had been delighted with his performance and had been picked to play for them again on Wednesday. To top off a winning day Jinnie suggested a Saturday night takeaway and after a bit of a discussion it was decided that it was to be a curry night.

Jinnie pulled her Mini up at the gates to Downing Street and an armed policeman approached her and said, “Move on, you can’t stop here.” Jinnie gave her name and told him the PM had told her to report to the officer on the gate. Without taking his eyes off her, or his finger away from alongside the trigger of his semi-automatic, the officer called out to the man on the pedestrian gate. He wandered over clutching a clipboard, checked her name, her driving license, her UK identity card, her SIS office pass and then called over another colleague. A quick word later and the new colleague climbed into the front passenger seat. He directed her down Parliament Street, around Parliament Square, up Great George Street and right into Horse Guards Road before turning into the far end of Downing Street and round to a back entrance that was a high timber black painted door set in the wall to the back garden. Despite the huge ‘No Parking’ signs and video cameras everywhere the officer pointed to a spot and said, “Park there, and I will ensure that it is OK.” He then lead her to the back door which opened as if by magic as they approached.

Jinnie was led across the garden, which she hadn’t realised was so extensive, and into the complex of Downing Street buildings. A secretary took over and took her through a labyrinth of corridors and staircases to the PM’s office. The secretary knocked and announced her name. Mr Farage rose from behind his desk and invited her to sit on one of the sofas while asking the secretary to supply tea and biscuits. No sooner than Jinnie had sat down than Larry the Cat appeared, as if from nowhere, and jumped on her lap. The PM declared, “That cat must have super perception! I swear he was asleep in the general office under the desk of the girl who gives him cat treats.”

Jinnie was sure that the staff must keep a tray laid and a kettle boiling because of the speed at which the tea arrived. She settled back, feeding Larry bits of custard cream which he crunched up noisily, while the PM asked Jinnie to report. Jinnie explained that virtually everyone she and her friends had talked with had been supportive of the various resistance groups and invariably favoured supplying arms, materials and even cash, but were much more doubtful about fighting with them or for them. The PM said he had heard similar stories from many of the other people he had asked to investigate for him. He just didn’t think that the British people were ready to take part in another war so soon after the end of the last one.

Larry now full of biscuit, stretched and made himself comfortable and closed his eyes, however his ears remained twitching. Jinnie explained her theory, that Larry was listening to every word that was said and would make somebody a great spy with the access he had to all departments. The PM laughed and said that had never occurred to him and he would have to have Larry scanned for German bugs.

The PM then said that he was sure that Jinnie hadn’t wanted to talk about Larry. She explained that she felt what the populous needed was a good reason to fight the Germans again and to that end, she had been asking people what they knew of the ‘Final Solution’ and had discovered that few knew anything and most of those that did only had only a very vague idea. The PM admitted that he had been briefed on what had happened when he came to power but it had been almost as if he was being told a state secret.

Jinnie explained that her idea was, perhaps a long term plan, but the PM had said to her previously if he was to go ahead with an attempt to free some of the occupied nations it was a long term plan while strength was built up and planning was undertaken. The PM agreed that was his thinking but at the moment it didn’t seem possible if the population were not in favour. Jinnie explained that her idea was to take a leaf out of the Nazis book and use propaganda. But unlike the Germans not to brief fake news but to flood the airways and media with stories of the ‘Final Solution’. Of the clearances of Golders Green and Leeds, the extermination of millions of Russian soldiers, the resettlement of the New Territories and the disappearance of British officers, political opponents, gays and communists.

Jinnie continued by suggesting that it was really a now or never situation, as the number of people who had been alive at the time and could tell the tale was rapidly shrinking. She said in an ideal world the education would begin in school and follow through with TV and radio programs aimed at various age groups and both newspaper and magazine articles. But there wasn’t time for that, they needed to get underway as soon as possible and start getting programmes on TV and in the press. The PM said he liked the idea, he needed to talk to a few people urgently to check if it was practical and perhaps get things moving. He strolled to his desk and buzzed his secretary and told her to get on the Secretaries for Education; Culture, Media and Sport; the Director-General of the BBC, the Home Secretary, Secretary for War and the Directors of the Security Service (MI5) and the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). I want them here in 30 minutes or if they can’t make it then to join by video conference. No excuses, they are to drop whatever they are doing. It is top secret and urgent.

Turning to Jinnie the PM said, “It’s such a lovely afternoon let’s go for a stroll around the garden while we wait for the others to turn up and we can have the meeting in the Cabinet Room, it is set up for video conferencing which my office isn’t. While we walk you can tell me what else you have been thinking about. I am good at reading people and I am sure you have something else up your sleeve.” With that, he got up and headed for the door. Jinnie carefully moved Larry to the floor and followed the PM. Larry followed her. The PM took them all down in his private lift and out into the garden. Jinnie was impressed and wondered what a garden this size would cost in central London. All the time Larry trotted at Jinnie’s side like a little dog.

As they strolled under the trees at the edge of the lawn towards the statue of Earl Kitchener Jinnie told the Prime Minister of her idea. She started by explaining to him how she had been told all about the evacuation of Golders Green by someone who had lived in the area at the time, the story of the disappeared officers, the takeover of the New Territories, and the story of the extermination camps, had all been told to her by Resistance members. All that information had convinced her that the Nazis were pure evil and needed fighting. If she could be convinced then so could anybody in the country, provided that the right people told the story. It had to involve real people, like the people who told her. Ethel was dead and obviously could not help personally but her life story could. However, she was sure that the 3 oldies, Fred, Jimmy and Bert, at the Potters Bar retirement home would be only too happy to help. The Security Service must have records of other living Resistance members from those early days who would be willing to help. People like Pandora who had done so much to reveal to her what the Nazis had done, get her on TV. The military must have records of the disappeared, how about interviews with their descendants? The SIS must have knowledge of what had happened/was happening in the extermination camps, leak it to the press.

The PM fell silent while he digested the idea and they turned back towards the house. Suddenly he stopped, squatted down next to Larry and said to the cat while stroking him, “Well I don’t know about you Larry, old man, but she has convinced me.” Turning to Jinnie he said, “Right we have a story to tell and I have some orders to issue. The sooner we get this moving the better. Tomorrow I will get the Department for Trade and Industry and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy involved, I will have to talk with the Commonwealth nations and the Yanks. I am going to be very busy sorting this plan out.

Entering the Cabinet meeting room someone tried to stop Larry, but he wasn’t having it, he hissed and got his claws out until he was allowed to sit on a chair next to Jinnie where he curled up happy to be with his new friend. Of the seven people summoned only the Education Secretary hadn’t been able to make it in person and she was on a secure video link from her home on the Wirral. The PM opened the meeting by telling them what they were about to hear was top secret and under no circumstances was to leak. If it did he was going to find the leaker and they would not only be sacked but they would be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act. As he had only formulated this plan in the last hour and they were the only people in the world who were in on it, therefore it would make identification of the guilty party simple.

Mr Farage could see the members of the group looking questioningly at Jinnie so he introduced her as an SIS officer and one of his strategic thinkers who had suggested an approach and was there to help them all to understand what parts they were going to play in the overall plan. The PM continued, “I know are all aware, because I have spoken to you either individually or in cabinet, of my hope to come to the aid of other occupied nations. Some of you already know this, but for the others, this afternoon I can reveal to you that representatives of both Italy and France have been in contact with us, looking for help freeing themselves from occupation. In the case of France, they have also been talking to Spain and Portugal.” He continued, “It is clear that at the moment the population while supporting us in supplying arms and ammunition to resistance movements have little appetite for actually committing our forces to physically fighting. Why? I think it is because they do not fully appreciate the evils the Third Reich have inflicted on us and the rest of the occupied nations. They were more than happy to fight to obtain their own freedoms but why should they risk British lives for other countries? Well, Jinnie has suggested the reason why the people think as they do and a solution to the problem and that is why I have gathered you at such short notice. You are going to start to implement this solution and you are going to start today.”

The Prime Minister went on to explain, just how a short while ago Jinnie had explained to him that the people needed a reason to want to come to the assistance of France and Italy and what better reason than a hatred of the occupier rather than the current indifference. That because the atrocities committed by the Germans on British people had been so long ago they had been forgotten by almost all but the very old and while under German occupation had been airbrushed out of history by the so-called Ministry of Information for the later generations. He believed that what was needed was a re-education program to tell the British what had been done to them by the Germans. So from this day onwards he was ordering them to start an information campaign to tell the people just what had happened to Britain and the other occupied nations.

He gave them four days to come back to a meeting to explain how their various departments were going to start their campaigns and how they were going to coordinate them. He told them he wanted to see TV programs, radio programs, newspaper and magazine articles, educational curriculums changed, the intelligence services sharing knowledge of resistance attacks in the Third Reich with the media and them being reported by the media. He talked about the almost daily incidents of resistance attacks that passed across his desk but received little reporting. Where was the World Service in this? What were they doing to counter the lies being put out by the Nazi Ministry of Information, were the SIS telling the media about incidents? He suggested to them that they talk to the few remaining people who had formed the original English Resistance Army and had seen the destruction of Golders Green and the Chapeltown area of Leeds. He told them that to start them off Jinnie could give them three names of people who had been in the English resistance and were eyewitnesses.

Finally, he called for questions. The first thing questioned was the timetable and how unreasonable it was to expect them to come up with ideas in only four days. Then it was money, who was going to pay for the new programmes and how did he expect curriculum changes to be implemented when the school year had already started? The Prime Minister’s answer to all these questions was, “Just do as you are instructed or you will be replaced by someone who will carry out the instructions”. Finally the Secretary for Culture, Media and Sport asked if he could have the names and contact details of the three Resistance people Jinnie knew of as he intended to call in TV executives, newspaper and magazine editors the following morning and needed to give them leads. The PM smiled and whispered to Jinnie, “At least one of them gets it.” Jinnie whispered back, “Out of courtesy I really need to speak to them first. I will drive there directly once this meeting is finished and consult with them. Can I get his secretary’s contact details and pass their details on later this evening, if they agree?”

As the meeting broke up the PM asked for a word with the head of the SIS. Much to Jinnie’s embarrassment he then proceeded to point out to him that she was one of his officers, she had carried out missions for the ERA, she was now at Cambridge with SIS sponsorship. She had already carried out missions for the SIS, she was an expert shot, a linguist and why if he, the PM, knew all this about her, why didn’t her boss? How many other people in the service were there like her? Jinnie started to worry that this wasn’t going to do her career any good. But the Prime Minister was ahead of her. He said to the SIS Director, “I know that you are new in this job, that you are still feeling your way in and are currently having to rely on your senior people and department heads. I just wanted to point out the talent that you have to work with if you can cut through the deadwood at the top.” The SIS Director nodded his agreement and said he had already been developing plans to prune the management structure and that within a couple of weeks he would be presenting them for the PM’s approval.

As Jinnie left the conference room Larry was still asleep on the chair. The PM said, “I am afraid he is getting old and is not as active as he used to be. I will have to consider getting a younger replacement as the rodent problem here needs to be kept in hand.” As Jinnie drove through North London heading towards Potters Bar, she couldn’t help but wonder if Larry would enjoy retirement as a house cat in Cambridge? Those thoughts went out of her mind when she drove into the visitor’s car park at the oldie’s retirement home and spotted her sisters distinctive turquoise blue Micra in the staff car park. Jinnie remembered the door entry code but thought it probably better not to let herself in, so she pressed the button labelled ‘visitor’, gave her name and said she was there to visit Bert. A few moments later she heard Bert’s voice over the intercom asking if it was really her. When she replied he immediately buzzed her in. She made her way to Bert’s apartment and he was standing at the door waiting for her.

Bert greeted her with a hug and told her that he had already called Jimmy and Fred to come to his apartment. He then mentioned that her sister was due to make him his tea that evening so she would be around sometime soon. Jimmy and Fred were as delighted to see her as Bert was and wanted to know what she was doing visiting them during term time. When Jinnie said she had been having a meeting with the Prime Minister and some of the cabinet, and that she had come to ask a favour of them, they looked at her in amazement. Jinnie explained that what she was about to tell them was secret, but she knew they were capable of keeping a secret from their ERA days. She then explained to them the plan to educate the population on the ‘Final Solution’ and other Nazi crimes, but didn’t explain the real reason simply saying that the PM thought that the population needed the knowledge. As she finished she realised Penny had come in partway through the tale and was standing behind her.

The three oldies talked amongst themselves for a moment or two before asking would they have to go to a TV studio. Jinnie said she wasn’t sure, but it would mean that if they agreed then it would mean a lot of interviews for TV, radio and newspapers and it might be tiring. Bert explained that was not what bothered them, since the War of Liberation life had been too quiet for them and they would actually rather like the thought of a trip out to be interviewed!

Jinnie stayed for tea, Jamaica Ginger cake and a chat with the oldies, while Penny moved on to her last call. With the oldies verbal agreement to help in any way possible including trying to put the media in touch with other ERA members, Jinnie headed for her car with the intention of phoning the media secretary’s assistant. However, she found her sister waiting for her by her Mini. Penny was not as easily hoodwinked as the oldies and was full of questions. She obviously had realised that there was an ulterior motive to the ‘education’ programme and made it clear that she had worked out that it was so the forces could take the fight to the Germans on the mainland of Europe. Jinnie explained that she was sworn to secrecy and could tell her nothing. Penny’s reply was OK, but she wanted in. Jinnie told her there was plenty of time for that as it was a long term plan with nothing happening for two or three years. Jinnie knew Penny wasn’t going to be easy to put off so she decided to ask the PM if there was a place for Penny in the plans.

Penny then told Jinnie that her school had helped her apply to Cambridge, they and Oxford had an October deadline as opposed to January for other universities. She had been given a time and date for an interview in late November. The interview was fairly early in the morning so Jinnie suggested that she drive up the evening before and stay overnight in her house so that she would be certain to get there on time. They could have a meal together and Jinnie could show her the city. Carole’s room was virtually unused, she decided to ask her if Penny could use it for the night.

In Chapter 21 – Plans start to come together.

© WorthingGooner 2021