How do we know who to trust?

THE national news story about the spies infiltrating groups of environmental campaigners reminds me of similar happenings locally.

In the Eighties and Nineties, the Druridge Bay Campaign was very active opposing nuclear power stations at the bay.

It was especially sensitive when the drilling rigs were in situ.

The Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) organised detailed drilling at Hemscott Hill and spent six months investigating the land there, followed by detailed drawing up of plans.

Around this time, our campaign was going from strength to strength and was very inclusive, encouraging people from all walks of life and of all opinions to support it.

How does one know who to trust? One man got really pally, attended a few events with us and gained our confidence. I don’t think he found out anything very sensational.

However, later, we spotted him having cosy chats with the CEGB’s front man, and we realised that all was not as it seemed.

It is a very strange feeling, being spied upon. I still see this man on odd occasions, and although we don’t speak, and sort of pretend we have forgotten these incidents, we both know what we are thinking.

I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a spy.

How can you be friendly, knowing you are deceiving those who trust you?

And what must it have felt like for those environmental campaigners, released now from charges, to discover that their colleague was deceiving them? And who else might be doing it?

It must give them a shivery feeling of unease.