Writing, life, politics

My Advice to Former Undercover PC Mark Kennedy

The story of PC Mark Kennedy, a.k.a. eco-activist Mark “Flash” Stone, is like something out of a Hollywood movie:

He turned up with long hair, tattoos and an insatiable appetite for climbing trees. Few people suspected anything odd of the man who introduced himself as Mark Stone on a dairy farm turned spiritual sanctuary in North Yorkshire.

He had come alone on 12 August 2003, in the middle of a heatwave, for a gathering of environmental activists known as Earth First.

Apart from the fact that “Stone” was apparently well-paid and ate meat, he appeared no different from the hundreds of other activists who gathered under marquees to smoke weed, play guitars and plan protests.

What no one could have known was that, despite appearances, the 33-year-old “freelance climber” was actually PC Mark Kennedy, an undercover police officer beginning an audacious operation to live deep undercover among environmental activists.

Source: The Guardian [Full Story…]

But after seven years undercover the story took a sensational turn.

Kennedy’s personal journey also appears to have ended with a remarkable twist. In recent weeks, after protesters discovered his hidden identity and circulated news that he was a police agent, Kennedy is said to have “gone native”. He has expressed remorse to betrayed friends and is seeking some way of securing redemption.

Kennedy is now living abroad, but recent developments suggest his desire for redemption is sincere. In email exchanges with activists and their lawyer, Kennedy talked of taking a “leap of faith”, giving the defence evidence that would “assist” them. “I want to help,” he said.

Kennedy is now apparently in the USA, but what should he do now? Well I think the course of action he needs to take now is clear. See, when I said that his story was “like something out of a Hollywood movie” I was speaking only a partial truth. It is like something out of a Hollywood movie, but only the start of one. There is half a story here, a beginning that leads to personal growth and then to a painful transformation, but there is no ending, no redemptive arc.

Kennedy needs to get back into the environmental movement, openly, as himself, offering the insights that only a poacher turned gamekeeper can offer, and endeavour to earn the forgiveness of those who once counted him a friend but now consider him an enemy.

Because only then is his story complete. And only then is his story option-able to a Hollywood movie-studio for a shitload of money.


  1. Sasha

    Maybe in the film, he re-wins the heart of the woman he used for years to make his cover story seem more believable. Then takes his real wife and kids, moves somewhere they allow polygamy and they all live happy ever after.

    • Jonny Nexus

      Yeah, when I read that he’d had a relationship with one of the female activists, I did think that it was pretty sick (not actually rape, but sort of heading in that direction). But I forgot that when typing the post.

      Staying in my possibly tasteless vein though, I’d say that for a film story, you’d want him to leave his wife (who would be portrayed as pushy, selfish, and generally wrong for him in a not letting him be the person he could be sort of way) and end up getting back with the female activist, who would forgive him.

      I say this because people seem to see situations where a man has an affair and ends up leaving his wife for his mistress as quite romantic, but by contrast see those situations where a man has an affair but then goes back to his wife as very unromantic (with the wife being portrayed as either a doormat or a selfish shrew who puts her materialistic lifestyle ahead of love or respect).

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