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"I'm not a conspiracy theorist," insists founder of political party Nine Eleven was an Inside Job

THE founder of a political party based around the belief that the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US were an "inside job" insists he is not a conspiracy theorist.
Simon Lane received 66 votes when he stood for for nine eleven is an inside job in Thursday's Croydon North by-election. He set up the party in October because he is convinced the official story about the 2001 suicide attacks which killed 2,996 people "needs further investigation".
"Many people have formed the view that the story we have been told about the events is far from adequate," he told the Advertiser.
"Specifically that the twin towers, and in particular the building referred to as 'building 7', the third building to collapse that day, could not have fallen that way without some kind of 'inside' involvement.
"Given that none of the UK political parties to date have represented this view, I decided to form nine eleven was an inside job to do so."
Despite his controversial beliefs, Lane insists he should not be called a conspiracy theorist. He cites the party's constitution which rules out taking a position on the criminality involved, including "any specific deception, collusion or any other details that may or may not have contributed to these events".
"We believe everyone should be considered innocent until proven guilty in a fair trial," added Lane.
"As such we are not, by definition, conspiracy theorists."
The Oxford Concise Dictionary defines a conspiracy theory as "a belief that some covert but influential organisation is responsible for an unexplained event", which sounds a lot like Lane's views on the attacks. Type 'building 7' into Google and the second result is "conspiracy theory".
It may be eleven years since the attacks but the conspiracy theories remain. Among the most prominent are that US Vice President Dick Cheney ordered the military not to intercept the planes, that the Twin Towers were collapsed by controlled detonations and that the Pentagon was hit by a missile, not American Airlines Flight 77. Each has seemingly been disproved in official reports but the claims have endured.
"There is only one conspiracy theory I talk about," said Lane , "and that is the official one which I describe in my campaign leaflet as being 'rather absurd'.
"I imagine that some people associate the questioning of the 'official' story of nine eleven with tales of bizarre-seeming conspiracies and that, seeing the name of the party, are expecting the same from us.
"However, we have deliberately tried to avoid such conjecture as to who may have done what, whether that be individuals acting alone or as part of or as part of a conspiracy.
"Consequently, the label 'conspiracy theorist' cannot be applied to anyone representing nine eleven was an inside job."
Thursday's by-election was Lane's first involvement in mainstream politics. Previously he was an entrepreneur and claims to have introduced cycle rickshaws, known as pedicabs, to the West End in 1998. For most of the last decade he has been working in computer security.
The story behind how he came to decide that September 11 was an "inside job" sounds almost as mysterious as the theory itself.
He explained: "Like most people, I expect, I did not question the official story for many years.
"In 2008, while living in Japan, I found myself in the company of two quite different people, one an English teacher from Wales, the other a Vietnam War veteran from the United States, who were talking to each other with much agreement about how the collapse of the various buildings could not have happened as presented."
Lane decided to investigate further (at first he found it "somewhat far-fetched") but said he started to be convinced after watching the documentary series Loose Change, a series of four films which argue the attacks were planned and conducted by elements within the US government. More than one million copies of the DVD have been sold and many more millions have watched it online.
After further research Lane decided the British electorate needed to hear the truth and so he waited for news of a by-election.
"I had originally considered running in the Corby but the timing was too tight." said Lane.
"Then I learned there was to be a by-election in Croydon North so I moved here to contest it.
"By-elections are ideal occasions to launch new political parties because the electorate realise they are not going to change the government, however they vote.
"They are less likely to feel the need to vote tactically and so they have the opportunity to vote for whatever representation they would actually prefer to have in Parliament."
Lane said that most of the people who didn't simply close the door in his face also had concerns about what happened that day. Not all his visits were welcome, however. A reporter at the Advertiser recalls Lane knocking at the door looking for the final few signatures he required at 11pm the evening before nominations had to be finalised
Interestingly, his party's founding principle barely featured in his campaign literature (save for the name, which he prefers to be written in lower case). "With limited space available I decided to focus entirely on how I intended to represent the people of this constituency when elected," he said.
When asked why voters here would worry about whether there is something more to September 11, Lane takes a familiar line: no terrorist attacks, no war in Iraq or Afghanistan.
"Our defence spending is huge," he explains. "While millions are cut from the budgets affecting the lives of people in Croydon North, such as education, welfare and housing, billions are found to support the invasion of foreign countries.
"Talking to everyone in this constituency it seems that they feel it would have been better to avoid the cost, both financially and in human terms, and put those resources to better use for building our communities."
Croydon North, however, wasn't read for Lane's beliefs, at least not in the way he links them to the events of September 11.
With just 66 votes (0.3% of the 24,680 who voted) he lost his £500 deposit by some considerable distance. The lease on his flat in Thornton Heath ran out a few hours after the polls closed and now he plans to spend Christmas with his family in Colchester.
So have we seen the last of nine eleven was an inside job?
"Ideally we will be able to find suitable candidates to stand in any other by-elections, should they arise, and I may consider standing again myself," said Lane.
"We may also contest local and European elections too, but our main focus will be the lead-up to the general election in 2015 or, possibly, before."

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