You may have heard of the Jury Team, with hero of the Glasgow Airport terror attack, John Smeaton, standing for Parliament in the coming Glasgow by-election. They slipped in a few votes in the EP elections – 75,000 odd which isn’t bad for a party which only started this year.
The Party claims to believe in motherhood and apple pie politics, and is another marketing effort (just as Nigel Farage is trying to score corruption points against Bercow in Buckingham) trying to exploit the fall-out from the expenses scandal, by offering funding to independent candidates, and a catchy marketing theme and badge. The attempt to change politics could be genuine and is no doubt completely genuine amongst the party’s supporters, but scepticism would not be amiss.
The Party was set up by Paul Judge (Pictured at top/John Smeaton hero above), who made money through a buy-out in the 1980s, and has had a few investment ‘failures’ more recently and a messy divorce from his first wife and mother of his sons. He has also had dealing with Charities, which sounds nice, until you read things like this from the judge who heard his divorce case –
One of the appeal judges, Lord Justice Lawrence Collins, said of Sir Paul: “He was presented to the court as a successful and eminent businessman. But I remain disturbed about the way in which he used the charity to fund his own enterprises while simultaneously taking advantage of gift aid, especially when coupled with the relativity with which he seems to approach the concept of moral obligation.” The result of the appeal was an undeserved windfall, the judge said.
Jury Team sounds a little bit less motherhood and apple pie all of a sudden. People should remember that just as there is money in charity, there is also money to be made in politics.
UKIP is little different, being housed, run and controlled by a single businessman in Solihull Mike Nattras MEP. Only his ‘mates’ progress in the party, and as Marta Andreassen MEP, ex-UKIP Treasurer found, the accountability of Party funds seems to be decidedly lacking. Farage is known to have spent £2 million over ten years, which he has yet to account for.
People sending donations to such institutions might stop and think as to where their money might really be going.
Big party politics is being attacked for its corrupt practices. The evidence, however, is very much that the small parties, the ones making hay and hoping to gain votes by attacking them, are tarred with the corruption, lack of accountability brush to a greater or equal degree.
Yet the BBC never exposes their true nature, as the entrepreneurial and energetic smaller parties, as well as being dreadfully corrupt, are almost all eurosceptic. They fracture the eurosceptic movement away from the Conservatives, helping Brussels to keep Britain divided, suppressed and ruled.
Once the Parties are in the grip of an individual controlling figure, they never seem to be able to break free again. All the enthusiasm, youth and vigour at ground level, gets lost in a bog of greed and slime, worthy of Mugabe.
UKIP’s controller, for example, secured his position by a break-in at the previous Head Office in London, in which all the computers and equipment were physically removed, cutting off the Southern wing of the Party.
Jury Team hasn’t advanced to the break-in stage yet, but as donation and other money starts flowing in, the old saw about ‘leopards and spots’ will no doubt apply.
Unlike UKIP, the history on the BNP and its leadership is well publicised, as the overt racism and holocaust denial is more clearly illegal. There is no point in my cataloging the same history here. If interested, read Nick Griffin’s story at ‘The Real BNP’.
But to see again the role money plays in politics, just read the last paragraph –
Pictured – Griffin fund-raising in the USA
‘Griffin hopes that these (international) links will stand him in good stead if he gets elected to the European Parliament in 2009. Becoming an MEP is important to him because it would enhance his political respectability and influence, but the prime incentive for him is the chance to get his hands on a pot of money in the form of an MEP’s salary and expenses. And if enough far-right MEPs can put aside their nationalist rivalries and form a bloc, they will benefit from a further €1 million a year as well as committee positions and enhanced speaking rights. It would transform the BNP.’
In Griffin’s case, his hatred of various groups of people, probably outweighs his greed for money. But either way, politics and wealth are inextricably intertwined at the minor party level. Those who desire power, seem to also desire wealth.
David Cameron seems determined to clean up the tarnished image of British politics. After the, by 2010, thirteen years of Labour, the task is massive. With the Blairs, corruption and its attendant dishonesty, started right at the top, right from the beginning with his famous Formula One lying(‘I’m a pretty honest sort of a guy’), and it went on ever since, with Mandelson too achieving multi-millionaire status along with the Blairs, without any obvious source for their wealth, which appeared as if from nowhere as they left office. (Oh and I nearly forgot the master practitioner John 2 Jags Prescott (below with actress Jodie Marsh!)
Boris Johnson seems to be good with money, finding he can make massive savings and save taxpayers billions once Cuddly Ken was sent packing by voters. He’s more entertained by language, and managing things well than filling his pockets. It seems that being willing to be seen riding around on a bicycle is a good start in judging if someone is going to turn out corrupt.
If you want the stink of politics tidied up, you need old money to do it. Theft seems less attractive to those brought up with money. It’s the newcomers who seem unable to help themselves from filling their pockets at the public’s expense.
Kelly Brook does bike ride for Boris Johnson. Followed by Cameron and Osborne having a go!