Monday, March 30, 2009

Stuart Wheeler And Wealthy Idiots

Part of me thinks Dave 'The Rave' Cameron has played a very astute political game these last few days. On the Jacqui Smith debacle I thought he was very cool not calling for her resignation. If Brown has an ounce of sense her departure will come, probably when the dust has settled a little and it doesn't look like the man in charge has reacted to the mob.

Where Dave was so cool was the way he rubbed her nose in it in a very gentlemanly manner. He could almost have said: "Leave the poor girl alone, hubby was caught looking at naughties and we all know, the whole world. She must be mortified the poor little thing. The whole world is embarrassed for her". Bang, credibility of Home Secretary zero. In fact minus zero as her reputation was crap anyway.

Then up pops another super-rich entrepeneur to prove that making a mint doesn't make you intelligent. Step forward Mr Stuart Wheeler, quaintly described as 'spread betting millionaire'. What is it with UKIP and bookies? Now, Wheeler, I think he must be especially stupid. Donating £100,000 to a party's EU election budget is a bit like cobbing a bag of Sainsbury's ice cubes into the Arctic, or is it the Antarctic I can never remember, thinking it will save the Polar ice-caps.

No, by donating to UKIP Wheeler was trying to force Dave's hand, nothing more nothing less. But Dave called his bluff by chucking him out of the Tory Party for publicly supporting a rival party. Like Declan Ganley, who I will get to shortly, Wheeler has proved that making a wedge doesn't automatically make you a good politician. Quite the opposite in fact, people with pots of money lose their brains when they buy a football club, or try buying a political party, and end up looking and acting like complete clowns. Best to quietly make your donation then take a back seat. It also makes me think that if the Tories can sack a man who a few years ago gave them £5m, then they must have some very serious donors in the wings.

Now then, time for a pop at Declan Ganley. As I have blogged previously, here, I also think Declan is a chap with more money than sense. He was shocked that the UK accepted Lisbon immediately after the Irish voted no. I said then, and I repeat, that shows a naivety about the EU on a quite frightening scale. They don't listen to the people when they vote 'the wrong way' in a referendum, they just hold a second referendum and get the result they wanted. Ask the Danes, the Dutch, the French and the Irish, soon to have their re-run referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Ganley, in the meantime, will waste a lot more time and money standing Libertas candidates in the June European elections trying to reform the EU.

There Wheeler and Ganley diverge. The one thing they do have in common is a naive view that EU withdrawal (Wheeler possibly) or reform (Ganley) can be achieved by electing MEPs. Wrong, they do not have the power.

Electing MEPs does nothing whatsoever to further the cause of UK independence. I say that with confidence having worked for nearly five years for a UKIP MEP. Only our Parliament in Westminster can withdraw us from the EU. If all 70 or so MEPs in the UK after June represented UKIP so what? They would still be a mere 70 out of 500 or more. Since 1999 UKIP have gone backwards in terms of UK local and national elections and that, to those of us who had such high hopes in 2004 and before, is a very sad situation but true.

Mr Wheeler would have spent his £100,000 more wisely urging UK voters to boycott the June elections, increased turnout only gives the EU a veneer of democracy and returns people who are only interested in lining their pockets. Let's face it, the MEPs are the only politicians in the world who still, just about, make British MPs look like paragons of virtue and decency. And to UKIP I say, let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

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