PADDY McGUFFIN tires of the Establishment parties' wranglings over an EU election which none seems to really want to win, but which none will leave to the others
Christ on a bike! Are these elections not over yet? I know it’s important, but for God’s sake you can barely get through your front door at night for all the canvassers and flyers for people you’ve never heard of and have no interest in meeting.
It’s like being under siege from a particularly annoying branch of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The strange thing is that no-one, apart from the bit-part players, actually seems that keen on winning a European seat.
All the main parties involved have the air of Premiership teams facing a potential Europa League place next season.
They don’t really want it, it’s a lot of hassle, but they’re damned if they’re going to let anyone else have it. Cameron and his Tory chums are so terrified that they’ll be out-bigoted by Ukip that the PM has issued a statement urging people not to exercise their protest vote in that direction.
This is what passes for smart politics these days — a politician so reviled people will vote for anyone else rather than him, telling people how to vote. Well that should win them over. If he’d actually told people to vote Ukip he’d have been quids in. How times have (vaguely) changed.
It used to be the BNP he was worried about but happily they appear to have been all but annexed. Now it’s the swivel-eyed loons he’s fretting about. Still he might not have to worry. If the Ukip campaign hits any more icebergs it’ll have to be rechristened the Titanic.
This week saw its most high-profile Asian member, Sanya-Jeet Thandi, hit the ejector seat having apparently realised the party she’s been championing for who knows how long doesn’t like immigrants. It’s like someone who spends all day in Wetherspoons then is shocked to discover all her mates are alcoholics.
And what exactly was the final straw? I mean, Thandi didn’t seem to have a problem with Godfrey Bloom banging on about bongo bongo land and calling female party members sluts. Nor when another member went all biblical on the gays. That was all just good fun presumably.
She accused the party of “exploiting the stupidity of ignorant anti-immigrant voters.” Am I the only one who thinks she might not have been a Mensa candidate herself? After all, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck — stick an orange up its arse and whack it in the oven.
Still, now she’s raised her profile she’ll walk straight into the Tory Party. It could be swapsies for Neil Hamilton although they’d bite her hand off at the moment. Which, although I may just be being cynical here, could just have been the point of the exercise.
The Tories could do with some good news after one of their own high-profile supporters was done for massive tax avoidance this week.
It transpired that uber-Tory and full-time Windsor worrier Gary Barlow and two other members of Take That had dodged paying vast amounts of income tax through a £66 million investment in Icebreaker partnerships.
Queue renditions of “I want you’re tax, I want your tax for good” and “a million bank notes (funnelled through an offshore tax haven).” There have been calls for him to hand back his OBE — ooh that’s harsh! How about a bit of jail time, eh?
However his best chum Cameron leapt to his defence, saying: “Gary Barlow has done a huge amount for the country, he’s raised money for charity; he has done very well for Children in Need.” This of course conveniently neglects to mention the fact there would be a lot fewer children in need if Barlow and his fellow boy band millionaire wasters had coughed up their fair share.
This, you will no doubt recall, is in stark contrast to his response when comic Jimmy Carr was found to have been involved in a similar scheme. Carr was one stop away from being consigned to the Tower as a traitor.But then — as has been amply illustrated — Cameron has a rather different interpretation of the rules when it comes to his friends.
A case in point being the revelation this week that his party has been exploiting a loophole (sound familiar?) in the electoral rules by funnelling hundreds of thousands of pounds’ worth of donations through a secretive dining club that allows donors to keep their identity hidden.
New figures released yesterday show that in the last four months the Tories have received £140,000 by an organisation called the United and Cecil Club to fund election campaigns in marginal seats.
The money was given by donors at lunches and dinners attended by senior Tories including, amusingly, Justice Minister Chris Grayling and that scourge of benefit cheats Iain Duncan Smith.
Now how could two upstanding members of the Establishment such as this pair be involved in any wrongdoing? And, speaking of Europe, right wingers and the Establishment, it emerged yesterday that Prince Harry is on a visit to Estonia, home of the Waffen SS.
I hope he hasn’t packed his uniform.