Friday, 29 August 2014

So not part of the establishment

Apparently, the political establishment has been thrown into a state of panic, now that some back bench MP known only to party political anoraks has defected to a party which isn't yet represented by a single member of parliament. Something called Dods' political biography calls Douglas Carswell 'Tall and Eurosceptic ... one of his [now ex-] party's radical thinkers.'

Yes, two of the three most interesting things they can find to mention about Ukip's great white hope are his height and the fact that he's a "radical" (about the most meaningless term in the contemporary political lexicon), so we can safely ignore him for ever and turn our attention from the monkey to the organ grinder, one Stuart Wheeler, the millionaire Ukip donor who's recently been 'wining and dining' lots of innocent Tory MPs before finally seducing Carswell in his puce-upholstered boudoir. Here's an extract from a 2011 portrait by Matthew Bell in the Independent:
Charming and witty, he is one of those embarrassed Old Etonians. He dines at White's, he's good at bridge ("I'm about the two- or three-thousandth best player in England"), and he divides his time between Mayfair and Chilham Castle, a Jacobean jewel in Kent that he bought nine years ago...

...How he came to be sitting in a multi-million pound penthouse beneath a portrait of Margaret Thatcher, which he bought for over £250,000, is an extraordinary story. Born to a 42-year-old spinster in 1935, she gave birth in secret and immediately put him up for adoption. He was brought up by an American banking heir, Alexander Wheeler, and his wife Betty Gibbons, the daughter of a baronet...

...Wheeler's public life only really began, as he knew it would, with that £5m donation [to the Conservative Party, around the turn of the century] After Eton, he did national service in the Welsh Guards before reading law at Oxford, working as a barrister and a merchant banker before setting up IG in 1974. Politics became his hobby in 2000, when he was introduced to William Hague at a dinner at White's and, impressed by the young leader, made a donation of £15,000.
So there's the driving force behind your grass-roots, anti-establishment political earthquake. As per Owen Jones 'It says all too much about the narrowing of democracy that those presented as outsiders are the establishment in undiluted form.'