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Sunday 11 April 2010

Swiss Precision Movement?

Once again, I was watching this morning’s Andy Marr Show while using the laptop, and once again I was therefore not giving my full attention to proceedings. But I did catch a little of Marr’s interview with Lord Pearson, the new leader of UKIP, who did a less than convincing job of painting the EU as some kind of frightening and alien body drawing the UK’s lifeblood out of it, possibly because it isn’t.

But the Pearson interview was most notable for his admission that his party is being funded, if only in part, by a Swiss born banker called Henry Angest. Who he? Well, Angest, who has for many years held UK citizenship, has given and loaned millions to the Tories, but has also given to other groups which are anti-EU, climate change “sceptics”, or allied to the far right in the US via a group called the Atlantic Bridge.

Is the “far right” tag justified when considering Atlantic Bridge? A look at its US counterpart proves instructive. We see a contribution not just from “Dick” Cheney, but bearing the mark of our old friends Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse). Or, to cap it all, a piece from the National Review Online by contributing editor Andrew C McCarthy on the supposed horrors of closing Guantánamo, complete with calling the US judiciary “terrorist friendly” and trying to frighten folks with visions of Al-Qaeda operatives walking out of US prisons to, well, terrorise the populus.

And Angest is hot on other topics: he has gone on record as saying that “If we want a thriving economy, we must rein back the dead hand of government, restrain the consumer lobby and stop the do-gooders wasting our resources”. Business, for Angest, clearly knows best and should be allowed to please itself – with the get out clause that waste of resources is someone else’s fault, which is most convenient.

As a piece in today’s Observer notes, Angest is a UK citizen, but his tax status is unknown. He may be domiciled in the UK for tax purposes, but equally could enjoy non domicile status. Another “non dom” who has given and loaned millions to the Tories, and supports anti EU, anti climate change and US right wing groups? Not exactly what Young Dave needs to be defending right now.

But, as today’s information from the PA wire shows, he may have to.

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