It seems that Arron Banks, best pal of former UKIP Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, is following through on his threat to take his bat home from the Kippers, and donate his money to a new party, set up to promote More And Bigger Far-Right Electoral Splits For The Benefit Of Himself Personally Now. Yes, to the already overloaded roster of right-wing whackos has come The Patriotic Alliance.
This name follows the tradition established by the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance, in that there is no alliance of patriots, just as the TPA, which is an Astroturf lobby group run by ideological small state enthusiasts, is not an alliance of taxpayers (it represents less than one tenth of one percent of British taxpayers). The Patriotic Alliance is little more than a vehicle for Banks and his pals to luxuriate in glorious isolation.
So what’s it all about? Here’s the blurb: “The Patriotic Alliance is a grassroots movement built on the success of the EU referendum. By holding the political establishment to account and introducing fresh ideas to the national policy debate, the Alliance aims to capitalise on the huge promise delivered by Brexit. Join us to make Britain fairer, more democratic and more prosperous”. And to that I call bullshit.
The TPA says it’s a grassroots movement, but it isn’t. The political establishment includes Banks, who won’t be holding himself to account any time soon. And the only fresh ideas on offer are going to be the promotion of whoever is daft enough to take the shilling from this particular Banks. Britain will not become more prosperous by sticking two fingers up at the trading bloc on its doorstep which accounted for 45% of our exports in 2014.
So what chance does the Patriotic Alliance have of being taken seriously? Outside the closed and comfortable world of Arron Banks, very little. Quite apart from the ridicule heaped on the Twitter declaration of intent (see it HERE), there is the additional problem that the limited company bearing the Patriotic Alliance name has been dissolved (its secretary is listed as former UKIP leader Lord Pearson of Rannoch).
Another problem is that, apart from Banks’ own propaganda outlet Westmonster, the press has largely ignored this new political force (or the lack of it). Then there is his appearance in the Panama Papers, detailing his offshore interests. And of course his sensitivity to claims that he is an “asset” of Vladimir Vladimirovitch Putin and his gangster cabal running Russia (Banks has threatened to sue over the claims).
Banks claimed the idea of his being a “pro-Russian actor” were “sad little conspiracy which would be completely laughable if it wasn’t such an insult to the millions of ordinary people who are responsible for this modern revolution”. But the Atlantic Council, where the claims originated, is headquartered in Washington DC. It has nothing to do with the Brexit debate.
All of which suggests that the Patriotic Alliance and its finances will be under scrutiny from the start. But good of Arron Banks to respond the the diminishing poll ratings for UKIP by having a Peoples’ Front of Judea moment. Political oblivion is something he and his less than illustrious pals richly deserve.