The serially clueless Tim Montgomerie, promoted way beyond his level as soon as a real newspaper gave him a column, has been giving the impression of late that he is a great patriot, someone who wants the best for Britain and hates to see anyone do down our country. I have to tell anyone thus persuaded that he is nothing of the sort: Monty is interested only in More And Bigger Paycheques For Himself Personally Now.
And while Monty is filling his boots as a member - however undeserving - of the Pundit Establishment, pretending to enjoy superior insights into the world of politics, he is also, whisper it quietly, a “fellow” of the Legatum Institute, which used to be a moderately liberal think tank until last year, when, as Private Eye pointed out in Issue 1454 (Page 13 RHS), Philippa Stroud took over and the whole set-up lurched to the right.
Shades there of the Henry Jackson Society. Along with Baroness Stroud, Matthew Elliott, most recently of Vote Leave and a founder of the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance, has arrived at Legatum. The TPA is dedicated to demonising Government in order to run it down and thus make it smaller. “Almost the entire staff has left or been fired” an ex-staffer at Legatum told the Eye. And Monty is very, very sensitive about the organisation.
While The Great Man is ever ready to lay into the hated BBC - “Nine (I think) regular presenters of BBC Radio 4’s #WeekinWestminster. Not one of them back Brexit. At least five are Remainers” is typical, and is equally ill-informed - when someone mentions or - perish the thought - criticises Legatum, it’s a different story.
After he pontificated “To all those Remainiacs who say Britain is over. You don’t know Britain” (abuse masquerading as snazzy new buzzword: check!), and was challenged by one Tweeter who asked “Hey Timmie why are you part of Legatum which is run by a disaster capitalist from New Zealand and what money did it give Vote Leave?” he chose to lie his way out of it, claiming “I’m not”. But he is (see HERE).
And when the Mail on Sunday thundered “Putin's link to Boris and Gove's Brexit 'coup' revealed: Tycoon who netted millions from Russian gas deal funds think tank that helped write the ministers letter demanding May take a tougher stance on leaving the EU” today, going on to tell “[Legatum], which operates from a townhouse in London’s affluent Mayfair, was set up using some of the fortune that secretive New Zealand-born tycoon Christopher Chandler made with brother Richard from a string of investments, some of which were made during the ‘wild capitalism’ of the post-Soviet economy”, he flipped.
“Mail on Sunday becoming like the Sunday Sport” he whined. But the investigative net is tightening on the Legatum Institute: quite apart from the Eye and MoS, Open Democracy are now on its case, with Peter Geoghegan telling “Meet the charity who are funded by Dubai-based disaster capitalists, have unrivalled access to Brexit ministers and think the Irish border can be solved with drones … I've had a long look at Legatum”.
You can see his findings HERE. So what is the patriotic Tim Montgomerie doing, getting involved in an outfit backed by disaster capitalists who would be at the front of the queue for bargains if Brexit sent the UK economy down the pan? And why is he so sensitive about it all? As Private Eye might have put it, I think we should be told.