Tuesday, 27 March 2012
GWPF: Follow the Money
Well I said that it was a shame Liam Fox resigned just as the scandal was getting interesting, and it seems I was right.
If you recall, Fox managed to wind up his charity The Atlantic Bridge (TAB) just before it had to answer some awkward questions to the Charities Commission. The Atlantic Bridge seemed to exist to link the Tories to the loony tunes Tea Party end of American politics, and one of its close allies was the American Legislative Exchange Council, a Koch Industries funded climate change denial front group.
The Atlantic Bridge was operated out of Fox's tax payer funded office by his friend Adam Werrity, whose unofficial role as Fox's advisor and roving ambassadore caused Liam to resign.
A major donor to Atlantic Bridge was billionaire Michael Hintze, he gave £104,000 and free office space to Atlantic Bridge. Piddling small change to him. Here he is on facebook. 21 people seem to like him.
Not to beat around the bush, hedge fund manager Hintze is in the news again today. Twice.
Firstly he turned up yesterday as one of the big donors to the Tory Party wined and dined at Cameron's place after the election. As a £1.5 million donor to the party that counts as a very expensive buffet. I hope there was at least a chocolate fountain.
Secondly the Guardian is today claiming that Hintze is the mysterious big donors to Nigel Lawson's climate change denial group The Global Warming Policy Foundation.
The evidence is a reply he gave to an unnamed environmental group in which he indicated his support for Nigella's Dad, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer and the architect of the last-recession-but-one.
The identity of this chap has been a mystery for a while. A judge recently refused to order the GWPF to name him on the grounds that, lunches with the current Chancellor not withstanding, the group was not particularly influential. With only 143 members that may seem fair enough, but Lawson did get to have lunch with George Osborne, which is something Friends of the Earth hasn't managed despite having a thousand times as many members.
So it appears Hintze, by means of his bulging wallet, has managed to get the ear of both the Prime Minister and, indirectly, the Chancellor. No wonder the 'greenest government ever' is looking a sort of sludgy brown at the moment.