WORTHING MP Tim Loughton is getting thousands of pounds a year from a rich businessman who admits he wants to profit from Britain's recession misery.
That's the shocking truth about the Tory representative for East Worthing and Shoreham that has emerged from a special Porkbolter investigation.
The facts of the affair are set out in the House of Commons Register of Members' Interests. The latest available version (April 2010) reveals Loughton has received regular payments, adding up to more than £25,800 over just ten months, from one Martyn Rose.
The last two such payments, of £2,859.95, both registered on April 8, have no information regarding when they were actually received, which seems a little unusual. The previous £2,859.95 was received on January 31 this year. Before that, Loughton registered payments of £2,799.10 (all from Rose) for every month from July to December 2009.
The donor status is described as "individual" and the donor address as "private". Loughton classes the arrangement as "sponsorship or financial or material support"> and describes it as "support for the National Citizen Service research project which provides policy support to the Conservative Party on youth matters, for which I co-ordinate research work and provide assistance, provided by Mr Martyn Rose, of London."
The National Citizen Service project is described by the Cabinet Office website as "a flagship initiative supporting the Government's vision for building the Big Society. NCS will act as a gateway to the Big Society for many young people."
As Minister for Children and Families, it is no surprise that Loughton is involved - but surely he should be paid for this work from his ministerial salary? Why is he getting this extra money on the side? And who exactly is Martyn Rose anyway?
Mr Rose is clearly someone who values his privacy and he does not enjoy a high online profile. However, what information there is all points to him being an extremely well connected, highly successful and very rich businessman - and one who is keen to get even richer.
He is chairman of the Conservatives' Big Society Network (see below) and its website (www.thebigsociety.co.uk) explains: "Martyn brings business acumen and a record of success in creating early stage commercial organisations into the sphere of social enterprise. "Qualifying as a barrister and becoming chairman of his first listed company at 34, his eclectic business interests include engineering, radio, football, soft drinks, fine art, financial services and academic software. He has been appointed judge for the Entrepreneur of the Year awards for four consecutive years. Martyn's non-commercial activities embrace co-founding the pressure group, Small Business Bureau [SBB]."
His involvement with the SBB goes back to the 1980s when Margaret Thatcher ruled the land. The Thatcher archives contain a speech she gave to Rose's group in February 1984 in which she stated (or restated!) her determination to remodel Britain along American-style free market capitalist lines. She said: "This means creating a new culture - an enterprise culture - which accords a new status to the entrepreneur and offers him the rewards to match."
This, readers will note, is the greed-is-good philosophy that led to the financial meltdown, the bailing out of the bankers and the 'deficit' which we are now all expected to pay for by losing our public services, our benefits and our right to retire before we drop dead after a lifetime of wage slavery.
But is Martyn Rose embarrassed and repentant about his hand in creating this mess? Not a bit of it! In an interview in Money Week in January 2008 he revealed he was looking forward to the recession that he correctly predicted was "around the corner". He told the magazine it would be good for canny capitalists like him: "A recession is not a bad time because there are opportunities where people are failing, there's fragmentation in the market. Things happen in a recession."
For some of us the things that happen are losing our jobs, or our homes, or fearing for our children's future. But Martyn Rose is rubbing his hands together with glee at the thought of getting even richer at our expense. And Worthing MP Tim Loughton is happy to take thousands of pounds a year from him to help promote his schemes.
Doesn't it make you proud?
* To save money at the town's new swimming facilities a special space-sharing scheme has been introduced in which poor people use the lower part of the pool and and learn to hold their breath.
* Most Worthing people can't afford to go to the cinema at Teville Gate, so they are reduced to saving 50% by taking their kids to see One and a Half D films - and not even in black and white, just black.
* Retirement and pensions have been abolished, but some workshy old people refuse to earn their Big Society Tesco Points by cleaning sewers and wiping the bottoms of the council cabinet. They are swept up by bulldozers and turned into sea defences against the rising tide of climate chaos.
* With all the public toilets closed, Unisex Pissoirs have been set up in the streets, with drainage pipes linking them straight to the cellars of Chapel Road pubs in a unique recycling initiative.
* The bowling green at Beach House Park has long been turned into a tent city for the homeless families of Worthing. But the council wants to evict them all, force them to go and live under rusted corrugated iron sheets in the cold part of Sunderland, and turn the bowling area into allotments to grow asparagus tips for the Worthing Conservative Association Annual Dinner Ponce.
* England disappointingly lose in the knock-out stages of the Euro 2012 Finals in Poland and Ukraine. Some things never change...
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