Guardian’s Michael Savage regurgitated a story last week about a new centrist party that exists inside the mind of former DVD door-to-door salesman Simon Franks. Franks, who sold his DVD “business” to multi-billion pound tax dodgers Amazon, chose to re-invent his public image as: Philanthropist. He has traveled the world visiting countries whose inhabitants endure poor housing, non-existent public services, desperately low wages and poor education facilities due to tax-dodging international companies exploiting the people in those countries. Franks has managed to get himself appointed to various quangos around the world to feed his egotistical need for self-publicity. He is a keen believer that charity should replace fiscal funding so that characters like him can engorge themselves on spurious popularity and enjoy control over millions of lives.
Last year, Franks created a company called Project One Movement that might be a future accessory to a new “centrist” political party, or it might not. In Savage on Franks the facelessness and namelessness of Savage’s account casts doubt on whether the plan for the party is real.
“The movement, spearheaded by a former Labour benefactor [no name. Franks?], is understood [translation: understood = cannot be proven yet] to have been drawn up by a group [no names] frustrated by the tribal nature of politics, the polarisation caused by Brexit and the standard of political leadership on all sides. It appears [translation: appears = cannot be proven yet] to have a centrist policy platform that borrows ideas from both left and right. Senior figures [no names] from the worlds of business and charity are understood [see translation above] to be involved, as well as former supporters [no names] of the main parties, including a number of former Tory donors. Sources [no names] say the project, led by the multi-millionaire philanthropist and founder of LoveFilm, Simon Franks, has had full-time staff members for as long as a year. Initial discussions are said to have begun [said by whom] at the end of 2016. Franks has set up a company, Project One Movement for the UK, which is likely [translation: likely = cannot be proven yet] to be the vehicle for the enterprise. Some of those [who?] involved have apparently [translation: apparently = cannot be proven yet] been keen for the project to concentrate on funding community activism, rather than becoming a formal political party. A final decision has not yet been taken, but there is said to be [by whom?] a consensus that the movement will run candidates at the next election, due in 2022, should the current parties be deemed to be failing. Some form of political movement [very vague] could be launched later this year.”
Savage’s keenness for no information and oodles of suggestion made his article seem parodic. Was he mocking the vague plans of Franks, was he having fun with perceptions of a typical Guardian article or was he serious?
Despite the lack of any details or surety about Franks’ plans, the spectre of a new centrist party is always worth decapitating.
The problem with Westminster politics has been the similarity of the main parties’ respective intents. Worshippers at the altar of the money markets – Blair, Brown, Clegg, Cable, Cameron, Osborne, Hammond and May – are the problem. What is needed is a genuine challenge to a status quo full of willing gimps of financial gangsters. There must be a clear dividing line and a large gap between the venal mob and their opponents. Combative, diametrically opposed politics is a necessity.
The new potential centrist parties offer precisely the opposite of combative politics. They offer a drab conformity to a lifeless hodge-podge of nothingness. Savage said Franks’ party would
“be aimed mainly at a liberal, centre-left audience. Potential policy proposals include asking the rich to pay a fairer share of tax, better funding for the NHS and improved social mobility. However, it also backs centre-right ideas on wealth creation and entrepreneurship, and is keen to explore tighter immigration controls. A source said some Brexit supporters are involved.”
That is just a random selection of unconnectable policy proposals most of which are also meaningless on their own. It reads exactly as a parody of what an utterly pointless centrist party would be.
One of Savage’s unnamed sources said
“they [the new party] care about this country and they want to challenge the way things are currently done by our current crop of professional politicians. They want to break the mould of Westminster politics.”
The quote above encapsulates the intrinsic con at the heart of such a new political party: It offers nothing, but it claims to be new and radical. It is fraud. Savage mentioned Emmanuel Macron and his En Marche party as a possible comparison. Yes, Macron conned the French voters into believing he was offering something different but, unsurprisingly, as president he has enacted bog standard conservative policies attacking workers’ rights and promoting xenophobia.
Franks’ plans may or may not be real but the vague account of what his party might offer revealed the emptiness of such a party. Franks has used undeserved wealth to bolster undeserved self-importance and now he wants to use it to create a political party that intends to kill politics. The intent is to stifle oppositional politics and replace it with soulless compromise anti-politics with the stench of decomposition and then, just like Macron, it will be another conservative party. It stinks.