Guido Fawkes, libertarian…and Paul Staines, media mogul.

When it comes to the Establishment, I think it would probably be fair to observe that Guido Fawkes is against it, and Paul Staines is already in collusion with it…..perhaps even a willing member. Again, you must look at the facts and decide for yourselves.

The trappings of elite wealth appear, by now, to be in abundance: his wife Orla owns at least two properties in London – a house in Clerkenwell and a flat in Wandsworth – while the couple are also understood to have a substantial place in County Wexford, as well as a holiday home in France. So if he succeeds in his avowed aim of smashing the UK’s established socio-political system, the New Order is unlikely to oppose property ownership. How is Paul making the money to hold up his end of the marriage?

As we’ve already seen, is owned offshore – by Global and General Nominees (G&GN), a Nevis-registered firm. This effectively deters all but the most determined litigants, as those wanting to sue are required to deposit $25,000 in court before any libel action can even get off the ground.

In 2006, as his readership began to grow, Staines fairly astutely decided that there could be serious money in blogging about the money-grubbing antics of others. In a nutshell, he set up a media-sales company to ‘represent’ bloggers – or put another way, make money out of the Establishment. With fellow-founder Alex Hilton (also a journalist and blogger) he formed Messagespace.

G&GN is the majority shareholder in Messagespace’s owner EOS Online Media Ltd. Not entirely philanthropic, the media shop also sells space on Guido’s site – as well as for Hilton’s own Recess Monkey, and Iain Dale’s blog. The ‘about us’ page of the company’s website lists some notably radical libertarian clients, for example the Cooperative Bank, the Labour Party, the Liberal Democratic Party and the Conservative Party. Obviously, while Guido Fawkes rips into these corrupt, crypto-Soviet pillars of the Left, Paul Staines is delighted to take their money. So if his ruse to break the system from the inside succeeds, Staines will do himself out of a job on all fronts.

Even harder to understand is Paul choosing to go into business with Alex Hilton; for from the perspective of libertarian politics, Alex Hilton represents spawn of the Devil. He is the editor of Labourhome, and was until 2006 a Labour Councillor in Redbridge. In 2005 he lost Canterbury to the Tories, and is currently the prospective New Labour candidate for Chelsea & Fulham.

This dazzling political career led Wikipedia to note that Hilton ‘has been presented as a “grassroots political guru”’. And that may well be true, because Alex has since formed another company, Gamechanger. The site-blurb for this consultancy claims that ‘Game Changer is a one-stop campaign consultancy for public relations, media training, public affairs and digital engagement. We specialise in devising and implementing targeted and integrated campaigns that raise awareness and initiate change through the power of social networks.’
So to summarise, far-Right and utterly committed anti-Establishment terrorist Paul Staines went into business with a member of the Government Party. A bloke who is now a candidate for that Party – as well as being an advisor about media training – that very media training which teaches politicians how to evade questions from the press, or lie. The same press whose ‘too cosy’ relationship with ghastly Establishment toadies Staines is at pains to excoriate.
Alex Hilton left Messagespace not because Staines discovered the awful truth that he was a double-agent, but because the ever-tolerant Labour Party threatened to freeze Hilton out of the Left if he didn’t withdraw from all interests in EOS Online.
It has been suggested to me that right-wing blogger Iain Dale has also taken an investment in EOS, but I’m unable to stand that up – and anyway he is largely tangential to the story. The only point at which he’s more centrally involved in the career of Paul Staines concerns their mutual interest in Lord Ashcroft.
Staines and Dale are friends, and share (at the very least) some political views – plus a lot of business aims. The print magazine Total Politics launched by Iain Dale in 2008 is specifically aimed at the opinion-leading political Establishment. It is bankrolled by Lord Ashcroft, a man who probably represents (along with the Four Taxis for Hire) the major personification of corruption and undue monetary influence in contemporary British politics. Writing in his Guido Fawkes persona, Staines wrote on March 9th this year:
‘For the avoidance of doubt, Guido’s blog is an editorially independent, for profit enterprise. If James Murdoch, the Barclay Brothers, Charlie Whelan or Michael Ashcroft want to buy Guido’s blog, he is open to offers. Until that day the editorial line of this blog is determined by Guido alone…’
Amen to that. But here and there on, a bit of Paul Staines keeps poking through the silly mask. He has a crack at Ashcroft, but in sympathy with the Tories rather than anger at The System:
‘There is growing resentment in some quarters with Michael Ashcroft, the feeling is that his Lordship has unnecessarily made difficulties for the Tories by waiting till this late moment to come clean. There is also a concern that in deciding to sue, at this time, the Indy (over allegations of corruption) he is guaranteeing more bad headlines during the campaign.’
It’s all a bit “I say there Mikey, play the white man old boy” rather than ‘Smash the System’.
Overall, for a man so implacably opposed to the ruling elite to have so many friends and partners at the front of that top-drawer seems odd in the extreme. If, that is, you accept that he really is against the system… opposed to wanting to collapse this one – so he can dominate the new one.
Which brings us neatly to the concluding part of this Slog Bonfire Day Special: what do we think Paul Staines wants to be after he tires of being Guido Fawkes?