The Thick of It


Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Clean politics: Tory donates £142,000 to his own campaign

Edmonton Tory candidate and nightclub owner Andrew Charalambous has reportedly donated over £142,000 to his own election campaign.

The figures released by the Electoral Commission and first reported by the Financial Times, have since been followed up by the Evening Standard after the local Labour Party highlighted it. I have had reports that Charalambous has paid for mugs with his name on, an air balloon with his face on and has been leafleting local churches. For his sake I really hope he realises that there is a spending limit of around £30-40,000 per candidate, per constituency. I guess that looking at recent results in Andy Love's constituency there isn't much likelihood that Lord Ashcroft's Belize fund would deem it a marginal seat and Charalambous has felt it necessary to dip into his own pockets.

Wouldn't the Tory party have preferred his money to be spent elsewhere?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Being in a Greek household Andrew has thrown leaflet after leaflet through the door, as well as free copies of the local right wing Greek paper Eleftheria. All on glossy card, and saying just the 'right thing'. We kept thinking about the environment. We were getting four or five copies of each glossy card. The great irony being he is something to do with friends of the Earth.

They keep asking "250,000 Greeks in London and no MP of our own ... why?" (it rhymes in Greek, which is kind of cute). And I keep thinking ... "errr because you belong to the wrong bloody party!" I wonder what the numerous Turkish or indeed all the other non-Greeks in Edmonton would make of those leaflets.

Then he tries to play the religious card. Sending out glossy cards with Orthodox icons of the Virgin Mary on one side, and his mug on the other. Given his likeness to Shrek the juxtaposition could not be more incongruous. It also backfired, because lots of little old ladies were complaining that these icons were being thrown on the floor to be trod on! That's the sort of thing the enemies of the Orthodox Church used to do.

He even has an article in the above mentioned Greek newspaper about Easter in Jerusalem, most of which seems to be culled from wikipedia along with the American spelling!

Then he looked decidedly uncomfortable with the Greek Church over Easter. Andy Love was much more relaxed on Good Friday than Andrew Charalambous. Then on Easter night as soon as the choir started singing "Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered..." Andrew left, not staying for the communion service.

But then it doesn't seem like he has many real links with the Orthodox Church. The Evening Standard describes him as a tantric master, and he has links with something that looks like a masonic lodge The little old ladies at Church would be scandalised if they knew.

I stopped voting Labour after the Iraq invasion, in line with my pacifist convictions. I chose to vote Liberal, even though in Edmonton it is a two horse race. This time I will not waste my vote, I'll vote for Andy Love, because I do not want someone playing a 'race' card to insult my intelligence, first by suggesting I should vote for him on the basis of ethnic background, and secondly, pretending to be a faithful Orthodox Christian (I'm not saying he doesn't believe in God) but masonry, disrespect for icons and the practices of Eastern religions like tantra are opposed by that Church.

I'm urging every Greek in Edmonton to do the same ... δεν είμαστε κορόϊδο (we are not fools)!