I first ran into Steve Crowther at a meeting of the SWRC about 4 years ago. I did not understand why he was there but it appeared he had been invited by the late Malcolm Wood. He introduced himself to me and then attempted to ingratiate himself. I have met numerous people like Mr Crowther during my time in the civil service. They all wanted something. With Mr Crowther it was obvious he wanted to worm himself into the UKIP SW. I was polite but distant with him.
My reason? I had no idea who he was and I still don't. My career is a matter of public record. It is the same for all serious people in politics. But I can find no history of Mr Crowther. On the web he states he worked in London for 30 years as a journalist and busnessman. What business was he in? Where was he published? I would be grateful for any answers as I can find no record of Mr Crowther. Its the same as trying to trace details to support Farage' s claims of a successful and lucrative career in the City. Its dificult to find verifiable facts.
So Mr Crowther pops up and soon he is Party Chairman a post in the gift of the great leader. What fact checking did Farage do about this man. It is reported on the web that he was previously in the LibDems, a party known for its rabid Europhilia. It would appear that Mr Crowther has suffered a Pauline conversion on the road to the money pots of Brussels. Has he beeen a success? Well it seems he made a complete Horlicks of entering UKIP candidates for the London Assembly elections but as long as he retains the favour of the Fuhrer that will all be forgotten.
Then we have the old Tories seeking to reinvent their political careers. Mr Helmer is a typical example. I met Mr Helmer at a West Coker. Alan Sked was also there. Alan, UKIP's founder, was a man of integrity, brains and principles. Me Helmer was just another old Tory looking for a new home which it seems he has now found. But at least Mr Helmer's history is verifiable.
Unfortunately so is Mr and Mrs Hamilton's history a matter of public record. UKIP's problem is that all these people come with a huge amount of political baggage. Fact checking a personal history is one thing but damaged goods is quite another.
The shame is that UKIP did not have to go down this route. There were lots of talented clean skins in UKIP of high integrity, Del Young & Martin Haslam and Alan Sked to name but a few. Integrity does not seem to come high on the list of requirements for preferement in UKIP.
If anyone can supply a checkable history of Mr Crowther I would be most grateful. Did he go singing in his youth in quiet villages like Mr Farage? Better to find out now than later.