Lord Pearson of Rannoch – God’s Euro-sceptic
He was termed ‘God’s Euro-sceptic’ by The Daily Telegraph back in 1997: the article merits scrutiny. He is referred to as ‘a man of manic activity (with) the inflexible resolve of an indefatigable, compulsive fighter’. Beneath a kindly humility he is ‘burning with moral fire’. To understand what makes him tick, one has to appreciate that he is inspired not by politics, financial gain or personal ambition, but by an understanding and appreciation of ‘his place and purpose in the universe’: his charity work for the mentally handicapped; his passion for democracy; his anti-corruption stance; his record of helping Soviet and East European dissidents; his remembrance of God and loathing of Socialism all derive from a ‘Manichean vision’ in which ‘evils (are) fighting side by side in (a) cosmic conflict’.
He is a Whig-type of Conservative of the highest calibre, possessing of a formidable intellect and Rottweiler-like tenacity. And he has pledged to broaden UKIP from being perceived as a one-trick, single-issue-obsessed receptacle for the disaffected Tory protest vote to being a party of broad appeal with a credible political manifesto.
And the Conservative Party ought to be worried: very worried indeed.
Lord Pearson’s stated objective is a hung parliament, and this is not an unlikely outcome. He hopes somehow to be able to influence its direction in that neutered state of paralysis, but it is not clear how (considering that only Buckingham is likely to yield a UKIP MP).
His strategy for wider appeal is that he is not only concerned with Britain’s relations with the EU, but also with the rise of Islamo-fascism, for it was he (along with Baroness Cox) who invited Dutch MP Geert Wilders to Parliament to explain his fight against extremist Islam, who was overruled by the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, but who ultimately triumphed despite the threat from Lord Ahmed to bring 10,000 of his co-religionists to Westminster to protest.
He intends to make the fight against ‘radical Islam’ something of a crusade. The reality is that Lord Pearson is intent on bringing the issue of immigration to the next general election, and his intervention may achieve precisely what Sir James Goldsmith achieved back in 1997 with his demand for a referendum on the ‘ever closer union’ of the European Union.
The problem for the Conservative Party is that the juxtaposition of Euro-scepticism with a robust policy on immigration will go down well with the general public, many of whom are horrified about the direction the country is taking, and who, according to The Guardian, ‘want to physically puke every time they see a Westminster MP on television, but who are not prepared for the mental leap of voting for the BNP’.
Lord Pearson is a strong supporter of freedom of speech and a ‘localist’, desiring to introduce Swiss-style referenda on major issues, subject to a million signatures, and to limit Parliament’s remit only to national affairs (so foxhunting, for example, would be decided by local assemblies and local referenda). And he would also reduce the number of MPs to 250, and he favours the re-introduction of grammar schools. He is also a supporter of the pro-field sports and conservation Countryside Alliance.
It is difficult to discern anything that Whiggish Conservatives will not like: he was nominated as ‘Peer of the Year’ by Daniel Hannan. It cannot be forgotten that Lord Pearson leads the party that came second in this year’s Elections to the European Parliament, and has 13 MEPs, which includes Marta Andreasen who leads the opposition to the EU fraud, corruption and false accounting.
Under Lord Pearson, UKIP will become a credible populist party of patriotic appeal (some will term it nationalist zeal). He is fair and decent man (some will term him 'extremist', 'loony' and ‘racist’); he will court the votes of disaffected Conservatives with eloquence and gentle persuasion (which some will term the irrelevant musings of a gadfly).
The reality is that Lord Pearson is not prepared to be complacent on issues in which the other parties are content to be so. He said: “If you are a sheep or a lemming you don’t join UKIP. The party is for original thinkers, lateral thinkers, people who care passionately about our culture and our history and who do not like to see our system of representative parliamentary democracy being broken down.”
The Conservative Party might just find this man rapidly becomes the People’s Peer: the Peer of people’s hearts. He says: “It is very worrying that a large and growing sector of our society is set against our way of life and laws, our treatment of women and our religion.” He is candid about the dangers of a ‘religious, political and legal system all rolled into one’, and is intent on donning the armour of God to battle against the principalities and powers.
He says that he has received veiled threats, but he is not going to keep quiet. Lord Pearson has seen the face of God, and been anointed a prophet: he is a man with a mission. It would be a grave mistake to underestimate him.