Who is Running the United Kingdom?
This is the opening narrative of a blog intended to enlighten readers of the political dogma and background of many of the political and unelected advisors that are now governing the Kingdom. It will be a lengthy but informative mind-blowing read.
Sir James Goldsmith – 1933-1997 – Billionaire with a Cause
Goldsmith was an Anglo-French billionaire crusading politician who fought to change the future of Europe. He was also a high-flying financial buccaneer and unconventional family man, who shared homes in London, Paris, Burgundy, Spain, and Mexico with three women. His aristocratic wife, Annabel, his ex-wife and former secretary, Ginette, and his mistress, Laure Boulay de la Meurthe.
May 1997: Vanity Fair contributing editor Sally Bedell Smith summarised his career in an informative but sanitized article
- For Goldsmith, being attacked meant being noticed, and being noticed meant being taken seriously. “It shows the effect we have had,” he said. “We have woken up the electorate.” “We” is the Referendum Party, the renegade political movement that he launched in November 1994 with a single goal: to pressure the British government into giving its citizens a chance to vote on the extent of their involvement in the European Union. Goldsmith pledged to spend as much as $30 million of his $2 billion self-made fortune and to field Referendum Party candidates in the 1997 general election against every member of Parliament who opposed such a plebiscite.
2. Having multiplied his fortune as a brash corporate raider in the United States during the 1980s, Goldsmith seems an unlikely politician. But his retreat from business led him to question many of his assumptions about the world. He came to believe that global free trade would lead to severe societal dislocations. He also concluded that the movement to unify Europe politically, as well as economically, would restrict national sovereignty and undermine democracy as unelected European Union bureaucrats assumed greater control. “European nations are deeply rooted,” he said. “You cannot push nations against their will.” As a citizen of both France and England, he decided to take action in both countries. In France, he was elected to the European Parliament, and he is running for the British Parliament in 1997 as a candidate of his own Referendum Party.
3. Sir James Goldsmith won’t be elected prime minister, and he may not even be elected to the House of Commons, but as many have noted, he has already altered both the mood and the thinking in Britain about the value of a unified Europe and has shown how one man with energy, ideas, and independent means can elevate a political concern into a national preoccupation.
4. The father of eight children, Goldsmith also lives a famously unconventional life. His brother, Edward, known as Teddy, once called him “a natural tribal polygamist.” Goldsmith has a wife in London, a British aristocrat born Annabel Vane-Tempest-Stewart, the sister of the Marquess of Londonderry, and the inspiration for the eponymous nightclub on London’s Berkeley Square. On the other side of the Channel, he has an ex-wife (the former Ginette Lery, his one-time secretary) and a mistress (Laure Boulay de la Meurthe, a wellborn French magazine editor), who live in two parts of the same house in Paris. Like an Arab pasha, Goldsmith moves among all three households, supporting everyone with lavish generosity.
5. His rhetoric is direct and withering. A year ago British prime minister John Major dismissed Goldsmith as “living in cloud-cuckoo-land.” Goldsmith had always voted Conservative, but he thinks the current Conservative government is “appalling on all the most important issues that matter for me.” Major, in Goldsmith’s view, “doesn’t dare lead. He thinks leadership is equilibrium. He is the ultimate rubber man.” Nor does Goldsmith have much use for Tony Blair and his “New Labour” image. Labour, he says, has become “the soft Conservative Party. They are all one party.”
6. The impetus for the Referendum Party came when Goldsmith concluded he could have a greater impact in Britain because democratic traditions are stronger there than on the Continent. The British people had been given a referendum on Europe in 1975, and they (including Goldsmith) had voted decisively for the Common Market—then defined as an economic alliance of individual nations. Goldsmith reasoned that since the alliance had changed into a more far-reaching political union the British citizenry should be given a choice again.
7. When Goldsmith joined the debate, the Euro-skeptic movement was well underway in the Conservative ranks. Euro-skepticism had been embraced by only a small group of Tories in Parliament until Maastricht when more of them became angered by regulations passed by the European Commission in Brussels which took precedence over laws passed in Westminster. Concerned about the strengthening of European bureaucracy and its effect on Britain’s democratic sovereignty, more and more Tories began joining the Euro-skeptic wing.
8. Since Goldsmith’s party started making headlines in the spring of 1996, public concern about the direction of the European Union had risen sharply. “We have achieved our primary objective,” said Goldsmith, “from Europe being the 13th point on the agenda to being right at the top.”
9. After 18 years in power, the Conservative Party had lost ground with the British electorate despite the country’s economic boom. The Tories succeeded by squashing the unions, trimming social-welfare programs, privatizing key state-owned industries, and promoting a free market for business. But since his election as Labour Party leader in the spring of 1994, Tony Blair had captured the public imagination by moving the Labour Party to the center. On nearly every economic issue, Blair’s party has co-opted Tory positions—pledging, for example, not to increase public spending or raise taxes. As a result, the Labour Party had held a consistent lead of some 20 points over the Tories in the months before the 1997election.
Full article here: https://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/1997/05/goldsmith199705
Some members of his family
His second wife, Lady Annabelle Vane-Tempest Stewart – Daughter of 8th Marquess of Londonderry
His Most notable children
Jemima Marcelle Goldsmith: Ex-wife of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Ahmed Khan: Ex-partner of actor Hugh Grant
Zac Goldsmith’ Baron Goldsmith of Richmond Park. Husband of 2nd wife Alice Miranda Rothschild.
Benjamin James Goldsmith