Lord Ashcroft and What Money Can Buy

n Kipling’s haunting short story, The Man Who Would be King, the adventurers Dravot and Carnehan tire of the regulations of British India. “You can’t lift a spade, nor chip a rock, nor look for oil nor anything like that without all the government saying – ‘Leave it alone and let us govern’,” Carnehan tells the narrator before heading to the remote land of Kafiristan to overawe the natives.

Dravot and Carnehan are dishevelled vagrants on the edge of British society, but they know that small, backward countries are the easiest to dominate. They only have to fire their western rifles for the Kafiristanis to believe they are gods.

Money works as well as weapons and lawyers as well as soldiers. Throughout the summer, many of the 300,000 inhabitants of the small country of Belize have been revolting against the domination of Michael Ashcroft, the deputy chairman of the Conservative party. The Belize government seized control of Telemedia, the principal communications company, and the prime minister, Dean Barrow, raised the standard of anti-colonial liberation. “There will be no more suffering of this one man’s campaign to subjugate an entire nation to his will,” he cried.
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One thought on “Lord Ashcroft and What Money Can Buy

  1. Andrew Marr had to have a particular question, this week, the one slightly different from the others, to show that Cameron was getting what Brown had got, something out of left-field, or from the internet, as it happens – it was his turn now. But I have to wonder at the need for asking David Cameron how much he is worth. There will be very few people who watch his programme that won’t know he is wealthy and has a rich wife. What’s in the difference between, say, 13 millions and 30 millions of any real interest, indeed, any political interest?
    But big money, however, is more important when someone like Ashcroft has it and how he uses it, which is very different as to how Cameron will use his, as Nick Cohen shows.
    So not moving from the personal question theme was a mistake and was easily dealt with by his guest. If only Marr had put Cameron on the spot about Ashcroft instead; Ashcroft should be pursued in every interview with all the party’s shadow cabinet, I would have thought.

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