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About Tim Worstall

In a departure from our normal blogging, a little background on Tim Worstall (that being myself) and why you might want to vote for me in the upcoming UKIP London Region MEP selection process.

I think you should vote for me because I think I would make an excellent MEP: but I agree, that\’s really something I should try and convince you of rather than simply assert. So a little background.

This is what I look like.


Excellent, now that we\’ve scared away any small animals or children who might have found their way here by mistake, yes, this is indeed what the combination of genetics and life experience has led to.

I was born in Torquay in 1963, grew up mostly in Bath (with a couple of years in Naples, Italy as a result of my father\’s Naval career) and was educated at Downside Abbey. I took three years off between school and university, spending most of that time in the US. I then went to the London School of Economics and graduated in 1987. Those six years between leaving school (and on a few other short term occasions since) and getting a job where I could be paid to sit down I spent as a bartender and waiter: yes, I\’ve done hard physical work (there might be those who argue about whether catering is in fact hard work, but not those who have actually done it).

Since then I\’ve made my living in a variety of small businesses ranging from business to business marketing to the distribution of newspapers in Russia. I spent 7 years of the 90s living in Russia and then moved to California to further develop the business started while in Mosscow. That\’s this one, a company specialising in one of the weirder nooks and crannies of the global metals trade. That business would continue to operate if I were to become an MEP but the time requirements are minimal: I doubt any would begrudge me a few hours a week to continue something I\’ve spent well over a decade building. (Oddly, Nigel Farage and I have mutual contacts in that global metals industry but that\’s not what brought me to the party: nor was Nigel\’s being taught at school by my brother in law: they\’re just coincidences).

I\’ve been in Portugal for the past few years and am just finishing off the building work on the desired rural hideaway before coming back to London to work on the all important lead up to the 2009 euro-elections.

Given this background, why am I standing in London? The answer there lies in the second career that has built over the past four years. All of which has been based on this very blog. According to one ranking system it\’s the 30 th most influential blog in the UK and a (just barely squeaks into the) top ten political blog. Those numbers are true as I write this but not too much weight should really be applied to the very contentious methods used to calculate them.

What is perhaps of more import is that a number of editors have taken note of the blog and my writing and subsequently asked me to write more directly for them. For example, I defend one of the more basic concepts of civil liberty in The Times here, that those wrongly jailed are entitled to compensation. More directly applicable here, I argue for one of UKIP\’s tax policies, that we really do need to take the working poor out of the income tax net (again in The Times). Or perhaps you\’d prefer me having a dig at the cult of recycling?

Other places I write include The Register (the online paper for the web and computing crowd), The Spectator\’s online offering, the Adam Smith Institute (where I am also a Fellow) and I\’ve even managed to infiltrate The Guardian on occasion. For anyone who is interested in how I perform on TV, here\’s an example.

That\’s why I\’m standing in London, because that is where the UK media is based. Given that I\’m already involved, that I clearly have the skills to make our case both in print and in person, I can do the most for the party by standing and serving where there is the greatest access to the national media.

I agree that I\’m a fairly new addition to the party itself: I\’ve been gradually reeled in over the past few years by Gawain Towler (who is standing in the SW Region) and Annabelle Fuller of the press office. There have been odd phrases and ideas of mine turning up in UKIP press releases for a couple of years now but my relationship with and membership of the party only became formal this year.

As to more detailed policy views: well, there are some millions of words of mine out there that you can read on the internet. I\’ve no doubt that at least one of my thoughts or positions on one or another matter will infuriate everyone: no, not that any specific view will infuriate everyone, but that of all the thousands laid out one or another will some person. It works for the general public so I can\’t see why it won\’t work for the members of UKIP, but here are two things I would say about this.

The first is that we are indeed united in the knowledge that we have to leave the European Union (no, not "Europe", there\’s nothing wrong with geography, it\’s the political structure that we oppose) if we are to be able to enact any of our desired policies. We cannot have a rational fisheries policy while part of the Common Fisheries Policy, we cannot have our own trade policy while we remain part of the EU, we cannot, in effect, govern ourselves until we are a free and sovereign nation once again. That we might disagree on more minor matters is less important that what unites us.

The second is that in selecting a candidate you are, to paraphrase Edmund Burke, selecting not a delegate to vote on each and every matter as you desire, but a representative. Someone whose general views of the world you trust, someone to represent you and to take decisions upon votes on your behalf. Someone, therefore, whose attitudes and views you trust in general, someone in whom you can put your trust, rather than someone who agrees with you on each and every specific of each and every policy.

A few more detailed points: I would regard being an MEP as a more than full time job: other than those few hours each week required to keep the above mentioned small business ticking over my time would be spent as your representative. There are, to my mind, three things that an elected representative is supposed to do. The first is of course represent the political desires of those who voted for him: in our case that is of course to continue to militate for an exit from the European Union. The second is to be a member of the legislature: again, in our case that\’s while time consuming not all that difficult to describe in outline. To try and stop these people doing anything more foolish than they already are.

The third is one that is more usually connected with Westminster and single member constituencies: to represent all constituents, not just those who voted for the specific member. In relation to Europe that means intervening on behalf of constituents with the bureaucracy. That\’s a task I think I would be very good at: 7 years of living in Russia and 15 of working in the Russian metals trade have given me a number of insights in how to deal with corrupt and indolent bureaucracies.

In our specific case in London there\’s one more thing that desperately needs to be done. We have to rebuild the borough associations. If elected your MEP I would expect to be devoting substantial time to that task. Plus substantial amounts of energy in making sure that we raise the money to keep running the well oiled electoral machine we need and desire.

Finally, it is of course impossible for me to raise every subject, to answer every possible question, in a piece like this. For a start, I\’m not in fact allowed under our electoral rules to contact you to find out what it is that does concern you. So I do urge you to contact me (for then I am indeed allowed to contact you back) with any questions or concerns that you may have. The simplest way is to send me an email ([email protected]) and I can either email you back or if you prefer, let me have a telephone number and a reasonable time to call and I shall do so.

I would like to be one of the UKIP MEPs for the London Region: because I think I would be very good at doing the job, at representing you. The more interesting question is whether you also think that to be true: something I hope to be able to convince you of if you\’d like to contact me.

29 thoughts on “About Tim Worstall”

  1. I will be moving to London just so I can vote for you, Good luck.

    btw what moves are afoot to turn next years poll into a Europe wide default referendum on the EU reverse engineered constitution.

  2. 1. When’s the election?
    2. Does one heve to be a member of UKIP to vote for you?

    Tim adds: Yes, you need to be a member of UKIP London Region to be able to vote in this. More generally, in June 2009 all registered voters in London will be able to vote, that’s when the Euro-elections are.

  3. Sadly I don’t get to vote in the London region.

    There is one issue that you have missed – how to change the perception of UKIP being a single issue group. Until you manage that trick you are always going to come across as a fringe party.

  4. Bloody marvellous. I will be organising my London vote for ’09 forthwith. Even if I have to change my name to Mohammed.

  5. Tim, you cut a dashing figure and at least I’ll know you now if you wander aimlessly into the Aventura bar for a snifter.

    A fine election appeal, containing much good stuff, (incidentally, I have a brother who owns an international metal recycling company) not least of which are the courage of your convictions. sadly Labour Party rules would prevent me advocating a vote for another Party, and I suspect if we delved to deep we would probably disagree on even more. But that is not the point of an election appeal, I suppose.

  6. What are your views on the salaries, expenses and allowances available to MEPs?

    Tim adds: Some of the extant scams are already covered under UKIP internal rules. For example, the practice of charging on expenses a full business fare for travel from the constituency to Brussels (or Strasbourg) and then actually taking an Easyjet flight and pocketing the difference: this is already under our own internal rules not allowed. Further, the rules change immediately after the next election anyway. Salaries will be paid directly by the EU Parliament (instead of as at present, the UK govt.) and will be the same for MEPs from each country. The travel loophole above will be closed. There will still be the €3,500 euro annual long distance travel allowance for “research” trips, but then UKIP MEPs are again not allowed to make use of that (ie, as one British MEP is alledged to have done, take a holiday to Thailand and drop into the EU office there for 30 minutes).

    Overall, the salaries are, I think I’m right in saying that the new ones will be, in the mid £60k level. For me at least that’s a small paycut from what I get now. Travel is dealt with above. There’s an allowance of (new rules) some £35,000 or so to run a constituency office. (Note, this is for an office, not a second home.) Given London rents on office space that doesn’t seem excessive (it might well be in less expensive areas but that’s another matter). Staff pay allowances are of the order of €170,000 a year. That’s perhaps three or four (depending again on where exactly they are employed) people: two in the constituency and two in Brussels/Strasbourg. Again, that doesn’t seem an excessive level of support provided they are all actually working employees. No, no members of my family will receive part of that.

    That leaves the daily subsistence allowance and as far as I’m aware that changes after the next election too and I don’t know exactly what the new system will be. No, I won’t be queuing up at 7 am on a Friday morning before scarpering.

    Note that this system is rather different from the Westminster one. There is no second home allowance, no John Lewis list. There is only that per diem payment for days actually spent at the Parliament.

    Overall I don’t think the numbers are excessive for representatives from multi-member constituencies with 9 or 10 million people in them. What grates, with me as with others, is the way in which those allowances have been directed either into personal pockets or into familial ones and closed companies. Staff allowances are the largest number there by a long shot and staff are indeed needed to wade through the hundreds of thousands of pages of proposals and documentation. As long as they’re actually spent on staff then I think that’s a reasonable cost.

    There is one rather gaping loophole written into the new method of paying MEPs though. Because the pay wil be coming from the EU Parliament itself, it will be taxed at the special Belgian rate for EU employees. I think this is a disastrous idea, that a politician will face a different (and much lower) tax rate than their constituents. If elected I will calculate the difference between that lower rate and what I would have paid under UK tax law on that MEP’s salary and pay it directly to HM Treasury (this can be done by anyone who feels they are paying too little tax. Send a cheque to “The Accountant” 2, Horse Guards Road, London. You do get a thank you letter.)

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  8. Tim-Best of luck! Wish I could vote for you. SAY, I know, I will get the local paper to write to voters in London and urge them to vote for you just like my parents got from the Guardi………..oh, wait. OK-forget that-best of luck!

  9. Good Luck Tim.
    With the right campaign we can get more than one MEP this time in London. I’d like to see you as one of them ( and Gerard again).

  10. Riddiford of England

    I As an English Democrat (who also espouse very similar views on the Soviet EUnion ) I will guarantee that my UNI children in London will support you.
    No vote … No more allowances etc ! !
    Downside … excellent bodes almost as well as The Oratory !
    May great good fortune follow you in this endeavour.

  11. Hi Tim,

    The best of luck.

    I think it would be a good idea to see an image consultant. You looked old, haggard and grumpy.

    Tim adds: at 45 I’m not old….but the grumpy you might have picked up from the writing I think?

  12. If you do get in does that mean you won’t have time for your excellent deconstruction of Polly, Moonbat, Richard et al?

    It would be a shame if it did.

    Tim adds: Blogging would continue, if at a lower rate. it’s the other paid writing that would go.

  13. Annabelle Fuller of the press office

    Jesus Christ! I spent four years at Royal Holloway with her!

    Tim adds: I know, I know, we have discussed you…..

  14. Tim, Thank you and good luck in the election. You must be the first politician in recent times to answer the question instead of trotting out a prepared statement. If I had a vote in in your constituency I would vote for you.

  15. It’s brilliant you’re running, and I’ll most certainly be supporting you.

    BTW – Fortright Neil is right: you *do* need another photo. You don’t look old or haggard in this one, just rather fed up and humourless – which we all know isn’t true!

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  20. I always thought you were younger and…ginger, for some strange reason!

    I wish you all the best and would vote for you if I still lived in London.

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