Rupert Murdoch, the world's greatest garbage recycler, today announced that he is to buy The United Kingdom Independence Party. At the moment, UKIP is seen as little more than a focal point for scapegoat-seekers and an alternative to The Ulster Unionist Party for political burnouts, but under Murdoch's stewardship, it could become all of the above with lots of money and the wholehearted support of The Sun. Given Murdoch's track record of lowering the tone of everything he touches, the mind boggles at how he will achieve this with UKIP, unless he plans to make Norman Tebbit party chairman.
We wondered why it should be that an Australian and American citizen-of-convenience is so vehemently opposed to Britain's closer involvement with Europe in general, and joining the Euro in particular. We put this to him and he answered with remarkable candour as follows:
It's not true that I'm opposed to Britain being involved with Europe. I understand that you like going there on holiday and playing football against European countries, I've nothing against this at all. However, I am opposed to Britain joining the Euro, purely in the interests of the British people, and not from any selfish motives. Britain joining the Euro would make that currency even stronger at a time when it is threatening to join the dollar as a world reserve currency. It could also mean that OPEC would start selling oil for Euros rather than dollars - that is if they have the nerve to do it after Saddam pulled the same stunt in November 2002: that was THE weapon of mass destruction.
This would mean petrol at $5 per gallon in the US - this is not in Britain's interest.
America would have to start paying for its imports with REAL money - this would not be in Britain's interest.
Your currency would be impervious to US political pressure - this would not be in Britain's interest.
George Bush would lose the next election - this would not be in Britain's interest.
These are my sincerely held opinions, but if you guys want to speak French, eat frog's legs and sauerkraut, and be forced to watch the royal family being guillotined, then go right ahead.
We asked Murdoch how much UKIP was likely to cost him, not really expecting an answer, but he was willing to reveal that it was "a two-figure sum."
Robert K. Silk was not available for comment; he is understood to have flown to the Algarve to join in a bar-wrecking spree with his party's supporters.