Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Is Guido An Imposter?

In the absence of any real leadership news, I've whiled away a couple of hours trying to find out if the inestimable Guido Fawkes really is that bloke with the gunpowder kegs, or an imposter. Well, he started it- he put it about that I'm not Wat Tyler at all but some anonymous person who would probably have preferred to stay that way. So naturally I've been keen to return the compliment.

Turns out there's an existing trail. As everybody probably already knows, the Guardian's Backbencher ran this back in February:

'Guido Fawkes blogs on. Curiously, he shares a fax number ("Leak Secret Documents") with Paul Staines, a rightwing libertarian who used to organise acid house raves back in the early 90s. Of course, this doesn't mean that they're the same person. But readers wondering why Guido has been getting so excited about Kilroy's new party might like to know that Paul is equally open to colourful new experiences. Take this indignant article, written by a young Paul in 1991. "I have fond memories of taking LSD and pure MDMA, trance-dancing and thinking that I had turned into a pure, orgiastic wisp of smoke - it was the most staggeringly enjoyable, mind-warping experience I have ever had ... The only word to describe it is WOW!" Paul goes on to explain how much he'd like to spike the punch at a Young Conservative ball with acid, but the Backbencher will leave further investigation to Sir Ian Blair'.

Crumbs, although this doesn't mean they're the same person, it all sounds much more exciting than life chez Tyler.

And also, according to SourceWatch, Paul used to run a Bahamas based hedge fund which made 'optimal responses to the volatility caused by increasing capital and information flows across borderless financial markets in the New Economy'. It's unclear what became of the fund but it reputedly made Paul's fortune.

He also seems to be a whiz on Photoshop, as evidenced by this excellent pic he e-mailed to Tim Worstall on 17 March. Oddly, it appeared on Guido's blog the very same day.

Anyway, these days Paul runs Global Growth Org, which campaigns for 'free trade and enterprise based development', a cause to which we wholeheartedly subscibe.

I must say it's a CV that puts Tyler's in the shade. In fact I now don't mind if Guido is being impersonated. Paul Staines sounds like the kind of guy who would raise the whole tone of the place. Plus he's got a fantastically punnable surname.

Unfortunately, despite carefully comparing the pix of goateed Guido and clean-shaven Paul...are they the same person? You know, it's so very hard to tell.

What do you think?
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