Green perspectives on Stockwood and Bristol. Mostly.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

The fall and rise of Giles Chichester

2009. Euro-elections to look forward to in June. And, yes, it's the south-west's chance to re-elect Giles Chichester, who now heads the Tory list in spite of certain book-keeping irregularities that led to him being sacked from his job of UK Conservative leader in Brussels last summer.

I was reminded of Mr Chichester when I checked up on one of his current colleagues, Dr Caroline Jackson MEP, whom we should know - but most of us don't - because she takes special responsibility for representing Bristol in the European Parliament.

Like Giles Chichester, her name is highlighted in "Too close for comfort" - an analysis by Spinwatch of some pretty spectacular conflicts of interest.

Dr Jackson evidently finds her basic £61k plus expenses isn't enough. [There's a useful breakdown of MEP's entitlements on Caroline Lucas MEP's website].

Dr Jackson has no problem with adding to this income with another £6k from waste company Shanks, in return for 'environmental advice'. Which must be a real bargain to them, because at the same time she's been the Parliament's 'rapporteur' on the EU's Waste Framework Directive. In fact the European waste industry lobby group that tried to influence Dr Jackson's report was headed by the boss of Shanks, who retain her as a consultant!

Giles Chichester rose to notoriety in June when, as leader and nominated 'sleazebuster' for the Tories in Europe, he had to admit that he'd channelled nearly half a million of his MEP income through his own company. But, probably more important than that self-styled 'whoops-a-daisy' moment, this climate change sceptic and 'peak oil' denier has very close ties with the nuclear industry. Somehow, he manages to reconcile being President of the industry lobby organisation, European Energy Forum (EEF), with chairing the EP's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy.

Chichester denies (unpersuasively) there's any conflict. However, he keeps the topic well off his own web pages, where, instead, you can find endless reminders that his father was the late Sir Francis Chichester.

The Tories don't seem fazed by all this - they've elevated him to the top of their list for the June elections. So we can be pretty sure that he'll be representing us and the energy companies at Brussels for a few years yet.

All the more important to have a quality Green counter-weight. Ricky Knight heads the Greens' list for the South West.

1 comment:

DonaQixota said...

Thanks for this info, Pete, well dug. What a shameless lot! They really take us for a load of mugs, don't they?