Iain Dale 4pm - 7pm
The wrong sort of billionaire
10 February 2018, 20:45 | Updated: 10 February 2018, 20:50
The usual suspects went ape this week when it was revealed that a super-rich, foreign dwelling, off-shore based financier is using some of his vast wealth to attempt to engineer an exit from Brexit.
The right-wing press went into a fury that you could have spotted from the passenger seat of the car that Elon Musk just sent to Mars on the world's most powerful rocket.
The force that missile created was as nothing compared to the splenetic rage that greeted the news that The Man Who Broke The Bank Of England, George Soros, is inveigling his way into the push for freedom from the evil empire of the EU.
The reason that the right went berserk is that the only outsiders they want interfering with our politics are THEIR super-rich, foreign dwelling, off-shore based financiers.
Practically every major donor to the Brexit cause has some tax efficient, accounting wheeze which registers their business address on a moon circling Uranus.
It's what rich people do to ensure that only we little people pay taxes.
Oddly, among those gilded elites, George Soros is the only one that has spoken up about how unfair it is that he pays so little in tax.
That's right – a billionaire actually wants to pay more tax to help society.
And he puts his money where his mouth is.
In another slap in the face to the hard right, Soros has spent huge funds on destabilising dictators and autocrats in his native Hungary as well as the Ukraine and Georgia.
He has used his billions on promoting civil rights and democracy and has given more money to charity than almost anyone else who has ever lived - £18bn of his £23bn fortune.
His foundation, Open Society, is the third biggest charitable body in the world and works globally to, as it puts it, “build vibrant and tolerant democracies”.
He's spreading human rights and freedom and democracy. Clearly this madman must be stopped.
The Sun newspaper put it like this: “A RECLUSIVE billionaire with powerful friends, a track record for helping to topple governments and a wife half his age surely belongs in a Bond film.”
They don't do self-reflection or irony at The Sun, unless that was a fantastic, dangerously overt dig at their own proprietor.
I doubt it. They weren't talking about a right-wing billionaire meddler, they were talking about a left-wing billionaire meddler – the worst kind!
The Mail, Telegraph, Sun and Express all fulminated at the 87-year-old George Soros poking his nose into our affairs.
The thinking appears to be that he does not live here, he is not registered to pay tax here, so Brexit is none of his business.
Just one small point: the recent leaking of the Paradise Papers, which showed once again the lengths to which the rich and shameless go to secrete their wealth in off-shore bolt-holes, featured pretty much all of the leading players in Camp Brexit.
Much of the millions that poured in to the anti-EU campaign came from some decidedly dodgy characters who are no strangers to the ways of the secretive, tax averse, foreign based, wealth management business.
But the right wing press happens to agree with their viewpoint, so that's OK by them.
Relatively speaking, it seems like small change that Soros has donated £400,000 to the pro-EU campaign group, Best For Britain.
The group stands accused of using social media to try and convince us that leaving the EU might not be in our best interests.
My God – using social media to make a political argument!
No right-wingers would ever stoop to such tactics, just ask those keen promoters of Brexit, the foreign based, tax efficient, un-meddlesome Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.