It is as drearily unoriginal as the Red Tory doctrine. Philip Blond – protégé of Alasdair Maclagan, founder of Res Publica and advocate of David Cameron’s ‘big society’ – has been doing his best to provide a clear example of the moral foundations of Red Toryism.
In 2008, Blond wrote: ‘A recovery of a national virtue culture is required’. In 2010, both Blond and Maclagan also wrote: ‘By virtue we mean here a combination of talent, fitness for a specific social role, and a moral exercise of that role for the benefit of wider society’. As is well-known, for Blond, locality, family, community are good, while multinationals, wealthy individuals and mass culture are evil.
What, precisely, is such a ‘national virtue culture’? What talent and fitness does he have for a ‘specific social role’ that is to the benefit of ‘wider society’?
A little while back, Stalin’s Moustache posted some records that indicate some dodgy financial transactions by Blond’s ‘Think Tank’, Res Publica. But now it appears that those funds were used to fund Blond’s own ‘specific social role’. Even that bourgeois stalwart, The Sunday Times, finds it all a bit much:
• Staff were angered that while the think tank fought for its survival Blond was spending thousands of pounds meeting women around the world. He asked an academic to pass £300 in cash to a woman in the Ukraine, now his girlfriend, whom he was chasing.
• Blond later paid £1,690 to fly to meet the woman and stay with her at the Swiss Inn Resort in Sharm El Sheikh on the Red Sea.
• After a particularly expensive trip to a Brazilian resort, to which he invited yet another person – telling her ‘We are going immediately to stay in Porto Galinas — so bring your swimming costume’ – ResPublica staff found their wages delayed. A few weeks later employees were locked out of their offices because the rent had not been paid.
• Despite receiving a family values award from the Mormon church, Blond was vying with a fellow academic for the affections of another girl. He compared notes on a ‘hot Spanish journalist’ from a Catholic newspaper. Blond told another academic, who referred to him as Lord Blond, ‘Suggest she urgently needs to interview me’.
• The think tank helped foot the bills for Blond’s flat, paying a £1,900 deposit on the property near Brick Lane in east London and £6,846.66 rent. The property is described in unpublished accounts as a “company let”. Blond now rents a £4,100-a-month flat in King’s Cross.
• Blond spent more than £40,000 from the ResPublica bank account on his own personal expenses. Sources say he frequently used the think tank’s Lloyds TSB debit card to withdraw money from cashpoints for personal spending.
• On one occasion, when staff were not being paid, a Regency-style chair arrived at the office upholstered with half-naked women in high-heels astride motorbikes.
• Poorly paid staff had to wait for several weeks to be paid, while Blond withdrew £160,000 from the company in one year.
• Blond was warned by accountants that while the think tank had a turnover of almost £700,000 in a year it had assets of just £1,540 ‘because of the amount of cash withdrawn from the company’.
All of which reminds one of another of Blond’s pieces of moral advice: ‘To live independently you need to be able to control your finances — especially in times of uncertainty. How you manage your money affects your resilience to cash crises and unforeseen emergencies’.
Obviously, Blond’s completely unsleazy good looks have bewitched not only David Cameron, but all those others: