Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rupert Matthews speaks to the nation

The last we heard of Rupert Matthews, soon to become on of the MEPs for the East Midlands, he was following advice not to speak to the media. But he has clearly changed his mind, because he was quoted by Christopher Cook in yesterday's Financial Times (registration needed):
Mr Matthews told the Financial Times, however, that he does not have a “belief in the paranormal”. He said that IMU “commissioned me to put together an introductory course along lines they specified and, as a freelance writer, I was happy to do so”.
Mr Matthews, who has written more than 180 books, added: “Not all politicians are accountants, lawyers and PR consultants. We are constantly hearing calls for MPs and other politicians to come from a wider range of backgrounds. I expect my background as a freelance writer to be of some use to me.”
The report also reveals that Matthews has had only one student take his course on Our Paranormal Universe.

It also quotes him as saying he does not have a belief in the paranormal, yet notes that as recently as Wednesday he posted on his Ghosthunter blog:
In books and on films you see ghosts floating above the ground or going all see-through. He was not like that at all. He was was solid and real. He was really there. Well, until he vanished that is.” 
As I well know this is typical of ghosts. Forget what you see and hear about fictional ghosts, the real thing is very real indeed.
Very mysterious. Cook also quotes a Labour shadow minister as saying:
British MEPs should be focused on arguing for measures that will promote jobs and growth, not on finding the Yeti.”
Well, it's a point of view. But what ever would she have made of David James MP?


Simon said...

Doesn't this 'defence' really place Mr Matthews in a far worse position then he was before?

Belief in the paranormal may not be an ideal quality for an MEP but is it really that much of a problem? Many sane people believe in some sort of paranormal activity, from miracles to UFOs (Think of Jane Goodall, think of Arthur Conan Doyle, think of Henery Sidgwick), I cannot believe he is not the only MEP to do so, and even if he were who actually cares?

On the other hand, taking students money to teach them something you believe to be made up, especially when their degree will be of no financial or social use due to its being uncredited it tantamount to fraud? Whilst of course I am sure it is equally true that he is not the only MEP to have acted in a way tantamount to fraud, if given the choice between an MEP who lies for financial gain and one who believes in little green men I know who I would want representing me!

Simon said...

One further example to show that belief in the paranormal and politics are not unsound bedfellows.

Arthur Belfore, Conservative Prime Minister from 1902 to 1905, was not only interested in the paranormal but was president of the society for Pshychical Research in 1893.

Whether he represents a good precident I'm not sure, and god knows we Liberals have no cause to love him, but I think it shows that now that Mr Matthews has chosen to go down the 'I made it all up, I'm a hack all-right' rout he can hardly claim that it was politically impossible for him to do anything else.

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