In The News
This evening the Daily Express proudly announced that its owner Richard Desmond had donated a further £1 million to UKIP, following a £300,000 donation from Desmond to the party at the end of last year. The Express tycoon was a major donor to Tony Blair’s Labour party fifteen years ago, but fell out with Labour in 2004.
The article is accompanied by photographs of Farage grovelling in Desmond’s office. The UKIP leader said:
“Richard is a self-made man with the courage of his convictions. I know there are a lot more people out there who agree in private but I hope this public gesture encourages others to follow his example.”
Desmond is known for his Europhobia – he once goosestepped around a boardroom and ranted that all Germans were Nazis, during a meeting with executives from the Daily Telegraph.
But how exactly did this “self-made man” acquire his fortune?
After leaving school at 15, Desmond made his first money through contacts in the music industry, and his first ventures into publishing were also connected to jazz and pop.
In 1983 he acquired the UK licence for the American porn magazine Penthouse and soon expanded into a range of similar publications, many catering for somewhat specialist tastes such as Asian Babes. Desmond’s empire soon encompassed telephone chat lines, websites and cable/satellite TV channels such as Television X, which he promoted with the slogan: “Television X offers the best in British porn”.
Several Jewish community leaders were nervous when Richard Desmond was appointed head of the Jewish charity Norwood in 2006. The Jewish Chronicle ran a front page story headlined ‘Pornographer’s charity post sparks protests’, and criticised the appointment in its editorial. (Notably neither of these items is still online, and by 2012 the JC had made its peace with Desmond, publishing a long feature about his emotional family visit to Auschwitz.)
Desmond’s friends rallied round. Cyril Paskin – former ‘field commander’ of the ultra-violent Jewish 62 Group – was especially vocal:
“It’s diabolical. Richard is a very, very good man. He is a giving person in every respect – not just money, but his time too. He has a heart of gold. He should be a Sir. We don’t need other Jews running him down.”
Paskin’s former 62 Group bagman Gerald Ronson (founder of the Community Security Trust) also weighed in to support the porn baron:
“I speak as a friend and supporter of Richard. Every time I’ve ever asked him for anything he’s always given. He’s a talented and hardworking man who devotes most of his free time to charity. He gives equally to Jewish and non-Jewish causes. He’s a good person – and so is his wife Janet who’s a wonderful influence on him. I have no doubt that, with all his charity work, it won’t be very long before he sets up his own charitable foundation and becomes the biggest giver in the UK.”
He’s certainly the biggest giver now – to UKIP’s general election campaign!
UKIP supporters of a prudish disposition would be advised to look away now…
In 2009 two of their latest million-pound donor’s companies were fined for extreme pornographic offences against the broadcast code.
The broadcasting regulator Ofcom said that the £25,000 fine imposed on RHF Productions was for daytime promotions for two websites containing “extremely sexually explicit material” that could be viewed by consumers without any need for registration or age verification.
“Broadcasters must ensure that they do not promote websites giving access to free-to-view sexually explicit material without any protections,” said Ofcom in its ruling. “This is particularly important when such references may be seen by children.”
Meanwhile another Desmond company Portland TV was fined £27,500 for broadcasting hardcore pornography on a show entitled Bathroom Bitches. The details of the Ofcom judgment are too explicit for us to publish on this website. But clearly Nigel Farage has no qualms about his party’s latest donor.
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