Monday, 15 October 2007

Mad to be a Tory

No-doubt the satirists will have great fun with the extraordinary case of Kostic v Chaplin and others, in which Mr Justice Henderson ruled that Serbian millionaire Bane Kostic was of unsound mind in 1989 when he left all his money to the Conservative Party.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the situation, the case is a corker, and it's well worth ploughing through the judgement in detail. Mr Kostic was convinced that he was the victim of a vast conspiracy involving his wife, international bankers, satanists, the late Bernard Levin, and assorted demonic forces, and that only the intervention of Mrs Thatcher could save him. The conspiracy also included his son, who describes himself as "a scholar of independent means", and devotes himself to conducting "private research into the philosophies of the world and pursues interests which include psychology and the occult."

The judge considered that there "was a definite connection between Bane's deluded beliefs and his relationship with the Conservative Party":

From at least December 1984 onwards, when Bane first wrote to Mrs Thatcher, his correspondence with prominent figures in the Conservative Party betrays a fixation with the dark forces conspiracy and a desire to enlist help in the fight against it. Given the nature and extent of his delusions, it was a natural thing for him to turn to the Conservatives, both as the party of government and because of the values represented by the "Thatcher revolution", in order to combat the conspiracy, and for him to make donations to the Party for that purpose.

Mad as a hatter he may have been, yet sometimes the mad see things more clearly. Who can honestly disagree with this assessment of Mrs T, written at the height of his delusions:

"Our Prime Minister is the greatest Leader of the Free World in the human history … God knows when we shall have again such a unique and genius person".