Is Rupert Matthews 'as mad as a box of snakes'?
Setting aside for the moment that His Grace thought the madness simile was made with comparative appeals to a hatter, the march hare or a box of frogs, it would appear that Conservative Campaign Headquarters (ie Baroness Warsi) is intent on making windows into men's UFO portals.
Essentially, Roger Helmer MEP (right) wishes to retire, which would usually leave Rupert Matthews (left) to succeed him, since Mr Matthews is next on the regional list system used in elections to the European Parliament. Those elections took place in 2008, when Mr Matthews was an approved candidate of the Conservative Party. Now, however, it appears that Mr Matthews has been unapproved, despite the Party affirming him for that election, and despite Mr Matthews having garnered sufficient support from the millions who voted Conservative.
On the Daily Mail's RightMinds, Simon Richards thinks there's something of a witch-hunt going on, because Mr Matthews is 'a strong Conservative, a man of principle, and, like the overwhelming majority of Conservative Party Members and voters, a convinced Eurosceptic. He also happens - horror of horrors - to be white, middle-aged, grammar school educated and a Christian'.
According to Michael Crick, Mr Matthews has some unconventional beliefs in the paranormal (UFOs, poltergeist, etc), and his company has published material challenging political correctness (featuring gollywogs). According to one (conveniently) unidentified MP, Mr Matthews is 'as mad as a box of snakes', though THIS LIST of published books suggests they are targeted at non-specialists and are of the 'easy-to-read' genre. People who buy such books are often interested in ancient mysteries and stories of ghosts and UFOs, as well as interesting bits of history, snippets of science and accounts of natural disasters.
His Grace does not know Rupert Matthews, but he would like to point out that a publisher is not obliged to agree with either the content or design of every book which is produced and printed under one's aegis. There is nothing in this publication record which merits barring him from office. And His Grace would also like to point out that it would be a dangerous precedent to bar a man from public office because of his alleged beliefs in certain wacky paranormal activity.
After all, Baroness Warsi is reported to believe that some illiterate Arab in the 7th century had a book dictated to him by the Angel Gabriel which was God's final testament for mankind. Others believe that God became a 1st-century Jewish carpenter and rose from the dead. Still others believe they can turn wafers into his flesh and wine into his blood - quite literally - and then consume it cannibalistically. And yet others believe that the head of an elephant can fit squarely onto the shoulders of a man, and the chimera can live and breathe in contravention of all the known laws of biological science.
Perhaps Baroness Warsi might like to produce a convenient list of which privately-held beliefs are permissible and which are prohibited before one may be an approved candidate for the Conservative Party. His Grace has long suspected the existence of an unofficial Conservative Test Act.