Friday, 3 June 2011

Best of the Worst.

Listing to the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 yesterday . I heard a voice from the past.

The item was on the claim that So many asylum seekers have been given leave to remain in the UK that it "amounts to an amnesty",

One interviewee was Keith Best mer chief executive of the Immigration Advisory Service, who said many of the applicants had simply been "forgotten about" and "left in limbo" by the authorities.

In 1979 Best had produced one of the biggest political shocks in Welsh political History  when he took what was then the safe Labour seat of Anglesey (Later Ynys Mon) with a 7.6 swing.

The shock was even greater because Best was a Brighton councillor and Barrister with no connection to the island and spoke no Welsh.

He established himself however and learned the Language where he was confident enough to be interviewed in it.

Beating of a challenge from Plaid Cymru 's Ieuan Wyn Jones in 1983 he looked like he was set for a long tenure as Ynys Mon have not voted out a siting Member of Parliament since Cledwyn Hughes beat Megan Lloyd George in 1951.

So Plaid may have well failed to win the seat in 1987  because  Keith Best was not the candidate then as he he had been  forced  to stand down after admitting  fraud; during the privatisation of British Telecom, Individuals were limited to one allocation of shares and  . Best was discovered  to have  illegally submitted many applications by using minor variations of his name  and was prosecuted  .

He was eventually s sentenced to four months imprisonment and fined £3,000. On 5 October 1987, the Court of Appeals ruled that the jail portion of his sentence was too harsh,  (rightly so to my mind)and Best was released. However, his fine was increased to £4,500.

If he had not got involved in such  a stupid and greedy venture he may have well been Secretary of State for Wales in 1993 instead of John Redwood and Wales may have  not have been so alienated against the Tories that some might have survived the 1997 wipe-out.

But since his disgrace Keith Best has rehabilitated himself.

He was director of Prisoners Abroad 1989–93. which supports British citizens who are imprisoned overseas. It also works with ex-prisoners returning to the UK and with families members and friends of those detained.

In 1993, he became chief executive of the Immigration Advisory Service providing direct legal assistance to refugees, asylum seekers and others needing advice and guidance around British immigration law.

In  April 2010 he took up the post of Chief Executive Officer of the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture.

Since my last two Blogs have been about political slease  then its a pleasure to find that one former disgraced MP who at least has chosen to use his talents in such a manner, especially when you consider the raft of ex-ministers who on leaving the House of Commons or returning to the back-benches  go on to earn lucrative directorships with companies they had contact with in their ministerial role, especially Health and Defence.

So an even an old cynic and Anti-Tory like National Left would like to congratulate Keith Best  and wish him all the best (No pun intended) in the good works he is carrying out.

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