Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Cult of Andrew Withers Deserve what they Get

Many thanks to Pagar for making me laugh with this link to a new website passing itself off as that of the Uk Libertarian Party - Perhaps the most amusing aspect of all this is that despite the complete absence of anything resembling actual content, the would-be member or donor is met with a full-on invitation to part with their money via debit or credit card. Firstly, it should be noted that trusting this bunch of charlatans with your card details is akin to leaving King Herod in charge of an under-fives football team. Then there is the obvious question - Andrew, what exactly are people paying for? Where's the pledge of a shiny new membership pack or keyring, or perhaps a signed photo of APW himself in a suave but authoritative pose? Most worryingly, they appear to be imploring you to ring a premium rate phone line at the bottom of the page. Now, will it be Withers himself or IPJ who will be breathing heavily at the other end? Apologies to all those who were about to eat something...

Still Andrew claims to be the emperor and Reich Fuhrer of LPUK, just as many a deposed dictator has done after being forced into exile by a mass uprising. It should be added that there also remains a small but devoted set of drones ready to believe that the earth is flat and the moon is made out of green cheese if that is what AP Withers chooses to tell them. Well that's their decision, and if they remain inclined to pay for their leader's next trip to the supermarket out of their own pocket then so be it. I had no idea who Peter H Fairbanks was until but a few weeks ago when he came on here referring to 'the economic illiterate', and explaining that Withers had actually saved Libertarianism in the Uk by pumping in vast quantities of his own money to stave off the threat of insolvency.

Of course, had anything of this nature actually taken place, the natural response to any doubts over Andrew's honesty would have been to fully disclose the details of the LPUK account there and then, showing us mere members (some of whom are of course now ex-members) what a great guy he was and how lucky we were to have him. I don't believe for a second that Peter is deliberately misleading anyone, merely that he has been taken in by a serial manipulator and then, for whatever reason, surrendered the capacity to think for himself. Unless he had the privilege of seeing the accounts, which I very much doubt (since not even John Watson was allowed to have them when he was officially LPUK's treasurer), then I struggle to see how Fairbanks could tell us we'd got it all wrong with the utter certainty with which he does. This can only be blind faith, the commodity on which all sects grow and their leaders prosper.

It has become apparent to this bunny that the Withers 'version' of the Uk Libertarian Party is in fact not a political movement at all, but a warped and semi-religious cult, where its members part with their efforts, independence of thought and most importantly, their money, in exchange for the wisdom and vision of 'the chosen one'. It may be a predictably despicable move on Andrew's part, but there is no point denying than when you think about the ramifications, it is also a pretty smart one. If Mal, Pagar or myself wished to join this British answer to the Branch Davidians, do you seriously think Withers would allow us to? There may be a requirement to call an AGM in the near future, but with one man deciding who can and cannot be a member of the club, such a meeting is unlikely to be much more than ten parts rubber stamp and ten parts procession.

Then there is the depressing fact that this party, with its bank account soon to be filled and then emptied again, is the one officially recognised by the Electoral Commission. I feared some time ago that LPUK was finished, and will not attempt to take any credit for some unique act of foresight - several others reached a similar conclusion in May. However, in all honesty I did believe that it would simply die a slow, painful death as opposed to becoming the vehicle by which one man could continue to suck the blood from his followers. This latest development has been something of a bolt from the blue, but in a way it makes sense because in reality Withers and his disciples need each other. The bully/control freak/manipulator and sycophant/gullible fool are drawn to each other just as a bee is to honey. Think about it - for every addled old lady who falls into a few quid, there will be a bogus roofer ready to con it from them with ruthless efficiency. A weak-willed individual who is incapable of standing up for themselves always seems to become the fodder of a thug who throws his weight around. Coincidence? Or the laws of human nature and the jungle displayed in all their dubious glory? As a Libertarian, I'll invite you to decide for yourself...

I clearly offended former LPUK member and alleged Libertarian Gregg Beaman when I suggested that democratic politics was not really AP Withers' style. "Forming a religious sect out in Iowa would have been more appropriate" was like a red rag to a bull in Gregg's world - strange how an individual who supports "freedom of expression" would become hysterical upon someone poking fun at organised religion, but there you go. The point is I was only half-joking. You're dealing with a man here who preaches self-reliance to others, but wishes to be entrenched in privilege himself, and seeks power but neither the responsibility nor accountability that go with it. Any liberal instincts that Withers may or may not have possessed in the past were clearly flushed down the toilet the moment he found himself in a position of authority, "there will be more party discipline, and if the anarchist fringe do not like it then they can walk" was the final straw for this bunny, who is a classical liberal not an anarchist, but did not wish to belong to an organisation inspired by the East German Communist Party circa 1953, with a dash of Waco thrown in for good measure.

Anyone who dared criticise his style of leadership (assuming they were lucky enough not to be threatened with litigation - see was an 'anarchist' or 'hero-worshipped Susanne Nundy' (aka Anna Raccoon). The Raccoon herself was supposedly a government agent intent on bringing Libertarianism down from the inside. So were Malpoet, Pagar, this bunny and a whole catalogue of other 'dissidents'. Peter Mandelson has been out to 'do' Withers seemingly since the dawn of time - maybe Andrew spurned Mandy's advances at the Blue Oyster back in '85, is that it? Next up, Anna Raccoon is not only a state-sponsored spy and heretical purveyor of evil cauldrons, she is also a fully-fledged stalker who is intent on chasing AP Withers to an early grave. Yes, she arrives from France in the week and follows 'the leader' round on his day-to-day travels, stopping only to post a blog or two in an internet cafe. She then flies home on her broomstick for the weekend, and the cycle starts again. Quite incredibly, there are people who still believe this stuff...

All this said, I don't regret joining LPUK. I found the North West branch to be a warm and intelligent group of like-minded people, am immensely pleased that they have all contributed to OutspokenRabbit in its short existence, and hope to have made a few friends for life. I actually stumbled across the Uk Libertarian Party after deciding to form my own political movement along Libertarian/Classical Liberal principles, only to find that 'my' party already existed (yes boys we really were that small and insignificant). Having had some time to cool off since 'retiring' from frontline politics in May, I'm ready and willing to assist with campaigning and literature for any new party that might be formed as an offshoot or breakaway from LPUK. If a member or ex-member is thinking along those lines, then I'd love to hear from you.

In the meantime, while I care not one iota for the disciples of AP Withers and their ever-draining bank accounts, please tell any young person who is interested in Libertarian, Minarchist or Classical Liberal politics to avoid this 'party' like the plague and not to submit their card details or any money to the owners of the bank account on this link, which I will drop in here again for the removal of doubt The cause for personal freedom and smaller government is one which requires new members in order to blossom from the base up as it should. We cannot allow the enthusiasm of youth to be knocked out of individuals by the threats, bullying, manipulation and outright theft of one man. Take care and I'll see you tomorrow...


  1. MNN - y'know the DFS sale ends next Sunday!!

  2. And the next one starts on the Monday.

  3. The address given on this LibertarianPartyUK website is an accommodation address which is available for a fee from £8.34p per month. Presumably Max Andronichuk is coughing up for that. It is probably a bit beyond the means of Andrew Withers.

    Anybody who hands over their money to a phantom office behind an empty website is not thinking properly. I have no idea who created this website and donation system and I am a member of the LPUK. Who does know?

    Withers has always kept an iron grip on the LPUK bank accounts and never explained what he did with the money. In the circumstances I have to assume that if anybody is foolish enough to send money it will go the same way as all the thousands of pounds that have disappeared over the last four years.

  4. MNN - Touche!!

    Mal - of course you're right - my concern is that there may be young people getting the buzz to make a difference right now who could be unaware of the background. I've asked the Raccoon to run this in order to get the message out to as many people as possible.

    There also seems to be a real David Koresh thing going on with AP Withers that I'm struggling to work out. Is it his magnetic appeal or the refusal of his followers to consider that they may have been conned?

  5. I dunno. Withers' threats seem to win people over a lot quicker than his charm.

  6. How long before he threatens to sue this site? Maybe we can open a book on it...

    Expect Withers to assemble his 140 wives before the year is out...

    And the lord said, "Let there be money, lots of it - and be sure to deliver thy silver via direct debit on the first Thursday after payday. Otherwise you will burn in hell with Malpoet, Pagar, ManNotNumber and that Gaz fella"

  7. I highly doubt Max Andronichuk is funding this web site. Max has been working with Gavin Webb and others for transparency and reformation.

    The hosting seems to be by a company owned by one Ian Parker Joseph.

  8. Peter H Fairbanks21 July 2011 at 12:06

    You guys are a joke. Withers was elected. He ensured that Tim Carpenter published before the election all of the problems he had with BIS on the party blog. It was not compulsory to vote for him in fact somebody did vote against him.

    It is a matter of record that two members of the NCC failed to attend both AGM or the subsequent NCC meeting that approved the accounts. Such was the level of their interest and as such they stopped being members of the NCC.

    Ferguson has proved the level of his competence by losing both the website and the email system.
    If we are making comparisons Ferguson is like Mugabe claiming moral superiority then trashing everything he touches as well as rigging elections smearing and making threats. I saw it at first hand so I know what I am talking about.

    Withers and others have done no more than defend the constitution that all members sign up for on becoming members.

    It is not compulsory to be members in fact most of you stroking each others egos are not members of the Libertarian Party.

    So why don't you all concentrate on liberating the Wirral instead! So is this going to be achieved by standing for election,armed revolution or scribbling on your blogs like the Tooting Popular Front?

  9. Peter, the joke is the two horse defence you appear to be riding...

    Just to clarify I know at least one NCC member who insists to this day he was never notified of that meeting. As for Ken, well I'd have been worried for my physical safety in his position, but you'd have to ask him why he couldn't make it.

    You've previously claimed that Withers and a few friends saved LPUK from insolvency by putting in their own money. Have you seen the accounts or are you taking Andrew's word for that? I'd suspect the latter and that's up to you, but 16p in the bank account would suggest something went wrong.

    A low-end estimate would suggest that circa £15k went into that account while APW was leaders and all but 16p had gone the last time anybody knew. Given that LPUK were hardly putting buckets of candidates up it's not unreasonable to ask where it all went...

    You then seem to offer this parallel defence of "well if he did swipe a few quid then you should just accept it as he was the best leader you'll ever have". Many people would have done a better job in reality - in fact no leader at all would have been an improvement...

    In practical terms you might be right that many ex-members currently have a choice between shutting up and doing as Withers tells them or operating on the blogosphere until a new party arrives. However, that is not 'the way it is' but a situation deliberately engineered and manipulated by one man.

    For my part I'll look at joining any phoenix party that comes out of LPUK, and do the blog while helping causes like Wirral First in the meantime. Andrew Withers is the sole reason for the resignation of myself and many others and if you're a supporter of the party I'm gobsmacked that this doesn't concern you.

    Ken is worth a thousand of Withers and maybe one day you'll come to realise you backed the wrong side here...

  10. "Ferguson is like Mugabe claiming moral superiority then trashing everything he touches as well as rigging elections smearing and making threats. I saw it at first hand so I know what I am talking about."

    Peter, I think I'm going to need ask for some evidence for that as I cannot recall rigging an election, smearing or threatening anyone.

    Nor can I recall having met you unless you are IPJ, in which case I claim my £5.

  11. Y'know Pagar, I was struggling to recall that election you rigged as well. Didn't you stand unopposed as communications chief? Thought so...

    My money was on 'Peter' being Withers himself - considering you're 1-0 up on the betting score I really need this one...

    The Raccoon will be running a story with a link to this one later on. Would dread to think that part of a student loan might be buying Withers a kebab and a bottle of wine...

  12. Why are people scared of Withers and his empty threats? I called him a coward, a liar and a fraud on the LPUK website, he then demanded my IP addresses and said he would see me in court. I've yet to hear anything, and would be amazed if I did - but I would love to see him in court. I've never me the man, but he seems like a first class arse - someone somewhere (Gavin, Max, Ken?) needs to get a grip on this situation, hold an SGM and then we can all move on.

  13. I have met the man and he is a complete arse. As an ex LPUK member where are the accounts?

  14. Whoever Peter Fairbanks is, and he certainly didn't make himself known to me at the AGM, he appears to be relying on paragraph 8.5 of the constitution in saying:

    "It is a matter of record that two members of the NCC failed to attend both AGM or the subsequent NCC meeting that approved the accounts. Such was the level of their interest and as such they stopped being members of the NCC."

    He is wrong of course. He is trying to use just one part of the relevant section of the constitution while ignoring the rest. The whole paragraph says:

    "8.5 An officer or member-at-large who fails to attend two consecutive regular meetings of the NCC shall be automatically removed from his position upon the report of the Secretary if not present at the opening of the third consecutive meeting. The affected party shall have until the opening of the next regular meeting of the NCC to appeal this action to the Judicial Committee; once the report of the Secretary at this meeting has been issued, the suspension shall be final unless the Judicial Committee rules to re-instate the suspended party."

    From this it will be seen that it takes four regular meetings of the NCC and a report of the Secretary before an NCC member can be removed from the NCC for non-attendance. None of that happened and as Daz has said there are questions about whether all NCC members have always been notified of meetings.

  15. Very sad to see this rumble on. I was hoping that the party essentially disbanding would have been the end of it, but it seems the crap lingers on in a web likely to snare quite a few others yet. And its gone beyond being frustrating and disappointing to downright frightening.

    Daz - I'd love to hear of any developments regarding a new party if there are any subsequent developments in this regard.

  16. Been watching this since it began in mid April and am still trying to work out how one combines even just being interested in libertarianism with being interested in taking advantage of people.
    Profoundly strange.
    Perhaps it's all been some kind of statist set-up?
    Not knowing any of the players personally I had to take it all as it came.
    The deciding factor for me was simply the clear reluctance to produce meaningful accounts (with detailed receipts and other supporting docs).
    Simple, clear, honesty is the root of libertarianism, dealing, as it does, with reality and stripping away statist and other controlling deceits.
    And that seemed to be lacking.
    I have seen the new website "under construction".
    The whole farce and charade needs to be faced with reality and held accountable as quickly as possible I would think.

  17. I hope to bump into a few of you at the ASI drinks or LSE lecture next Tuesday. The pub meet is the week after. Let's not sit whining, we can at least do some brainstorming and maybe get something new moving.

    Event details on LH, or click on my name.

  18. A P Withers is up to his old tricks conning people and businesses. Flitting from address to address leaving a trail of destruction behind. Latest info is that he is hold up in a room at a B & B in Bakers Lane, Langford, North Somerset. Supposedly running an electrical business...well to put that more clearly has set up a "business" front (in May 2015) using his son Owen as the fall guy by naming 30 year old Owen as the sole director. Also has some tenuous connection to Drycraeft (Pty) Ltd of Milnerton, Cape Town, South Africa. Google them to read of the wonderful multi- functional international business that Andrew is co-director of!
    Who knows any more about this slippery customer?
    Pray tell.

  19. Had his collar felt by the cops just before Christmas 2015. Seems he has added racial bigotry to his 'credentials'.