Grant Shapps' boastful sales pitch revealed
What's the difference between a dodgy pyramid salesman and the chairman of a major political party?
Not a lot, it seems. Details have emerged of the full, cringe-worthy sales pitch used by Tory chairman Grant Shapps to persuade people to sign up for his money-making advice.
Under the pseudonym Michael Green, Shapps founded a business called HowToCorp in 2000. For £130 a pop, he would tell clients how to get rich through a series of online marketing tricks.
But while he repeatedly claimed to have given up the business before becoming an MP in 2005, it was revealed earlier this month that he was still pushing his get-rich-quick schemes for some time after that date.
And now, the Political Scrapbook website has got hold of a copy of his sales pitch, in which "Michael Green" offers to share the secrets of his wealth through his How to Become Stinking RICH Online toolkit.
"Go ahead and put yourself in my shoes," he says. "I'm practically handing you the opportunity to enjoy my kind of lifestyle on a plate!"
"Green" lists his three flash cars: a Crossfire Turbo, a Lotus Elan and a Grand Voyager people mover, complete with fridge. He also pictures his house, which he boasts is worth around $2 million.
"Everyone needs a hobby. Mine's flying. But buying and maintaining an aircraft (and this is my second machine) isn't cheap! But I just hate to rent..." he writes.
"So I took out my pocket-book and bought a plane. That's me and my son in the cockpit."
When constituent Dean Archer claimed on Facebook last year that Shapps was still posing as Michael Green to run his business, Shapps promptly got his lawyers on the case.
They demanded a full retraction of his "defamatory allegation", along with financial compensation.
Shapps now claims that he "screwed up" by claiming that he'd stopped using the pseudonym before being elected as an MP - and, hey, who hasn't issued expensive legal proceedings without bothering to check the facts?
That certainly seems to be the view of David Cameron.
"Grant did have another job when he first became an MP, and he declared that in the Register of Members' Interests, which is what you are meant to do," he said last week.
"But he obviously made a mistake by saying in some interviews that the work had stopped earlier than it had. He's put that right so I think we can put that behind him. He's doing a good job."
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