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Today, I want to write about a politician. We are surrounded by these public figures who love to bask in their reflected glory through the lens of the media, social media and their own lens of self importance.

They think they can do no wrong.

We have politicians who lie, cheat, exploit their office for self gratification and financial reward; all the while thinking that they are doing nothing wrong.

And no, I am not talking about Donald Trump. He already has more money than he could spend in a lifetime and more public support and adoration than just about any man on earth today. So if you feel that way, bugger off. This blog and post are not for you. 

No, I am talking about your run of the mill, average " Uncle Joe " politician who can seemingly go from modest to millions in a matter of years with a bank account that is off the charts. 

And it all comes down to greed, inflated egos and self delusion. 

 After all, Average " Uncle Joe " is normally a grifter, a liar, a cheat and a loser. 

So how do they get there? Look at so many of our politicians who seem to get elected to public office and miraculously spin straw into gold? 

Occasionally, one comes unstuck. His idiocy and ego, his hubris and heightened sense of self brings him undone. 


There are many figures who stood out for their oratory skills, policy-making prowess, or scandalous indiscretions. But few have matched the sheer audacity and theatrical flair of John Stonehouse, the MP who famously vanished off the face of the earth—well, almost.

John Stonehouse, a Labour MP and Minister in Harold Wilson's government in Great Britain, was a man of many talents. He had a successful political career, served as Postmaster General, and even dabbled in international affairs. However, it turns out that his most remarkable skill was not in politics but in the art of vanishing. Oh, and womanising. And in spending money that was not his. Oh, and lying. 

In fact, these days, John Stonehouse would be protected as a man suffering from mental health issues, given paid leave from parliament and no doubt awarded a knighthood for his bravery in confronting his personal issues and the media would have painted him as a Saint. Hell, he might have even ended up as Prime Minister. 

But back then, the media and police actually followed facts. Not always, but a lot more than today. 

In November 1974, Stonehouse pulled off a disappearing act that would make Houdini proud. Leaving behind a neatly folded pile of clothes on a Miami beach, he was presumed drowned, possibly consumed by the very sharks that often circle the troubled waters of British politics. The nation mourned; his family grieved. Yet, all was not as it seemed.


Stonehouse – once tipped as a future Labour prime minister – betrayed his country, made a mockery of domestic and international law, ripped off investors and friends, humiliated both Harold Wilson and Parliament, shattered his own family and then, when the jaws of his self-made trap began to close around him, organised and executed a fake-your-own-death escape of such breathtaking audacity, he later tried to explain it as the work of a second personality living within him.

Far from being fish food, Stonehouse was very much alive and kicking. Utilising a fake passport and a series of elaborate financial maneuvres, he made his way to Australia, presumably to start a new life. His plan, however, had more holes than a Swiss cheese.

I am not sure why I suddenly thought of this..... 


Well some swim with the fishes and some who well, let's not go there..... 

The authorities in Australia became suspicious, not least because Stonehouse was spotted behaving rather peculiarly—transferring money between banks in ways that screamed "I'm up to no good!" His downfall came when the police, convinced they had nabbed Lord Lucan (another British peer with a penchant for vanishing), realised they had instead caught the erstwhile MP John Stonehouse.

But what made him run? 

Well, Stonehouse had another, equally intriguing chapter in his life: accusations of espionage. While his vanishing act to Australia might be the most famous part of his story, the spy allegations add an extra layer of intrigue to an already astonishing tale.

The allegations of John Stonehouse being a spy for Czechoslovakia came to light in the early 1980s, several years after his notorious disappearance and subsequent imprisonment for fraud. These claims suggested that Stonehouse had been passing information to the Czech intelligence service during his time as a Member of Parliament.

The claims were based on files recovered from the archives of the Czech secret police, the StB, after the Cold War. According to these documents, Stonehouse had allegedly been recruited by the Czech intelligence service in 1962 and operated under the code name "Agent Kolonel." The files purportedly detailed meetings between Stonehouse and Czech agents, where he allegedly handed over information on British political affairs and personalities.

Stonehouse vehemently denied the espionage allegations. He insisted that any contact he had with Czech officials was purely in his capacity as a politician and was part of normal diplomatic interactions. Stonehouse maintained that he had never betrayed his country or engaged in espionage activities.

The spy allegations, while never proven in a court of law, cast a long shadow over Stonehouse’s already tarnished reputation. They added a layer of Cold War intrigue to his story, suggesting that his life and actions were even more complex and multifaceted than previously thought.

Then there was the problem with his affair with Sheila Buckley.. 

Here was a man who deserted his wife, Barbara, and three children, allowing them to believe him dead, so that he could start anew in Australia with Sheila , a mistress half his age. A man who then, when he was eventually caught on Christmas Eve in Melbourne, wrote to his distraught wife from custody: “I would truly love to have someone I can talk to. Do come out and bring Sheila.”

Upon his return to Britain, Stonehouse faced the music, and it wasn’t a merry tune. He was tried and convicted of fraud, theft, and forgery, earning himself a seven-year stay at Her Majesty’s pleasure. During his trial, Stonehouse opted to represent himself, proving once again that a man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client. His defense was as credible as his disappearing act was successful.

Stonehouse was released from prison in 1979, his political career in tatters but his knack for audacity intact. He later wrote books and lived a relatively quiet life until his death in 1988.

In the end, Stonehouse's life serves as a cautionary tale about the perils of ego.

Mark it well, you politicians who think that you are ten foot tall and bullet proof. Your egos are serving you well at the moment. Your guards in the form of so called public servants may be protecting you now. But mark my words, the sharks are circling just as surely as if you went for a swim with Harold Holt. 

My advice would be to wear a very good life jacket because it will not be long before I suspect you will need it. Because you are protected by men who are no better than you are and have the same set of morals. 

Sink or swim. And I think you had better start swimming. Pretend that you are eaten by sharks is one thing, but let's face, the sharks get you in the end. 

Dead in the Water.  

And this my friends, is something to consider. We are surrounded by sharks. Yes, Stonehouse was a bad man. But what did you expect? He was a politician. 

I will take Trump any day. He was a businessman. 



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