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IN MEMORIAM: Mark Fitzgeorge-Parker aka Mark Daniel 1942 > 03-May-2014

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 03/05/2016

IN MEMORIAM: Mark Fitzgeorge-Parker aka Mark Daniel 1942 > 03-May-2014
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IN MEMORIAM: Mark Fitzgeorge-Parker aka Mark Daniel Born 1942 Died 03-May-2014 Mark sadly died in Cheltenham of pneumonia aged 72

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Mark Daniel photo
Mark Fitzgeorge-Parker who used the nom de plume Mark Daniel was born 1942
he sadly died early in the morning on Saturday 03-May-2014, in Cheltenham of pneumonia, aged 72.
I was saddened to hear of the untimely death of Mark who I first met in 2005 when he phoned me up and asked if I would permit him to buy me lunch in Chepstow as he was researching a book on UKIP for Roger Knapman:
KNAPMAN, Roger 02
who was at that time the leader of UKIP.
Subsequently we spoke in detail, often several times a week and asked to be on my mailing list, whilst he researched his book.
Mark was an interesting and well informed character and I soon learned from him of his Ampleforth & Cambridge education and the background and details of his earlier life and career. He made no effort to disguise any part of his colourful life, be that prison for passing dud cheques or being sued by his Father!
In 2005, shortly before the election, he published his book ‘Cranks & Gadflies, The Story of UKIP’, which is still the best and most accurate history and exposee of UKIP to that date. I well recall at the time Roger proclaimed his support for the book however I well remember Nigel Farage’s reticence to promote the book as he felt it was a little too accurate and comprehensive, perhaps as comment6ators said ‘warts and all’. Sadly no better nor more accurate book has been written about UKIP.
It is notable that despite Nigel’s reticence the book soon sold out and was very readable such that Mark was subsequently commissioned by Nigel Farage to write the two books about him, Mark was sufficiently competent a writer to write to a brief and be able to put a slant on a book to flatter and promote his client!
FARAGE, Nigel 39 The BookThe quote which was added was a comment made by Nigel farage’s long term associate the anti Islamic extremist and liar who inclines to incite racial hatred, Gerard Batten a UKIP MEP.
Mark’s second book promoting Farage was ‘Flying Free’ published in 2011.
In keeping with Mark’s willingness to publish warts and all when unrestrained the following review of his book on UKIP tells much of his history and personality:

‘A party of idiots, paranoiacs, whores and vagabonds’

Alexander Waugh reviews Cranks and Gadflies: the Story of UKIP by Mark Daniel.
19 Jun 2005
Isn’t it odd how people who group together under the banner of a shared opinion always seem to disagree more violently among themselves than with their declared enemies? It has always been the case. Take, for example, the early Christians. According to the ancient record of Celsus, written in about 178 AD: “Christians utterly detest each other, they slander each other constantly with the vilest forms of abuse… Each sect fills the head of its own with deceitful nonsense and makes perfect little pigs of those it wins over to its side.”
And so it is with UKIP – the United Kingdom Independence Party – whose founding purpose (to extricate Britain from the European Union) has been subsumed, in the 12 short years since its formation, by such a torrent of plotting, denouncing, suing, counter-suing, shrieking, back-stabbing and cussing that one wonders how many of its members have retained any memory of why they signed up with the party in the first place.
At a recent National Executive Council meeting one member became so livid with rage that he suffered a heart attack and died. And what about the time when such an almighty row broke out over who should be UKIP’s leader that the party was rent in twain and, for a while, two defiant UKIPs ran simultaneously out of two separate offices ?
In his absorbing history of the party, Mark Daniel appears to relish each scandal as it arises, gleefully relating how UKIP’s founder drained the party’s coffers to defend himself against accusations of slander and how a South East MEP stood for election in 2004 without mentioning that he was facing charges of housing benefit fraud (which remain subjudice and he denies fiercely).
Daniel also reveals how the party was infiltrated by the BNP activist, Mark Deavin; how UKIP’s Scottish organiser wrote to the newspapers declaring that the Nazi holocaust was grossly exaggerated; and he describes, with seeming glee, a party membership that is comprised of “idiots, paranoiacs and conspiracy theorists… freelance artists… traders, whores and vagabonds”.
From the outset, Daniel declares: “I have never been a party member.” It might easily be assumed from this that he is a disaffected party apparatchik whose sole purpose is to discredit UKIP in such a way that nobody ever votes for it again. But a couple of seconds of Google espionage reveals that Mark Daniel is in fact a nom de plume for Mark Fitzgeorge-Parker – who stood as a UKIP candidate in Exeter at this year’s General Election, ending in sixth place with 3.37 per cent of the vote.
A further scrimmage into the Fitzgeorge-Parker mystery reveals that the author enjoys something of a maverick past himself. Having been imprisoned as a young man for issuing duff cheques and pilfering precious books from Cambridge University libraries he used the Daniel pseudonym for a fictionalised account of his jail experiences. After his release, he found himself once again up in court on charges of libel and, in a parallel action, was sued by his own father for breach of copyright.
Perhaps none of this would be relevant had Daniel not chosen to call his book Cranks and Gadflies, a phrase drawn directly from Michael Howard’s intended slur on the UKIP membership, or if Nigel Farage, UKIP’s second-in-command, had not stood before the European Parliament denouncing individual members of José Barrosa’s Commission as ex-crooks, ex-communists and liars.
Daniel’s purpose in this warts-and-all exposé is not then, as far as I can tell, to discredit UKIP but, on the contrary, to make it seem like a quaintly attractive collective of “real people”. “Don’t mind me, I’m mad,” folks used to say to endear themselves to their school friends. That ploy didn’t work then and is unlikely to work for UKIP now. And if Daniel’s high-risk public relations experiment backfires it will cost the cranks and gadflies dearly.
To see the original of this extended review CLICK HERE
A close friend of Mark’s, Hannah Wright, said:

“He was just so intelligent and had a vast knowledge. He was a person that people would turn to for help and he would do anything for anyone.

“He had a great interaction with people and he was a real showman. But he was a complicated man and had a private side and could be reclusive at times.

“He was very kind and generous, but he could also be a difficult man, cantankerous and rude at times, but people were never offended.

“He was very good at reading people and was a truly gifted man.

“As one neighbour put it, he was often outrageous, but generally right”.

“He was passionate about so many things in Cheltenham – with one of them being that the town’s Jazz Festival was too quiet and should be louder.

“He had a massive impact on people’s lives and will be missed.”

I must say I found Mark to have all of these attributes and characteristics and thoroughly enjoyed my conversations with him and was flattered by the amount he used my then frequent eMails and my blogging as a source for his research, as of course did both media and UKIP leadership alike.

Mark in his younger days had been a keen fisherman and surfer and had inheristed his fathert’s love or art and also his father’s interest in horses, having been competitive steeplechased.

Tim Fitzgeorge-Parker was well known as a character and author particularly in the horse racing world.

Mark having lived in Italy, Ireland and France was fluent in both French and Italian and during my dealings with him was taking trips on costal cruisers in Norway and other Scandinavian ports as part of his work whilst living in Exeter as a regular columnist for The Western Morning News. Not only had he written 1,000s of columns for a variety of media but had published some 41 books.
In 2011 Mark moved to Cheltenham to live closer to his 20 year old son Kit.
Having moved to Montpellier in Cheltenham he threw himself, with his notable enthusiasm and commitment to people into life in Cheltenham and last year stood in the Gloucester County Council election for Lansdown and Park and this year was standing for a seat on Cheltenham Borough Council in Charlton Park ward. He had also stood for UKIP in the past when in Exeter.
An impressive intellect and sound knowlege in many fields will make the death of Mark a loss to many – the world is less colourful for his departure.
My condolences to his family and those whose lives he had touched.
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Regards,

Greg_L-W..

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