It would seem astonishing that at a time when information is freely available, there are still people who set up Ponzi schemes, and that there are still people who fall for it. But then again, who wouldn’t like to earn a ‘quick buck’ without too much effort …

There is however something more insidious. It is called ‘Pyramid scheme, and where a Ponzi scheme is, crudely described, about getting more and more people to invest their money in some sort of product so that returns can be paid to earlier investors, a Pyramid scheme explicitly relies on people recruiting more people, else they won’t be getting their pay-out.

Running Pyramid schemes is illegal in our country.

Now for the nitty-gritty.

There’s one recent entity called Lyoness, which was set up in Austria and has spread. Do read the whole wikipedia entry! It is controversial, and authorities in various countries are investigating. So in general, one would counsel one’s friends to be extremely careful and to think twice about joining such set-up.

What does that have to do with UKIP? Let me quote Dr Tomasz Slivnik, a member of the NEC, who earlier today sent me this urgent communication:

Some time ago, a party official introduced the Lyoness scheme (specifically see this) to the NEC with a proposal that the Party join the scheme and officially promote it to our members. The Party was told we would earn a commission. Upon interviewing the introducer, the NEC discovered that he was also going to earn a commission, which prior to our questioning, he had failed to disclose to us. We also performed our own due diligence on the scheme and decided to reject it. The Wikipedia page and the reference links on that page will give you a good indication as to why we reached such a decision.

“We became aware that the party official in question intended to promote the scheme to Party members at official UKIP events despite the NEC’s rejection of the scheme. The NEC resolved that “Lyoness shopping card shall not be promoted at UKIP events or by UKIP officers to UKIP members, and that such promotion in breach of this motion shall be deemed to be bringing the Party into disrepute“, and the Party Treasurer was directed to inform the official in question of this resolution of the NEC.

“I understand that at the UKIP chairmans’ conference yesterday, the official in question apparently willfully defied the resolution of the NEC and promoted the scheme to branch (and other level) chairmen regardless, apparently with the intent that the chairmen promote the scheme to their members.

“I believe that it is important that all the branch chairmen are made aware of the NEC resolution (branch chairmen would come under the ambit of “UKIP officers” of the NEC resolution) and I believe that our members should be warned of the issues surrounding this scheme and be informed that UKIP not only does not endorse this scheme but that the NEC have resolved to distance ourselves from it.”

Let me emphasise these points:

A member of UKIP is promoting a scheme to UKIP and UKIP branches which is as close to a Pyramid scheme as possible, and which is under investigation in various countries.

The statement by the NEC (see above) is self-explanatory, but let’s repeat the conclusion: promoting this scheme against the NEC motion is deemed to bring the Party into disrepute.’

That is clear enough, isn’t it!

At this time, when we are entering the hustings for a new UKIP Leader, and when so many of us are working hard on proposals and ideas on the way forward for UKIP, we cannot afford even the hint of a financial scandal.

Furthermore, it is unconscionable to expose ordinary members to possible financial liabilities when so many branches cannot even afford to field candidates in upcoming local and by elections for want of funding.

If there’s one lesson we all have learned over the last few years it is that UKIP must be whiter than white, because the hyenas in the MSM and establishment parties will use everything to stop us. What would be better than a financial scandal. It’s not just that members could become personally liable, it’s that all who get taken in would knowingly bring the Party into disrepute.

Information is the only way to prevent this, so please convey the warning and the motion of the NEC to our branch chairmen and our members by using this article: link to it, print it, hand it around as a matter of urgency!

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