An expert on the paranormal, who bills himself online as "the GhostHunter", is set to become one of Britain's members of the European Parliament, according to reports.
The Financial Times says that Rupert Matthews is "poised" to become the next Conservative MEP for the east Midlands. Matthews has apparently had over 200 books published (sample titles: "Mysterious Yorkshire", "Mysterious Cornwall", "Haunted York", "Haunted London", "Bigfoot: True-Life Encounters with Legendary Ape-Men" etc). He is also a staff member at the International Metaphysical University, where he teaches a course called "Understanding Our Paranormal Universe".
According to the IMU:
This course serves as an introduction to understanding the wide range of phenomena that are often grouped together under the heading of “paranormal”. It will cover the a wide range of paranormal phenomena including the best known such as Ghosts, UFOs, Cryptozoology, ESP, etc, as well as some of the less well known phenomena for which the evidence is nevertheless strong. The course will also aim to make the student familiar with the paranormal experience as it affects those individuals who encounter the paranormal and how paranormal events should be investigated and researched. Finally some explanations for the apparently inexplicable will be put forward.
The Labour Party predictably had words of scorn for the Tories' apparent choice to represent Blighty in Europe. Emma Reynolds, the shadow Europe minister, told the pink 'un: “British MEPs should be focused on arguing for measures that will promote jobs and growth, not on finding the Yeti.”
Still, Matthews may not be quite such an oddball choice as he appears. He describes himself as an "investigator of the unexplained", which could be quite useful in dealing with the sometimes labyrinthine Brussels bureaucracy. ®