Open main menu

Paul Delaire Staines[1][2][3] (born 11 February 1967) is a British right-wing[4][5][6] political blogger who publishes the Guido Fawkes website, which was described by The Daily Telegraph as "one of Britain's leading political blogsites" in 2007.[7] The Sun on Sunday newspaper published a weekly Guido Fawkes column from 2013 to 2016.[8][9] Born and raised in England, Staines is an Irish citizen.

Paul Staines
Paul Staines.jpg
Staines in 2006
Paul De Laire Staines

(1967-02-11) 11 February 1967 (age 52)
Ealing, London, England
Alma materUniversity of Lincoln
OccupationPolitical blogger
Known forGuido Fawkes
Political partyformerly associated with:
Conservative Party
Social Democratic Party
Progressive Democrats

Staines acquired an interest in politics as a libertarian in the 1980s and did public relations for acid house parties in the early 1990s. He then spent several years in finance, first as a broker then as a trader. In 2001 he sued his fund's financial backer in a commercial dispute.[10] Consequently, Staines declared himself bankrupt in October 2003 after two years of litigation, and legal costs on both sides running into hundreds of thousands of pounds.[11]

In September 2004,[12] Staines began the "Guido Fawkes Blog of plots, rumours and conspiracy". The name is the Spanish name given to Guy Fawkes, and continues that symbolism with the masthead slogan "tittle tattle, gossip and rumours about Westminster's Mother of Parliaments. Written from the perspective of the only man to enter parliament with honest intentions. The intention being to blow it up with gunpowder..."

Early lifeEdit

Staines was born in Ealing, London to Irish-born Mary (née Cronin) and Indian-born Terril De Laire Staines.[13][14] Staines's father was a Fabian who went to work for John Lewis because it was a cooperative; he is from Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh; his mother is from a working-class background in Dublin.[15]

Staines grew up in Sudbury, London. Raised a Catholic, he attended Salvatorian College Catholic grammar school in Harrow.[13][14] Subsequently, he read business information studies at the Humberside College of Higher Education (now the University of Lincoln), but did not complete the course. While a student there Staines wrote to an organiser of the British National Party proposing joint "direct action" to disrupt the meetings of leftwing students.[16][17]

As a young man, he was a member of the Social Democratic Party, sitting on the national executive of its youth wing,[18] and the Conservative Party.[19] Whilst studying at college in Hull in the 1980s, he was a member of the Federation of Conservative Students.[20]

In 1981, he won the UK Atari Asteroids video games championship and went on to finish ninth in the world championships held in Washington D.C.[18]

Staines lives in Ireland[21] and was a member of the now defunct Irish political party, the Progressive Democrats.[22]


Staines is a libertarian who described in a 2000 publication[23] how he became a libertarian in 1980 after reading Karl Popper's The Open Society and its Enemies. He joined the Young Conservatives whilst at Humberside College of Higher Education, "because they were the only people around who were anti-Socialist or at least anti-Soviet". Having joined the Federation of Conservative Students, he described his politics as "Thatcher on drugs". He relates that at college he was a "right-wing pain in the butt who was more interested in student politics than essays", who went on "to work in the various right-wing pressure groups and think tanks that proliferated in the late eighties". He once said, "I never wore a 'Hang Mandela' badge, but I hung out with people who did ...".[20]

Staines has been active in the Libertarian Alliance. He was pictured at the 1987 Libertarian Alliance conference with a T-shirt supporting UNITA, produced by his Popular Propaganda enterprise (while at college), which produced posters and T-shirts.[24] Staines worked as "foreign policy analyst" for the Committee for a Free Britain, a right-wing Conservative pressure group, alongside David Hart. Staines acted as editor of British Briefing, a long-standing publication by the group that was a "monthly intelligence analysis of the activities of the extreme left" that sought to "smear Labour MPs and left-leaning lawyers and writers".[14]

Staines relates of his work with the Committee:

I was lobbying at the Council of Europe and at Parliament; I was over in Washington, in Jo'burg, in South America. It was 'let's get guns for the Contras', that sort of stuff. I was enjoying it immensely, I got to go with these guys and fire off AK-47s. I always like to go where the action is, and for that period in the Reagan/Thatcher days, it was great fun, it was all expenses paid and I got to see the world. I used to think that World Briefing was a bit funny. The only scary thing about those publications was the mailing list – people like George Bush – and the fact that Hart would talk to the head of British Intelligence for an hour. I used to think it was us having a laugh, putting some loony right-wing sell in, and that somebody somewhere was taking it seriously. You've got to understand that we had a sense of humour about this.[14]

In 1989, Staines published In the Grip of the Sandinistas: Human Rights in Nicaragua 1979–1989, under the auspices of the International Society for Human Rights (of which he was UK secretary-general), analysing the Sandinistas in Nicaragua from 1979 to 1989. He was then the editor of Human Rights Briefing.

He founded the Global Growth Org website,[25] a campaigning group for free trade for the third world. Campaigns included support for microcredit, as well as a pharmaceutical campaign to "promote the tariff-free trading of drugs in the developing world, secondly defend the re-importation and parallel trading of pharmaceuticals in the rich industrialised nations. Thirdly, to lobby legislators for patient-friendly duration limit". The site's last Hot Sheet was published in March 2005, and its last blog entry in June 2006.

Staines has said, he is now closer to the Conservatives and UKIP,[15] and is a committed Brexiteer.[20]

Acid houseEdit

Staines was PR officer for the Sunrise collective, an organiser of raves and acid house parties in the late 1980s and early 1990s.[14] Sunrise avoided legal issues by positioning its large-scale dance parties as private-member clubs, outside of police control.[26]

Faced with opposition from the Conservative government, and a Private Members Bill to clamp down on unlicensed parties, Staines, along with Tony Colston-Hayter, established the Freedom to Party Campaign at the Conservative Party conference in October 1989. Although the campaign had little impact, with a first rally in Trafalgar Square attracting 4,000, and a second 10,000,[14] Staines was still occasionally active in his role as director of the campaign, arguing in 1995 that individuals should have the right to have occasional noisy parties at home.[27]

Staines later described, in a Libertarian Alliance publication, the actions of police, using surveillance to clamp down on acid parties, as "truly a regime of which Stalin or Hitler himself would be proud, implementing socialist policies to protect the citizens from their own moral weakness", an action that "happened, not under a Communist regime, but under an increasingly authoritarian Conservative government".[citation needed]

Guido FawkesEdit

Criminal convictionsEdit

Staines has four alcohol-related convictions [28] including two for drink driving.

In 2002, Staines was banned from driving for 12 months for drink driving.[29] When he was convicted of the same offence six years later, he was asked in court by District Judge Timothy Stone whether he had an alcohol problem and replied: "Possibly." He was banned from driving for three years, as well as being given an 18-month supervision order and wearing an electronic tag for three months.[30][29]

Business interestsEdit

In 2006, Staines along with Jag Singh co-founded MessageSpace, a digital advertising agency which operates an advertising network representing dozens of leading political websites. In 2012 it advised the successful Boris Johnson London mayoral campaign. Private Eye reported in June 2012 that MessageSpace was advising the Russian Embassy in London on using social media.[31]

St Kitts and Nevis-based Global & General Nominees Limited (GGN) publishes the Guido Fawkes Blog. Staines describes himself as an "adviser" to GGN.[32] He is a director of Global & General Nominees (Hong Kong) Limited.


  1. ^ "Paul Delaire STAINES - Personal Appointments (free information from Companies House)".
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Guido Fawkes on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  4. ^ "The Most Feared Man In Westminster". Esquire. 31 July 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  5. ^ Edemariam, Aida (15 February 2013). "Blogger Guido Fawkes, aka Paul Staines: 'I still hate politicians'". the Guardian. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Paul Staines: The worm of Westminster". The Independent. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  7. ^ Graeme Wilson and Brendan Carlin. Focus on Labour website in peerage row. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 31 January 2007.
  8. ^ Aida Edemariam. "Blogger Guido Fawkes, aka Paul Staines: 'I still hate politicians'". the Guardian.
  9. ^ Twitter, William Turvill (30 November 0001). "Guido Fawkes Sun column ends, but editor Paul Staines says: 'The appetite for political scandal is back'".
  10. ^ "Sprecher Grier Halberstam Llp & Anor v Walsh [2008] EWCA Civ 1324 (3 December 2008)". Retrieved 20 May 2010.
  11. ^ "No. 57079". The London Gazette. 9 October 2003. p. 12536.
  12. ^ Fawkes, Guido. "Blair Heart Flutters". GGN. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  13. ^ a b So London Archived 18 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ a b c d e f Collin, Matthew; Godfrey, John (1998). Altered State: The Story of Ecstasy Culture and Acid House (2nd ed.). London: Serpent's Tail. ISBN 978-1-85242-604-0.—Staines features in this book written by Collin, the ex-editor of UK trend bible i-D magazine.
  15. ^ a b Edemariam, Aida (15 February 2013). "Blogger Guido Fawkes, aka Paul Staines: 'I still hate politicians'". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  16. ^ Smith, Edwin (31 July 2014). "Guido Fawkes: "The Lying In Politics Is On An Industrial Scale"". Esquire. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  17. ^ Rose, David (31 May 1986). "Tory student leader in 'racist' party link". The Guardian.
  18. ^ a b "Outed". Archived from the original on 14 April 2009.
  19. ^ "Hughes : It's a Straight Serious Choice". 8 February 2006. Archived from the original on 14 May 2007. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
  20. ^ a b c Perkins, Anne (7 April 2018). "Guido Fawkes: a cross between a comic and a propaganda machine". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  21. ^ "My Life in Media:Guido Fawkes". The Independent. London. 5 November 2007. Archived from the original on 8 January 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 2 November 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^ Paul D. Staines (September 2000). "A Kinder, Gentler, Kind of Libertarianism: Reflections on Two Decades of Libertarianism" (PDF). Free Life. Libertarian Alliance (37): 8. ISSN 0260-5112. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 June 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
  24. ^ Libertarian Alliance[dead link]
  25. ^ "Welcome to Global Growth Org | Campaigning for Peace and Prosperity". 2 July 2007. Archived from the original on 2 July 2007. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
  26. ^ Reynolds, S. Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture, Routledge, New York 1999 (ISBN 978-0-415-92373-6)
  27. ^ "Letter: Spare us the party police - Independent, The (London) - Find Articles at". 1 February 2008. Archived from the original on 1 February 2008.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  28. ^ "Paul Staines: The worm of Westminster". 3 December 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  29. ^ a b Duff, Oliver (30 April 2008). "Blogger 'Guido Fawkes' is led off to the Tower". The Independent. London. Retrieved 16 September 2008.
  30. ^ Reporter, Gordon Rayner, Chief (17 April 2009). "Guido Fawkes: the colourful life of the man who brought down Damian McBride". Retrieved 22 May 2018 – via
  31. ^ "Russian Embassy Using Social Media to Explain Foreign Policy". MessageSpace. 8 June 2012. Archived from the original on 21 September 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  32. ^ Rayner, Gordon (17 April 2009). "Guido Fawkes: the colourful life of the man who brought down Damian McBride". The Telegraph. Retrieved 12 August 2012.

Further readingEdit