Double identity of David Davis challenger

LAST UPDATED AT 17:46 ON Mon 16 Jun 2008

There is no doubt that David Craig, the author of Squandered: How Gordon Brown is wasting over one trillion pounds of our money, and an occasional contributor to The First Post, is taking on quite a challenge in his quest to tackle mismanagement of the national purse. By announcing he will stand for parliament in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election, he is not only pitting himself against the formidable David Davis - and possibly former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie - he is having to fight the seat under a pseudonym.

It's not that he's trying to hide his true identity - it just happens that while his real name is Neil Glass, he has made his recent reputation as David Craig. How did it happen?

It goes back to an earlier book called Rip-Off about the scandal - as he sees it - of overpaid management consultants. Although he attracted the interest of two publishers with his synopsis, both publishing companies refused in the end to take the book for fear, he says, that it might upset the wrong people.

Intent on getting his voice heard on the subject, Glass decided to publish it himself. "But I knew that if I went to WH Smith and so on saying I was publishing it myself, I wouldn't stand a chance. They would see me as a vanity publisher and tell me where to go," he told The First Post today.
"So I created a publishing house called the Original Book Company and then 'employed' David Craig - a name I made up - to write the book."

It worked, in that Glass was not dismissed by the book stores as a vanity publisher and Craig's book went on to sell a healthy 10,000 copies.

By the time it came to Squandered, published in April by Constable, he hoped to revert to his real name. But it was decided it would be unwise of Constable not to exploit the success of his previous books. And so he is stuck with being David Craig.

Has he mentioned to the electoral authorities that he is, in effect, standing under an alias? "Yes, they know," says Glass. "I'm going to work it out when the time comes. The writ has not been moved yet so it will be a few more days before my candidacy is official." · 

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.