Tag Archives: Brexit

25Mar/18

The Dangerous Fascist Ideology Underpinning the Far Right, Brexit and Trump

Steve Bannon’s star may well have fallen in recent times, but he remains America’s leading ideologue to this day. After not only losing his position as Strategic Advisor to the Trump Administration, he is no longer the executive chairman of Breitbart News. Bannon currently finds himself ostracised in US conservative circles and the Republican Party. 

What happens next with Bannon remains to be seen, but  it is undeniable that his influence, whether covert (Cambridge Analytica) or overt (using the platform of the Alt-Right propaganda machine Breitbart) has been astonishing. Bannon remains an influential voice within the Alt-Right, and his revolutionary brand of conservatism remains a powerful influence in hard right conservatism. But when you dig deeper into the beliefs of Bannon, they are, to say the least, disturbing.

Bannon Trump and Brexit:


There is no need to go into more detail with this (included early as a later reference), but Carole Cadwalladr’s excellent investigative journalism into Brexit, Trump, Mercer, Cambridge Analytica can be found here:

Even that simple graphic shows Steve Bannon, sitting like a bloated, alcohol fueled spider at the centre of the web of the greatest political upset the West has experienced in decades. 

Bannon and Dugin, Ideological Soul Mates? 

Aleksandr Gelyevich Dugin, sometimes called ‘Putin’s Brain’ and inevitably ‘Putin’s Rasputin’ is rightly considered the leading ‘intellectual’ of Russia’s Far Right (Fascist) ideologues. Erstwhile Trump supporter (soured after Trumps intervention in Russia’s proxy war in Syria).

Ra, Ra Rasputin lover of the Trump machine… 

Dugin, a mercurial and sometimes, seemingly, hypocritical figure on one hand, insists that “Western civilization is death” mocks Europeans as “Euromonkeys”: “We should throw away the entire West’s racism, we are people of Asia, of Eurasia, we should stop heading towards European culture.”, at the same time champions Trump’s, so-called, insurgency against the “globalist” beltway elites. Considered (and again rightly) the leader of the Eurasian/Traditionalist movement, Dugin likes to call for “destruction” of everybody who did not support traditionalist values. He also mocks, liberalism and supporters of Western human rights. Dugin’s Eurasianism, proclaims that Russia’s destiny is to lead all Slavic and Turkic people in a grand empire to resist corrupt Western values. At it’s heart it is a glorification, and yearning for the lost ‘Russian Empire’ (not to be confused with the USSR).
Dugin’s Neo-Eurasian nationalism is rooted in the political and cultural philosophy of the European New Right. Neo-Eurasianism is based on a quasi-geopolitical theory that juxtaposes the ‘Atlanticist New World Order’ (principally the US and the UK) against the Russia-oriented ‘New Eurasian Order’. According to Dugin, the ‘Atlanticist Order’ is a homogenizing force that dilutes national and cultural diversity that is a core value for Eurasia. Taken for granted, Eurasia is perceived to suffer from a ‘severe ethnic, biological and spiritual’ crisis and is to undergo an ‘organic cultural-ethnic process’ under the leadership of Russia that will secure the preservation of Eurasian nations and their cultural traditions. More than 14 Words, but amounts to the same.

Even though the ideology of Dugin has been examined in the MSM for a number of years now, most people remain oblivious to the man. Everyone needs to be aware, Dugin is dangerous, a mad philosopher who helped redesign much of the current Russian government and Russian people’s mindset. Dugin’s philosophy is a hate-ridden fascist ideology and one he has been exporting into the West for many years. 

At the heart of Dugin’s ideology lies his Eurasianism‘. In his book The American Empire Should Be Destroyed”: Alexander Dugin and the Perils of Immanentized Eschatology, James Heiser dissects Dugin’s ideology. 

The core to Dugin’s Eurasianism ‘is that “liberalism”, the entire belief system underpinning Western Culture:

‘Represents an assault on the traditional hierarchical organization of the world. Repeating the ideas of Nazi theorists Karl Haushofer, Rudolf Hess, Carl Schmitt, and Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, Dugin says that this liberal threat is not new, but is the ideology of the maritime-cosmopolitan power “Atlantis,” which has conspired to subvert more conservative land-based societies since ancient times. Accordingly he has written books in which he has reconstructed the entire history of the world as a continuous battle between these two factions, from Rome vs. Carthage to Russia vs. the Anglo-Saxon “Atlantic Order” today. If it is to win its fight against the subversive oceanic bearers of such “racist” (because foreign imposed) ideas as human rights, Russia must unite around itself all the continental powers, including Germany, Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet republics, Turkey, Iran, and Korea, into grand Eurasian Union strong enough to defeat the West’ (more on this here).’

 

For Dugin, Russia’s opponent

“is not just the United States, but Atlanticism, the axis of cooperation between Europe, US and Canada that crosses the Atlantic Ocean. These maritime, liberal nations value individuality and market forces.” (more)

Whilst Eurasianism has more support among the people of Russia, than (allegedly) within the Kremlin, and Dugin’s level of influence is contested by the Russian Govt, there are disturbing similarities with Putin’s Geopolitical aims and Dugin’s philosophy. 

Dugin was advising Russian elites as early as the 1990s that

“It is especially important to introduce geopolitical disorder into internal American activity,”

“Encouraging all kinds of separatism and ethnic, social and racial conflicts, actively supporting all dissident movements – extremist, racist, and sectarian groups, thus destabilizing internal political processes in the US. It would also make sense simultaneously to support isolationist tendencies in American politics …”

m’kkkay…

And as for Europe Dugin advises that:

“[t]he task of Moscow is to tear Europe away from the control of the U.S. (NATO),”

“In Germany and France,” Dugin advises, “there is a firm anti-Atlanticist tradition …” This tradition is embodied in ethno-nationalist movements like Marine Le Pen’s Front Nationale, whose cause Dugin urges Russia to promote by all means.

‘Do you have Lepenn I need to sign Le Cheque?’

If any of this sounds familiar, it is exactly what Mueller and the FBI are currently investigating in regards to Russian interference in the US election.

In 2015, Dugin was placed on a list of individuals sanctioned by the EU and US for their alleged role in instigating the Ukraine conflict. A one-time adviser to Sergei Naryshkin, a member of Putin’s inner circle and former foreign intelligence chief, Dugin is regarded as a key go-between for the Kremlin and fascists throughout Europe. IB Times.

For an excellent essay on Russia as a Fascist State (bearing in mind the ideological links to Dugin’s phillosophy) read this:

Putin’s Russia: A Moderate Fascist State

Despite their separate, and, seemingly incompatible, nationalisms Bannon and Dugin’s ideologies merge:

‘They both believe global elites have conspired against ordinary people. Their enemies: secularism, multiculturalism, egalitarianism. In both Bannon’s and Dugin’s worldview, the true global ideological struggle is not between Russia and the United States but between culturally homogenous groups founded on Judeo-Christian values practicing humane capitalism on one side and, on the other, an international crony-capitalist network of bankers and big business.‘  – Newsweek  

Both Dugin, and Bannon’s Breitbart (and foil hatted, conspiracy theorists) see Liberalism as the ideological movement creating a “One World Government,” led by  “Globalist Elites” who are out to deprive people of a sense of identity and to subjugate them to Corporations.

While Bannon may have no, known, direct ties to Dugin (or Putin, a man he has derided as a Kleptocrat), he has shown on a number of occasions that he is aware of his philosophy. Bannon referred to Dugin while answering questions at a talk hosted by the religious right-wing Human Dignity Institute in the summer of 2014.

“When Vladimir Putin, when you really look at some of the underpinnings of some of his beliefs today, a lot of those come from what I call Eurasianism,” said Bannon. “He’s got an adviser [Dugin] who harkens back to Julius Evola and different writers of the early 20th century who are really the supporters of what’s called the traditionalist movement, which really eventually metastasized into Italian fascism. A lot of people that (sic) are traditionalists are attracted to that.”

And even though the two never have, as yet, met, Dugin told The Daily Beast,

“I connect with Bannon’s focus of the entire presidential campaign: the denial of globalism, rejection of America’s hegemony, the return of religious and national interests, his criticism of liberals and respect for traditional values,” Dugin said. “Bannon is a bright personality, his team published my books in the United States, including The Fourth Political Theory.”

As with BannonDugin, believed (he’s not so keen on Trump now, but still a fan of Bannon)Trump’s victory ‘is a monumental strike against the “globalists”, whose candidate was Hillary Clinton’ and as noted by Big Think:

‘the (is) same language that you can easily find peppering conservative American websites like Breitbart News, Drudge Report and conspiracy king Alex Jones (a particular favorite of Dugin’s). He thinks Trump’s victory was a kind of “revolution” started by American people and should lead to worldwide defeats of the globalist agenda, draining the proverbial “swamp” the world over.’

As for Bannon, Dugin’s Eurasianism/traditionalism is seen as one that can be used as a bulwark against what he believes to be America’s greatest threats — liberalism and “radical Islam.”,

‘You know, Putin’s been quite an interesting character. He’s also very, very, very intelligent. I can see this in the United States where he’s playing very strongly to social conservatives about his message about more traditional values, so I think it’s something that we have to be very much on guard of. Because at the end of the day, I think that Putin and his cronies are really a kleptocracy, that are really an imperialist power that want to expand. However, I really believe that in this current environment, where you’re facing a potential new caliphate that is very aggressive that is really a situation — I’m not saying we can put it on a back burner — but I think we have to deal with first things first.’

 

“Trump’s top adviser thinks we’re in “the great Fourth Turning in American history.”

As can be seen, both Dugin and Bannon share much the same apocalyptic, nationalist ideology. Diverging on many issues, but a the very core they remain very much the same. As the Economist reported, “whatever the differences [between Dugin, Putin, and Bannon, they] do want to be in vanguard of a fight against certain common enemies, including secularism, multiculturalism, egalitarianism and modernity.”. Which brings us to…

Dugin, Bannon, Breitbart and the Far Right:

Of all parts of Dugin’s philosophy, his two tenets of Traditionalism and cultural purity are those that have  most infiltrated white nationalist and far right groups in the USA and Europe. Both Dugin and Bannon’s traditionalist view of identity lie at the heart of not only the rebranding of White Supremacy as White Identity but also Nationalism (Fascism) as Neo-Nationalism, Alt Right.

As Think Progress have noted:

‘One of Dugin’s biggest fans is Richard Spencer, the head of the racist National Policy Institute (NPI) and the man who popularized the term “alt-right.” Dugin’s work has been published on Spencer’s former website Alternate Right. And Spencer’s wife, Nina Spencer (who also goes by the aliases Nina Kouprianova, or Byzantina) has regularly translated Dugin’s work into English on her blog (though the blog gives the disclaimer saying that translated words are not necessarily the views of the translator).’

And of course it is a pure coincidence that, so many online pro-Trump supporters also posts pro-Putin/Dugin messages. According to the Sydney Morning Herald. American white supremacist and Alt-right leaders in the Charlottesville rally, Jared Taylor and Preston Wiginton, also promote the same ideology as Dugin and Bannon, as do so many others.

Bannon famously described Richard Spencer, as one of the leading intellectuals of the alt-right movement in an article in Breitbart .

As for Bannon and Breitbart, it too used the very same, slightly diluted rhetoric, to aid Trump’s ascension into the White House:

‘Where did the ideas that animated the candidate’s packed rallies — and juiced voter turnout in Rust Belt states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio — come from? “Build the wall!”? “Drain the swamp!”? “Crooked Hillary!”? “Deep state!”? Defining immigrants as violent gangs or murderous thugs? Painting American’s urban neighborhoods as crime-infested ratholes.

‘The core messages of the president’s underlying xenophobia and racism that animated his base didn’t emerge from the mind of “very stable genius” Trump (despite a long life of troubling racial attitudes). Instead, the nonstop undercurrent of hate toward The Other in American life was focus-grouped, computer-coded, deliberately amplified by a new ultra-right-wing media echo chamber (Breitbart) and then targeted with cruise-missile precision at the handful of states that Trump won by roughly 100,000 votes to grab the Electoral College.’ (more on this here).

Of course, it was not only Trump, Breitbart that ruthlessly promoted ‘the Other’ as a national threat, enter stage far right, Nigel Farage and Brexit.

Don’t say you did Nazi that coming…

And the official Vote Leave Campaign, getting in on the act

Brexit and Farage of course promoted by Breitbart, indeed even the Fuhrage himself proclaimed that Brexit would not have happened without Breitbart’s help. And Bannon Agrees:

‘Bannon made clear he didn’t believe Brexit would have happened without the British Breitbart bureau. Explaining that:

“Britain and Brexit loom large in Bannon’s revolutionary vision”, The Spectator quotes Bannon’s remarks: “Brexit would not have happened if Breitbart London had not started… We were the platform for Ukip ideas, particularly immigration.”’.

It seems that Breitbart are desperate to get that video removed. This was sent to a Blogger on Twitter for posting it, the video had had over 100,000 views by then.

 

Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore, it has been revealed had multiple contacts with Russian officials before the Brexit referendum:

 Multiple meetings between the leaders of Leave.EU and high-ranking Russian officials, from November 2015 to 2017.

 Two meetings in the week Leave.EU launched its official campaign.

• An introduction to a Russian businessman, by the Russian ambassador, the day after Leave.EU launched its campaign, who reportedly offered Banks a multibillion dollar opportunity to buy Russian goldmines.

A trip to Moscow in February 2016 to meet key partners and financiers behind a gold project, including a Russian bank.

Continued extensive contact in the run-up to the US election when Banks, his business partner and Leave.EU spokesman Andy Wigmore, and Nigel Farage campaigned in the US to support Donald Trump’s candidacy.

Source, The Observer.

And it is not just with Brexit and the US Far-Right. There is also Dugin’s ‘Russian Conservative Forum’ (for conservative insert the word fascist). 

In March 2015, a group of fringe political activists from around the globe met in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The prelude to what is now the rapidly growing World National-Conservative Movement. The WNCM’s specific goal is to support (both financially and through aggressive social media campaigning) radical far-right or far-left activist groups or individuals from around the world. 

Of course our very own British Fash were there:

It’s been a hard days knight… 

Dowson and Griffin, through their larping division of Britain First being some of the biggest social media promoters of Dugin’s Eurasianism (more akin to Bannon’s vision of it than Dugin’s), Putin supporters, Brexit supporters, and, of course Trump supporters. Even the New York Times acknowleges them: How a Putin Fan Overseas Pushed Pro-Trump Propaganda to Americans:

‘Mr. Dowson explained how his decision to establish an American social media presence was similar to the move into European markets by Breitbart News, the conservative provocateur media operation run by Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist.

“Simple truth is that after 40 years of the right having no voice because the media was owned by the enemy, we were FORCED to become incredibly good at alternative media in a way the left simply can’t grasp or handle,” Mr. Dowson said. “Bottom line is: BREXIT, TRUMP and much more to follow.”

‘Some analysts see danger signs in the nexus of Russian interests and far-right agitators in Europe and the United States. Social media can amplify even the most obscure voices, giving them a stage from which to broadcast a distorted message to credulous audiences.

“These messages seep into the mainstream,” said Alina Polyakova, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a nonpartisan international affairs institute in Washington. “They may have been extreme or fringe at one point in time, but they have been incredibly influential in shaping people’s views about key geopolitical events in a very specific direction.”

Dugin and a lead figure in Hungary’s Jobbick.

Russia is particularly adept at playing this game, Ms. Polyakova said. “Moscow specifically encourages and facilitates” the spreading of propaganda through proxies, she said, as well as through events like the Russian conservative forum, which showcases views and narratives favored by the Putin government.’

Putin’s aim is to sway EU countries “through coercion and corruption” away from Europe and towards Russia.

“Since the 2008 economic crisis, which provoked mistrust in the Western economic model, the Kremlin saw an opportunity to step up its influence operations in Europe’s three great powers – France, Germany, and the UK. Russia has developed well-documented relationships with anti-EU, far-right political parties and leaders. Russia seeks to infiltrate politics, influence policy, and inculcate an alternative, pro-Russian view of the international order.”

For Timothy Snyder, a Yale historian and prolific writer on central Europe,  his book, “The Road to Unfreedom” documents a determined effort by Vladimir Putin’s Russia to undermine liberal, law-based democracy. 

Mr Snyder also traces the,

Kremlin’s efforts to undermine the European Union by fostering Eurosceptic parties on the extreme right and left, as well as its drive to weaken America’s body politic. He believes that the election of Donald Trump, and the discrediting of Hillary Clinton, were with good reason seen in Moscow as a sweet success, achieved above all with the manipulation of electronic messages. In his view, this mood of triumph was felt not so much because of the policies that Mr Trump would follow, but because his cavalier attitude to the rules of the political game was subverting the American system. As Mr Snyder sees it, Russia finds flawed democracies easier to live with than healthy ones.

He also argues that:

‘getting into the heads of Americans and Europeans has become easier than it was during the cold war. The Soviet Union had to offer physical evidence that it was achieving more, scientifically and materially, than the West. But when voters spend hours a day in front of electronic screens, much can be achieved simply by a deft use of the messages flashing in front of them.’

More on this Here:

There is nothing new about this obviously. Andrew Foxall, director of the Russian Studies Centre at think tank The Henry Jackson Society, told IBTimes UK that the Kremlin had long nurtured the connections.

“Russia has been cultivating contacts with the UK far right for well over a decade. Since at least 2011, the Kremlin has invited members of the far right to monitor elections in Russia, speak at conferences there, and otherwise undertake friendly diplomatic initiatives,” he said.

The Kremlin has been accused of waging an information warfare campaign in Europe, sponsoring extremists groups, spreading fake news, and engaging in cyber attacks in an attempt to undermine European institutions.MI6 chief Alex Younger has warned that “hybrid warfare” campaigns of the type waged by Russia poses a threat to democracy.

According to a 2015 study by Foxall, ties between Kremlin-linked nationalists and British extremists extend back to 2005, when Kremlin ally and nationalist ideologue Alexander Dugin was invited to speak at a meeting of the British New Right group by Troy Southgate and Jonathan Bowden, both former senior BNP members. More on this Here:

More on Dowson/Griffin and their attempts to infiltrate the US Far Right market  here:

Dowson and Griffin, of course, not being the only British, far right fan of Putin, enter Mr Farage…again

Mr Farage of course, famously linked to whom many believe to be a Kremlin asset, Julian Assange (WikiLeaks servers now hosted in Russia). 

“WikiLeaks has been accused by Mrs Clinton of acting as a “fully owned subsidiary of Russian intelligence” after it published damaging emails, allegedly stolen by Russian operatives, during the 2016 presidential election campaign.

In June last year, Mr Farage dismissed a report that he was a “person of interest” in the FBI’s investigation into possible collusion between Mr Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia.”

Indeed, Nigel Farage is alleged to have slipped a USB stick containing data to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during a secret trip to the Ecuadorian embassy.

And Farage’s ideology?

Sound familier yet? 

 

Bannon, Mercer, Brexit and Trump:

And so we return back to the original premise of this blog, Bannon, Mercer, Brexit and Trump and the dangerous Fascist ideology that underpins all of this.


The final piece to the puzzle – Robert Mercer. The money behind Cambridge Analytica, Breitbart, and heavens knows what else. Disaster Capitalist, the reclusive Long Island hedge-fund manager, the major force behind the Trump Presidency. The man the Evening Standard dubbed the ‘Most Powerful Influencer You Have Never Heard Of:

If Robert Mercers plan was to loom like a Bond villain over the political stage, then he has pulled it off to staggering effect. Giant mansion? Tick. 203ft yacht? Tick. Financial and technological genius enabling his companies to yank the hidden strings of elections to devastating effect? Tick. All that’s missing from the picture we have of this elusive American billionaire is the purring white cat.

According to the New Yorker:

‘During the past decade, Mercer, who is seventy, has funded an array of political projects that helped pave the way for Trump’s rise. Among these efforts was public-opinion research, conducted by Caddell, showing that political conditions in America were increasingly ripe for an outsider candidate to take the White House. Caddell told me that Mercer “is a libertarian—he despises the Republican establishment,” and added, “He thinks that the leaders are corrupt crooks, and that they’ve ruined the country.”’

The Mercers noticed Bannon’s when he took over Breitbart in 2012. 

‘The Mercers recognized Bannon as an ideological ally. They also appreciated how quickly he improved the website’s finances.’:  ‘Bannon was respectful around Robert, says this person, but with Rebekah he was more apt to say precisely what he thought: “He worked for Bob; he worked with Rebekah.”’ (more Here) Indeed, it was Rebekah Mercer that persuaded Trump that he should put Bannon in charge of the campaign and hire the pollster Kellyanne Conway. It is difficult to ascertain just what the Mercers ideology really is, although the Atlantic cites sources that state:

“I don’t think [the Mercers are] as nationalistic as Steve,” said a Republican operative who has worked for the Mercers. “Steve is an unapologetic nationalist. I don’t think the Mercers are as much.” But “they share a real disdain for elitism. That’s what sort of binds them together.”

Another of the Republican operatives described Bannon as the “Obi-Wan Kenobi” to Rebekah Mercer, and a third was even more pointed: “Svengali.” Bannon is “really, really, really influential” with Mercer, said the former Breitbart employee. The Mercer’s, the former employee said, made their wishes known through Bannon, who would sometimes cite the company’s financial backers as a reason for Breitbart not to do a story.’.

And with Mercer/Trump/Russia links?

As Vanity Fair noted in 2017:

‘A day after Facebook disclosed that ads purchased by Russia before and after the 2016 election may have reached as many as 10 million people (now estimated at over 80 Million) in the United States, a clearer picture of the Kremlin’s micro-targeting operation has emerged. Sources tell CNN that Russia took aim at two swing states that ultimately proved critical for Trump’s victory in the 2016 election: Michigan and Wisconsin, states where Trump beat Hillary Clinton by just over 33,000 votes in total. The ads, which CNN reports were “highly sophisticated” in their targeting of key demographic groups, are the first indication of what parts of the country Russian operatives may have tried to sway during the election and raises new questions about whether they had any help.

This new evidence could be critical as Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller and congressional investigators continue their probe into Russian interference in the election. It could bring new scrutiny to the election data operation run by Jared Kushnerwhich used Cambridge Analytica, the data-mining firm funded by Trump backer Robert Mercer, to place ads on Facebook. Both the firm and Kushner have denied any collusion with foreign agents, but some members of Congress have openly wondered whether Russians somehow accessed their data. “I think the Russians had help,” said Congresswoman Jackie Speier, a California Democrat and a member of the House Intelligence Committee. “I’ve always wondered if Cambridge Analytica was part of that.”

Of course, Mercer has a long history of funding far right groups. Robert Mercer, whose family has reportedly donated $36.6m to Republican candidates since 2010, reportedly gave the money to Secure America Now, an organisation that produced several video advertisements apparently designed to promote anti-Muslim sentiment.

And again, another group that used social media (Facebook) to aid the election of Trump:

More importantly, most voters never saw the ads. And that was by design. The group….worked hand in hand with Facebook and Google to target their message at voters in swing states who were most likely to be receptive to them.

Full article here:

The Stepford Billionaires

9/04/2018 FBI raid Trumps lawyers, Squire, Patton and Boggs raided by the FBI. SPG also the lawyers for Cambridge Analytica…and lobbyists for Russia’s Gazprom. 

Bannon may be gone from the White House, and Breitbart,  the Mueller investigation rolls on. The recent revelations about Cambridge Analytica, Mercer, Bannon, Trump, Farage, Assange, Banks, Leave EU, Vote Leave have further harmed the legitimacy of not just Trump, but Brexit as well. But Bannon, even though seemingly reduced to touring Europe and shaking hands with Eurotrash-Far-Right, still holds tremendous sway over Trump’s base and the far right in Europe.

Dugin continues to promote his ideology, Putin continues to fund the far right in Europe and beyond. Russian/Western diplomacy is at a low after the poisoning in Salisbury, UK of a Russian Defector. This in turn has led to more and more conspiracies and chaos (the kind both Bannon and Dugin love). Farage seems to have settled into his new position as a Shock-Jock on LBC. But the ideology of Bannon and Dugin, an ideology that not only helped Trump get elected, but also influenced Brexit has entered the mainstream, it is a meme that will not die quietly. While some believe that even the Alt-Right in the USA have had their fangs pulled, they are still there, evolving and adapting, spewing out more poison. While we sigh with relief that Austria dodged the far right bullet in its elections, Gert Wilders failed in the Netherlands, it must be remembered that LePenn took 33% of the vote in France and 5 Star in Italy have maneuvered themselves into a position of power and influence. It’s all far from over yet. 

And the links to Cambridge Analytica, Trump, continue, pictured is John Bolton, Trumps new National Security Advisor (with Dan Hannan at the Vote Leave HQ on the night of the Brexit referendum). John Bolton who has been a vocal proponent of bombing North Korea and war with Iran…the chaos continues…

Additional:

We’re including this for people to make their own minds up about, as there seems to be no real smoking gun, but it is interesting:

ROBERT MERCER — MONEY LAUNDERER FOR VLADIMIR PUTIN

Renaissance Technologies (RENTEC) is the second largest hedge fund in the US, managing $45 billion in assets. It has a reputation for being the most successful hedge fund in history, for using quantitative trading strategies designed by top scientists, and for being extremely secretive.

Publicly available information on RENTEC implies that the firm is a massive money laundering tool disguised as a hedge fund, operating on behalf of Vladimir PUTIN.

Full Medium Article Here:

A really great thread from that covers more in depth Nigel Farage can be found here:

 Latest articleS:

Did philosopher Alexander Dugin, aka “Putin’s brain,” shape the 2016 election?

Alexander Dugin wants a left-right alliance against liberalism — and urged Russia to meddle in Western politics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

02Dec/17

51 thoughts on the ‘Alt Right’.

I spend a LOT of time hunting and destroying the feelings of the Alt-Right. A few thoughts on what I’ve learned about them:

1) They’re weak. Oh, how they are WEAK. They’re DEATHLY scared… of sex, mostly, and all the ways they can’t control it for themselves or others.

2) They are complicit in Russia’s attacks on the West. It’s not that they don’t KNOW Putin is behind so much of their propaganda. It’s that they welcome him. They see him as an ally in overturning the governments and cultures they detest.

3) It’s no accident that we see a massive overlap between racism & sexism. The Alt-Right essentially want to control access to white women, & they couch their hatred of foreigners largely in terms of the danger posed to ‘their’ white women.

4) They will never abandon Donald Trump because, essentially, he is their avatar. He’s as immature, ignorant, racist, sexist, & incompetent as they are. They glory in the way others react to Trump’s “power” because THEY have felt so POWERLESS.

5) The Alt-Right is always guilty of whatever it is they accuse those they hate of. Always. They have no imagination, but assume that the left is just like themselves. They lack the maturity to understand that other humans are actually healthy.

6) The Alt-Right’s railing against ‘globalism’ is hypocritical, considering that the Alt-Right itself is an international movement largely funded and nourished by Russian Military Intelligence. It’s essentially the ComIntern of the 21st Century.

7) The Alt-Right has an odd relationship with postmodernism. They viscerally hate that western culture is malleable (i.e. ‘white genocide’), but glory in the fabrication of complete untruths & the destruction of objective reality (i.e. ‘fake news’).

8) The Alt-Right make poor trolls, because they largely telegraph their own insecurities in their attacks. They’ll tell you, outright, how to hurt them, by calling you the names that they themselves are afraid to be called. They’re easy to defeat.

9) The Alt-Right isn’t new. The crippling feelings that motivate them are older than the United States. Anti-federalists, Know-Nothings, Confederates, and other groups throughout American history have also hated our government and our diversity.

10) They’re stuck in the past. Yes, they want to return to an idealized past of white power that never existed, but they’re also stuck in 2016. They don’t HAVE a plan for 2018 or 2020. They just want to relive Trump’s election victory endlessly.

11) They WILL try to undermine democracy again in 2018 and 2020. Remember, they don’t see liberal or minority votes as legitimate. They DON’T love democracy or America. They love TRIBALISM. Be vigilant about turning out and protecting the vote!

12) The Alt-Right loves to make fun of the ‘safe space,’ but, essentially, that’s what Ethno-Nationalism IS: a giant safe-space for racist white people. Even their preferred media is all a giant safe-space echo chamber to validate their feelings.

13) The Alt-Right isn’t as iconoclastic as they claim to be. Their media personalities, largely on fringe networks, websites, podcasts, & YouTube, want to REPLACE national media, not abolish it. They’re JEALOUS of the ability to influence culture.

14) They don’t have a pragmatic grasp of Realpolitik. Their feelings and vague goals do not take into account the fact that they are complicit in the weakening of the Western democracies, which, of course, is Putin’s real objective in all of this.

15) The Alt-Right’s influence is largely based on the unwillingness of social media platforms, like Twitter, to refuse to be used as tools of Russian espionage. If Twitter wanted to actually be patriotic, it could cripple the Alt-Right overnight.

16) The wailing of Right Wing figures about the First Amendment is disingenuous. The Alt-Right does not care about free speech. What they want is THEIR speech first made legitimate, and secondly, made the SOLE acceptable speech.

17) Never forget that the Alt-Right are, at heart, authoritarians. The fact that they don’t cringe at colluding with a murderous dictator like Putin tells you that they are not defenders of democracy at all, but its enemies. They are DANGEROUS.

18) While Alt-Right figures are easily triggered by the supposed distinctions they see among themselves, essentially their Supremacists would, given free rein, enslave people of color, while their Nationalists would merely violently deport all PoC.

19) We are right to call them traitors. The Alt-Right view liberals and racial/religious minorities as THE existential threat to their hegemony; greater than any geopolitical threat posed by Russia. They have chosen Putin over the US Constitution.

20) They hate that they’re ignorant. It’s why they invent words like ‘libtard’: to deflect their self-consciousness about their lack of education/economic power. They’ll cite YouTube and fringe blogs. They don’t understand or value peer review.

21) Alt-Right media personalities, like those that work at InfoWars and Breitbart, are con artists. They are in this to make money. Watch how often RW twitter accounts ask followers for money/book sales/GoFundMe support/YouTube video likes, etc.

22) Because Alt-Righters are weak and scared, they thrive on outraging those they fear. They like ‘shitposting’ and enjoy watching Trump do the same. Don’t be outraged by them. Mock them. Prey on their fears. Proactively hunt and diminish them. 

01Apr/17

Today Saw The Death Of Britain First, They Will Not Be Missed.

Britain First, once the great white hype of the UK Islamaphobia Industry died an ignoble death today. And to think that just a few years ago they were being lauded as the most dangerous far right group in the UK. And they were dangerous, their ability to manipulate Social media was second to none, their propaganda machine had a reach of millions, at one time they seemed a credible force after the slow demise of the BNP and EDL. But no more.

When a group, even on the back of the latest London terror attack try to march on the propaganda coup it gifthorsed them, and only attract around 150 people, you know that the party is over.

You can even see the desperation as they frantically cram as many flags into people’s hands that they can possibly hold.

Most fitting was that they were given a glimpse into their future by holding the march jointly with the remnants of the once mighty EDL. The same EDL that a few years ago managed to attract 3000 people to a demo in London. Today they could barely muster 30.

EDL lurch in support of Britain First.

Even Tommeh Waxy-Lemon seemed ashamed to be associated with them. And that on the back of his failure to kickstart Pegida UK.  His new BFF, the Trust Fund kid behind another failing far right media group must be wondering how he backed another loser.

It cannot be ignored that for years Goldy and Waxy have derided each other on social media, one decrying the other as a thug and criminal, the other as rip off ‘Zionist’ shopkeepers. The very fact they thought that together they could put aside their differences to attract hundreds to a demo highlights just how desperate they both are to retain some relevance. And they both failed, spectacularly.

The old guard of the far right are being eclipsed. Dowson and Griffin have run away to Hungary, desperately trying to exploit the discredited ‘Templar’ imagery to scam funds from gullible Americans. The National Front, the BNP, the EDL are just twitching corpses, deluding themselves that they still have a significance.

Britain First are well set down the same path to obscurity. They will continue to bleat away on Facebook not realising that they have ruined their own lives as they milk what little money they can from their dwindling followers. Not that they will disappear entirely, we will still see them for years to come, aging badly, screaming their inanities at an audience that has long since moved on.

But we cannot become complacent, replacements are standing in the wings, ready and waiting. Liberty GB are backed by money, but so far are struggling to gain support (it does not help that one of their main guys was convicted of race hate crimes). Ukip are bankrupt, led by incompetents and losing support in droves.

Which brings us to who, we believe, is the next far right threat. Arron Banks and his Ukip 2.0, the Patriotic Alliance. Britain First may have been groundbreaking in their social media manipulation, but Banks’s LeaveUK has taken this to a whole new level. The Patriotic Alliance will be connected, it will have the backing of fake news supremo’s Breitbart UK via Raheem Kassam. It already has the formidable social media machinery of LeaveUK. It is connected to Mercer, the American billionaire Hedge Fund owner believed to have used his business Cambridge Analytics to manipulate the Brexit result. And through Mercer it is also connected to Alt-Right, White Supremacist Bannon, Trumps Chief Strategist.

Just what shape the patriotic Alliance will take is yet to be seen. It will be anti-immigrant. It will be Islamaphobic. It will be fascism in a suit and tie. Britain is about to go through its most traumatic time since WW2. Brexit is already making people poorer and if/when it fails…well, these are fertile grounds for fascism to take root.

¡No Pasarán!

 

Oh and the Trust Fund bellend…

 

11Feb/17

Should We Worry About…Fake News?

“Fake News”…the social media phenomenon of 2017. But what exactly is classed as fake news? How do you spot it? And should we be worried about it?

Fake news websites (also known as hoax news) deliberately publish hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation purporting to be real news – often using social media pages and accounts to drive web traffic and amplify their effect. The vast majority of these websites are monetized by ads, usually Adsense and other methods (usually by using an accompanying video which is itself monetized on Youtube)

It is important to distinguish between actual fake news sites and  news satire sites,such as the Rochdale Herald, Newsthump etc.

News satire sites, whilst walking a thin line between comedy and fake news, are the polar opposite of a fake news website.

Fake news websites seek to mislead, rather than entertain, readers for financial (not to say that satire sites are not monetized as well), political, or other gain.  Such is the perceived threat from these sites that world leaders have felt the need to pronounce about them.

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Wednesday against the power of fake news on social media to spur the rise of populists, after launching her campaign for a fourth term.”
Read More Here:

In the UK Labour MP Michael Dugher was assigned by the Labour Party Deputy Leader Thomas Watson in November 2016 to investigate the impact of fake news spread through social media.   Watson said they would work with Twitter and Facebook to root out clear-cut circumstances of “downright lies”. in an article for the Independent Watson  suggested methods to respond to fake news. Conservative MP, and Minister for Culture Matthew Hancock, stated the British government would investigate the impact of fake news and its pervasiveness on social media websites.

Pressure from the UK, the EU, the USA and other Governments has led to social media giants, Google, Twitter and Facebook promising to tackle fake news on its platforms. Google first updated its policy saying that the company will try to ban sites that “misrepresent, misstate (sic), or conceal information.” Websites who don’t comply with this rule will get banned from using Google AdSense.  Facebook, has also updated its policy to rule out fake news sites from using Facebook Audience Network. More:

German politicians want to go a step further than this, Thomas Oppermann, who leads the SPD in Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, Speaking with “Der Spiegel” magazine, Oppermann said that harsh punitive measures were necessary in order to make social networks

Thomas Oppermann SPD (picture-alliance/dpa/A.Jensen)
shoulder their share of the burden. He suggested a fine of 500,000 euros ($522,000) if websites such as Facebook didn’t remove harmful material within one day of being notified of it.
So, Governments and social media sites are making moves to prevent fake news, but just how worried should we be about it? And what effect does it have in the real world? 
Fake news can start of innocently enough, a post on Twitter or Facebook. But occasionally these posts can go viral. The New York Time’s noted this particular incident last November (2016). 

A simple enough post. Man spots buses lined up and jumps to the conclusion that it was Hilary supporters being ferried in to demonstrate against Trump during the election. The post was by a certain Eric Tucker, and this seemingly innocent mistake fuelled a worldwide conspiracy theory — one that Trump gleefully joined in promoting.

The post was quickly picked up by fake news sites.

All of this seems harmless enough, except that even though it was thoroughly debunked, a great many people still believe it to be true. 
This is just example of how fake news can accidentally be created. But what happens when fake news is specifically created for more sinister purposes?  To try to influence an election? Promote extremist views? vilify an entire race/religion? 
People familiar with the hate group Britain First on Facebook will know that it is mostly known for its spread of repackaged viral memes online and spinning stolen news articles for its own advantage. Many people forwarding these memes are unaware of the origins of these posts, and thus misinformation and disinformation are spread abound.  What is concerning is that, most people who read the fabricated stories on Facebook — such as the widely-circulated hoax meme that Pope Francis had endorsed Trump — actually believed them.
And now we come to Mr James Dowson, head Coconut Tapper at Knights Templar International.
Jim Dowson, described by The Times as an “inveterate agitator” and “the invisible man of Britain’s far right”.  Dowson himself advocated Britain’s exit from the EU and has expresses admiration for the Russian President, Vladimir Putin. Dowson has made it his mission, according to messages posted on one of his sites, to
spread devastating anti-Clinton, pro-Trump memes and sound bites into sections of the population too disillusioned with politics to have taken any notice of conventional campaigning,” in the same way that Dowson “made deft use of social media … to promote [his] work and convey an impression of mass following”, according to the New York Times.
Thankfully, it seems that Dowson’s fake new sites have been closed down (but not the mouthpiece of Nick Griffin KTI page). But this is a man who advocates a war against Islam, has links to Russia,  the Syrian regime and neo-Nazi paramilitaries throughout Europe (and further).

Even during the 2015 conservative (read Nazi) forum in Russia,  Dowson stated:

“We have the ability to take a video from today and put it in half of every single household in the United States of America, where these people can for the first time learn the truth, because their own media tell lies, they tell lies about Russia,” Mr. Dowson said then.

“We have to use popular culture to reach into the living rooms of the youth of America, of Britain, France, Germany, and bring them in,” he said. “Then we can get them the message.” Video

 

Dowson and his Knights Templar use of fake even prompted an investigation by Channel 4 News for its Fake News Week series 10/02/2017.

Obviously, it is impossible to tell just how much fake news influenced the US election and helped to put the Tangerine Toddler into the most powerful office in the world. But it is potential links to fake news sites and Putin that are the most concerning.

Some analysts see the hallmarks of Russian interests and far-right agitators in Europe and the United States.  Alina Polyakova, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a nonpartisan international affairs institute in Washington believes that fake news.

“Messages seep into the mainstream, they may have been extreme or fringe at one point in time, but they have been incredibly influential in shaping people’s views about key geopolitical events in a very specific direction.”

 “Moscow specifically encourages and facilitates the spreading of propaganda through proxies”

 

Even the term Fake News has begun to be abused. Comment after comment on social media news articles from MSM sites states “FAKE NEWS!!!!”; in todays Post Truth world it seems that fake news is believed by many people to be anything they disagree with.

The President of the United States is at it:

That was a fake Tweet Mr President….

Should we be worried about fake news? It is too soon to tell really. What is worrying is the the ability of people with sinister motives, backed by money (and possibly by foreign powers) being able to shape the public conscience.

And never forget…

¡No Pasarán!

 

24Jan/17

Should We Be Worried About…Hard Brexit?

Brexit, it’s everywhere; Brexit means Brexit, Hard Brexit, Soft Brexit, Red White and Blue Brexit. On January 17th Theresa May acknowledged that leaving the EU would involve, as she called it, “trade-offs”, and indicated some of the choices she would make. She will pursue a Hard Brexit  and her Gov’t will be taking the United Kingdom out of the Single Market and the European Courts (remember her history as Home Secretary?).

So Hard Brexit it is (or as it has been re-branded, Clean Brexit).

But should we be worried about a Hard Brexit?

No-one has much of a clue what the UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU might look like. For a UK negotiation to be successful, it needs willing and constructive co-operation on both sides.  But, as we have seen from the rhetoric coming out from other EU leaders; Boris Johnson and May seemingly intent on upsetting and insulting the EU, this does not seem likely.  The primary intention of the EU in the negotiation process is unlikely to be benign for the UK, as it will seek to make sure that the UK does not get a better deal outside the EU than as a full member, in order to deter other states from exiting.  The EU will accept the short term negative impact of decreased trade with Britain in exchange for the long term benefit of continuing to exist as the EU.  Another factor that clouds the negotiations are two critical elections, one in France (where the far right Front National are making gains) and in Germany. Both Merkel and Hollande have consistently offered a hardline toward the UK over Brexit. 

But one thing is certain, it will affect Sterling. As everyone who has been following the Brexit debacle knows, immediately upon the announcement of the referendum result last June, Sterling nose-dived.

And has since barely recovered.

And Sterling continued to take hits EVERY TIME May or the Brexiteers hinted at a Hard Brexit.

Opinion is divided amongst economists as to whether Sterling will experience another Flash Crash on the triggering of Article 50. Some believe that the Pound will fall further until it reaches parity with the Dollar, whilst others believe that Sterling is now undervalued and will recover (but not to pre-referendum levels). It should be noted that, after May confirmed the type of Brexit the UK would undertake, Sterling improved (aided mainly by inflation and the weak Dollar).

TIMELINE OF STERLING POST BREXIT

1. June 24: Sterling collapses more than 12 per cent to a 30-year low after Leave win confirmed.

2. August 4: Bank of England launches QE programme to prop up the economy and cuts the interest rate further.

3. October 6: “Flash crash” — pound collapses to $1.14 in the space of a few minutes.

4. November 3: High Court’s Article 50 ruling against government boosts the pound.

5. January 9: Pound fluctuates again as May confirms Hard Brexit.

British citizens have not yet felt the full impact of a devalued currency – unlike British pensioners living in other EU countries like France and Spain that felt it in their pockets the very next day after the referendum. But this is set to change. 

The first inflation statistics after the ref result, from the Office for National Statistics back in September showed the annual inflation rate rising from 0.6% to 1%, its highest for almost two years. The ONS said, at that time, that the cost of living had yet to be much affected by the drop in the value of the pound seen since the EU referendum, but the Bank of England, the International Monetary Fund and City economists believe that inflation will rise above the government’s 2% target in early 2017 and will reach at least 3% by the end of the year.

And experts are expecting more depressing news in January 2017:

“Inflation is expected to have finally reached the Reserve Bank’s 1% to 3% target band when official figures are released on Thursday.” More

The fact that inflation, so far, has not risen to the same levels as the devaluation of Sterling (inflation always follows a currency devaluation) can be attributed to a number of reasons. Businesses always try to keep short-term currency fluctuations away from the consumer, by buying in bulk, at a fixed exchange rate etc. But these measures are running out, hence the expected inflation rise. Other factors involved was the price war between the major supermarkets and the same with petrol station forecourts, but again these are coming to an end (The price of Crude has already increased, and we buy Crude in Dollars and this will, as always conflate the inflation). 

Obviously, any inflation will hit the poorest and most vulnerable the hardest.  And this in a country that has seen the worse fall in living standards in more than a century. 

Typical working households were £345 a year worse off than before the economic crisis, according to the ONS in 2016 – the same as the previous year. Middle-income working-age households saw their incomes grow by just 1% last year. Pensioner households were £656 better off after a 3.1% rise in median incomes, from £21,114 to £21,770. More

Also, more than 2.3 million families are living in fuel poverty in England – the equivalent of 10% of households, according to government statistics. And again this situation will only get worse when the inflation really starts to kick in. And all this comes at a cost to Government finances.

And Brexit is happening at a time when the working poor and people on benefits are having to resort to using Food Banks at record levels.

One of the cruelest ironies with Brexit is that the 2 demographics that voted for it in the highest numbers, the elderly and the poorly educated, are most likely to suffer the most from it.

It is pretty much a certainty that the Pound will take another hit on the triggering of Article 50. The one thing that is certain from any type of Brexit is that inflation will increase, on a Hard Brexit even more so than a Soft. And if we have to resort to World Trade Organisation rules, that will mean tariffs, and again that will conflate an already bad situation for millions in the UK.

The Economy

So far, since the referendum result, the UK economy has defied expectations and remained relatively strong – much to the delight of Brexiteers and the believers of the ‘Project Fear’ rhetoric from the Leave camp.

Indeed, official figures have shown the economy was outstripped only by the US among the large economies last year after growth in the third quarter was upgraded to 0.6%.  Another surprising result was that consumer spending actually increased after the referendum result.

But behind these figures lies a disturbing reality. Even though UK incomes have been stagnant, consumer credit grew at an annual rate of 10.8 per cent in November, according to Bank of England figures, the highest growth rate since 2005. In short, this consumer boom has been built on an unsustainable level of credit. 

Twice before, and both times under Tory governments we have seen this – the Barber Boom of the early 1970s and the Lawson Boom of the late 1980s and BOTH times the economy became overstimulated, creating a bubble which then burst.  And both times led to economic chaos. Although there are signs that this consumer boom is already slowing, sales in December 2016 were actually down from the previous year as the inflation starts to hit people’s pockets. This may prevent a credit bubble burst, but as the UK’s economic growth has been led by spending, it will impact growth further. 

Another reason put forward for the higher than expected growth after the ref has been that the collapse in the value of Sterling has helped exports. This is true, exports have increased…except the Trade Deficit has not reduced, in fact it actually increased. 

The gap between the UK’s imports and exports hit £4.7bn in August, up from £2.2bn in July, the ONS reported in its second monthly trade bulletin since the Brexit vote. The deficit with the EU grew by more than £1bn to £8.4bn. UK manufacturers have reported a rise in both domestic and overseas demand, but imports are now more expensive as sterling depreciates more. The ONS stated there was “only limited evidence so far” that the fall in the pound’s value had led to a “marked increase in UK exports”.

One of the reasons for the poor export increase is due to the fact that the UK’s economy is not diverse enough. The UK does sell more services abroad than are imported – but this is not enough to counter the bigger deficit in the value of the goods sold abroad, compared with the value of the goods imported.

 Jobs

There have already been job losses associated with Brexit. Hewden: The machinery rental business went into administration blaming the Brexit vote for poor trading. Rivington Biscuits, the maker of Pink Panther wafers, has gone into administration, blaming the fall in the value of the pound following the Brexit vote. And more, with more businesses expected to fail over the coming months and years.

By far the two industries most at risk from Brexit are the Financial/Banking industries and the UK Car Manufacturing industries. Indeed, Ford have already threatened that they may have to close plants in the UK. And Nissan, after stating that they will build the Qashqai model at their Sunderland plant even with the ref result have now decided, during the 2017 Davos meeting that they will have to reconsider the plants viability after a Hard Brexit.  The cold irony of this is that both these companies are located in towns (Sunderland, Dagenham, Bridgend) that actually voted to Leave. The car industries face a double whammy from a Hard Brexit, one with the Tariffs on completed vehicles, and another to the supply chain for the parts needed to actually make the cars. The numbers employed in these industries are in the thousands.

The UK financial industries are also set to cause unemployment. During the Davos meeting in January 2017 the UBS Chairman Axel Weber said that about 1,000 of the Swiss bank’s 5,000 employees in London could be affected by Brexit, while HSBC Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver said his bank will relocate staff responsible for generating around a fifth of its UK-based trading revenue to Paris. Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper also reported that Goldman Sachs is considering halving its London workforce to 3,000 and moving key operations to New York and continental Europe, particularly Frankfurt, where it could move up to 1,000 staff. More.  This will be a massive hit, not only to the thousands employed by the banks, but also to the UK’s Tax receipts, 12% of the total comes from the City.

Three MILLION jobs in Britain depend on trade with the EU, with many economists reckoning that the true figure is actually higher. Obviously not all the the jobs will be lost, trade will continue after Brexit, But more job losses are inevitable, more so on a Hard Brexit.

Brexit And Rights

One of the reasons Theresa May has used for her stance on a Hard Brexit is for the UK to leave the jurisdiction of the EU Courts. For many years the UK tabloids have been filled with lurid stories of foreign criminals being allowed to remain in the UK due to ECHR judgements. Take this screaming headline from the Sun for example:

“Britain has lost more than 200 cases in the European Court of Human Rights, at
a cost of £4.4million to taxpayers. Strasbourg judges have ruled in favour of — and awarded compensation to — murderers, terrorists, paedophiles and rapists.”

But these stories, gleefully leaped upon by the gutter press are the minority, the EU Courts have actually protected UK citizens on many. many occasions. When we leave the EU Courts, no UK citizen will have recourse there. Here are 11 times the ECHR changed the UK for the better.  And most recently, May’s flagship ‘Snoopers Charter’ legislation was deemed illegal due to EU Human Rights legislation.

And it is not only legal rights that have been protected, embedded in EU Legislation are rights that govern employment, health and safety, privacy, the list goes on and on. We risk losing all these protections on a Hard Brexit. Especially as the current UK chancellor of the Exchequer has threatened to turn the UK into a low rights tax haven on a Hard Brexit. 

 

Should we be worried about a Hard Brexit? Damn right we should be worried, the potential (inevitable) economic chaos will only serve to make the majority poorer. Job losses are a given, our Public Services are under threat, our Rights are threatened, our standing in the world threatened, our security threatened. Putin is lurking in the shadows, rubbing his hands in glee at Brexit. President Trump’s rhetoric is becoming more and more isolationist. The EU is hardening its stance toward the UK. Of  course, this is not an exhaustive list of the potential dangers of a Hard Brexit, and no one actually knows what will happen when Article 50 is triggered in March. It is certain that the current Govt have no mandate for a Hard Brexit, no mandate to put the UK at such a great risk.  The referendum was advisory only and if the polls are to be believed, a great many Brexit voters now regret their vote. The referendum was Cameron’s attempt at finally ending the internecine Conservative Party civil war over the EU – it blew up in his face badly.  The Leave campaign was defined by its lies and reliance on people’s emotions rather than the facts, people were sold a lie.

And remember the rise in Hate Crimes after the referendum? Imagine what could happen on a Hard Brexit and everyone suffers for it.


When Brexit does not deliver what so many Brexiteers think it will deliver, who will they turn against next?

 

 

 

 

 

23Jan/17

Resistance – An East End Girls Story

I will try to keep this post short-ish and to the point. It probably the most important post I will ever write so I hope you will indulge me.

I’m 53 years of age, from the East End, grew up with everyone around me still living WWII from living among rubble (yep it was still around in the 60s), to UXBs still being found, to older people talking constantly about the blitz and Moseley. At around 8 years of age I was sitting with my Grandfather watching All Our Yesterdays and he started to cry. He said to me ‘this is where hate leads, it must never happen again and its up to your generation to make sure it never happens again’ I took that seriously, and I often wondered what I would have done had I lived in Germany faced with the rise of the Nazis, and even at that age concluded that I would have been a part of the quiet under the radar resistance. I thought later that was a romantic childhood musing and nothing more.

In the 1970s Idi Amin expelled the Asian people from his country and they came here. People were picketing Heathrow airport with signs telling the Asian refugees to go home, telling them they were not wanted. This was a time when white women who dared to walk along hand in hand with a man of a different culture/colour/religion were openly spat at, called a ‘whore’, told things like ‘your fanny must be fucking rotting’ and all done in front of children. The national front were a rabble running around causing chaos. People thought it funny to leave gollies on the desks of black or mixed race people at work, and if they didn’t laugh they were told they had a chip on their shoulder. Most did not complain and rarely were they stuck up for. Asian people had to endure being called ‘Gungadin’ or ‘wallah’ or other such names overhung from a perception of a Raj and ‘bud bud’ noises were quite normal to hear being thrown toward them. People from Chinese Asia were supposed to laugh at and join in the fun when fully grown adults slanted their own eyes to them and chanted such hilarious quips as ‘I’m a ching chong chinaman, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhshole’

In the late 80s/early 90s after the Berlin wall fell I began to notice news reports of neo nazis from those countries which has once been taken over by the nazis and then taken behind the iron curtain. It seemed that the nazi ideology, defeated in the minds of some, had been merely in some suspended animation. Again, I was taken back to my grandfather’s words and my romantic musings about being a resistance hero. We had Margaret Thatcher who shifted politics to the right. We had the unions stomping everywhere shifting opinion away from the left. I began talking to people about this rise and subtle political shift and was always met either with sniggers, or advice to ‘get a grip, life’s too short, stop living in the past’. I more or less had a decade where I forgot all about this, where thankfully laws began to tackle the kind of abuses people who were not WASP males had to endure. We had TV programmes like Roots, films like Ghandi, the apartheid regime in SA and support growing for Nelson Mandela all together showing the kind of abuses those we had been happy to taunt had had to suffer. Attititudes began to shift. Children were born into a country where they were more likely to call out and tackle racism and openly reject it.

For a while things seemed to be going forward. And then in the noughties UKIP began to grow. Farage took over. At first he was not known, only appearing now and again in small news items. There was no defining period when he was suddenly propelled forward in the media. It seemed like a gradual transition, a drip drip drip, a subtle rise. Jean-Marie Le Penn in France became a ‘thing’ in our media, dismissed as a buffoon. And suddenly, around 6/7 years ago Farage and his message of anti immigration and anti immigrants was everywhere. The country laughed at him as they did Le Penn. But they were not talking to us, they were directing their very simple message to those WASP males who felt their rights to laugh at, abuse and generally lord it over anyone who was not like them had been ripped from them unfairly, this is the ‘common sense’ they speak of. The words ‘political correctness’ began to be used as a weapon, a term which denoted a stripping away of some perceived moral rights to speak and laugh as they wished. While we were laughing at Farage those people were taking him and Le Penn seriously, they were listening. They began to feel emboldened. Again I started to talk to people and try to stop them laughing at UKIP and Farage, even those who would instinctively agree with my liberal stance laughed at me and told me it wasn’t going to happen. When the by election came in Clacton (I know the area well) I was met with ridicule when I said the predictions of 62% for Carswell was right. When he won I was told it was a one off, a cut off Hamlet which didn’t represent the rest of the country. Again my mind went back to my Grandfather’s words. I knew we would Brexit. I heard the mutterings of those people Farage had been seducing and cultivating for several decades rising, those same people who had abused white women in the street, picketed Heathrow, the ‘Enoch was Right’ brigade.

And here we are. I am still being told to ‘get a grip’. I am being told now that it is my fault that the far right across Europe is on the edge of taking over Europe again. It is my fault because I denied those people the right to abuse me, as a woman, my friends and neighbours who are not WASP, I am told now that I am a neo nazi because I am a liberal I am therefore a socialist and Hitler was a national ‘socialist’ and therefore on the liberal left of the political spectrum. I am now the enemy. We are now at a watershed. We sit on the edge. Now is the time my romantic childhood musings of being a part of a resistance against extremism have become a reality. We all have to make a choice now. We all have to decide whether to fight the monster of the far right neo nazis who not only have teeth and a voice, but have legs and agency. The neo nazis are organized, they are united (Farage wasnt joking when he said after his resignation that he was going to spend time in Europe encouraging other countries to leave, what he meant was he is going to unite other neo nazi groups). Now we have Trump. The puppetmaster of the far right. An unstable narcissist who is breathing life into the never defeated but sleeping nazis worldwide. Farage is with him now, in the bossom of right wing US media. The Lord Haw Haw of modern times. I know what I am going to do. All I ask now is that everyone here ask themselves what they are going to do. There are 2 choices. 1. Give in and appease 2. Resist.

Author Anonymous: EDIT: I AM NOT GINA MILLER, I CANNOT AFFORD 24/7 PERSONAL PROTECTION FOR MYSELF AND MY CHILDREN. I AM HAPPY FOR PEOPLE TO SHARE MY WORDS, AS LONG AS MY NAME IS TAKEN OUT AND I CAN REMAIN ANONYMOUS.

Reposted from Remain Visual

03Jan/17

Daily Mail ‘Foreign Aid Cashpoint’ Front Page Fact Checked.

 

 

We woke up this morning to another Daily Fail, anti Foreign Aid headline:

 

OUTRAGE!

 

Where to start with this one? Okay, this is the actual scheme:

“Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) was launched in July 2008 with an immediate objective of consumption smoothening and cushioning the negative effects of slow economic growth, the food crisis and inflation on the poor, particularly women, through the provision of cash transfers of Rs. 1,000/month to eligible families. Its long term objectives include supporting the achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to eradicate extreme and chronic poverty, to empower of women and to achieve universal primary education. The monthly installment was enhanced to Rs. 1200/- per month w.e.f 1st July, 2013 by the present government and has now been fixed at Rs. 1500/-per month w.e.f 1st July, 2014.”

How very dare they?

This project was initiated for poverty alleviation and women empowerment among the socially and economically marginalized sections of Pakistan. Due to the international financial, fuel and food crisis, Pakistan witnessed escalating inflation over the past few years. In addition, Pakistan’s economic problems were exacerbated due to the global war on terror and consecutive natural disasters in 2010 and 2011. This has created a domino effect on Pakistani production sector and population’s ability to sustain. The number of people living below the poverty line is significant and more vulnerable households are at the risk of falling below the poverty line.

Women are specifically adversely affected by chronic poverty as six out of ten of the world’s poorest people are women who must, as the primary family caretakers and producers of food, shoulder the burden of tilling land, grinding grain, carrying water and cooking.

And what does this aid do?

  • It identifies 7.7 million households who are living below poverty cut-off score of 16.17
  • It creates a large and reliable national registry of the socio-economic status of around 27 million households across Pakistan
  • It uses GPS to map the data of the entire country for informed decision making (for example, to respond to natural disasters and other emergencies)
  • It validates the targeting process through third party evaluation

 

BISP beneficiaries to be trained in industrial skills

 

Women and children recieving aid.

  • The cards give the poorest families in Pakistan; people who live on under £1 a day, £10 a month to enable them a very basic standard of living.
  • UK backing for the Pakistan government’s BISP led to cash support for more than 235,000 families across the country in 2012, which could potentially increase to 441,000 families by 2020.
  • DfID insisted that independent reports had praised the use of cash transfer schemes, there was a “zero-tolerance” approach to fraud and a shift to biometric payments would make the BISP more secure.
  • The Department for International Development (DfID) said the programme was helping the poorest families in Pakistan and was an efficient and effective way to make sure they had the support they need.

http://www.bisp.gov.pk/Others/achievementsenglish.jpg

Putting the fact that this scheme, which has been running for over 8 years, is helping the poorest and most vulnerable aside, these are the key points with regard to the UK contributions:

  • The cards give the poorest families £10 a month, and the uk contribution to the scheme is around 5%
  • Cash transfers worldwide equate to 2% of the UK’s overall foreign aid budget. They are used through existing schemes such as this one to reach people in need directly with lower overheads and less risk of fraud.
  • The UN set a target figure of 0.7% of GDP for foreign aid. The UK increased its budget to stay in line with this. Sweden contributes double its GDP annually.
  • Total UK spend over 8 years for the BISP scheme will be £300 million. – no idea where the Mail gets the £1 Billion figure from, seems to only relate to the increase in the Foreign Aid Budget.

But according to the Daily Mail, it is ALL British Taxpayers monies, it just funds scroungers, and Muslims at that, how very dare the scheme try and lift families from absolute poverty? How dare it save lives? And the Pakistani Govt is aware of the fraud allegations and trying methods to combat it.
Still, it was handy hate clickbait for the Mail whose 2017 mission seems to be to try and end all foreign aid. #NeverBuyTheMail

 

15Dec/16

Brexit and the Budget – A Bookkeeping Shambles?

Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced government borrowing is predicted to increase by £110 billion over the next 4 years, largely due to the looming repercussions of Brexit. As well as the direct costs leaving the EU brings, a large proportion is predicted due to a drop in migration and reduced productivity. (Source: Office for Budget Responsibility)

The government will need to borrow more money as migration reduces, because despite the current popular anti-immigration sentiment being peddled by many media channels and politicians, migration is good for the economy, for productivity and for employment.

Although the government has now abandoned hope for Osborne’s unachievable plan for zero deficit by 2020, the austerity blueprint remains. Whilst several high profile plans have experienced U-turns or been diluted by the House of Lords, austerity measures will take £30 a week from around 300,000 sick and disabled people in receipt of ESA, in a bid to cut £455 million from the welfare bill. This will take effect from April 2017.

Nobody really knows yet the full effects Brexit will have on our economy. All forecasts predict financial downturns, but it remains to be seen just how deep and long this will be. This was the first Hammond/May budget announcement, and for many it will feel about as helpful to them as the other Hammond/May partnership showing them how a Lamborghini handles round the track. Unfortunately for the average household and the government, forecasts suggest the books are going to get even harder to balance.