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Peeling Back The Layers That Hide The Real Nigel Farage Part 1 …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 25/11/2018

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Peeling Back The Layers That Hide The Real Nigel Farage Part 1 …
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
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The corruption of EUkip’s leadership,
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Hi,

Who is the real Nigel Farage… and why won’t he answer my questions?

Trump… Russian TV… key witnesses in Robert Mueller’s investigation. The jokey ‘bloke with a pint’ now has a network that spreads well beyond the UK. Our reporter has spent months on the trail of Mr Brexit…

The first time I call Nigel Farage live on air on his LBC radio show, I give my real name. It’s Sunday 10 June 2018, the day the Observer reports that Arron Banks, the main funder of Farage’s Leave.EU campaign, had not one (as he had claimed), but several meetings with the Russian ambassador in the run-up to the EU referendum.

“What do you want to say to Nigel?” the producer asks. “I want to talk about how the funder of his campaign has systematically lied about his relationship with the Russian government,” I say. “I can’t put you through,” the producer says, an edge of panic in her voice. “Come on,” I say. “You’re a journalist. You know these are important questions. “I’m standing in,” she says. “I’m not the usual producer.” She promises to speak to her editor and call me back.

No one calls me back.

Two days later, I try again. Banks and his business partner Andy Wigmore, the spokesman for the Leave.EU campaign, are on the show to “answer questions”. It’s an interview in the best traditions of a Stalinist show trial – the man asking them the questions is the man whose campaign they funded – but even so, they sound spooked. It’s the only occasion in my time of reporting on them that I’ve heard them so subdued and serious.

There’s never been an issue with me discussing Farage on other LBC shows such as James O’Brien’s, but, again, I can’t get through. Minutes later, a friend does, and passes me the phone. Actually, I say, just as Farage has built up a head of steam about the Trump-Russia “witch hunt”, it’s Carole Cadwalladr from the Guardian and Observer. “I don’t want to talk to Carole Cadwalladr of the Guardian!” Farage says. In the video of the moment, you can see him frantically motioning his producer with his eyes. The phone line is cut.

Quick Guide

The rightwing world of Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage is so regularly on our airwaves and quoted in the press, but he is rarely held to account. At this point I’ve been writing about him for almost two years, and I have no way of asking him questions. His PR man almost never responds to messages. Doesn’t respond to interview requests.

And then on 7 September this year we finally meet. He’s on tour with a one-man show entitled An Entertaining Evening With Nigel Farage, which has just landed – somewhat bizarrely – in Melbourne, Australia. Everything is a bit different here. The day before the event, I receive a notification of a change of venue (were ticket sales perhaps not what Farage might have hoped?). The event has been moved from a mid-sized arena to the conference room of a city centre hotel.

What’s more, to get in, I have to fight my way through what feels like a running street battle. In Melbourne, Farage isn’t known as the Ukip man off the radio and telly. “He’s Donald Trump’s fascist sidekick and we don’t want his type here,” claims one of the protesters. He’s holding a placard that depicts Farage as a pig.

Inside, it’s different. The audience – overwhelmingly male, surprisingly young – laps up his well-rehearsed bonhomie. And afterwards, for an extra A$200 on my ticket fee, I get to hang out backstage with a select crowd drinking bad white wine. And then, here he is.

Hello, Nigel, I say, and introduce myself. He blinks. But, he doesn’t flee for the exit. Not straight away. It’s been frustrating, I say, because I’ve just wanted to ask you some direct questions. Will you do a proper interview with me?

“Well, I don’t know!” he says, with a flash of the trademark Farage charm. “Maybe. It depends what mood I’m in. I don’t work for you. I don’t have to do it, do I?”

No, I say, but you’re a public figure. You’re funded by taxpayers. The European Union funds you. We pay taxes that pay for you.

“Well, who funds you?” he says. “The Observer funds me,” I say.

“George Soros, is it?”

I can’t quite believe that he’s said this, apparently in all seriousness. Banks has also accused me of being funded by Soros. And I’ve heard Farage using the phrase in the European parliament. It’s a reference to George Soros, the Hungarian-born investor and philanthropist, who after the fall of communism, funded democracy-building institutions and movements across eastern Europe. He became a hate figure to the Russian government, who launched a propaganda campaign portraying him as a meddling Jewish banker.

Loading video
Watch video of the moment Nigel Farage hung up on Carole Cadwalladr.

What “funded by Soros” really means is: “funded by Jews”. It signals antisemitism to an audience without saying it directly. But the only audience is me. I’m gobsmacked. Could he actually believe this stuff?

“George Soros doesn’t fund me!” I say. “How could George Soros fund me?”

“Well I don’t know!” Farage says. “You think the Russians fund me!”

And then his minder appears. I have moments to put my question, the question that kicked it all off. Why did you visit Julian Assange? I say in a hurry.

“LBC organised that,” he says. “You seem to be so stuck in your sad little world. They sent me. LBC wanted the interview. You can’t seem to get that into your mind. Why would my press officer, I mean my producer, come with me?”

And then he’s gone.

It’s the briefest of brief encounters and yet our exchange is so instructive. Because from the Kremlin, “Soros” as a political smear spread to the likes of Hungary’s demagogue-in-training, Viktor Orbán, and was picked up a year ago by Farage. When the Electoral Commission opened an investigation into the sources of Arron Banks’s funding a year ago, Farage made a speech in the European parliament in which he blamed this development on Soros. “This is where the real international political collusion is.” From Britain, it leapfrogged to the US, where it’s been deployed by Trump supporters about the “caravans” of immigrants heading for the US border with Mexico. Last week, it descended to the final circle of this hell: Facebook. The New York Times reported that after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook hired a right-leaning opposition research firm who used accusations of “Soros funding” to smear the company’s critics. In a way, the anti-Soros propaganda illuminates everything I’ve been trying to understand about Farage’s place in today’s world: that he represents a bridge between the authoritarian far right parties of central and eastern Europe that are aligned with Russia, and Trump’s America.

It all feels a long way from West Kent golf club and the undulating greens outside Farage’s childhood home. His autobiography describes his time at Dulwich college from 1975 to 1982 (he left the public school with few if any O-levels – accounts vary), and how a meeting at the golf club led to his first job as a commodities trader on the London Metal Exchange with a minor City firm. For years, this has been the image that Farage has cultivated. The tweed jackets. The pints. The Little Englander who lived modestly in a Kent suburban home and spoke to Britain’s G&T belt. Even in 2014, he said in an interview that he realised he must reach beyond his core base, which he describes as “very middle class, very below the M4, ex-military”.

This is no longer Farage’s world. He left that world far behind some time ago. But there’s a time lag in Britain in understanding this. In understanding Farage’s relationships with the European far right. And in understanding that he’s using the same playbook as the Kremlin, Steve Bannon (Donald Trump’s former chief strategist) and Robert Mercer, who for a long time funded Bannon’s pet projects, including alt-right news site Breitbart, and Cambridge Analytica.

Here in the UK, Farage is still cosy Mr Brexit. He’s been touring the country running “Leave Means Leave” rallies – I went to one in a retail park in Bolton – where talk of medicine running out and lorries backed up on the motorway was denounced as yet more “Project Fear”. He’s the man who holds fast to an ideologically pure Brexit vision untainted by the realpolitik of Theresa May’s compromises. The man who broadcasts live on LBC five times a week and pops up on the BBC.

Critically, in Britain, where political coverage follows the beat of Westminster’s drum, we have yet to really catch up with Farage’s uncomfortable new position: in overlapping circles radiating from US special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election.

Could this be why Farage is avoiding me? He has refused to answer my questions for more than 18 months, since I wrote a report for the Observer – headlined When Nigel Farage met Julian Assange – published on 23 April last year. It posed a series of questions to which there are still no clear answers. Questions that, it’s become increasingly clear, cover some of the same territory that Mueller is circling.

Visiting Trump Tower in New York in December 2016 shortly after Donald Trump was elected president of the US.
Visiting Trump Tower in New York in December 2016 shortly after Donald Trump was elected president of the US. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Farage was caught tripping down the steps of the Ecuadorean embassy by a reporter from BuzzFeed. “Nigel Farage just visited the Ecuadorean embassy in London,” the headline said. And the story said: “Asked by BuzzFeed News if he’d been visiting Julian Assange, the former Ukip leader said he could not remember what he had been doing in the building.”

The visit had come shortly after Farage had visited Donald Trump in Washington. BuzzFeed’s story involved three individuals, Trump, Assange and Farage, who were at the centre of the political storms that had changed the world in 2016 and raised a new set of questions.

Last week, 20 months after Farage’s meeting with Assange, LBC issued a statement about it: “It was an exploratory meeting to discuss the possibility of an interview for the station. This preliminary meeting amounted to nothing, which is why LBC has not previously commented on the context in which the meeting took place as this would not be customary. Whilst Nigel Farage attended the meeting, it was not set up at his instigation.”

It was the timings around the visit that raised questions. Farage left the embassy around noon. BuzzFeed’s story appeared at 1.31pm. At 2.28pm WikiLeaks made an announcement: it would host a live press conference with Assange about his latest leak, “Vault 7”, about mass CIA surveillance. This was during a week when things had started to look serious for Trump. Jeff Sessions, Trump’s attorney general, had been caught lying under oath about two meetings with the Russian ambassador and recused himself from the Russia inquiry. The “Vault 7” story , which landed US tech companies in the middle of CIA cyber-espionage, erupted on to the news cycle. It blew Russia off the front pages.

Later, in June 2017, the Guardian reported that Farage was a “person of interest” to the FBI. Last week Farage told the Sunday Times he had not spoken to Mueller’s team: “I’ve done nothing wrong, so why would I worry about it? I mean, it’s very funny, deranged.”

We don’t know if Farage is involved in the Russian intelligence operation that Mueller is so painstakingly unpicking. The investigation is in lockdown. But we know almost certainly that Assange is involved. An FBI indictment unsealed on 13 July said that at the heart of Russia’s operation to subvert the US presidential election is “Organization 1”, widely reported to be WikiLeaks.

It’s Mueller who’s identified this. It’s the FBI indictments that reveal that so many strands of the investigation run through London.

The third time I call Farage at LBC is 1 November 2018, the day Arron Banks is referred to the National Crime Agency because the Electoral Commission had decided it can’t be sure of the source of Banks’s multimillion-pound donation to Farage’s Leave.EU campaign. Or even that it came from Britain.

This time I’m “Claire from Ashford, Kent”. I’ve been thinking about Remembrance Sunday, I tell Farage. “It’s a real time to feel patriotic about our laws and sovereignty,” I say. “It certainly is,” says Farage. “It’s why I’m so concerned about these reports about not knowing where Arron Banks’s money comes from,” I say.

“I’m not discussing spending in the referendum here and now, Claire!” says Farage. The line goes dead.

Who is Nigel Farage? It’s no longer clear. When I Google “Nigel Farage” and “Soros”, I end up watching a video on the far-right conspiracy theory website InfoWars, in which Farage is being interviewed by its founder, Alex Jones. InfoWars Farage is very far from LBC Farage – even though the video is shot inside LBC’s studio, with the LBC logo behind him. This Farage talks about our shared “Judeo-Christian culture”. (Words not often heard, I can’t help thinking, in West Kent golf club.)

This is Steve Bannon’s language. The language of “globalists” and what Bannon pitches as an all-out war against the “elites”, an all-out war he’s now bringing to Europe with his latest project, a pan-European far-right coalition that he calls the Movement.

At a Trump rally in Mississippi in August 2016.
At a Trump rally in Mississippi in August 2016. Photograph: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

“Farage has always followed the money,” a Ukip insider, who wishes to remain anonymous, tells me. “He knows which side his bread is buttered. When the US alt-right and evangelicals started supporting him, he became just like them.” And when I ask Greg Lance-Watkins, another key ex-Ukiper, how he’d describe his ideology he says: “Farage’s ideology is Farage.” In the 90s, Lance-Watkins used to advise Farage before his Question Time appearances. “He’s scared of the trick question. That’s why he won’t speak to you.

“He’s scared of you, because you confuse him. It’s like the old adage, don’t ask a question you don’t know the answer to. He doesn’t know what answer you’re looking for.”

But then neither do I.

It’s not until I sit through An Entertaining Evening With Nigel Farage in Melbourne that I realise he’s not just a seven-times failed UK parliamentary candidate, but a bona fide YouTube star. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without YouTube,” Farage tells his audience of young men. Men who, when I ask, what do you think of Nigel Farage, say: “He’s an absolute legend.” Or: “He’s the dog’s bollocks.”

How did you come across him, I ask, Alex, a programmer who lives locally? “On YouTube. I was watching a Jordan Peterson video. He was recommended to me.”

It’s an eye-opening moment. Jordan Peterson is the Canadian psychologist whose forthright views on women and why feminism is wrong have made him an alt-right YouTube breakout star. YouTube’s algorithm had connected him to Farage.

Loading video
One of RT’s many uploads of Farage speeches in the European parliament.

I watch the speeches. They have titles like “Who the Hell [sic] You Think You Are? Nigel Farage throws egg in Eurocrat faces.” And “Can’t Barrage the Farrage [sic].” They’ve been viewed millions upon millions of times.

Richard Corbett, the leader of the Labour party in the European parliament, explains how it works. “Farage turns up once a month and often what he talks about has absolutely nothing to do with what’s being discussed. You think, what’s going on? And then you realise it’s got nothing to do with the parliament. It’s just for his social media output. Sometimes he doesn’t even hang around for the answers. Two minutes later, he’s back on the Eurostar and gone.” (Statistics for voting and attendances show Farage is ranked 738th out of 751 MEPs for productivity.)

It’s these YouTube set-piece speeches, pumped via the site’s algorithm to the phones and laptops of an entirely new generation, that are Farage’s power base now. And, at the centre of this, is RT (formerly Russia Today), the Kremlin-controlled English-language broadcaster. RT made Farage a YouTube star.

Much of this story, like Arron Banks’s relationship with the Russian ambassador, is hidden and covert. But there’s also much that is out in the open, like Farage’s support of pro-Russian parties in the European parliament, and his association with RT.

Guillaume Chaslot, an ex-YouTuber who’s now an adviser for the Center for Humane Technology, explains RT’s all-conquering role in the YouTube ecosystem. “They’re the biggest information network on YouTube. They’ve 22 channels and they have an absolute masterful understanding of how the algorithm works. They make this incredibly effective clickbait content – disaster videos of the tsunami and so on, and they use it to suck in traffic. And when they have the eyeballs, they use their understanding of the algorithm to send people to political content that supports their foreign policy aims.”

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

RT recognised Farage’s value way back in 2011. An ex-Ukip insider tells me how RT’s London correspondent “practically lived inside Ukip’s offices. They targeted Gerard Batten first [the current leader of Ukip] and then Farage. They loved it. RT would ask them on every week. They’d talk about anything.” Batten did not respond to the Observer’s questions about his relationship with RT.

Farage is “phenomenally useful for the Russian government,” Ben Nimmo, a leading researcher into Russian online propaganda, tells me. “The thing about RT is that they are completely open about what it is. The editor-in-chief has described it as ‘information warfare’. She has said it’s as much a part of Russia’s arsenal as its ministry of defence.”

All this is out in the open, but the Observer has been shown emails that reveal something new. The person who used to upload Farage’s videos to YouTube was an EU parliament staffer called Kevin Ellul Bonici. According to a Guardian report last year, sources inside the European parliament said Ellul Bonici – who did not respond to the allegations – was “a frequent visitor to the Russian embassy”, after which he would return with “a bootload of propaganda”, and was subject to an internal investigation. The new emails seen by the Observer show that Bonici was uploading content not just to the official Ukip channel but also uploading it “on a private channel” for “the many fringe websites”.

There is no evidence that Farage knew about Ellul Bonici’s alleged relationship with the Russian embassy. When asked about all of the issues in this article, a spokesman for Farage said: “Mr Farage has no desire to speak to you under any circumstances.” The Observer could not reach Ellul Bonici for comment.

The Observer has also learned new details about a meeting between Nigel Farage and Roger Stone. Stone is the extraordinary peroxide-blond 66-year-old dandy, a self-styled “dirty trickster” who’s played a key role in many political scandals since Watergate, and who is central to Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation. On 8 August 2016, Stone told a small crowd that he’d been in touch with Assange. There would be a WikiLeaks “October surprise”, he suggested, about “the Clinton foundation”. In later comments he correctly forecast both the source of the leak and the timing of it. It is this claim to have knowledge of WikiLeaks’ material – before WikiLeaks released it – that is believed to have piqued Mueller’s intense interest.

Mueller is looking at timings of all this. The timeline of who knew about WikiLeaks’ stash of emails from Democrat accounts, and when. Emails that we now know were hacked by the Russian government and that threw the presidential race into chaos just days before the US presidential election.

Stone and his associates have been questioned by Mueller many times. Some of those associates of Stone are Farage’s associates too: InfoWars journalist Jerome Corsi, Steve Bannon and the controversial academic Ted Malloch, once tipped by Farage to be Trump’s ambassador to the EU.

US political strategist and former Trump adviser Roger Stone, who had dinner with Farage in July 2016 at the Republican National Convention.
US political strategist and former Trump adviser Roger Stone, who had dinner with Farage in July 2016 at the Republican National Convention. Photograph: John Sciulli/Getty Images

Stone makes his own appearance in the timeline. One of the film-makers behind the brilliant 2017 documentary Get Me Roger Stone, Daniel DiMauro, spoke to me about a meeting that he witnessed between Stone, Alex Jones and Farage during the Republican National Convention, 18-21 July 2016.

“Stone had arranged to have dinner with Alex Jones and Nigel Farage,” he tells me. And they followed him with the camera crew. “But we got to the restaurant and Farage’s people were: ‘No, no, no! You can’t film. You can’t film.’ It was weird. Jones and Stone were totally open to it. But Farage was ‘No way’. He didn’t want any record of it. We didn’t know what to make of it.

Another member of the crew told me: “It was the first time that Alex Jones, Roger Stone and Nigel Farage met face to face. We’d had a wire on Roger everywhere we went but when we turned up to meet Farage and his guy, he [Farage’s aide] was absolutely adamant.

“What was so noticeable was how Alex Jones was so pumped up afterwards about the leaks that were coming. He was saying it openly on his show. And then days later, the DNC leaks dropped [on July 22] and blew apart the Democratic National Convention.”

Less than two weeks later, on August 4, 2016, Roger Stone would also go on Alex Jones’s radio show and trail a new release. There would be “proof” of a scandal involving “Clinton Foundation”, a new “devastating” leak. “I think Julian Assange has that proof,” he said.

In 2017, a spokesman for Farage told the American magazine Mother Jones: “Nigel met Roger Stone in a restaurant in Cleveland during the RNC purely by chance. They subsequently met each other in a hotel in Washington during Trump’s inauguration, again without planning and by chance.”

If you had to pick another extraordinary story about Nigel Farage’s associates, George Cottrell would have to feature. Aged just 22, he was appointed Farage’s aide and Ukip’s chief fundraiser during the Brexit campaign. The two were at Chicago’s O’Hare airport on 22 July, 2016 – the day after the Republican convention in Cleveland at which Farage met Jones and Stone.

Arron Banks – who was also there – describes what happened in his memoir, the Bad Boys of Brexit: “As they were alighting from the domestic flight, five FBI officers cuffed him [Cottrell]. They swooped the minute he set foot on the gangway and if Wiggy [Andy Wigmore] hadn’t been standing right behind him, nobody would have known what had happened. All the other passengers were held back. It was swift and discreet, and he was hauled off without explanation.”

Cottrell was subsequently charged with 21 offences, including money laundering, fraud, blackmail and extortion. He pleaded guilty to one of them and was released after eight months in jail. In an interview with the Telegraph, he explained how he’d learned about “the murky and complicated world of ‘shadow banking’” and had worked for “an offshore private bank” that was “under investigation by the US authorities as a foreign financial institution of primary money-laundering concern”. There is no suggestion in the charges that this was linked to Ukip. Cottrell did not respond to the Observer’s attempts to reach him.

Arron Banks with George Cottrell, the Farage aide arrested and jailed in the US.
Arron Banks with George Cottrell, the Farage aide arrested and jailed in the US. Photograph: Elliott Franks/i-Images

But the biggest questions are about why Farage’s team sent confidential legal documents about Cottrell’s arrest to the Russian embassy in London. In June, the Observer was shown confidential emails that revealed that Andy Wigmore emailed Cottrell’s legal documents including his federal indictment to his main contact at the embassy, the political secretary, Alexander Udod. (Udod was expelled from Britain in March this year after Sergei Skirpal’s poisoning.)

According to Banks’s emails, on 17 August 2016, Banks and Wigmore were inside the Russian embassy, visiting the ambassador Alexander Yakovenko. This was also the day that Bannon took over as Trump’s campaign manager. On 25 August, Farage, Banks and Wigmore travelled to a Trump rally in Mississippi where Farage joined Trump on stage. The crowd roared. Here was “Mr Brexit,” said Trump. The election, he said, would be “Brexit plus, plus, plus.”

The fourth time I call Nigel Farage’s LBC show is just a week ago. Late on Saturday night, the Observer published its latest revelations about Arron Banks and the Leave.EU campaign. An academic from Essex University, Emma Briant, had obtained emails from a Cambridge Analytica employee which revealed that Banks had sought Steve Bannon’s help in soliciting campaign donations from US funders. We have no idea if Banks went ahead and attempted to fundraise in the US. We know only that it would have been illegal for him if he had. Using foreign money in a British election campaign is against the law.

But we do know the US “alt-right” played a role. On the day that Theresa May triggered article 50, 29 March 2017, a journalist from Breitbart, the rightwing news website cofounded by Steve Bannon, caught Farage with a pint of beer, outside a pub, beaming. He lifts his glass to the camera. “Well done, Bannon. Well done, Breitbart. You helped with this hugely.”

In Britain, Farage is still the man with the pint. The Good Bloke. The kind of man you wouldn’t mind having a drink with. The plucky survivor of both testicular cancer and, on the day of the 2010 general election, a spectacular plane crash. And the press coverage of him – such as an interview with him in last week’s Sunday Times – still trades in Farage cliches. Partly because, as his former colleague Lance-Watkins tells me: “He is that man. He’s hail-fellow-well-met. He likes people and he has that natural bonhomie. He did so well on Question Time because it was a form that was perfectly made for him. But that’s just what’s going on, on the surface. It masks a profound insincerity.”

Farage meeting Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian ambassador, in 2013.
Farage meeting Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian ambassador, in 2013. Photograph: Russian Embassy

Farage sits at the intersection of the key forces in a new world order. An order that the old formats can’t cope with. What we need to ask is whether a man closely allied to people like Bannon and supportive of Viktor Orbán should be allowed to amplify his propaganda unchallenged on our broadcast media.

It’s the people who have studied the campaign most closely who are asking the most questions. Damian Collins, the Conservative MP leading parliament’s fake news and disinformation inquiry, has said that “the direct links between the political movements behind Brexit and Trump” urgently need investigating.

“We’ve got to recognise the bigger picture here,” he said recently. “This is being coordinated across national borders by very wealthy people in a way we haven’t really seen before.”

The committee has called repeatedly for a Mueller-style inquiry. The government continues to ignore it.

‘What’s your question for Nigel?” the LBC producer asks me when, last Sunday morning, I call in. This time I’m “Sarah from Weybridge”, a true-blue voter disgusted with Theresa May’s Brexit betrayal. “I’ll get you straight on,” says the producer. And he does.

Actually, I tell Farage, it’s Carole Cadwalladr from the Observer. “Oh go away,” he says. “Honestly, you are a ranting lunatic.”

It’s only later that I notice the date: 18 November. Exactly three years from when Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore launched Leave.EU’s campaign. From when they walked in the door of the Russian embassy and discussed gold and diamond deals. I’m not a ranting lunatic. I’m a journalist. Who’s been trying to ask questions for nearly two years.

Nigel Farage declined to answer any questions put to him about subjects raised in this article.

To view the original article CLICK HERE

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Use of Facebook Data by Cambridge Analytica Broke British Law…

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 06/11/2018

 

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Use of Facebook Data by Cambridge Analytica Broke British Law…
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The corruption of EUkip’s leadership,
their anti UKIP claque in POWER & the NEC

is what gives the remaining 10% a bad name!

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Hi,

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Arron Banks, a backer of Britain’s exit from the European Union, in June. The Information Commissioner’s Office found that the company he owns broke British law when it used customer data to aid the Brexit campaign. Credit CreditSimon Dawson/Reuters

LONDON — The defunct political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica violated British law when it used improperly harvested Facebook data to aid Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, and would face a significant fine if it were not already in bankruptcy, Britain’s top data protection watchdog found Tuesday.

The long-awaited report by Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office, which has been investigating the misuse of personal data by political campaigns, also said an insurance company owned by Arron Banks, a main backer of Britain’s campaign to leave the European Union, broke British law when it used customer data to aid the Brexit effort.

According to the commissioner’s office, the company, Eldon Insurance, shared private email addresses to be sent campaign messages on behalf of Leave.EU, a pro-Brexit group, months before the 2016 referendum on Britain’s membership in the European Union.

The 112-page report underscored how modern political campaigns rely on Facebook data and other consumer information, extracted or bought by consulting firms with little oversight and few protections for consumers. An investigation in March by The New York Times, The Observer of London and The Guardian revealed how Cambridge Analytica — at the time an upstart data firm bankrolled by the conservative billionaire Robert Mercer — had improperly obtained and exploited Facebook data from as many as 87 million users around the globe.

The commissioner’s investigation revealed that political campaigns in Britain had exercised little restraint in exploiting consumer data, despite the European Union’s relatively strict data laws. Political groups were acting more like online businesses and internet marketing firms to target and engage voters, the report concluded.

“We have uncovered a disturbing disregard for voters’ personal privacy,” the commissioner found.

The finding also adds to legal and political scrutiny of Mr. Banks, who was the single largest donor to the Brexit campaign. His dealings with the Russian ambassador ahead of the referendum have separately raised questions about whether the Kremlin sought to reward important backers of Britain’s exit from the European Union, and prompted British election officials last week to ask for a police investigation. In Washington, the special prosecutor, Robert S. Mueller III, has obtained records of Mr. Banks’s communications with Russian diplomats.

Now Mr. Banks’s insurance company and the Leave.EU campaign are facing total fines of 135,000 pounds, or about $177,000, for the privacy breaches, which occurred in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The insurance company owned by Mr. Banks will also be audited, the report said.

But the commissioner rejected accusations that Leave.EU secretly employed Cambridge Analytica — and possibly exploited its Facebook data haul — during the Brexit campaign, potentially violating British election disclosure laws. Though Cambridge Analytica considered working with Leave.EU, and even sent one executive to appear with Leave.EU officials at a news conference, the data company never reached an agreement with the campaign, the commissioner found.

Mr. Banks, sometimes described as the “godfather of Brexit,” has denied wrongdoing and was quick to rebuff the findings of the information commissioner’s office. The investigators “find no evidence of a grand data conspiracy and find we may have accidentally sent a newsletter to customers,” Mr. Banks said on Twitter.

But investigators specifically described an improper intermingling of data between Eldon Insurance, Mr. Bank’s company, and the Leave.EU campaign he co-founded.

Investigators said more than one million emails sent to Leave.EU supporters over two separate periods had also included marketing for Eldon Insurance services. Eldon customers also were sent a Leave.EU newsletter, an incident the company described as a mistake in managing an email distribution system.

The two organizations were already known to have close ties, including sharing board members.

The investigation began last year to look into the potential misuse of data in the British referendum on leaving the European Union. But it took on new urgency when The Times, The Observer and The Guardian revealed in March that Cambridge had improperly harvested the personal information of tens of millions of Facebook users without their consent.

The British investigation involved 71 witnesses, 30 organizations whose data practices were reviewed and 700 terabytes of data — the equivalent of 52 billion pages.

In an earlier report, issued in July, the Information Commissioner’s Office said it had fined Facebook £500,000, or about $660,000 — the maximum under British law — for allowing Cambridge Analytica to harvest user data.

In addition to the new details about Mr. Banks, Tuesday’s report provides more information about the investigation into how Cambridge Analytica obtained Facebook user data.

The investigation found that Cambridge had nimbly evaded what few restrictions Facebook imposed by contracting with an academic researcher working at Cambridge University, who used an app to harvest the data, almost all of it without the users’ explicit consent.

The political consulting firm teamed up with the researcher, Aleksandr Kogan, who had created an application that collected demographic information, News Feed posts, friend lists, pages that users had liked and other data.

The information was used to create physiological profiles that could guide the targeting of political messages.

In March, officials obtained a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica’s offices, getting access to mobile phones, storage devices, computers and financial records. At one location, the authorities said, they discovered a number of physically damaged servers, from which investigators were able to recover information.

Investigators said the Information Commissioner’s Office needed more to time to review evidence, including Cambridge Analytica’s email system, to better determine who had access to data on Facebook users.

“There are several strands that will take us into the future,” said Elizabeth Denham, the information commissioner.

Cambridge Analytica announced in May that it was ceasing most operations and filing for bankruptcy amid growing legal and political scrutiny of its business practices and work for the Trump campaign. The elections division of Cambridge’s British affiliate, SCL Group, was also shut down.

In its report on Tuesday, the information commissioner said that had the company still existed, it would have faced “a substantial fine for very serious breaches” or Britain’s data protection laws. The company, the report added, engaged in “unfairly processing people’s personal data for political purposes, including purposes connected with the 2016 U.S. presidential campaigns.”

The report did not draw any conclusions about whether data mining techniques used by Cambridge Analytica and others had determined the outcome of elections in the United States or Britain, but the regulator called on policymakers to draft new laws to restrict how data is collected and shared for political purposes.

“We may never know whether individuals were unknowingly influenced to vote a certain way in either the U.K. E.U. referendum or the U.S. election campaigns,” the report said. “But we do know that personal privacy rights have been compromised by a number of players and that the digital electoral ecosystem needs reform.”

Adam Satariano reported from London, and Nicholas Confessore from New York. Matthew Rosenberg contributed reporting from Washington.

To view the original article CLICK HERE

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#Nigel_Farage & #Ukip Seem Ever More Embroilled In >DARK MONEY< & Criminal Accountability …

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Hi,

Mueller Probe Is Now Eyeing Pro-Brexit UKIP Member Nigel Farage

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team are investigating a pro-Brexit businessman and his associate who have ties to Russian diplomats and Trump campaign operatives.

The Washington Post is reporting that Nigel Farage, a leader of the UK Independence Party and a prominent figure in the Brexit debate, is being investigated for his ties to Trump associates and Russian colluders.

Farage’s associate, Arron Banks, donated millions of dollars to a campaign for Britain to leave the European Union.

 

Banks has since provided dozens of emails and text messages from 2016 showing a connection between Farage and Russian ambassador to London, Alexander Yakovenko.

The Post reveals that Banks, Farage, and a handful of other Brexiteers have been attempting to work more closely with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

If Mueller and his team expose Farage, Banks, and others involved in Brexit, it could shine further light on the global implications of Russia meddling in elections and important social issues around the world.

There is already mounting evidence that Banks and his associates have worked to infiltrate American politics. Following the Brexit vote, Banks met with Yakovenko before heading to a fundraiser in Mississippi, an event he was invited to by former Trump Campaign Executive Steve Bannon.

The Independent reports that during the Mississippi fundraiser, both Farage and Banks had the opportunity to “huddle privately” with Republican nominee Trump.

“As both relationships [Trump and Yevenko] deepened, Mr. Banks and his associates discussed Mr. Trump’s bid and the US presidential campaign with Mr. Yakovenko. At least two of the meetings between Mr. Banks and the ambassador came shortly before or after meetings with Mr. Trump,” the Independent adds.

So far, Banks and Farage claim Robert Mueller’s team have not reached out. Trump lawyer, Rudy Giuliani also says he has also not been notified of any involvement from Yakovenko.

NBC News reports that investigators in the UK are now starting to show an interest between Brexit campaigners and the Trump campaign.

In the meantime, Banks has adopted Donald Trump’s “witch hunt” mantra, claiming that he wasn’t a back-channel infiltrator between the United States and Russia. Instead, Banks says he was only engaged in “routine business and diplomatic exchanges.”

Former Trump communications official Michael Caputo has admitted to being asked about Farage during an interview with Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel in early 2018.

In the meantime, Nigel Farage continues to huddle closely with Donald Trump. The photo shared at the top of this story was taken as Farage spoke at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.

To view the original article CLICK HERE

DARK MONEY 01

To read a great deal more about >DARK MONEY< and the apparent involvement in these crimes of Nigel Farage, Arron Banks, Ukip, Andy Wigmore, George Cottrell and others Search this web site.

FARAGE &amp; COTTRELL 01

Then for even more CLICK HERE

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Farage’s Co-Conspiritor the Self Proclaimed Tycoon #Arron_Banks Likely To Face Enquiry For His Lies About Russian Involvement …

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Hi,

you may recall numerous of us who had been involved in opposition to Britain’s membership of the Franco German EU scam consistently were outspoken against Leave.EU, Arron Banks Ukip or Farage having any leading role in the campaign to Leave_the_EU.

We consistently spoke out that Banks, Farage & Ukip would in the long run do more harm than good to the campaign and clearly could not be trusted – time and again Nigel Farage had lied, cheated, bullied and swindled for his own gain, his sociopath personna was clear to see.

Banks’ only real claim to fame seemed to be that he laid claim to wealth and achievements and even that seemed to be leveraged! Leveraged largely on his own claims which exploited the gullible and the greedy.

It was clear from particularly Farage’s self serving antics and lies that their entire campaign was little to do with BreXit and that BreXit was nothing more than a vehicle for their egos, greep and self adulation and in Farage’s case his obsession with self gratification with numerous wives and mistresses he determined should be funded by the tax payers via the EU.

You will have noted Nigel Farage did absolutely nothing to oppose the imposition of a New EU Constitution on these United Kingdoms and stood by in aquescence as The EEC arbitrarily changed its name, further revealing its true intent, to The EU.

Many will have noted he opposed any individual in Ukip seeking actively to oppose the EU in a manner which might damage his income stream – even latching onto Declan Ganley in efforts to raise his income!

The one clear action to bring about democratisation of Britain’s position by legitimate and effective means Nigel Farage did all he could to oppose – he outright condemned Nikki Sinclaire’s efforts to Petition Parliament to hold a full House of Commons debate on an IN/OUT Referendum.

Farage went so far as not only engineer Sinclaire out of her position as a Ukip MEP and at the time one of Uki8p’s largest donors, he even colluded in the criminal activities of John Ison to collude with seemingly corrupt Police and a seemingly equally corrupt CPS to abuse the legal system to ‘frame’ Sinclaire & destroy her efforts to oppose Britain’s continued membership of the EU.

Fortunately it became clear Sinclaire had greater perspicacity and determination and she recruited a team which with her financial support obtained 225,000 validated signatures to her petition which when it was delivered the Government was legally bound to debate.

In an effort to stem the revolt in his PartyDavid Cameron, after his first major defeat/rebellion in Government, inflicted as a result of Nikki Sinclaire’s Petition and the resultant debate – He found himself in the position where he had to promise an Unconditional IN/OUT Referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU in the Tory manifesto.

The situation was now irrevocably heading for a vote by the British electorate a vote which was won in the largest vote in British history, won by 52% of the vote for BreXit and 48% for Remain.

Clearly the bumps in the road will be many and we are faced with challenges in reversing 50+ years of political and economic folly but the establishment of democracy and liberty for any Country is inevitably a bumpy road with numerous setbacks.

Despite the sacrifice of millions of lives in Britain’s past to establish one of the best and fairest, tollerant and just democracies oever on this planet I would contend one of the greatest setbacks was in believing the lies and distortions of Edward Heath’s era in his deliberate lies to dupe the British electorate into believing that membership of the EU, then known as The Common Market was other than a loss of integrity, self determination, justice and democracy. Lies Heath admitted to deliberately making with the4 memorable admission in an interview by David Frost, where he stated he had ‘deliberately lied as he believed the British electorate would not have voted to ratify our membership, if they had known the truth’.

Truth, which may I point out, was made abundantly clear by that most errudite and informed of politicians Enoch Powell, in his speech in the House of Commons on 25-Feb-1970 CLICK HERE.

You will note neither Farage, Banks, Wigmore or any other notable member of Ukip played any part in obtaining our Referendum – and I reitterate many of us cautioned widely against Farage or Ukip and their oppo Banks having anything to do with fronting BreXit as it would prove an error.

Sadly how right we were!

Ministers call for probe into Brexit tycoon Arron Banks’ “undisclosed” meetings with Russian ambassador

Leave.EU founder has slammed allegations against him but ministers are backing call for an investigation into his “boozy lunches” with Alexander Yakovenko

Ministers have backed calls for a probe into lunches Arron Banks enjoyed with a Russian ambassador (Image: PA)

Ministers have backed calls for a probe into a claim millionaire Brexit campaigner Arron Banks had “undisclosed” meetings with Russia’s ambassador to Britain.

Cabinet Office minister David Lidington said authorities should get any evidence.

Leave.EU founder Mr Banks dismissed the allegation as “garbage”.

He said he and ambassador Alexander Yakovenko merely had a “cup of tea”, and two “boozy lunches”.

Arron BAnks, left, with fellow Brexiteer Nigel Farage (Image: Getty Images)

Mr Banks added he disclosed details of his contacts with the Russians to US officials and got no Russian money or backing for the Brexit campaign.

Speaking at the G7 summit in Quebec, Theresa May said: “I am sure that if there are any allegations that need investigation the proper authorities will do that.”

Emails seen by The Sunday Times showed Mr Banks met Mr Yakovenko on three occasions – having previously only acknowledged one encounter in 2015 – and made a visit to Moscow in February 2016 in the midst of the referendum campaign.

Mr Banks and Mr Wigmore also had lunch with the ambassador in November 2016 – just three days after they and Nigel Farage had met Donald Trump in New York following his victory in the US presidential election, it reported.

Alexander Yakovenko met with Banks on more than one occasion (Image: PA)

They were said to have been introduced to Mr Yakovenko by Alexander Udod, one of 23 suspected Russian intelligence officers subsequently ejected from the UK after the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury.

The ambassador was said to have proposed a business deal that would have involved them in the consolidation into one company of six Russian goldmines.

But Mr Wigmore told the paper: “We never offered any information to him (Mr Yakovenko) or any Russian any details of our (Brexit) campaign.”

Meanwhile Mr Banks, when asked if he ever received Russian cash or assistance for Brexit, laughed: “No, of course not.

Arron’s Leave.EU and Farage’s Brexit campaign worked hand-in-hand before the referendum (Image: PA)

“You know if I have, I’m still waiting for the cheque. This is just a complete absolute garbage – it is like the Salem witch hunt.

“They just keep on screaming, ‘Witch! Witch!’”

He added: “The big picture is that they are in the full Remain swing – they are trying to discredit everyone involved in Brexit and it just continues apace.”

He said given he also “briefed the State Department in Washington … if we are Russian spies we must be American spies too”.

https://get.convrse.media?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mirror.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fpolitics%2Fbrexit-tycoon-arron-banks-undisclosed-12678730&cre=bottom&cip=24

Author Isabel Oakeshott, who ghostwrote a book with Mr Banks said he and Mr Wigmore “were shamelessly used by the Russians”.

She added: “Perhaps, the Englishmen did not mind. Banks and Wigmore genuinely sympathised – and continue to sympathise – with some of Putin’s political views.”

 

To view the original article CLICK HERE

Regards,

Greg_L-W.

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Carole Cadwalladr’s TWITTER Feed Exposes Arron Banks, Nigel Farage & the Dealings of Others With Russia For Profit, Gain or Greed …

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Carole Cadwalladr’s TWITTER Feed Exposes Arron Banks, Nigel Farage & the Dealings of Others With Russia For Profit, Gain or Greed …
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Hi,

New story up on what’s happening in Britain…but this has big implications for Trump-Russia investigation too. This was ‘s campaign. Friend of Bannon. Ally of Trump. Whose funder we now learn had covert links to Russia..

And – look! – more interesting chronology….

This is the crux of it. Ambassador Yakovenko oversaw the presentation of a multi-billion $ gold deal. And we know that 12 days after referendum, the deal took place. Sound familiar? Same tactics as the Rosneft deal…with Carter Page played here by

This story as as significant to Trump-Russia as it is to Brexit. And key figure is – the Russian ambassador to London who’s named in Mueller indictment of George Papodopoulos. He’s the one who issued invites. He’s the one who oversaw the offer of a $$$ gold deal…

Dear America, you need to get to grips with story dominating UK press. Today, we reveal how Russian ambassador groomed the funders of Brexit campaign with offer of sweetheart deal. That’s the Brexit campaign led by Bannon friend & Trump ally

My column on the story h/t to ⁦

“At first she accused The Observer of hacking her archive and stealing the email… but by late afternoon on Saturday she had entered into a discussion about cooperating with The Guardian/The Observer if they agreed to hold the story until Monday.”

Carole Cadwalladr Retweeted David Carroll

🦅

I did. I would LOVE for MEPs to question . Because he won’t answer mine. visiting is one small part of the story. The bigger play is Britain’s central role in the Trump-Russia nexus. And, how, slap bang, in the middle of it all..is Farage

Carole Cadwalladr added,

Arron Banks and Russia: Time for proper investigation -Tomorrow’s Guardian

Carole Cadwalladr Retweeted Peter Jukes

Yoo-hoo, ! Have you had time to check your ‘diary and office computer’ yet? You’ve now had 53 hours to get back to us…

Carole Cadwalladr added,

Peter Jukes Retweeted Arron Banks

Arron knows this isn’t what happened with our story. But in typical Putin/Trump misinformation mode, he tries to change the subject.

Peter Jukes added,

…by which I mean, I could really have used some learned advice on how to handle a problem like . Still, good news is that he lied to us & shown bad faith so at is going to find it much harder to write those defamation letters now..

My god. They will have to teach this one at journalism schools in years to come. What a toxic, twisted mess. So, everything given to came directly from ?!? What. The. Actual. Fuck?

PLOT TWIST! I now hear that it was who gave the story!!! I emailed him at 11.58am on Friday carefully detailing all the allegations, per good journalistic practice. He claimed he hadn’t seen the email & needed more time. Meanwhile…

not ‘Times investigation’. Oakeshott went to S Times with her email stash when foundout (b/c invitations sent to key figures to respond to allegations – standard legal practice) that were due to report emails story in Observer (seen via another source)

Sarah Donaldson Retweeted Brexitshambles #FBPE #Unsafe

Great clips thread if you are interested in ’s Alexander Nix appearance last week but haven’t time to watch the full three and a half hours…

Sarah Donaldson added,

All of the above quote is a download from Carole Cadwalladr’s TWITTER Feed 0210hrs Monday 11-Jun-2018. I have altered the colour of comments regarding Nigel Farage to RED.
This I assure you is just the tip of the iceberg, which I have refrained from giving details of, nor have I shown where much of the money seems to have gone and apparent properties purchased for 2 main reasons:
Firstly I have waited for the media with its backup of lawyers to indemnify my publication of facts.
Secondly as I did not wish to fall fould of the laws pertaining to reportage of ongoing Court Cases as I felt there was a risk of prejudicing a Court case.
I understand Carole Cadwalladr has witheld publication of the eMails etc for many months on similar grounds, seemingly publishing the material as Isabel Oakeshott was publishing to seemingly seek to cover her apparent collusion with Banks, Farage & Wigmore and doubtless others in betrayal of Britain and the principles of democracy aided indirectly and possibly directly with the Russian authorities and intelligence services.
There is clearly a great deal more to come – however much of the time the Meeja is obsessed with gossip, Slebs and the simple story with peurile soap opera style pandering to the lowest public interest in a rush to the gutter.
Keep checking back for more revalations and archived material on my various sites see:

Regards,
Greg_L-W.

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#Arron_Banks Supporter of #Ukip & Jeopardising #BreXit & Leave.EU …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 09/06/2018

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Hi,

Exclusive: Emails reveal Russian links of millionaire Brexit backer Arron Banks

Richard Kerbaj, Caroline Wheeler, Tim Shipman and Tom Harper

BANKS, Arron 01 & others

Arron Banks, left, with Donald Trump and Nigel Farage

Arron Banks, the millionaire businessman who helped fund Brexit, had three meetings with the Russian ambassador to Britain — raising explosive questions about attempts by Moscow to influence the referendum result.

Emails by Banks and his sidekick Andy Wigmore, shown to The Sunday Times, reveal an extensive web of links between Banks’s Leave.EU campaign and Russian officials.

They show they made repeated contact with officials to discuss business opportunities and issues of mutual interest throughout the referendum campaign and its aftermath.

In his book on the referendum, The Bad Boys of Brexit, and in another public statement, Banks claimed to have had only one meeting with Putin’s envoy Alexander Yakovenko, in September 2015.

But today The Sunday Times can reveal that the pair also had lunch with the ambassador just three days after they and Nigel Farage visited US president Donald Trump in New York in November 2016.

Last night Banks admitted that he handed over telephone numbers for members of Trump’s transition team to Russian officials.

Trump, whose campaign staff are under investigation by a special prosecutor probing whether they colluded with Moscow, stunned the world yesterday by calling for Russia to be readmitted to the G7 group of nations.

OAKESHOTT, Isabel 01

The 40,000 emails were obtained by the journalist Isabel Oakeshott, Banks’s ghostwriter on The Bad Boys of Brexit. She is now writing a book with Lord Ashcroft, a former treasurer of the Conservative Party, that covers Russian “hybrid warfare” techniques to influence western politics.

She came forward after her emails were “hacked”. They have now been passed to the House of Commons digital, culture, media and sport select committee, which is investigating Russian attempts to influence western politics with fake news.

WIGMORE, Andy 02 +MARNEY, Henry Bolton's mistress

The Sunday Times has also seen a 2,000-word account of the meetings written by Wigmore and has conducted several interviews with Banks.

Last night Banks downplayed the significance of the meetings and denied that Russian officials sought to influence his Leave.EU referendum campaign.

But the revelations are likely to trigger fresh investigations by the Electoral Commission and MPs into the conduct of the referendum and the extent of Russian influence.

Regards,
Greg_L-W.

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How #Arron_Banks & #Ukip Colluded To Befoul BreXit …

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.

Hi,

a number of us who had been active campaigners for BreXit, indeed some of us had actively campaigned against the First Referendum in the early 1970s and even against any efforts to join the EU, or as it was then aesopianly named ‘The Common Market’, long before that – I for one had been opposed to Britain becoming a member of the so called ‘Common Market’ since the early 1960s.

My opposition to membership pre dated but was much resolved by living in Germany in C1962, though it does not pre date the British Government’s advocacy of 16-Apr-1948 (as I was living in India at the time in Karachi, pre partitition & Switzerland then Bahrain after partition! That I was only 2 when it was published is a minor detail!)) in Cmd.7388 being an official White Paper of The Foreign Office regarding/titled: “Convention for European Economic Co-operation”.

Some may remember the front page of The Times on the day of the Coronation of 1953 and the detailed article regarding the Common Market & Britain’s incolvement and naiscent membership (The day of the Coronation being a #Good day on which to bury bad news’ – similarly the most prescient speech by Enoch Powell on 25-Feb-1970 in the House of Commons during the Union of Europe debate CLICK HERE for the text It was largly after this speech that much effort was made to try to discredit Enoch Powell by dishonestly and selectively misrepresenting his Birmingham Speech of 20-Apr-1968 in an effort to try to portray him as some kind of reactionary racist, which he clearly was not if you read or listen to him delivering the speech CLICK HERE for full text & his contemporary delivery of the speech.

As I said many of us cautioned that the involvement of the overtly racist Ukip as a party and the untrustworthy used car salesman approach of the philandering, corrupt and libertine Nigel Farage, with his morally bankrupt and totally unethical efforts to prevent a Referendum to Leave the EU brought about by the efforts and organisation of The Petition of 225,000 signatures, by Nikki Sinclaire, that forced the debate of an IN/OUT Referendum in the House of Commons. Together with the clearly ‘dodgey’ and financially and morally dubious liar Arron Banks and the untrustworthy clique of low lifes they gatherted around them was unwise in the extreme and would eventually be very damaging to BreXit.

So it has proven with the clear involvement of Cambridge Analytica and Russian money + the dishonest methods of campaigning borrowed (bought) from the Trump campaign strategists such as Steve Bannon and Breitbart!

Leave.EU, Arron Banks and new questions about referendum funding

Revealed: Leave donor faces data investigation as first documentary evidence of Cambridge Analytica Brexit ‘work’ uncovered

Arron Banks,second from right, with Brittany Kaiser of Cambridge Analytica, far right, at the launch of Leave.EU
Arron Banks,second from right, with Brittany Kaiser of Cambridge Analytica, far right, at the launch of Leave.EU. Photograph: Reuters

The Information Commissioner’s Office is investigating Leave.EU and its donor Arron Banks over possible breaches of the Data Protection Act.

The ICO has issued “information notices” against both Leave.EU – the referendum campaign headed by Nigel Farage – and its director, Banks. The notices – requiring organisations to provide the ICO with specified information within a certain time period – were issued in the same week as the ICO conducted raids last month on Cambridge Analytica’s offices. The notices are both part of Operation Cederburg – the commissioner’s year-long investigation into the use of data in the EU referendum. Failure to comply is a criminal offence.

Banks – who was by far the biggest funder of Brexit, providing £8.4m in donations and loans – confirmed on Friday that both he personally and Leave.EU had received “information notices”. In an email on Friday, Banks said they were “responding to it’” He said the ICO’s action was not an “investigation” but “an information request”.

In a separate development, the Observer has obtained an invoice that Cambridge Analytica issued on 14 December 2015 for £41,500 for work it undertook on behalf of Ukip. The invoice says the payment is for “analysis of Ukip membership and survey data and creative product development”, and it is issued on behalf of Cambridge Analytica LLC, the American entity, from its office in Alexandria, Virginia. This is the first documentary evidence that Cambridge Analytica did conduct analytics work on behalf of one of the Leave campaigns in the period before the referendum.

Banks confirmed to the Observer that he was also sent the invoice at that time too. He said he subsequently made a donation for the amount to cover the invoice to Ukip. A spokesman for Ukip, speaking to the Guardian last month, denied any payment for the work was made but he confirmed Banks had in fact made the donation after “new information had come to light”. He said that the party decided not to pass on the money to Cambridge Analytica.

Banks has long denied that Cambridge Analytica did any work for Leave.EU, as has Cambridge Analytica. The question is still the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Electoral Commission. In a written submission to the select committee for the department for digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) last month, Banks said he had met Alexander Nix of Cambridge Analytica but that he had declined to take him up on his proposal. Cambridge Analytica said on Saturday that it “did some preliminary analysis as part of a proposal to work with Ukip, but no contract was agreed, payment was not made to CA, and the preliminary work was not delivered to Ukip.”

Brittany Kaiser, a former Cambridge Analytica director, who appeared on a panel at Leave.EU’s launch event, came forward to the Guardian last month and raised further questions about these claims. She said the company had completed around £40,000 worth of work for Ukip, using Ukip data, but agreed that the company had not been paid. She is expected to talk about this on Tuesday when she will testify to parliament as part of the DCMS committee into fake news.

Cambridge Analytica sign
Pinterest
Ukip has confirmed it handed its database over to Cambridge Analytica. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

A Ukip spokesman told the Observer on Friday: “We got the money from Arron [Banks]. But we never paid it to Cambridge Analytica. We didn’t think it was worth it. It was preparatory work, a pitch.”

He also confirmed that the party had handed over its database of roughly 40,000 supporters to Cambridge Analytica despite denying this to the Guardian last month.

Ukip had told the Guardian previously that Cambridge Analytica “saw” the data but a spokesman admitted the information – including telephone numbers, email addresses, ages, and other personal information among other things – was given to the company on a computer as part of what he described as “preparatory work”.

The spokesman said: “I asked everyone about this work and I was told CA pitched for it, Banks didn’t like it and he’d refused to pay for it. It’s now come out that he did actually make a donation to cover the cost of the work. But we never actually handed it over.”

The revelations raise a whole new set of questions about how the referendum was funded and whether strict rules on spending may have been broken. The Observer has seen evidence which suggests that a form of the Ukip data that Cambridge Analytica analysed and processed was passed to individuals in the Leave.EU campaign. And a donation of £42,000 from Better for the Country, Leave.EU’s registered company name, was recorded as a political donation to the party on the Electoral Commission’s site one week before the referendum on 16 June 2016. It was not registered as part of the campaign by either entity as a referendum donation or expense.

The unfolding of the Cambridge Analytica scandal has coincided with the final stages of the information commissioner’s investigation into the use of data in the referendum. Leave.EU’s operation has become one focus of the year-long investigation. Another resulted in the ICO’s raid on Cambridge Analytica. Damian Collins, the Tory MP for Folkestone, who is the chair of the DCMS committee, has told the Observer that both Britain’s electoral and data laws needed a radical and urgent overhaul. He said it was “ridiculous” that the ICO had to wait five days before being able to get a warrant to seize Cambridge Analytica’s computer servers and equipment.

Separately, the ICO investigation is believed to be trying to understand the relationship between Leave.EU and Eldon Insurance Services, the Bristol-based insurance company that Banks owns and that was the HQ for Leave.EU referendum campaign work. A spokesman said: “Leave.EU and Eldon have never shared any data. And Leave.EU has never shared any data with Cambridge Analytica whether in relation to the EU referendum or otherwise.”

The ICO may be asking questions because of previous comments Banks has made, including in an interview a year ago with the Observer. When asked about the use of Leave.EU’s database to send advertisements about his insurance products to campaign supporters, Banks said: “Why shouldn’t I? It’s my data.” When asked again last week, he said: “Leave.EU after the referendum campaign carried the occasional ad for insurance, so what?”

In an email on Friday he said: “Eldon has never given or used any data to Leave.EU. They are separate entities with strong data control rules. And vice versa.” He added: “Make any mistakes relating to the business and we will be most assuredly coming after the Guardian & you.”

To view the original article CLICK HERE

Regards,

Greg_L-W.

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#Arron_Banks Announces #Ukip Is Broke & Leavers Should Join The Tories …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 27/01/2018

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#Arron_Banks Announces #Ukip Is Broke & Leavers Should Join The Tories …
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The corruption of EUkip’s leadership,
their anti UKIP claque in POWER & the NEC

is what gives the remaining 10% a bad name!

000a ukip-025 count.png~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

.

Hi,

Banks Says Join Tories – COS UKIP’S BUST

Saturday, 27 January 2018 by: Tim Fenton

The rumours concerning UKIP’s financial stability, or rather the lack of it, have been circulating for some time, not helped by the party’s former Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage and several of his fellow MEPs having their salaries either docked or stopped outright following European Parliament investigations into the legitimacy of some of their expense claims. Put directly, the Kippers are on their uppers.
That is why current comedy leader Henry Bolton is so confident he can weather the little local difficulty caused him by an almost unanimous vote of no confidence in his leadership, following the revelation that his publicity stunt girlfriend Jo Marney had racist sympathies. Bolton has calculated that UKIP is so skint, the party cannot afford to mount another leadership ballot – not unless it sacks at least one member of staff.
This was bad enough, but all might have settled down for a few days, had not comedy UKIP backer Arron Banks, another whose supposed wealth may not be quite as grand as  he would like everyone to believe, decided to have an “Oh What A Giveaway” moment and let the cat out of the bag in no style at all, confirming the money had run out.
Using his piss-poor propaganda site Westmonster, Banks has let it be known that “We could have [a] clear majority for real Brexit in [the] Tory Party if UKIP supporters join”. Wait, what? “Arron Banks has given his vision for the Brexit fight moving forward, insisting that UKIP is no longer the vehicle as it is ‘melting away before our eyes’ but that Brexiteers could force through change by joining the Conservative Party to push through the will of the people”. What was that, “Brexit moving forward”? Oh, just f*** right off.
But there’s more. “Banks said: ‘It is said that the Tory Party, once millions strong, now couldn’t fill Old Trafford – and I mean the cricket ground!’” The Tory Party has never even been one million (singular) strong, but then Arron Banks and reality, eh?
What say Banksy to that? “In that case why don’t the Brexit forces, the insurgents, do a Momentum and all join the Tory party? With just 30,000 members the Corbynite Momentum now dominates popular discourse on the left of British politics”. Momentum has a total supporter base of over 200,000. And UKIP … doesn’t.
Never mind, he has even more rubbish to spin. “I reckon we could have a clear majority in the Tory party for a real Brexit within months if UKIP wound up and all its members and FORMER members, all of its latent support in the country now joined up to the Conservative Party … Maybe by flooding back into the Conservative party we can change the course of history again. With a leadership challenge on the cards once more, this may be the perfect time”. Flooding my arse. There wouldn’t even be a trickle.
But what Arron Banks has inadvertently revealed is that the dark money has been turned off, the European Parliament money likewise, UKIP is on its uppers, Brexit is slipping from view, and he’s even more out of ideas than usual.
UKIP may be wound up within weeks. The party is fortunate not to have ended already. It’s a joke, so is Banks, their backers have run off, and he’s got nowhere to run.
The shelf life of UKIP and Arron Banks was for a time, but not for all time. Good thing too.

To view the original article CLICK HERE

For more detailed facts regarding DARK MONEY CLICK HERE & HERE then scan down!

For details & facts regarding Arron Banks CLICK HERE

Regards,

Greg_L-W.

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Interview of #Glenn_Simpson By The US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee & MORE! …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 18/01/2018

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Interview of #Glenn_Simpson By The US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee & MORE! …
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000a ukip-025 count.png~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

.

Hi,

every turn one takes in studying America’s politics at the moment seems to lead to either ever more evidence of direct or indirect involvement between Trump, his family & leadership members and the various sources of Russian money & influence!

You will find the sequence of facts & Tweets below of interest and provenance of my comments.

It is notable from a British perspective just how inexorably it seems that the net is clossing on Nigel Farage & several of his associates for their part in corrupting the American election on behalf of Russia – when the trap snaps shut it does seem that Farage will have no ability to escape justice, clearly he will find his ‘Teflon’ immunity which he seems to enjoy in Britain and the EU where it seems the responsible authorities have repeatedly colluded with him and failed to bring him to book for his serial frauds and criminal behaviour.

They may well be asking about such things as Chemin du Sabias, St. Tropez:

 

Byline (@Byline_Media)
BREAKING: in sworn testimony Simpson alleges that @Nigel_Farage was a key player in the #TrumpRussia scandal and could have been the key go-between for @wikileaks pic.twitter.com/bHqEkO168J

Pinned Tweet

You thought the phone hacking scandal was over? Think again. New trial on Thursday opens up issue of hacking at the Sun, blagging confidential information, and ‘concealment and destruction’ of evidence by Murdoch’s News UK

Presumably “Air Bank” should be Arron Banks? Strange they didn’t look that up or correct it.

Controversial data firm CA/SCL supporting Russian interests alongside Trump in Qatar crisis. Me via

Documents show Mercer/Bannon Cambridge Analytica supporting Russian interests alongside Trump in Qatar row.

1h1 hour ago

David Carroll

🦅 Retweeted Byline

Well here’s an intriguing mention of Cambridge Analytica in the HPSCI Simpson/FusionGPS transcript

David Carroll

🦅 added,

Who was trying to shut down the question? Nunes? Gowdy?

Replying to

Would really like to know WHO was the person that said “Time is up” at such a critical part of ’s questioning of Simpson!

23/ Here’s a brief explanation, from Simpson, of why Trump doing business with *Russian mafia*, as opposed to other nation’s mafias, suggested the possibility, to Fusion, that Trump could have illicit ties to the Russian government (note: Fusion was being paid by conservatives):

21/ Holy cow! Simpson: “We had a [Russian] gangster [nick-]named Taiwanchik living in Trump Tower running a high-stakes gambling ring out of Trump Tower—while he himself was a fugitive for having rigged the skating competition at the Salt Lake Olympics and other sporting events.”

Peter Jukes Retweeted Byline

Er …. Any comment on this?

Peter Jukes added,

What an odd coincidence that the person engaged in such subterfuge with foreign powers has the same name as the fine British patriot.

Comment [A26]: Unclear, unfunny, delete Retweeted Byline

No! You don’t say! Well, I never etc, etc.

Comment [A26]: Unclear, unfunny, delete added,

Leo Garcia Retweeted Byline

Hola Nigel. Hola CA. Hola Wikileaks. Hola Putin.

Leo Garcia added,

Fusion GPS founder: I heard Brexit leader Farage gave data to Assange

Glenn Simpson to House Intel Committee: Nigel Farage allegedly gave Julian Assange a thumb drive containing data and visited him more often than is widely known

Worth noting that Simpson from GPS Fusion thinks that Ted Malloch is lynchpin in the and saga

BREAKING: in sworn testimony Simpson alleges that was a key player in the scandal and could have been the key go-between for

Lord Bikebot Retweeted Byline

Widely suspected for months, lets see where this goes…

Lord Bikebot added,

3h3 hours ago

David Carroll

🦅 Retweeted Wendy Siegelman

Russia’s NRA infiltration thru Torshin & Butina further corroborated in Simpson (FusionGPS) testimony released by House Intel Committee today. And of course there’s a mysterious Cambridge Analytica connection.

David Carroll

🦅 added,

9h9 hours ago

Alt_SeanSpicer’sMic

🎙🤦🏻‍♀️

🎙 Retweeted Justin Miller

This is actually SUPER important…the sending a delegation to meet with a “sanctioned” arms manufacturer. BIGLY YUGE deal👇🏻🚨👇🏻

Alt_SeanSpicer’sMic

🎙🤦🏻‍♀️

🎙 added,

Important insight from Simpson’s astonishing testimony about how Russian organised crime has moved into financial markets and media

There is nothing in international law about having to stay in first safe country. Also, vast majority of refugees are actually in the countries neighbouring their country of origin. How about shelving the bigotry for once and getting your facts straight?

Glenn Simpson testimony link still down. Here is a Scribd version as well.

Here’s an Archive version. Thanks to

Russian government infiltrated Jewish and Christian Orthodox churches for ‘intelligence’ purposes: Fusion GPS founder

The Russia-NRA connection is one of the most fascinating dangling threads from 2016. Keep tugging.

Fusion GPS founder claims that the President’s personal lawyer has a conviction for “a money-laundering related crime.”

Replying to

Connect the dots..

Russia helped organize financial and information support for the Trump campaign for President. Torshin(Head of Russia’s Central bank) and Butina worked with the NRA to funnel money to Trump and Republican candidates.

Simpson: “…it appears the Russians, you know, infiltrated the NRA…” (Page 142)

SHOT: A Russian gangster ran a high-stakes gambling ring out of Trump Tower, per Fusion GPS cofounder Glenn Simpson. CHASER: Trump was with that Russian gangster in the VIP section at the 2013 Miss Universe pageant (along with other “Kremlin biggies”).

Fusion GPS asked about Russia links to NRA – “It appears the Russians, you know, infiltrated the NRA”

Per the newest Fusion transcript, the mobster running the gambling ring out of Trump Tower was with Trump at the 2013 Miss Universe pageant.

This seems like more information on Sergei Millian than was previously in the public domain. Fusion had clear evidence that he did in fact interact with Michael Cohen, contrary to Cohen’s adamant denial.

Fusion GPS: Kremlin ‘Purged’ Suspected Spiess After Trump Dossier Release via

BREAKING: Fusion GPS’ Glenn Simpson told House Intel Committee “I think we saw patterns of buying and selling [by Donald Trump] that we thought were suggestive of money laundering.”

Fusion GPS cofounder Glenn Simpson says they spent “a lot of time investigating [Alexander Torshin]” — described as a “Russian banker/Duma member/Mafia leader” & “life member of the NRA” who is “well known for $ laundering.” Also mentions Trump’s plans to meet w/him last Feb.

(THREAD) BREAKING: The second Glenn Simpson (Fusion GPS) transcript—this one from House, rather than Senate, testimony—has just been released. In this thread, I’ll note any major news, statements, or developments the new transcript reveals. Hope you’ll read and share.

.

.

Regards,
Greg_L-W.

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The Farcical Claims Of Being Skint By #Farage Have Moved some £35K Closer To The Truth Under The #EU’s Repayment Demands! …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 13/01/2018

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The Farcical Claims Of Being Skint By #Farage Have Moved some £35K Closer To The Truth Under The #EU’s Repayment Demands! …
 .
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is what gives the remaining 10% a bad name!

000a ukip-025 count.png~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

.

Hi,

minded of the source of this article, about which we have been aware for some time and the subject of which we were first alluding to way before Christmas, it becomes increasingly obvious, it would seem, that Nigel Farage and his chums have no further use to the Russians.

You may recall we wrote of our understanding of the source of much of the money that funded several houses for Farage on the continent, including just outside St. Tropez, one in Tuscany and others.

You will also recall Farage, Banks, Wigmore & Raheem Kasam were scheduled to attend Trump’s inaguration and despite the low turnout for the inaguration they suddenly found their invitations had been withdrawn and they were left to have a rather sad visit sheltering by a vendors stall outside of the perimitter looking in, followed by a party with a few nebishes and nobodies and hotel staff in the resplendent Washington hotel ballroom they had hired – kind of much ado about nothing.

Then remember we announced we had been reliably informed Farage had been interviewed on or about 19th. December by Mueller regarding the two visits by private plane to Russia that he had made, which foolishly I believe he denied under the misconception there would be no record of his visits as they were by private plane, when experienced travellers would have realised flight plans & passenger manifests pertain even to private jets!

Then of course there was the plea bargain by George Cottrell (If you need to play catchup try CLICK HERE and also follow the links!), I’m given to understand from sources that have proved reliable in the past, this led to details of around 20 wire frauds and at least another 50 cases of money laundering.

You may remember the widely reported fact that #Farage & Banks were classified as individuals of interest some time ago by the FBI and US NSA.

Then of course there were the regular contacts with Julian Assange and release of records obtained by Farage that were believed to have been acquired by Russia and supplied via Assange to Farage for Trump – The Hillary leaks!

For someone who has worked for the Russians for a number of years to be so clearly ‘thrown to the wolves’, as Farage would seem to have been, is an interesting reflection on loyalty amongst scoundrels – obviously Farage & Fuller’s mutual abuse and exploitation is yet another!

Russian media now seems to display very little sympathy for their once enthusiastic runners! I gather they don’t much care about his various mistresses or his wife and other parasites in the party who are having to repay their ill gotten gains also!

Clearly money is a very large part of the motivation of the likes of these types of individual and loyalty is just a commodity to be bought and sold as clearly so is sex for many of them!

Nigel Farage has MEP salary docked to £35k amid claims of EU funds misuse

Nigel Farage has MEP salary docked to £35k amid claims of EU funds misuse
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage will have his MEP’s salary slashed by 50 percent to £35,000 (US$48,000) after a European Parliament investigation found he had misused EU funds.

Farage, who has recently described himself as “skint,” was being investigated by the European Parliament after allegations were made last February that he, as well as seven other UKIP MEPs, used European funds to finance his party office.

The investigation found that Christopher Adams, besides being Farage’s personal parliamentary assistant, was also carrying out work for the Euroskeptic party as its national nominating officer.

Under current EU rules, full-time assistants to MEPs are not allowed to do paid work for national parties, while part-time assistants must have their second jobs, even voluntary ones, vetted by the European Parliament watchdog to prevent conflicts of interest.

Amid concerns over his “key role” in UKIP, auditors suspended Adams’ contract.

As Farage has reportedly failed to provide proof of Adams’ work as parliamentary assistant, the EU is now docking the Brexiteer’s pre-tax monthly pay of €8,484 (US$10,328) per month in a bid to recoup the lost funds. He will have paid back his “debt” by October 2018.

“Since 1 January [2018] the European parliament has withheld 50 percent in order to recoup the €40,000 (US$48,692) due in salary that was paid to Christopher Adams and which cannot be proved by Farage,” a parliamentary source told the Guardian.

A spokeswoman for the European Parliament said she could not officially confirm details regarding Farage’s salary.

But, if MEPs fail to “provide any justification or proof” that their funded assistants are only carrying out EU-related duties, “then the administration may recover the money by withholding part of the MEP’s salary.”

A spokesman for the Eeuroskeptic Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group (EFDD) told the Independent: “There is a vindictive campaign by the European Parliament of selective persecution of Euroskeptic MEPs, parties and groups. This allegation is all part of their politically-motivated assault.”  

Farage, who spearheaded the Brexit campaign, recently made headlines by claiming he has every right to his EU salary.

Denying claims of hypocrisy given his persistent pro-Brexit rhetoric, he said: “Why should my family suffer?”

“I have just voted to get rid of my job. I was the turkey that voted for Christmas. How is that hypocrisy?” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show.

To view the original article CLICK HERE

Regards,

Greg_L-W.

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Posted in EU, EUkip, GL-W, GLW, Greg Lance - Watkins, Greg_L-W., UKIP | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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