Ukip-vs-EUkip

We aim to inform YOU & provide an archive re: Ukip to TRY to make it fit for purpose

  • GOOGLE TRANSLATE

  • Follow me on Twitter

  • TWITTER N.I.Bs.

    Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

  • PAGES:

  • Just Say NO to EU

    TO VIEW: Just CLICK The Picture

  • FleXit A WAY FORWARD

    TO VIEW: Just CLICK The Picture

  • HoC – EU Exit Plan

    TO VIEW: Just CLICK The Picture

  • EU_Referendum.com

    TO VIEW: Just CLICK The Picture

  • JUNIUS On UKIP

    JUNIUS is a Blog authored by informed individual in The EU 'Team UKIP'; Supporters of UKIP over many years who seek to expose corruption & make UKIP genuinely elec table for the informed!

    TO VIEW: Just CLICK The Picture

  • REFERENDUM & How To Win!

    TO VIEW: Just CLICK The Picture

  • Greg LANCE-WATKINS Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

  • Contact YOUR Political Servants

    Contact Your Politician
    writetothem.com
  • GLOBAL WARMING, Heaven and Earth

    PLIMER, Proff. Ian

    TO VIEW: Just Click The Picture

  • December 2018
    M T W T F S S
    « Nov    
     12
    3456789
    10111213141516
    17181920212223
    24252627282930
    31  
  • Flying Spaghetti Monster

    TO VIEW: Just CLICK The Picture

  • The EU In A Nutshell

    ROTHERHAM, Dr. Lee & STARKEY, Dr. David

    TO VIEW: Just Click The Picture

  • The EUropean PARLIAMENT

    CORBETT, Richard; JACOBS, Francis & SHACKLETON, Michael

    TO VIEW: Just Click The Picture

  • The European Union

    BOMBERG, Elizabeth; CORBETT, Richard & PETERSON, John

    TO VIEW: Just Click The Picture

  • GLOBAL WARMING, The Real Disaster

    BOOKER, Christopher

    TO VIEW: Just Click The Picture

  • The GREAT DECEPTION

    NORTH, Dr. Richard & BOOKER, Christopher

    TO VIEW: Just Click The Picture

  • The MANY NOT THE FEW

    Dr. Richard NORTH

    TO VIEW: Just Click The Picture

  • MINISTRY of DEFEAT

    NORTH, Dr. Richard

    TO VIEW: Just Click The Picture

  • The RIGHTS of ENGLISHMEN

    YOUNG, William - 1793

    TO VIEW: Just Click The Picture

  • The ROTTEN HEART of EUROPE

    CONNOLLY, Bernard

    TO VIEW: Just Click The Picture

  • SCARED to DEATH

    BOOKER, Christopher & NORTH, Dr. Richard

    TO VIEW: Just Click The Picture

  • Ten Years on

    ROTHERHAM, Dr. Lee

    TO VIEW: Just Click The Picture

  • VIGILANCE

    MOTE, Ashley (MEP rtd.)

    TO VIEW: Just Click The Picture

  • Voodoo Histories

    AARONOVITCH, David

    TO VIEW: Just Click The Picture

  • WATERMELONS

    DELINGPOLE, James

    TO VIEW: Just Click The Picture

Posts Tagged ‘BREXIT’

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

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

DO MAKE USE of LINKS,
>SEARCH<
&
>Side Bars<
&
The Top Bar >PAGES<

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

Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail:
Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

The BLOG:
https://InfoWebSiteUK.wordpress.com

The Main Web Site:
www.InfoWebSite.UK

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

.
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,

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

Regards,
Greg_L-W.

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 44 (0)1594 – 528 337

Calls from ‘Number Withheld’ phones Are Blocked

All unanswered messages are recorded.

Leave your name & a UK land line number & I will return your call.

‘e’Mail Address: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

DO MAKE USE of LINKS,

>SEARCH<

&

>Side Bars<

&

The Top Bar >PAGES<

I try to make every effort to NOT infringe copyrights in any commercial way & make all corrections of fact brought to my attention by an identifiable individual

Please Be Sure To

.Follow Greg_LW on Twitter.

Re-TWEET my Twitterings

& Publicise My Blogs
To Spread The Facts World Wide
~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

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

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

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

DO MAKE USE of LINKS,
>SEARCH<
&
>Side Bars<
&
The Top Bar >PAGES<

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

Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail:
Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

The BLOG:
https://InfoWebSiteUK.wordpress.com

The Main Web Site:
www.InfoWebSite.UK

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

.
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,

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.

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 44 (0)1594 – 528 337

Calls from ‘Number Withheld’ phones Are Blocked

All unanswered messages are recorded.

Leave your name & a UK land line number & I will return your call.

‘e’Mail Address: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

DO MAKE USE of LINKS,

>SEARCH<

&

>Side Bars<

&

The Top Bar >PAGES<

I try to make every effort to NOT infringe copyrights in any commercial way & make all corrections of fact brought to my attention by an identifiable individual

Please Be Sure To

.Follow Greg_LW on Twitter.

Re-TWEET my Twitterings

& Publicise My Blogs
To Spread The Facts World Wide
~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

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

The Degenerate Liars #Farage & #Fuller Flatter Themselves If They Believe They Did Much Beyond Befoul The True Value Of #BreXit …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 14/11/2017

 

DO MAKE USE of LINKS,
>SEARCH<
&
>Side Bars<
&
The Top Bar >PAGES<

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
 .
The Degenerate Liars #Farage & #Fuller Flatter Themselves
If They Believe They Did Much
Beyond Befoul The True Value Of #BreXit …
.
~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail:
Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

The BLOG:
https://InfoWebSiteUK.wordpress.com

The Main Web Site:
www.InfoWebSite.UK

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

.
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,

Here is a Tweet I posted some time before I read Nikki Sinclaire’s article in The Sun:

I don’t believe or have the guts or integrity to apologise to any of the people they have lied to or lied about – I guess we can dream on, they will never emerge from the gutter they are used to even for money from the press betrayal is their style

It is also well worth considering if Nigel Farage has made adequate compensation and a sufficiently public apology to Annabelle Fuller for having exploited his position of power and access to public money to fund her so that he could excercise his sexual domination of this weak minded and deeply disturbed young woman, who clearly seems to suffer from a mental illness which has been apparent to all but the deliberately blind and heartless ever since she first joined Ukip.

Fuller’s mental illness is almost deffinitely a Bi-Polar Disorder made all the more clear by her self harming and frequent cries for help and attention in her many half baked attempts at suicide, who, wishing to commit suicide, would act so publicly in proximity to excellent medical facilities as to seek attention in public toilets in the EU’s premises? Nor would anyone wishing to commit suicide rather than gain attention bodge cutting the arteries in the wrist!

Again I would draw your attention to Farage’s callous indifference that he failed to intercede to obtain sound medical help for this sad figure he used and exploited – one wonders if the only medical attention he would have sought would be to pay for her to have an abortion, or more to the point find a way for her to have an abortion at the tax payers’ expense to save himself from the inconvenience and expense of more children!

Allbeit he did of course pay £1/4 a Million into his off shore tax dodge account on the Isle of Man in the name of ‘Farage Educational Trust’. Just as it would seem he has sought, I hear, to put his assetts/properies overseas into an account in the name ‘Thorn In the side Ltd’ I would assume to not just dodge taxation but to put it beyond the reach of his other exploited tax payer funded staff member Kirsten!

However I do appreciate this is very much hear say and although in character it may well be a detail too far! We must of course be well aware that Farage is not just a proven liar and hypocite but also clearly corrupt so it is unreasonable to expect any denials he may Trump up to be true – he has lied time and time again for 13 years and attacked and villified many of us for telling the truth about him in the past, even going so far as to collude with and condone others seeking to bankrupt and destroy those who sought to expose the truth!

One wonders what Farage plans to do having heard Theresa May’s speech at The Mansion House last night in which she clearly stated Farage and his cronies were involved in the BreXit vote and Russian efforts to interfere with input of cyber expertise, social media and money and despite the 7 meetings the NSA/FBI has had with British authorities, 5 of which degenerated into shouting matches, one wonders when they will force the issue to have arrests and extraditions from Britain of the criminals who colluded with and accepted Russian money, acting also as a conduit for not only Russian money but also influence, cyber expertise, Julian Assange and stolen eMails to interfere with the rigged American elections!

Fortunately Russian attempts to influence the BreXit vote were of no effect as they chose to to support the largely irrelevant Arron Banks and thus his goffer Nigel Farage – neither of whom had much credibility amongst the electorate and you will note for all the £Millions claimed to have been spent by Leave.EU just how few followers they have and for every vote they may have garnered for BreXit I regret they probably lost 2!

All too often Farage & Banks came up in conversation amongst the true BreXit supporters concerned that thgeir interference was likely to ‘cost us BreXit’ – the real damage done by Russian interference was via Julian Assange & such efforts Farage & Banks made in interfereing in the American election that has so undermined the office of POTUS and will explainm the work done by US intel exposing them in the media, which in itself has harmed BreXit.

It is my belief that had Britain been spared the interference of Russian, Banks and Farage and some of the racists and clowns surrounding them the vote for BreXit would have be far far larger.

It is of course ironic that although Banks & Farage had no official role in the BreXit vote they have specialised in self publicity to desperately promote themselves as being in some way instrumental in the outcome – indeed I guess they were instrumental as they did everything within their power to try to prevent the Petition Nikki Sinclaire founded, organised and delivered which led to the debate in the House of Commons & the promise of a Referendum.

It was clearly Nikki Sinclaire and the cross party team she built that delivered the Referendum despite Farage and his claque and the Official Leave Campaign half baked and misinformed as it was were instrumental in the BreXit win.

The greatest irony of all regarding Farage, in this issue, is his bleating about interference in British democracy by the EU and to then listen to him bleating about the interference of George Soros in world affairs, particularly those of the EU! Meanwhile Farage & Banks are posing, posturing and seeking to influence American politics – he is like some commedy character in an African political bedroom farce!

Fortunately no one of any integrity can claim that Russian influence and money or Farage had a significant influence on the BreXit vote. However it is very clear that Banking influences and self interest and Government from all parties with the aid of Civil Servants and a great deal of tax payers’ money together with EU figures and yet more tax payers’ money did a great deal to corrupt the outcome of the vote, propping up the Remain campaign and yet the electorate clearly saw through such attempts to corrupt the outcome all be it the corruption of the vote by Government and the damage done by Farage and his perceived extremism did clearly reduce the Leave vote.

 

NOW SAY SORRY

Former MEP who sensationally outed Nigel Farage in 2014 for affair with aide demands apology for ‘vilifying’ her and ‘years of lies’

Ex-Ukip MEP Nikki Sinclaire said she had been finally proven right that the former party boss HAD been having an affair with Annabelle Fuller for years

THE FORMER MEP who sensationally revealed Nigel Farage’s relationship with his aide three years ago has demanded an apology from him for “vilifying” her.

Ex Ukip representative Nikki Sinclaire had accused Annabelle Fuller of sleeping with the former party leader – but she was called “callous” and “vindictive”.

Nikki Sinclaire - seen here with former Prime Minister David Cameron - said she had been proven right over the affair
Nikki Sinclaire – seen here with former Prime Minister David Cameron – said she had been proven right over the affair

Yesterday the Mail on Sunday revealed that Ms Fuller, who worked for Mr Farage, said the pair had a “decade-long affair” which was hushed up so it wouldn’t “derail Brexit”.

Ms Sinclaire, who left Ukip in 2010, is demanding a public apology from Mr Farage for accusing her of lying about the affair.

In March 2014 she asked him on the floor of the European Parliament if he thought it was a fair use of taxpayers’ money to employ his wife Kirsten and his “former mistress” Annabelle Fuller.

He replied at the time: “I don’t want to answer that at all” but later said the claims were “cowardly and malicious”.

Annabelle Fuller has lifted the lid on her 'decade-long affair' with Nigel Farage
Annabelle Fuller has lifted the lid on her ‘decade-long affair’ with Nigel Farage

Farage has denied having an affair with the former aide

EPA
Farage has denied having an affair with the former aide

Both had denied there was an affair – but Fuller said last weekend she had been secretly sleeping with Farage – more than 17 years her senior – from 2005 until October last year.

Today Ms Sinclaire told The Sun: “He vilified me for highlighting this as an issue.

“They said I was being malicious, that I was a liar.

“They said I was abusing my parliamentary privilege.

“They’ve denied it for years, and now she’s admitted to it.

“I am demanding an apology off both Nigel Farage and off Annabel Fuller.”

And Ms Sinclaire says there are still “serious questions” to be answered about Mr Farage employing both his wife and his mistress.

“He makes a habit of sleeping with people he employs,” she said.

Nikki spearheaded a cross-party petition to No10 back in 2011 - demanding that the Tories hold a referendum on leaving the EU

Nikki Sinclaire
Nikki spearheaded a cross-party petition to No10 back in 2011 – demanding that the Tories hold a referendum on leaving the EU

The former MEP, who lost her election in 2014, helped campaign for Hillary Clinton last year

Nikki Sinclaire
The former MEP, who lost her election in 2014, helped campaign for Hillary Clinton last year

Ms Fuller had been working for the Ukip boss as his personal communications officer, and helped on his failed MP election campaign in 2005.

And his wife Kirsten Farage has worked as his secretary.

The ex-aide said the tryst drove her to self harm and suicide attempts and caused her to suffer from PTSD and depression.
Ms Fuller said yesterday: “Right from the beginning, lying about the affair was a strategy we decided on.

“We had many conversations about it, even in the past couple of years. He told me I had to keep quiet. I said to him, ‘Do you have any idea how painful it is for me?’, and he would say ‘Yes’.”

Ms Fuller continued: “Nigel and I both knew we had to keep quiet to save Brexit.

Fuller was a trusted Ukip aide who worked for Farage in Brussels

Antonio Olmos
Fuller was a trusted Ukip aide who worked for Farage in Brussels

“We are both liars and hypocrites but the reason I had to lie throughout the years was that I didn’t want Ukip or the cause we were fighting for to be damaged.”

Farage split from his wife Kirsten in February and was rumoured to be living with French politician Laure Ferrari.

Farage said in response to the Mail on Sunday’s article: “At the time of Ms Fuller’s employment the party did not know there was a history of mental illness and other serious personal issues.

“I always tried to help her, recognising that she had ability, and prevented her from being fired on several occasions.”

A spokesperson for Nigel Farage declined to comment.

Annabelle Fuller did not respond to a request for comment.

To view the original article CLICK HERE

Here is the Tweet I posted some time before I read Nikki Sinclaire’s article in The Sun:

I don’t believe or have the guts or integrity to apologise to any of the people they have lied to or lied about – I guess we can dream on, they will never emerge from the gutter they are used to even for money from the press betrayal is their style

To read more facts regarding the issues in the above article CLICK HERE

Regards,

Greg_L-W.

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

 

Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 44 (0)1594 – 528 337

Calls from ‘Number Withheld’ phones Are Blocked

All unanswered messages are recorded.

Leave your name & a UK land line number & I will return your call.

‘e’Mail Address: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

DO MAKE USE of LINKS,

>SEARCH<

&

>Side Bars<

&

The Top Bar >PAGES<

I try to make every effort to NOT infringe copyrights in any commercial way & make all corrections of fact brought to my attention by an identifiable individual

Please Be Sure To

.Follow Greg_LW on Twitter.

Re-TWEET my Twitterings

& Publicise My Blogs
To Spread The Facts World Wide
~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

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

Lets Talk About #Nigel_Farage His Clique & Their Claque …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 06/11/2017

 

DO MAKE USE of LINKS,
>SEARCH<
&
>Side Bars<
&
The Top Bar >PAGES<

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
Lets Talk About #Nigel_Farage His Clique & Their Claque …
~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail:
Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

The BLOG:
https://InfoWebSiteUK.wordpress.com

The Main Web Site:
www.InfoWebSite.UK

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

.
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,

We Need To Talk About Nigel…

J.J. Patrick Worldwide
We Need To Talk About Nigel...
J.J. Patrick photo

Flamboyant politician, media spokesperson, bad boy of Brexit. Kremlin asset. People are waiting for suitcases full of cash but the truth is what the truth is: something which has been staring us in the face for years.

Russia 101:

While we are now living in the wake of a complex hybrid offensive, an Alternative War which saw Russia deploy a new range of psychological and cyber weapons with the assistance of far-right relationships cultivated over years, this is not a blockbuster movie.

There have been indictments in the US and more will come while, in the UK, we see a long-term pattern of fluffed action being repeated – we’re currently responding to an act of war, as defined within NATO, with a Culture Committee and the inadequate system of fines provided by the ICO and the Electoral Commission.

However, there will be no sudden revelation. No photographs of those involved in compromising positions with escort girls swimming in pools of Roubles.

The most we will ever see is a contaminated crime scene, so it’s time for a reality check. Russia 101, for the sake of everyone.

“Without even referring to The Moscow Rules directly, the appropriate way to conclude here is to paraphrase Fleming’s Goldfinger which nods to them: “Once is an accident. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is an enemy action.”” 

Russia has never cared for finesse because they have never needed it. They know full well that we know what they did, but they know our responses are bound in rules, whereas their actions are not. This isn’t a case of boxing against someone with one arm tied, this is a heavy-weight fighting a toddler. Russia regards the CIA as ‘Boy Scouts’ and their opinion of Britain is, in essence, that we are little more than a troop of Beavers. Russia taunts and mocks and dares because it knows it holds the cards and always has.

What Russia cares about is you not discovering exactly how they did it, from espionage to poison. The more muddied the water, the better, because it means they may be able to use the same method another time.

Putin’s Kremlin was built upon the KGB and the blood of organised crime and they began a cleanup operation at each stage of success. So what we are left with is a bland, forensic investigation which we do not have the domestic capability to effectively investigate.

At least not at a state level, because the stakes for a government are simply too high. Even if they proved it beyond doubt, they are bound by the realities of a disheveled, inadequate defence and a dance of skeletons which would turn from closet-shaking rattles to an earth-quake fit to finish the job Guy Fawkes once failed to do.

If the Whips can take down a cabinet with a small spreadsheet, imagine what the best pro-active foreign intelligence service in the world would have amassed in the way of Kompromat over the years.

So the only response to come is the one hamstrung in part by the crucially successful efforts of Russian disinformation: the media, now marred by the endless yells of Fake News.

But people like me are what we have, and people like us are going to continue to do our best to bring you what trace evidence remains. Journalists are one of the few things Putin’s Kremlin fears because we are not bound by the rules of the Boy Scouts, we are apolitical, and the public interest is the only thing we serve.

This is why journalism conferences in Putin’s Russia are graveyards. If the truth can’t be killed, those telling it can be.

The Useful Idiots:

A useful idiot has long been defined as: “a propagandist for a cause the goals of which they are not fully aware, and who is used cynically by the leaders of the cause.”

The phrase has made it into the Oxford Dictionary Of Euphemisms and has been the subject of much debate in the Dictionary of Espionage – it is derived from the term Useful Fool, attributed without official records to Lenin. Michael Prell, writing in his Underdogma, commented: “The term Useful Idiot is largely attributed to Vladimir Lenin, who reportedly used it to describe Soviet sympathizers among the ranks of Western media and intellectual elites.”

Mona Charen, a right-wing writer with a strongly Russian narrative, wrote about Lenin’s alleged origin of the term, writing: “Lenin is widely credited with the prediction that liberals and other weak-minded souls in the West could be relied upon to be ‘useful idiots’ as far as the Soviet Union was concerned.”

“Nigel Farage, former UKIP leader and MEP, Arron Banks, UK donor and backer of Leave.EU, and Andrew Wigmore, a Belizian diplomat and endeavour partner of both, are the best known of the Useful Fools in the United Kingdom.”

“Though Lenin may never have actually uttered the phrase, it was consistent with his cynical style. And… liberals managed, time after time during the Cold War, to live down to this sour prediction, she added.

All this sounds familiar these days.

And we do have some specific examples of Useful Idiots. They occupy well-known positions in our daily politics and were instrumental in the Brexit vote before tying themselves more publicly with the Trump administration.

Nigel Farage, former UKIP leader and MEP, Arron Banks, UK donor and backer of Leave.EU, and Andrew Wigmore, a Belizian diplomat and endeavour partner of both, are the best known of the Useful Fools in the United Kingdom.

All of them are currently under investigation or scrutiny in some way or another, in the both the United States and the United Kingdom – whether it be by the FBI under the Mueller inquiry, the EU over funding frauds, the police because of Breitbart payments to UKIP, the ICO over Leave.EU’s data use and sharing arrangements, or by the Electoral Commission over their receipt of services from controversial data firm Cambridge Analytica and Banks’s own finances.

They are deeply embedded in the establishment of fake and alternative news, proactively working with Steve Bannon – senior in the Trump Administration, Breitbart, and Cambridge Analytica – Russia’s state-led outlets RT and Sputnik, and have even created their own platform, Westmonster.

Alongside this, they are also connected the use of their own social media bots and Russia’s, to push their messaging – which also ties them to InfoWars – and will become central in the growing calls for inquiries into Russian interference in Brexit.

Currently they have doubled-down against any allegations of impropriety, suggesting that the Russia angle is a dead-end which will vindicate them, while more closely aligning themselves with the Russia outlets and the Russian state.

These are predictable games, and play precisely to everything we know about Russian tactics for denial. However, it’s apparent these particular useful fools are not only cocky but justifiably so: they also understand Russia 101 and the likelihood of escaping a headline-friendly bombshell which will undo them completely.

Thankfully, however, useful idiots are not always as exceptional as they may believe. Time and time again, in fact, we have seen they are ultimately disposable from the point of view of those in Russia who utilise them.

Because of this, it is much easier than it may first appear to make a conclusion as to whether or not they have been working with Russia, even in the absence of smoking guns.

The full statement by Yakovenko, for example, and its use by Leave.EU as part of their official response to allegations of Russian collusion indicates a relationship which extends beyond accidental or a simple matter of mutual appreciation.

It also carried a veiled message, highlighting a distaste for journalists which is recognisable not only in terms of Russia itself but reflected in the rhetoric of Britain’s useful idiots many months before the public and parliamentary mood reached the critical mass of now.

And, of course, the connections to Russia for both UKIP and Banks himself have run deeper than just this for some time. By proxy bringing more Useful Idiots into the equation.

As with all things relating to espionage, however, nothing is ever as simple as it may appear. If it was, we wouldn’t need spies in the first place.

Banks is married to Ekaterina Paderina, known as Katya. She came to the UK in the 1990s from Eastern Russia on a student visa and in November 1998 met and married a retired merchant sailor twice her own age. With the authorities suspicious of a sham marriage, she faced deportation and turned to Michael Hancock, the Liberal Democrat MP for Portsmouth South at the time. Despite her marriage lasting just three months, she successfully obtained the right to stay and married Banks in 2001.

Hancock denied assisting Paderina with her visa application, but her then-husband made a statement that: “The immigration authorities suspected it was a sham marriage, but then a restaurant owner who had a Russian girlfriend offered to introduce us to Mike Hancock and he said he would help get everything sorted.”

He states they visited the MP at his constituency office in Albert Road, Portsmouth, where: “Mr Hancock asked me if I thought there was any future in the relationship but he agreed to help.”

“I came home once and discovered Mr Hancock in my conservatory with Katia. They looked very cosy and I was very suspicious. I told him I didn’t like him visiting my wife when I was not there and he became very defensive and angry,” he added.

Hancock was eventually dismissed from the Liberal Democrats in 2014, but not before a curious case involving another Russian had been played out.

One of Hancock’s parliamentary aides, Katia Zatuliveter – a Russian national – and her friend were questioned by authorities at Gatwick Airport on a return flight from Croatia in August 2008. She had first met the MP in Strasbourg while working for the Council of Europe and began working for him the same year.

Between 2008 and June 2010 Zatuliveter was the secretary to the All-Party Group on Russia chaired by Hancock, which gave her not only access to MPs but a legitimate reason to be in communication with the Russian state. Westminster sources have previously stated she was, in effect, running the Russia group herself – which defined its purpose as to “maintain regular contact with the Russian Duma and Federal Council; to facilitate political exchanges between the two countries.”

According to The Times, reporting at the time of Hancock’s removal from the committee: “Members of the group were concerned at Mr Hancock’s position after he argued for a softer response to the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, the former KGB officer who was poisoned with radioactive material in London in 2006.”

Despite Hancock’s claims nothing untoward was occurring, Zatuliveter was identified as a potential spy by MI5 when routine surveillance linked her to another person with close links to the Russian Embassy in London. The associate was suspected of working for the SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence service. She was subsequently arrested on suspicion of espionage and detained pending deportation.

Her arrest came just as the Illegals Program, a spy ring of female sleeper agents, was uncovered in the United States. A scandal which involved a confirmed Russian agent and then British Citizen, Anna Vasil’yevna Chapman – who pled guilty to conspiracy to act as a foreign agent and was deported and also banned from returning to the UK afterward. On her return to Russia, she gave evidence against a KGB double-agent and went on to become a Russian media presenter. The spy ring was targeting the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton – details now more pertinent than ever.

Through 2010 and 2011, Hancock robustly defended Zatuliveter, but former Council of Europe’s colleagues went on record that through the 2000s Hancock would come to their regular private gatherings with a series of young Russian and Ukrainian women. Witnesses saw his assistants using the computers of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, as password protected system to which they knew the credentials.

During the fallout Hancock denied claims by Mátyás Eörsi, a Hungarian parliamentarian and member of the group, that he had failed to declare all of his visits to Russia, claiming he couldn’t count them up as his passport had “fallen into the sea”.

Eörsi also stated in August 2010: “He [Hancock] is the most pro-Russian MP from among all of the countries of western Europe. You just have to read his speeches. When it came to debates on Putin, freedom of the media or the war with Georgia, Michael always defended Russia. Among the Liberal bloc in Strasbourg we were all stunned by his position. According to him, Russia really is a fully-fledged democracy.”

The eventual case against Zatuliveter collapsed and the tribunal ruled that her relationship with Hancock – which lasted four years – had been “enduring and genuine on both sides.” Her case hinged on a diary, produced on the first day having been “forgotten” about which described her affections as simply immature.

The details, however, are fascinating. She first met Hancock in April 2006, while chaperoning an EU delegation, and eventually succumbed to his requests for her company when he returned to Moscow in June 2006. She started working for him as an aide and eventually passed a vetting-procedure granting her a parliamentary pass in 2008.

When pressed on her intentions, she claimed love at first sight, and when pressed on Hancock’s value to the Russian Intelligence Services due to his position, she said: “I don’t know how you imagine a Russian girl would have heard of the defence select committee or what it could be.”

It appears she may have had some idea, as the hearing uncovered she had affairs with two other men in influential positions, one which pre-dated Hancock by two years.

In 2004, chaperoning another Russia-EU conference, she met a Dutch diplomat referred to as “L”. While he did ask her to dinner, on a whim she caught a train to Moscow to meet him, admitting to the Tribunal that she did not tell him she was coming. After they had sex and he had to leave the room for work, she insisted on staying so, in her own words, the diplomat “took everything he possibly could from the room” before leaving.

When her affair with Hancock came to an end in April 2010, Zatuliveter began a relationship with “Y”, a member of NATO staff she met in London. During MI5 questioning, she was shown a picture of “Y” and asked bout electronic correspondence “attempting to extract information” from him about a previous NATO at which then US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was present.

“They said they couldn’t care less because I had already extracted information from him and…the harm had already been done,” she told the tribunal, explaining she had called off the affair.

On the balance of probabilities, the panel concluded she wasn’t a spy and she was freed.

Oleg Gordievsky, a former KGB-colonel who ran the agency’s London bureau before defecting told the Daily Mail during the scandal that Zatuliveter was a “very conscientious worker for the Russian Intelligence Services who passed them the most important military secrets. She caused more damage than all other KGB agents put together. She was the strongest and most useful KGB agent for the last 30 years.”

He concluded she was more effective than Anna Chapman and added: “It is big. For four years she has been making copies of military documents and bringing them to the [Russian] embassy.”

While Banks has always been highly dismissive of any links to Russian spies – and indeed mocked them, not least by buying Katya a private number plate which reads XM15SPY – times have changed and, in fact, have led him through apparent disdain to engender his own direct links to the Russian embassy.

This is where the obfuscation falls away like scales, but before explaining this, UKIP itself – to which Banks is the major donor – has married itself to the Kremlin in other ways during the period spanning from Zatuliveter’s arrest to the present day.

Gerard Batten is a UKIP MEP, first elected in 2004. A founding member of the right-wing party, he was the first Party Secretary from 1994 to 1997.

Batten was appointed a member of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Security and Defence in July 2004, and shortly afterward was also appointed UKIP’s official spokesman on Security and Defence. He has been a vocal opponent of the European Arrest Warrant and a supporter of both Julian Assange and Vladimir Bukovsky.

Batten is a curiosity, not least because his name comes straight up in an internal UKIP email from 2010, in which he is asked to comment on the Hancock/Zatuliveter scandal.

In of itself, this is expected – a suitably qualified politician commenting on a story – but one source close to UKIP’s leadership, who wishes to remain anonymous for security reasons, recalls: “Zatuliveter has met with Batten too. Both of them in his office, in a closed-door session.”

It is unclear whether this meeting took place before or after her period in the detention centre.

The sender of the email, Gawain Towler – once the party’s chief press officer and at the time a senior aide to Nigel Farage – was later the subject of his own scandal when, in 2013, he accidentally sent an SMS to one news reporter saying: “They have called and I expect a snapper and a female journalist (of some form of ethnic extraction) at Piccadilly,” while referring to Kiran Randhawa, a British Asian journalist.

Batten’s special interests in Russia are long-standing, as are his direct connections to Russian figures and controversies. He has been close to KGB figures for a number of years and became linked to the Romano Prodi scandal relating to the attempted 1981 assassination of Pope John Paul II.

In April 2006, Batten went on record to identify Alexander Litvinenko as the former FSB officer identifying Prodi as the KGB’s “man in Italy” and publicly called for an inquiry. Specifically, he gave evidence that Litvinenko had been informed by FSB deputy chief General Anatoly Trofimov numerous KGB agents were active among Italian politicians. A Brussels based news outlet, EU-Reporter, ran a story at the time, also saying: “another high-level source, a former KGB operative in London, has confirmed the story”.

At the time Prodi was running for re-election amidst a full inquiry into Soviet infiltration of Italy during the cold war led by Senator Paolo Guzzanti. Interestingly, the commission was disbanded in without any concrete evidence given to support the original allegations of KGB ties to Italian politicians. One man, Mario Scaramella, was arrested in late December 2006 and charged with libel and illegal weapons’ trade, after wiretaps of phone calls between Scaramella and Senator Guzzanti were published by the Italian press. The recordings showed the pair had planned to discredit various political opposition figures through claiming they had ties with the KGB.

Despite Batten’s call, Prodi won the election with his centre-left party and, as Litvinenko was dying later that year, the new parliament instituted a commission to investigate the Guzzanti inquiry as it had “manipulated the KGB story for political purposes.”

Scaramella met with Litvinenko just before the former spy met his two murderers.

Since gaining asylum in the UK in 2001, Litvinenko had moved relatively freely, despite an alleged plot to assassinate him which has been documented as being initiated in 2002. He worked with British and European security services identifying Russian state and criminal activities.

Just over six months after being publicly outed by Batten, Litvinenko fell ill when he was poisoned with polonium-210. He died on the 23rd of November 2006 and following an eventual public inquiry, which concluded in January 2016, it was formally recorded that Litvinenko’s murder was an FSB operation, probably personally approved by Vladimir Putin.

“Batten’s is a story of contradiction and complication. Because of his position, he was well-informed on the risks to any constituent exposing KGB operations.”

On hearing the news, Batten told BBC News: “I’m shocked. I’m very saddened at Alexander’s death. He was a very likeable man. I got on very well with him on the occasions I met him and spoke to him on the telephone. I think that what’s very concerning about this is the accusation that the Russian secret services were involved in this. I had a conversation at the weekend with Mario Scaramella, the man that Alexander was meeting in the sushi bar on 1 November, and Mario was himself in fear of his life. He was going off to hospital to have a check to make sure that he wasn’t contaminated in any way, and what he told me was one of the reasons he came over to speak to Alexander is because another ex-KGB contact that he had warned him that his life was in danger, Alexander’s life was in danger, and that two other named people were also in danger.”

Batten, squarely, found himself in the middle of what appears to have been a dangerous and bitter war between factions of the former KGB, aligned with central players, and his stances are peculiarly at odds which some of the activities against Russian mafia crime in the EU. Namely the European Arrest Warrant, which was the centrepiece of his relationship with Julian Assange.

Litvinenko had also befriended a number of Chechen exiles while in London and even converted to Islam in solidarity. (He was buried in a lead-lined coffin with Muslim rites).

Batten has also set himself at odds with Islam, however. One example is in his essay published in the November/December 2006 edition of right-wing circular Freedom Today that: “Successive governments have refused to accept the threat posed to our society by Islamic fundamentalism and extremism and to take the necessary measures to meet it head-on. We should esteem our own values of freedom, free speech, and liberal secular democracy and start defending them. One of the most important reasons that extremism has flourished in Britain is because of the funding it receives from abroad.”

Batten’s is a story of contradiction and complication. Because of his position, he was well-informed on the risks to any constituent exposing KGB operations.

Did Batten out Litvinenko for reasons we do not yet understand? appears to be a question that has never been asked, yet it seems pertinent given the circumstances.

On a plain reading, Litvinenko’s murder timeline appears directly related to his naming in the Prodi affair.

But the curiosity does not end with one of the most famous murders in British history.

Pavel Stroilov worked as an aide to Batten and co-authored The Inglorious Revolution with him – a book about “how membership of the European Union has subverted the English Constitution and how the people can set themselves free” which was published in 2013.

Stroilov is described in the book’s bio as a “Russian journalist, historian and political exile living in London. He has smuggled secret Soviet documents to the West and was granted political asylum in London.”

Stroilov’s story is odd. Nonsensically odd.

“According to the article, Stroilov has 50,000 documents on his computer. He claims that these are unavailable to researchers, a claim that the article repeats. In fact, the vast majority of these documents have been available to researchers for at least the past decade.”

He claims to have fled Russia in the early 2000s with 50,000 previously unseen documents from the Gorbachev Foundation archives. How he came to work for Batten appears to be his connection to be through his friend, Bukovsky. However, despite numerous right-wing articles there really isn’t much on Stroilov – which you may expect as he stole some of the KGB’s prized history.

Academics are generally dismissive too.

Writing a cutting riposte for the LSE to Stroilov’s 2010 coverage in a right-wing publication City Journal, an outlet of the conservative Manhattan Institute, Artemy Kalinovsky exclaimed bewildered exasperation. “According to the article, Stroilov has 50,000 documents on his computer. He claims that these are unavailable to researchers, a claim that the article repeats. In fact, the vast majority of these documents have been available to researchers for at least the past decade. I worked in the Gorbachev Foundation Archives (GFA) in 2006, 2007, and 2008, and was able to see the available notes taken at Politburo meetings, Chernaiev’s diary, various papers written by Gorbachev aides, and some memorandums of meetings and telephone conversations (memcons) between Gorbachev and foreign leaders. The only time documents were withdrawn was when they were being prepared for publication by the GFA; even then, after explaining that I was working on a PhD thesis and did not want to spend my entire life in grad school, I was given access to the documents. The one exception is some of the memcons of conversations with foreign leaders – for reasons that are not quite clear, many of these were kept from researchers. Even the memcons, though, have been included in the excellent volumes the GFA has been releasing over the past several years, including one on the German question, several editions of the Politburo notes, and a series approaching 15 volumes of what seems to be the GFAs entire collection. Cherniaev’s diary, one of the treasures of the GFA’s collection, has also been published.”

Stroilov’s own agenda is even more telling in his own words.

Being interviewed for a piece in Romania’s Hot News in 2009, Stroilov entered into a now quite familiar diatribe, telling reporters about “what Gorbachev called Common European Home. And Francois Mitterrand called it European Confederation.”

He outlines what appears to be a plan for Russia to integrate with Europe peacefully, saying: “It was based on the old Cold War idea of ‘convergence’: that is to say, Soviet Union and East Europe were to become more and more democratic, while West Europe would be more and more socialist. And when it finally merged, it would result in a kind of moderate socialist utopia. The United Socialist Europe, that’s basically what it was. Gorbachev and Mitterrand were talking all the time of how to make their Common Socialist European Home. The transformation of the European Community went wrong because, of course, the Soviet Union collapsed and Russia never entered the European integration. But the plan has a lot of impact even on today’s Europe, because basically, the EU is a moderately socialist structure of this kind.”

Reading the article, it’s hard to grasp what Stroilov’s views are, other than he is against Russia/EU integration.

This is supported further by another odd publication, originally released in 2004, entitled: “EUSSR: The Soviet Roots Of European Integration,” which he co-authored with Bukovsky.

The publication is one of the most blatant pieces right-wing propaganda you are ever likely to find and does not hide its agenda from the outset. The introductory note has to be seen to be believed.

Under Chapter 4, which is headed “Other Forces From Hell,” the core message of the book crystallises. It reads: “all the talk of opposing US influence in Europe, all the pretence at creating European counterbalance to the remaining superpower sounded more like propaganda than a real goal to the EU.”

The reasons for the UKIP affiliation of both of these Russian nationals are clear. They appear to openly detest the European Union.

Chapter 6 is best described as the justification of Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the book reads like a supporting work for Dugin’s Future of Geopolitics.

And this, in part, explains why Stroilov was able to take thousands of documents from a KGB archive and leave the country untouched: his agenda suits that of the Kremlin, and the myth of theft appears to have been little more than a smokescreen providing legitimacy.

Documents seen also show that he had no real objections to turning to RT for media coverage for Batten’s causes and UKIP insiders have claimed Stroilov hung around London’s embassy and even brought FSB into UKIP’s offices regularly. All of which would be peculiar for a man on the run from the Russian state for the theft of secrets.

But again, their story is one of contradictions.

Bukovsky’s history paints him as an anti-communist dissident, and he even stood against Putin as a candidate in 2008, however, despite being deported from Russia in the 1970s, he never lost his citizenship and was pardoned by Yeltsin in the 1990s. But then there is Assange.

Most recently, Bukovsky has come to the attention of British police and is being prosecuted for Paedophilia offences.

“Much as with Litvinenko’s connections to UKIP, we are left with more questions than we are answers, and Batten is placed front and centre in another Russian security service conflict situation.”

In 2015, the Crown Prosecution Service and Police charged Bukovsky with sexual offences after prohibited images were found on his computer. His trial commenced in December 2016 in Cambridge, where it transpired he was accused of 11 counts of “making and possessing indecent images of children,” charges he denies.

According to the prosecution case, Bukovsky started downloading images in the late 1990s, claiming he was conducting “research into the issues of control and censorship on the internet”, and told investigators “his initial curiosity turned into a hobby, rather like stamp-collecting”. Bukovsky has described the accusations as “absurd” and claims the tip-off about the images was passed through Europol from Russian security services.

The trial was halted after one day as Bukovsky was hospitalized with pneumonia, though it is rescheduled for the 19th of January 2018. A bizarre addition to the case is that Bukovsky lodged a legal claim for £100,000 in defamation damages against the CPS, a case which failed in October 2017.

Both Bukovsky and Stroilov also jointly penned a book allegedly based upon Litvinenko’s personal diaries and writings. In it, they told about the friendship between Litvinenko and oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who was eventually found dead with a ligature around his neck – a story which generated wild rumours of him being executed by Western security services as he was about to expose a plot to oust Putin. Another story which makes no sense when set in context.

Much as with Litvinenko’s connections to UKIP, we are left with more questions than we are answers, and Batten is placed front and centre in another Russian security service conflict situation.

UKIP insiders have also claimed Batten once asked Berezovsky for £250,000 during a gathering at his Surrey mansion, but the request was not met with a positive response.

It’s clear, even for someone outside of the security services, that Batten presents a somewhat unique combination of intelligence risk and opportunity. A perfect hub for the focus of Russian intelligence services, whether wittingly or otherwise. A near perfect Useful Idiot – a category into which Bukovsky may have once fallen and expired, but Stroilov does not appear to.

Pavel Stroilov is not a question which can be answered yet, but his story is anomalous enough to warrant a well-justified feeling something is not quite right.

And this leads us to the relationship between Bukovsky, Batten, and Assange.

Before beginning with the Assange issue, however, it is prudent to state the obvious: Julian Assange remains the accused in a Swedish rape investigation and the only reason he has not been subject to due process is that he went into hiding under diplomatic protection.

Though this is repeatedly misrepresented, and Assange himself even claimed a ‘victory’ when the European Arrest Warrant was withdrawn, the simple truth has always been publicly available from the Swedish prosecutor herself: aside from Assange being arrested and interviewed, all other evidence has been gathered.

On the 19th of May 2017, the lead prosecutor Marianne Ny said: “Almost 5 years ago Julian Assange was permitted refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has resided ever since. In doing so, he has escaped all attempts by the Swedish and British authorities to execute the decision to surrender him to Sweden in accordance with the EU rules concerning the European Arrest Warrant. My assessment is that the surrender cannot be executed in the foreseeable future.”

According to Swedish legislation, a criminal investigation is to be conducted as quickly as possible. At the point when a prosecutor has exhausted the possibilities to continue the investigation, the prosecutor is obliged to discontinue the investigation.

“In our judgment, Mr Assange is on the facts before this court “accused” of the four offences. There is a precise description in the EAW of what he is said to have done. The extraneous evidence shows that there has been a detailed investigation.”

“At this point,” Ny continued, “all possibilities to conduct the investigation are exhausted. In order to proceed with the case, Julian Assange would have to be formally notified of the criminal suspicions against him. We cannot expect to receive assistance from Ecuador regarding this. Therefore the investigation is discontinued.”

“If he, at a later date, makes himself available, I will be able to decide to resume the investigation immediately,” she added.

Also, considering the case has never been to trial, the High Court decision in July 2011 which rejected Assange’s appeal against the application of a European Arrest Warrant set an important precedent as regards the use of condoms and conditional consent. A precedent which did not bode well for Assange’s proposed defence in Sweden.

In fact, reading the full judgment reduces a number of the myths surrounding the Assange case to ashes, along with one of the pillars of his defence to the warrant: that he had not actually been accused of an offence.

“In our judgment, Mr Assange is on the facts before this court “accused” of the four offences. There is a precise description in the EAW of what he is said to have done. The extraneous evidence shows that there has been a detailed investigation. The evidence of the complainants AA and SW is clear as to what he is said to have done as we have set out. On the basis of an intense focus on the facts he is plainly accused. That is. [sic] as Lord Steyn said, decisive,” the judges wrote.

“As it is common ground that a criminal investigation about someone’s conduct is not sufficient to make a person an accused, a further way of addressing this broad question is to ask whether the case against him has moved from where he can be seen only as a suspect where proof may be lacking or whether there is an accusation against him supported by proof…Plainly this is a case which has moved from suspicion to accusation supported by proof,” they added.

“In England and Wales, a decision to charge is taken at a very early stage; there can be no doubt that if what Mr Assange had done had been done in England and Wales, he would have been charged and thus criminal proceedings would have been commenced. If the commencement of criminal proceedings were to be viewed as dependent on whether a person had been charged, it would be to look at Swedish procedure through the narrowest of common law eyes. Looking at it through cosmopolitan eyes on this basis, criminal proceedings have commenced against Mr Assange. In our view therefore, Mr Assange fails on the facts on this issue,” the judgment concludes.

Under Swedish law, a matter of procedure is a final interview before final charges are made. So, rather than a suspect, Assange is, in fact, the accused. He has never won anything, just evaded justice and is also wanted by the British police, because he was bailed to live at a fixed address under the proceedings with a bond set at £200,000 and left the address for the Ecuadorian Embassy.

A further appeal by Assange was rejected in May 2012 as being without merit.

 

Working together, Batten and Bukovsky involved themselves in Assange’s legal case as “Interveners”, instructing UK lawyer Paul Diamond.

Leaked emails have shown UKIP had been actively supporting Assange since 2011.

The Farage-led Europe of Freedom and Democracy group even tabled a motion attacking “the possible abuse of the European Arrest Warrant for political purposes,” when the law was used to trigger Assange’s extradition over Swedish rape allegations and, on RT, Batten labelled the extradition proceedings against Assange as “legalised kidnap.”

One new email seen shows Batten submitting questions from a Dr Mezioso to both the European Council and Commission on the 15th of February 2011 and Stroilov, replying, nudging Batten towards RT for press coverage of the intervention.

“I look forward to future revelations about what western governments are up to.”

Batten has appeared frequently on RT, the Russian state television broadcaster and UKIP insiders claim he was consistently paid a substantial fee – something Batten denies. His declaration of interests document lodged with the European Parliament does not feature any additional income declarations.

In one document about the Assange case, written by Batten and dated Tuesday the 11th of January 2011, he stated: “I have come to the view our own government is the enemy of our own people.”

“I look forward to future revelations about what western governments are up to.”

It seems the stage for UKIP’s developing role in later world events had been set for a long time and Batten wasn’t a lone voice.

By the 4th of February, Batten was seeking a meeting with Assange via his lawyer, Mark Stephens, writing: “So far, UKIP London has been only British political party to openly support Mr Assange fight against EAW and his freedom of speech, and we would very much like to continue doing so.”

Leaked minutes of the meeting on the 10th of February first report by Business Insider, show Batten promised to table a motion in support of the WikiLeaks founder in the European Parliament and that UKIP offered a joint video press conference in Brussels. The Mezioso email came five days later.

By the 21st of February 2011, UKIP’s Steven Woolfe was setting up a donor event, the UKIP City of London Business Forum on the 23rd of March 2011, at which Batten and Stephens spoke out on the Assange issue. One email from Farage’s assistant confirms he also spoke with Stephens at the event.

Batten attended Assange’s 40th Birthday in July 2011 and UKIP insiders claim Farage was also present.

While Batten had clearly placed UKIP in the ideal position for the exploitation of Useful Idiots, Farage took the opportunity and capitalised upon it, eventually unravelling himself by the time 2017 came along.

Following a ‘dump’ of CIA data on the WikiLeaks site in March 2017, security analysts began to draw conclusions that Assange’s site was, in fact, a full-blown Russian interest.

“the Office of the Director of National Intelligence had already confirmed there was “high confidence that Russian military intelligence relayed material to WikiLeaks.””

Dr Andrew Foxall, director of the Russia Centre at the Henry Jackson Institute openly stated: “Wikileaks has secret Russian intelligence but hasn’t disclosed anything remotely sensitive about Russia. He [Assange] has taken a consistently pro-Russia stance.”

Though Assange denied the claims, speaking from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Foxall added: “The documents contained 75,000 redactions. These were codes that would also affect Russia’s security because some of the data was relatively fresh, it is unlikely it had been in the pipeline for a while. And Assange’s team is small. The logical conclusion is that the data was given already redacted. This was the work of a sophisticated team, and it fits entirely into a pattern of behaviour demonstrated by Russia in the past.”

In fact, in January 2017, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence had already confirmed there was “high confidence that Russian military intelligence relayed material to WikiLeaks.”

During the 2016 Trump campaign, Roger Stone was accused by John Podesta of having prior knowledge of Wikileaks publishing his private emails which had been obtained by a hacker. In fact, before the leak, Stone tweeted: “It will soon the Podesta’s time in the barrel,” and five days prior to the release he did it again, writing: “Wednesday Hillary Clinton is done. #Wikileaks.” Breitbart News, the Robert Mercer and Steve Bannon disinformation channel, also published a subsequent denial by Stone, in which he claimed he had no advance knowledge of the Podesta e-mail hack or any connection to Russian intelligence.

The thing was, I had already established a link between Russia, disinformation, Wikileaks, Trump, and Brexit, and found clear evidence from intelligence agencies that Wikileaks was known as a Russian operation.

Stone became a gift which kept on giving, and he presented none other than Nigel Farage.

During a speech on the 8th of August 2016, Stone said: “I actually have communicated with Assange” and referred to an “October surprise” coming via the Wikileaks site. He also stated that, while he had never met or spoken to the site’s founder, the pair had a “mutual friend” who served as an intermediary.

The same day the speech was given, Stone was tweeting about a dinner he had with Nigel Farage, who was, of course, seen visiting Assange in March 2017 and had always refused to give reasons for the meeting.

“It transpires, however, Farage had indeed met Yakovenko. On the 13th of May 2013, according to the Russian Embassy’s website.”

In May 2017, Farage changed tack and told Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper he visited the Ecuadorian Embassy for “journalistic reasons, not political reasons” before cutting the questions short, saying: “It has nothing to do with you. It was a private meeting.” What set him off, according to the reporters, was when they directly asked if he was working for Russia.

In response to questions about his 2013 meeting with Russian Ambassador Yakovenko, which he initially claimed not to remember, Farage began ranting at the reporter: “I think you are a nutcase! You are really a nutcase! Brexit is the best thing to happen: for Russia, for America, for Germany and for democracy.”

It transpires, however, Farage had indeed met Yakovenko. On the 13th of May 2013, according to the Russian Embassy’s website.

Again, Farage had appeared repeatedly on RT, eventually being knighted on the channel in 2017 and offered his own show – which he turned down. UKIP insiders, however, claim Farage was paid up to £2,000 per appearance – something he has not responded to and RT deny, in a fashion.

However, Nigel’s own declaration of interest in the European Parliament shows he has been raking in over £5,000 a year as a media commentator since 2010. Though the total amount is not specified, this gives us a baseline of at least £35,000 over the last seven years. He had appeared no less than 17 times between 2010 and 2014 alone.

The car-crash interview with Die Zeit came shortly after Wikileaks had dumped material aimed at influencing voters in France to vote against Emanuel Macron and side with the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen – whose deep financial and political ties to Russia were already exposed.

Farage was openly supporting Le Pen during her campaign and was backed up by Leave.EU and Banks’ alternative media site Westmonster. Farage had also personally used his LBC radio show to broadcast a repeat Assange’s denial of Russian involvement in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and their presidential nominee Hilary Clinton during the US election.

“In the same month as Farage’s Broadcast, senior officials in the CIA completely contradicted both of them, saying the leaked DNC material had been traced to Russian GRU officials and “handed off to Assange via a circuitous route” in an attempt to avoid detection of the original source.”

In January 2017, Farage told his listeners “[Julian Assange] is absolutely clear that all the information he has got is not from Russian sources.”

In the same month as Farage’s Broadcast, senior officials in the CIA completely contradicted both of them, saying the leaked DNC material had been traced to Russian GRU officials and “handed off to Assange via a circuitous route” in an attempt to avoid detection of the original source.

That route was a hacker known as Guccifer 2.0 who, between 2016 and January 2017, publicly stated they were not Russian but Romanian. However, despite stating they were unable to read or understand Russian, metadata of their own emails showed a Russian-language-only VPN was used. In addition, when pressed to use the Romanian language in an interview with reporters, Motherboard noted they “used such clunky grammar and terminology that experts believed he was using an online translator.”

On the DNC email hack and subsequent leaks, one long available declassified intelligence report states: “Guccifer 2.0, who claimed to be an independent Romanian hacker, made multiple contradictory statements and false claims about his likely Russian identity throughout the election. Press reporting suggests more than one person claiming to be Guccifer 2.0 interacted with journalists.”

This conclusion was, of course, logical and followed previous findings of extensive state-sponsored Russian hacking now well determined and the questions around Guccifer being a Russian asset with a fake identity. The content of the DNC leak reviewed in the report was taken from e-mail accounts targeted by the Russian GRU in March 2016 and appeared on DCLeaks.com starting in June. The intelligence agencies stated the GRU relayed material it acquired from the DNC and senior Democratic officials to WikiLeaks.

According to the analysts: “Moscow most likely chose WikiLeaks because of its self-proclaimed reputation for authenticity.” They noted that documents published WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries and, in early September 2016, Putin had said publicly it was important the DNC data was exposed to WikiLeaks, calling the search for the source of the leaks a distraction and denying Russian state-level involvement.

Importantly, the report also confirmed the Kremlin’s principal international propaganda outlet, RT, had actively collaborated with WikiLeaks. According to the CIA, RT’s editor-in-chief visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in August 2013, where they discussed renewing his broadcast contract with RT. This was also reported in Russian and Western media. The Russian media, however, subsequently announced RT had become “the only Russian media company” to partner with WikiLeaks and had received access to “new leaks of secret information.”

RT, the CIA said, had also routinely given Assange sympathetic coverage and provided him with a platform to denounce the United States – support mirrored by Nigel Farage, who also has those close links with RT and who had also visited Assange, as I separately established.

According to the CIA, the election-related disclosures and disinformation more broadly reflected a pattern of Russian intelligence using hacked information in tailored influence efforts against targets such as Olympic athletes and other foreign governments. Such efforts, they confirmed, have included releasing or altering personal data, defacing websites, and releasing emails.

A prominent target since the 2016 Summer Olympics was the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), with leaks assessed to have: “Originated with the GRU and that have involved data on US athletes. Crucially, however, the report accurately identified Russia collected information on some Republican-affiliated targets but did not conduct a comparable disclosure campaign. Russia’s state-run propaganda machine — which I knew was comprised of its domestic media apparatus, outlets targeting global audiences such as RT and Sputnik and a network of quasi-government trolls — contributed to the influence campaign by “serving as a platform for Kremlin messaging to Russian and international audiences,” the report stated. The same pattern was evident in both Brexit and the French election.

“If you triangulate Russia, WikiLeaks, Assange and Trump associates the person who comes up with the most hits is Nigel Farage…he’s right in the middle of these relationships. He turns up over and over again. There’s a lot of attention being paid to him.”

State-owned Russian media also made increasingly favourable comments about Trump as the 2016 US general and primary election campaigns progressed, while consistently offering negative coverage of the Clinton campaign. On the 6th of August 2016, RT published an English language video called Julian Assange Special: Do WikiLeaks Have the E-mail That’ll Put Clinton in Prison? and an exclusive interview with Assange entitled Clinton and ISIS Funded by the Same Money.

The most popular English language video about the then President-elect, called “Trump Will Not Be Permitted to Win,” featured Julian Assange and had over two million views. According to the intelligence report, Russia used trolls as well as RT as part of its influence efforts to denigrate Clinton, and this effort amplified stories on scandals about the Democratic candidate and the role of WikiLeaks in the election campaign.

The FBI also came out at the start of June 2017 and declared Nigel Farage a person of interest in their Trump-Russia probe.

One source in the Bureau told the Guardian: “If you triangulate Russia, WikiLeaks, Assange and Trump associates the person who comes up with the most hits is Nigel Farage…he’s right in the middle of these relationships. He turns up over and over again. There’s a lot of attention being paid to him.”

In a statement, Farage said: “This hysterical attempt to associate me with the Putin regime is a result of the liberal elite being unable to accept Brexit and the election of President Trump. For the record, I have never been to Russia, I’ve had no business dealings with Russia in my previous life and I have appeared approximately three times on RT in the last 18 months. I consider it extremely doubtful that I could be a person of interest to the FBI as I have no connections to Russia.”

Assange has since left little doubt he is acting for Russia, and Farage has stayed closely aligned throughout. Most recently, Assange has been supporting Russian interests in Catalonia and has also declared his support for Calexit, a movement Farage and Banks aligned themselves with, in March 2017.

The final nail in the coffin is the indictment of George Papadopoulos, a Trump Aide, whose timeline confirms Russia hacked the DNC, and that the Kremlin interacted directly with Trump’s campaign and Julian Assange.

The indictment confirmed a joint intelligence service report and the US government has recently announced a series of charges are to come for Russian officials involved in the hacking and leaking.

The links between Farage’s UKIP and the Trump-Russia inquiry are endless and even lead into the newly released Paradise Papers, but it is Assange and the Trump campaign which also brings Farage and the Leave.EU figures back to Russia in another way: Cambridge Analytica. Trump’s data firm who claimed to have approached Julian Assange for the leaked emails around the time the FBI posted a picture of Papadopoulos in London, just around the corner from the Ecuadorian Embassy.

The Leave.EU campaign and the central figures Nigel Farage, Arron Banks, and Andrew Wigmore, worked with Cambridge Analytica – who are now being examined by the Trump-Russia probe – though they have since started to deny the collaboration.

The co-operation is, in fact, subject to not one but two inquiries in the UK as well, with both the Electoral Commission and the Information Commissioner’s Office investigating.

While Cambridge Analytica itself is under the spotlight, along with its shady management (Steve Bannon and Robert Mercer), their activity beyond Trump and Brexit is no less interesting.

“This may help Russia on the European gas market. Qatar’s tanker fleet is barred from using regional ports and anchorages, posing a threat to the country’s LNG supplies.”

In the last few days events in Saudi Arabia have taken a turn which was unexpected by many, however, the writing was on the wall a long time ago when the inexplicable Qatar crisis began in the region. What we now know, however, is that Cambridge Analytica acted to support Russian interests in the region, having been engaged as a Foreign Agent to promote “Blockade Qatar.”

The crisis saw Russia taking the side of Qatar in a move designed to exert pressure on European gas supplies using its long-term allies Iran and Turkey to assist.

RT was swift to provide context at the time, writing: “This may help Russia on the European gas market. Qatar’s tanker fleet is barred from using regional ports and anchorages, posing a threat to the country’s LNG supplies. Traders are worried Saudi Arabia and allies would refuse to accept LNG shipments from Qatar, and that Egypt might even bar tankers carrying Qatari cargo from using the Suez Canal, despite Cairo’s obligation under an international agreement to allow the use of the waterway. If LNG supplies are disrupted, Europe will have to buy more gas from Russia.”

Qatar had not long completed a purchase of significant shares in Rosneft, Russia’s state-owned fossil fuel company. Rosneft is a client of Trump cyber-security lead Rudy Giuliani’s law and consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, which is also tied to close Putin allies at Alfa Bank. Investigative journalist Grant Stern has written about the Rosneft deal, saying: “Circumstantial evidence strongly indicates that President Donald J. Trump and his campaign associates brokered a massive oil privatization deal, where his organisation facilitated a global financial transaction to sell Russian Oil stock to its Syrian War adversary, the Emirate of Qatar.” The Emirate of Qatar was another Giuliani client.

Trump hosted a Qatari state-run business owned by the QIA, the buyer of Rosneft shares in the deal, in the Manhattan Trump Tower for many years. Carter Page, who acted as a gopher in the transaction, was working directly for Trump at the time. Having flatly denied meeting any Russian officials in 2016, Page later contradicted himself as it emerged he met Sergey Kislyak, the Russian Ambassador, during the Republican National Convention. Kislyak is both a spy and recruiter for Russian intelligence, according to intelligence officials.

According to Andrey Illarionov, Russian economist and former economic policy advisor to the Russian President, Putin has been aiming to target Qatar and brand them as terrorists since 2015. The Kremlin wished to target “military, infrastructure and energy sites in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.” At the time, the FSB announced it was offering a 50 million US dollar reward to anyone who could provide evidence about links to terrorism in the country, in order to justify an intervention.

Illarionov specifically highlighted the pressure such a move would place on NATO allies by increasing oil prices.

Once upon a time, one piece of a story like this would have been dismissable, standing alone. It isn’t standing alone though. Neither in the past nor in the present. A denied link to Russian interests is not where the story of Britain’s useful idiots ends.

Only on the 25th of September 2017, Andy Wigmore had taken to Twitter and, by what he said, you may have assumed all investigations were finished and a clean bill of health had been granted to Leave.EU, kicking every conclusion to the contrary into the long grass.

Wigmore wrote: “That’s not illegal – paid them no money so broke no rules as the @ElectoralCommUK will happily confirm.”

On calling the Electoral Commission to have this confirmed, the response wasn’t quite the one Wigmore indicated would be received.

“In Wigmore’s words they are: “Part of Goddard Gunster – splitting California for starters and a dozen referendums.””

A spokesperson for the Electoral Commission, having consulted senior colleagues, confirmed: “The investigation into Leave.EU is still ongoing and due to this we cannot comment on specifics. But Leave.EU remain under investigation.”

Just to be sure, the ICO was also contacted, who provided the following update on their inquiry: “Our investigation into the use of data analytics for political purposes, announced by the Information Commissioner on 17 May, remains ongoing. We intend to publicise our findings later this year.”

So, there was no clean bill of health, but Wigmore carried on talking to others on Twitter, including Observer journalist Carole Cadwalladr, where yet more spilled out when she put questions to him. It appears Leave.EU is actively diversifying worldwide.

In Wigmore’s words they are: “Part of Goddard Gunster – splitting California for starters and a dozen referendums.”

This was intriguing news, and though Wigmore was asked directly if they were involved in Catalonia, the Kurdish independence referendum, or others, he has not yet replied.

Catalonia, we now know, was a target of Russian interference. First came the deployment of Russian asset Julian Assange, acting as a disruptive force true to the distinct pattern in all previous Russian activity. And, latterly, more direct engagement has become clear, as publicised by the EU STRATCOM team – who are part of Europe’s defences against Russian disinformation war. Kurdish independence was also on the radar, in particular due to Russia’s installed leader Edrogan already threatening military intervention. Of course, Farage himself had also become involved as a supporter in the AfD’s shocking and chaotic rise to the Bundestag – another operation of Russia which we knew about in advance.

All of this happened on the same day Farage spoke at an Alabama rally, endorsing a controversial candidate alongside former Trump strategist Steve Bannon – head of Breitbart and once a board member of Cambridge Analytica.

Since then, Cambridge Analytica has been eyeing up China – with Bannon in tow – and, most curiously after months of denials have decided using psychographics or psychometrics in elections is okay after all. So they are back to talking about it and admitting they do it.

“Enabling somebody and encouraging somebody to go out to vote on a wet Wednesday morning is no different in my mind to persuading and encouraging somebody to move from one toothpaste brand to another,” said commercial VP Richard Robinson, at an advertising in September.

I contacted Goddard Gunster, asking whether or not Wigmore’s claim was true, what they are doing, what the company is called, where it is based, and where it is operating. As yet, the PR firm, who specialise in elections, has not yet replied.

But we do know that Farage, Banks, and Wigmore signalled their involvement in Calexit in March 2017, which leads them back to Russia directly once again.

“UKIP has long been a nexus for Russian intelligence activity – and a clear target – since the very early days. And the ties when set together allow only one conclusion to be drawn: Farage’s party, and all of its Useful Idiots, have been acting in Russian interests for years and continue to do so.”

Farage, Banks, and Wigmore were hired by Gerry Gunster and Republican Scott Baugh in early 2017. At the time, Banks said of the plan: “It would be portrayed as the Hollywood elites versus the people, breaking up the bad government,” a now very familiar narrative.

“We were saying that people said the same about Brexit — and we just went and did it,” he added.

The trio attended several events in Orange County two weeks ago where they helped raise £800,000 in donations for the campaign.

Wigmore claimed in press interviews that wealthy technology and agriculture capitalists in the liberal state felt “left out” since Reagan had left the White House in the 1980s. He said: “This has been done before with West Virginia and Virginia and North and South Dakota, so it can work.”

It was obvious Russian trolls were deployed on the social media support of Calexit – something re-affirmed in a recent BBC broadcast now the world is catching up. The same trolls supported both Trump and Brexit, working in tandem.

And, due to the Senate hearings taking place in the US, we now know not only the level of Russian deployment on Social Media, but the cash values attributed to psychometric adverts and messaging. There is also extensive evidence suggesting the Trump Campaign was sharing it’s targeting data with the Russian state.

What’s clear, taking into account all of the evidence is that UKIP has long been a nexus for Russian intelligence activity – and a clear target – since the very early days. And the ties when set together allow only one conclusion to be drawn: Farage’s party, and all of its Useful Idiots, have been acting in Russian interests for years and continue to do so.

The State Actor:

One key area which needs to be understood, to show the true nature of the problem and highlight the grave implications, comes from RT, the Russian state broadcaster with whom Farage and company have become closely associated.

Annex A of a declassified CIA report, which draws the conclusion Vladimir Putin himself ordered interference in the 2016 US election, is specifically dedicated to RT.

“a Kremlin-directed campaign to undermine faith in the US Government and fuel political protest. The Kremlin has committed significant resources to expanding the channel’s reach, particularly its social media footprint.”

The CIA report introduces RT with the following description: “RT America TV, a Kremlin-financed channel operated from within the United States, has substantially expanded its repertoire of programming that highlights criticism of alleged US shortcomings in democracy and civil liberties. The rapid expansion of RT’s operations and budget and recent candid statements by RT’s leadership point to the channel’s importance to the Kremlin as a messaging tool and indicate a Kremlin-directed campaign to undermine faith in the US Government and fuel political protest. The Kremlin has committed significant resources to expanding the channel’s reach, particularly its social media footprint.”

The network also runs a successful operation in Britain, on which Farage, Batten, and others have appeared. The CIA state that “a reliable UK report states that RT recently was the most-watched foreign news channel in the UK” and highlights that the US incarnation “positioned itself as a domestic US channel and has deliberately sought to obscure any legal ties to the Russian Government.”

“We actually want to take back control of our country, our democracy and our lives.’ That’s what happened.”

The CIA assesses that in the run-up to the 2012 US presidential election, RT intensified its critical coverage of the United States. “The channel portrayed the US electoral process as undemocratic and featured calls by US protesters for the public to rise up and “take this government back.”

“In an effort to highlight the alleged “lack of democracy” in the United States,” the CIA report states, “RT broadcast, hosted, and advertised third-party candidate debates and ran reporting supportive of the political agenda of these candidates. The RT hosts asserted that the US two-party system does not represent the views of at least one-third of the population and is a “sham”.”

Much of this content is also recognisable in respect of RTs coverage of UKIP and Farage himself.

On the 28th June 2016, for example, Farage appeared on the channel just after the Brexit referendum saying, “Oh, gosh! Who would’ve believed it? Who would’ve believed that despite all the threats and bullying from the international community, President Obama, the OECD, [British Chancellor of the Exchequer] George Osborne, the Bank of England… who would’ve believed the British people would have the courage to say: ‘No, no, no, no. We’re not listening. We actually want to take back control of our country, our democracy and our lives.’ That’s what happened.”

The narrative is almost an exact resit of US content aired by RT over a number of years – featured in the CIA report – including a documentary about the Occupy Wall Street movement where the network framed a fight against “the ruling class” and described the current US political system as corrupt and dominated by corporations. RT advertising for the documentary featured calls to “take back” the government.

Speaking to a source from with the Occupy movement, they raised specific concerns dating back years as regards Julian Assange and his associates making payments within the movement for information, culminating in visits from the CIA who had concerns over Russian targeting of activists.

The core message connections in Farage’s narrative and the RT generic push are extensive, with the US personified as an undemocratic union of self-interest. Farage has appeared on RT peddling much the same message about the EU with clips dating back to 2011.

“RT is a leading media voice opposing Western intervention in the Syrian conflict and blaming the West for waging “information wars” against the Syrian Government.” Farage has also mirrored this position for some time.”

Interestingly, the report notes that “RT runs anti-fracking programming, highlighting environmental issues and the impacts on public health,” stating “this is likely reflective of the Russian Government’s concern about the impact of fracking and US natural gas production on the global energy market and the potential challenges to Gazprom’s profitability.”

Farage has consistently been for fracking, reaffirmed in this 2016 clip from the BBC, though he and the party have been broadly dismissive of other renewable energy projects which would reduce the UK’s reliance on imported fuels.

Campaigning in Grimsby in 2015, he claimed that by 2020 people would be paying a “20% surcharge on their electricity bill just to subsidise the renewable industry.” He added: “So I have to say, I think in 10 years’ time there won’t be a renewable industry, we will have rethought the whole thing,” speaking to BBC Humberside.

By early 2017, the Russian position was seeing heavy lobbying efforts to reduce the reduction of subsidies for renewable energy production. The Russian government has lowered its target for wind generation between 2021 to 2025 by 250 MW to 3.351 GW and has halved its goal for small hydropower plants.

The CIA report also states “RT is a leading media voice opposing Western intervention in the Syrian conflict and blaming the West for waging “information wars” against the Syrian Government.” Farage has also mirrored this position for some time.

The CIA report also refers to the years before 2011, saying “in an earlier example of RT’s messaging in support of the Russian Government, during the Georgia-Russia military conflict the channel accused Georgians of killing civilians and organizing a genocide of the Ossetian people. According to Simonyan, when “the Ministry of Defense was at war with Georgia,” RT was “waging an information war against the entire Western world”.

In 2008, Farage was supporting the Russian position in a BBC interview.

Even in 2012, the CIA captured the truth of RT’s position. “In recent interviews, RT’s leadership has candidly acknowledged its mission to expand its US audience and to expose it to Kremlin messaging,” the report states. However, it notes the RT leadership “rejected claims that RT interferes in US domestic affairs.”

The CIA meticulously document comments by RT Editor in Chief Margarita Simonyan, who claimed in popular arts magazine Afisha “It is important to have a channel that people get used to, and then, when needed, you show them what you need to show. In some sense, not having our own foreign broadcasting is the same as not having a ministry of defense. When there is no war, it looks like we don’t need it. However, when there is a war, it is critical.”

The report states, “according to Simonyan, “the word ‘propaganda’ has a very negative connotation, but indeed, there is not a single international foreign TV channel that is doing something other than promotion of the values of the country that it is broadcasting from.” She added that “when Russia is at war, we are, of course, on Russia’s side,” adding that “RT’s goal is “to make an alternative channel that shares information unavailable elsewhere in order to “conquer the audience” and expose it to Russian state messaging.”

Simonyan, the CIA outline, has close ties to top Russian Government officials, especially Presidential Administration Deputy Chief of Staff Aleksey Gromov, who reportedly manages political TV coverage in Russia and is one of the founders of RT.

“Simonyan has claimed that Gromov shielded her from other officials and their requests to air certain reports. Russian media consider Simonyan to be Gromov’s protege and Simonyan replaced Gromov on state-owned Channel One’s Board of Directors. Government officials, including Gromov and Putin’s Press Secretary Peskov, were involved in creating RT and appointing Simonyan. According to Simonyan, Gromov oversees political coverage on TV, and he has periodic meetings with media managers where he shares classified information and discusses their coverage plans. Some opposition journalists, including Andrey Loshak, claim that he also ordered media attacks on opposition figures,” the report states.

“According to Simonyan, the Russian Government sets rating and viewership requirements for RT and, since RT receives budget from the state, it must complete tasks given by the state,”

According to the CIA, the Kremlin staffs RT and closely supervises RT’s coverage, recruiting people who can convey Russian strategic messaging because of their ideological beliefs.

“The head of RT’s Arabic-language service, Aydar Aganin, was rotated from the diplomatic service to manage RT’s Arabic-language expansion, suggesting a close relationship between RT and Russia’s foreign policy apparatus,” the report states.

“RT’s London Bureau is managed by Darya Pushkova, the daughter of Aleksey Pushkov, the current chair of the Duma Russian Foreign Affairs Committee and a former Gorbachev speechwriter,” the report also states.

“According to Simonyan, the Russian Government sets rating and viewership requirements for RT and, since RT receives budget from the state, it must complete tasks given by the state,” the report adds.

“According to Nikolov, RT news stories are written and edited “to become news” exclusively in RT’s Moscow office,” the CIA also state.

The Annex concludes that “RT hires or makes contractual agreements with Westerners with views that fit its agenda and airs them on RT.”

According to the CIA, “Simonyan said on the pro-Kremlin show “Minaev Live” that RT has enough audience and money to be able to choose its hosts, and it chooses the hosts that “think like us,” “are interested in working in the anti-mainstream,” and defend RT’s beliefs on social media.”

Interestingly, the report adds that “some hosts and journalists do not present themselves as associated with RT when interviewing people, and many of them have affiliations to other media and activist organizations.”

As the US Senate inquiry has continued, RT has been declared a state actor and even Twitter has off-boarded their advertising. The US Department of Justice also requested that RT register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

The prolonged, deep Russia ties, and the in party expertise provided by Batten, leaves little doubt that UKIP was fully aware of who and what they were dealing with. Yet they chose to maintain and even enhance their relationship with the Russian state. This appears to be choice, not an accident.

The Bland Truth:

The warning signs have been there, in public, for a very long time.

Even in 2015, UKIP was the head-line act voting against a motion for ‘Foreign’ funding of European political parties.

Gabrielius Landsbergis, a Lithuanian Conservative, called for an end to “business as usual” with Russia, seeking an end to “Russia´s support for and financing of radical and extremist parties in the EU” following a meeting of neo-Nazis in St Petersburg earlier that year. The Front National, lead by Farage’s friend Le Pen, had received millions in loans from Russia at the time.

Ukip MEPs including Farage, Patrick O’Flynn, and Tim Aker voted against the measures, as did Marine Le Pen and members of Hungary’s Jobbik.

One Ukip spokesperson defended the stance, saying: “UKIP does not support interference by the European Commission in any aspect of funding for British political parties. UKIP supports the laws which are already in place in the UK which prohibit foreign funding of political parties.”

UKIP is not, however, to be taken at this word.

The Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe, a UKIP-controlled EU Parliamentary group, was asked to return over one-hundred-and-seventy thousand Euro after officials uncovered a breach of the rules arising from the alliance pouring money into the United Kingdom’s 2015 general election and the Brexit referendum. UKIP spent the EU funds on polling and analysis in constituencies where they hoped to win a seat in the 2015 general election, including in South Thanet – a seat contested by Farage.

The party also funded polls to gauge the public mood on Brexit, months before official campaigning began.

The EU report on the misspending concluded that “these services were not in the interest of the European party, which could neither be involved in the national elections nor in the referendum on a national level. The constituencies selected for many of the polls underline that the polling was conducted in the interest of UKIP. Most of the constituencies can be identified as being essential for reaching a significant representation in the House of Commons from the 2015 general election or for a positive result for the leave campaign.”

It is known that Russia had interfered in the 2015 general election and foreign powers were involved in cyber attacks during Brexit.

The EU report also concluded there were “a substantial number of activities for which financing ought to be considered as non-eligible expenditure,” in respect of spending on polls around the Scottish and Welsh elections in 2016.

Having already uncovered quite a substantial labyrinth of companies which utilise surveys and polling to harvest and trade in data, some of which were directly linked to UKIP, Donald Trump, and Arron Banks, the conclusions reached by the EU were set in a much clearer context.

Farage responded to the EU report, then as interim leader of UKIP, saying: “We are in an environment where rules are wilfully interpreted as suits. I’ve understood absolutely the rules. This is pure victimisation.”

“It may well transpire that Banks’ mystery millions came from loans from Mellon, personally estimated to be worth £850 million who made “spectacular amounts” of money in Russia during the 1990s”

Speaking to the Guardian after Brexit, Banks repeated much the same line, saying: “We were just cleverer than the regulators and the politicians. Of course we were,” adding they “pushed the boundary of everything, right to the edge. It was war.”

The ADDE as a whole went on to be denied two-hundred-and-fifty thousand Euro in grants for failing to follow the rules and, as a result of the EU inquiry, the parliament told me the group declared itself bankrupt in the wake of it.

Arron Banks, UKIP’s primary donor and backer of Russian mess Leave.EU, is now facing a further inquiry by the Electoral Commission into whether he received foreign funds during Brexit and used them to illegally finance Brexit campaigning.

UKIP are also under further fire as whistleblowers have raised concerns they were being paid directly by Bannon’s Breitbart during the Brexit campaign.

Farage and Banks continue to deny any financial wrongdoing or financial links to Russia, but this isn’t really relevant. However, it is worth noting that – because of Wigmore’s own Instagram posts – both he and banks can be linked to Conister Bank in the Isle of Man and Jim Mellon.

It may well transpire that Banks’ mystery millions came from loans from Mellon, personally estimated to be worth £850 million who made “spectacular amounts” of money in Russia during the 1990s, against a backdrop of significant violence providing a harsh environment for anyone to create wealth.

In the 90s, Boris Yeltsin expressed his concern that Russia was becoming a “superpower of crime” and, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the old-school tattooed mobsters of the so-called vorovskoi mir and their vor v zakone leaders were succeeded by a new generation of avtoritety (“authorities”).

These are hybrids: gangster-businessmen who were able to enthusiastically take advantage of crash privatisation, legal anomalies, and state incapacity which characterised Yeltsin’s era.

One former, senior commander of the police in Moscow said at the time: “These were days when we knew the bandits had not just money and firepower on their side, but they had a better krysha [meaning “roof” and referring to political protection in Russian slang] and we just had to accept that.”

There was, according to academic studies, a very real fear the country could become, on the one hand, a failed state, and on the other, a very successful criminal enterprise. It became the latter. The 1990s saw organised crime spread like cancer, evolving until, by the end of the decade, a series of violent local, regional, and even national turf wars to establish territorial boundaries and hierarchies were coming to an end.

The wealthiest avtoritety partnered with the vast resources of their oligarch counterparts, who had used the collapse of the old state to seize control of markets and assets. They were also joined by some small groups within the military and security structures, motivated by both perverse nationalism and their own personal interests, who acted as provocateurs aiming for a renewal of Russian state power. This is how they all came together, in the end, to put a stop to constant disorder and build something new from the ashes.

“criminal gangs were used to ensure a Putin vote while disrupting opposition campaigns. The genesis of managed democracy.”

Even before Vladimir Putin was elevated to acting president in 1999, then confirmed as Yeltsin’s successor in 2000, the battles were ending and, while criminals at first feared Putin was serious about his tough law-and-order rhetoric, it was soon understood his offer was a new contract with the underworld.

Gangsters could go about their business without a systematic crackdown, on the condition it was accepted the state was the “biggest gang in town and they did nothing to directly challenge it.” The underworld complied and, so the story goes, “indiscriminate street violence was replaced by targeted assassinations; tattoos were out, and Italian suits were in; the new generation gangster-businessmen had successfully domesticated the old-school criminals.”

“This was not just a process of setting new boundaries for the criminals; it also led to a restructuring of connections between the underworld and the ‘upperworld’, to the benefit of the latter,” wrote one academic, adding: “Connections between these groups and the state security apparatus grew, and the two became closer to each other. The result was not simply institutionalisation of corruption and further blurring of the boundaries between licit and illicit; but the emergence of a conditional understanding that Russia now had a nationalised underworld.”

In short, the gangsters were expected to comply with the requests of the state and, during the Second Chechen War, for example, Moscow was able to persuade Chechen gangsters not to support their rebel compatriots.

The same thing, it is alleged, recurred during the 2011 State Duma elections – where criminal gangs were used to ensure a Putin vote while disrupting opposition campaigns. The genesis of managed democracy.

The Public Interest:

The body of evidence is clear and we don’t need a smoking gun because we have the bullet fragments, the gunshot wounds, and the shell casings. This is how you solve crime in the real world: by assembling the evidence and putting a case before the appropriate authorities. In this case the public.

Nigel Farage and Gerard Batten have worked openly for years with a state actor, RT – a direct arm of Putin’s Kremlin and have actively pursued policy positions which are in the Kremlin’s interest.

“Sources within the intelligence community with direct knowledge of Banks and Farage have indicated they travelled to Russia at the behest of the Kremlin and Kompromat material may exist as a result of the trip.”

They, Leave.EU, and UKIP, along with the additional key figures Andrew Wigmore and Arron Banks, find themselves embedded in a network of Russia state assets, working toward similar goals having apparently presented themselves as easy pickings and Useful Idiots.

Sources within UKIP have long claimed Batten and Farage were regularly in the company of Oleg Shor, a Russian embassy attaché believed to work for the FSB, and that RT staff, including Laura Smith, were regular visitors.

In his own account of the Brexit campaign, Banks describes meeting “a shady character called Oleg” while at UKIP’s annual conference in September 2015. “He was introduced to us as the First Secretary of the embassy – in other words, the KGB’s man in London,” wrote the UKIP donor, who went on to say he was invited to a private meeting with the Russian ambassador Alexander Yakovenko. “Our host wanted the inside track on the Brexit campaign and grilled us on the potential implications,” Banks recorded in his memoir.

Sources within the intelligence community with direct knowledge of Banks and Farage have indicated they travelled to Russia at the behest of the Kremlin and Kompromat material may exist as a result of the trip. The FCO has not replied to requests for further information and it is their policy not to communicate on matters of intelligence operations.

After recent calls for a UK Russia inquiry, Banks released a statement in which he added: “My sole involvement with the ‘Russians’ was a boozy six-hour lunch with the ambassador where we drank the place dry (they have some cracking vodka and brandy).”

Though they have been savvy and Trump was seen as a blessing, the Trump-Russia inquiry has confirmed RT as a Kremlin operation, and this leaves them undone. No plausible deniability remains. It doesn’t matter how they were paid or even if they were because the evidence and the benefits in kind tell the full story which has been staring us in the face for years.

“Farage has not responded to any of these questions and neither of them has replied to questions asking if Farage had ever been to Russia, who he met, who he was with, and what he did there.”

Batten was asked how many times he had appeared on RT between 2010 and the present, if he was paid, and if the fee was £2,000. He was also asked how many times RT staff had visited his offices, what he could explain about Stroilov and who was Oleg.

He responded via a spokesperson, who said only: “He has been on RT number of times over the last 10 years or more and has never asked or received any money whatsoever.”

Farage has not responded to any of these questions and neither of them has replied to questions asking if Farage had ever been to Russia, who he met, who he was with, and what he did there.

RT responded to questions via a spokesperson, saying: “RT never paid either of them for their appearances. We cannot comment on whether any compensation was provided by independent production companies.”

Leave.EU and the Russian Embassy have made their joint response clear.

Without even referring to The Moscow Rules directly, the appropriate way to conclude here is to paraphrase Fleming’s Goldfinger which nods to them: “Once is an accident. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is an enemy action.”

We’ve needed to talk about Nigel for a very long time, and now we can reasonably conclude that Farage and those around him are assets of the Kremlin.

With that overdue conversation put to bed, perhaps it is time we had the grown-up discussion about Russia which should have started in 2016 when we still had a complete crime scene.

And if the skeletons need to dance in Westminster, the time has come to let them Barynya.

“We’ve needed to talk about Nigel for a very long time, and now we can reasonably conclude that Farage and those around him are assets of the Kremlin.”

#Farage, #Batten, #Banks, #Wigmore, #UKIP, #Leave.EU, #Putin, #Russia, #Trump, #RT, #Oleg Shor, #FSB, #Assange, #Kremlin, #Cambridge Analytica, #George Papadopoulos, #Mueller, #Facebook, #Twitter, #Trolls, #Brexit, #Calexit, #Yakovenko
To view the original article CLICK HERE

Regards,

Greg_L-W.

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 44 (0)1594 – 528 337

Calls from ‘Number Withheld’ phones Are Blocked

All unanswered messages are recorded.

Leave your name & a UK land line number & I will return your call.

‘e’Mail Address: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

DO MAKE USE of LINKS,

>SEARCH<

&

>Side Bars<

&

The Top Bar >PAGES<

I try to make every effort to NOT infringe copyrights in any commercial way & make all corrections of fact brought to my attention by an identifiable individual

Please Be Sure To

.Follow Greg_LW on Twitter.

Re-TWEET my Twitterings

& Publicise My Blogs
To Spread The Facts World Wide
~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

 

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

#Dark_Money Funding of #BreXit & How Were #Arron_Banks & #Farage Funded …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 19/10/2017

DO MAKE USE of LINKS,
>SEARCH<
&
>Side Bars<
&
The Top Bar >PAGES<

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
#Dark_Money Funding of #BreXit
& How Were #Arron_Banks & #Farage Funded …
~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail:
Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

The BLOG:
https://InfoWebSiteUK.wordpress.com

The Main Web Site:
www.InfoWebSite.UK

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

.
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,

Mystery deepens over secret source of Brexit ‘dark money’

Only one major pro-Leave donor refuses to distance himself from controversial £435,000, which bankrolled DUP’s Brexit spending spree.

lead Richard Cook, chair of the secretive group that channelled £435,000 to the DUP, is interviewed at his home by Channel 4’s Alex Thomson. Image used under Fair Use: Channel 4. All rights reserved.A number of major political donors have denied they are the source of a controversial £435,000 donation to the DUP’s Brexit campaign, openDemocracy can reveal today – with only one person refusing to distance themself from the secret donation.

openDemocracy has investigated a list of key figures in relation to the donation, and all apart from one have either denied involvement or have made public statements indicating opposition to Brexit. The only person we contacted who has told us he will not comment is Henry Angest, a banker and longstanding Conservative party donor, who is known to be a supporter of Brexit. 

Continuing secrecy raises pressing questions about transparency in UK politics.

There is no evidence to suggest that Angest, nor any of the other figures we have contacted, are the source of the £435,000. Nor is there any suggestion that whoever gave this unprecedented sum to the DUP’s Leave campaign broke any laws.

But the continuing secrecy raises pressing questions about transparency in UK politics – particularly as Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party now holds the balance of power in parliament, propping up Theresa May’s minority government as it negotiates Brexit.

The UK government announced earlier this year that it will change the law to end donor secrecy in Northern Ireland, but has rejected calls to backdate the law to 2014, so that the source of the DUP donation could be revealed. Government and DUP sources have rejected accusations that this is ‘protection’ for the DUP, as part of their £1 billion deal to keep the Conservatives in power.

One consistent clue

Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has repeatedly refused to reveal the source of the cash, which was spent on lavish pro-Leave campaigning in the weeks before Brexit. But we have consistently been given one clue as to where the money came from: that those behind the donation are passionate supporters of the Union between the four nations of the UK.

After openDemocracy first revealed the scale of the secret donation, DUP leader Arlene Foster was grilled about it on the BBC Northern Ireland show ‘The View’. She said that the money came from “an organisation in England that wants to see the Union kept”. Later that month, under continued pressure, her party disclosed that the money came from “pro-Union business people”, via a little-known group called the Constitutional Research Council (CRC). Glasgow-based Richard Cook, who chairs the CRC, has claimed that the group was set up to promote the Union, and has also revealed that Scottish people are among the donors.

openDemocracy has since investigated every major political donor who fits this profile. In particular, we contacted everyone who gave £25,000 or more to oppose independence in the run-up to the 2014 Scottish referendum, and asked each donor from that group (apart from those already on record as Remain supporters) if they were the source of the DUP donation.

The findings of our investigation are below.

Ruling out Remainers

‘Vote to Leave the EU’. Flickr/David Holt. CC-by-2.0.In February, we discovered that the £435,000 had been channelled to the DUP via a little-known group, the Constitutional Research Council (CRC). The DUP Brexit campaign manager Jeffrey Donaldson MP has described the CRC as “a group which supports constitutional pro-Union causes”. He added: “they believed, as did we, that Brexit would be good for the Union and bad for those who oppose it.” 

Our first step was to eliminate from our enquiries all the pro-Union donors who have also – vocally or financially – supported the Remain campaign. These include Harry Potter author JK Rowling, who gave a million pounds to the pro-Union Scottish campaign, Better Together, and has also spoken repeatedly in public about her support for EU membership. Donald Houston, whose firm Raindance Investments Ltd gave £200,000 to the pro-Union campaign in 2014, also contributed to the Remain campaign. The billionaire banker Bruno Schroder made significant donations to Better Together, the Remain campaign, and the Kensington Conservative party.

Ian Taylor’s company Vitol, the world’s largest oil trader, was fined $7 million in 2007 for paying $13 million in kickbacks to Iraqi officials during the Saddam Hussein era. Taylor is also the majority shareholder in Harris Tweed Hebrides and chairman of the board of the Royal Opera House. He was a major donor to Better Together before the Scottish independence referendum, and also to the Remain campaign in 2016.

Orion Engineering is also an important player in Scotland’s oil industry, led by Alan Savage. The firm, which specialises in recruitment, gave £50,000 to Better Together ahead of the Scottish referendum. The firm has not responded to our attempts to contact Savage, but given that the firm has also supported the Liberal Democrats (opponents of Brexit), and in 2015 Savage wrote that “being part of the European Union is fundamental to my business”, and that “leaving the EU is a completely absurd idea”, we have ruled him out of our enquiries. 

“Mr Sansom knows nothing about this shower”

Next, there were those pro-Union donors who told us that they supported the Remain campaign, or vocally distanced themselves from the DUP deal.

Author Christopher Sansom is reported on the Electoral Commission website as having given £200,000 to Better Together (though The Scotsman has previously put the figure at £294,000). Speaking to openDemocracy via his agent, he confirmed that he “knows nothing about this shower”, and was a Remain supporter. 

Conservative peer Andrew Fraser is reported on the Electoral Commission website as having given £100,000 to Better Together of which he was treasurer, and also gave £20,000 to the “Let’s Stay Together” campaign (again, this number has been reported in the Scotsman as being higher). He was ennobled in David Cameron’s resignation honours, and, when asked by openDemocracy if he supported a Remain vote said, “I certainly did”.

The Scottish businessman Alan McFarlane, who is chairman of the advisory board of the think tank “Reform Scotland” and founder and senior partner of Edinburgh based investment management company Dundas Partners LLP, gave £20,000 to the Unionist “Vote No Borders” campaign, and also £10,000 to the “WSF2014 Ltd” pro-union campaign. Asked about the Constitutional Research Council, he told openDemocracy “I know nothing about them”, and sources confirmed that he was a Remain supporter.

Angus MacDonald, who made his fortune in the financial information industry and now works in recycling in Scotland, ran his own pro-Union campaign in 2014. He confirmed that he had “no idea about any of this”. The Constitutional Research Council chair Richard Cook also works in the waste management industry in Scotland, but MacDonald said he had “never heard of Richard Cook.”

The Earl of Seafield is the chieftain of Clan Grant and one of Scotland’s biggest landowners. It was the previous Earl of Seafield who, as Scotland’s Chancellor, signed the Act of the Union in 1707, famously saying, “there’s ane end of ane auld sang”. The current Earl made a donation of £100,000 under the name “Sir Ian Seafield” to the Better Together campaign, while his Reidhaven Trust Estate Ltd made a further donation of £20,000. Asked about the DUP donation, his spokesperson confirmed that “Lord Seafield does indeed know nothing about this”.

Banker Ivor Dunbar, former co-head of global capital markets at Deutsche Bank, gave £50,000 to Better Together in 2012. Dunbar is chairman of the Scottish based gap-year charity Project Trust, and has told openDemocracy he knows “nothing about the matters to which you refer”. 

Jimmy Milne is chairman and managing director of the Balmoral Group, a major player in the Scottish oil industry. His firm gave £58,000 to Better Together, but his spokesperson also confirmed that “he has no knowledge of the CRC or Richard Cook so is unable to assist with your enquiry”.

The Buccleuch Estates Limited, the company owned by the Duke of Buccleuch, gave a total of £55,724 to various pro-Union campaigns ahead of Scotland’s referendum, but confirmed to openDemocracy that they know nothing about the £435,000 donation to the DUP.

Sir David Garrard, a major Labour donor and Better Together supporter to the value of £25,000, told us that “I can confirm that I have never given directly, or knowingly indirectly, a penny piece to the DUP”.

Sir Edward Percy Keswick Weatherall’s family fortune comes from its controlling share of the bank Jardine Matheson, which played a notable role in the 19th century Opium Wars, an episode of British history so bloody that it caused William Gladstone to say at the time that he lived “in dread of the judgments of God upon England for our national iniquity towards China”.

Weatherall made a donation of £50,000 to Better Together ahead of the vote in Scotland in 2014. He has told openDemocracy that he was not involved in any donation to the Constitutional Research Council, and has never heard of the organisation or of its chair, Richard Cook. 

Mark Bamford, whose family firm owns the iconic heavy-machinery company JCB gave a £74,747.47 donation to a group called the Scottish Research Society ahead of the 2014 referendum. openDemocracy investigations have ascertained that The Scottish Research Society’s registered address was a flat in Edinburgh which belonged to Christopher Monckton, the former UKIP deputy leader and prominent climate change denier (and subject of previous openDemocracy investigations). However, Bamford responded to our queries saying “I am sorry I am unable to assist and any donations that may have been made are in the public domain.”

Malcolm Offord ran his own pro-Union campaign, named “Vote No Borders”, to which he personally donated £20,000, and which attracted a number of other substantial donations. Offord previously worked in the City, and moved back to Scotland to establish his own firm “Badenoch & Co”.

Badenoch’s office sits at the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town on the top floor of a building otherwise occupied by the firm Murray Capital, owned by the controversial former Rangers owner David Murray. Together, they face across Charlotte Square to Bute House, the official residence of the First Minister of Scotland.

In 2016, Offord spoke in favour of a Leave vote, and he is well connected with the Unionist, political and business worlds in Scotland. However, his office has told us that he knows nothing about the donation to the Constitutional Research Council and the DUP.

The Marquess of Salisbury and Stalbury trustees

Hatfield House. Imaged used under Fair Use: http://www.hatfield-house.co.uk/. All rights reserved.Stalbury Trustees, who gave to Better Together, are regular donors to the Conservative party. Their trustees include the Marquess of Salisbury, a former leader of the Conservatives in the House of Lords who is known to have supported a Leave vote. Salisbury has long taken an interest in Northern Irish Unionism, and, in 2010, hosted talks between the Conservatives and Northern Irish Unionist parties, including prominent DUP figures, at his home, Hatfield House, in Hertfordshire.

The Marquess of Salisbury is also a donor to the think tank Open Europe. As openDemocracy has previously revealed, one Open Europe former staff member, Christopher Howarth, is now responsible for the European Research Group – the secretive pro-Brexit MP group which received funding from the Constitutional Research Council when it was chaired by the now Brexit minister, Steve Baker. Another former Open Europe staffer, Raoul Ruparel, now works as a Special Adviser in the Department for Exiting the EU alongside Steve Baker, the former ERG chair.

‘No one involved with Stalbury is aware of the specific donation which you mention.’

openDemocracy wrote to Mr Ulric David Barnett, who is secretary of the trust (and lists his profession as “gentleman”). We received a phone call from the mailroom of a legal firm named Forsters, in Mayfair. The address belongs to them, and they initially claimed they knew no one of that name. However, we eventually managed to establish that the trust is, in fact, a client of the firm. After emailing and telephoning the relevant lawyer, we finally received this statement:

“I can tell you that Stalbury has made no donation to the Constitutional Research Council, nor, directly or indirectly, to the Democratic Unionist Party and no one involved with Stalbury is aware of the specific donation which you mention.”

The distillers William Grant and Sons, who produce whiskies including Glenfiddich and Balvenie, donated £135,000 to Better Together, and £25,000 each to the separate pro-Union campaigns “Vote No Borders”, run by the businessman Malcolm Offord, and £25,000 to the campaign run by the previously mentioned Angus MacDonald. After chasing up our letters to them, we received a phone call from Jack Irvine, CEO of Media House International, who told us that he had arranged the Better Together donation, and that “I can assure you there was no connection” between the company and the Constitutional Research Council or the DUP. 

The Vestey family

There is one major Unionist donor who has not responded to our repeated attempts to contact him.

The Vestey family are heirs to a vast meat processing fortune, and one of their firms, Western United Investment Management Ltd, gave £40,000 to Better Together. Lord Samuel Vestey is Master of the Horse in the Royal household, and perhaps best known in the UK for the ‘horse meat scandal’, in which his firm supplied horse meat, labelled as beef, to a number of major outlets in 2013. In Australia, he is notorious for the more serious allegation that he used Aboriginal people as “virtual slaves”, leading to the iconic “Wave Hill Walk Off” in 1966 and remembered in the Australian protest song, “From little things, big things grow”. Both Vestey and his father served in the Scots Guards.

We have been unable to establish whether Lord Vestey took a firm public position on the EU referendum, but in an interview with Farmers’ Weekly in April this year he talked about how difficult Brexit would be for farmers, and worried about the shock to British voters as a result of what he called a “divorce settlement” – not language traditionally associated with Leave supporters.

The Vesteys have not responded to our repeated attempts to contact them. 

Henry Angest and Arbuthnot Latham

There is one major donor to the Unionist cause in 2014 who is known to have supported Brexit, and who has refused to deny involvement in the DUP donation.

Sir Henry Angest, Chairman and Chief Executive of Arbuthnot Banking Group PLC. Image used under Fair Use: Arbuthnot Banking Group PLC. All rights reserved.Henry Angest is a Swiss-born banker with an estate in Bridge of Cally, Perthshire. He is chairman and chief executive of the private bank Arbuthnot Latham, owner of the firm Flowidea, and a former treasurer of the Conservative party. He has given over £1.9 million to the Conservative party and made headlines when he was given a knighthood by David Cameron, causing what the Daily Mail called a “cash for titles storm”. He made headlines again when, in 2013, it was revealed that Secure Trust Bank plc, of which he was chair, owned the controversial high-cost loans company Everyday Loans, which was reported to charge interest at an average of 74.8% APR. His bank sold the company in April 2016.

Angest’s firm Flowidea gave £100,000 to Better Together in 2014, and £10,000 to the “North East says No” campaign, against devolution to the North East of England, in 2004. His Arbuthnot Banking Group gave £20,000 to the Vote No campaign in the referendum on the Alternative Vote in 2011. In 2016 alone, Arbuthnott gave £68,500 to the Conservative party, Flowidea gave £185,000 and Angest himself gave £2,000 to the Perth and Kinross Conservatives. 

Angest publicly backed Brexit, and, we are told, has long been involved in the Eurosceptic movement. Despite being a prolific donor to the causes he believes in, neither he, nor Flowidea, nor Arbuthnot, nor any of the 22 companies he is currently or has ever been a director of, are listed with the Electoral Commission as having registered any donations to any of the Leave campaigns in Great Britain.

However, investigations by The Observer in 2010 showed that he had given funds in 2006 to the Freedom Association – a right-wing group which has a number of ties to the Constitutional Research Council, through which the DUP donation was channelled. Steve Baker, the current Brexit minister, was a member of the Freedom Association until “around 2013”, the organisation told openDemocracy. Baker took a donation from the CRC in December 2016 for his work with the European Research Group. As openDemocracy has previously revealed, Richard Cook, CRC chair, has spoken at Freedom Association events, and was the Scottish representative of the Campaign Against Political Correctness – an organisation with very close links to the Freedom Association. In 2007, the two key DUP MPs, Jeffrey Donaldson and Sammy Wilson, were involved in a Freedom Association ‘fact-finding mission’ to Northern Ireland. Donaldson was the DUP’s Brexit campaign manager.

There is one major donor to the Unionist cause in 2014 who is known to have supported Brexit, and who has refused to deny involvement in the DUP donation.

Angest, like the Marquess of Salisbury, has also previously funded the group Open Europe, whose former staff members (as mentioned above) include Christopher Howarth, who now runs the CRC-funded European Research Group, and Raoul Ruparel, now a special adviser in the Department for Exiting the EU.

Finally, Mr Angest has also been a donor to the controversial organisation Atlantic Bridge, which brings together the British and the American neo-Conservative right and whose UK director was listed in 2009 as the Scottish businessman Adam Werritty, whose links to Liam Fox caused the latter to resign in disgrace as defence secretary in 2011.

Angest’s office eventually responded to our attempts to contact him, saying that they “have no comment on this matter”. We informed him that he was the only known Brexit-backer in our survey not to distance themselves from this donation, and asked again if he wanted to comment. His office didn’t reply.

We have no evidence to suggest that Henry Angest is the source of the DUP donation, and he is welcome to contact us to clarify the matter.

To view the original of this article above CLICK HERE

‘Substantial’ fine linked to DUP’s secret Brexit donors

Former minister demands answers on £6,000 fine, questioning legality of DUP’s mystery source of Brexit cash

DUP leader Arlene Foster and UK prime minister Theresa May. Image, gov.uk, fair use.

A former Europe minister has today called for a “full and proper investigation” into a controversial £435,000 donation towards the DUP’s Brexit campaign, as new details emerge of a substantial fine linked to the transaction.

Theresa May’s allies in parliament, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), have always insisted that the donation, channelled via a secretive group known as the Constitutional Research Council (CRC), complied fully with the law.

However, openDemocracy has now learned that a £6,000 fine imposed by the Electoral Commission and paid in full last month was connected to the CRC. Labour MP Chris Bryant has written to the Northern Ireland Secretary, James Brokenshire, stating that it “cannot possibly be right” for details of one of the highest-ever fines imposed by the Electoral Commission to be kept secret.

“Failures by a regulated entity”

The Electoral Commission revealed on its website last month (as first spotted by The Detail) that it had imposed a £6,000 sanction connected to a political donation in Northern Ireland, but gave no name, offence, or summary of the decision. The Commission stated only that it imposed the penalty due to “failures by a regulated entity” but could not “disclose further information” because of legal restrictions.

Bryant has asked Brokenshire to confirm who the “regulated entity” is, and whether the fine relates to the unprecedented £435,000 donation given to Mrs May’s Westminster allies, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), in order to campaign for Brexit.

The £435,000 donation – a much larger sum than the DUP has ever spent on an electoral campaign in its history – attracted particular controversy because almost none of the cash was spent in Northern Ireland. Yet the donor secrecy laws which apply to Northern Ireland, and not the rest of the UK, have allowed the donors(s) to remain anonymous.

In his letter to the Northern Ireland Secretary, Bryant says of the Electoral Commission’s £6,000 fine:

“Whatever the rights and wrongs of maintaining secrecy about financial donations in Northern Ireland, it cannot possibly be right to keep secret the details of a regulated entity being found to have broken electoral law and being fined a substantial amount. No other judicial or quasi-judicial decision of this nature is kept secret in the UK.”

“No comment”

The Electoral Commission’s office in Belfast would make no comment on their own investigation nor on the casework that led to the high-level fine.

However, political sources in Northern Ireland with knowledge of the Commission’s affairs have confirmed to openDemocracy that the substantial sanction was connected to the Constitutional Research Council (CRC) – the secretive group that channelled the £435,000 to the DUP in Belfast.

The £6,000 fine was paid in full to the Commission on August 30.

openDemocracy contacted the CRC’s chair, Glasgow-based Richard Cook, and asked him to confirm details of the fine; why his organisation had been sanctioned by the Electoral Commission, and what part of Northern Ireland’s electoral law had been broken. He was also repeatedly asked why both he and the DUP had insisted no laws had been broken, and when he had learned that the Commission was investigating the cash transfer.

Throughout the conversation, Mr Cook was given multiple opportunities to dismiss the listed £6,000 fine as nothing to do with the Constitutional Research Council or the DUP. He declined to do so, or to make any further comment.

End donor secrecy

After openDemocracy first revealed the scale of the secret donation to the DUP earlier this year, we reported on Mr Cook’s business connections to a former Saudi spy boss and to an individual with alleged links to a major arms scandal, and yesterday published the results of our investigation into a list of key figures in relation to the donation.

Although current electoral rules in Northern Ireland allow political parties to protect the identities of donors and funding, the government is expected to announce this will soon change.

However the UK government’s policy strategy on full transparency is likely to be highly influenced by their £1 billion deal with the DUP. The Conservative party’s minority government is being propped up in parliament by the DUP, and any change which exposed the DUP-CRC donation arrangement is likely to be resisted.

Rather than backdate transparency rules to 2014 – which would reveal the source of the £435,000 DUP cash – Brokenshire announced earlier this year that the change, which will be made through secondary legislation, would only apply to donations and loans received after 1st July 2017.

Government and DUP sources have denied that this is ‘protection’ for the DUP, as part of their deal to keep the Conservatives in power.

‘A full and proper investigation?’

Last month the Electoral Commission published details of a £3,500 fine on UKIP related to campaign expenditure.

In June, the Commission fined the owner of Butlin’s, Peter Harris, £12,000 for breaking spending return rules. Mr Harris spent £420,000 on the Leave campaign in last year’s EU referendum.

Also in June, the DUP were fined £4,000 for failure to complete campaign expenditure returns for the 2016 Assembly elections.

Bryant’s letter to Mr Brokenshire regarding the mystery £6,000 fine pointedly ends: “Does the fine relate to the DUP’s donation from the CRC? Will you launch a full and proper investigation into how the money was spent? And will you ensure that the truth comes to light?”

This is day two of openDemocracy’s week-long #BrexitDarkMoney series. See yesterday’s revelations here and our reasons for publishing this series here.

We need your help to expose the DUP

Theresa May is desperately clinging to power, relying on the DUP, the hard-right party that has blocked same-sex marriage, and kept abortion illegal.

Worse still, they’re bankrolled by dark money – we’ve exposed the shady group behind their lavish pro-Brexit campaigning, but they’re still refusing to name their secret donors. Now they hold the balance of power at Westminster, it’s even more vital that we find out who their paymasters are.

Can you chip in to boost our investigation now, so that we can expose the dark money bankrolling British politics?

Donate now→

Can we return to Europe after Brexit?Since the referendum, opponents of Brexit have tried to prevent it. Now that it seems definite, for the first time Remain supporters debate how to reverse it once it has taken place. Join the discussion with Caroline Lucas MP, Clive Lewis MP, Anthony Barnett & Suzanne Moore moderated by John Harris.
Tuesday 31 Oct 2017, 7.30 – 9.15, in London.

Who is bankrolling Britain’s democracy? Which groups shape the stories we see in the press; which voices are silenced, and why? Sign up here to find out.

To view the original of this article above CLICK HERE

How did Arron Banks afford Brexit?

The self-styled ‘bad boy’ who bankrolled the Leave campaign appears to have exaggerated his wealth. So how did he pay for his Brexit spree?

lead Arron Banks in 2014, when he pledged £1million to the UK Independence Party. Ben Birchall/PA Images. All rights reserved.

In September 2013, the man who bought Brexit – Arron Banks – was in trouble. 

For the past two years, financial regulators in Gibraltar had been scrutinising his insurance under-writer, Southern Rock. They had discovered it was keeping reserves far below what was needed.

This was a serious problem. Banks claimed he had already provided £40 million to plug the hole. He also told the regulator he would step down as a director, but has since been required to find an eye-watering £60 million in extra funding. 

A year later, these financial worries seem to have completely evaporated. Banks had begun buying diamond mines, investing millions into chemical companies and wealth management firms, setting up loss-making political consultancies, and most famous of all – funding the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). 

One question remains though. If Banks was in such a tight spot in September 2013, how did he manage to be so generous the following year?

Over the past four months, openDemocracy has conducted an in-depth review of Bank’s business dealings since he first started out in business in the early 2000s. As well as his own public statements about the sources of his wealth, we have spoken to his former employers, and obtained and reviewed court documents. There are of course a number of perfectly innocent ways that Banks could have obtained the extra funds, but given Banks’ significance to British politics, what have found so far is extremely troubling. 

“Quite good at persuading people to buy things they didn’t want to buy”

Banks had started out selling vacuum cleaner appliances door to door in Basingstoke in the late 1980s. “I was quite good at persuading people to buy things they didn’t want to buy,” he told the New Statesman in October 2016. He also briefly worked as an estate agent, and ran a failed bid to become a Conservative councillor. He married young and was soon the father of two daughters. 

After leaving school with few qualifications, he had eventually found himself in a junior position in the Lloyds’ insurance market. This is where Banks gained his first exposure to the industry, where syndicates of insurers spread risks between themselves and traded financial assets to cover their positions. Banks spent seven years at Lloyds’, working his way into a junior underwriting position before he moved to Bristol, following a split from his first wife.

If Banks was in such a tight spot in September 2013, how did he manage to be so generous the following year?

It is here the cracks in Banks’ biography start to appear. Banks has claimed he was promoted and rose to lead his own sales team at Norwich Union – now part of Aviva. However, Aviva say they have no record of Banks ever having worked for Norwich Union. He has also claimed to have worked for Warren Buffett around this point in his career. We asked Buffett about this. He replied. “I have no memory of ever hearing of the name Arron Fraser Andrew Banks. He certainly never worked for me.” Further checks across the Berkshire Hathaway group, made by Buffett’s office, yielded no evidence he had ever worked for any of his subsidiaries. In a letter delivered by his lawyers, Banks declined to comment on either of these points. 

In 1998, Banks got taken on by a tiny broker focussed on motorcycle insurance run from offices above a shop in the sleepy village of Thornbury. He was granted a 20% shareholding in the fledgling business. In November 2000, he resigned as a director of the firm, and two months later, sold his shares for £251,000. 

Shortly afterwards, Banks met the woman who was to become his second wife, a Portsmouth-based Russian called Ekaterina Paderina. According to the Sunday Times, Paderina’s former husband had been interviewed twice by Special Branch because they suspected her of working for the Russian government. Ekaterina moved to join Banks in Bristol but stayed on the electoral roll in Portsmouth until 2008, still registered to a council flat overlooking the naval base. When Portsmouth Council found out she should not have been entitled to the flat because she was living with Banks, council officials reportedly demanded a cash payment be made by the Banks family in recompense.

Banks and Ekaterina wed in 2001 and in the autumn of that year Banks set up his own insurance company, with financial backing from his relatives and from the Northern Irish insurance tycoons, Leslie Hughes and James Bowers. The business focused on motorcycle, motorhome and van insurance.

The new businesses were also the first he formed with two men who would become his long term business partners, the Australian solicitor Jim Gannon and the accountant Paul Chase-Gardener.

In June this year, the Financial Times published their own analysis of the overlapping businesses of Arron Banks, the “Bad Boy of Brexit”, and its editor Lionel Barber quite reasonably asked on Twitter: “but how rich is he really?”. 

Banks fumed in a tweeted reply: “I founded and sold a listed insurance business for £145m! Not even mentioned – no FT, fake news.” That listed company was Brightside.

The amounts Banks has given to British politics are extraordinary.

The amount Banks made from the sale of Brightside is crucial to understanding whether Banks is really as rich as he says he is.

Company documents we have reviewed show Banks made £22 million from share sales, £1.2 million in salary from serving as the group’s CEO and Chief Insurance Officer, and just £270,000 in dividends.

So when Banks had told the Financial Times in 2015 he was worth £100 million, where did this valuation come from? More importantly, if he only made £22 million from Brightside share sales – where did all this cash for Brexit campaigning come from? 

The amounts Banks has given to British politics are extraordinary. A total of £6 million in loans, still outstanding, was made to Leave.EU. He famously pledged £1 million to UKIP in 2014, at a time when the organisation’s finances were stalling. Without Banks, the political potency of the party may well have fizzled out. In 2016, his company, Better for the Country Ltd, also bought almost £2 million in pro-Brexit merchandise and donated it to Grassroots Out, another Brexit campaigning group. In total, his political contributions have come to nearly £10 million. 

That would mean he might have given away almost half of what he made from Brightside to political causes. That seems amazingly generous.

“Serious and widespread failings” 

As his own tweeted rebuke of the Financial Times suggested, central to the Banks mythology is the sale of Brightside Plc. in 2014. The buyer was private equity firm Anacap. Although he tweeted that the sale had been for £145 million, it was reported at the time as being worth only £127 million. How much, though, did Banks get? 

The story starts in 2001 when Banks set up Group Direct, which was the principal operating company for his insurance brand Commercial Vehicle Direct. Group Direct made losses of over £400,000 in its first two years of operation, before finally turning a profit in 2004. 

By 2006, overall debts had increased to £34 million, but the group appeared to be growing strongly, with turnover of £20 million. Banks began to aim for a public listing of the group. The same year, he became a director of Brightside, at that time a recently formed debt management service aimed at the personal insolvency market. Crucially, Brightside was already listed on AIM, the junior stock exchange.

In June 2008, the original Banks insurance group took part in a transaction known as a ‘reverse takeover’, in which a listed company takes over a much larger unlisted company. This allows the unlisted company to obtain a listing on a stock exchange quicker than usual. Under the terms of the deal, Brightside duly bought the three companies which constituted Group Direct. The £50 million valuation put on these companies seemed high but the deal did not boost Banks’ bank account – as the consideration for the deal was in Brightside shares. 

Then, in 2008, the financial crisis hit. As with many businesses, Banks’ lending facilities came under pressure. But Banks was still able to raise money from Brightside’s shareholders: in 2009 and 2010 the company raised a total of £29 million, attracting investors with its eye-catching growth rate and ambitious plans to acquire other companies. 

Two of the assets Banks’ firm acquired were the little-known insurance brands “E-Car” and “E-Bike.” The price was an initial £15.5 million, with £19.1 million deferred, based on future profitability.

In fact, both brands were owned by Southern Rock Insurance, a company of which Banks, Gannon and Chase-Gardener collectively owned 72%.

Two other companies, “E Systems” and “E Development” were bought for a further £17 million in 2011. At the time E Development had net liabilities of over £500,000. E-systems had been set up just months before the sale by Banks, and Brightside IT director Simon Jones. It had no other customers than Brightside.

These acquisitions seem hard to justify, but in documents sent to Brightside shareholders notifying them of the proposed purchase of E-Systems and E-Development, the company stated that they had received undertakings from Banks and his fellow directors that the funds would be used to shore up the firms under-writer, Southern Rock, and thus allow Brightside to continue trading. And this is, indeed, what happened.

However, within the year Banks was fired from his role at Brightside. He famously recounted how he punched his partner and friend, Jim Gannon, in the face, when the solicitor broke the news to him. 

Banks remained a shareholder in Brightside and in 2013, sold a tranche of his shares for £6 million to a competitor, Markerstudy, which was said to be contemplating a bid for the company. After conducting due diligence and negotiating with the Brightside board however, Markerstudy declined to make a full bid, with their CEO describing Brightside as “over-valued”.

In 2014, the investment firm Anacap arrived and thought differently. They bought Brightside in its entirety, paying £127 million to take control. 

Anacap have since alleged in court that the new management team discovered “serious and widespread failings” throughout the company, many dating from Banks’ time as CEO and Chief Insurance Officer. All of the purchases of Banks’ companies (E-Car, E-Bike, E-Systems, and E Development) were confirmed to be worth far less than had been paid for them. The software supplied by E-systems was said to barely function and the Brightside website was hacked and remained inoperable for over a month. Court documents obtained during our investigation allege widespread failings, including an incendiary allegation that the company was “in breach of its banking covenants and insolvent on a net asset basis.” There were also, according to the same documents, no correct systems in place for the handling of client funds. 

All of the purchases of Banks’ companies were confirmed to be worth far less than had been paid for them.

For an insurance company, this was a particularly serious problem. Anacap replaced several senior staff and board members including the CFO, Paul Chase-Gardener. Over £35 million of value had to be written off from the Brightside balance sheet, in part because Anacap deemed the E-Car, E-Bike, E-Systems and E-Development purchases had been grossly overvalued. Within a year of the takeover, the new owners also had to plough in an additional £40 million to prevent the business from going bust. Further large write downs were made in 2015. Court documents show that £12 million had to be inserted in a failed attempt to repair the IT system alone, with numerous other consultants brought in to clear up the problems the new owners found.

openDemocracy asked Banks to comment on Anacap’s view of the value of these businesses. He declined to reply to our specific questions, instead sending a copy of a letter which his lawyers wrote to the BBC in May of this year. In this letter his lawyers say: “The offer from Anacap to acquire Brightside was announced in May 2014 nearly two years after Mr Banks had left the company.” 

In 2016, Anacap began legal action against Chase-Gardener and Brightside’s auditors for failures to adequately manage the business and present accurate financial reports. With the assistance of his brother Jonathan, a Hong Kong based lawyer, Banks was able to settle out of court in May 2015. Privately, many of the new senior management team brought in by Anacap wanted to pursue the case against him. As part of their settlement with Banks, Anacap were able to extricate Brightside from contracts with other Banks controlled businesses, such as Southern Rock, which they described as “onerous.” The case against Chase-Gardener is still being pursued in the High Court, where Anacap are seeking £20 million in damages from him. The auditors, BDO (now part of RMS Tenon), are facing a claim of around £50 million. 

Southern Rock in difficulty

Arron Banks with former UKIP leader Nigel Farage. Ben Birchall/PA Images. All rights reserved.While at Brightside, Banks had been able to partly re-finance the ailing Southern Rock, through buying E-Cars, E-Systems, E-Development and E-Bike from the Gibraltar based group. But the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission had also passed their report to the Financial Conduct Authority in London for review.

The authorities in London concurred with the Gibraltar regulator’s findings, that Southern Rock had been trading without sufficient reserves, and in 2013 Banks voluntarily recused himself from the FCA register. He stepped down as a director of Southern Rock in 2014. Both regulators had effectively barred him from holding a position of control within an insurance business. 

He also had to balance the books. While the funds from the sale of E-systems and E-development were passed to Southern Rock, this still left the business short of the capital needed to fund its loss reserves as the company struggled with high claim levels and a challenging market. He told Private Eye he had agreed to find £40 million to re-capitalise the business. Banks claims that Southern Rock is now a profitable company. The letter from his lawyers to the BBC, forwarded to openDemocracy, says “Southern Rock Insurance Company Limited recorded a profit of £42 million in its latest set of filed accounts (2015).”

Banks frequently boasts about running an insurance business. The reality is that he is not permitted, at the moment, to run his own insurance company.

In fact, the accounts show an underlying loss of £27.9 million on its underwriting and insurance activities in 2015 – and while the company did report a profit of £41.5 million overall, this came only after selling the rights to the “ancillary income” on its motor insurance policies for £17.5 million, and the rights to the “finance arrangement fees” for £60.2 million to another company owned by Banks, Isle of Man-based ICS Risk Solutions. Ancillary income is an umbrella term for any money an insurance company makes on top of ordinary under-writing risks, for example from instalments or administration charges. 

Given Southern Rock had only written 197,000 motor insurance policies at this time, paying nearly £78m for these rights seemed a high valuation. These assets had also not been recorded in the Southern Rock balance sheet prior to their sale, and resulted in the company booking a large capital gain. Crucially, it was the value of these sales that enabled Southern Rock to meet its obligation under the solvency regulations, and post a profit in its accounts for this year.

Whether Southern Rock will be able to do the same next year, which will likely be required under the terms of capital restructuring deal mandated by the regulators, is unclear. Banks strongly contests the assertion that Southern Rock is in difficulty, pointing out that the Gibraltar regulator, Southern Rock’s independent auditors and the London-based Financial Conduct Authority have approved the arrangements, and that all the payments to date from ICS Risk Solution, which Southern Rock relies on to remain solvent, have been made on time and in full. The letter from his lawyers states: “The future solvency of [Southern Rock] is not dependent on any particular future transaction.”

As for the regulators’ demand that Banks “voluntarily” recuse himself, he has abided by the ruling, but appointed his Hong Kong-based brother in his stead. His name and signature still appeared on a 2014 annual report filed at Companies House, where he was named as a “director.” “This mistake arose from an administrative error,” he told us in a written statement, “which was corrected as soon as it was detected. Once the error was noted, the accounts were withdrawn and resubmitted to Companies House.” He continues to control Southern Rock and Eldon Insurance, owner of the GoSkippy brand, through his holding company ICS Risk Solutions. 

Banks frequently boasts about running an insurance business. The reality is that he is not permitted, at the moment, to run his own insurance company. A letter from the Financial Conduct Authority concerning the investigation into his insurance activities, dated 17th July 2017, states that “Mr Banks does not have FCA approval to carry out an operational executive role at Eldon Insurance Services Ltd,” his new firm.

Banks’s Isle of Man-based ICS Risk Solutions is a curious organisation too. In theory, this is the ultimate holding company for Banks’s insurance empire. Yet according to a source with good knowledge of its finances, ICS Risk Solutions has just £1 million in assets, and still owes £60.2 million in monthly instalments, to Southern Rock. These payments are expected to continue until December 2020. A letter from Banks’ lawyers confirming this also said “there is no reason to doubt that the remaining outstanding amounts will be paid in full and on time,” and that Southern Rock is required to report monthly to the Gibraltar authorities, “to confirm the payment of each monthly instalment,” and so “any failure to pay would be immediately apparent.”

Banks’ present financial status is then somewhat unclear, and sometimes dependent on buying assets from one company, in order to shore up another company he himself holds a stake in. But it does seem clear that his claimed worth of £100 million is hard to justify. In the letter sent to openDemocracy, Banks claimed his worth could be even higher than £100 million, saying that he would “broadly agree” with an analysis made by the Sunday Times Rich Times list that his net worth could instead be some £250 million. When asked to explain how he accounts for all this extra wealth, Banks declined to comment.

A Lazarus-like recovery

Banks’s finances seem to have had a remarkable recovery in early 2014. But based on a full review of all the publicly available information about his companies, it is unclear where this money could have come from. 

He first had to settle a tax bill with HMRC for £1.86 million, a cheque which he subsequently sent to the Guardian newspaper to prove he was paying his taxes.

In April 2014, the MailOnline reported how Banks had raised eyebrows when he bought £2 million of shares in an AIM-listed chemicals company called Iofina – a sector he had shown no prior interest in. The company produces iodine in an industrial process which takes place alongside fracking. It had never turned a profit and swallowed up large amounts of capital as chemical prices shrank due to reduced demand. Banks’s investment is nursing a huge loss.

In June 2014, he set up Chartwell Political, a PR company which would go on to work on the Leave campaign with Jim Pryor, a former Tory party spokesman who had also worked on FW deClerk’s campaign against Nelson Mandela in South Africa and former Sunday Mirror editor Bridget Rowe, a close friend of Nigel Farage. The company would rack up losses of over £300,000 by June 2015.

Banks would go on to spend a total of £9.6 million of his personal fortune funding the organisations which arguably clinched Brexit. This accounted then for half of his lifetime earnings.

The next month, in July 2014, Banks bought more shares in STM Group plc, which offers “wealth preservation solutions,” and specialises in setting up offshore trusts and companies. He bought over £600,000 worth of shares – on top of an existing shareholding. This brought his total share value up to £1.5 million. 

By September 2014, Banks had also bought a loss-making, family-run jewellery shop in Bristol, for an undisclosed sum, and lent the firm some £200,000, and by February 2015 he was the owner of four diamond mines in South Africa.

The diamond market had fallen sharply since the financial crash and big players, such as de Beers, began to withdraw from older mines picked clean and requiring huge investment to return to profitable production. Many of these mines had changed hands several times in the years since. One of the mines Banks picked up had collapsed in value from a reported £12 million valuation in 2005, to as little as £200,000 by the time Banks bought.

One of the four mines also remains closed, according to Banks’s website, another contains just “tailings,” meaning there little more than piles of waste to scrabble through. What exactly motivated Banks to buy these mines remains unclear.

Crucially, October 2014 also marked the time Banks began his extraordinarily lavish political spending campaign, with his first £1 million pledge to the United Kingdom Independence Party. Interestingly, Banks never came fully good on this promise – dripping in just over £400,000 in cash instalments over the next six months. Nevertheless, Banks’s 2014 spending alone, or what can be seen of it from publicly available records, came to an estimated £5 million. This was a very large sum given the pressure he was under from the Gibraltar regulators. We also estimate it to be just under a quarter of his total gross earnings of £22m – from his various businesses – since 2001. 

Nor did his political spending slow down. Banks would go on to spend a total of £9.6 million of his personal fortune funding the organisations which arguably clinched Brexit: Leave.EU, UKIP and Better for the Country Ltd (set up by STM Fidecs). This accounted then for half of his lifetime earnings – an amazingly generous amount. 

One of his most lavish donations was some £2 million to Grassroots Out via Better for the Country Ltd, which was categorised to the Electoral Commission as “non-cash” – a designation usually reserved for the provision of office space or in-kind services to political parties. In reality, even this “non-cash” donation cost Banks significant amounts of hard cash. In a letter to openDemocracy, Banks’ lawyers say Better for the Country bought “merchandise, leaflets, billboards, pens, badges and other paraphernalia,” before donating all of this to Grassroots Out. 

In early 2016, he used Better for the Country to make cash donations to Trade Unionists Against the European Union, and another pro-Brexit group called Veterans for Britain. Banks also provided £100,000 to Martin Durkin, a climate change sceptic and producer of “Brexit: The Movie,” a controversial online documentary produced to support the campaign. The sum was equivalent to a third of the documentary’s reported budget.

These donations were all the more remarkable because his new insurance company, founded after Banks left Brightside, was now also requiring large amounts of investment, according to industry experts. Eldon Insurance achieved a profit of just £281,000 on a turnover of £33.6 million in 2015. 

Earlier this year, Banks attempted a £200m fundraising effort for Eldon, according to the Times, but was unable to raise the finance from City investors and abandoned the listing. Profits fell further in 2016, to just £165,000. Earlier this month, Banks announced he was attempting a second public listing, and aiming for a valuation of some £250m. He claims to be forecasting a dramatic increase in profits – anywhere between £25m and £28m for the year. To support this claim he provided the Mail on Sunday with unpublished figures showing the profits for the first six months of the year. We asked for a copy of these, but his spokesperson did not respond.

To drum up business, Banks’ insurance brand GoSkippy now advertises heavily on Leave.EU’s websites, social media and email marketing. However there are numerous reports of poor customer service, onerous terms obfuscated in confusing small-print and administrative failings by the company, some of which have left motorists unaware that they were no longer insured. In response, Banks commented that “Eldon works very hard on complaints and actively reviews its processes off the back of both internal and external audits of both customer service quality and compliance with regularity requirements,” saying their main brand GoSkippy had complaint levels below 3 per 1000 customers, and that a maximum of 4 per 1000 was the industry guideline.

Southern Rock, despite its difficulties both before and after the regulators’ intervention, has until very recently been the principal under-writer of both Banks’ Go Skippy brand and the Debenhams Insurance brand. The letter from Banks’ lawyers points out that the recapitalisation plan designed to allow Southern Rock to meet its solvency obligations were approved by the regulator and the company’s independent auditors and that they have a perfect record of delivering their monthly payments to date on time and in full. 

It is clear, however, that the company only posted a profit last year by relying on the £60 million generated from selling rights to other companies controlled by Banks. To continue to trade on a solvent basis in the years to come, Southern Rock will need to have a profitable underlying business, or have additional cash injections.

And Banks’ own Eldon Insurance, which owns GoSkippy, now plans to move its business from Southern Rock – instead setting up a “managing general agent” called Somerset Bridge, which will be arranging under-writing services from a different Gibraltarian under-writer, backed by a Bermuda-based reinsurer.

The fabric of our democracy 

Interestingly, our review of Banks’ business empire also shows a huge cross-over between the key figures in Leave.EU and Banks’ businesses. Leave.EU’s Chief Executive Officer Liz Bilney serves on the board of numerous Banks’ companies.

Leave.EU’s director of communications, the Belizean diplomat and close associate of Lord Ashcroft, Andy Wigmore, was appointed to the board of Southern Rock in 2014 and joined Eldon Insurance in December 2015, despite having no background within the industry. 

Crucial to maintaining the fabric of democracy in Britain is understanding where large donors have made their money, and just as importantly, how.

Banks holds a substantial share in Manx Financial, an Isle of Man banking group controlled by Leave.EU’s early backer and co-founder Jim Mellon. The meagre profits of Manx Financial have not yet provided dividends to its investors – including Banks. 

Crucial to maintaining the fabric of democracy in Britain is understanding where large donors have made their money, and just as importantly, how.

Our review of the publicly available records for Banks’ business empire, and his own public statements, has revealed a patchwork of legal disputes, regulator interventions, and poor corporate governance. Two of Banks’ claimed previous employers have denied he ever worked for them. The value of his businesses are materially lower than Banks’ own inflated boasts and, while still a wealthy man, was he wealthy enough to give so much to the Brexit campaign, without some other undisclosed source of income?

How Banks could afford to give so lavishly remains a mystery. There is no doubt that Banks did more than most to make Brexit happen – the question is, how could he afford it?

To view the original of this article CLICK HERE

MP calls for inquiry into Arron Banks and ‘dark money’ in EU referendum

Ben Bradshaw raises concerns over ‘foreign interference’ and says there are questions over wealth of leave campaign’s biggest backer

 
 
Arron Banks
The money given by Arron Banks to Leave.EU in the run-up to the referendum was the biggest donation in British political history. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA

A Labour MP has said there are “real questions” about how much Arron Banks – the entrepreneur who bankrolled Brexit – is worth as he called on the government to investigate the possible role played by “dark money” in the EU referendum.

Speaking in parliament, Ben Bradshaw said there was “widespread concern over foreign and particularly Russian interference in western democracies”. He described as “very worrying” a series of investigative reports published this week by the Open Democracy website into the funding of the Leave campaign.

The money given by Banks to Leave.EU in the run-up to the referendum was the biggest donation in British political history. The Bristol-based businessman says he contributed almost £9m in cash, loans and services to pro-Brexit causes. It is impossible to determine what impact – if any – his donations had on the result.

Banks has previously claimed he is worth £100m. An estimate by the Sunday Times puts his fortune at £250m. However, an analysis by Open Democracy suggests the actual figure may be considerably lower.

Bradshaw asked the leader of the Commons, Andrea Leadsom, if she had seen the reports “about the role of dark money in the EU referendum campaign”. They included “revelations of illegal donations” and “new questions today over the real wealth of Arron Banks, the main financial backer of leave”.

Bradshaw urged parliament and the Electoral Commission to examine these claims “very carefully”. Given the Kremlin’s role in influencing elections elsewhere, they should “reassure the country that all the resources spent in the referendum were from permissible sources”, he told MPs.

According to Bradshaw, the “illegal” donation to Brexit was made via the Democratic Unionist party in Northern Ireland. The person behind the £435,000 payment made in 2016 before the referendum remains a mystery. Rules have now been changed to introduce greater transparency, but it is unclear who – or what – lay behind these funds.

The analysis by Open Democracy says that in September 2013 Banks’s financial affairs were in trouble. His underwriting business Southern Rock was under scrutiny from financial regulators in Gibraltar and had reserves below what was required. Banks said he invested £40m in the business to plug any shortfall and resigned as a director.

“A year later, these financial worries seem to have completely evaporated. Banks had begun buying diamond mines, investing millions into chemical companies and wealth management firms, setting up loss-making political consultancies, and most famous of all – funding Ukip,” Open Democracy wrote.

The article adds: “One question remains though. If Banks was in such a tight spot in September 2013, how did he manage to be so generous the following year?”

There are a number of perfectly innocent ways that Banks could have obtained the extra funds, Open Democracy admits. Much of his wealth is held in opaque offshore jurisdictions including Belize, the Isle of Man, the British Virgin Islands and Gibraltar, making an assessment of his fortune difficult.

Banks didn’t immediately comment. His spokesman has previously described his businesses including Southern Rock as profitable and sustainable, and says that Banks “broadly agrees” with the £250m estimate of his fortune.

Replying for the government, Leadsom described Bradshaw’s question as “incredibly important” and said that any specific information concerning wrongdoing should be referred to the Electoral Commission.

“I absolutely share his concern that all donations should be permissible and legal,” she said.

To view the original of this article CLICK HERE

Regards,

Greg_L-W.

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 44 (0)1594 – 528 337

Calls from ‘Number Withheld’ phones Are Blocked

All unanswered messages are recorded.

Leave your name & a UK land line number & I will return your call.

‘e’Mail Address: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

DO MAKE USE of LINKS,

>SEARCH<

&

>Side Bars<

&

The Top Bar >PAGES<

I try to make every effort to NOT infringe copyrights in any commercial way & make all corrections of fact brought to my attention by an identifiable individual

 

Please Be Sure To

.Follow Greg_LW on Twitter.

Re-TWEET my Twitterings

& Publicise My Blogs
To Spread The Facts World Wide
~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

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

Even With His Own Publicity #Farage’s Popularity As An Entertainer Is Seemingly Withering …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 08/10/2017

DO MAKE USE of LINKS,
>SEARCH<
&
>Side Bars<
&
The Top Bar >PAGES<

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
.
Even With His Own Publicity #Farage’s Popularity As An Entertainer Is Seemingly Withering …
~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail:
Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

The BLOG:
https://InfoWebSiteUK.wordpress.com

The Main Web Site:
www.InfoWebSite.UK

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

.
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,

Nigel Farage’s One-Man Show Is Being Outsold By An Elvis Tribute Act In Clacton

Fox News still loves the ‘Brexit leader’.

08/10/2017 17:54

Nigel Farage remains one of the UK’s most prominent politicians despite no longer being the leader of UKIP or winning in any of the seven occasions he has stood as an MP.

Many thought the MEP and Brexiteer’s future lay in the United States after Farage became the first overseas politician to meet Donald Trump after his election triumph.

And Farage, if you use his regular appearances on Fox News as a benchmark,  still seems to resonate on the other side of the Atlantic.

On Saturday, he appeared on the Murdoch-owned network in the aftermath of a car striking pedestrians outside the Natural History Museum in London, telling the broadcaster that officers were “clearly” treating it as a terrorist incident. It was not terrorism, and a backlash followed.

Beyond jumping to conclusions, however, many were struck by the billing Farage was given in the US. 

Nigel Farage has the daunting job of ‘Brexit Leader’ according to Fox News

“Brexit leader”? He’s got no role. … And of course he’s doing what he’s doing best: spread hate, lies and general BS. https://twitter.com/foxnews/status/916682348573241344 

It’s not the first time he’s been given the grandiose title of ‘Brexit leader’. From September: 

Nigel captioned “Brexit leader”. Should someone tell Fox News there’s no such fucking thing, and even if there is it’s called Boris? https://twitter.com/mutazelnour/status/912572460796485632 

While Farage was not involved with the official Vote Leave campaign (key figures believed he was too divisive, a charge he dismissed, he is seen as the public face of Brexit in the US and his profile is boosted still by his association with Trump’s former chief strategist and Breitbart chief, Steve Bannon.

Last month, Farage gave a speech in support of controversial judge Roy Moore in Alabama during a Republican Senate run-off.

 

Has his regular spot on dried up? Aw.

The regional broadcaster has suggested the Elvis Presley tribute act, A Vision of Elvis, has sold more tickets than the erstwhile Ukip frontman for their respective shows at the Prince’s Theatre in Clacton, Essex.  

As of 5pm last night, @Nigel_Farage had sold 179 tickets. @PrincesTheatre capacity is 820 seats. The Elvis tribute has sold 201 tickets. https://twitter.com/BBCEssex/status/916181348007776256 

As the Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom pointed out, the problem might stem from the Farage show being £25 per head for an ‘An Evening with Nigel Farage’.

“I’m surprised anybody at all is prepared to pay £25 to listen to any politician,” Bloom told the broadcaster.

“I still do lots of after-dinner speaking and stuff, but if people are going to cough up 25, 30 or 40 quid they expect a three course meal to go with it.”

“£50 for two seats is too expensive to see any politician at a theatre, even @Nigel_Farage,” Godfrey Bloom tells BBC Essex

Another Ukip-er feared if the price was lower, and the event had been more publicised, there was the risk of “trolls” ambushing the event.

councillor Mary Newton says @Nigel_Farage may be concerned about “trolls” gatecrashing his appearance at ‘s @PrincesTheatre

It’s a fair point. In 2013, Farage was barricaded by police in an Edinburgh pub after his visit to Scotland was hijacked by pro-independence supporters.

According to BBC Essex, Farage is expecting to sell hundreds more tickets before the show, and the burst of publicity may well tip the balance against ‘A Vision of Elvis’.

It does look good, mind.

A Vision Of Elvis
To view the original article CLICK HERE
Well lets look at what seems to be FAKE NEWS courtesy of #Liberty Nation’
I’ve commented in black in text below:

Nigel Farage to Speak in DC

LibertyNation.com brings BREXIT Leader

Firstly Farage is not nor has he ever been so called ‘BreXit Leader’ – he was refused any part of the official Leave Campaign as it was widely believed he was damaging to the cause!
Let us remember he colluded with the criminal John Ison who was involved with Farage & carried out a series of thefts & editing of material to provide false evidence to try to have Nikki Sinclaire, who if anyone can be called the ‘Leader of BreXit’ it is she!

Nikki Sinclaire set out single handedly and using her own money to build a team who obtained a valid petition of 200,000+ signatures from members of the electorate that when presented at Downing Street forced the Government’s hand to hold a full debate of the issue of Leaving_The_EU which led to the largest revolt Cameron as PM had had in Parliament and the undertaking that an IN/OUT Referendum would be held.

You will be pleased to cnow the Police prosecution which Farage had colluded in with the criminal John Ison was shown to be a pack of lies which it does seem the Police & CPS colluded in either utterly corruptly for the Government of the day or as a result of complete incompetence it is hard to say – though there are many ‘coincidences’ which I find would indicate the former rather than the latter!

Not least of which is the failure of the police to prosecute John Ison and even possibly Farage based on the crimes John Ison admitted to in Court, further the Police have on various items outright lied to Nikki Sinclaire & her legal team, in efforts to cover their tracks and also the fact that neither the Police nor the CPS have either appologised nor have they offered any compensation for the damage done to Nikki Sinclaire nor for the destruction of her career!

Farage clearly was no ‘BreXit Leader’ in fact he did a great deal to try to prevent the public vote for BreXit besides his divisive nature!

to Washington to Speak on Trump Presidency and Populist Revolution


News provided by

Liberty Nation

Oct 09, 2017, 06:15 ET


WASHINGTON, Oct. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —

The so-called Donald Trump of Britain, Nigel Farage, is set to speak on Thursday, October 12 at 8 PM at the Georgetown Marriott located at 1221 22nd St NW, Washington, DC.

Pray tell: By who is Farage known as ‘The Donald Trump of Britain’ beyond his shaving mirror & his own publicity?

As leader of the UK Independence Party

Farage is no longer Leader of the UK Independence Part – he stood down a year ago & due to his failure as a leader & lack of leadership skill the ‘Cult’ he had built has all but collapsed and is already on its 6th leader since he quit! A mere 12,000 members could even be bothered to vote in the last election, which many claim was, like so many other Ukip internal elections, rigged; as the clear front runner was an extreme Islamaphobe & seen by much of the media as an outspoken racist!

and longtime member of Parliament,

Farage has stood & campaigned 8 times to be a Member of Parliament and has never been elected to the British Parliament. He has however placed himself as top of the list in the safest Ukip region & become one of several members of the largely irrelevant EU Parliament based on a list vote!

Farage stoked the Trump-like populist revolt which resulted in the dramatic, game-changing withdrawal of Britain from the European Union. 

It is true that like Trump Farage did much to scrape the bottom of the barrel and play on fear & what was widely seen as overt racism to mobilise support for his ‘cult’ – in much the same way as has Macron in France, the AfD in Germany, Corbyn in the UK Labour party, Le Penn in France’s National Party and others seeking personal power and glory at any cost – argueably in a style not too dissimilar to Cuba and Chavez in Venezuela!

The Brexit uprising against the established order has already changed the face of Britain, the EU, and the US.

Schedule of events: 7 PM open bar reception – West End Lounge

8 PM Nigel Farage Speaks followed by open Q & A – Metropolitan Galleries 1-2

9 PM Dessert, coffee and photo ops/interviews with Mr. Farage – West End Lounge

The evening is presented by LibertyNation.com.

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO ATTEND THIS EVENT:

Contact: Leesa K. Donner, Editorial Director, LibertyNation.com at LeesaKdonner@gmail.com or (703)759-7500.

SOURCE Liberty Nation

Regards,Greg_L-W.

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 44 (0)1594 – 528 337

Calls from ‘Number Withheld’ phones Are Blocked

All unanswered messages are recorded.

Leave your name & a UK land line number & I will return your call.

‘e’Mail Address: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

DO MAKE USE of LINKS,

>SEARCH<

&

>Side Bars<

&

The Top Bar >PAGES<

I try to make every effort to NOT infringe copyrights in any commercial way & make all corrections of fact brought to my attention by an identifiable individual

 

Please Be Sure To

.Follow Greg_LW on Twitter.

Re-TWEET my Twitterings

& Publicise My Blogs
To Spread The Facts World Wide
~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

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

Just How Has Ukip Been Funded & Are Russian Links a Legitimate Concern? …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 19/05/2017

Do Visit Our New Website @

www.InfoWebSite.UK

DO MAKE USE of LINKS,

>SEARCH<
&
>Side Bars<
&
Also: The Top Bar >PAGES<

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
Just How Has Ukip Been Funded & Are Russian Links a Legitimate Concern? …
~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

https://InfoWebSiteUK.wordpress.com

www.InfoWebSite.UK

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

.

Hi,

“They Will Always Hate Me”

Nigel Farage loves giving interviews. But if you ask him about his connections to Russia and about the consequences of Brexit, he’ll put a stop to the conversation.
Nigel Farage: "They Will Always Hate Me"
Nigel Farage in European Parliament © Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Lesen Sie diesen Artikel auf Deutsch.

Nigel Farage is sitting in a black leather armchair in his European Parliament office in Brussels. In front of him is a glass table, and next to him is a coffin. The casket, with a large euro sign stuck to the front, has been standing there next to his desk for years. The symbolism is impossible to miss. For the last 20 years, Farage has been fighting against the EU and against the euro. He would like to bury both – which is why he ran for European Parliament as a member of UKIP, his party.
 

Farage’s mission is to destroy the EU from within. He was the face of the Leave campaign, which ultimately led to the successful Brexit referendum last year. As head of UKIP, he was an instrumental public figure in convincing the British public to vote in favor of the country’s historic exit from the EU.

Along with David Cameron and Boris Johnson, Farage is one of the key initiators of Brexit. To demonstrate as much, he put on his United Kingdom socks for the day of our interview. The Union Jack is clearly visible between his suit pants and his shoes. “Proud. Ohh, I don’t know about proud.” But he does say at the beginning of the interview that he is amused by the incipient Brexit negotiations. The interview was organized by his press spokesman, who is also present.

 
Nigel Farge vor dem Interview neben seinem Schreibtisch
Nigel Farage before the interview next to his desk. © Steffen Dobbert

ZEIT ONLINE: Mr. Farage, parliamentary elections are to be held in your homeland in just a few weeks. Why are you sitting here in Brussels in your British socks instead of helping out with the Brexit negotiations back home?

Nigel Farage: If the British government had asked me to help them in any way with Brexit, I would have done that. But of course, they wouldn’t. They will always hate me. They will always see me as an outsider. They will never forgive me for being successful. I don’t mind.

 

ZEIT ONLINE: What is your role here in European Parliament?

Farage: In some ways, I am one of the pan-European political figures there are here. I am well known in every European country. And actually, Euro-skeptic groups in some way see me as the grandfather of Euro-skepticism.

ZEIT ONLINE: You see yourself as pan-European? How can you fight against something that you yourself embody?

Farage: That’s ironic. I know.

ZEIT ONLINE: Since 1999, European Parliament has paid your salary as a representative. Why do you accept money from an institution that you want to destroy? How can I explain that to my eight-year-old daughter?

Farage: You tell your daughter that a wave of insanity overcame the political classes of Europe. Europe is not the EU. It’s not about a flag. It’s not about an anthem. It’s a totally false creation. I am working for a real Europe, one that does not attempt to take away from individual member states the nationality, the identity.

ZEIT ONLINE: You don’t look like you have lost your British identity.

Farage: We British are not allowed to have our own foreign policy. We are not allowed to have our own trade policy. This is not Europe. We have to break this down. Britain is just the start. The EU is dying. The whole project is finished. It’s dying, it’s dying.

ZEIT ONLINE: Do you still remember June 23, 2016, the day that Brexit was passed?

Farage: It was one of the best days of my life. Oh yes, in my career, it was the best day ever. After all these years of trying and after all these years of being lonely, it was a big day.

Farage is now in his element, saying things that he repeated hundreds of times during the Brexit campaign last summer. Prior to the campaign, Farage faced accusations that he had misused EU funds. According to a story in the Times, the EU paid almost 60,000 pounds to his personal bank account although some of the money had been earmarked for the upkeep of his parliamentary office not far from Littlehampton. That office, however, was in a house that Farage, as head of the UKIP party, had been allowed to use free of charge. After the Times reported on the inconsistencies, Farage threatened the paper with legal proceedings and levelled accusations against the journalists. He denied that he had done anything improper. As a result of the affair, it came out that Farage and other MEPs from UKIP had only begun filling out EU transparency reports, including for the reimbursement of office expenditures, in 2009.

ZEIT ONLINE: Who financed your Leave campaign?

Farage: Who financed the whole Remain campaign for over 50 years? The government.

ZEIT ONLINE: You didn’t answer the question.

Farage: Individuals. Individuals from the UK.

ZEIT ONLINE: And with money from Russia?

“It Was a Private Meeting with Assange”

Farage: No Russian money at all. That’s ridiculous. What you are talking about is conspiracy. I never received a penny from Russia. I wouldn’t have taken it, even if it had been offered. This campaign wasn’t about money. It was about messages, good clear messages.

ZEIT ONLINE: Have you ever received external money for your political work?

 

Farage: No, of course not.

ZEIT ONLINE: You never received any money for your appearances on Russia Today?

Farage: Which I do twice a year. Or three times last year. I am doing global media. I am talking to you as well.

ZEIT ONLINE: Why did you meet with Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London?

Farage stops for a moment to think. Following his visit to the Ecuadorian Embassy not long ago, he told reporters directly after his meeting with Assange that he could no longer remember what he had done in the embassy.

Farage: Oh, for journalistic reasons.

ZEIT ONLINE: What? Because you want to write a story about the WikiLeaks founder?

Farage: For journalistic reasons. I will not say anything more about that. But I did it for journalistic reasons, not for political reasons.

Nigel Farage in his office in the European Parliament © Steffen Dobbert

ZEIT ONLINE: What do you mean when you say, “journalistic reasons?”

Farage: I will not say anything more about that. If you look at what I do today, I used to do politics 100 hours a week. But now I do politics for 40 hours a week, so I have got a lot of time to do other things. I am a Fox News contributor. I am an LBC presenter. I write.

ZEIT ONLINE: You have transformed yourself from a politician to an entertainer?

Farage: Perhaps.

ZEIT ONLINE: Entertainers tend to be paid well for the job.

Farage: Yes, some people really get paid for it.

Farage’s press spokesman interrupts the interview. He says that the interview had actually been arranged to discuss trade relations between the EU and the UK. Neither he nor Farage, the spokesman says, want to talk about Farage’s connections to the WikiLeaks founder or to Russia. Last summer, the platform published emails from Hillary Clinton, an event which had a significant influence on the U.S. presidential campaign. Assange and WikiLeaks are suspected of having connections to hackers in Russia. Farage, for his part, is an acquaintance of Donald Trump’s and was the first politician to visit Trump following his election victory. Farage also has ties to Stephen Bannon, Trump’s campaign manager and the former head of the pseudo-journalistic website Breitbart.

ZEIT ONLINE: So you were sent by someone to speak to Julian Assange? What did you talk about?

Farage: It has nothing to do with you. It was a private meeting.

ZEIT ONLINE: You just said it was a journalistic meeting, for the public.

Farage: Of course.

ZEIT ONLINE: Are you going to publish an article soon about your connections to WikiLeaks and your meeting with Assange?

Farage: You will have to wait and see. I meet lots of people all over the world. I always help them.

“As a Political Operator, Putin Was the Best in the World”

ZEIT ONLINE: You once said you admire Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Farage: In 2013, as a political operator, he was the best in the world. Yes, this is what I said. But I wouldn’t like to live in his country. I didn’t like a lot of things he did. But as a political operator, he is to be admired.

ZEIT ONLINE: One of Russia’s foreign policy goals is dividing and weakening the EU. Could it be that in the case of Brexit, you were directly or indirectly used for this Russian goal?

Farage: It is obvious that the EU wants to expand to the east and threatens Russia. That’s completely mad.

ZEIT ONLINE: What you say isn’t true. It wasn’t the EU that triggered the revolution in Ukraine, but the Ukrainians who wanted better relations with the EU.

Farage: I want the EU to be destroyed and it doesn’t matter if God or the Dalai Lama wants it was well. The EU is an anti-democratic, failing structure. You know, you are the first person who has asked me if Russia supported me. Maybe you have a special German mindset. No other journalist in the world has asked these questions.

ZEIT ONLINE: I just want to understand your role.

Farage: We have no links to Russia.

ZEIT ONLINE: You didn’t meet with the Russian Embassy’s deputy chief-of-mission in London?

Farage: Nope.

ZEIT ONLINE: Not in 2013, before the Brexit campaign was conceived?

Farage: Ah, hang on. He came to the EP office. Or I met with him in London. So what?

ZEIT ONLINE: Why did you meet with him?

Farage: I think you are a nutcase! You are really a nutcase! Brexit is the best thing to happen: for Russia, for America, for Germany and for democracy. And that’s the key point.

Farage’s press spokesman again interrupts the interview. He says that the interview should focus more on trade relations between Germany and the UK. Farage nods.

ZEIT ONLINE: The United Kingdom’s economy, along with the economies of the remaining EU countries, will be weakened by Brexit.

Farage: What you are saying is complete rubbish. The idea that the EU is good for the economy is absolutely rubbish. The EU is a failing model.

ZEIT ONLINE: Since when have you been convinced of this fallacy?

Farage: Since 1990. Back then, I decided that the whole thing is nonsense. It will never work. It took a while, but now we have left. And we are the first ones. Others will leave as well.

ZEIT ONLINE: Who?

Farage: We will have to see. Greece. But it could be Denmark or Sweden. We will see.

“You Should Be on a Comedy Show”

ZEIT ONLINE: Greece had that option during the financial crisis, but decided against it. Now that Brexit has come to pass, what are you actually? Are you a journalist or a politician? What is your role?

Farage: Changing public opinion. That’s what I have been doing for 20 years. Using television, media. Shifting public opinion. That’s what I am good at.

ZEIT ONLINE: And that’s why you had to meet with Julian Assange?

Farage looks to his press spokesman and pauses again.

Farage: That, that is a different angle in this.

ZEIT ONLINE: It’s an angle that I want to understand.

Farage: Well, you will not get it. I went to meet him very briefly. We talked about a lot of things.

ZEIT ONLINE: But you didn’t want to be seen going into or out of the embassy? Your visit was only publicized because somebody took a picture of you.

Farage’s press spokesman interrupts the interview for a third time. He says that Farage should talk about the economy of the United Kingdom. Farage picks up the phone to make a quick call before continuing to speak.

ZEIT ONLINE: You are a citizen of the United Kingdom?

Farage: Yes.

ZEIT ONLINE: In the event of a hard Brexit, you may not be able to work in Brussels or fly to Hamburg without a visa.

Farage: Before 1914, there were no passports at all. So what are you talking about? You obviously don’t know history, do you?

ZEIT ONLINE: Among the EU’s fundamental principles is the freedom of movement for goods, services, capital and people. Those who leave the EU risk losing these freedoms.

Farage: When I was elected in 1999, borders and immigrants weren’t even mentioned. Not once in my literature. Why? Because it wasn’t relevant.

ZEIT ONLINE: Yet Brexit could result in there being a new border in Europe.

Farage: You are away with the fairies. You must be mad. I have never heard anything so immature in all my life. Because of Brexit I will lose my option to travel to Hamburg? You should be on a comedy show, not be a journalist.

Farage’s press spokesman interrupts the parliamentarian for the fourth time. It’s too much, he says and indicates to Farage that he should put an end to the discussion. Farage stands up from his leather armchair and sits down at his desk. That’s it, he says, and looks at the papers lying in front of him. The interview is over and his press spokesman requests that the journalist leave the room.

To view the original article CLICK HERE
Ukip’s finances have always lacked transparency and it has been believed by many that literally £Millions have been syphoned off into private accounts, for instance a sum of over 50% of the costs of Nigel Farage’s office expenses which ran to £100s of £1,000 was listed in one year as ‘sundry expenses’ yet although jhis office manager provided accounts to trial balance Nigel Farage paid an accountant to rejig the accounts – for that he paid £6,000!
Then there was the Ashford Call Center, described by Farage as Ukip’s most profitable fund raising exercise – yet less than 15% of the money raised ever reached Ukip’s bank account – at that time about £1/4 Million was paid into an Eastborne bank account and approximately the same amount was paid into one of Nigel Farage’s off shore bank accounts in the tax haven of The Isle of Man, into the account called ‘Farage Educational Trust’.
Nigel Farage, who you will recall, no doubt, worked at one time for a French Bank in London and also as a trader for Refco (where a large number of senior employees wound up in prison), he alsao ran his own business for a while as a Metals Trader – yet he lied to the media and said he didn’t realise that that account he had in the Isle of Mann was held in a tax haven! He also claimed never to have used it, I would call £1/4 Million fairly substantial use! That he considered it an insignificant amount in an insiognificant account gives pause for thought as to which of his accounts he considers significant and just how large a sum is significant!
It is also worth following the money trail behind his present sponsor and ascertainiong where his money comes from, a start to your research may well be found at:
Aaron BANKS, (sometimes Aron) Fraser Andrew – something of a roundup to 28-Feb-2017 CLICK HERE also see HERE
Also reading up on CLICK HERE
And some detailed reading of the archive of this site will provide many details and a host of answers!


Regards,
Greg_L-W.

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 44 (0)1594 – 528 337
Calls from ‘Number Withheld’ phones Are Blocked

All unanswered messages are recorded.
Leave your name & a UK land line number & I will return your call.

‘e’Mail Address: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

www.InfoWebSite.UK

DO MAKE USE of LINKS,
>SEARCH<
&
>Side Bars<
&
The Top Bar >PAGES<

 

Skype: GregL-W

TWITTER: @Greg_LW

I try to make every effort to NOT infringe copyrights in any commercial way & make all corrections of fact brought to my attention by an identifiable individual

Please Be Sure To
.Follow Greg_LW on Twitter.

Re-TWEET my Twitterings

& Publicise My Blogs
To Spread The Facts World Wide

eMail: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

https://InfoWebSiteUK.wordpress.com

www.InfoWebSite.UK

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

Posted in Arron Banks, BREXIT, Douglas CARSWELL, EUkip; UKIP; Peter Oborne; Daily Mail; EUkip + The BNP; Libertas + The Jury Team;, Hillsborough, OLAF, Paul Nuttall, UKIP, UKIP Corruption, UKIP Fraud, UKIP LEADERSHIP | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

#Paul_Nuttall’s attempt at looking serious goes wrong in #Ukip’s 2017 Election Video …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 13/05/2017

Do Visit Our New Website @

www.InfoWebSite.UK

DO MAKE USE of LINKS,

>SEARCH<
&
>Side Bars<
&
Also: The Top Bar >PAGES<

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
#Paul_Nuttall’s attempt at looking serious goes wrong in #Ukip’s 2017 Election Video …
~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

https://InfoWebSiteUK.wordpress.com

www.InfoWebSite.UK

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

.

Hi,

I didn’t notice Paul Nuttall’s claim that he had mastered walking on the spot when he was teaching Michael Jackson how to ‘Moon Walk’ during the time he took off from studying for his Doctorate (everyone else ‘reads’ for the qualification of Professor!), presumably that was before he was a professional footballer for Tranmere Rovers but after he had managed the crowd control of Hillsboro – or was this just another claim that when he was shown to have lied about it he blamed it on a junior employee, after it being on his web site for many years!

Then it was on to Stoke where he hadn’t a clue where he lived and slept at night, claiming to have a house in the constituency (that seemingly he had seen in an Estate Agent’s window) – but that Michael Crick viewed and filmed as empty and to let!

Then on to the present constituency he has been parachuted into as a carpet bagger, at the last minute, where it became abundantly clear in a TV interview he didn’t seem to know any of the main land marks in the constituency, couldn’t name them and didn’t even know they were in the constituency.

This fooish little chap made a fool of himself on his web site, showed he was a fool in Stoke and is proving to be a fool in this election too – not content with that he has led people to believe he is also a liar and a cheat.

Oh so very Ukip!

Having become a laughing stock in the Stoke by-election, the most winnable seat for Ukip in Britain as a result of the hard work Nikki Sinclaire put in promoting a pro BreXit vote in the Referendum she was directly responsible for instigating with the petition she organised after she left Ukip. The petition Nigel Farage’s Ukip party tried to sabotage to avoid the Referendum it gave rise to and the probability Ukip would be out of a job once the electorate knew the truth and voted for BreXit.

Well that was one thing Nigel Farage got right, before he jumped ship to avoid humiliation in domestic politics yet again.

It is noteworthy that despite Nigel Farage’s £800 a session job waffling for LBC, his highly paid job for Fox News in America, regular income from Russia via his work for RT, his free house in Chelsea, his young French ‘house Mate’, his funding by Arron Banks sourced from seemingly dubious sources and the near £1/4M he accrues as an MEP and he’s still leading Ukip in the EU. Plus of course the additional income and further monies he controls as leader of an EU Group and of course money he trousers, which runs to 10s of £1,000s, in Court cases related to his job!

Nigel Farage has left the party; that served him so well over 20 years, in a total mess; leaderless and with no structure, he never managed to create a viable structure and we all know why

he really was terrified of anyone of competence being in a position to challenge him and his control of the purse strings. Just look at the long list of MEPs elected under the Ukip banner that have quit the party due to fraud, corruption or having clashed with Nigel Farage and then add the many competent individuals who quit because Farage feared their competence see CLICK HERE.

Nigel Farage sowed the seeds of Ukip’s failure by his utter lack of leadership skills, but he did teach this clown who has replaced him one thing: Never accept responsibility for anything that goes wrong and surround yourself with nobodies you can blame!

Now we all know, that with BreXit moving forward under Theresa May’s management, Ukip is

GOING NOWHERE?

Paul Nuttall’s attempt at looking serious goes wrong as Ukip video appears to show him walking on the spot

Ukip leader appears to be bobbing up and down in cringe-worthy party political broadcast

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall might struggle to convince voters he can not only “talk the talk” but “walk the walk” – after starring in a hilarious party political broadcast that appears to show him walking on the spot.

Nuttall looks like he is bobbing up and down in the cringe-worthy clip as he walks along a seafront in an apparently reflective mood.

Nuttall has become the butt of people’s jokes on social media after walking in an unusual fashion in the hilarious broadcast

4
Nuttall has become the butt of people’s jokes on social media after walking in an unusual fashion in the hilarious broadcast

Paul Nuttall is leading Ukip through a period when their very existence is seemingly hanging in the balance

4
Paul Nuttall is leading Ukip through a period when their very existence is seemingly hanging in the balance

Once Nuttall’s “walk of shame” is over he places his hands on top of a wall and stares out across the sea as a voiceover says: “Who’s looking after you, and who really does put our country first?”

A cutaway then appears to show the shambolic Ukipper in London as he says: “We want to cut immigration, we want a more secure Britain, we want to prioritise the NHS over foreign aid, we want to protect British culture, and we want a modern and fair democracy.”

It is not clear where Nuttall took his seafront stroll but he is running to be an MP in the coastal town of Boston and Skegness in the General Election on June 8.

Twitter user Ross Fairbairn wrote: “Is it me or is Paul Nuttall just walking on the spot in the UKIP party political broadcast? Hahaha.”

Nuttall appears to be pondering the questions of life as he gazes out across the sea

4
Nuttall appears to be pondering the questions of life as he gazes out across the sea

Talking the talk: The Ukip leader laid out his party’s position after his leisurely stroll

4
Talking the talk: The Ukip leader laid out his party’s position after his leisurely stroll

Struggling Ukip appear to be losing voters ahead of the snap election, with one opinion poll finding they had dropped from 9% to 5% in terms of public support. 

The party’s immigration spokesman claimed Brits need to take to the fields and pick fruit to drive down net migration. 

Ukip’s existence is said to be hanging in the balance after they were obliterated in council elections across England – losing all but one of the 145 seats it was defending. 

To view the original article CLICK HERE


Regards,
Greg_L-W.

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 44 (0)1594 – 528 337
Calls from ‘Number Withheld’ phones Are Blocked

All unanswered messages are recorded.
Leave your name & a UK land line number & I will return your call.

‘e’Mail Address: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

www.InfoWebSite.UK

DO MAKE USE of LINKS,
>SEARCH<
&
>Side Bars<
&
The Top Bar >PAGES<

 

Skype: GregL-W

TWITTER: @Greg_LW

I try to make every effort to NOT infringe copyrights in any commercial way & make all corrections of fact brought to my attention by an identifiable individual

Please Be Sure To
.Follow Greg_LW on Twitter.

Re-TWEET my Twitterings

& Publicise My Blogs
To Spread The Facts World Wide

eMail: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

https://InfoWebSiteUK.wordpress.com

www.InfoWebSite.UK

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

Posted in Arron Banks, BREXIT, Douglas CARSWELL, EUkip; UKIP; Peter Oborne; Daily Mail; EUkip + The BNP; Libertas + The Jury Team;, Hillsborough, Nigel FARAGE, OLAF, Paul Nuttall, UKIP, UKIP Corruption, UKIP Fraud, UKIP LEADERSHIP | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Modern Computer Technology Helps To Win Political Elections & Referendums …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 02/03/2017

DO MAKE USE of LINKS,

>SEARCH<
&
>Side Bars<
&
Also: The Top Bar >PAGES<

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
Modern Computer Technology Helps To Win Political Elections & Referendums …
~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

https://InfoWebSiteUK.wordpress.com

www.InfoWebSite.UK

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

.

Hi,

the Government is making claims of ensuring everyone has high speed connection to broadband – a situation they are seemingly a million miles from achieving, whilst the public, myself included, clamour for workable broadband speeds and reliability in this modern age (which we do not have in this area!).

People can hardly complain when once people get decent connections, particvularly if they are stupid enough to plaster their private details all over the likes of Facebook, Instagram and the like, don’t be surprised if corporations, politicians, government and crooks use that data you have freely given.

We have here the latest version of invasion of privacy which is just as specious and fundamentally dishonest as all those petty nobodies who had their phones hacked and got huge compensation for being too idle or too stupid to change their passwords!

The internet is remarkably simple to control, but the will to do so is not there!

On line obscenity, abuse, pornography can be stopped with one simple control – but the industry and Government seem unwilling to do anything about it.

In the mean time don’t expect anything on the internet to be private – it just isn’t – and for as long as it isn’t don’t be surprised or complain if the information you pump out is used, whether to your advantage or against!

Leave.EU used ‘creepy’ Facebook profiling technology to win Brexit campaign — and now the data watchdog is investigating

Jake Kanter March 2017

Nigel Farage

View photos

 

Nigel Farage

PA

  • Leave.EU admits using “creepy” Facebook tech to scoop up data and target voters with anti-EU messages.
  • The data firm that helped Donald Trump take office, Cambridge Analytica, distances itself from the Leave.EU project.
  • Questions over whether Leave.EU broke rules on political donations and if Cambridge Analytica breached data protection laws.

LONDON — The communications director for Leave.EU, the Nigel Farage-backed Brexit campaign group, has admitted using “creepy” Facebook profiling technology to persuade Brits to vote to leave Europe. 

Leave.EU communications director Andy Wigmore told The Observer at the weekend that the group — which is bankrolled by UKIP’s biggest donor Aaron Banks — harvested personal data last year and targeted voters on Facebook with anti-EU messaging.

He claimed Leave.EU worked with Cambridge Analytica (CA), the data firm credited with helping Donald Trump win the US election, on an informal basis on the project. CA has denied it worked for the campaign, however.

Now Leave.EU is the subject of a complaint over whether it broke the rules on political donations, and Cambridge Analytica is being investigated by the government’s data protection agency over whether it breached privacy laws, sources tell Business Insider.

Facebook as a propaganda weapon

Wigmore told The Observer that Facebook was a powerful weapon in Leave.EU’s armoury. “Using artificial intelligence, as we did, tells you all sorts of things about that individual and how to convince them with what sort of advert,” he said.

“And you knew there would also be other people in their network who liked what they liked, so you could spread. And then you follow them. The computer never stops learning and it never stops monitoring.”

A man is silhouetted against a video screen with a Facebook logo as he poses with a Samsung S4 smartphone in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, August 14, 2013. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

View photos

 

A man is silhouetted against a video screen with a Facebook logo as he poses with a Samsung S4 smartphone in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, August 14, 2013. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

Thomson ReutersHe admitted that the technology’s accuracy is unsettling. Wigmore said: “It’s really creepy! It’s why I’m not on Facebook! I tried it on myself to see what information it had on me and I was like, ‘Oh my God!’ What’s scary is that my kids had put things on Instagram and it picked that up. It knew where my kids went to school.”

He told The Observer that CA was “happy to help” with its work on Brexit on a pro bono basis. This, he said, is because Farage is a “good friend” of Robert Mercer, the hedge fund billionaire who is reported to have invested in CA.

The firm has developed a proprietary technique known as “psychographics” to profile individuals and target them with messages, but in a statement to Business Insider, it said it played no part in Leave.EU’s Brexit campaign. “Cambridge Analytica did not carry out any kind of paid or unpaid work for Leave.EU,” a spokesman told us.

Business Insider contacted Leave.EU four times to ask why CA was disputing Wigmore’s version of events and request more information about the data firm’s actual involvement in the social media profiling. Leave.EU did not respond to our emails or phone calls.

Complaint to Electoral Commission and data protection probe

A complaint has been filed with the Electoral Commission over CA’s alleged work for Leave.EU, according to a source who has seen the complaint. Under election rules, political parties must declare donations of £7,500 or more, including services-in-kind.

“My guess is that we are now beginning to see a rather fuller picture of how the Leave vote and the Trump vote really came about,” the source told Business Insider. The source was a supporter of Britain remaining in the European Union but agreed only to talk anonymously in order to avoid any attendant negative publicity. 

Brexit protest

View photos

 

Brexit protest

To view the original of this article CLICK HERE

Regards,

Greg_L-W.

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 44 (0)1594 – 528 337
Calls from ‘Number Withheld’ phones Are Blocked

All unanswered messages are recorded.
Leave your name & a UK land line number & I will return your call.

‘e’Mail Address: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

www.InfoWebSite.UK

DO MAKE USE of LINKS,
>SEARCH<
&
>Side Bars<
&
The Top Bar >PAGES<

Also:

ABOUT ME, Details & Links: CLICK HERE
Accuracy & Copyright Statement: CLICK HERE
UKIP Its ASSOCIATES & DETAILS: CLICK HERE
Summary & archive, facts & comments on Ukip: http://Ukip-vs-EUkip.com
General ‘Stuff’: http://GL-W.com
Leave-The-EU Referendum & BreXit Process CLICK HERE
Documents, Essays & Treaties: CLICK HERE
The Hamlet of Stroat: CLICK HERE
Data & The Study of a Wind Turbine Application: CLICK HERE
Health Blog.: CLICK HERE
Chepstow Chat: CLICK HERE
Christopher Story: CLICK HERE
Des Watkins DFC; CdeG: CLICK HERE/
Hollie Greig etc.: CLICK HERE
Psycheocracy: CLICK HERE
The McCann Case: CLICK HERE
The Speculative Society of Edinburgh: CLICK HERE
Stolen Kids, Dunblane: CLICK HERE
Stolen Kids, Bloggers: CLICK HERE
Views I respect & almost Totally Share: CLICK HERE
A Concept of Governance Worthy of Developement: CLICK HERE

Skype: GregL-W

TWITTER: @Greg_LW

Stolen Kids Blogs with links:
http://StolenKids-Bloggers.Blogspot.com
Stolen Oyster with links:
http://StolenOyster-Bloggers.Blogspot.com
Stolen Trust with links:
http://StolenTrust-Bloggers.Blogspot.com
Stolen Childhood with links:
http://StolenChildhood-Bloggers.Blogspot.com
NB:
  1. I NEVER post anonymously on the internet
  2. ALL MY BLOGS & WEB SITES are clearly sourced to me
  3. I do NOT use an obfuscated eMail address to hide behind
  4. I do NOT use or bother reading FaceBook
  5. I DO have a Voice Mail Message System
  6. I ONLY GUARANTEE to answer identifiable eMails
  7. I ONLY GUARANTEE to phone back identifiable UK Land Line Messages
  8. I do NOT accept phone calls from witheld numbers
  9. I Regret due to BT in this area I have a rubbish Broadband connection
  10. I AM opposed to British membership of The EU
  11. I AM opposed to Welsh, Scottish or English Independence within an interdependent UK
  12. I am NOT a WARMIST
  13. I do NOT believe the IPCC Climate Propaganda re Anthropogenic Global Warming
  14. I AM strongly opposed to the subsidy or use of failed technologies eg. WIND TURBINES
  15. I AM IN FAVOUR of rapid research & development of NEW NUCLEAR technologies
  16. I see no evidence to trust POLITICIANS at any level or of any persuasion
  17. I do NOT believe in GODS singular or plural, Bronze Age or Modern
  18. I value the NHS as a HEALTH SERVICE NOT a Lifestyle support
  19. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial or GBH rape.
  20. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial, terrorist, mass or for pleasure murder.
  21. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial gross child abuse including sexual.
  22. I do NOT trust or believe in armed police
  23. I do NOT believe in prolonging human life beyond reasonable expectation of sentient participatory intellectual existence
  24. I believe in EUTHENASIA under clearly defined & legal terms
  25. I try to make every effort to NOT infringe copyrights in any commercial way & make all corrections of fact brought to my attention by an identifiable individual

Please Be Sure To
.Follow Greg_LW on Twitter.

Re-TWEET my Twitterings

& Publicise My Blogs
To Spread The Facts World Wide
~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

Posted in Hillsborough, Paul Nuttall, UKIP | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

As I predicted #Ukip Have Already Started Fighting Like Ferrets In A Sack …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 26/02/2017

DO MAKE USE of LINKS,

>SEARCH<
&
>Side Bars<
&
Also: The Top Bar >PAGES<

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
 As I predicted #Ukip Have Already Started Fighting Like Ferrets In A Sack …
~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

https://InfoWebSiteUK.wordpress.com

www.InfoWebSite.UK

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

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

.

Hi,

you will I am sure have noted that I predicted that in their utterly predictable failure in Stoke they would start to tear their own hear4t out, just as Ukip always has in the past. Paul Nuttall can be assured to lack the integrity to admit it was his own abject incompetence and undeniable duplicity and dishonesty backed by incompetent idiots managing his failed campaign that caused Ukip to fail to win in Stoke – most probably the most likely and easiest seat for Ukip to win in the whole UK!

Increasingly Ukip confirm they have not got, nor have they ever had or ever will have a rle in British domestic politics – even if they had a single ethical member of any standing to put forward as a candidate it is unlikely they will ever have an MP in Westminster other than the odd turncoat who had established themselves in their constituency and failed within their original party of choice. Such as the tree they have had to date, only one of whom was returned as an MP.

Even Ukip’s comic has published details of how they have collapsed into the gutter squabbling:

Arron Banks calls for Douglas Carswell to be … – Daily Express

http://www.express.co.uk › News › Politics
1 day ago – Ukip donor calls for Douglas Carswell to be ‘REMOVED’ in fresh party feud. … UKIP’s only MP Douglas Carswell has been branded a “disgrace” in a scathing attack by the party’s largest donor. … Arron Banks said the former Conservative politician was a “poor return for four …
2 days ago – Douglas Carswell was quizzed on Question Time whether defeat in the Stoke … UKIP’s only MP Douglas Carswell criticised former leader Nigel …

2 days ago – UKIP RIFTS: Douglas Carswell is a ‘DISGRACE’ and must be EXPELLED from party, MEP claims. … DOUGLAS Carswell must be expelled from Ukip or leave the party after his “disgraceful” comments on Question Time, a leading MEP has blasted. … Mr Etheridge told the Express.co.uk: “Douglas …

 

UKIP RIFTS: Douglas Carswell is a ‘DISGRACE’ and must be EXPELLED from party, MEP claims

DOUGLAS Carswell must be expelled from Ukip or leave the party after his “disgraceful” comments on Question Time, a leading MEP has blasted.

PUBLISHED: 02:34, Fri, Feb 24, 2017 | UPDATED: 08:22, Fri, Feb 24, 2017
Bill Etheridge, Ukip’s MEP for the West Midlands, was scathing in his criticism of the former Tory MP after he called the party’s values and principles into question on the same night Paul Nuttall was fighting a crucial by-election in Stoke-on-Trent Central.
Ukip’s defence spokesman also attacked Mr Carswell for his remarks on former party leader Nigel Farage – who was not in Stoke for the by-election count amid rumours of new rifts within the party.

Douglas Carswell, Nigel Farage and Bill EtheridgeGETTY

Bill Etheridge blasted Douglas Carswell for his remarks on the party

Bill EtheridgeGETTY

Bill Etheridge MEP said Carswell should resign from Ukip

Frankly, it’s time that action was taken to deal with this kind of behaviour and these kind of comments

Bill Etheridge MEP

Mr Etheridge told the Express.co.uk: “Douglas Carswell’s performance on Question Time was an absolute disgrace.

“His criticism of Nigel Farage, and what’s more, his criticism of the values of our party and the smug, smirky manner in which he has done it on a night what is so important to our party is a disgrace.

“Frankly, it’s time that action was taken to deal with this kind of behaviour and these kind of comments.

“All the people who might agree with Mr Carswell and disagree with the values of our party should seriously consider their position and look at joining another party or at least leave Ukip so that we can continue with the important, radical work that Nigel Farage started and Paul Nuttall will continue.”

Douglas Carswell labelled Nigel Farage’s unsuccessful campaign in South Thanet as “mayhem” and smirked as he slammed the leading Brexiteer for “representing LBC” rather than Ukip – despite stating he would not “take a dig” at the former leader.

.

He said: “That to me is a disgraceful thing to say. The reason we don’t get the benefit of the doubt is due to smears and attacks by our opponents.

“We should be defending our party and be positive about the values we put forward.

“As Nigel Farage said last week, if Ukip aren’t a radical party, we will amount to nothing… We will not change.

“We will continue to be a radical, reforming party who continue to challenge the status quo.

“Mr Carswell wants to make us more mainstream. The whole purpose of Ukip is to be a radical party who finds the consensus. His performance tonight is proof positive that he has no future in our party.”

Paul NuttallGETTY

Paul Nuttall narrowly lost the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election

Mr Etheridge said he would be taking the matter to the Ukip’s National Executive Committee (NEC) – who would have the power to make the decision to sack Mr Carswell – after receiving support from “grassroots activists and all throughout the party”.

Paul Nuttall received a vocal show of support from Mr Etheridge, but he added his campaign in Stoke-on-Trent had “suffered” because of the advice he had received from certain members within the party.

Mr Etheridge said: “Paul is a great man and a great leader. He has suffered from very poor efforts of advice by people who have got close to him and I think it’s time the rest of the party supported Paul properly and helped him get the party back on the right track, which is a radical, libertarian party.”

The Express.co.uk has contacted Mr Carswell for a response.

To view the original article CLICK HERE

THE BULLY BOYS OF #BREXIT OPEN FIRE ON @DOUGLASCARSWELL

[Updated 0850 25/02/17]

It took less than twenty-four hours from the moment Paul Nuttall was soundly defeated in Stoke and like clockwork, the infighting and bullying within UKIP had already begun. We predicted as much in our piece published earlier in the week and we’re sure nobody reading this is really surprised.

The target this time is someone who is well used to being attacked by his own side and in true UKIP fashion, their one electable and somewhat moderate MP, Douglas Carswell, is facing calls for his expulsion from Bill Etheridge after he made “disgraceful statements” on BBC Question Time last night.

Carswell 2.jpg

Perhaps Carswell made racist comments or endorsed torture. Maybe he posted false statements about his presence at a disastrous and tragic event. Or did he make multiple sexual harassment calls to women while employed as an adviser to the party?

No he did much, much worse. The Clacton MP is arguably UKIP’s last remaining source of credibility in a party that is beyond toxic and – unlike the majority of his party’s other elected MEPs – is actually known to be a good constituency MP. But the parliamentarian made an indiscretion that UKIP cannot tolerate, a sin so heinous that his immediate expulsion must be arranged.

He suggested that voters have issues with the way UKIP conducts itself and in turn, this may have an impact on why people don’t vote for them. In the twisted and dark world of the UK Independence Party this is sacrilege of the highest order. An inquisition must surely be formed – just don’t call the NEC.

“We as a party need to ask ourselves “what is it, what is it to do with our values, what is it about us?” that means many people aren’t giving us the benefit of the doubt. That’s a key question, regardless of the outcome of the by-election.” – Douglas Carswell MP’s “disgraceful statement”. 

It is not the MP’s first run-in with UKIP’s bully boy routine. Last year members of the Young Independence youth movement applauded and cheered when MEP David Coburn declared that “hanging would be too good” for Douglas Carswell at the YI conference.

There have also been multiple briefings and attacks against Carswell placed in the media, including a report that “dark forces” within UKIP had attempted to cause problems in the former Tory’s marriage by launching a blackmail plot – apparently as a way of punishing him for supposed crimes against the party.

The disgraceful behaviour can only be described as a bullying campaign and it is no wonder the MP refuses to attend party conferences and meetings. Perhaps he is worried about his personal safety, after-all, the last time he attended he was verbally abused by UKIP’s most prolific donor.

What makes it all the more shocking is that this campaign is being led and endorsed by UKIP’s elected MEPs, using their media and social media profiles to seek and destroy their man in Westminster; enabling like-minded UKIP supporters and thus expanding the bullying campaign. UKIP MEPs routinely like and re-tweet posts which viciously attack perceived party enemies including Carswell, Suzanne Evans and others, using their profiles as elected members of the European Parliament, not just their private accounts.

Infighting.jpgUKIP’s MEPs routinely use their media and social media reach to attack their solitary MP.

It’s is exactly this type of behaviour and culture that led to the shocking scenes in Strasbourg last year when UKIP MEPs Steven Woolfe and Mike Hookem let their fists fly in a vote meeting; a boiling over of internal tension that concluded in Woolfe’s seizure and hospital stay. It was not outside the realms of possibility that he could have died as a result of his injuries. Thank god he did not.

Long before “the scuffle” Woolfe had confided in his staff that he was “under attack” by senior UKIP figures, including Paul Nuttall, claiming: “They are out to get me.”

The former UKIP MEP was so concerned by bullying and intimidation among parliamentary staff that he instructed one of his aides to “protect himself” and “not take the bullying”.

SW.jpgSteven Woolfe acknowledges the bullying culture within UKIP in a text conversation with an aide in December 2015.  

We have been told of several other alleged violent altercations between UKIP MEPs and /or staff in previous years. Readers will also remember that one of UKIP’s own ethnic minority aides was attacked in his office by the party’s Brussels press chief when he dared to speak up about racism and bullying within the EFDD group.

Judging UKIP by their words and actions it is painfully obvious that this type of “altercation” is the rule rather than the exception. Bullying, intimidation violence and the threat of physical force is a way of life within UKIP.

To view the original of this article CLICK HERE
Regards,
Greg_L-W.

~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~
Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 44 (0)1594 – 528 337
Calls from ‘Number Withheld’ phones Are Blocked

All unanswered messages are recorded.
Leave your name & a UK land line number & I will return your call.

‘e’Mail Address: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

www.InfoWebSite.UK

DO MAKE USE of LINKS,
>SEARCH<
&
>Side Bars<
&
The Top Bar >PAGES<

Also:

ABOUT ME, Details & Links: CLICK HERE
Accuracy & Copyright Statement: CLICK HERE
UKIP Its ASSOCIATES & DETAILS: CLICK HERE
Summary & archive, facts & comments on Ukip: http://Ukip-vs-EUkip.com
General ‘Stuff’: http://GL-W.com
Leave-The-EU Referendum & BreXit Process CLICK HERE
Documents, Essays & Treaties: CLICK HERE
The Hamlet of Stroat: CLICK HERE
Data & The Study of a Wind Turbine Application: CLICK HERE
Health Blog.: CLICK HERE
Chepstow Chat: CLICK HERE
Christopher Story: CLICK HERE
Des Watkins DFC; CdeG: CLICK HERE/
Hollie Greig etc.: CLICK HERE
Psycheocracy: CLICK HERE
The McCann Case: CLICK HERE
The Speculative Society of Edinburgh: CLICK HERE
Stolen Kids, Dunblane: CLICK HERE
Stolen Kids, Bloggers: CLICK HERE
Views I respect & almost Totally Share: CLICK HERE
A Concept of Governance Worthy of Developement: CLICK HERE

Skype: GregL-W

TWITTER: @Greg_LW

Stolen Kids Blogs with links:
http://StolenKids-Bloggers.Blogspot.com
Stolen Oyster with links:
http://StolenOyster-Bloggers.Blogspot.com
Stolen Trust with links:
http://StolenTrust-Bloggers.Blogspot.com
Stolen Childhood with links:
http://StolenChildhood-Bloggers.Blogspot.com
NB:
  1. I NEVER post anonymously on the internet
  2. ALL MY BLOGS & WEB SITES are clearly sourced to me
  3. I do NOT use an obfuscated eMail address to hide behind
  4. I do NOT use or bother reading FaceBook
  5. I DO have a Voice Mail Message System
  6. I ONLY GUARANTEE to answer identifiable eMails
  7. I ONLY GUARANTEE to phone back identifiable UK Land Line Messages
  8. I do NOT accept phone calls from witheld numbers
  9. I Regret due to BT in this area I have a rubbish Broadband connection
  10. I AM opposed to British membership of The EU
  11. I AM opposed to Welsh, Scottish or English Independence within an interdependent UK
  12. I am NOT a WARMIST
  13. I do NOT believe the IPCC Climate Propaganda re Anthropogenic Global Warming
  14. I AM strongly opposed to the subsidy or use of failed technologies eg. WIND TURBINES
  15. I AM IN FAVOUR of rapid research & development of NEW NUCLEAR technologies
  16. I see no evidence to trust POLITICIANS at any level or of any persuasion
  17. I do NOT believe in GODS singular or plural, Bronze Age or Modern
  18. I value the NHS as a HEALTH SERVICE NOT a Lifestyle support
  19. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial or GBH rape.
  20. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial, terrorist, mass or for pleasure murder.
  21. I believe in a DEATH PENALTY for serial gross child abuse including sexual.
  22. I do NOT trust or believe in armed police
  23. I do NOT believe in prolonging human life beyond reasonable expectation of sentient participatory intellectual existence
  24. I believe in EUTHENASIA under clearly defined & legal terms
  25. I try to make every effort to NOT infringe copyrights in any commercial way & make all corrections of fact brought to my attention by an identifiable individual

Please Be Sure To
.Follow Greg_LW on Twitter.

Re-TWEET my Twitterings

& Publicise My Blogs
To Spread The Facts World Wide
~~~~~~~~~~#########~~~~~~~~~~

Posted in Hillsborough, Paul Nuttall, UKIP | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: