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Posts Tagged ‘Greg Lance-Watkins’

The Racist Foundations Of Nigel Farage’s New Party – ‘TheBreXitParty’ The Clone Of Ukip! …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 11/02/2019

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The Racist Foundations Of Nigel Farage’s New Party – ‘TheBreXitParty’ The Clone Of Ukip! …
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

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The corruption of EUkip’s leadership,
their anti UKIP claque in POWER & the NEC

is what gives the remaining 10% a bad name!

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Hi,

The Founder Of Nigel Farage’s New Brexit Party Has A History Of Anti-Muslim Comments

“If these people really dislike it so much in the West, why do they chose [sic] to live here?”

Originally posted on
Updated on

Tolga Akmen / AFP / Getty Images

The founder of Nigel Farage’s new Brexit party has a long history of making inflammatory comments about Muslims, BuzzFeed News can reveal.

When he resigned from UKIP in December last year, Farage explained his decision by warning that his former party was “turning a blind eye to extremist politics” and had become “obsessed with Islam”.

Brexity party founder Catherine Blaiklock

Brexity party founder Catherine Blaiklock

But Farage has now thrown his “full support” behind a new party founded by former UKIP candidate Catherine Blaiklock, who has herself repeatedly made anti-Muslim comments and promoted online material attacking Muslims.

Blaiklock registered the Brexit party with the Electoral Commission on Feb. 5 and is said to be hoping to run candidates in the European elections in May if the UK has not left the EU by then.

The new party has been endorsed by Farage, who said: “This was Catherine’s idea entirely — but she has done this with my full knowledge and my full support. If the government goes back on its word and betrays the millions of people who voted for Brexit then we need a party prepared to stand up and fight for it.”

Over the last year, Blaiklock has written opinion pieces for a range of right-wing outlets, including the pro-Tommy Robinson news website Politicalite and the conservative quarterly magazine the Salisbury Review. She’s also written several pieces for the partisan UKIP website Independence Daily, been interviewed by the Kremlin-backed propaganda site Sputnik News, and in November appeared on Breitbart writer James Delingpole’s podcast.

In a blog post titled “Burka’s [sic] in Detroit” published on her website in May last year, Blaiklock complained that when she ordered a Thai takeaway meal in the US city it was delivered by a woman in a burka.

“What is happening in a few areas of the United States is truly shocking – and few American’s [sic] can even believe it,” she wrote. “There are two cities, near Detroit, that have become almost total Muslim enclaves.” She was referring to Hamtramck in Michigan, which is said to have been the first Muslim-majority city council in the US, and Dearborn, also in Michigan, where around one-third of the city claims some Arab heritage, according to the Arab American Institute.

Blaiklock then urged her readers to watch a YouTube video titled “Muslim Takeover Of Dearborn Michigan”, which she called “fascinating”, and another video called “Angry Muslims Taunt To School Board ‘We’re Going to Be the Majority Soon’”.

Blaiklock concluded her article by writing: “There are currently 50 majority Muslim countries in the world. If these people really dislike it so much in the West, why do they chose [sic] to live here? One can only ponder the answer to that question”.

In an email to BuzzFeed News, she said: “I was merely stating a personal opinion that is shared quite widely, both at home and abroad, indeed in a series of muslim [sic] majority countries, as the article makes clear.”

In an article for the pro-Tommy Robinson website Politicalite in July, Blaiklock backed a Conservative party activist who was suspended for claiming that “radical so-called Islamists” are “raping and impregnating British girls and young women, ‘creating’ Muslim babies”.

In her defence of Carola Godman Irvine, Blaiklock wrote: “If 23% of ordinary British Muslim think Sharia law should be implemented, just think what the really radical think. There is also some truth in the statement that Muslim men were impregnating white British girls to create Muslim babies”.

Blaiklock went on: “The real issue, of course, is not what Muslims think, that seems pretty well known. Muslims, particularly in France, have been saying for a while that ‘Someday this will all be ours.’ The real issue is what do the Conservative Party think they are doing.”

Blaiklock told BuzzFeed News that she was merely highlighting “the point about radical Islam not liking our way of life. Is that not entirely uncontroversial?”

In September, Blaiklock wrote an opinion piece titled “Prayer mats or beer mats?” for the Salisbury Review, which lamented the closure of pubs across Britain, while also questioning where money for mosques was coming from.

“According to The British Beer and Pub Association, 10,500 pubs have closed since 2000,” Blaiklock wrote. “Just imagine if even a small proportion of these pubs get turned into Mosques. That is what seems to be happening in East Anglia.”

Turning attention to the situation in Norwich, Blaiklock wrote, “I doubt that you would ever see a Burka and rarely a Hijab, but it seems that there are enough Muslims to built [sic] a large Mosque.”

“You have to question where such a small community gets £1.5m of donations from. It takes a lot of Bangladeshi takeaways dishes at £1 profit a time to raise and save these sort of amounts.”

Asked about the article, she said it was simply raising “some questions” about “strange” and “un-investigated” coincidences in East Anglia.

Blaiklock’s Twitter account @cablaiklock is also no longer active on the platform. But in a cached version of a tweet sent on Christmas Day found by BuzzFeed News, she commented on a news story about 40 migrants being rescued from boats in the English Channel. Noting the migrants were “all from Islamic countries”, Blaiklock wrote: “When will 40 become 400, become 4000, become 40,000, become 4m, become 40m?”

@cablaikilock / Twitter

When asked about the tweet, Blaiklock told BuzzFeed News: “The question stands. The answer of course could be never.”

Blaiklock’s history of inflammatory comment does not just extend to Muslims. In August, she wrote an article titled “Apartheid USA” for the Salisbury Review, in which she gave her account of what she perceived as the inequalities in Boston, Massachusetts.

Recounting a visit to a café called Sweetgreen full of “professional, educated, intelligent and probably Democrat” customers, Blaiklock wrote: “Outside, on the streets, in front of [Sweetgreen] were 5 star hotels, charging £600 per night, (without breakfast), lived an even lower community than the one in Wendy’s: The homeless underclass. Pregnant, scared and scarred, drugged white girls mixed with demented older black men. Weird and lost people of all descriptions wandered about”.

She told BuzzFeed News the piece was “a criticism of a state of reality in inner city Boston”.

In April last year, Blaiklock wrote an open letter to the English Heritage charity about a training programme aimed at BAME candidates. Describing her daughters as “half-Nepalese”, Blaiklock asked: “Does that fit your ‘Minority Ethnic Heritage’ definition? They have both English and Nepalese names: so, if one applied as Zangmu Llama, I presume her application would be accepted? Whereas if she applied as Jane Hawes, may I presume it would be rejected?”

Blaiklock then described one of her daughters as having “Mongoloid” eyes. She wrote: “To complicate things further, one of my daughters looks Asian. She has ‘Mongoloid’ eyes and an epicanthic fold. My other daughter doesn’t — she has white skin and dark hair and eyes. She is often told she looks Spanish or Brazilian. If she were to apply, would she need to prove her ethnic mix?”

She concluded: “Does a Jewish man or woman count as an ethnic minority? You see many Jewish people look exactly like my daughter. Does Spanish count as ‘ethnic’? What about my previous husband who was half Singaporean and half British? He and his brother looked completely different: one looked Chinese and the other looked Caucasian. Does 25 per cent ‘ethnic’ count? Does 12.5 per cent count? Where does ‘ethnic’ end?”

When asked about the article, she said: “The Brexit party, is not about anything like this, though again I stand by my points in this article. English heritage responded that BAME is defined only by self-identification.

“It is about letting the legacy parties know that if they renege on their promises to the people of this country then they will live to regret it electorally.”

Approached by BuzzFeed News, Farage declined to comment on whether he will continue to support the Brexit party in light of its founder’s views.

Responding to this story, a spokesperson for the Muslim Council of Britain said:

“Nigel Farage’s claim that he left UKIP due to its descent into Islamophobia and its alignment with elements of the far-right, appears untenable given the new revelations.

“Without any immediate action by Mr Farage, many will understandably conclude that given his own personal history, Islamophobia was being used as a convenient political football in his fight against Mr Batten rather than a matter of principle against racism.

Mr Farage must act immediately to disassociate from Ms Blaiklock and The Brexit Party under her leadership.”

To view the original article CLICK HERE

 

Regards,

Greg_L-W.

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

Spawn Of Ukip ‘The BreXit Party’ Driven By Ambition & Racist Divisions In Ukip …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 09/02/2019

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Spawn Of Ukip ‘The BreXit Party’ Driven By Ambition & Racist Divisions In Ukip …
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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

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The corruption of EUkip’s leadership,
their anti UKIP claque in POWER & the NEC

is what gives the remaining 10% a bad name!

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

.

Hi,

The Brexit Party: We’re only making plans for Nigel

None of this will come as any surprise to those who know him well in a political context: Nigel Farage appears to be positioning himself to be ready, should the opportunity arise, to remain in the European Parliament (EP) for a fifth term.

His newly formed Brexit Party (although it is not clear at this point what, if any, official office he will hold) has been officially recognised by the UK Electoral Commission, clearing the way for him to stand in this year’s European Parliament Elections if, as appears possible, Brexit is delayed. The EP’s administration has put into place contingency plans for just such an event. 

We’re only making plans for Nigel… We only want what’s best for him… We’re only making plans for Nigel… Nigel just needs this helping hand

Lyrics by Colin Moulding, bassist of English rock band XTC

An EP with UK MEPs would look far different from the post-Brexit situation that the Eurocrats have been planning for. After the UK’s withdrawal the Parliament would have had fewer MEPs, although some UK seats would have been redistributed to the remaining 27 member states. It would also see a significant reduction in staff numbers. Although current staff members of UK origin have been assured that they will be redeployed, they will not be eligible for future promotion. Many of them have tried to address this problem by obtaining Belgian citizenship.

All this would have had major ramifications for the EP’s budget, and the last thing any EU institution wants is to see it’s budget being reduced. At this moment there is a great deal of horse trading going on in the backrooms of both the EP and the European Commission.

Farage’s personal ambitions to remain in the institution that has fed him since 1999 – he is one of the UK’s longest standing MEPs – should not be viewed in isolation.

 As reported in EU Today (Dec 1st 2018), he gave his full support to his current Press Officer in the EP, one Hermann Kelly, during the September 8th 2018 Dublin launch of a new Irish party, clumsily named Irexit:Freedom to Prosper

In an interview with the Irish Times, Kelly stated that he was “very much at home” with the economic nationalism espoused by Donald Trump’s former Chief Strategist in the White House, Steve Bannon.

Farage is also highly supportive of, and indeed linked to, Bannon, who is currently working to bring some of Europe’s more extreme right wing political parties together under the banner of The Movement, a somewhat murky populist organisation based in Brussels.

Another person with links to Bannon is Farage’s “co-habitant”, one Laure Ferrari, a former employee of Farage’s political group in the EP. Belgian legal documents obtained by EU Today clearly identify Ms. Ferrari as one of two nominees for the role of Secretary-General of The Movement.

Ms. Ferrari has a background in French populist politics, and was the centre of a UKIP funding scandal whilst head of the Institute for Direct Democracy in Europe (IDDE), which was found by the EP to have “used EU grant funding for the benefit of UKIP in breach of its rules…” This was in response to an enquiry by the Electoral Commission.

There are serious questions being asked in Brussels over the source of the substantial funding that Bannon has brought to The Movement. While he has stated that there is no Russian money involved, very few journalists are looking at any other avenues. It is certainly the case that individual parties involved in The Movement have either obtained, or sought, Russian funding. Certainly those politicians associated with the organisation appear frequently on Russian state controlled media.

Bannon’s former boss, Donald Trump, has also faced repeated suggestions of accepting Kremlin geld. 

The newly formed Brexit Party, which Farage hopes will be him with a vehicle to a fifth mandate in the EP, needs to be examined in this context. 

Farage’s position towards the French far-fight leader Marine Le-Pen has considerably softened: this may have something to do with the fact that she has also come under Bannon’s spell.

Those who worked with or around Farage were aware at the time when a petition calling for a referendum on the UK’s continued membership of the EU was fast gaining signatures – a petition he had nothing to do with, incidentally – that a referendum was the last thing he wanted. 

Farage Signing

Like other UKIP MEPs he was aware that whatever the result, his party’s raison d’être would disappear. He only signed the petition on the green outside the House of Commons on the day that House Backbench Business Committee was debating the petition, and then only under duress from the actual instigator, Nikki Sinclaire, and in front of an amused group of journalists.

Of course, when the referendum was announced, it then became UKIP’s “greatest achievement”.

Despite this “achievement”, and the criticisms he pours upon Theresa May for her appalling handling of the negotiations, one could be forgiven for suspecting that Farage will be privately praying for Brexit to be at the very least delayed. 

To view the original article CLICK HERE

Regards,

Greg_L-W.

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

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

The Media Admits Nikki Sinclaire Opened The Door To The Good Things That BreXit Will Bring …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 29/01/2019

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The Media Admits Nikki Sinclaire Opened The Door To The Good Things That BreXit Will Bring …
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail:
Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

The BLOG:
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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,

it is easily forgotten that if the independent MEP Nikki Sinclaire had not organised and used her own money to have the British peoples petition Government to hold a full debate in the House of Commons & delivered 225,000 signatures to Parliament – there would have been no IN / OUT Debate relative to the EU.

It is also worth remembering just how duplicitously and dishonestly Nigel Farage campaigned to try to prevent her achieving the 100,000 signatures she needed to force the debate. Just as you will remember Nigel Farage and Ukip did absolutely nothing in Britain to try to stop the new EU Constitution which was signed into EU law as The Lisbon Treaty which Gordon Brown authorised – despite the efforts of the Conservative Party to prevent it!

Many believe that out of spite Nigel Farage colluded with John Ison & Mark Croucher, aided by the corrupt West Midlands Police & CPS, to plant evidence in an effort to frame Nikki Sinclair via the Courts – fortunately the set-up was badly organised and despite Police sitting in Court with the CPS watching the proceedings and influenced by John Ison admitting to his criminal activities in open Court so blatantly that the Judge cautioned him officially Ms. Sinclaire was totally exhonourated of all the lies and allegations brought against her by the Police and approved by the CPS.

Neither the CPS nor West Midland Police had the common courtesy to admit their errors and it would seem they had prepared a case for when she was found guilty aimed at totally bankrupting her!

No damages were forthcoming for the huge stress they had put her under for a number of years with their lies, nor were damages given for her loss of income and loss of her future prospects politically as a result of their dishonesty.

It is also of note that despite having admitten to falsifying evidence and other criminal behaviour in open Court and implicating Nigel Farage the police failed to prosecute either of them and made the palpably false claim that they did not have evidence of the crimes!

Clearly neither the Police nor the CPS can be trusted and are thus unfit for purpose and can not be believed in providing evidence in Court!

Let us therefore remember the price Nikki Sinclaire paid, on our behalf, to ensure BreXit happened.

These are ‘the good things that will happen if no-deal Brexit happens’

Adam Smith
Tuesday 29 Jan 2019 3:36 pm

No-deal Brexit is usually described with words like ‘chaos’, ‘crashing out’ and ‘shortages’ but there are a lot of people who believe it will be great for Britain.

So what are the benefits of a hard-Brexit?
Well number one on anyone’s list has to be £39 billion which is the amount of cash the UK has agreed to pay the EU in the Withdrawal Deal.

to delay 01

A leave supporter takes part in a demonstration near the Parliament in London, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019.

With Britain’s House of Commons bitterly divided on the way forward for Britain’s departure from the European Union, lawmakers representing various factions are vying to have their say in the Brexit process after they overwhelmingly rejected the government’s divorce agreement two weeks ago.

LEAVE CAMPAIGNERS 01.jpg

(AP Photo/Matt Dunham) For some Brexiteers no-deal is what they voted for (Picture: AP)

Instead of sending the cash to Brussels the UK Government could pay around a third of the annual NHS England budget, or even buy thousands of busses plastered with snappy promises. Or with all that unexpected cash sloshing around in the UK’s current account, all 62 million of us in the country could be given a one off cash payment of £628.

If there is no backstop, customs union or other type of deal then as from March 30 the UK can make its own rules up for the first time since 1970.

This is what no-deal fans believe is the most exiting part of leaving the EU. TOPSHOT – Protesters hold up placards and Union flags as they attend a pro-Brexit demonstration promoted by UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party) in central London on December 9, 2018, as the crucial vote on the Brexit deal in the House of Commons looms. – Prime Minister Theresa May appears likely to lose a historic vote on the Brexit deal she has struck with EU leaders in a crucial parliament vote on Tuesday.

Defeat in the House of Commons is almost certain to lead to either a no-confidence vote from the opposition or a leadership challenge from within her own Conservative Party.

Former UKIP and independent MEP Nikki Sinclaire, whose petition helped force a parliamentary debate about a referendum, told Metro.co.uk: ‘No deal will return parliamentary sovereignty immediately and thus allow the UK to enter into negotiations with the EU on an equal basis and we would be more likely to get a better deal. ‘First and foremost it will allow us to trade with the rest of the world unhindered.

We will be free to enter into free trade agreements with whom we like.’ She added: ‘The UK would reclaim its seat at the World Trade Organisation and would be able to play its full part. We would once again be an independent member of the G7 without oversight of the EU.

sinclaire, nikki 02

Former UKIP MEP Nikki Sinclaire leaves Birmingham Crown Court after a pre-trial review of her case where she is accused of money laundering in relation to travel expenses and misconduct in a public office.

Former MEP Nikki Sinclaire believes Brexit will be brilliant for Britain (Picture: PA) ‘Our aid to third world countries could be more targeted. The UK is the second largest donor of foreign aid in the world.

However, the best aid would be able to buy these countries goods therefore able to help these countries trade themselves out of poverty.

‘And another great thing about a no-deal Brexit is that we will never have to see or hear Nigel Farage again!’

Animals lovers are excited about a no-deal Brexit and have already called for the UK to ban the ‘cruel transport of live cattle’ which under EU laws is allowed.

cow 01 transport 01

A cow looks out from a transport truck after being sold at the livestock market by auctioneers Greenslade Taylor Hunt at Sedgemoor market in Bridgewater, U.K., on Saturday, July 27, 2013.

Farm income in the U.K., the European Union’s third-biggest wheat grower, fell 14 percent in 2012 as wet weather reduced harvests and costs climbed, the government said.

Live cattle across borders could be stopped immediately after a no-deal Brexit

The RSPCA’s David Bowles said: ‘The European parliament’s environment, petitions, agriculture and transport committees repeated that member states do not properly comply with or enforce the necessary animal welfare protections and that it is difficult to meet the welfare needs of animals during long-distance transport. ‘These calls for reduced journey times, better animal welfare provisions and much stricter enforcement by member states were also voted through by the Environment Committee.

‘However, the EU Commission has always ignored these calls so we need the governments in the UK to take advantage of Brexit and bring an immediate end to these journeys and this suffering.’ epa07226100

davis, david mp 05

Former Brexit Secretary, David Davis speaks on a mobile telephone as he passes the British Houses of Parliament in central London, Britain, 12 December 2018. British Prime Minister Theresa May will face a challenge to her leadership on 12 December 2018 after 48 letters calling for a contest were delivered to the Chariman of the 1922 Committee. May will find out her future after Conservative Members of Parliament vote between 18:00 GMT and 20:00 GMT later in the evening.

Arch Brexiteer David Davis believes the pound will drop after a no-deal Brexit and ‘that would not be a bad thing’.

He said: ‘The first thing that will happen is it will go about five, ten points down further from the 15 it already is. ‘So, we’ll end up 20 or 25 below what it was before the referendum. That’s not a bad thing. The pound’s always been too high from the point of view of industry because of the effect of the City. ‘Our competitive position with vis-a-vis Europe would be dramatically better even if there are tariffs.’

Chairman of Wetherspoons pub chain, Tim Martin is seen during an interview in London on June 14, 2016. At popular British pub chain Wetherspoon, the EU referendum debate is hard to avoid — it’s in the magazine given out to customers, on the company website and even on special anti-EU beer mats.

Tim Martin is hoping for a no-deal Brexit (Picture: AFP)

martin, tim 01

Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin also believes a no-deal Brexit will help the UK.

He said: ‘We can eliminate tariffs on thousands of products, many of which aren’t made in the UK, like rice, bananas, oranges, New Zealand wine – 12,000 products, and that will make people in the country better off.’

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

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Posted in EU, EUkip, GL-W, GLW, Greg Lance - Watkins, Greg_L-W., John Ison, John ISON Thefts, Nigel FARAGE, Nikki SINCLAIRE, Police Corruption, UKIP, West Midlands Police | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

FORMAT. 01

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 26/01/2019

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FORMAT TO COPY …
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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,

UKIP has sold its soul to the far-Right: How leader Gerard Batten, who is married to a Filipina immigrant, has made Tommy Robinson a key lieutenant, calls Islam a ‘death cult’ and has ultra hard line on migration

  • Gerard Batten has been married to Filipina wife, Frances Lina, 60, for 30 years 
  • Proud of his Anglo-Saxon bloodline, he’s outspoken in views against immigration
  • He abhors the Koran, though he has admitted to never having studied it closely 
  • All this would be of little consequence if Mr Batten was not the leader of UKIP

Gerard Batten is an enigma wrapped in a bright purple blazer and banana yellow tie. 

He left school with few, if any, academic qualifications (he won’t confirm) and believes the EU was planned by the Nazis.

But he is also — or claims to be on his CV — a member of Mensa, the ‘high IQ Society’.

Intensely proud of his pure Anglo-Saxon bloodline, he’s outspoken in his views against immigration. Yet 30 years ago he married — and is still married to — a Filipina woman whose family can’t understand the paradox.

Gerard Batten with wife Frances. Yet 30 years ago he married — and is still married to — a Filipina woman whose family can’t understand the paradox

 

Gerard Batten with wife Frances. Yet 30 years ago he married — and is still married to — a Filipina woman whose family can’t understand the paradox

He abhors the Koran, though he has admitted to never having studied it closely. And while he is close to Russians who describe themselves as political dissidents against the Moscow government, he is a regular contributor to Vladimir Putin’s English language propaganda arm, Russia Today.

He has also become increasingly irritated with the Mail’s research into the most basic facts of his personal history, tweeting that we have asked a bunch of ‘ludicrous’ questions about him. 

All this would be of little consequence if Mr Batten, 64, was not the leader of a political party which has changed the UK’s political landscape, and probably its future: UKIP. 

His predecessor, Henry Bolton, had been its sixth leader in just 12 months — having to step down after his 25-year-old glamour model mistress posted racist tweets about Meghan Markle, and offensive comments about the Grenfell Tower disaster families.

His predecessor, Henry Bolton, had been its sixth leader in just 12 months — having to step down after his 25-year-old glamour model mistress posted racist tweets about Meghan Markle

 

His predecessor, Henry Bolton, had been its sixth leader in just 12 months — having to step down after his 25-year-old glamour model mistress posted racist tweets about Meghan Markle

The manner of Mr Bolton’s demise seemed to confirm what was already apparent: that the party which won more UK seats in the 2014 European Parliament elections than either the Conservatives or Labour had become an irrelevant joke. 

Enter the stern, midnight-haired Mr Batten; an MEP and one of UKIP’s original founders.

Aside from the flamboyant wardrobe he wore to annoy other MEPs in the Strasbourg chamber, there is nothing remotely comic about the course he has set since taking the helm last April.

For he is exploiting the chaos currently engulfing British politics.

While Putin, who has supported populist groups across the EU, looks on with satisfaction at the chaos engulfing British politics and the fracturing of Europe, the far-Right here believes it can exploit, if not fill, a vacuum. 

UKIP was founded by Mr Batten and others to bring about Britain’s exit from the EU. 

Its core support lay in Middle England and white working-class areas which opposed the EU’s open borders that allowed mass immigration.

Now Mr Batten has a new and more radical vision for the UKIP of 2019 and beyond. He says it has already attracted thousands of new young members. 

But it has also frightened off many of the old guard, because the Batten vision involves a key role for a man who’s become poster boy for the far-Right and racists across the world.

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, better known as Tommy Robinson, is a convicted fraudster and hooligan, as well as being founder and former leader of that boot boy collective the English Defence League (EDL).

But recent events have made him a global social media star; a ‘free speech martyr’. 

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, better known as Tommy Robinson, is a convicted fraudster and hooligan, as well as being founder and former leader of that boot boy collective the English Defence League (EDL)

 

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, better known as Tommy Robinson, is a convicted fraudster and hooligan, as well as being founder and former leader of that boot boy collective the English Defence League (EDL)

This week he was in the headlines once again as the 16- year-old Syrian refugee who was ‘water-boarded’ in a filmed racist attack in Huddersfield says he will sue Facebook ‘for not stopping Robinson posting accusations he violently attacked three English girls’.

Mr Batten has been courting Robinson for almost a decade. Now he is in a position to put their ‘bromance’ to work.

Under UKIP rules — although they may change — no former member of the EDL or the overtly-racist British National Party (BNP) is allowed to join. But last year, Mr Batten took Robinson on as his adviser.

Some in UKIP fear Robinson is being groomed to succeed his boss, who has said he’ll stand down sometime this year. UKIP will then become a ‘new British National Party’.

Mr Batten has pooh-poohed this, but told the BBC: ‘I’m taking [UKIP] in a new direction, which is that I want to make it a mass movement.’

Mr Batten has been courting Robinson for almost a decade. Now he is in a position to put their ‘bromance’ to work

 

Mr Batten has been courting Robinson for almost a decade. Now he is in a position to put their ‘bromance’ to work

Both he and Robinson are Islamophobes.

Mr Batten has described Islam as a ‘death cult’. His ‘interim’ UKIP manifesto calls for Muslim-only prisons and an abolition of hate crime laws. 

In 2006, he suggested that all 3.7 million Muslims in the UK should sign a code of good conduct.

Tory MP Robert Halfon said this was ‘literally akin to the Nazis saying Jews should wear a yellow star’.

On his Facebook page on Christmas Eve, Robinson posted the word ‘UKIP’ and the promise: ‘A revolution is coming.’

If so, it has humble origins.

Mr Batten was born and raised on the Isle of Dogs in East London.

The old white, working-class population of the dockland peninsular had long felt they were neglected by government and under threat by Bengali incomers.

In 1993, the BNP — founded by former members of the neo-Nazi National Front — secured its electoral breakthrough there.

Mr Batten had left by then. After a brief period working as a bookbinder with his brother Harold — who is said to design the UKIP stationery — he was a salesman for British Telecom until elected as an MEP for London in 2004. 

When Nigel Farage became UKIP leader in 2006, he concentrated on European issues, while Mr Batten focused on what he perceived as the Islamic threat.

Colleagues say he hated attending the chambers in Strasbourg and Brussels. And he disliked and envied Farage, who was public school-educated and charismatic. Batten was neither.

When Nigel Farage became UKIP leader in 2006, he concentrated on European issues, while Mr Batten focused on what he perceived as the Islamic threat

 

When Nigel Farage became UKIP leader in 2006, he concentrated on European issues, while Mr Batten focused on what he perceived as the Islamic threat

What he didn’t mind was sharing a platform with racist loons. In 2011 he addressed the far-Right Traditional Britain Group, whose vice president Gregory Lauder-Frost was last year reportedly recorded calling broadcaster Vanessa Feltz, a ‘fat Jewish s**g’ who ‘lived with a negro’.

Lauder-Frost also spoke in derogatory terms about Doreen Lawrence, mother of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence, and advocated the deportation of non-white Britons to their ‘natural homelands’.

At the European Parliament Batten has hosted the far-Right internet troll Carl Benjamin, who once described opponents as ‘acting like a bunch of n******s’. In another tweet, Benjamin told a female Labour MP: ‘I wouldn’t even rape you.’ He attended Mr Batten’s first UKIP conference as leader, and spoke.

Another speaker at the conference was Mark Meechan, aka Count Dankula, who is best-known for being prosecuted over a video — described in court as ‘anti-Semitic’ — showing his pet dog performing Nazi salutes to commands such as ‘Sieg Heil’.

But the most contentious Batten recruit to UKIP is Tommy Robinson, whom he made his adviser on prison reform and sex abuse gangs in November.

This prompted the resignation from the party of three MEPs, Nigel Farage and an unknown number of other members.

One of the MEPs, William Dartmouth, said he left because Mr Batten had introduced ‘outlandish people and extreme Right-wing groups’. 

Robinson was jailed for 13 months for contempt of court in relation to filming people in a grooming case

 

Robinson was jailed for 13 months for contempt of court in relation to filming people in a grooming case

He add: ‘Mr Batten is setting Robinson up to be the leader. Resigning members have been replaced by people who support Mr Robinson and his ilk. [Batten’s] conduct is an utter disgrace.’

Robinson was jailed for 13 months for contempt of court in relation to filming people in a grooming case. 

The sentence was quashed and the case referred to the Attorney General. The case attracted worldwide attention, and Robinson received the support of American TV star Roseanne Barr among others.

Mr Batten spoke at a number of events held to support Robinson, who has one million followers on Facebook. But the UKIP leader’s ‘fixation’ with Robinson can be traced back almost a decade.

The eureka moment apparently came in February 2011, when the then relatively unknown Robinson was interviewed on BBC2’s Newsnight by Jeremy Paxman. ‘Gerard [Batten] watched the interview and was ecstatic,’ recalls an ex-colleague. ‘He said: “What a brilliant young guy. How do we get in touch?”’

Last spring, after leaving court Robinson and Mr Batten were treated to a three-course lunch at the House of Lords by former Ukip leader Lord Pearson of Rannoch, who told the Mail this week that Mr Batten was ‘a great guy’. 

Lord Pearson added: ‘One of his most extraordinary characteristics is that he believes he lacks charisma.’ The peer said Robinson had ‘great energy’.

While Mr Batten’s relationship with Robinson is unambiguous, there are question marks over his links to other dubious interest groups.

Take Putin’s Russia, for instance. Mr Batten has criticised Russia and accused it of hacking his website.

He has also employed as his researcher, a Russian called Pavel Stroilov who arrived in the UK in 2006 seeking political asylum. Mr Stroilov refused to talk to the Mail last week.

Mr Batten has known a number of other Russian exiles in the UK, including Alexander Litvinenko who was murdered by suspected Russian agents in 2006.

Intriguing links are being examined on the other side of the Atlantic.

Investigators in the U.S. are looking at the alleged relationship between Donald Trump’s election campaign and Moscow.

Investigators in the U.S. are looking at the alleged relationship between Donald Trump’s election campaign and Moscow

 

Investigators in the U.S. are looking at the alleged relationship between Donald Trump’s election campaign and Moscow

An area they are interested in is Nigel Farage’s dealings with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who’s taken sanctuary in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, after jumping bail in a case where he was accused of sex attacks in Sweden. 

Emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign, leaked by WikiLeaks, are thought to have been originally hacked by Russian agents in 2006.

Mr Farage, who denies any impropriety, was seen visiting the Ecuadorian embassy when Assange was inside. But it was Mr Batten — not Mr Farage — who originally forged the link between UKIP and Assange.

In 2011, Mr Batten and Pavel Stroilov attended one of Assange’s extradition hearings and held a small ‘free speech’ demo outside. Documents show that in February 2011, Mr Batten met Assange’s lawyer to explore ways in which he could help the hacker.

Mr Batten then spoke up for Assange at the European Parliament and attended Assange’s 40th birthday party. 

He also suggested in a blog post that if Assange failed to block his extradition he should seek asylum. He wrote: ‘I would be delighted to advise Mr Assange on how to go about it.’

And that’s exactly what Assange did the following summer, at great cost to the British taxpayer, who has had to pay for six years of policing of his embassy refuge.

Also unclear is Mr Batten’s relationship with James Goddard, the far-Right activist arrested for allegedly harassing MP Anna Soubry outside Parliament earlier this month. 

Mr Batten has denied knowing James Goddard and said it was ‘malicious’ to suggest there was a connection. But there are pictures of the two together.

Mr Batten has denied knowing James Goddard and said it was ‘malicious’ to suggest there was a connection. But there are pictures of the two together

 

Mr Batten has denied knowing James Goddard and said it was ‘malicious’ to suggest there was a connection. But there are pictures of the two together

All this is a puzzle to Mr Batten’s in-laws in the Far East.

He married his wife, Frances Lina, now 60, after she came to the UK from the Philippines in search of a better life. They have two sons.

Speaking to the Mail in the family’s hometown of Bambang, Ike Cayaban, Mr Batten’s brother-in-law said: ‘I’m quite surprised about why is he so against immigration, because there could come a time when he could ban people like Filipinos. But there are so many Filipino nurses there who are helping British nurses.’ 

The retired librarian added: ‘It is the prerogative of the British government to think of the welfare of their citizens. But to a certain extent they should also help people. No man is an island. And I think that is also true of a country.’

Mr Cayaban, 68, said the politician had only visited the Philippines once since marrying his sister in 1988. He said that during the visit, around two decades ago, Mr Batten did not discuss his political opinions or views with family members.

Frances Lina, who now works in the courts service, moved to the UK after completing a medical technologies course in Manila.

She was studying for a business course at the time of her marriage to Mr Batten. Her eldest sibling Florencia, 75, had earlier moved to the UK after training as a teacher in the Philippines. She still lives in London, where she is retired after working as a carer and shop-owner.

The siblings’ younger brother Benjamin also moved to the UK with his Filipina wife to work as a painter and decorator, before returning home several years later.

Mr Cayaban said: ‘They wanted to find work there because it was greener pastures and we belonged to a poor family. It was a challenge for them and we had no other choice.’

He said the siblings, whose parents worked as farmers, belonged to ‘the lower echelon of the [Philippines] society’.

His puzzlement was echoed by Alan Sked, UKIP’s first leader, who has said of Mr Batten’s negative views on immigrants taking British jobs: ‘I felt like saying: “Your wife has been working [here] since she came to Britain.” ’

Such a contradiction does not concern Gerard Batten as he busily rallies the far-Right to his flag. For now, the purple-clad enigma marches on. 

Additional reporting: Mario Ledwith in Bambang, Philippines

To view the original article CLICK HERE

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Gerard Batten Is Experiencing The Exposure & Ridicule He Has So Consistently Earned …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 18/01/2019

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Gerard Batten Is Experiencing The Exposure & Ridicule He Has So Consistently Earned …
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The corruption of EUkip’s leadership,
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is what gives the remaining 10% a bad name!

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

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Hi,

Ukip Leader Facing Press Ridicule

Although the party is languishing in the polls, and its leader’s obsession with the far-right is bringing it little more than ridicule, the rump of saloon bar propper-uppers otherwise known as UKIP is about to hit the news stands in a way which is already causing that leader considerable discomfort. Because it’s all about him.
I em not a racialist but, und zis is a big but …


The inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker – whether the paper concerned is the Daily Mail or Mail on Sunday is not yet clear – clearly do not have enough on their collective plates with Brexit. So they have decided to delve into the wacky world of Adolf von Batten, and what they have found there has been deemed newsworthy enough for it to be given significant prominence in a weekend edition of one of the two titles.

Exactly what the Mail titles may have in mind was outlined by John O’Connell of Far Right Watch, who told his followers “The Daily Mail or Mail on Sunday, or both, have a take-down prepared on #Ukip’s @GerrardBatten for this weekend. We hear there’s lots of new stuff, including criminality. Expect #Ukip head implosions and tantrums galore”. Criminality? Some may be surprised. They should not be.
It has been put to me on more than one occasion that Batten’s links to bent coppers are long-standing and potentially damaging to at least one Police force. It has also been put to me that he has been able to use these links to damage his rivals and keep the heat off himself. What Batten may not know is that the press also does links to bent coppers, and has done for decades. Why d’you think phone hacking nearly got covered up?
The Met knew it had enough evidence to sink the Murdoch empire. It pretended it didn’t. The Murdoch mafiosi was well in with the Met. They were not the only ones in the press pack to be so favoured. Anyone who thinks their Police contacts trump those of the press establishment is not dealing from a full deck.
So how has Batten reacted to the impending defenestration by the Rothermere goons? Simples. The idiot has admitted it’s on its way. “Not content with sending a ‘journalist’ thousands of miles to harass my wife’s family in the Philippines last week the Daily Mail has sent our Party Chairman a bunch of ludicrous questions about me. They plan more hatchet jobs. Not once have they ever asked me about Brexit”.
Ask yourselves why the Mail should dispatch someone to the Philippines. Clue: it’s not for the purposes of bringing the readers a heartwarming story of love across the national, and indeed racial, divide. Gerard Batten is about to be exposed and ridiculed big time, and there is nothing he can do about it. Except rant about the hated MSM.
If there is nothing in the Mail’s exposé, then he has nothing to worry about, and the story will die a death. If there is, UKIP will become even more of a laughing stock. And if he gets defamed in the process, well, tough titty Adolf. You and your pals don’t fret when you’re all doling that out to anyone else. What’s sauce for the goose, and all that.
Gerard Batten is about to follow Paul Nuttall into becoming the comedy leader of a comedy political party. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving bigot.

To view the original article CLICK HERE

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ABC of Ukip! Agnew, Batten & Collins Quit Farage’s EFDD Group & JoinThe National Front & Le-Pen! …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 15/01/2019

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ABC of Ukip! Agnew, Batten & Collins Quit Farage’s EFDD Group & JoinThe National Front & Le-Pen! …
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Hi,

UKIP leader Gerard Batten and two other UKIP MEPs (Stuart Agnew and Jane Collins) have joined Marine Le Pen’s ENF group in the European Parliament. Batten had resigned from Farage’s more moderate EFDD group in December to sit as an independent. The far right ENF group was founded in 2014 following discussions between Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders, and consists of a number of quasi-fascist parties across Europe.

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The Dogdays of Ukip As It Slides Into Racism, Extremism & Chavvery Continuing To Damage BreXit As Ever! …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 08/01/2019

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The Dogdays of Ukip As It Slides Into Racism, Extremism & Chavvery Continuing To Damage BreXit As Ever! …
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Hi,

Ukip leader dubbed ‘the mad old grandad’ is accused by former members of overseeing a ‘revolution’ to shift the party towards the far-Right

  • Gerard Batten has been accused of dramatically steering Ukip to the far-right 
  • His acceptance to take the job last year prompted a wave of resignations
  • Former leader Nigel Farage handed in his resignation due to Batten’s ‘flirtation with extremists’  
Gerard Batten (left) and Tommy Robinson (right) at a rally

 

Gerard Batten (left) and Tommy Robinson (right) at a rally

For years, he was thought of by his Ukip colleagues as a ‘mad old grandad’ single-minded in his dislike of two things – the EU and Islam.

Former ‘harmless’ MEP Gerard Batten, 64, has now been accused of dramatically steering Ukip to the far-Right since taking over as leader.

His sudden ascent to the top job last year prompted a wave of resignations – including that of the party’s former leader, Nigel Farage – due to his flirtation with extremists.

Mr Batten’s recent decision to appoint former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson as an adviser led campaigners to warn that the far-Right has been given a stage in mainstream British politics.

Former senior Ukip figures yesterday accused Mr Batten of deliberately staging a ‘revolution’ to shift the party’s focus from Brexit to a stance criticising Islam and multiculturalism.

An ex-MEP, who recently quit the party, said: ‘Many of Gerard’s beliefs would have been very well settled in the BNP.’

Ukip leader Gerard Batten (left)  and his wife, Franceslina (right)

 

Ukip leader Gerard Batten (left)  and his wife, Franceslina (right)

Mr Batten has previously courted controversy by describing Islam as a ‘death cult’ and calling for British Muslims to sign a charter of understanding in which they denounce violence.

His dramatic effect on the Ukip since taking over as leader in February 2018 came after years spent languishing on its fringes when colleagues said he became ‘obsessed’ with Islam.

Mr Batten first developed an interest in politics as a child, watching current affairs programmes about the Cold War at home in London’s Isle of Dogs.

As the son of a shipping clerk, he has described his childhood as typically working class. He landed his first job as a bookbinder at the age of 18 before becoming a BT salesman. While working for the telecoms giant Mr Batten met his wife Frances Lina, now 60, who had moved to the UK as an immigrant from the Philippines.

The couple, who married in 1988 while she was studying business, have two sons and live in a £630,000 terraced house in East London.

Mr Batten’s role as a trade union official at BT helped fuel a growing political interest. He later fondly recalled ‘violent arguments between me and the lefties’. In 1991 he joined the Anti-Federalist League, formed to campaign against the Maastricht Treaty.

Tommy Robinson (left) attempts to join Ukip via his mobile phone in front of UK Independence Party Leader Gerard Batten (right) at a rally after taking part in a "Brexit Betrayal" march organised by Ukip in central London in December 2018

 

Tommy Robinson (left) attempts to join Ukip via his mobile phone in front of UK Independence Party Leader Gerard Batten (right) at a rally after taking part in a “Brexit Betrayal” march organised by Ukip in central London in December 2018

Alongside Mr Farage and party founder Alan Sked, Batten helped to transform the body into Ukip two years later. Mr Sked, now professor emeritus at the London School of Economics, said: ‘When I set up Ukip he was a perfectly decent, moderate family man.’

But the academic, who left the party in 1997, said he was shocked years later to receive campaign literature from him. ‘It was Gerard Batten saying we should stop immigration and foreigners taking our jobs,’ said Mr Sked. ‘I felt like saying, “Your wife has been working [here] since she came to Britain”.’ Mr Sked raised alarm bells about Ukip’s current focus on Islam, adding: ‘He will take the party into a cul-de-sac and kill it.’

After Mr Batten became an MEP in 2004 party officials began to become alarmed about his views on Islam and he was almost deselected in 2014. Jonathan Arnott, a leading Ukip MEP who quit the party in January last year, said: ‘He sees everything as black and white – that either Muslims are good or they are bad. And he has decided they are bad.’

Mr Batten’s most controversial move has been his vocal support for Robinson. Mr Batten has claimed he could help transform Ukip into a ‘mass movement’.

Party officials have credited his decision to attract new supporters with boosting membership numbers from 18,000 last year to just under 27,000 now.

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DespiteRelatively Low Life Associates We Are All But Shown Where Simone Mangiante Papadopoulos Keeps Her Social Climbing Ladder …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 12/12/2018

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DespiteRelatively Low Life Associates We Are All But Shown Where Simone Mangiante Papadopoulos Keeps Her Social Climbing Ladder …
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Hi,

The different lives of Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos

Lawyer, litigant, actress, artist, and model – the wife of the notorious Trump aide is full of intrigue

12 December 2018

 

Forget the Kardashians, or the Osbourne family, Cockburn predicts the next big name in TV will be the Papadopouloses, George and Simona. He’s the former Trump campaign aide who just got out of jail after admitting to lying to the FBI. She’s the sultry Italian blonde who’s now set her heart on a career in acting. Together, they are on a raging publicity drive.

A mini-documentary series following their lives as they settle down to conjugal life in Los Angeles is already being made. It’s not meant to be a reality show, but Simona clearly doesn’t mind the idea of fame. ‘Let’s start with Keeping Up with the Papadopouloses,’ she laughs to Cockburn. ‘The rest, we’ll see.’

Simona says she is looking forward to pursuing a Hollywood career now that she and her man are ‘at the end, I hope, of a dark period’. She’d already landed a part as Brigitte Bardot in an unfinished film called Affairs on Capri, directed by a British man called Paul Wiffen.

Wiffen, it turns out, is the former Chairman of UKIP London, a contributor to Russia Today, a fierce opponent of George Soros, and somebody who once attended a party with Anna Chapman, the former Russian intelligence agent turned media personality. That background will do nothing to quell rumors that somehow Simone Mangiante Papadopoulos is part of a sinister Kremlin plot

Wiffen laughs off the accusation. ‘It is a coincidence that appears to have more significance than it actually does,’ he says. ‘I’m sure people will say Putin is paying him. All I can say is that I wish I did have other sources of income to support my films.’ Wiffen said Affairs on Capri was ‘ultra low-budget’ and that he was using his income as a musician to pay for it. Indeed, he said, without Simona’s help, he may not have been able to make so much progress with filming the movie in Italy. Simona persuaded family and friends to put up members of the cast for filming. As for the idea that Simona is herself a Russian agent, Wiffen scoffs:  ‘It is completely ridiculous the thought that she is a Russian spy: I’ve met half her family.’

Alas, Simona’s relationship with George and the Mueller investigation got in the way of Simona’s debut. She had some passport difficulties, and now she’s now waiting for her green card, and can’t leave the US until she gets one. The one scene she did shoot, see above, was in fact filmed in San Diego by another director. ‘It’s now got to the stage where I’ve had to look for other people who look like Brigitte Bardot,’ says Wiffen, with regret.

Simona, for her part, seems to believe her BB role is complete. She’s got another part in a film, something to do with Colombia, which she didn’t want to discuss. She’s does modelling, too, for Leo Mazzotti on Venice Beach:

Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos, shot on Venice Beach by Leo Mazzotti

There’s more to Simona than meets the eye, that much is certain. She’s a woman of various talents. She also paints, and was kind enough to share her art with Cockburn:

La Femme, by Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos

Artwork by Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos

She’s led different lives, too. She trained as a lawyer, and worked for the European Parliament. She reveals that she is currently suing the Parliament because, after her contract was terminated, her job was awarded to another unqualified woman who happened to be related to a senior EU official. ‘It was an unbelievable piece of nepotism,’ she says. ‘You cannot have this in a public institution.’

It was after leaving her European Parliament role that Simona started to work for Joseph Mifsud and the London Centre of International Law Practice. Papadopoulos did work there, too, and first approached her, she claims, on LinkedIn. ‘He was flirting,’ she says. Their meeting was not engineered by Mifsud, she insists. But even if her love life flourished in London, Simona claims she became ‘very frustrated’ working for Mifsud and soon handed her notice.

Simona speaks five languages, which, she says, is perhaps why her accent doesn’t sound very Italian. It’s not, she insists, because she is in fact a Russian spook. ‘I think people might muddle it up with The Godfather. I think people have a stereotype of Italian, which is completely different to what I am. Looks-wise and accent-wise, they can’t profile me as Italian. But I find it funny, this Russian theory.’

She grew up in Caserta, near Naples, but her voice is not from there, either. ‘Even when I speak Italian, I don’t have a very Neapolitan accent. But…I studied abroad. I studied in Milan.’

She says she is ‘a child of the European Union’ and wants the EU to move towards a United States of Europe.

Yet she also supports Brexit, and the policies of European populists such as Matteo Salvini and Marine Le Pen, and opposes the ‘defamation of our Christian roots’. ‘We are allowing too many people coming from Muslim countries — there is nothing wrong with being Muslim … [But] I think it is important to impose rules. … I’m in America. I’m an immigrant. But I respect the rules of this country…in this respect, I very much agree with the politics of Salvini and Marine Le Pen, and the European right. It’s not racist what I am talking about. It’s preservation.’’

To a cynical or paranoid ear, her politics might sound a little, well, Russia Today. Cockburn suggests that some people might accuse her of rehashing the Kremlin line on the EU. ‘That’s fabrication,’ she says. ‘I think someone, somewhere is paid to spread stuff about me. I think there are journalists who are working hard to undermine my credibility.’ She’s contemplated another legal action, against one journalist but she says she won’t name him. ‘Do I really want to waste my time? I can show a dozen times my Italian passport, they will still say I am Russian. So you know what? I don’t care.’

Speaking of that, she has been accused of misleading people about her age, modifying an image of her passport to make herself 34 when she is 37. ‘This is another stupidity,’ she snaps. ‘I was making jokes on the internet. I changed on the picture saying I was born in Moscow in 2005. I never lied. It was a provocation. Who cares if I am three years younger or older? If I wanted people to think I was younger I would have taken off three years, trust me.’

Cockburn is too much of a gent to press the point. For now, we’ll let Simona settle down to life with George under the glare of the cameras. The two have, according to Wiffen, a ‘tempestous’ relationship. The director says he spent a week with them on Ischia, and ‘they spent quite a lot of the week shouting at each other. They both have that Mediterranean temperament.’ Wiffen adds that ‘while she is very bright, George is not the sharpest tool. I am not sure he quite realized what he got caught up in.’

Cockburn hopes that shared drama has brought Mr and Mrs Papadopoulos closer. With such a colourful and camera-bold star character, there must be a few seasons in their reality series, surely?

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

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

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

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

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

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

No one calls me back.

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

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

Quick Guide

The rightwing world of Nigel Farage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“George Soros, is it?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And then he’s gone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But then neither do I.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To view the original article CLICK HERE

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Greg_L-W.

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Use of Facebook Data by Cambridge Analytica Broke British Law…

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

 

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Use of Facebook Data by Cambridge Analytica Broke British Law…
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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

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The corruption of EUkip’s leadership,
their anti UKIP claque in POWER & the NEC

is what gives the remaining 10% a bad name!

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Hi,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To view the original article CLICK HERE

Regards,

Greg_L-W.

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Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
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