Humanosity says…Following on from the revelations about how Brexit is being funded by people scared of the 2020 EU Tax Avoidance Directive and the dark money that has been funding Brexit, this article takes an in-depth look at the Brexit story and in particular three driving factors.
The story starts with Boris Johnson’s time as the Brussel’s correspondent for the Telegraph Newspaper from 1989 to 1994. Although he’d already been sacked from Times Newspaper for lying, Johnson managed to create a stream of fake news stories which served to distract the Telegraph’s readers from the problems of the then Tory government.
It wasn’t long before papers like the Sun, The Express even the Times had followed suit. The one thing all these papers had in common was that were all owned by Oligarchs. According to the article, these papers were the driving force of Brexit.
The main institution which drove Britain out of the EU was the right-wing press. For decades, papers owned by oligarchs like Rupert Murdoch, Richard Desmond, and the Barclay brothers protected politicians that their journalists ought to have been holding to account, shifting the blame for their failures onto a convenient, fictionalised version of the European Union.
The second main driving force behind Brexit was the harnessing of anti-immigration sentiments. Again the newspapers already mentioned played a leading role in this. However, unlike previous decades they didn’t simply focus on people of colour. The dispersal of many Eastern Europeans into areas that had seen very little immigration pushed immigration up the political agenda. As the article states:
Alongside Euromythology grew another kind of mythology, driven by the shared interests of the tabloids and the state: migrant-bashing. Though the seed had been sown long before 2008, the financial crisis brought with it a desperate need to find someone to blame who didn’t have the social power to answer back. And so, in 2010, the newly-elected Conservative government, in concert with the same right-wing press, brought the full weight of the state down onto people of colour and communities of migrants, describing their own policy agenda as having the goal of creating a ‘hostile environment’ for people who had come from other countries.
The third driving force was the network of dark money that flowed into the UK when the referendum was announced. Much of it ended up in the hands of companies like Cambridge Analytica who claimed to be masters of psychologically tuned campaigning.
Follow the money which funded much of the controversial online campaigning in the Brexit referendum, as we have, and you find that it soon disappears offshore, into the UK’s network of tax havens and secrecy areas. There has been much speculation about whether the money was Russian or American or Saudi or British. But in a sense, this is missing the point. We know the cash came through the loopholes in Britain’s broken constitution. We know it came from abroad. That’s enough to tell us something important.
These then are the three threats to transparency that we face in the UK now as identified by the excellent reporting at Open Democracy. Although the likes of Cambridge Analytica have departed the playing field, the techniques they employed are now available to a wider range of actors. The dark money is set to be fully exposed and the original fake newsman is now PM.