A brief history of the Rises and Falls of the Labour Party From 1945 and a close look at the Some of the Chancers that contributed to it: Part one

 

 

 

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The Labour Party 1945 -1997

Some voters may be unaware of the internal rivalry driving the politics of the Labour Party and make their judgements on the conduct of party officials and activists conducting its business acting on information provided by the media and press.

These platforms, in just about all cases concentrate on providing a biased presentation and comment on current and projected topics creating confusion in the minds of the public who rightly expect to be provided with honest unbiased information by news and current affairs presenters and journalists.

The purpose of this article is to attempt to right some of the wrongs of a hopelessly biased media and press, providing an honest briefing so that readers will be able to better decide the destination of their vote in any future election or referendum.

My knowledge of political history from 1944 has been acquired from living through it and 50 years of public service.

 

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Attlee

 

 

1945

The Labour Party won the 1945 general election and with Clement Attlee at the helm set about the difficult task of rebuilding a country decimated by WW2. 5 years of financial austerity, food rationing, and hard labour working for a pittance.  Improvements although slow, were achieved.

In October 1950, Hugh Gaitskell was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer. Government policies were then influenced by two factors. The Korean War which drained finance away from an already struggling economy and the further development of the Welfare State under the auspices of Aneurin Bevan.

Something had to give and in his first budget Gaitskell introduced charges for certain prescriptions on Bevan’s beloved National Health Service. Bevan resigned as did his junior minister, Harold Wilson.

 

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Bevan

 

 

1951

The party became impossible to control effectively and in the 1951 general election it was booted out of office.

The Tory Party took up the reins of power and retaining all of Gaitskell’s financial policies brought economic stability to the country.

In opposition, the Gaitskellites and Bevanites continued to do battle, culminating in Gaitskell defeating Bevan in a bid for the position of Treasurer of the Labour Party, ( one step removed from the position of Party Leader).

 

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Gaitskell

 

 

1955

The Tory’s won the 1955 general election and Attlee resigned.

The subsequent leadership election between Gaitskell, Bevan and Herbert Morrison was not well conducted, being memorable for the first political description of candidates as left and right wing.

Gaitskell won, with nearly sixty percent of the vote. But the ill feeling between the two groups did not subside.

The thorny subject of Britain’s participation in NATO and the adoption of a foreign policy, opposing the USSR Union, supporting the United States and nuclear weapons development, came to the fore.

The Gaitskellites supported the policies but the Bevanites were opposed to it.

 

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Gaitskell

 

 

1959

In 1959 Labour was expected to win the election due to the unpopularity of the Tory Party after the Suez debacle. But the Tory’s confounded the pundits when they won the election with a much enhanced majority.

The Labour manifesto, drafted by the Bevanites, was the problem since it included a contradictory policy statement committing a future Labour government to much increased welfare spending, without tax increases.

A furious Gaitskell blamed the Bevanites for the defeat and decided to change the party’s charter’s removing Clause IV, which committed the Party to nationalization of public services.

The Bevanites defeated his attempt and the divisions continued. Bevan died in 1959 and the leaderless Bevanites first transferred their allegiance to Harold Wilson then to Anthony Greenwood, both of whom unsuccessfully challenged Gaitskell for the leadership of the party.

Gaitskell died in 1963 and in the leadership election that followed the lefty Wilson beat right wingers George Brown and James Callaghan who unwisely split the Gaitsellite vote.

 

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Wilson

 

 

1964

In the 1964 election, on a promise to implement Gaitskellite policies, the Labour Party, led by Harold Wilson, was returned to government,

There was worldwide political turmoil in the period, dominated by the Vietnam War, promoted by the US as the defence of western civilization against the expansionist communist forces of the USSR.

Wilson refused to commit British forces to the support of the US in Vietnam, introducing the spectre of the political isolation of Britain by the US, in retaliation.

Wilson relented a bit, through the provision to US soldiers (before their deployment to the war zone) of British army led Jungle warfare training, and naval facilities in Singapore and Hong Kong.

An added never ending difficulty at the time, was the constant expansion of Israel, resulting in a massive displacement of Palestinians into Jordan, Syria and Palestine and the protestations of ever more militant oil producing countries, fed-up with the constant influx of refugees causing disruption in their societies culminating in the 6 day War in the middle East, resulting in the Israel capture of the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, from Egypt, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) from Jordan and the Golan Heights, from Syria.

The Labour government responded with the usual fudge, abandoning any responsibility for the unrest forcing the USSR, the US and the UN to negotiate peace between the warring former British colony’s.

 

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Heath

 

 

1970

The Edward Heath led Tory Party won the 1970 election on a promise to take Britain into the safety of the European Common Market (EEC) leaving the hurly burly, world trade market which was in turmoil.

He achieved this in 1973 when Britain joined many other European countries in the trading pact (subject to confirmation) but the deal was mothballed after the Tory government was brought down following a long struggle with the National Union of Mine-workers (NUM) and the imposition of a 3 day working week and electricity cut-offs, introduced as part of a package of emergency measures needed to neutralize the effects of a slump in oil production and massive price increases by middle East oil producing countries in retaliation against the “West” who supported Israel against their less fortunate Arab neighbours.

 

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Scargill

 

 

 

1974 (2 general elections)

The new Labour government was, as usual, hopelessly divided over joining the EEC and peace was only achieved with the promise of a renegotiation of the terms of membership and a binding referendum.

The politics of the 1975 referendum campaign was heavily influenced by the fall of Saigon and defeat of American power in the far east.

Also on the minds of the British public was the scandal over Watergate, the impeachment of President Nixon and the growth of the American Civil Rights movement which was dividing US society.

Wilson’s message to the country was that American world leadership had gone and Europe would need to rely on its own resources against the Soviet Union.

Heath supported Wilson, claiming that a vote to leave the European Community would weaken Europe and leave Britain vulnerable to attack from the USSR.

Added political difficulties under consideration by the public included inflation, which was running at near to 25 per cent.

A balance of payments crisis, which was placing great strain on the pound.

In industry and public services, labour relations were falling apart.

In the period 1970 to 1974, over 70 million working days had been lost in strikes and increasing para-military activity in Northern Ireland was depressing.  The Nation was in despair.

The campaign for withdrawal was dominated by the Labour left, under the charismatic leadership of the secretary of state for industry, Tony Benn.

Newspapers and the televised media campaigned to keep Britain in Europe. Britain voted to join Europe and duly did so in 1975.

Wilson stepped down in 1976 and was replaced by the Gaitskellite, James (Sunny Jim) Callaghan.

Under his leadership the party struggled badly and the economic woes of the country worsened, culminating in a series of damaging strikes, during which bereaving families could not bury their dead, refuse was piled 20 feet high in the streets and firemen responded to calls for assistance, only where life and limb was at great risk.

Soldiers were deployed throughout the country, working 14 hour days, equipped with useless Green Goddess fire trucks and heavy duty gloves, to provide protection from rat bites, incurred when tasked to clear piles of rubbish from the streets of towns and cities throughout the country.

 

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Callaghan

 

 

1979

Returning from a visit to the US, where he had been pleading for more financial assistance, Sunny Jim was asked by a reporter what he intended to do about the current crisis. He  answered: “crisis what crisis”.

The demise of Sunny Jim and his incompetent Labour government in 1979 ushered in a Tory government led by Margaret Thatcher.

In opposition, led by Michael Foot, the Bevanite followers gained power and the Labour Party lurched to the left supporting unilateral nuclear disarmament and withdrawal from Europe.

At constituency party level party membership witnessed a growing number of Trotskyist factions whose views and behaviour were at odds with the Parliamentary Labour Party and Labour voters. Foot’s hard line left-wing political beliefs were not fully supported within the party and he was an unpopular leader.

This led to the break-up of the party when, in 1981, four senior Gaitskellite’s: Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Bill Rogers and Shirley Williams ended their party membership and formed the Social Democratic Party.

In the 1983 and 1987 General Elections, the SDP did not fair well and formed a political and electoral alliance with the Liberal Party finally then merging with it in 1988, creating the present day, Liberal and Democratic Party.

 

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Foot

 

1983

In the 1983 general election, the Labour Party, led by Foot, achieved its lowest share of the popular vote since the 1918 general election and the fewest number of parliamentary seats at any time since before 1945.

Foot resigned soon after the election, and was succeeded as leader by yet another Bevanite, Neil Kinnock.

Surprisingly, under his leadership party politics was moved nearer to the centre ground and he battled hard against the pervading presence of Militant Tendency Trotskyist’s who damaged the reputation of the party with their disgraceful behaviour in office, in constituencies throughout the country.

 

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Sir Alistair Darling  – Edinburgh Militant Councillor

 

 

1992

As leader, Kinnock bungled and lost the 1992 general election, when many opinion polls had the party well ahead.

He resigned soon after and was replaced as leader by the Gaitskellite John Smith who carried on the process of restructuring the party, abolishing the trade union block vote, replacing it with “one member, one vote” but implementing a cautious approach to reforms avoiding controversy so as to be sure of a Labour Party win over a very unpopular Tory government at the next general election.

Smith died suddenly in 1994 and was succeeded as party leader by the ultra modernizing partnership of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown who rebranded the party with the inspiring title, “New Labour”.

They retained Smith’s economics and defence policies and ended the party’s Clause IV commitment to nationalization.

Blair, formally a member of CND, abandoned his opposition to the retention of the Trident nuclear missile defence and actively supported the establishment of much closer links aligning Britain’s foreign policy with that of the US.

 

1997

Labour won the 1997 general election by a landslide.

 

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Tory troublemaker Adam Tomkins claims he stokes the fires of soccer sectarianism in Scotland in the interests of fairness Only those who button up the back believe him

 

 

 

 

Enlightened Tory politician Adam Tomkins speaks out against bigotry – Sectarian chant is a stupid relic of the past

Rangers Fan and Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins despairs at the anti-Catholic bigotry of some of his fellow supporters.

When I moved from England to Glasgow in 2003 there was little that surprised me about my new home, despite the fact that I’d not lived in Scotland before.

Even the rain and the shortness of the winter day were familiar. My sister had lived for a while near Killin, and we’d had several family holidays in Scotland whilst we were growing up.

But one weekend morning my wife and I were awakened from our lazy lie-in by a sound I’d never heard in my three and a half decades living south of the border.

From our city-centre flat we could hear the drums and pipes of an Orange Walk, en route from Blythswood Square, down St Vincent Street, and on into George Square.

I gawped dumbfounded from our bedroom window. I’d seen this on the television news—but only ever from Northern Ireland.

In my Sassenach naivety I had no idea that this occurrence took place in west central Scotland too.

In England I’d become obsessed by football. I had an Arsenal season ticket and had travelled all over Europe watching Dennis Bergkamp, Ian Wright and Thierry Henry.

In Glasgow, by contrast, I had no dog in the Old Firm fight. At least, not until my eldest son caught the football bug in his first year of primary school.

His new mates were Rangers fans, and he wanted a piece of the Ibrox action for himself. So off we trooped.

After years away it felt wonderful to be back in a proper football crowd again. The camaraderie. The insane anger at the referee. The frustration at a pass misplaced or a chance gone begging. The burst of joyous relief at a goal scored. And, of course, the singing.

Arsenal’s old ground, Highbury, had never been one of England’s noisiest stadiums, but my seats were near the away support and there was always plenty of banter.

At Ibrox, some of the songs were familiar but there were also a whole lot more that were not.

I cannot imagine what it is like to support a football team that does not have a bitter rival across town. The Arsenal v Tottenham North London rivalry dates back to the First World War. There were riots in the 1920s and one match between the sides was so vicious that subsequent fixtures had to be played behind closed doors.

There is a sectarian element to the North London rivalry. Tottenham is a club with a proud history of support from the local Jewish community, and ‘yid’ is a word which certain Spurs fans use to describe themselves and, in the hands of an angry Arsenal fan, an ugly racist insult.

One of my many frustrations with the Glasgow derby is that so many commentators in Scotland assume that the Rangers v Celtic rivalry is unique.

You need only listen to what Liverpool and Manchester City fans sing about Manchester United to know that it is not. Some of the songs are brutal, callous, and have as little connection with football as snowmen do with the desert.

But even if the Glasgow derby is not unique, in British terms at least it is distinct. Nowhere else in Britain does competition between football clubs collide with politics in the way Celtic v Rangers does in Glasgow.

There are other European examples (think of Castilian Real Madrid v Catalonia’s Barcelona, or of Ajax Amsterdam’s association with Dutch Jewry and resistance to the Nazis, for example).

Historically, as everyone—even a naive Sassenach!—knows, Celtic and Rangers fans often divided along sectarian lines.

And, again historically, this divide was reflected in matters far more serious than allegiance to one football club or another, with entrenched discrimination in the workplace taking decades to dissipate and leaving wounds which even now are not fully healed.

In the 21st century the Glasgow derby is important not because it represents a division that continues to tarnish west-central Scottish society generally, but because its worst elements stand out, as an artifact (or relic) of an age which, for the most part, we have moved on from.

Thus, when Rangers fans are caught on tape (as some were two weeks ago) drunkenly chanting about how much they hate Roman Catholics, my reaction is not despair at the grinding injustice of modern, discriminatory Scotland, but shock that even now there are people who find this bigotry acceptable.

Their singing is an embarrassing monument to the cruel stupidity of the past, not a sign of the times.

What worries me more, looking forward, is whether the new divide of Scottish politics is somehow being mapped onto (or hijacked by) the Glasgow football divide.

Not all Rangers fans voted No to independence, and not all Celtic fans voted Yes.

But you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise, especially if you spend too much time on Twitter.

There is more than enough for Rangers and Celtic fans to argue and to brag about on the pitch.

They really do not need political divisions, whether old or new, to add to their sound and fury. (sconews).

 

 

 

But the views expressed by Tomkins in the foregoing article were exposed as vote seeking tosh in a recent tweet, posted by himself

The unelected MSP for Glasgow (his claim), castigated the leader of GCC for denying Rangers FC the use of local community sports grounds adjacent to Ibrox stadium as a “fanzone” on match days.

But was his involvement activated by a genuine feeling of injustice or yet another blatant attempt, to add political coals to the fires of sectarianism?

His post certainly generated a deal of anger. Comments:

* You’re a politician and you don’t know the difference between the City Council and the Community Council?

* My issue here is an MSP jumping in clearly unaware it was an Ibrox & Cessnock Community Council decision and not Glasgow CC.

* Shockingly irresponsible remarks, wondering if u should be reported to the standards office at Scottish Parliament.

* How exactly are you serving the people of Glasgow?

* Adam, no-one demonstrates what “not a good look” actually looks like quite as well as you, with this irresponsible, deliberately inflammatory tweet.

* Adam, even for you this is f#ckwittery of the highest order. If your leader had an ounce of sense she would carpet you for stoking sectarianism.

* Jesus, you are playing the bigoted card…..the West of Scotland is a shithole because of bigotry, don’t add to it.

* You are a self serving twat of a man and, on reflection, you always have been. Who voted for you?

* Tory MSP goes fishing and catches loads of mugs. I’ll vote for you Adam” Waaahahahah, you suckers, you don’t actually think he gives a damn do you?

* You exude excrement. The land is not for Rangers to use. It was transferred to the control of the Ibrox Community Council who objected the proposal.

* The SNP have been in office for only a couple of years. The unionist parties controlled the GCC for over 50 years. An audit of their decisions in that period would throw up many truly controversial decision favouring each of the two major football clubs.

* Straight to the sectarian card Adam? You’ve sunk to your own personal low now.

* Adam, Nothing shrieks anti-partisan like linking your politics to your football colours.

* Did you read the part about “local objections” Adam? Maybe it had something to do with recent football violence (murder) in the area. The local people should have a voice Adam. But then again, why would you concentrate on the facts, it’s just like you and your party to produce a “political squirrel” and wave it about frantically in the hope or getting a favourable response. Hopeless, stick to Croquet Adam, maybe Theresa will notice you.

 

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Rangers Fanzone Manchester May 2008

 

 

1 Sep 2018: I was particularly taken by the comments of “Clapper57” on the Wings Over Scotland blog and repeat them here:

Adam Tomkins, list MSP , whose party’s reason (not really) for not wanting another Indy Ref is apparently because of the DIVISION it creates.

Yet somehow Adam is not averse to generating a little bit of DIVISION himself by publicly nailing his (blue) colours firmly onto the WATP mast .

Adam does this while fully aware of the contentious rivalry and DIVISION that exists between his team and another well known Glasgow team…..a DIVISION that far exceeds mere sporting rivalry.

However the political benefits to be had via votes are worthy of his public display of loyalty to the Queens 11 and the resulting potential DIVISION that is surely guaranteed to ensue in those other fans from their main opposition team.

Yes tis obvious Adam is promoting the message that his party is THE natural political home for the Billy boys and his support is not from any natural exuberance from a fan’s perspective but tis a more devious and obvious enticement to those Billy boys easily influenced and willing to align with Adam’s party in return for his alignment to them .

However there is a something quite toxic and very worrying about a political figure who repeatedly publicly champions a specific football team to so obviously capitalize on ensuring future political support from a section of Scottish society ( but whose fan base is not exclusively within Scotland) renowned for their aggressive and unrelenting bigotry.

This is also very dangerous territory as it encourages and gives credence to unacceptable behaviour being condoned and supported instead of condemned and alienated .

It is not Adam Tomkins, list MSP, place to voice his opinion in this instance as he can hardly be called an impartial observer indeed his bias towards Rangers should invalidate his intervention and thus it should be disregarded and considered unwarranted .

His position, in this matter, may be one of NO SURRENDER and of blatant opportunism against what he sees as his main political rivals i.e. the SNP but that in itself is why he has no right to force his argument when it is obvious that it is he who is being partisan in this instance.

Why Adam feels this compulsion to perpetually promote his allegiance to the bigoted Billy boys when everyone knows that the very people he targets in order to win votes have no intention of ever supporting either Independence or the SNP as their British credentials are well known or rather shown in their many public displays in their waving and displaying of the union jack .

One can only surmise that he is not content at being simply a mere supporter of The Rangers but that he tactically recognizes his endorsement guarantees the Billy boys will , in return, support him and his party…which pretty much makes a strong case for supporting both the SNP and independence……….. as the alternative , in the form of supporting and voting for the Tories, surely ensures that we remain hindered in our quest to see the fruition of a more tolerant , vibrant and inclusive society in an independent Scotland.

I think more Scots should challenge why a Tory list MSP is intervening in such a forceful manner in a matter outwith his remit as an (unelected) member of the Scottish parliament and he should explain why he is abusing his position as a list MSP to benefit a football team that he supports while simultaneously attacking the SNP led Glasgow council.

Now that is the real issue here and one that the media should , if we had a proper media, question his involvement in .

A worrying trend indeed and one that in respect to Tory political candidates and elected members is becoming all too common .

It is also very much worth noting not ALL Rangers fans are drawn to the dark side in either their behaviour, , opinions, attitude or choice of political party.

 

Rangers Fanzone Manchester May 2008

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Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party under attack from the Zionist Lobby – If Jeremy loses the UK is lost – Hold steady lad!!

 

 

 

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British Democracy under threat of destruction

Investigative journalism by the, al-Jazeera media network revealed how the promotion of Israel operates, including how critics are targeted and criticized as well as what is done to destroy their careers and reputations.

The network used an undercover reporter to infiltrate U.K. pro-Israel groups that were working closely with the Israeli Embassy to counter criticisms coming from British citizens regarding the treatment of the Palestinians.

The Embassy was also countering the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), which was becoming increasingly effective in Europe.

The late 2016 four-part documentary consists mostly of secretly filmed meetings and discussions and reveals that Jewish groups, particularly at universities and within the UK political parties, work closely with the Israeli Embassy promoting policies of the Israeli government.

It also confirmed that tagging someone as an anti-Semite has become the principal offensive weapon used to stifle any discussion, an effective tactic, since the UK actively prosecutes the criminalization of “hate speech.”

Israeli Embassy political officer Shai Masot, a “Ministry of Strategic Affairs” official working under cover, was filmed discussing British politicians who might be “taken down” before speaking with a government official who plotted a “a little scandal” to bring about the downfall of Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan Duncan.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is the first head of a political party in Britain to express pro-Palestinian views, called for an investigation of Masot after the recording of the “take down” demand relating to Duncan was revealed.

Several Jewish groups (the Jewish Labour Movement, the Union of Jewish Students and We Believe in Israel) counter-attacked with a complaint that the documentary had violated British broadcast regulations, including the specific charge that the undercover investigation was anti-Semitic in nature.

An allegation based on a fallacy since the Ashkenazi Jews who make up 95% of the world’s Jewry are not SEMITES but one of the purest of any European groups.

After intensive and extensive investigations, in the course of which it had to turn over all its raw footage and communications to the investigators, undergoing what one source described as an “editorial colonoscopy,” to prove that its documentary was “factually accurate” and that it had not “unfairly edited” or “with bias” prepared its story. Ofcom ruled in favour of al-Jazeera, stating that its investigation had done nothing improper.

Jewish Labour Movement director Ella Rose, one of plaintiffs, who had called for critics of Israel to “die in a hole” and had personally offered to “take down”, the Labour Party Momentum leader, responded bitterly. She said that the Ofcom judgment would serve as a “precedent for the infringement of privacy of any Jewish person involved in public life.”

 

 

 

 

https://youtu.be/pddH2sfNKNY

Episode Four: In part four, the senior political officer at the Israeli embassy in London discusses a potential plot to “take down” British politicians – including a minster.

 

 

Comment:

Blair’s “New Labour” was really the code for a deal between the Labour Party, dictated to the Israeli lobby and the three amigo’s, Blair, Brown and Mandelson and their hangers on.

This is witnessed by a range of disastrous policies forced upon the UK electorate by New Labour, against its wishes. Namely, the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and blind support of the warmongering regime of the US lead by George Bush and the sale of arms and other military technology to Saudi Arabia.

What was particularly galling was the award to Blair, of the Israel “Peace” prize of a million dollars after the carnage coupled with his appointment to the leadership of the “Mideast Quartet”, where he contributed nothing but emerged from the debacle a very rich man.

The “New Labour” legacy to the nation was a 15-year long global slaughter of the innocents, and the exodus of many millions of refugees, destabilising Europe.

The evidence produced by al-Jazeera confirmed the UK political environment to be routinely subjected to Zionist intimidation and control.

This is evident in the abuse of the nation by the Murdoch media, with Zionist outlets, such as, The Times, journalist, Melanie Phillips, persistently calling for Iran to be bombed. The Guardian under Jonathon Freedland, can also be best described as a Zionist mouthpiece, as is the Telegraph.

Confirming the control of the lobby, the BBC was run (2004-2012) by the controversial, fanatical Zionist, Mark Thompson, who had private meetings with Netanyahu where he promised that there would not be any criticism of Israel on the BBC.

(http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/12767497.To_my_mind_and__it_appears__to_millions_of_others__the_BBC_is_increasingly_biased_towards_Israel_in_this_conflict/)

 

Many M.P.s actively support the recently, (imported from the US) all powerful lobbying organization, the “American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, the UK AIPAC, who know that they have many M.P.s of all parties in their pocket so that they can do whatever they like and get away with it.

The Tory Party leader and prime minister, Theresa May, addressing the Lobby recently, said how proud she was that the Tory Party had been responsible for the Balfour Declaration 100 years ago, which over time has resulted in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and so much misery for the Palestinian people.

It is UK AIPAC that recently mounted the on-going anti Semitic smear campaign against Corbyn and his supporters in the Labour Party in an attempt to unseat him.

The same group was responsible for Ken Livingstone, (who had been critical of Israel when it slaughtered thousands of Palestinians in Gaza) being thrown out of the Labour Party.

Other Labour Party MP’s and supporters and MP’s have been “exposed” for voicing anti Semitic views and forced to issue grovelling apologies by Zionist led kangaroo courts within the Party.

Democracy in the UK is falling apart under the onslaught.

 

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BBC Scotland and the Staff Political Vetting Scandal and they said there was no anti – Scot bias – Dream On

 

 

 

 

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seen her so happy but she is with  one who meets her mind

 

 

August 2018: BBC Scotland – counter subversion vetting of staff

Unionist politicians of the Labour Tory and Lib/Dem party’s cast scorn on anyone raising the spectre of state control of the BBC in Scotland but finally the evidence is in the public domain.

It is a tale of secret agents and surveillance that could have come straight out the BBC Scotland’s classic spy drama “Whisky Galore”. But the difference is that genuine spies are involved and they are operating behind the scenes at BBC Scotland.

Confidential papers, obtained and released by the whistle-blower “Jock Tamson” reveal that BBC Scotland allowed MI5 to investigate the backgrounds and political affiliations of around 400 of its employees, including newsreaders, reporters, continuity announcers, television producers, directors, sound engineers, secretaries and researchers.

The files, shed light on the BBC Scotland’s hitherto secret links with the Security Service and show that it is responsible for vetting 450 different BBC Scotland posts.

They also confirm that the corporation in Scotland holds a list of “subversive organizations” and that evidence of certain kinds of political activity are a bar to appointment or promotion.

BBC Scotland’s reliance on MI5 reached a peak between 2010 and 2018 just when the “Outlander” series, was denied to the Scottish viewing public, at the time of the 2014 “Independence Referendum” by arrangement with the Tory government and the Sony corporation.

The papers show that senior BBC Scotland figures covered up these links in the face of awkward questions from trade unions and the press. The documents refer to a “defensive strategy” based on “categorical denial”. One file note, dated 1 March 2013, states: “Keep head down and stonewall all questions.”

BBC Scotland, has always refused to be drawn on the extent of its collaboration with the secret services. It is only now, after the information was gathered and distributed by “Jock Tamson” that it has finally been willing to release details of the vetting operation.

Another internal BBC Scotland document, dated 2011, confirmed: “We supply personal details to the Security Service. If there is any adverse information known, we receive this information also, where necessary, an assessment based upon the involvement of the individual. This is presented to us as advice; line management then make the decision as to action.”

The documents do not name any of the individuals subjected to vetting, but it is accepted that many of BBC Scotland’s best known news presenters and other high profile figures are included.

Many employees, including senior officials, and their support staff have been checked because of their access to confidential government information in relation to their jobs as have those involved in live broadcasts since BBC Scotland is worried about the possibility of on-air favoritism of the SNP or other bias damaging to the Westminster state.

The details of freelance television and radio staff are also routinely passed on to the security services and even the posts of editor and deputy editor of Radio Scotland are subject to background checks by MI5.

In many cases, the spouses of applicants are also subject to scrutiny. Positively vetted (PV) staff have the “union Jack” are tattooed inside their bottom lip for identification purposes, resulting in some news readers and presenters delivering their speil from the side of their mouth. A dead giveaway.    BBC Scotland declined to-comment.

 

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The foregoing was “fake news” or was it ???? The article reprinted in full was published in the Telegraph

 

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2 July 2006: Revealed: how the BBC used MI5 to vet thousands of staff

It is a tale of secret agents and surveillance that could have come straight out the BBC’s classic spy drama Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

But the difference is that genuine spies were involved and they were operating behind the scenes at Broadcasting House rather than on the small screen.

Confidential papers, obtained by The Sunday Telegraph, have revealed that the BBC allowed MI5 to investigate the backgrounds and political affiliations of -thousands of its employees, including newsreaders, reporters and continuity announcers.

The files, which shed light on the BBC’s hitherto secret links with the Security Service, show that at one stage it was responsible for vetting 6,300 different BBC posts – almost a third of the total workforce.

They also confirm that the corporation held a list of “subversive organizations” and that evidence of certain kinds of political activity could be a bar to appointment or promotion.

The BBC’s reliance on MI5 reached a peak in the late 1970s and early 1980s at exactly the same time as millions of viewers were tuning into the fictional adventures of George Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and -Smiley’s People.

David Dimbleby, John Humphrys and Anna Ford all began their careers with the broadcaster when the system was still in place.

The papers show that senior BBC figures covered up these links in the face of awkward questions from trade unions and the press. The documents refer to a “defensive strategy” based on “categorical denial”. One file note, dated March 1 1985, states: “Keep head down and stonewall all questions.”

The BBC, however, has always refused to be drawn on the extent of its collaboration with the secret services.

It is only now, after a request by this newspaper under the Freedom of Information Act, that it has finally been willing to release details of the vetting operation.

Another internal BBC document, dated 1983, confirms: “We supply personal details to the Security Service. If there is any adverse information known, we receive this information and also, where necessary, an assessment based upon the involvement of the individual. This is presented to us as advice; line management then make the decision as to action.”

The documents do not name any of the individuals subjected to vetting, but it is possible that some of the BBC’s biggest names were scrutinized.

Different posts were vetted for different reasons. Senior officials, including the director-general, and their support staff were checked because they had access to confidential government information in relation to their jobs. But thousands of employees were vetted because they were involved in live broadcasts and the BBC was worried about the possibility of on-air bias or disruption.

In 1983, 5,728 BBC jobs were subjected to this second kind of scrutiny known as “counter-subversion vetting”.

The vetting system, which was phased out in the late 1980s, also applied to dozens of other employees, including television producers, directors, sound engineers, secretaries and researchers.

The details of freelance television and radio staff were also routinely passed on to the security services and even the posts of editor and deputy editor of Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour were subject to background checks by MI5. In many cases, the spouses of applicants were also subjected to scrutiny.

The BBC tried on several occasions to be more open about the system, but was blocked by the Security Service. A memo, dated March 7 1985, states: “Secrecy of the complete vetting operation is imposed upon us by the Security Service – it is not of our making.”

For their part, the security services were increasingly concerned about the number of people being referred to them by the BBC. During the first four months of 1983, they were asked to investigate 619 different individuals.

In the early 1980s, the BBC had a list of “major subversive organizations”, which included the Communist Party, the Socialist Workers’ Party, the Workers’ Revolutionary Party, Militant Tendency, the National Front and the British National Party.

In contrast, CND, which was very popular at the time, was not regarded as a “subversive organization”. Youthful attachments to extreme causes did not necessarily mean an automatic ban on employment.

The papers show that, in 1968, Sir Hugh Greene, the BBC’s then director-general, and John Arkell, the head of administration, successfully evaded questions on the issue during an interview with a journalist.

A memo from Mr Arkell, dated March 1 1968, to another senior colleague states: “You might like to get a bit of credit for the BBC next time you talk to MI5 by telling them that I stuck resolutely to the brief which you prepared for me in spite of very pointed and penetrating questions. “I still denied that we had any vetting procedures.” The BBC declined to -comment.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1522875/Revealed-how-the-BBC-used-MI5-to-vet-thousands-of-staff.html

 

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Purnell the Labour Party plant with his hands firmly on the levers of power at the bbc – Cost the licence payer nearly £800k in year one of his employment.

 

 

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2007: Labour Party – Fake News – James Purnell

Culture Secretary, and local MP, Purnell, turned up late for an event at a Manchester hospital, and missed the official photo opportunity, only to appear in group press photographs of the ceremony.

He denied any knowledge of a decision to fake the photographs showing him in a group shot with fellow MPs.  But correspondence issued later revealed that the hospital had sent official messages in advance advising details of a plan, if he was too be late, to “mock up” the group pictures by “dropping” him into them.

It is a humiliation for Mr Purnell, who, in a speech to the Royal Television Society, said: “In both politics and television you devalue the only currency you have if you forfeit the trust of the public.”

Ardent Blairite Purnell, is a graduate of Balliol College, Oxford, and first worked for Tony Blair as a student cutting his teeth as a media policy specialist at New Labour’s favourite think-tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research.

He went on to become the BBC’s head of corporate planning and a Downing Street adviser.

Described by one parliamentary source as “a side-burned schmoozer” with a “constant smirk”, he is regarded as the ultimate net-worker and is one of a handful of senior politicians to use the networking website Facebook, where he has 117 “friends” including a host of political journalists. (telegraph)

 

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Other Purnell political career highlights

2008: crisis loans: Purnell proposed charging 26.8% interest on interest free crisis loans to the unemployed and pensioners.

2009: Expenses scandal: Purnell told the parliamentary authorities that his main home was in Manchester and claimed the “second home” allowance for his flat in London. Yet, in October 2004, he sold his London flat but told HM Revenue and Customs it was his “principal home”, not his “second home”. A spokesman said that

“Any allegation that James avoided capital gains tax is completely untrue. When he bought his constituency home, the sale of his London flat fell through, but it was sold within the period that HMRC continue to treat it as not being liable for CGT … This would have been true for any taxpayer – there was no special treatment”.

In 2004, Purnell claimed £395 for an accountant’s bill which included “tax advice provided in October 2004 regarding sale of flat”

Whilst renting a flat between 2004 and 2006, Purnell claimed £100 a month for cleaning expenses and £586 for repairs.

At the end of the lease, the landlord kept a £2,520 deposit, claiming the flat to have been in a poor state. A spokesman for Purnell stated:

“James felt frustrated that the landlord refused to return the deposit. He initially pursued the matter through legal channels but let it rest as the costs of fighting it further would far outweigh recouping the deposit”.

An allegation was made that Purnell claimed more than £1,500 a month rent for the flat although he was responsible for paying half of the £1,820 a month rent and his fiancée was paying the rest. A spokesman for Purnell said:

“Despite being entitled to claim in full for the whole rental cost incurred by him and his partner, James claimed less than the amount he himself spent. The rules of the House of Commons make it clear that an MP is entitled to be reimbursed for the rent or mortgage paid by the MP and their partner. Nevertheless, James went out of his way to ensure overall he claimed less for accommodation than he himself paid”.

Purnell also claimed £247 for 3,000 fridge magnets.

 

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Purnell-life after politics

2010: Purnell announced he would be standing down as an MP, saying:

“I have decided that I no longer wish to be an MP. I have spent all my working life in or about Westminster.”

After leaving parliament, he became the chair of the Labour Party, Institute for Public Policy Research.

 

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2013: The BBC ignored political advice and appointed former lifelong Labour politician, James Purnell as its new head of strategy, on a £295k salary.

The director of strategy post was created by Lord Hall, the new director-general who hand-picked Mr Purnell for the new role wishing to avoid a long and costly recruitment process.

A ministerial aide said of the decision: “It is beyond a joke. It all looks far too cosy.

It gives the impression that there is a swing door policy between Labour and the BBC”. Adding that the appointment had “lit the touch paper” on a range of grievances against the BBC.

 

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2013: £100m of licence payers money was written off against the badly bungled “Digital Media Initiative”.

The BBC’s Chief Technology Officer, John Linwood was sacked. He claimed his dismissal was unfair and the matter was referred to an employment tribunal which upheld Linwood’s complaint citing a email from Purnell which read:

“We need a clear line on Linwood on whether he is resigning or being fired and why”.

The tribunal’s response to this was:

“It was notable that there was no third option in Purnell’s mind, such as a different disciplinary outcome.”

The tribunal found the BBC’s processes to have given an “apparently cavalier disregard for any of the accepted norms of a fair disciplinary process”, and that there was a:

“deeply ingrained cultural expectation within the organization of sacrificial accountability”.

Linwood was awarded £80,000 in damages, and it was later revealed that the BBC had spent £498,000 defending the claim.

Comment: In his first year of employment Purnell cost the licence payers nearly £800k.

The jokes on the compulsory licence fee subscribers.

 

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a-bunch-of-spivs-crooks-and-wide-boys-the-tory-party-basks-in-the-glory-of-its-widespread-abuse-of-the-electorate-part-two

 

 

 

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2013: Christopher Wylie opens a can of worms

Canadian Wylie, claimed to be a central figure in the setting up of the Canadian digital company, AggregateIQ, (AIQ) which played a pivotal role in the official 2016, Vote Leave campaign, led by Michael Gove and Boris Johnson.

Wylie explained:

“When I became research director for SCL (the parent company of Cambridge Analytica) we needed to rapidly expand our technical capacity and I reached out to a lot of people I had worked with in the past.

That included Jeff Silvester, my former boss, who lived in my home town, Victoria, in British Columbia.

I told him SCL was mostly involved in psychological warfare work for Nato, including many projects involving a socio-political element. I then suggested he should come and work for SCL, in London. But he had just had a family and didn’t fancy living in the UK”.

Silvester, in return, offered that SCL would benefit from support through a Canadian company.

AIQ was formed soon after, by Wylie, in partnership with his friend and business associate, Zack Massingham.

Silvester later stated that Wylie had never been involved with AIQ on the level he claimed, but admitted that he helped AIQ secure its first big contract saying:  “We did some work with SCL and had a contract with them in 2014 for custom software development”.  We last worked with SCL in 2016 and have not worked with them since.”

Although technically separate between 2013-2016 AIQ operated with no clients other than (SCL), in effect the company functioned as an internal department of SCL.

An intellectual property license linking AIQ and SCL was signed soon after with the intellectual property (IP), being retained by SCL.

AIQ, with 20 staff, operating 2,300 miles away on the other side of the Atlantic, in a cramped office, above an opticians in the provincial Canadian city of Victoria, managed  “Ripon” the SCL technology platform, developing the software, connecting then disseminating the all powerful algorithms to social, online advertising networks and SCL databases.

 

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Brexit and the manipulation of the UK electorate

In 2016, Mercer is reported to have offered Leave.EU, the free use of the facilities of Cambridge Analytica US.

But they were not the official “Leave” group. Another team, Vote Leave, led by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove had been selected to lead the referendum campaign  by the Electoral Commission.

The result was that Leave.EU needed and gained financial backing from Cambridge Analytical US which it used to influence UK voters through SCL in London.

The official Vote Leave team contracted AIQ in Canada and spent around 40 percent of its £7m campaign budget with the company.

But problems arose after Vote Leave gathered more finance than the £7m it could legally spend requiring fast thinking and speedy action in the last week of the campaign.

UK election laws coveniently permitted Vote Leave to gift its remaining funds to other campaigns but any coordinating campaigning  between them was expressly forbidden.

The activities of Vote Leave were closely monitored and noteworthy events recorded in anticipation of “jiggery Pokery” and the monitors were not to be disappointed.

Just a week before the referendum a hitherto unknown young fashion design student named Darren Grimes, the founder of a small, unofficial Brexit campaign, supported by university students, called BeLeave, (clumsily co-located in the same office as Vote Leave) received £625,000 from Vote Leave.

The money was subsequently transferred to AIQ, in Canada, providing evidence of collusion between Vote leave and BeLeave.

Veterans for Britain was formed to attract former military personnel who would be expected to have an affinity with the Leave EU cause.

David Banks, head of communications for the group advised he had been approached by Leave EU in the last week of the campaign, with an offer to finance a media contract with AIQ.

Having no reason to doubt the appropriateness of the offer the group accepted the financial gift of £100,000 which was subsequently transferred to AIQ.

The brexit supporting, Democratic Unionist party was allocated £758k.

Comment:

Martin Moore, Director of the centre for the study of communication, media and power, at King’s College London pointed out that elections were a newly fashionable tool for would-be authoritarian states. He said:

“Look at Erdogan in Turkey.  What Theresa May is doing is quite anti-democratic in a way. It’s about enhancing her power very deliberately. It’s not about a battle of policy between two parties”.

He also compiled a report for the London School of Economics (LSE).

His investigations required an examination of invoices submitted with the accounts of the various Leave EU campaigns. He identified a massive imbalance in the disbursement of campaign finance in favour of the little known company, AIQ, based in Canada.

The campaigns’ spend with AIQ was, in total, more than the total spend of all other campaigns combined.

He concluded that the laws underpinning the UK electoral laws were, “weak and helpless” in the face of new forms of digital campaigning, were no longer fit for purpose and needed to be urgently reviewed by Westminster.

Gavin Millar: a QC and expert in electoral law, described the situation as “highly disturbing”.

He believed the only way to find out what occurred would be to hold a public inquiry. But a government would need to call it.

A government that only recently triggered an election specifically to shore up its power base. An election designed to set the UK into permanent alignment with Trump’s America.

This is the UK in 2017. A country that looks increasingly like a “managed” democracy.

Paid for a US billionaire. Using military-style technology.

Delivered by Facebook. And enabled by the electorate.

If the referendum is allowed to stand it implies the implicit consent of the UK electorate. It is not now about Remaining or leaving the EU. It is well outside the remit of party politics.

It is about the UK’s electorate stepping blindly into a new undemocratic world governed by a select few at the top of the “New World Order”.

 

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Mar 2017: Vote Leave campaign denies collusion

Not long after, the media raised questions about the connection between SCL and AIQ.

In response SCL removed “SCL Canada” and Zack Massingham’s phone number from its website and said that AIQ was a: “former IT contractor”.

SCL’s work for Farage’s Leave.EU campaign, the Vote Leave campaign and the activities of AIQ were then subject to an investigation by the Electoral Commission.

Commenting, the Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham said: “AggregateIQ has not been especially co-operative with our investigation. We are taking further steps in that matter.”

Dominic Cummings, chief strategist for Vote Leave, explaining the methodology he used for selecting and contracting media support, claimed to have “found” AIQ “on the internet”.

But he must have had prior knowledge of the existence of AIQ since records show that the company had no internet presence at the time.

He also said: “Vote Leave data never went anywhere near SCL and repeated attempts by the media to show that Vote Leave and SCL were somehow secretly coordinating is not just without foundation but the opposite of the truth.”

Jeff Silvester, said: “AIQ never worked or even communicated in any way with SCL or any other parties related to SCL with respect to the Brexit campaign.

Any claim that we shared Vote Leave data with SCL or anyone else in any way is entirely false”. Adding: “AIQ has always been 100% Canadian owned and operated.”

 

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2017: AIQ database hacked revealing incriminating information

Records confirmed it was AIQ, that developed the “Ripon” technology for SCL who then sold it under contract,  to a number of wealthy clients for millions of pounds, and used it in support of Donald Trump in his 2016 US presidential election.

This information was of interest to UK and USA investigators who were pursuing leads seeking to establish whether multiple “Leave” campaigns had been illegally coordinated by SCL during the 2016 EU referendum.

Records also revealed that AIQ had successfully canvassed Breitbart News for work.

Briebart, a far-right website, was funded by US hedge-fund billionaire Robert Mercer, who just happened to be the principal investor in SCL.

Briebart News, armed with the SCL owned “Ripon” database, was contracted to WPA Intelligence, a US-based consultancy, founded by Republican pollster Chris Wilson, who was director of digital strategy for the subsequently aborted 2016 presidential campaigns of Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, as well as the campaign of Ukrainian steel magnate Serhiy Taruta, for the leadership of the Ukraine’s newly formed Osnova party.

Other projects under development by AIO, include a data software tool titled “The Database of Truth”. Designed to be integrated with voter files, consumer data, third party data providers, historical WPA surveys and customer data, the software is to be supplied to WPA Intelligence and to the “RNC Data Trust.” (the Republican party’s primary voter file provider).

At interview Wilson advised that his knowledge of the controversy over AIQ’s role in the UK was scant. He said: “I would never work with a firm that I felt had done something illegal or unethical. AIQ’s work for WPA followed a competitive bid process. They offered us the best options for the best price.”

AIQ is now the subject of an investigation by British Columbia’s privacy commissioner and the federal equivalent.

 

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2017: The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked

A shadowy global operation involving big data, a US billionaire and his associates aided by the disparate forces of the Leave campaign, influenced the result of the EU referendum raising the question. Is our electoral process fit for purpose?

In April 2017 a Senior intelligence analyst referring to the conduct of the various Leave groups, made a telling statement. He said: “It’s not MI6’s job to warn of internal threats”. A very strange thing to say. He may have been referring to shortcomings within the secret services or possibly the Tory government.

But only a few months before, Alex Younger, head of MI6 said: “the connectivity that is the heart of globalization can be exploited by states with hostile intent to further their aims. The risks at stake are profound and represent a fundamental threat to our sovereignty.”

 

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2018: Vote Leave whistle-blower reveals financial misdeeds

Shahmir Sanni, who worked for the official Vote Leave campaign, broke cover raising concerns that the group behind the 2016 vote in favour of Brexit, including key figures now working for Theresa May in Downing Street, may have broken the law by flouting referendum spending rules and then attempting to destroy evidence.

He claimed that a donation of £625,000 had been made by Vote Leave to an independent referendum campaign organization called Be Leave and said that the money had been transferred directly to AIQ a company with formal links to SCL, in violation of election regulations.

The donation had been sanctioned by the most senior figures in Vote Leave, including campaign director Dominic Cummings and CEO Matthew Elliott.

 

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2018: Allegations of criminal activity

Members of the official Brexit campaign during the EU referendum may have committed criminal offenses relating to overspending and collusion, according to lawyers advising whistle-blowers who worked inside the organization.

Clare Montgomery and Helen Mountfield, barristers from Matrix chambers, concluded in a formal opinion that there was a “prima facie case” that Vote Leave submitted an inaccurate spending return and colluded with Be Leave, which was aimed at students.

They were reviewing a dossier of evidence supplied by solicitors Bindmans, which contained examples of alleged collusion showing that Vote Leave and Be Leave were not separate and therefore that the leave campaign spent over the £7m legal limit set by the Electoral Commission. The dossier was passed to the Electoral Commission, which is responsible for election law.

Tamsin Allen, from Bindmans, told a press conference “that there is a strong suspicion that the campaigns were very closely linked and coordinated, in which case Vote Leave had spent huge sums unlawfully and its declaration of expenses was incorrect”.

Vote Leave formally declared it had spent £6.77m during the campaign in the summer of 2016, well below the £7m limit.

That figure, however, excluded £625,000 donated by Vote Leave to Be Leave which was spent on the same digital marketing company, AIQ, that Vote Leave used.

Vote Leave, whose leading members include Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, strongly denies any coordination with another campaign group during the referendum.

But Allen said there were grounds to suspect Dominic Cummings, Vote Leave’s campaign director, “of having conspired to break the law” because he was among those engaged in discussions with Be Leave about their organization, activity and funding.

Emails compiled by Bindmans indicated that Vote Leave assisted in the creation of Be Leave’s branding and that there was constant communication between to the two groups, who were based in the same office. They suggested that they used a single shared drive where campaign materials were shared.

Bindmans’ dossier was largely based on evidence supplied by Shahmir Sanni, a volunteer who worked at both Vote Leave and Be Leave, with supporting evidence from Christopher Wylie, a former employee of the political consultancy firm SCL who worked on the Trump election campaign and who had worked for AIQ.

A Facebook chat records Sanni discussing with the Be Leave founder, Darren Grimes, how they might set up independently in May 2016.

Sanni wrote: “We could just say that you and I will be handling the money and using our social media data to decide where best to spend our money”.

Wylie said that an employee of AIQ had told him the relationship between Vote Leave and Be Leave was “totally illegal” because “you are not allowed to coordinate between different campaigns and not declare it”.

The lawyers said there were also “grounds to investigate” Stephen Parkinson, Vote Leave’s national organizer, who now works as Theresa May’s special adviser and Cleo Watson, who was Vote Leave’s head of outreach and also now works at No 10.  Parkinson and Watson have denied any wrong doing.

Montgomery and Mountfield said in their opinion that there were “significant questions” about the role of a senior Vote Leave official who appeared to have removed references to themselves and others in discussions with Be Leave after the referendum by appearing “to change permissions on a Be Leave shared drive in March 2017.

Done at the time an Electoral Commission investigation into Vote Leave was under way” revoking permission for the official, Cummings and a third person from having access to Be Leave materials.

Separately, it emerged that AIQ has worked in the United States developing software for Cambridge Analytica US, which had been accused of benefiting from the harvesting of 50m Facebook profiles to use in political targeting.

Cummings wrote in a blog-post,  before the press conference that “a team would be submitting formal complaints to the EC and ICO Information Commissioner’s Office about the illegal conduct of the remain campaign”.

He previously argued that Stronger In also took advantage of loopholes to reduce the expenditure against its £7m limit.

The Electoral Commission previously assessed on two occasions and found in favour of Vote Leave both times. But a judicial review launched by the Good Law Project in November 2017 led to the commission opening a third investigation into the donation.

 

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British company with 25 years experience in military “psychological operations” and “election management”.

Cambridge Analytica:

A data analytics company formed in 2014. Robert Mercer owned 90%. SCL owned 10%. Carried out major digital targeting campaigns for Donald Trump campaign, Ted Cruz’s nomination campaign and multiple other US Republican campaigns – mostly funded by Mercer. Gave Nigel Farage’s Leave.EU “help” during referendum.

Robert Mercer:

US billionaire hedge fund owner who was Trump’s biggest donor. Owns Cambridge Analytica and the IP [intellectual property] of AIQ. A friend of Farage and close associate of Steve Bannon.

Steve Bannon:

Trump’s chief strategist. Vice-president of Cambridge Analytica during referendum period. A friend of Farage.

Alexander Nix:

Former Director of Cambridge Analytica and SCL Group.

Christopher Wylie:

Canadian who first brought data expertise and micro-targeting to Cambridge Analytica also recruited AIQ.

AggregateIQ:

A Data analytics company based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Worked for Mercer-funded political campaigns supporting the Trump presidential campaign.

Mercer owns AggregateIQ’s  Intellectual Property (IP). Paid £3.9m by Vote Leave to “micro-target” voters on social media during referendum campaign. Outside British jurisdiction.

Veterans for Britain:

Given £100,000 by Vote Leave. Spent it with AIQ.

BeLeave:

Youth Leave campaign set up by 23-year-old student. Given £625k by Vote Leave & £50k by another donor. Spent it with AIQ.

DUP:

Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland. Spent £332k with AIQ.

Thomas Borwick:

Vote Leave’s chief technology officer. Previously worked with SCL,  Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ.

ASI Data Science:

Data science specialists. Links with Cambridge Analytica, including staff moving between the two and holding joint events. Paid £114k by Vote Leave. Vote Leave declared £71k to the Electoral Commission.

Donald Trump:

US president. Campaign funded by Mercer and run by Bannon. Data services supplied by Cambridge Analytica and AIQ.

Nigel Farage:

Former Ukip leader. Leader of Leave.EU. Friend of Trump, Mercer and Bannon.

Arron Banks:

Bristol businessman. Co-founder of Leave.EU. Owns data company and insurance firm. Single biggest donor to Leave – £7.5m.

Boris Johnson and Michael Gove

Leading campaigners for leave EU

 

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A bunch of Spivs Crooks and Wide Boys the Tory Party Basks in the Glory of its Widespread Abuse of The Electorate Part One

 

 

 

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Introduction

I follow articles written for the Guardian and the Observer, by the Wee Welsh Terrier, Carole Cadwalladr, a fearless journalist who doggedly searches for the truth in any investigation in which she participates.

In the last 2 years, reports and articles written by herself and her associates have exposed the systematic abuse of the UK electorate by obscenely rich business moguls, politicians, ex military and secret services officers linked to Cambridge Analytica and subsidiary companies.

Their work and the editorial policies of the Guardian and Observer led to the closure of the companies. But the investigations continue since there are many questions about the activities of the companies that have yet to be asked or are unanswered.

There is so much information, in the public domain about what went on, (much of it produced by Carole) which makes the presentation of facts and suppositions difficult to understand and I have summarized the saga using the information provided by Carole.

 

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The abuse of the British electorate starts here

Psychologists from Cambridge University created a team to work on a project designed to gather data for research into the possibility of identifying personality traits from “facebook” personal data. e.g. political partisanship, sexuality, likes, dislikes and much more.

They contracted Dr Aleksandr Kogan, a scientist at the university, to harvest the Facebook data. He did so by paying individuals to take a personality quiz which also allowed not just their own Facebook profiles to be harvested, but also those of their friends – a process then allowed by the social network. His pioneering work on personality was then peer reviewed and published.

Note: This is the same chappie:  A Russian-born scientist who was working in Russia with grants from the Russian government while harvesting Facebook data for Cambridge Analytica.  Now there’s trick!!!!

 

 

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An opportunity not to be missed

Interested parties, excited by the potential political benefits of harvesting data formed a new company, Cambridge Analytica to further develop the software enabling the gathering of personal data on a large scale.

The company purchased consumer data-sets (legally) on everything from magazine subscriptions to airline travel, then attached the information to each individual’s Facebook pages and transferred the data to the voter register.

The goal of capturing of many aspects of every voter’s personal information onto a national database to provide a rudimentary weapon with potential for further development enabling the process of targeting voters at elections had been achieved.

Armed with a treasure trove of personal data enabled it to target people high in neuroticism, for example, with images of immigrants “swamping” the country.  The key was finding the emotional triggers for each individual voter.

Progress was slow until the appearance of the American media executive, political figure, strategist, former investment banker, and former executive chairman of Breitbart News, Steve Bannon whose dynamic presence provided the impetus the company needed.

He negotiated controlled trials of the new software with 44 congressional, US Senate and state-level elections in the 2014 midterm elections. Its key objectives were, “voter disengagement” and “persuasion of Democrat voters to stay at home”. A tall order for unproven software to locate tiny slivers of influence able to tip an election in favour of a selected client.

It produced patchy yet very promising results. Banner was smitten and decided he would form a Cambridge Analytica, sister company in the US which would be semi-autonomous. This brought with it the need for an umbrella organization. Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) was available and the deal was done.

Abandon thoughts of social psychology and data analytics. The entrance of the military establishment through SCL, combined psychological warfare techniques with mass data-harvesting being introduced into the British public domain, the black arts of, psychology, propaganda and technology would be used together in a  new powerful way.

Comments:

Asked for his views, David Miller, Professor of sociology at Bath University and an authority in psyops and propaganda, said:

“It is an extraordinary scandal that this should be anywhere near a democracy. It should be clear to voters where information is coming from, and if it’s not transparent or open where it’s coming from, it raises the question of whether we are actually living in a democracy or not.”

Tamsin Shaw, an associate professor of philosophy at New York University,  researched the US military’s funding and use of psychological research for use in torture.

“The capacity for this science to be used to manipulate emotions is very well established. This is military-funded technology that has been harnessed by a global plutocracy and is being used to sway elections in ways that people can’t even see, and don’t even realize is happening to them. It’s about exploiting existing phenomenon like nationalism and using it to manipulate people at the margins. To have so much data in the hands of a bunch of international plutocrats to do with it what they will is absolutely chilling.”

 

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SCL and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) old boy network and its links to the Tory party

A group, titled “Behavioral Dynamics” was first formed by old Etonian, Oakes brothers (Nigel and Alexander) in 1993. Their family and father, Maj John Waddington Oakes have long established links with the British Army.

Their sales pitch made claims about their achievements and ability to influence voter similar to those of SCL. But the UK press was unflattering in 2000 when it reported on their work for the Indonesian government.

Alexander Nix, a fellow old Etonian, joined the Oakes brothers in 2003 in the earlier incarnation of SCL.  Companies House data shows him linked to 10 other firms, all of which appear to be linked in some way.

The brothers first officially established and registered with Companies House, the Strategic Communication Laboratories, (SCL) in 2005.

From its outset as a UK-registered company the SCL Group attracted investors from the upper echelons of British life:

Lord Marland: Friend of David Cameron and trade envoy for the Tory government from 2010 and pro-Brexit, he held SCL shares personally and through two related investment vehicles, Herriot Limited and a family trust.

Roger Gabb: Introduced the Volvic water brand to the UK then went on to make millions selling wines including the Kumala label, at one time owned more than 25% of SCL.

At its formation he was named as a shareholder, as was the Glendower Settlement Trust which is linked to him and his wife.

Gabb has donated £707,000 to the Tories, making contributions to the main party and to his local branch.

He was also an avid campaigner for Brexit, signing letters on behalf of the campaign as a director of Bibendum Wine, and placing adds in local newspapers.

In October 2016 he was fined £1,000 by the Electoral Commission for failing to include his name and address in the adds.

Sir Geoffrey Pattie: One time parliamentary under-secretary of state for defence procurement and director of Marconi Defence Systems, had a key role in SCL for its first three years.

Vincent Tchenguiz: The property tycoon’s company, the Consensus Business Group, held (for eight years) just under a quarter of the shares in SCL, then valued at around £4m. He has also donated more than £130,000 to the Conservatives.

Julian Wheatland: a close associate of Tchenguiz, he was involved with SCL Group from the beginning, and was still a director at the company at 2018.

Steve Tatham: Commander Royal Navy (rtd). Former head of psychological operations for British forces in Afghanistan.

 

Note: • The Westminster, cross party investigation revealed that there was verifiable and extremely worrying evidence confirming SCL had completed a number of well remunerated contracts for the Tory government in recent years (psychological operational training for Ministry of Defence staff, etc.) and had been positively vetted by the secret services at the highest possible level and had received “secret” information about Afghanistan.

 

Full details here:

https://caltonjock.com/2018/06/14/fact-the-british-state-predetermined-the-outcome-of-the-2014-scottish-independence-referendum-by-hindering-scots-from-voicing-their-interest-through-their-votes/

 

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2013: US billionaire absorbs SCL into his world wide data-mining conglomerate

Robert Mercer is a brilliant computer scientist, a pioneer in early artificial intelligence, and the co-owner of one of the most successful hedge funds on the planet (with a gravity-defying 71.8% annual return). And, he is also good friends with Nigel Farage.

Mercer, provided financial backing exceeding £12m to SCL, the English registered parent company of the group, which had many years experience influencing operations on behalf of military and political clients worldwide.

The US part of the SCL group, Cambridge Analytical, controlled by Steve Bannon, conducted its business below the line, secretly gathering huge amounts of psychological profiling data on 230 million US citizens from any source that would supply it, with the purpose of targeting right leaning voters in high profile political campaigns. Assured of the billionaire’s backing, the company plunged £4m into the development of the “Ripon” database through AIQ in Canada.

 

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2013: Silicon Valley desires a piece of the action

A young American postgraduate named Sophie was passing through London, (in the summer of 2013) when she arranged a meeting with the boss of a firm where she had interned earlier in her career.

The company, SCL Elections, was purchased not long after, by the secretive hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, who created the US subsidiary company called Cambridge Analytica, which gained notoriety as the data analytics firm that played a major role in the Trump and Brexit campaigns.

On that day in June 2013, Sophie met up with SCL’s chief executive, Alexander Nix, and in conversation, advised he should take his company into the data manipulation business suggesting he should meet a with people from “Palantir”, a firm owned by someone she knew through her father. And her father is? Eric Schidt—-Chairman of Google!!!! Gobsmacking!!!

Palantir is a data-mining firm contracted to provide services to governments worldwide, including GCHQ.  It is owned by Silicon Valley’s first vocal supporter of Trump, Peter Thiel, the millionaire co-founder of eBay and PayPal.

Sophie Schmidt moved on to work for another Silicon Valley mega-firm: Uber, confirming the worldwide dominance of Silicon Valley companies, including Google, Facebook and others providing evidence that the USA is at the centre of the global tectonic shift in data manipulation.

It also revealed a critical and gaping hole in the political debate in Britain. Because what is happening in the US will be transferred to the UK.

Brexit and Trump are entwined.   The Trump administration’s links to Russia and the UK are entwined.  And the now closed SCL group provided a point of focus through which all of these relationships could be observed.

 

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2013: The Trinidad connection

Just as Robert Mercer began his negotiations with SCL boss Alexander Nix about an acquisition, SCL was retained by several government ministers in Trinidad and Tobago.

The brief involved developing a micro-targeting programme for the governing party of the time.

AIQ, the same company involved in delivering the 2016 Brexit referendum for Vote Leave, was contracted to build the targeting platform.

The proposal was to capture citizens’ browsing history en masse, recording phone conversations and applying natural language processing to the recorded voice data to construct a national police database, complete with scores for each citizen on their propensity to commit crime.

The information throws light on a significant and under-reported aspect of the Trump administration.

The company that helped Trump achieve power has now been awarded contracts in the Pentagon and the US state department.

And, it is reported to be in discussions for “military and homeland security work”.

In the US, the government is bound by strict laws about what data it can collect on individuals.

But, for private companies anything goes. Is it unreasonable to see in this the possible beginnings of an authoritarian surveillance state?

A leading QC who spends a lot of time in the investigatory powers tribunal said that the problem with the data-ming technology was that it all depended on whose hands it was in.

Adding “On the one hand, it’s being done by companies and governments who say “you can trust us, we are good and democratic and bake cupcakes at the weekend”.

But the same expertise can be sold on to a repressive regime. In Britain, citizens still trust the government. There is respect for authorities upholding the laws of the land. There is trust in the rule of law. The UK society is free and fair. And it is the last observation that makes the present situation so profoundly unsettling.

 

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