While the amount of interference in last year’s EU referendum by actors based in both the USA and Russia continues to be unearthed by both old and new media - J J Patrick’s latest instalment in his Skada Series over at Byline Media and Carole Cadwalladr’s Observer long read today, “The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked” are must-reads - a more intimate infiltration is coming clear.
To the slowly unfurling cast of actors - Vladimir Vladimirovitch Putin and his gangster régime in Moscow, Combover Crybaby Donald Trump and his gang, including former Breitbart head man Steve Bannon, Robert Mercer and Cambridge Analytica, Julian Assange, Nigel “Thirsty” Farage - we now need to add yet another way in which Russia has bent the West’s political class to its will, the oldest distraction of all.
Back in 2010, the Telegraph, whose preferred political party the Tories may be the next beneficiaries of the Russia connection, might not have thought their article “Russian 'spy' case: Liberal Democrat MP 'helped second Russian girl’” was any more than the usual crude attack on what was then the junior Coalition partner. But the story of Ekaterina Paderina very clearly links in to that cast of actors.
After nudging and winking over the potential liaison between Ms Paderina and then Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock - a favourite media target - the Tel, almost as an afterthought, tells “But despite the immigration authorities launching an investigation into Miss Paderina’s status, she avoided deportation … In November 2001 she married a millionaire insurance company director Arron Banks and the couple now live in Bristol with their three children”.
Arron Banks. Now there’s an interesting name. A name that would not have raised many eyebrows back in 2010, but does now. UKIP donor, Farage confidant, Banks is undoubtedly one of that cast of actors. He is not alone. After allegations that the campaign of French Presidential hopeful Emmanuel Macron was hacked, Christo Grozev had another interesting name to pitch, as “patient zero”.
“Jack Posobiec, tracked down as ‘patient zero’ on Macron ‘leaks’, with his Russian wife at Trump's ‘deplorables’ ball”. Another Trump fan, another Russian wife. But not the Tories, surely? Oh yes, they surely are: Zelo Street regulars will know all about the saga of former Culture Secretary John Whittingdale and his relationships with at least two sex workers. But there were also all the young Russian women.
After Whitto’s story broke last year, the Mail on Sunday suddenly discovered his whole back story (more like they’d had it locked away for months). Out came “Minister and the mysterious beauty from Belorussia with love: How Whittingdale enjoyed an intimate relationship with the daughter of a USSR military officer”. We discovered “John Whittingdale's fondness for ex-Soviet states extends beyond politics … He is often with East European women at events and previously dated one”.
It all leads back to Russia - the data attacks, the hacking … and now the women. Of course, Theresa May sacked Whitto when she took over the Tory leadership. But he is only one in a whole series of actors. There will be more on this one soon.