The question as to why the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog were so dismissive of journalist Carole Cadwalladr - apart from her writing for the Observer - seemed a mystery at the time. But the reason The Great Guido sneered at her investigative journalism as “a conspiracy theory by a tin foil hatted journalist called Carole Cadwalladr” is becoming ever more plain by the day.
Steve Baker, new Brexit minister
Another piece of the Brexit Dark Money jigsaw has provided us with more answers as to why the Fawkes folks were so keen to put the boot in on Ms Cadwalladr, with Adam Ramsay and Peter Geoghegan penning “The new Brexit minister, the arms industry, the American hard right … and Equatorial Guinea” for Open Democracy. Here, they take aim squarely at the new Tory Brexit minister Steve Baker.
That’s a name that Zelo Street regulars may find familiar. Baker was one of the keenest supporters of the now-moribund Young Britons’ Foundation (YBF), from which very little has been heard since the group was engulfed by the Tory Bullying scandal which followed the death of young activist Elliott Johnson. And it is the YBF which, once again, brings together many of those around the Brexit dark money nexus.
Baker was so well regarded by then YBF head man Donal Blaney that he awarded the Wycombe MP the Golden Dolphin Award: only ten of these have been bestowed, and one - given to disgraced activist Mark Clarke - has since been revoked. Baker’s is the first name on the roll of honour. His citation rewards further scrutiny.
It reads “Steve Baker MP, for being proud to stand as a libertarian and as a Christian when the prevailing winds might favour a weaker, less principled course”. What can this mean? Well, as the Open Democracy article notes, Baker had some expenses to an event in the USA paid by a group called American Principles in Action, which is very pro-Christian, highly Conservative, and vehemently anti-LGBT.
Moreover, the year Baker got his costs paid by that group, they in turn were paid $250,000 by one Robert Mercer, the Cambridge Analytica man. He is connected to former YBF Golden Dolphin recipient Matthew Richardson, a highly litigious lawyer who was a friend of Mark Clarke and Donal Blaney. And there is another on the list we need to look at.
Ramsay and Geoghegan noted that Edward Macmillan Scott, former leader of the Tory group in the European Parliament, commented “Steve Baker is a patsy for the likes of Dan Hannan”. And yes, Dan, Dan The Oratory Man is there on the Golden Dolphin list.
Baker has links to the Freedom Association, as does Hannan, and as do Eric Pickles (another Golden Dolphin recipient), John Whittingdale (with his, er, interesting eastern European connections), ardent Brexiteer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, and Paul Staines. Well, well. The Great Guido is tied up in all of this too. What a coincidence.
You want to know why the Fawkes rabble were on a hair trigger with Carole Cadwalladr? Look no further. But Staines may be worried that the real journalists just might.