The Parliamentary intervention yesterday by Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw, where he wondered aloud how Arron Banks, the so-called “man who bankrolled Brexit”, managed to afford all those millions he put into campaigns advocating for a Leave vote in last year’s EU referendum, has met with an instant response from The Great Man himself, released under the auspices of the Leave EU organisation.
Here, Banks manages to achieve what Bradshaw did not - to reveal a deeply paranoid state of mind, to tell the world that he is increasingly worried about the activities of certain journalists, to deploy a series of characterisations that would not be out of place in 1930s Germany or any more modern far right movement, and therefore to commend his critics to continue their enquiries. It was an own goal of magnificent proportions.
Here’s what Banks had to say: “The ‘series of investigative reports’ Ben Bradshaw refers to were published by Open Democracy, a political website funded by none other than globalist George Soros, an expert in ‘dark money’”.
Globalist. Well, at least he didn’t say “Jewish”. But what of Open Democracy’s funding? It is true that Soros’ Open Society Foundation and Initiative have donated to this enterprise, but (a) if Soros was trying to exert leverage as a quid pro quo, many other Open Democracy donors would not be there, and (b) Open Democracy are, well, open about where the money comes from. Unlike Arron Banks and Leave EU.
As to the “dark money” expertise attributed to Soros, he can’t be very good at it if he donates to groups who are transparent about their funding. Still, on he digs. “If Mr Bradshaw is intent on following up on the conspiracies of the likes of Carole Cadwalladr, I suggest he starts with Soros, Goldman Sachs and the other corporates who attempted but spectacularly failed to scare Britain into remaining in the European Union”.
Goldman Sachs. But at least he didn’t say “Jewish bankers”. As to the dig at Ms Cadwalladr, this is dead giveaway, as it was when the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog went after her. She was not mentioned by Bradshaw, so why does Banks do so? And good to see that Banks, while claiming to be worth all that money, is so peevish about organisations that really are worth a lot of money.
Can he complete his selling of the pass? He certainly can: “Just like Crooked Hillary, Mr Bradshaw still fails to understand why his side lost, and thus continues to peddle this rather tedious myth of a Russian conspiracy. Sad!” And another giveaway.
Neither Bradshaw, nor Open Democracy, were linking Banks to the Trump Gang. But by throwing in that casual smear of Hillary Clinton, Banks volunteers the link for them. As for understanding why the Remain camp lost, that is the whole point of the exercise - and far from failing to understand, Bradshaw and others of like mind are now understanding the reasons all too well. Can it get worse? Yes it can.
The “tedious myth of a Russian conspiracy” is Banks’ own invention. Those investigating his activities have noted the presence of Russia-friendly people, but have not gone as far as that. Arron Banks should have heeded the words attributed to Denis Thatcher: “better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt”.