The old adage that says something that looks too good to be true probably is too good to be true holds true once again as a number of people get rather over-excited at the thought the referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU may have to be re-run. The suggestion is that the campaign leading up to the vote was so tainted by dark money - dark Russian money, even - that the result could not be declared to be “free and fair”.
But even before knowing who is spreading this highly creative retelling of recent history, one simple point undermines the claim. For some reason, the Cameron Government did not make the result of the referendum binding. It was therefore merely advisory. So the vote can have been as corrupted as hell, because what is being done now is merely the present Government choosing of its own volition to actually proceed with leaving.
Still, let’s look at the underlying article, with emphasis on the “lying” part. “Multiple sources with links to UK intelligence report that Russian corruption of the Brexit vote is far worse than previously thought. The referendum on remaining part of the EU received so much illegal foreign money and influence from Russia, these sources say, that UK intelligence is minded to recommend to Theresa May’s government that the Brexit vote be redone”.
These sources only exist, sadly, in one person’s head. As Rolf Harris might have asked, can you tell who it is yet? Let’s look a little further. “The level of money and the reach of the fake bots and targeted data funded by Russia, using Cambridge Analytica, sources said, was so great that MI5 and MI6, the UK’s versions of the FBI and CIA, did not believe that the Brexit referendum could have been said to have been ‘free and fair’”.
Very good. Yes, Cambridge Analytica was involved, as were bots, and probably targeted data. But taking that and moving rather too swiftly via assigning the dark money to Russia and chucking in MI5 and MI6, then coming to the conclusion shown, is over-inflating the soufflé way beyond the limits of its viability. And it got worse.
For instance, we are told “there was major anxiety within the British government - among all major parties - of politicians’ links to the Russian state being exposed … The resulting scandal could be worse than the ‘MPs’ expenses’ scandal of 2009”. Well, there is the UKIP mob, but they don’t have any MPs now. And that’s it, give or take John Whittingdale.
Could it get worse? It certainly could: “Russia piled into the Scottish independence referendum on behalf of the SNP; the former SNP leader, Alex Salmond, has just accepted a chat show on the UK version of Russia Today, Putin’s state propaganda channel”. Shine a light. Salmond going on RT does not equate Russian money in the Indyref.
By now, instead of Remain fans thinking their birthdays had all come at once, some should have been twigging that this was a none too fresh pile of steaming bullpucky they were being served up. And one look at the blog name - Patribotics - should have set alarm bells ringing. The sound would have been deafening as soon as the author was identified - none other than (fortunately) former Tory MP Louise Mensch.
This story is total speculative baloney from start to finish. There is no legal mechanism for a repeat referendum. Her “sources” are mostly fantasy. And she’s a diehard Leave supporter. Louise Mensch is trying to pull a cruel con trick. No change there, then.