Not many people know this, as the saying goes, but the first well-known name to threaten legal action against Zelo Street was not the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines (see the aptly named post, A Bully And A Hypocrite, for The Great Guido’s ultimately fruitless attempt to bully me into submission), but right-wing spinner Lynton Crosby, or someone on his behalf. The threat was over the suggestion that Lynt might be fond of playing the race card.
Here's a familiar looking front man ...
So it has come as no surprise that Crosby has been implicated in more of that throwing his weight about in the political arena, as the Guardian has now reported. “Facebook Brexit ads secretly run by staff of Lynton Crosby firm … Exclusive: ‘grassroots’ groups that spent up to £1m on targeted Facebook ads share administrator who works for lobbying firm”.
Sounds a bit Plausible Deniability. Do go on. “A series of hugely influential Facebook advertising campaigns that appear to be separate grassroots movements for a no-deal Brexit are secretly overseen by employees of Sir Lynton Crosby’s lobbying company and a former adviser to Boris Johnson … The mysterious groups, which have names such as Mainstream Network and Britain’s Future, appear to be run independently”.
But, and this is a big but, “in reality they share an administrator who works for Crosby’s CTF Partners and have spent as much as £1m promoting sophisticated targeted adverts aimed at heaping pressure on individual MPs to vote for a hard Brexit … Repeated questions have been raised about who is backing at least a dozen high-spending groups that have flooded MPs’ inboxes with calls to reject Theresa May’s deal”.
And how much would these not-really-grassroots groups have been spending? “Their collective Facebook expenditure swamps the amount spent in the last six months by all the UK’s major political parties and the UK government combined. They have paid for thousands of different targeted Facebook ads encouraging members of the public to write to their local MPs and call for the toughest possible exit from the EU, creating the impression of organic public opposition to Theresa May’s deal”. Well, well.
... and an equally familiar looking front woman, too
The genesis of this campaign seems to be “a Facebook page named Britain’s Future, whose public frontman is a former Two Pints Of Lager and a Packet of Crisps scriptwriter named Tim Dawson”. There’s a familiar Brexiteer name. And guess who else is involved?
“[Reuben] Solomon, the CTF employee, is also connected to a page called We are the 52%, which has spent more than £50,000 on pro-Brexit Facebook adverts and is fronted by a Conservative activist and former Vote Leave staffer Theodora Dickinson … [she] declined to comment on any links between her group and Crosby’s company but said remain campaigners ‘are using similar tactics and spending more’”. Which is not true.
To no surprise at all, “Dawson … declined to comment on who has funded his enormous Facebook ad campaign … CTF Partners … and Solomon did not respond to requests for comment”. They’ve outspent everyone else. One of their front people - Ms Dickinson - has tried to lie her way out of it. And there is a connection to shyster opportunist Bozza. Whose links to Crosby go back through two London Mayoral campaigns.
Another day, another attempt to buy Brexit. We should know who’s trying to screw over the economy as if it’s some kind of game. Because for the 99%, it sodding well isn’t.
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