The old Vote Leave team is back together: London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, Michael “Oiky” Gove, polecat emeritus Dominic Cummings, the one-woman disgrace that is Priti Patel, inept supporting actor Theresa Villiers, and last and by no means least, a shed load of Facebook adverts. All the rotten eggs in one basket, just like a bad remake of The Great Escape.
There is nothing accidental about this aspect of Bozo The Clown’s first cabinet, or that there is a very, very extensive Facebook operation already under way. It worked for the EU referendum, it worked for Combover Crybaby Donald Trump, so it’s being revived for yet another attempt to hoodwink an electorate: there’s going to be a General Election, but not until Cambridge Analytica is builded here, in England’s green and pleasant land.
Cummings already goings hard at it
You think I jest? After Cummings was confirmed as a member of Johnson’s team yesterday, Shahmir Sanni asked “Not one journalist has asked an MP why it is OK to have a man that was held in contempt of Parliament sitting in Downing Street? Not one journalist has asked how the entire gang that run the illegal Vote Leave scheme is now in Downing Street? How much more evidence do they need?”. But he missed one detail.
More disinformation ...
And that was that the kind of campaign with which Cummings had been associated at Vote Leave - involving harvesting significant amounts of personal information and then bombarding potential swing voters with micro-targeted propaganda using Facebook and other social media platforms - was already under way.
... and yet more
As Rowland Manthorpe of Sky News has observed, “And so it begins. The Conservatives welcome the new PM by pumping Facebook full of Boris Johnson ads. They're running an astonishing 554 versions of these things. Almost as if they're gathering data for an election”. 554 versions of an advert gathering personal data. Very Cambridge Analytica.
There is Bozo The Clown being all optimistic about Brexit, and stuff reality: “I’m going to deliver Brexit by the 31st of October - so we can invest in the NHS, schools, housing, and Police … We’ve got a fresh opportunity to get things done. It’s time to get the UK back on the road to a brighter future”. And then comes the plea for information: “So what are your priorities for the country? Let me know by taking my survey”.
Moving along from the Tories’ borrowing from Aneurin Bevan - “These are my priorities. What are yours?” - Manthorpe notes that “to make sure your views get heard”, you need to submit your postcode, full name and email address. As Number Two reminded us in The Prisoner, they want … Information. And by hook or by crook, they’re going to get it.
And when all those voters share their concerns with the Tories, it helps to build up yet another of those databases of concerned voters whose fears can then be played upon using more of those micro-targeted emails and Facebook adverts. Another EU Referendum-style bombardment of propaganda is already in preparation. Right now.
It worked for the referendum. It worked for The Donald. Now it’s making a comeback, with the intention of winning a General Election for a serial liar and political fraudster.
The difference this time is, we know it’s out there. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
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