Auto-smirk set to stun. Perhaps
This is what Byline Times has now told us: “The new Lead Commissioner for the Government’s Commission for Countering Extremism (CCE), appointed by Home Secretary Priti Patel on 31 March for an interim period of six months, is Robin Simcox. Simcox is a former Margaret Thatcher Fellow at the Heritage Foundation - a right-wing think-tank in Washington D.C. which had close ties to the Donald Trump administration”.
The Heritage Foundation is not just any old right-leaning think-tank. As its Wikipedia entry confirms, “The Heritage Foundation rejects the scientific consensus on climate change … The Heritage Foundation is one of many climate change denial organizations that have been funded by ExxonMobil”. And then there are those false voter fraud claims.
“The Heritage Foundation has promoted false claims of voter fraud. Hans von Spakovsky who heads the Election Law Reform Initiative at the Heritage Foundation has played an influential role in making alarmism about voter fraud mainstream in the Republican Party, despite no evidence of widespread voter fraud … His work, which claims voting fraud is rampant, has been discredited”. And who sits on the HF board?
Oh look, Rebekah Mercer. Who, along with her father Robert Mercer, were benefactors to Breitbart News. Who was a backer of Cambridge Analytica. Who introduced Steve Bannon to Combover Crybaby Donald Trump. Who co-founded Parler. But, as the Byline Times article stresses, the real concern about Simcox is the other company he’s been keeping.
Robin Simcox ((c) Heritage Foundation)
They reveal “that Simcox spoke in 2019 at a notorious American anti-immigrant hate group, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), which has regularly circulated anti-Semitic, white nationalist materials over a 10-year period - including articles by noted Holocaust deniers and eugenicists … The CIS has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center”. This link is highly relevant to Simcox’s new role.
One look at Wikipedia shows why. “The Center for Immigration Studies has been criticized for publishing a number of reports deemed to be false or misleading and using poor methodology by scholars on immigration”. The SPLC’s analysis “cited CIS's repeated publication of white nationalist and anti-Semitic writers, [and] its employment of an analyst known to promote racist pseudoscience”. And what of Simcox’ work at the HF?
BT again: “In his work for the Heritage Foundation, Simcox also promoted several racist and anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists, including a proponent of the ‘Great Replacement’ ideology … which has inspired far-right terror attacks in recent years”. One observer criticised Simcox’ appointment “particularly over his false equation of British Muslim community organisations with the Muslim Brotherhood”.
So who’s making their feelings known about this appointment? “Lord” Ian Austin? “Lord” John Mann? Wes Streeting? Stephen Pollard? John Woodcock? Margaret Hodge? Daniel Finkelstein? Crickets. If only Simcox had been pals with Jeremy Corbyn.
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