AIQ, Arron Banks, BeLeave, Boris Johnson, Cambridge Analytica, commission, DUP, electoral, EU, european union, fraud, Leave.EU, Michael Gove, Mike Sivier, mikesivier, referendum, Vote Leave, Vox Political
I’ll tell you why: Because the establishment that allowed the crimes to be committed is so unutterably corrupt that it is quite happy to let the criminals off.
We know the names of everybody involved. We know they broke electoral law in order to corruptly influence voters in the EU referendum.
We also know that major players in the offending campaign groups are now government ministers who will do everything in their power to prevent the logical actions from being taken.
Those logical actions?
- The EU referendum should be declared null and void. It was corruptly influenced and the result is entirely discredited.
- The named individuals who conspired to commit the electoral offences should be arrested on suspicion of having committed the most serious criminal offence under which the offence could be listed, and imprisoned without bail (in case they abscond). They committed fraud in an attempt to change our way of life – for the worse, in most cases. Why are they not in prison already?
- All those who have obstructed attempts to get justice should also be arrested and imprisoned without bail.
But it isn’t going to happen – not because there isn’t a huge amount of will in its favour (there is) but because the tiny few who actually have the legal ability to take action are complicit in the crime and could not care less that the law has been broken.
And they reckon we can’t do anything about it.
You see, there are millions of people who voted ‘Leave’ because they genuinely want the UK to leave the European Union and don’t care about the inevitable and devastating consequences.
Those millions will not support any act that might jeopardise our departure from the EU – and they don’t care about the fact that the law has been broken.
The result will be equivalent to stealing a fortune from every working family in the UK, but that hasn’t happened yet so they don’t care.
And that’s why they won’t support any action to bring the criminals to justice.
This means the corrupt legislators in Parliament are sitting pretty on seats they’re not likely to lose in any election – at least until after Brexit happens – because enough of the electorate don’t care that they’re voting for criminals.
And the corrupt campaigners won’t be punished because the corrupt legislators won’t change the law to make this possible.
Once Brexit has happened, of course, the attitude of the public may change, as the impact of this political calamity finally makes itself fully felt.
But by then, it will be too late because there will be no going back.
So what do you do about it?
Well, one possibility might be the obvious:
Bitch about it. Bitch like hell. Complain about what has happened – and name the people involved in it. Call them into question every time they appear in public, on TV, in the papers, on the social media – anywhere. Create campaigns. Make memes and infographics. Demand justice.
If enough people do it, you won’t be ignored.
Or you could just stay quiet, roll over and let these creeps and criminals carry on doing to you what they’ve been doing for the last two years. Your choice.
On Wednesday, Matthew Elliott, the CEO of Vote Leave, the campaign headed by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, both now government ministers, took the extraordinary step of leaking the interim report of an Electoral Commission investigation which is still under way.
This found the campaign guilty of breaking electoral rules and law. Laws which are the bedrock of our entire electoral system.
The timing of the release of this – after midnight, on the night of a World Cup match – an apparent attempt to influence the reporting of an investigation that hasn’t yet concluded raises many questions.
But what Elliott couldn’t spin was this: according to his own account of the report, Vote Leave, the official referendum campaign that was partly funded with taxpayers’ money, looks to have committed what may be one of the biggest incidents of electoral fraud in Britain in more than a century.
Official investigations under way so far include: overspending by Vote Leave, overspending by Leave.EU, coordination between Vote Leave and BeLeave, the source of at least £12m in donations in gifts and loans by Arron Banks’s company to Leave.EU, the use of data by all campaigns including the role of Cambridge Analytica, its Canadian affiliate, AIQ and Banks’s Eldon insurance company. In addition, there are also pressing and urgent questions about – but no official investigation into – the source of a donation made to the DUP.
And there is the extraordinary and shocking evidence that the Observer has recently unearthed about Banks’s connections to Russia.
Two weeks ago, the Electoral Commission announced that “urgent action”needed to be taken, that it couldn’t regulate online campaigning, that radical new laws were desperately needed. It’s a huge step forward in terms of safeguarding future elections. But we don’t have these new laws yet. We have the old ones. A feeble legislative framework with almost no powers to compel evidence and the capacity to impose only tiny fines.
Because what the Electoral Commission didn’t say is that the powers that it now admits are inadequate are the same ones it is using to investigate alleged Vote Leave spending and other offences by other campaigns. Multiple offences. Because the investigation into Vote Leave is just one of a number of ongoing inquiries into potential crimes.
And if evidence of wrongdoing is uncovered, it will all be too late. By the time any of these investigations is referred to the police, who then have to conduct their own inquiries before deciding whether to bring charges, Britain will have exited the EU.
What has become clear in the nearly two years that I’ve been reporting on this story is that the law will not save us. The laws didn’t work. The regulators couldn’t regulate. The system – built on self-regulation and self-policing – failed. It relied upon goodwill and trust and in the face of a one-off, bitterly divisive issue, that goodwill and trust dissolved. We went into the referendum with the equivalent of Dad’s Army and a couple of vintage rifles to protect us from a hostile new world of data manipulation, black-box platforms and advanced cyber-warfare techniques harnessed by hostile foreign powers.
But this isn’t just a legal or a regulatory failure. It’s a political failure. It’s on the government. It’s on an opposition that is failing to hold the government to account.
Hundreds of thousands of people care. All over social media, people – who have been vocal in support of this investigation – care. Backbench politicians care. This news organisation that has put editorial and legal resources into this story over many, many months, cares. Ordinary voters who feel deceived care.
We care. We just have no idea what to do about it.
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