No consequences for Tory links to Cambridge Analytica

For a group who were incredibly boastful about their clandestine nature during the recent excellent Channel 4 expose, Cambridge Analytica really don’t seem to have done a good job of covering their links to various facets of the British establishment.
 
In fact, they are merely exuding the sort of laissez-faire attitude one would expect from those born into the anachronistic privilege we seem to mass produce in this country. In this light, the lack of care in gathering evidence in this case becomes a lot more nefarious.
 
Cambridge Analytica is a subsidiary of SCL (Strategic Communication Laboratories), who are the real company behind this entire mess. SCL have their fingers in all sorts of Government – especially Tory – pies, which would explain why the current establishment is digging their heels when it comes to collecting evidence on them. Although the Election spending issues were effectively shaken off by the Tories due to the fact all the large parties were probably doing something similar, the party in government being caught using illegally obtained data to win an election is a whole other kettle of fish. However, there is every chance that they manage to once again worm their way out of any real trouble with the trademark sophistry and apathetic public combination that has served their agenda so well in recent years.
 
So, what are these links that could lead one to believe there might be something more to this story? First and foremost, CEO of SCL Nigel Oakes is an old Etonian, with links to British Royals and potentially MI5, and has a long and sordid history of lies, voter suppression and other glorious activities. Oakes is almost a caricature of the fairly reprehensible character that our country seems to send out, a Boris Johnson type with actual useful skills and talents, used for less than stellar purposes. His family also own a home in Chipping Norton, the town who’s set of political and media acquaintances came to prominence in the News International phone hacking scandal.
 
It doesn’t stop there: SCL’s President is one Sir Geoffery Pattie, is an ex-Defence minister from the Thatcher years. The uber-Hayekian interpretation that summed up Thatcher’s premiership (other than mass civil unrest and short-termist, voter bribing policies) was ripe for this sort of nepotistic, wink-wink behaviour, and you can be assured that this scandal is no different from others in that you will always find a Thatcherite nearby. Pattie is also a former VC of the Conservative Party, and helped to drive SCL’s private psyops army-for-hire, no doubt a great use of his connections.
 
The links between the Tory Party and SCL don’t end there: SCL director and wine magnate Roger Gabb has been a major donor to the Tory Party in the past and was punished by the Electoral Commission for failing to include campaign branding on newspaper advertisements that he put out whilst campaigning for Leave in the EU referendum. Gabb was also in the Welsh Guards, involved in Special Forces operations across different countries. SCL’s chairman, Julian Wheatland, also happens to be the former chairman of the Oxfordshire Conservatives Association. Their major funder for a decade was Vincent Tchenguiz, who employed Wheatland and has several Libyan links, being in charge of a company who held a soil regeneration contract with the Gadhafi government as well as being involved in the selling of an office tower in London to the Libyan Investment Authority. Tchenguiz is, of course, also a Tory Party donor.
 
We also cannot forget Jonathon Marland, ex-SCL investor, Tory Party treasurer and all-round stalwart in the Cameron Government. He won a life peerage on 8th June, was a Minister at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and was the PM’s trade envoy for a year. And no establishment conspiracy would be complete without a few royal links: SCL’s advisory board has enough blue blood to subjugate a continent: Rear Admiral John Tolhurst and Lord Ivar Mountbatten (related to the Queen) were both on it, as was the former PM of St Vincent and the Grenadines (a former colony) Sir James Allen Mitchell.
 
Most frightening perhaps was the fact that these connections were used to get contracts worth millions with the Ministry of Defence, the US State Department and NATO, with SCL given clearance to hold documents that describe British government and security secrets on its premises.
 
So what does this mean? Probably nothing for the people that matter: these are wealthy individuals who are used to operating with impunity, engaging in activities like voter suppression on a regular basis and – according to their own leadership team – willing to engage in corruption, blackmail and clandestinely spreading false information. They have been doing this for years; they’re just better at it now.
 
All sorts of laws have undoubtedly been broken, but as we know, laws are for the rest of us who can’t afford a team of lawyers to frustrate the legal process until everyone is no longer bothered. It’s doubly sad, because this almost certainly does involve our ruling party, but any hard evidence is now probably being taken care of, shoved up the equivalent of the tubes in 1984 which Winston places “incorrect” news reports in. However, as always, the best thing we can do is kick up a fuss, and draw attention to the fact that our democracy – far from being as open and fair as advertised – still depends on mates meeting in rooms and doing what they want, regardless of what the rules may say. We can complain about all the brazen corruption and spreading of misinformation from Oligarchies like Russia, but we are only a step behind, living in a slightly better but still fairly terrible situation. And, until that changes, scandals like this will be a part of our lives.

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