Tuesday, 11 July 2017

The Tories, The DUP and Russia

Last night, Channel 4 News revealed details of a secret financial donation, of £425,000 that was made to the DUP, that went to a pro-Brexit campaign, during the EU referendum.  The Tories, who are now dependent on the votes of the DUP to remain in government, have refused to backdate legislation requiring all such donations to be fully revealed.  Its only in Northern Ireland where such donations have been allowed in secret, as a throwback to the days of sectarian violence.  There is no reason for such restrictions to still be in place, and its only the DUP that opposes the backdating of such legislation.

As Channel 4 revealed, the middleman who organised the donation is a Scottish Tory.  It has to be suspected that as the real motivation behind the donation was to support the Tory "Leave" campaign, that the donation was made to the DUP in order to hide the actual source of the money, which in turn raises questions about the nature of that donor.  After all, the Tories have many friends who are very rich individuals, who regularly give them donations transparently.  The Tory "Leave" campaign also had many such donations that were openly recorded, so what was different about this particular donation?

Well as I reported a couple of months ago, its not just in the US where Russia has been intervening in elections, and the democratic process.  Even the Daily Express discussed links between Farage and Putin's Russia.  Jon Ashworth MP has also raised questions about donations from Russians to the Tories.  And, as I've set out in that post, the Times and a number of journals from other countries have raised questions about the links of sections of the Tories with Putin's Russia.

Last night in Washington, it was revealed that Trump's son was called to a meeting with Russians who said they had dirt on Hillary Clinton ahead of the election.  As time goes on, more and more evidence of interference in the election from Russia is being revealed, whilst Trump himself has cosy chats with Putin, and offers to invite him into the inner workings of US cyber security systems.

Putin and Trump both attempted to intervene in the French elections to support Le Pen, and both have an agenda designed to break apart the EU, as witnessed by Trump's advocacy for Farage.  Russian intervention in the US elections came not just from hacking the Democrats computer systems, so as to provide information to the Trump campaign, but also from large scale use of bots and trolls on social media to promote fake news stories.  And, of course there was no shortage of such activity and fake news during the UK EU referendum.  It would be highly surprising if Russia had not intervened in other ways during the referendum, therefore, to provide support for ultra-right, nationalist forces in Britain during the referendum campaign, and what better fits that description than the DUP, and Tory right.

There is clearly an international right-wing nationalist campaign being waged whose tentacles reach out from Russia, and into Washington, as well as a number of other countries such as Turkey, and the Philippines.   It just about succeeded in winning a majority in the EU referendum, by excluding 16-18 year old voters, and on the back of series of ridiculous fake news stories such as the idea that several million Turks were about to invade the country, or that after Brexit £350 million would be given by the government to the NHS.  That provoked a backlash, which prevented those ultra right-nationalists getting the increased majority sought by Theresa May, but a timid Labour Party is still allowing that right-wing reaction to dictate policy on Brexit, rather than standing up, and calling it out for the anti-working class, reactionary policy that it is, and loudly calling for it to be opposed.

That international right-wing ultranationalist (national Bolshevism) campaign also failed in the Netherlands and in France, despite again being clearly seen to have been intervening in those elections.  It looks set to fail in its ambitions in Germany and in Italy, as the tide of right-wing nationalism is on the wane, as I suggested last year, it would be.  The global economy is strengthening, despite the massive draining of funds from real investment into financial and property speculation that the policy of QE has caused.  Employment levels have been rising everywhere, and unemployment rates are now at levels considered to represent full employment.  Britain's gamble with Brexit shows all the signs of leading to economic disaster for the UK, which has acted to strengthen support for closer EU integration amongst the remaining members.

And, Trump's travels down the roads of economic nationalism are causing the US to become isolated and a pariah state, whilst its international role is being increasingly filled by a more confident and assertive EU led by a strengthening Germany.  In Asia, the US's role is being taken over by China, which is set to be the dominant power of this century, alongside a renewed EU, as it moves ever closer to becoming a United States of Europe.  The forces of right-wing ultra nationalism are powerful, they have access in Russia, the US, Turkey etc. to powerful institutions and media outlets, in Russia and Turkey, they even have access to state resources, whilst in the US, the state is a roadblock in the path of Trump and his agenda.  If it can, the US state will dislodge him, which would be a significant blow against those international right-wing forces.

But, more importantly, those forces are swimming against the tide of history.  The nation state is well past its sell by date, and the movement towards larger economic blocs, and the regulation and planning of economic activity is an unstoppable process, which is also why Brexit will ultimately fail.  Either Brexit will never happen, or it will be gutted in content, or it will soon be reversed, with Britain having to rejoin on the same terms as every other member, and without its current concessions.  The journey to that end result, however, is causing considerable collateral damage.

No comments: