Monday, May 8, 2017

Brexit and Trump: Same Plan, Same Shady People

The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked is a new article from The Guardian showing how Trump and Brexit were both products of the same plan hatched by the same characters. It delves deeply into the shenanigans, temporarily setting aside Russian influence, and it's way deeper than anything the anemic American press has managed to produce, though the overview is well-known to everyone who's paid attention.

This is old-school reporting, full of names and facts, but, while it's great that the reporter laid it all out (for other reporters to draw from), don't feel compelled to familiarize with all the data points. Just quickly skim, and know that the bottom third of the article puts it all together.

The really scary thing is that it's not over. Trump and Brexit were just the beginning. Don't imagine the French election has returned us to normalcy.

A few highlights:
"The company that helped Trump achieve power in the first place has now been awarded contracts in the Pentagon and the US state department. Its former vice-president Steve Bannon now sits in the White House. It is also reported to be in discussions for “military and homeland security work”.

In the US, the government is bound by strict laws about what data it can collect on individuals. But, for private companies anything goes. Is it unreasonable to see in this the possible beginnings of an authoritarian surveillance state?"

"Palantir is a company that is trusted to handle vast datasets on UK and US citizens for GCHQ and the NSA, as well as many other countries.

Now though, they are both owned by ideologically aligned billionaires: Robert Mercer and Peter Thiel. The Trump campaign has said that Thiel helped it with data. A campaign that was led by Steve Bannon, who was then at Cambridge Analytica."

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