The Deep State Breaks Surface 277

I confess I found it difficult to get worked up about the Cambridge Analytica affair. My reactions was “What awful people. But surely everybody realises that is what Facebook does?”. It seemed to me hardly news, on top of which the most likely outcome is that it will be used as yet another excuse to introduce government controls on the internet and clamp down on dissenting views like those on this website, where 85% of all traffic comes through Facebook or Twitter.

But two nights ago my interest was piqued when, at the height of Cambridge Analytica’s domination of the news cycle, the BBC gave it considerably less airtime than the alcohol abuse problems of someone named Ant. The evening before, the BBC had on Newsnight given the CEO of Cambridge Analytica the most softball interview imaginable. If the BBC is obviously downplaying something, it is usually defending a deep British Establishment interest.

It took me a minute to find out that Cambridge Analytica is owned by a British company, SCL Ltd, which in effect does exactly the same activities in the UK that Cambridge Analytica was undertaking in the US. I then looked up SCL on Bloomberg.

The name which jumped out at me of course was Lord Ivar Mountbatten, direct descendant of Queen Victoria and scion of the family closest friends with that of the UK’s unelected monarch. The only person listed by Companies House as having “significant control” – ie over 25% of the shares – is Roger Gabb, the wine merchant known for large donations to the Tory Party. I have now spoken to people who know him fairly well who, I must note in fairness, universally say he is a kind and very bright man, but with no technical input in the kind of work performed by SCL/Cambridge Analytica.

SCL is as Establishment as a company can get. The most worrying aspect of this is that SCL is paid by the British government to manipulate public opinion particularly in the fields of “Security” and “Defence”, and still more worryingly SCL – this group of ultra Tory money men seeking to refine government propaganda at the expense of you, the taxpayer – is cleared by the MOD to access classified government information.

I then did a news search on google for “Mountbatten” and “SCL” and it brought up zero results from corporate and state media. I then did a wider search not just of news sites, and found this excellent article from Liam O’Hare on Bella Caledonia. It said everything I had been planning to write, and probably says it better. Please do read it. Liam has actually done this to me before, getting there first. I suspect we may be the same person. Come to think of it, I have never seen a photo of us together.

PS Everyone of my generation will remember this joke. “What’s white and flies across the sea at 300mph?” We had a more robust attitude to free speech in the 70’s, and the maudlin deference to the “Royal family” had much less hold on the population.

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277 thoughts on “The Deep State Breaks Surface

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  • Sharp Ears

    An article on Dissident Voice on the privatisation of water, especially in South America.

    ‘By now we know how Washington manipulates elections and other political processes around the world – by the shady methods of Cambridge Analytica (CA), a ‘marketing’ consultancy that steals personal data from internet, foremost from Facebook, to target specific segments of a population with specific messages to influence their opinion. By their own account, CA methods have been applied in over 200 cases around the globe within the last 3 to 4 years, to influence elections and other political processes, including in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, the UK (Brexit), Germany, France and many more. This is true meddling in other countries’ sovereign affairs, by the one and only rogue state of this globe, the United States of America. And they are talking about Russian meddling in the 2016 US Presidential Elections!

    Stealing by stealth is one of the neoliberal crimes we haven’t quite understood yet, let alone mastered. Hindsight is always 20/20. This article hopes to contribute to foresight.’

    Water is Life. They are Stealing our Livelihood and We aren’t Even Noticing
    by Peter Koenig / March 23rd, 2018

  • Sharp Ears

    This refers to Stephen Parkinson, Theresa May’s political aide. Sanni is his partner.

    ‘Responding in a statement issued through his solicitors, Sanni said he had not yet revealed his sexuality to his parents and now feared for the lives of his family in Pakistan. “We believe this is the first time a Downing Street official statement has been used to out someone,” the solicitor’s statement read. “My client is now having to come out to his mother and family tonight, and members of his family in Pakistan are being forced to take urgent protective measures to ensure their safety.”

    It is thought that Sanni was preparing to respond to claims in Cummings’ blog that it was Sanni who had suggested that the Vote Leave campaign illegally coordinate with BeLeave. Vote Leave donated £625,000 to BeLeave, a group run by then 19-year-old fashion student Darren Grimes. Grimes then paid that sum to Aggregate IQ, a subsidiary of SCL Group, a private British behavioral research company. Cambridge Analytica, the political consulting firm accused of serious electoral malpractices in recent weeks, is also an offshoot of SCL Group.

    Cummings also rejected claims that BeLeave volunteers had no say over campaign spending. In an almost 9,000-word statement on his website, the Vote Leave director said: “Darren Grimes himself paid for various things.”’

    ‘No 10 outed me over Brexit electoral fraud allegations,’ says former Leave campaigner

  • Emmy Butlin

    In this 2008 FOIR says “Strategic Communication Laboratories Limited (hereafter SCL; website), and its component part the Behavioural Dynamics Institute (BDi; website” In the Wayback Machine, we can see the BDI website, History (1989), People:

    It seems the website is de-published in 2017 but in the wayback machine here: you will find a video explaining behavioural change mostly based on advertising but from 5 minutes onwards you will see it describing the most exciting application of behaviour change is in the area of defence and it mentions its use in combating terrorism. I have not heard this organisation mentioned as yet in the Cambridge Analytica/SCL Ltd Facebook scandal. Perhaps its operation should now be looked at.

    Powerbase profiles of the two organisations:

  • Sharp Ears

    The Cambridge Analytica Files
    The Brexit whistleblower: ‘Did Vote Leave use me? Was I naive’
    Shahmir Sanni, a volunteer for Vote Leave, the official pro-Brexit EU referendum campaign, explains how a data company linked to Cambridge Analytica played a crucial role in the result, and voices his concerns that electoral spending rules were manipulated… and evidence apparently destroyed

    • Brexit insider claims Vote Leave team may have breached spending limits
    by Carole Cadwalladr.

    If you can wade through this, you are a braver man than me Gunga Din.

    The author likes the sound of her own voice and dominated Marr’s paper review this morning.

  • jazza

    This same government has been deploying psycho-social methods to assessing whether people are ‘disabled’ or not (in their terms) and therefore eligible for any help from the state – change agents have been brought in to assess the state of the health service and thereby privatise the health of the nation – fracking companies have been successful and continue to the practice to gain legal redress about people protesting and showing dissent – and now this and the role of SCL – just how many other companies, charities and NGOs are involved at the heart of this government, determining policies and ‘outcomes’ for themselves – whatever happened to any notion of democracy and the people’s will???

    • jazza

      sorrry, forgot, the DWP has its own ‘behavioural insights’ team designed pspecifically to get people of the ‘welfare train’ – it is cruel , vindictive and kills people – we have been warned!

      • Meurig

        It’s the same “behavioural Insight” team -Common Purpose or branch of this sinister organisation.

  • Gary

    Is saw the govt stooge interviewed on the subject of government contracts etc with these companies and it was ‘some years ago and only..’ type quote – well that’s alright then, isn’t it? So what WERE they doing??? The question our media is too soft to ask, that’s what. Dirty deeds done dirt cheap. We are viewed, manipulated and can (and are) now prosecuted for taking pictures of police stations without having reasonable excuse (see Blackpool Gazette recent issues)

    So, the difference between us and a dictatorship is??? Answers on a postcard please…

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    You could have saved us all the verbiage by just saying the legislators were scared shitleess, and voted way their responsibilities.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Don’t know why my response to Professor Emakoff’s views on Hilter and Petain getting full power ended up here. Hadn;’t viewed the thread for days.

      Posters should realized that legislators who make no compromises can be almost as bad, like the Socialists during the French Fourth Republic who made serious government almost impossible.

  • james

    What you and Liam O’Hare describe is what supports the vice-like cultural consensus that will only release this nation “from its cold dead hands” and that my European status protected people like me from … until now, that is.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Seems to ne a knee-jerk reaction to hacking of a deep state nature to look like it is just a matter of violating personal security..

  • Mike H

    Craig – I donut get the joke. Ach well – that can only mean I’m too young to qualify.

    Yours in head scratching perplexity

  • Tony M

    You rightly condemn these forms of tracking/data harvesting, but why then do all the pages of your website pull in content from these very same sites? Your front page for example pulls in third-party content from: (google), when video and sometimes audio are embedded.

    Not only that https works both ways, the requests and data transfers made to/from these sites being encrypted cannot be inspected in plain-text form using e.g. tcpdump/ethereal/wireshark etc. by users/visitors to see what exactly the content of these exchanges are. One possible remediation being to locally, by each user, return the localhost address for unwanted dns lookups to stop these unwanted connections being made. It cannot simply be for something so silly and vain as to have willy-waving bragging rights about the number of visitors/hits on your site, can it?

    Why can’t your site lose such such dubious mis-features and not have all the self-same tracking scriptware that facilitates this abuse/misuse thrown in too? Why make the job of the spooks and analytics merchants much easier, or is it a resigned admission that PRISM and such mass programs take all and see all anyway such as not to make much difference if every visitor here, on the whole unwittingly (and millions of other sites, including .gov sites, banking etc.) additionally persistently and senselessly ring the doorbells of and leave a data-rich calling-cards with google, facebook and others?

  • rosearan

    We keep assuming that it WAS a nerve agent, because that’s what we keep being told. But it seems more likely, based on the timeline of the Skripals’ movements that day, that it was a garden variety poison. And what about the Detective Sergeant? He’s become a mysterious figure, ignored and overlooked. We’re told that he was a ‘first responder’, but detectives are not called to a crime scene until the uniformed police decide that a crime has been committed. So, who is he, and how does he fit into this?

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