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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  • Anthony

    If the US Russiagate behemoth sets its sights on SCL I doubt the combined forces of the BBC, the Conservative party and the Royal family will be able to save them. Although it will depends how deep SCL’s ties are with US intelligence agencies.

  • John A

    I cant remember the 1970s joke, What’s white and flies across the sea at 300mph?. However is it related to the joke ‘What did the queen get for Christmas?” Ans: ‘A Mountbatten jigsaw puzzle’ ?

  • Michael McNulty

    Spy agencies were bad enough when they were operated by nation states but when corporations take over the running of the world and have their own private spy agencies it will be like a new Inquisition. Anybody with a complaint or a plan that is against the interests of capital, such as environmentalists, workers’ rights campaigners, or somebody a new invention or better production process, may well disappear. It’ll be Murder Inc.

    • Rose

      Well certainly a sick bucket would have been handy Billy – it didn’t do me any good at all reading that lot. Wonder if he directed his interest in “psychology” to the reasons for his involvement with the scent industry. Perhaps he couldn’t stand his own stench.

  • The Salvation Airforce

    Do you actually have the slogan “TARGET” sewn into the back of your pullover, Craig, or is it superimposed by some form of holograph inside the actual sniper sight?

  • mog

    Credit where credit is due. Liam has done the digging.
    Worth noting that Tom Secker called it a month ago, all be it more speculatively. Someone like Secker who has put the hours in closely studying how the deep state has operated over the past century or so, can present an argument based on simple logical arguments and the ‘conforming to pattern’ of the Cambridge Analytica story.
    The media hype of the whole thing looks like ‘limited hang out’, pointing a finger at a small, relatively insignificant operation that diverts attention from our failed democracies and corrupt states with descriptions of ‘psychographic magic’.
    I can’t prove this, but you tell me what’s more likely? That an obscure data analytics firm developed a magical new formula for winning elections, failed to get Ted Cruz elected but magically were the key factor in getting Donald Trump elected, or that a bunch of closet fascist billionaires are using big data mass marketing to try to push society in a direction that’s conducive to their interests? Which of those two conspiracy theories sounds the more practical, the more realistic? But which of them is the one you’ve been fed by the mainstream and the alternative media?’
    In this time of escalating, obvious fakery taking over public discourse, I wish people like Secker got more recognition.
    Podcast and transcript:

  • giyane

    Perhaps the failed false flag whopper in Salisbury and the dismissal of Rex Tillerson for plotting a false flag whopper in Syria unbeknown to Trump, followed by Donald Trump picking up the phone to congratulate Putin, have caused a temporary mental malfunction in the UK deep state intelligence services. It is more like an unconscious, beached whale than a surfacing one.

    ” However, Syria is not Iraq and the UNO is not the G8 (from which Russia has been excluded because of its adhesion to Crimea and its support of Syria). The United States are not going to destroy Damascus, and Russia will not be excluded from the Security Council. After having resigned from the European Union, then having refused to sign the Chinese declaration about the Silk Road, the United Kingdom thought to improve its stature by eliminating a competitor. By this piece of dirty work, it imagined that it would acquire a new dimension and become the « Global Britain » announced by Madame May. But it is destroying its own credibility.” Thierry Myessan.
    Liam O’Hare’s article should be compulsory reading for every primary school child embarking on a relationship with their mobile phone.

    Zukerberg’s facile apologies for the flagrant breach of confidentiality on the BBC Radio 4 News, something neither you nor any small business could get away with, were totally sickening. The BBC literally lay on its back and opened its legs to get him off the hook.Wow! I’m glad I never filled in the BBC’s registration form.

    • What's going on?

      Have you thought that Trump might be part of the psy op?

      Could it be that Brexit-Trump-Five Star is a psy op to teach the electorate that they need to respect their betters? That they shouldn’t believe independently researched blogs and if you think all politicians and parties are the same then look again at Trump, Salvini and Di Maio.

  • John C

    I’m of your generation and I don’t remember “What’s white and flies across the sea at 300mph?”. Apart from an Exocet, but I expect a funnier punchline.

    Thanks for giving a saner, broader view of current events.

    • craig Post author

      I believe that, 40 years on, Jimmy Boyle had a BBC contract cancelled because he used this ancient joke.

    • FredCDobbs

      From memory the punchline was “Mountbatten’s plimsoll”….in the same genre…

      How do we know Lord Mountbatten had dandruff?…His head and shoulders were found on the beach..

  • Adrian Kent.

    I don’t want to seem too complacent, but one thing conspicuously missing from all of this is any independent evidence that the algorithms of Cambridge Analytica are in anyway effective in identifying people as they claim that they are. There’s a lot riding on the, obviously self-serving, claims of the company themselves – recently augmented by the boasts theyve made in the secret camera work of C4 etc.

    I’m not saying that the harvesting of all this data isn’t worrying, but that, at the moment, the evidence that this information can be used on the masses in the ‘election-swinging’ way that the more lurid stories would have us beleive is simply not there. I stand to be corrected on this, but I’ve been following this for a while and I’ve not seen any in the recent news. Certainly Carole Cadwaladr hasn’t provided any in her ‘award winning’ coverage – or offered any such evidence when I’ve tweeter her requesting it.

    FWIW I work in ‘big data’ and know just how poor these predictive models can be – and that’s before you start to consider whether our internet personas actually correspond to our private intentions.

    • Steph

      I think this is quite a good point and should be looked at more perhaps. I do not doubt that public opinion can be influenced by mainstream media, that is obvious. But yes, Amazon continually ‘recommends’ stuff to me that I am not remotely interested in, so even at that level something is clearly not as clever as its supposed to be!

    • Jim Copeland

      It is not that you need to swing ‘the masses’, you just need to influence a smaller number of people in the swing seats/states. The mass suppression (e.g. discouraging Sander voters going to Clinton) does the rest. It is why low turnout is important in this, apathy makes the job easier.

    • Christopher Dale Rogers


      Many thanks for your input. As someone with colleagues who act as a senior salesmen selling large IT solutions to global financial organisations I’m rather shocked that the MSM placed so much evidence on the claims made by those selling these data manipulation services, never mind continuing a trend we all know too well, namely, undermining your opposition by any means necessary.

      Most large IT solutions sold to big finance never achieve the heights that the salesmen sell them, indeed, many fail or have very large cost over runs – hence, my own scepticism with regards these claims by CA, most of which are not worth the paper they are written on. And if proof is necessary, well, Sociologists and media researchers have focused on these issues for more than a generation, but the fact remains, that most of the readership of The Sun don’t vote Tory, whilst most of the readership of the Daily Telegraph do vote Tory – both titles being Rightwing.

      Further, and a matter of fact that neither CM or the many posters on this Blog have not cottoned on to is the fact that PR and devious means have been utilised for political purposes since the turn of the Twentient Century, with the Creel Committee being infamous for those in the know. Allegedly Woodrow Wilson was a liberal, alas the evidence suggests otherwise.

      • Adrian Kent.

        :Absolutely right Christopher – you might also add that the first person to heavily use CA in the last US election cycle was, wait for it, Ted Cruz.

        @Jim Copeland – I take your point, but the evidence that this even works at the margins isn’t there either. There are huge sums of money swimming around all elections these days – that CA and their backers are another snout in the trough is beyond doubt, that they can follow through on their promises is far from sure.


        The books by Arthur Ponsonby, MP, Falsehood in Wartime 1929
        and by Harold Lasswell on propaganda in WWI were cited in earlier threads. Both are available online. In WWI, the UK had its wartime propaganda ops as did the US and its Office of Wartime Information (OWI). No doubt there was cooperation between them.

        Wilson and his advisors were influenced by the post Gladstone Liberal Imperialists in the UK. His chief advisor, Edward Mandell House, was educated in the UK and had connections to the Fabian Society. His father’s cotton brokerage business in Texas worked with Speyer and Company. Wilsonian “liberals” in the US today in both parties subscribe to what is today called in the US “liberal internationalism”. The Neocons talk about a “muscular Wilsonianism”.

      • Stu

        “that most of the readership of The Sun don’t vote Tory”

        60% of Sun readers voted Tory in 2017.

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    • The Old Hacker

      Caught in spam-filter? It’s SPAM! A twist on the old Nigerian 419 scams by the look of it.

  • Tony M

    Exposing the trick of Cambridge Analytica is in itself a trick – a pantomime pawn for Zuckerboy to surrender over. Yes, another glimpse of the inner workings, but they still pull the reigns. The prize for this little charade is a further clampdown free speech, with Facebook’s pretend “face saving” and towing the line tailored for public approval.

    The other trick being pulled is the undermining of “democracy”, which is exactly this article’s purpose, but this time the bone is thrown for Republicans to chase and bark all over.

  • sarahC

    In the original Observer report on this, the parts that I found very worrying were the claims that SCL, a UK registered company, had influenced elections in several countries, using ‘fake news’ types of techniques. This is getting less attention than you’d expect … reporting seems to focus mainly on the possible Facebook data breach which is far less surprising.

    When there was the furore about dreaded Russian Hackers, I thought yes, maybe, but most likely we do some of the same, and wasn’t the CIA famous for infiltrating and manipulating abroad, it would be surprising if they didn’t use newer technologies in the same way. But now it seems to be private companies too.

    ‘“We just put information into the bloodstream of the internet and then watch it grow, give it a little push every now and again over time to watch it take shape,” said the executive. “And so this stuff infiltrates the online community, but with no branding, so it’s unattributable, untrackable.”’

  • Ian

    If you didn’t think it was a big story and was just about data collection, then I am sorry, Craig, but you are missing the far deeper import and consequences of what these companies are up to. You may think of propaganda as the placing of stories in the MSM, the narrow agreed agenda, and so on – what you already cover. However, this is much more covert, harder to trace and is not primarily about the simple collection of an individual’s data.
    It is more akin to the kind of manipulation that the banks and the city became accustomed to before the crash – the highly esoteric algorithms written by some of the brightest maths and physics graduates, enabling the manipulation and exploitation of data on a scale hitherto impossible, allowing them to corner markets, distort any semblance to traditional finance, and make colossal fortunes in the process.
    In this case it is an unholy alliance of social psychologists, who have been very busy with statistical indices of political behaviour and cultures, and these algorithmic whizz kids. Even they have been amazed at the correlations they have been able to find by data mining and aggregation, which in turn allows them to target receptive audiences for their brand of normally alt right manipulation. This kind of voter manipulation was, and is, highly effective in the Trump campaign, even if he didn’t have a clue what Bannon and co were doing. It is also highly likely the same thing happened with brexit, and the tories are well up to speed with these techniques. Because of its esoteric, little understood nature, and its dismissal as the same as old-fashioned PR and press campaigns (their feeble and disingenuous excuse), the undermining of any semblance of democracy we have had post-war is fast progressing. It is a real threat to any notion we have of fairly run elections.
    I urge you to take it more seriously, and maybe you will join the dots with your other current political concerns. It is a wider picture, more complex and disturbing than perhaps you realise.
    Nor is it confined to the UK and the US, but is a worldwide operation – Nigeria was embroiled in a similar Cambridge Analytica scandal with its, quote, ‘Israeli team’.
    Carole Cadwalladr at the much derided Guardian has been very good on this for some time, and for her pains has suffered the kind of digital attacks you have also been subject to.
    You could start with this if you want a taste:

    • Adrian Kent.

      @Ian – that all sounds very worrying indeed, but there simply isn’t any evidence that the algorithms are anywhere near reliable enough to produce the effects you highlight – either by successfully identifying the groups to target or in designing the materials that the nefarious parties then deploy to sway them.

      Certainly the effects would be dwarfed by those of the endless free publicity given to the likes of Trump, Farrage et al in the run up to their respective elections.

      It’s a nailed on certainty that Trump benefitted very much more from Hilary’s ludicrously reckless ‘pied piper’ policy than any FB tweaking.

      The Guardian’s coverage is not a good place to start if you want to consider this rationally.

      • Ian

        Actually, Adrian, there is evidence, but you need to go into it in great detail, and divest yourself of the traditional ideas of what influences people and their behaviour. As for the Guardian, the kind of blanket condemnation of it is just childish us and them stuff. Like most newspapers there are decent people who work there, and Carole has been excellent in digging away at this topic long before it became mainstream. I understand Craig’s pique at the much, and deservedly, derided opinion columnists of that paper, but they don’t constitute the Guardian any more than Carole C does. They fingered Aitken, Archer and the hacking stories, so you have to have to separate the good from the bad.

    • meric

      Following the success of the SCL techniques in the referendum:
      “Theresa May ‘wants to use an army of computerised Trump “mind-readers” to help her win the next Election’
      Tory chiefs have been in talks with polling data experts Cambridge Analytica
      British company uses computers to ‘mine’ huge amounts of data on voters
      Then it builds different personality profiles to try to target voters’ concerns”

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Any state which iis descendad from an absolute state, even the one in the USA, is bound to have constant reminders of it despite the democratic hoopla about the monarch can no longer do no wrong..

  • Republicofscotland

    “What’s white and flies across the sea at 300mph?”

    Mountbatten exiting his Shadow V boat.

  • Sagittarius Rising

    This post is slightly off topic – and is in response to those asking questions about the Henry Jackson Society:-

    This is a very long, fascinating insight about how the HJS viewed the world on 19 September 2005. As will become evident, there are lots of mentions of neo-this, that and the other in the article.

    In taking a quick look at what Wikipedia has to say about the HJS now, it also suggests that HJS is neo-conservative – whilst going on to explain that the only workable solution to the world’s problems is by embracing liberal policies (point number 1).

    What is so interesting about the article from 2005, on HJS’ own website, is that it was clearly setting out its vision for the coming years. The whole article is focussed on the UK becoming more aligned and integrated with/to the EU not withdrawing from it, or in allowing the UK to seek its own destiny.

    Throughout, the HJS article explains that it is neo-conservative – just as the Wikipedia entry does now.

    Not only did the vote to Leave rather suggest that the people of the UK do not quite view the EU in the way that the HJS would have liked, it also suggests that it is the HJS themselves who failed to understand public sentiment at all, and to such an extent that despite its policies, the people of the UK still said ‘no thanks’ in June 2016.

    Far from being neo-conservative then, I would suggest that the HJS is or has evolved into that which is neo-liberal – whilst still retaining its old hat – purely as as a means to suggest that ‘Russia done it’.

    What ‘liberals’ do not understand or accept is that not every person or country is, or wishes to be ‘liberal’. That it is the intent by liberals to mish-mash everything that is in fact separate into one big pot that causes the exact same tensions to arise that Imperialism of old also caused.

    • joel

      Agreed, liberal fundamentalism (as public facade for avaricious corporate interests) has turned the mideast upside down. Next on the agenda, it seems, WW3 with Russia, Iran, NKorea, anybody who doesn’t show due deference to their flexible ideology.

    • Stu

      “Not only did the vote to Leave rather suggest that the people of the UK do not quite view the EU in the way that the HJS would have liked, it also suggests that it is the HJS themselves who failed to understand public sentiment at all, and to such an extent that despite its policies, the people of the UK still said ‘no thanks’ in June 2016.”

      Conveniently ignoring the fact that the most committed Henry Jackson nuts Douglas Murray, Alan Mendoza, Gove and Liam Fox were pro Brexit. Also Gisela Stuart was one of the main leaders for Leave.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    One of the most interesting possibilities is identifying groupings who take certain stories run by the media to be true, even if they not. Because then if you run those stories and have them believed by a certain percentage, you can target them using follow up messaging.

    Some people want to believe that political life is full of paedophiles. Some will believe bogey man stories, be it Iraq, Libya, Syria, Russia, the EU etc. Some will foam at hearing about high salaries, some about evil men demonising women.

    By identifying the populations and their triggers, you can shape their feelings about candidates.

    I long ago dissociated any voting intentions from what the Press print, because I know how manipulative they are.

    But large numbers of people still have some trust in media, so can be influenced knowingly or unknowingly.

  • simeon

    i believe his nick name at college was leggy mountbatten owing to the fact he liked getting the new boyz into a head lock with his rather odd out of the ordinary long leg.
    as an ex i can tell you leggy is not the issue here hare here shooting buck shot at anyone in this company is as pointless as the suggestion that bell pottinger shape the informational battle space terra form excavate and map the country of the goy mind
    already what what.
    g4s,serco do a fine job keeping us all safe from cradle to the grave
    my life already

  • Good In Parts


    I seem to remember reading about this ‘psychohistory’ approach some time ago, it’s probably the work of Asimov.

    Wait a minute… Asimov sounds like a russian name… It all makes sense now. All of it.

    So then, the key question:- Who is muffin ?

  • Hagar

    and here it is,


    If you believe that lie your brain has been hacked, and propaganda is effective, ON YOU!

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    I am reminded when Lt. Simon Hayward had to pass muster by getting “The Colonel’s approval (aka Lord Mountbatten)) to join the Household Cavalry. Hayward went on to serve the Deep State in most controversial ways.

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Would think posters would be interested in Hayward’s leading the ‘shoot to kill’ response in NI for the IRA’s London bombings in 1982, his possibly shooting poor SNP leader Willie McRae during his training to join the 14 Intelligence Company, and his shooting for it, especially that of Francis Bradley in preparation fot shooting Swedish PM Olof Palme.

  • Woke Too Late

    On the issue of propaganda and manipulative this is what are children seem to be taught:

    So children you decide either:

    1. Puitin is most dangerous European leader since Hitler? or…

    2. Putin is a personality cult puffed up by cowardly, yet high-profile, attacks on neighbours and rogue individuals?

    “The Day” website is a daily use service aimed at teachers, schools and young people.

    It just seems incredibility loaded compared to the type of thing I was taught at school. It made me think that this hostility towards Russia (which may expand towards China to destroy OROR) is likely to be a long term thing and our children are being indoctrinated for hostility, war & conflict towards Russia. It’s like some people read “1984” and regarded it as an instruction manual!

  • N_

    Am I right that the only known use of a nerve agent as an assassination weapon when the perpetrator was identified with certainty was when Israel tried to murder Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Jordan?

    (A nerve agent was later used against Kim Jong-Nam and while most people think North Korea was behind the action, that hasn’t been fully established.)

    That case is instructive for those anti-Z**nists who for some reason oppose BDS. Israel backed down, big time.

  • simeon

    i was thinking of writing a bookie
    called we where working secretly for the military adventures in words and sound
    from frank kitson gangs counter gang and pseudogang to david sterling sas
    from mossad dick to cia it’s all a tavistock shoa.

    the publisher told me the title was not very snappy and a little on the long side.

    it crushed me so i gave up on the idea

    • Casual Observer

      Interesting that you mention Stirling, as it would seem that SCL are nothing more than the present incarnation of what has been described as the ‘Mayfair Set’ ?

      They’re a crowd who get traction in times of weak government, indeed it might even be suggested that the current government have succumbed to the notion that this group may be able to forestall its descent into total farce ?

      Trouble is, the ‘Mayfair Set’ lack the breadth of vision that would enable them to put together any strategy that would enjoy success beyond what might be called the Empire Loyalist segment of society. The speed with which the Skipal narrative is becoming unravelled, and the inevitable consequences of having to release more information to impartial outside observers, would almost lead one to think that the whole Salisbury ‘Incident’ must be some elaborate governmental suicide.

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