Reply To: Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019

Home Forums Discussion Forum Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019 Reply To: Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019

Kim Sanders-Fisher

Few in the US or among global Leaders feel at liberty to honestly say Trump had it coming; Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi came closest to uttering the rebuke he so richly deserved after putting so many lives at risk. In the Gist Podcast, “Hoisted By His Own Petard,” Mike Pesca comments on how “Donald Trump tests positive for the very virus he’s steadfastly claimed is a “hoax.” Of Trump’s mask strategy it says, “In the interview, Mike is joined by David Priess, COO of the Lawfare Institute, an organization and online magazine which focuses on national security issues. Priess posits some worst case scenarios in light of President Trump contracting Covid-19, the unexpected vulnerabilities and uncertainties that lay ahead, historical norms of disclosure for a president, and the ultimate Continuity of Government Plan – the election. Priess is a former CIA officer, and author of The President’s Book of Secrets and How to Get Rid of a President: History’s Guide to Removing Unpopular, Unable, or Unfit Chief Executives.”

UK hypocrisy is no better as an Article entitled, “Tories ‘shameless’ for demanding SNP MP resigns after ‘throwing ring of steel around Cummings’” shows by highlighting the arbitrary disciplinary standard this Tory Government wants to apply to the rules that they devised. They say, “Critics have branded Tory MPs hypocrites for their different responses to Margaret Ferrier and Dominic Cummings’ violations of coronavirus rules. Tory MPs calling for Margaret Ferrier’s resignation for violating coronavirus rules have been labelled ‘shameless’ after failing to do so for Dominic Cummings. Ferrier has ‘unreservedly’ apologized after travelling to the House of Commons with symptoms, participating in a debate and taking a train trip to Scotland after testing positive for COVID-19. The actions of the SNP MP who was suspended from the party were described by Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, as ‘absolutely unacceptable’. Sturgeon said she made Ferrier ‘crystal clear’ that she should resign as a MP.”

Ampgoo point out that, “Ferrier faces further calls to resign from opponents and SNP politicians and could face a £ 4,000 fine for first contact with others if she should have isolated herself. Tory MPs have themselves come under fire from critics who accused them of hypocrisy after calling for Ferrier’s resignation. However, they did not request it when Boris Johnson’s special adviser Cummings broke coronavirus rules earlier this year. Dr. Tooting Labor MP Rosena Allin-Khan said: ‘It’s ridiculous to see Tory MPs tweet about Margaret Ferrier building a fortress around Cummings! Pure comedy.’ Former Attorney General Nazir Afzal added, “There has to be nothing short of resignation. For all Tory MPs who call for it but cast a steel ring around Cummings, you have neither credibility nor shame.” This could be used as a renewed opportunity for the public to demand the resignation of Dominic Cummings for his flagrant rule breaking now that we fully understand the detrimental effect this has had on public confidence.

Ampgoo report that, “When asked about the different reactions Ferrier and Cummings had to Sky News on Friday, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said, ‘Well, Dominic Cummings made a statement following the events in which he was involved. He denies breaking the rules and, as you know, he accepted his answers and answered questions from the press at the time.’ He added, ‘I’m not here to discuss individual cases or to defend the behavior of any particular person’. Speaking to Times Radio, Jenrick refused to comment on whether he regretted helping Dominic Cummings when he travelled to Durham with COVID-19 symptoms, simply saying, ‘I am unable to talk about isolated cases’.” The offence Cummings committed was equally reckless and put lives at risk. His return to Number 10 after both he and his wife were displaying symptoms was a risk to Downing Street staff, but driving 260miles while severely compromised not only put the safety of his family at risk, it risked other drivers on the road who could have been killed or injured if he had caused an accident.

According to Ampgoo, “Ferrier had heavily criticized Cummings’ violations of the coronavirus rules. The SNP itself was also criticized on Friday after it was suggested that the party knew of Ferrier’s diagnosis the day before it was released on Thursday evening. Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, who resigned from Johnson’s administration over Cummings lockdown moves, said ‘the public deserves clear answers. We now know that the SNP was informed on Wednesday that Margaret Ferrier was being tested after she had already ridden back to Scotland from London on public transport while infected with the virus,’ he said. ‘These acts not only violated the law, but also put lives in danger. ‘We need to hear from Nicola Sturgeon and Ian Blackford exactly when they knew and why they kept this information secret from the public for hours or even days’.”

Ampgoo report that, “SNP spokeswoman insisted the party didn’t know until Thursday that Ms. Ferrier had taken a test before her trip to London. ‘Ms. Ferrier informed the SNP on Wednesday when she was in Glasgow that she had tested positive,’ she said. ‘The head whip of the SNP immediately informed the parliamentary authorities. The SNP did not find out until Thursday that Ms. Ferrier had been tested before her trip to London and had returned to Glasgow knowing she had got a positive result’.” We should not compliantly demand that all non Tory violations are met with the strongest disciplinary consequences while Cummings is allowed to remain in post despite his rule breaking. After constructing the limitations that apply to the rest of his selfish conduct set the tone for selective noncompliance. Ferrier should agree to go on the clear understanding that Dominic Cummings will be fired by the PM.

There is ample reason for us to want Cummings removed from his post ASAP due to this unelected Chief Adviser to the PM’s unhealthy control over Boris Johnson and his ongoing toxic interventions in every area of Government, taking a wrecking ball to our democracy. In a Byline Times Article entitled, “Trump, Cummings & Cambridge Analytica The Digital Threat to Democracy,” Tom Scott documents, “how new revelations about voter suppression in the US raise urgent questions about psychographic targeting of UK voters and plans to strip citizens of data protection rights. The UK government issued a curious press release a few days ago to announce that the former CEO of Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix, had been disqualified as a company director for seven years for offering ‘shady political services’. These included ‘bribery or honey trap stings, voter disengagement campaigns, obtaining information to discredit political opponents and spreading information anonymously in political campaigns”.

Scott reports that, “Tactfully, the release didn’t mention Cambridge Analytica’s key role in the Brexit referendum campaign, or that a sister company of Cambridge Analytica, AIQ, was paid by Dominic Cummings and Vote Leave to target UK voters, placing 1.5 billion ads on their Facebook pages in the days leading up to the 2016 referendum. Were voter suppression tactics used by Brexit campaigners and perhaps also in Boris Johnson’s 2019 election campaign? Many of these ads – which were entirely invisible to the Electoral Commission – contained outright disinformation about the EU. Cummings himself has boasted about how they swung the result for Leave. Nor did the government’s press release mention the fact that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had met with Nix as Foreign Secretary in 2016 – a meeting whose purpose Johnson has claimed he ‘can’t remember’, though Fraser Nelson of the Spectator has reported that it was ‘to try to learn about, and improve links with, Team Trump’. Just the sort of thing anyone might forget.”

Scott outlines, “AI-Generated Voter Suppression,” saying that, “The connection between Team Trump and Cambridge Analytica was indeed intimate, as has been underlined by Channel Four News reports this week of the way that Nix’s company helped the Donald Trump presidential campaign suppress the black vote in key marginal states during the 2016 presidential election campaign. Significantly, the DCMS committee took evidence that Cambridge Analytica’s pitch to Leave.EU had included the offer of targeted voter suppression techniques. Leaked data from Trump’s campaign team reveals how millions of black citizens were profiled as likely Democrat voters, with the help of software – and, it seems certain, illegally obtained Facebook datasets – supplied by Cambridge Analytica. They were then subjected to micro-targeted Facebook ads designed to instil distrust of Hillary Clinton.”

Scott explains, “The object was not to encourage them to vote for Trump but to deter them from voting altogether. He says that, “in states such as Wisconsin and Georgia, this appears to have been highly effective: in many predominantly black wards, voter turnout in November 2016 was around 20% lower than in the presidential race four years earlier. In an extremely narrow race, this was to prove a decisive factor. There has been already been substantial fallout from Channel Four’s revelations in the US, with many African Americans outraged to learn how Trump’s campaign had actively sought to disenfranchise black communities. There may well be legal consequences for members of Team Trump, too – not least for Brad Parscale, who had acted as digital media director for Trump’s 2016 campaign and was overall campaign manager for his 2020 presidential bid until July 2020.” Why are we so compliant and cowardly when it comes to scrutinizing our own highly suspicious, unexpected, Tory fake ‘landslide victory?’

A new Greg Palast Book entitled “How Trump stole 2020” documents the voter suppression techniques in play in the US right now and how to foil them! In describing his book Palast rants, “I watch these smug jerks and I’m ill … because I know something they won’t tell you.” He then delivers a few shocking facts to the American people: “In 2016, no fewer than 5,872,857 ballots were cast—and never counted. Does it matter? In Detroit, 75,355 ballots were never counted because of 87 broken scanning machines. And Trump supposedly won Michigan by 10,700 votes — really/” He discovered that, “no fewer than 1,982,071 legal voters were denied the right to vote. Told to get the hell out of the polling station. Can you guess their color?” It is naive to think this Tory Government, obsessed with breaking all the rules, would not use the same dirty tricks to disenfranchise British voters, dissuade then from voting, spoil or steal their ballots. The Covert 2019 Rigged Election was won through industrial scale fraud and we need t expose the truth.

According to Scott, “Parscale had testified under oath to a Congressional committee that he had not participated in efforts to suppress the black vote in 2016, a statement now shown to be false. He is already in legal hot water, having been detained earlier this week following an armed stand-off with Florida police, called by his bruised and battered wife. It’s not clear whether Parscale, a long-term Trump family associate, knew that the Channel Four News story was about to break, or whether this may have contributed to his agitated state. But reverberations from the story may well reach higher still. The overall architect of Trump’s digital campaign was Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and it was Kushner, along with Parscale and the now jailed Trump-Russia felon Paul Manafort, who invited Cambridge Analytica to work on Trump’s presidential bid.”

Scott elaborates on, “The Vote Leave Connection to Cambridge Analytica” reporting that, “In the UK, these revelations should prompt urgent questions not just about exactly what services were provided by Cambridge Analytica and associated companies to Brexit campaigners, but also about the increasing vulnerability of the democratic process to manipulation by unscrupulous digital operatives. As Vote Leave’s campaign director, Dominic Cummings spent 98% of his campaign budget on digital advertising and voter targeting. In fact, he overspent on Vote Leave’s legally allowed budget by illicitly funnelling £675,000 through BeLeave, another pro-Brexit group. Altogether, Cambridge Analytica’s Canadian sister company AIQ took payments of nearly £3,657,000 from Vote Leave and associated campaign groups. Correspondence seen by former Labour MP Ian Lucas indicates that Vote Leave frontmen Boris Johnson and Michael Gove were well aware of this illegal overspending.”

Scott reports that, “The bulk of this money went to AIQ, which as Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie has described, was set up ‘to service SCL and Cambridge Analytica projects” (SCL is Cambridge Analytica’s parent company). AIQ used software and datasets supplied by Cambridge Analytica, the ‘shady political services’ provider set up by far-right guru Steve Bannon and presided over by smooth-talking Old Etonian Alexander Nix. In March 2018, data breach specialist Chris Vickery was able to gain access to an insecurely guarded online data warehouse set up by AIQ, giving insights into the range of digital tools used by the company and showing its hand-in-glove relationship with Cambridge Analytica.”

Scott adds that, “Vickery described what he found to Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee set up to investigate disinformation and fake news: “a set of sophisticated applications, data management programs, advertising trackers, and information databases that collectively could be used to target and influence individuals through a variety of methods, including automated phone calls, emails, political websites, volunteer canvassing, and Facebook ads”. Vickery also gave the committee a diagram that clearly laid out the relationships between AIQ, Cambridge Analytica and the Trump and Brexit campaigns. (Source: Final Report of DCMS Committee Investigation into Disinformation and Fake News, 2019)”

Scott examines the connection between Cambridge Analytica and Leave EU reporting that, “The DCMS Committee report strongly suggests that AIQ used Facebook data illicitly acquired by psychometric specialist Dr Alexander Kogan and sold on to Cambridge Analytica to target voters in both the US and the UK: ‘AIQ had the capability to use the data scraped by Dr Kogan […] Dr Kogan’s data also included UK citizens’ data and the question arises whether this was used during the EU referendum. We know from Facebook that data matching Dr Kogan’s was found in the data used by AIQ’s leave campaign audience files. Facebook believe that this is a coincidence, or, in the words of Mike Schroepfer, CTO of Facebook, an ‘effectively random chance’. It is not known whether the Kogan data was destroyed by AIQ’. But Vote Leave was not the only Brexit campaign group assisted by Cambridge Analytica or associated companies.”

According to Scott, “Nix has boasted about how his company ‘supercharged’ Leave.EU’s Brexit campaign, a claim backed up by former Cambridge Analytica insider Brittany Kaiser. Kaiser was even on the speaker platform at Leave.EU’s launch in November 2015, where she was introduced in glowing terms by campaign frontman Richard Tice: ‘We have Brittany Kaiser from Cambridge Analytica, a world leader in target-voter messaging using specialist non-traditional techniques.’ Later, in their contradictory evidence to the DCMS Committee, both Nix and Arron Banks of Leave.EU attempted to deny Cambridge Analytica’s involvement. Significantly, the DCMS committee took evidence that Cambridge Analytica’s pitch to Leave.EU had included the offer of targeted voter suppression techniques. This, as Brittany Kaiser has testified, was an absolutely standard part of Nix’s pitch – she even recorded him making it to a prospective client. Asked during this pitch about the company’s work on Brexit, Nix replies: ‘We don’t talk about that.’ To which Kaiser adds, ironically: ‘Oops – we won’!”

Scot poses the question, was this “Water Under the Bridge? Were voter suppression tactics used by Brexit campaigners and perhaps also in Boris Johnson’s 2019 election campaign? Some of the ads microtargeted on UK voters by AIQ suggest strongly that they were indeed used in 2016. Many of these were not designed to enthuse people with the idea that Brexit would bring any positive benefits, but rather to fill them with fear and distrust of the European Union. Voters known to be concerned with animal welfare, for instance, were shown ads suggesting (falsely) that the EU endorses bull-fighting, while those concerned about the environment – a group that might otherwise be seen as likely to support EU membership – were told that “the EU stops us speaking up to protect polar bears”. The aim seems to have been to undermine any inclination such individuals might have felt to go out and vote for continued EU membership.”

Scott proclaims that, “All of this is much more than water under the bridge. Alexander Nix may be barred as a company director – having allegedly taken $8 million out of the company shortly before it filed for insolvency, but the people who worked for Cambridge Analytica and AIQ are still working on political campaigns on both sides of the Atlantic, using the same set of psychographic targeting techniques and the same, or enhanced, datasets.” He says that, “the people who employed these companies to use their dark arts on US and UK voters have faced virtually no consequences. In fact, Dominic Cummings now exercises unprecedented powers as Boris Johnson’s most senior adviser. Disturbingly, Cummings is now reported to be using these powers to advance a scheme to remove the data protection rights currently enjoyed by UK citizens under the European Union’s general data protection regulation (GDPR).”

Scott refers to it as, “Cummings’ Data Grab” saying that, “GDPR is widely seen as the current gold standard in data privacy and it offers the best available legal means to protect voters from illicit data-gathering and microtargeting of the sort used by Cambridge Analytica and AIQ. It was GDPR that enabled US citizen Professor David Carroll to sue Cambridge Analytica to obtain the personal data that it held on him, and it was the company’s refusal to hand it over that led to a successful prosecution by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office. Carroll never managed to obtain his data from Cambridge Analytica before the company collapsed, having wiped the hard drives that would have contained it. But this week, Channel Four News was able to show him his individual data file from the Team Trump leak – one of some 200 million such files it had built up on US citizens.”

Scott reports that, “It contained an astonishingly detailed profile, including everything from the car he drives and the investments he’s made to his reading, internet browsing habits and the charities he donates to. This was accompanied by a psychographic profile assessing personality traits such as conscientiousness, neuroticism, extroversion and openness. Carroll was in no doubt that this had been assembled using data and tools provided by Cambridge Analytica. It was the information he had been seeking for four years. We should be in no doubt that similar files exist for many millions of UK citizens, and as Professor Carroll told Channel Four News: ‘Every voter has a right to see this.’ If Dominic Cummings gets his way, it is unlikely that voters will be able to assert any such right in future. For digital surveillance and voter manipulation specialists, ‘democracy dies in darkness’ is not so much a warning as an aspiration.”

Johnson has allowed the Cummings wrecking ball to precipitate failure after failure until we barely have a functioning Government while the wanton plundering of public funds squandered has reached epidemic proportions without tackling or controlling the Covid 19 Pandemic! With the ongoing revelations regarding illegal use of data Cummings cannot remain in contempt of Parliament and must appear before DCMS. We have a perfect opportunity to put intense pressure on the PM to demand the removal of Cummings at the same time as Ferrier is expected to quit; we cannot allow more Tory exceptionalism and immunity from accountability. At the point where Cummings can no longer dictate to the PM, he might just blow the whistle in revenge, exposing crucial evidence that would overturn the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, force an Investigation of the Vote, drive the Tories out of office and hopefully see the PM and key politicians behind bars on corruption charges. Cummings is the grenade; oust him and you pull the pin! DO NOT MOVE ON!