The Snap Election – Powered by a Tory Crime Syndicate
By TruePublica: Will there be a snap-election or not – that is the big question right now. The earliest date is now mid-November. Whatever happens, money needs to be raised for campaigning. Theresa May’s snap election cost over £18million and she lost – so she grabbed a few billion of taxpayers hard-earned cash to pay for a bunch of terrorist sympathisers to get on board and support her failed bid to achieve anything at all. One can assume Boris Johnson is going to need at least £20 million to have some sort of fighting chance, especially given the support from the DUP is falling away fast.
According to political betting and the polls, Johnson has to retain all the seats he currently has and add at least 35 for the majority he needs. He has to do some apologising in an attempt to encourage a few of those he unceremoniously sacked. Six have already declared they will not stand again.
It doesn’t bode well though for a Tory party who was funded by bankers and hedge funds that Jeremy Corbyn, widely regarded by the financial industry as a banker-baiting, old-school Marxist with big plans for nationalization and tax hikes has the likes of Citibank and Deutsche Bank behind him. “Is Corbyn as bad as no-deal? Perhaps no longer,” said Citi’s Christian Schulz. Deutsche’s Oliver Harvey said – “A fiscally profligate no-deal Conservative government is no longer as enticing. We see the magnitude of economic damage caused by a no-deal Brexit as much higher than the policies proposed in the last Labour manifesto.”
Do the Tories have the right people in place to raise the money for a successful snap election that this time will be more akin to trench warfare than the usual nonsense we have become accustomed to? Well, they do have Dominic Cummings – the sociopath who dragged the Vote Leave campaign into financial crimes territory to get a Brexit result.
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However, things are looking up, now that the Tories have got Ehud “Udi” Sheleg, the Conservatives’ largest current donor and now the party’s sole treasurer holding the purse-strings.
Sheleg is an ‘art dealer’ and he’s just given the Conservatives another £1m in the second quarter of this year, making him their most generous current benefactor by some margin. Arguably more important, however, is his recent appointment as sole Tory party treasurer.
Until July, Sheleg had been co-treasurer with party chief executive Sir Mick Davis. But with Davis’s resignation, his elevation has given him a senior role that includes no less than being – “responsible for all operational matters including fundraising, membership and candidates”.
First, you should know some background about Sheleg. His brother (and business partner) was involved in a company promoting an online investment industry that was later associated with serious fraud. An investigation by Finance Uncovered, Private Eye and The Times of Israel found that for three years, Ehud’s brother Ran was part of a company that marketed binary options – an industry largely run out of Israel. Binary options were promoted as a form of financial product to thousands of investors around the world, but their sale was halted by European and Israeli regulators last year when it was found that the industry was rife with fraud. It was a high-tech variant of boiler room scams.
Binary options cost UK investors (who reported their losses) some £60million but overall, losses to scamsters is considered to be much larger. When questioned – Ehud Sheleg said he had been completely unaware of the company in which his brother had been involved.
Ehud has ‘establishment’ connections too. His Mayfair-headquartered Halcyon Gallery, an exclusive art dealership boasts of close ties to the Royal Family and the Conservative Party. That company is located in a tax haven (of course). Finance Uncovered also reported that both the Halcyon Gallery and the binary options business were exposed in the huge Panama Papers scandal that exposed tax fraud on a global scale. In the meantime, the gallery sponsors events at Buckingham Palace and has co-hosted a party with Princess Eugenie. It also sponsors an annual charity polo match, where Princes William and Harry have played for the Halcyon Gallery team.
Private Eye also reports that: Sheleg’s promotion doesn’t say much for the importance Boris Johnson as party leader and James Cleverly MP as co-chairman attach to financial probity in fundraising matters. Our special report earlier this year revealed not just Sheleg’s close relations with Moscow, hosting Russia’s ambassador at the height of post-Crimea-invasion sanctions in 2015, but also his major deal with organised-crime-connected figures in establishing a Cyprus outlet of Halcyon the same year. At a minimum, due diligence appears not to be Sheleg’s strong suit. The Eye’s report also showed how Sheleg’s Halcyon company had filed erroneous accounts (not great for a party treasurer), and how in 2009 it had liquidated one of its subsidiary companies (high street art chain Castle Galleries), walking away from £4m of debts and simply carrying on the business under a new company.
Private Eye also unearthed in an earlier edition, Sheleg’s previous track record of “unfiled accounts, unpaid suppliers, investigations and VAT penalties from HM Customs and Excise, along with millions of pounds in dodged tax”. So serious had his habit of dissolving companies and avoiding liabilities been, said Private Eye, that one businessman from the early 2000s said he’d acquired the nickname “Alka Seltzer”. Given a political party’s onerous accounting and reporting requirements, Sheleg is certainly an interesting choice to hold the finance brief in the Tory boardroom.
However, given the very shady nature of Tory party donations and supporters, it appears this choice of Treasurer is ideal.
Dodgy donors, illegal cash
The Tory party are now little more than anarchists. They have systematically gone about the destruction of political and economic stability in their quest for a new form of power.
During all the scandals that emanated from the EU referendum, a powerless Electoral Commission and a toothless (or frightened) National Crime Agency did nothing after discovering Conservative party donors had invested in the very company that spawned the election consultancy at the centre of a storm about the illegal use of data. Worse, we now know that these new technologies at this same organisation were in fact, designed for the British and American military as a propaganda tool, then used on the civilian population of Britain to achieve their goals. The scandals and lawbreaking were breathtaking in scale given the attack on Britain’s democratic traditions.
Theresa May faced questions in the House of Commons over Tory links to the company. “As far as I’m aware the government has no current contracts with Cambridge Analytica or with the SCL Group,” the prime minister said. Either her eyes and ears were looking the other way – or she lied.
Filings for SCL Group, which is at the top of a web of companies linked to Cambridge Analytica, show that since its conception in 2005 its shareholders and officers have included senior Tory MP’s (former and current), Tory insiders, Lords, military men and even a business minister under David Cameron.
The Guardian reported at the time – “From its outset as a UK-registered company, SCL Group had investors from the upper echelons of British life. Lord Marland, a successful businessman who became a minister in 2010, held shares personally. Sir Geoffrey Pattie, a former Conservative defence and industry minister, took a key role in the company for its first three years. Other big investors (of SCL) went on to make huge donations to the Tory party. For instance, Roger Gabb, introduced the Volvic water brand to the UK and property tycoon Vincent Tchenguiz donated large sums as well – both investors in SCL Group.”
Then there’s Nigel Oakes, an old Etonian from a military family – his father is Major John Waddington Oakes – and a former boyfriend of Lady Helen Windsor. Oakes had previously set up a company called Behavioural Dynamics which made many similar claims to SCL about its ability to influence voters. He was involved with Alexander Nix – the fellow old Etonian at the heart of the SCL/Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal.
Brexit is one of Britain’s biggest crime scenes ever. Immersed in mass population data theft, unlawful invasions of privacy, illegal cash from obscure offshore entities, foreign actors, dodgy donors and a myriad of other scandals that would in normal times bring down any British government – the country is being driven over a political, economic and constitutional cliff for an ideology created by the rich and powerful.
Tory donors came out the woodwork again when Theresa May and her disastrous attempt to strike a deal with the EU sank and Boris Johnson ascended to the party throne. Up popped more ‘dodgy donors‘ such as Lubov Chernukhin, the wife of Russian oligarch Vladimir, who famously wrote a large cheque to play tennis with Johnson in 2014. Her donations had declined under Theresa May but suddenly became positively lavish after BJ arrives and a few thousand quid turns into a £200,000 handout. That amount is now believed to be £626,000 from another investigation.
Subject to yet another lawsuit – The Times reported how “MI5 launched an investigation into a Russian lobbying campaign to infiltrate British politics that received advice and support from a senior Conservative MP.” Alexander Shchukin, a Russian oligarch who is under house arrest in Siberia over a string of corruption charges is involved. (Times article link). Have a look yourself, it’s not good reading when considering who is running the country.
Only six months ago, the Conservative Party was under fire after it was revealed that the party illegally accepted over £1 million in funds from individuals who are actually based in tax havens in the run-up to the last election. They ignored the investigation and illegality of those donations.
Twelve months ago, the Tories refused to assist a French investigation into suspected money laundering and tax fraud by the UK telecoms giant Lycamobile – citing the fact that the company is the “biggest corporate donor to the Conservative party” and gives money to a trust founded by Prince Charles.
Eighteen months ago, the Tory party refused to hand back over £800,000 in donations from Russian oligarchs and their associates.
When these people hand over such large sums of money – what exactly do they expect in return?
And just to provide an answer to that question, one Tory party donor Mohammed Shahid Khan, 55, of Wimbledon, gave a £20,000 donation to the Tory party. He also got a multimillion-pound “golden visa” to ensure he and his family could stay in the country. He has since been arrested for funding and equipping terrorist organisations, for illegal arms dealing, fraud and money-laundering in Bangladesh and was using Britain and the Conservative party as cover. In the raid in his home country, the police found detonators, weapons, radical literature linked to Al Qaeda and counterfeit money along with 54 bank accounts. Why was Khan not vetted? Where were MI5 and MI6?
In the background, the list of the rich and powerful usurping democracy in favour of reshaping Britain into an offshore tax-free plaything also goes on.
Tax advisers to the super-rich also stand to gain much from Brexit-era Britain becoming a happy tax-planning hunting ground. When they hand over donations of £50,000 they want results. There are many others too and they all want something in return.
In the meantime, dark money is pouring into Boris Johnson’s snap election campaign machine. Cash from think tanks linked to some of the hardest of hard right-wing free-market jihadists on the planet is filling Dominic Cummings war-chest. Matthew Elliot is there at the centre of this continuing attack against democracy. Both were at the heart of the crime scene that was the Vote Leave/SCL/Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal. Their tactics will be the same. Stolen data, voter manipulation, engagement and disengagement tactics, AB testing, micro-ad targeting. In other words – the illegal gaming of an electoral system unable to defend itself.
The Tories are already at it again – targeting millions with micro-ads. They say there’s nothing wrong with it – and there wouldn’t be if the data wasn’t stolen or gained without consent. It wouldn’t be if the technical delivery systems weren’t built around military structures to win ‘hearts and minds’ on the battlefield and it wouldn’t be if the tactics used weren’t just unethical or immoral but downright sinister. But they are.
This dark money – what is it? It’s illegal cash stuffed into third-party organisations to beat antiquated electoral laws in Britain and keep private the donors. For example, one trail of dodgy cash leads from American so-called think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute and the all-powerful Atlas Network – the same organisations who surround Donald Trump. Another involved in the UK is the Taxpayers Alliance and Insitute of Economic Affairs. The former was caught stuffing its bank account with hundreds of thousands of US dollars in money from undeclared American donors, the latter caught on video offering American donors access to Tory MP’s inside the Brexit negotiations. Of course, none of this seems to be illegal or even immoral nowadays. Somehow, none of these organisations have been properly reprimanded as the pitiful fines dished out are minuscule to their budgets.
Going back to the Tory party treasurer, what do you now see?
It’s a party immersed in dirty money, much of it laundered through the City of London. Its origins come mainly from billionaires, many are foreign, but also from opaque think tanks and front charities. Charlatans, crooks and con-artists whose money comes comes from tax evasion, financial crime and more – are represented by the establishment, just as much as they are at the very heart of the British government.
And those extreme Brexit fanboys, the far-right thugs on Britain’s streets, such as the followers of Tommy Robinson, (himself funded by American far-right organisations), the loudmouths with big shiny boots and green bomber jackets don’t realise whose side they are fighting for. Do they really think that the likes of old Etonians, billionaires, bankers and oligarch’s are somehow going to reward them for being fellow travellers of an ideology designed to benefit the rich?