Farage against the machine
De-banking has arrived in Great Britain. Or rather, it has been going on for some time, but now it’s happened to someone with media leverage. Nigel Farage, the ex-financier who engineered Brexit, was contacted by his bank and told his account was being closed down. The bank in question is Coutts & Co., an exclusive concern who won’t even let you sit down if you haven’t got a million quid. The Queen used to bank there, although the current King seems the sort of personage who might give his money to that nice Nigerian chap who emailed him about his uncle also being a King and having made a will.
Coutts’ first line of defense was that Farage didn’t have a million quid, and so could be filed under “pauper.” When this was proven false, it seemed the de-banking had been debunked. Farage took it further, however — and he’s not stopping — claiming he had lost his account for political reasons, and he made an application for data held on him by the bank via something called an SAR, or subject access request, which under the Data Protection Act of 1998 obliges an organization to provide information held on a customer on formal request. The information Coutts held on Farage has since become political hot sauce.
The 40-page report Farage received explained that he did not “align” with the bank’s values, and “must be barred [because he does not] support the diversity, policy, and ‘purpose’ of Coutts.” Those of us who believe the purpose of a bank is the safe stewardship of your money were further informed of Farage’s dangerous friendship with the unlikely pairing of Donald Trump and tennis champion Novak Djokovic, as well as his retweeting (the Russian Roulette of social media) a “transphobic” gag by Ricky Gervais. Oh, and Brexit was mentioned. 80 times. Only Russia, at 144, was mentioned more, along with Farage’s publicly-expressed views — he is also a journalist, after all — on vaccines, immigration, and net zero. That undoubtedly rang the lemons in the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) department at Coutts, which is a corporate social credit system.
Farage tried many other banks, none of whom offered him an account on the basis that he had been turned down by a competitor. The Left applauded, displaying their ever-present cognitive dissonance as they defended one of Europe’s most exclusive banks despite their hatred of capitalism. The BBC gleefully reported Farage’s financial defenestration — and then the plot, as plots do, thickened.
The night before Farage’s financial kite-strings were cut in public, Dame Alison Rose, CEO of NatWest Bank — parent company to Coutts and almost 40% owned by the British public — was at a dinner, and found herself sitting next to high-flying BBC journalist Simon Jack. The next day, Farage’s account closure details were a lead story on the BBC website (though they have had to do a bit of groveling since). The story was growing. Enter government.
An ailing politician’s most valuable talent is the ability to spot a bandwagon with space aboard. Once Rishi Sunak’s people saw that the great unwashed were beginning to hear about Farage and Coutts, even at the foot of the castle walls, they started making a noise about new laws and freedom of speech, muttering darkly about a £17.5 million fine, which is paperclip money for Coutts.
There is also the question of “kin punishment,” whereby not just the “PEP” (EU-speak for “politically exposed person”) is de-banked, but their family and business associates are, too. If the banks can dictate political opinion in the public arena to you and involve a threat to your family, they can dictate policy and legislation as well, and Sunak now knows that we know that. If this affair were a court case (which it may yet become), it would set a major precedent, depending on its outcome. What that is depends on the government’s response to an abuse of power which Nigel Farage — dismissed by many on the dissident Right — has done much to expose.
Islamic property news
If you are in the United Kingdom and looking for work, might I suggest the mosque-building business? The Welsh town of Swansea has just celebrated the opening of a new mosque and community center, a visionary use of what was redundant land, having previously been merely the “historic” Bethel United Reform Church.
The construction cost £1.3 million, £400k raised by Muslims in Swansea and £300k “from the government,” which is Welsh for “chiseled out of the tax money paid in a country which is 95% white.” There is no word as yet on who provided the top-up £600k. Who cares? This project features the “second-largest female prayer room in Wales”!
The splendidly named Dr. Mahaboob Basha, Vice Chair on Community Engagement at the mosque, made a telling statement;
20 years ago, maybe not many people knew what were [sic] happening in mosques. But in the last five years, there’s been a remarkable change and the coronavirus pandemic opened that gateway to community cohesion.
So far, so on-message. Covid was good, we’re having Ladies’ Night, and now everyone can find out just what goes on in your friendly neighborhood mosque. It’s a shame that was not always the case.
Now, Swansea is neither Sodom nor Gomorrah (although Gomorrah sounds like it could be a Welsh name), and the faithful should make it to Friday prayers without evidence of gross debauchery in the streets. Britain’s other mosque in the news, however, is planned for a slightly more contentious location.
Piccadilly Circus is one of those landmarks they used to put in black-and-white films to let you know you were in London. The Trocadero is — at the time of writing — a famous mall, and I used to visit the wonderful Metro cinema on the corner. That closed in 2006, but the building is now needed for other methods of getting a message across. It is being converted into a mosque.
The projected prayer space’s capacity of 390 makes it slightly smaller than the Swansea version, and it could thus have gone anywhere in London. But the positioning is strategic and symbolic. Between London’s Mecca of entertainment (so to speak) in the West End, and the red-light district of Soho, imams should find plenty for their sermons.
The Welsh government, incidentally, want to make Wales “an anti-racist country by 2030.” They should ensure that the new Swansea mosque gets the memo.
Space: the final frontier
Ex-German Chancellor Angela Merkel, patron saint of immigrants, Our Lady of the Discarded Passport, once said that there was “no theoretical limit” to immigration. Perhaps her Illuminati training gives her access to another dimension but, if not, then this is a little like saying that there is no theoretical limit to how much water — or whisky, the way things are going — you can pour into a glass. The limit is not only theoretical, it’s practical too, as the British government is discovering.
The UK’s immigration policy is another example of government by opinion radar, “reactionary” in the proper sense of the word, as it reacts to public opinion as it is refracted through the media. Roughly, when people start to notice, politicians recall the sign you used to see on the workplace wall: “Look busy, here comes the boss.” So far, the government has kept up the flow of cheap labor its financial masters wish by commissioning around 400 hotels (sometimes sacking the staff and replacing them with Home Office stooges), trying to persuade people to take in Ukrainian refugees (until they turned out to be inconveniently racist), producing the reddest of herrings in the so-called “Rwanda plan,” and now floating in eyesore barges from Scandinavia to house new Britons — not the first time ships from that part of the world have brought nothing but trouble with them.
The problems will start when the problems start. The huddled masses arriving on English shores are not all civil engineers and obstetricians, nor do they wish to open a smoothie franchise or get into media. Many of them see a playground which pays them to misbehave in a way impossible in their home countries, and they are being placed en masse, with no consultation at local level, in small towns whose population they sometimes double. The Portland barge pictured in the link above is due to take 500 migrants, who will have a free bus service into the nearest town. The day before the barge arrived, over 500 illegal immigrants arrived on the Kent coast. They all have to go somewhere, and the Home Office just filled the barge in a day. Where are they all going to go?
The problem with space is that there is only so much of it.
Newsreader becomes the story
Having just seen a veteran BBC presenter involved in a sex scandal, the British Left will be relieved to see the other side take a hit. Dan Wootton is a news presenter for GB News, roughly Britain’s equivalent to FOX News, and they have rattled a few mainstream media cages, popular as they are with actual viewers and not just governmental advisers and neurotic activists. They have, therefore, kept Ofcom busy, who have already seen Canadian Mark Steyn off from the station over some minor infraction of Leftist diktats. OfCom is the Orwellian-sounding Office for Communications, which is the broadcasting watchdog the British media have instead of a First Amendment.
Mr. Wootton has been accused of the usual sleaze involving photographs and the Internet, a lethal combination if you are in the Klieg light of the media. One of the notable cultural changes ushered in by the Internet is that men no longer have to leave the house in order to get themselves into a lot of trouble.
One online news site that has made a particular fetish of this minor scandal for purely political reasons is Byline Times, who claim to have been on Wootton’s case for three years. The journalist has also worked for The Sun and The Daily Mail, both newspapers despised by the Left. This is not primarily investigative journalism, but sheer political activism. GB News gives a Right-of-center skew on the news, and must be taken down by whatever means necessary. Now, GB News is hardly Alex Jones. They got through an eight-minute segment on urban knife crime without once mentioning ethnicity, for example, and clearly have a bright line they cannot cross when it comes to matters racial — that is, all matters that enter the media arena.
It must be said that GB News sounds a racy workplace. Wootton complains that Byline’s sources “include a convicted phone hacker, an abusive ex-boyfriend . . . [who] threatened to slit my throat, a recently released violent criminal who had previously blackmailed me, and a convicted extortionist.” Prowling this twilit demi monde beats hanging out with other media types, I guess.
Speaking of other media types, John Cleese has been vocal in defense of Wootton on social media, although it may be that he is trying to build — or repair — bridges. Cleese will soon be a colleague of Wootton’s at GB News, and also wrote a feature in 2019 for . . . Byline Times!
God save the King. Someone has to do it.
The Union Jackal
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