The divide and conquer strategy in full effect

The divide and conquer strategy in full effect

by digby

Oh look...

Arron Banks, the millionaire businessman who bankrolled Nigel Farage’s campaign to quit the EU, had multiple meetings with Russian embassy officials in the run-up to the Brexit referendum, documents seen by the Observer suggest.

Banks, who gave £12m of services to the campaign, becoming the biggest donor in UK history, has repeatedly denied any involvement with Russian officials, or that Russian money played any part in the Brexit campaign. The Observer has seen documents which a senior Tory MP says, if correct, raise urgent and troubling questions about his relationship with the Russian government.

The communications suggest:

• Multiple meetings between the leaders of Leave.EU and high-ranking Russian officials, from November 2015 to 2017.

• Two meetings in the week Leave.EU launched its official campaign.

• An introduction to a Russian businessman, by the Russian ambassador, the day after Leave.EU launched its campaign, who reportedly offered Banks a multibillion dollar opportunity to buy Russian goldmines.

• A trip to Moscow in February 2016 to meet key partners and financiers behind a gold project, including a Russian bank.

• Continued extensive contact in the run-up to the US election when Banks, his business partner and Leave.EU spokesman Andy Wigmore, and Nigel Farage campaigned in the US to support Donald Trump’s candidacy.

Arron Banks refuses to appear before Commons committee
Read more
Banks and Wigmore – who was also present at many of the meetings – were due to appear before the select committee for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on Tuesday to answer questions about Leave.EU’s role in the European referendum.

Hours after the Observer contacted them for comment on Friday, they published a letter stating they would not attend the hearing, and accused the committee of colluding with a pro-Remain campaign group.

I realize that there is a lot of hysteria about the Russian government right now. But there is also a lot of evidence that they have an agenda to divide the western allies from within to their own advantage --- and are successfully carrying it out. I see that the right in all these countries is more than willing to allow this because they seem to be advancing their cause at least in the short run.

It's probably time for people to sober up and recognize that something profound is happening and decide if they are going to be rational about this challenge or if we're all going to lose ourselves in internecine fighting and just let it happen. That dynamic has happened before. It doesn't end well.