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Mon 24 June 2019
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Boris Johnson finally launched his bid to become Britain’s Prime Minister today, and it’s clear that the same dark money and data are behind him.

Boris Johnson MP is Britain’s Donald Trump.

This isn’t just because of the mop of blonde hair, or the entourage of boorish, privileged men who, at his leadership launch, mocked women journalists who asked tough(ish) questions.

Boris Johnson is Britain’s Trump even without the racist comments about “picaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”.

He is Britain’s Donald Trump even without the litany of lies Otto English has documented in Part 1 of Byline Times’ profile of the would-be Prime Minister.

Both men have built their careers on a pyramid of broken promises, contracts and relationships – with almost zero fidelity to the truth. No wonder the US President said Johnson would make a “very good” Prime minister on his recent state visit.

Boris Johnson warned that a failure to withdraw from the EU would lead people to conclude ‘there is a plot by the deep state to frustrate Brexit’.

Boris Johnson is Britain’s Donald Trump even forgetting, as most media outlets do, that ‘he must have known’ – as whistleblower Shahmir Sanni has set out in Byline Times – about the lawlessness and cheating of the Vote Leave campaign he fronted three years ago during the referendum campaign, which has been found in breach of electoral law and is currently under investigation by the Metropolitan Police.

But, the key reason Johnson is our Trump is because he is advised by none other than Steve Bannon – Trump’s campaign manager and vice-president of the notorious, now-shuttered electioneering firm Cambridge Analytica, which he co-founded in 2014 with hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, who also backed the Breitbart sites.


Bannon’s Racist and Conspiratorial Rhetoric

Johnson and Bannon became friends when Johnson was still Foreign Secretary and Bannon was still in the White House in early 2017.

They have been in contact ever since and the fruits of this friendship have been evident for some time.

Last summer, Johnson’s first column after leaving Government deliberately targeted Muslim women who wear the Burka, with his infamous “letter-boxes” comparison. What some might have decried as a clumsy mistake, was very much in the mold of Bannon’s ‘Alt Right’ site Breitbart, which has gone out of its way to solicit support from the Islamophobic far right.

Around this time, Bannon was commending Johnson as “a great prime minister”. He was also praising English Defence League founder and Far Right ‘activist’ Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (‘Tommy Robinson’) as the “backbone of Britain”.

Then, in January this year, during the parliamentary debate on the day of the ‘meaningful vote’, Boris Johnson warned that a failure to withdraw from the EU would lead people to conclude “there is a plot by the deep state to frustrate Brexit”.

Boris Johnson is Britain’s Trump even without the racist comments about “picaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”.

This ‘deep state’ conspiracy theory rhetoric was one of Bannon’s favourite themes on his Breitbart websites, before and after Trump’s election. 

Indeed, it seems Johnson actually copied his Brexit version of the phrase from Breitbart London regular James Delingpole, who wrote a few days before: “The Remainer Establishment – or Deep State, if you prefer – is… so arrogant, so complacent, so contemptuous of the public that it’s scarcely bothering even to hide its tracks.”

So, if the rhetoric of Johnson – appealing to populist fears and phobias – is so reliant on Bannon’s publications, how much of Johnson’s campaign is also dependent on Bannon’s digital campaigning, embodied in Cambridge Analytica?


Bannon’s Company and Russian Collusion

It’s clear, even from the redacted Mueller Report into Russian interference in the US Presidential elections, that President Vladimir Putin planned and enacted a complicated and well-funded plan to interfere in the US elections in favour of Donald Trump.

Multiple reports have established that this US interference was preceded by a similar campaign to interfere in Britain’s EU Referendum in favour of the Leave campaigns.

Cambridge Analytica claimed it was behind the unexpected triumphs of both the Leave campaign and Donald Trump. In late 2016, The Spectator reported that Boris Johnson had an undeclared meeting with the electioneering company’s CEO, Alexander Nix.

By early 2017, just as Boris Johnson was becoming friendly with its vice-president Steve Bannon, Johnson’s Foreign Office was inviting Cambridge Analytica executives to election briefings on its use of data in the Trump campaign.

Before long, the extensive Russian connections with Bannon’s company would come out. The Information Commissioner’s Office has evidence that Russian servers accessed Cambridge Analytica’s extensive targeting data.

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In 2018, it emerged that Cambridge Analytica worked on electioneering data, with the Putin-controlled petroleum company Lukoil.

Then, the Facebook hack of millions of users for psychometric profiling was exposed by Carole Cadwalladr in the Observer. It turned out that the Cambridge University academic who accessed the psychometric data went on to work at St Petersburg University, studying the ‘dark triads’ of internet trolling.

Sam Patten, who worked on Cambridge Analytica micro-targeting in the US, formed a company with Konstantin Kilimnik, believed by the FBI to be Paul Manafort’s Russian intelligence contact.

Manafort, Trump’s (now imprisoned) campaign manager, passed crucial voter data to a Russian agent and was focused on the US states, Wisconsin and Michigan, which were targeted by both Putin’s Troll Farm (the Internet Research Agency) and Cambridge Analytica.

Not only did Bannon and Cambridge Analytica hack millions of people to help win the presidential election and Brexit referendum, allegations they did this in concert with Russia are still being investigated by the FBI.


Boris Must Have Known this Too

As Mayor of London, Boris Johnson once dismissed allegations of phone hacking at the News of the World as “codswallop” and “a politically motivated put-up job by the Labour party”.

That was a year before multiple arrests and subsequent convictions.

As Foreign Secretary two years ago, Johnson was asked about Russian interference in UK elections and replied that “nyet… not a sausage” had been found to evidence this.

There is now an extensive catalogue of Russian interference in the Brexit vote, including numerous meetings between the Russian Embassy and Nigel Farage’s Leave.EU campaign.

As Foreign Secretary, Johnson was reported to directly by the head of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). A dossier written by the former chief of MI6’s Russian desk, Christopher Steele, provided a road map for FBI Counterintelligence and the Mueller inquiry into Trump and Putin. 

The key reason Johnson is our Trump is because he is advised by none other than Steve Bannon – Trump’s campaign manager and vice-president of the notorious electioneering firm Cambridge Analytica.

He would certainly have been taken through the evidence when the Steele dossier was published by Buzzfeed in January 2017.

Meanwhile, day-to-day responsibility for GCHQ also belonged to Johnson during his time at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It is reported that GCHQ was one of the first security agencies to become aware of suspicious “interactions” between Trump and Russian agents. When the White House accused GCHQ of spying on Trump on Obama’s orders, the intelligence agency was forced to issue a rare rebuke

Meanwhile, as I revealed on Byline and Carole Cadwalladr in the Observer, Joseph Mifsud was boasting as late as October 2017 that he was meeting with Boris Johnson to discuss ‘Brexit’. Photos of the meeting soon were soon found on Facebook.


What a Johnson Premiership Means for the Rule of Law and National Security

So, where does all of this lead us?

It leads us to the very real possibility that our most likely Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister of the Civil Service and defender of the realm, has overseen, turned a blind eye to, or remained willingly ignorant of, interference by a foreign hostile power.

It could also mean that the man sizing up where to hang his portraits of Winston Churchill and place his volumes on mythic Greek monsters in Number 10 Downing Street is deeply indebted to a former Trump official whose Far Right provocations and misuse of data have led to multiple ongoing investigations in the US.

Should we be scared? Like never before.

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