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Thu 24 September 2020
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Otto English smells something in the air tonight…

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You will remember that a key reason we left the EU was because of all those unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.

That message was hammered home by then UKIP Leader Nigel Farage and a host of other leading Brexiters for years in the run up to the 2016 EU Referendum. It could not have been clearer: the European Union was undemocratic, run by ‘unelected bureaucrats and politicians’ and we needed to “take back control”.

Well, that’s happened. And now the war is over, the peerages are being handed out for delivering the victory.

Yes, that’s right fellow citizens – the Brexit elite are about to become unelected barons to our unelected feudal upper house and pass laws and claim all those juicy taxpayer-funded perks for getting us out of the EU.

Among those who will be socking it to the establishment are former Labour MP and Farage chum Kate Hoey; Boris Johnson’s previous boss at the Telegraph and Old Etonian Charles Moore; and Claire Fox. That’s Claire Fox – Moral Maze pundit, former Brexit MEP and one time Revolutionary Communist.

Fox is on record as opposing the House of Lords. As recently as January 2020 – just six months ago – she was appearing on something called the Brexit Republic podcast and, in the words of her own blog, praising “the energy of the referendum and the fact that it has initiated serious political debate on constitutional issues such as abolishing the House of Lords”.

What has happened in the months since January to convert her to the Lords can only be a matter of conjecture. But readers of Byline Times will remember that, when Fox became a Brexit Party candidate in the 2019 EU Elections, we raised some serious questions about her suitability as a politician.

For two decades, Fox was a key member of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), a fringe hard-left group formed in the late 1970s. I came up close and personal with the RCP myself while a student at the University of Kent, where many of its key personnel taught or studied and it was nothing short of a cult. The group was committed to the IRA struggle and, using front organisations – including notably the Irish Freedom Movement – it pushed the cause, while apologising for its very many violent excesses.

In 1993, the IRA targeted the town of Warrington and, in the resulting terrorist attack, two children were killed. One of them, Johnathan Ball was just three. The other, Tim Parry, 12. This revolting act of murder was met with almost universal revulsion. Even in hardened republican circles it was condemned. But the Irish Freedom Movement and RCP defended it saying that “the right of the Irish people to take whatever measures in their struggle for freedom” was justified.

Incredibly, Claire Fox was selected by the Brexit Party as one of its candidates for North-West England – a region that includes Warrington. Calls from her own party rank-and-file and from Tim Parry’s father Colin to apologise for her past position on IRA terror fell on deaf ears until she was eventually ordered by Brexit Party leaders to ring Mr Parry and say sorry. She did ring Mr Parry, but still failed to recant her position. 

Clearly the patriots of the North-West didn’t notice any of this as they roundly elected her to be one of their MEPs.  

Fox’s key role in the RCP was a co-publisher of Living Marxism (LM) magazine – a glossy monthly that eventually folded in 2000 after losing a libel action brought by ITN. LM, which was supportive of many a despicable regime – including Serbia – had claimed in an article titled ‘The Picture that Fooled the World’ that photos of a camp at Trnopolje had effectively been staged.

Also receiving a peerage is Evgeny Lebedev. He is the owner of the Evening Standard – a newspaper that proved to be Boris Johnson’s very own Pravda during his reign as Mayor of London.

Lebedev is the son of a former KGB agent who made a fortune after the collapse of the USSR. When Johnson was running to become leader of the Conservative Party last year, Byline Times investigated the friendship between the two men. 

One former security services official I spoke to at the time told me “we are really worried” – an account that tallies with an investigation by John Sweeney who was told by spooks that “MI6 was worried that Boris Johnson, when he was Foreign Secretary, was a security risk” on account of his frequent trips to Italy to attend Lebedev’s exotic parties where ‘nothing was off the menu’. 

How will all of this be justified?

No doubt some of the 36 new peers will claim that they will seek to reform the Lords from inside. But, trust me, they won’t any more than they are able to. If you happen to be walking the streets of Westminster tonight, take a deep breath and you will be able to smell the hypocrisy even through your face mask. 

In the meantime, my Brexit friends: enjoy your sovereignty and don’t for one moment allow yourselves to think for one fleeting second that you’ve all been had.


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