ON JUNE 29, Nigel Farage announced that all his accounts had been closed by his bank and that he was unable to open one with any other. No explanation had been given by the bank, which he did not name, but he speculated that it was for reasons connected to his role in Brexit, and his general political views.
The exclusion from the financial system of one of the most significant figures in British politics is surely an important story, but there was no mention of the event by the BBC until July 4 – five days after the story had broken – when they reported that the account with Coutts was closed for ‘falling below the wealth limit’.
Why did the BBC not report Farage’s announcement? It is hard to avoid the conclusion that they were co-ordinating with the bank and published only when they had got their story together. They did not report the initial event because this might create sympathy for Farage, and raise questions about the politicisation (really weaponisation) of banking, so they needed to wait for a plausible ‘hang out’ of the issue that could draw its sting.
The solution they found handily steered away concerns about bank politicisation, while enabling them to write a headline which would confirm any prejudices their readers had that Farage was somehow dubious, and allow the conclusion that the banks were behaving correctly and this was a problem of his making. Something he deserved, probably.
But, hey, maybe the BBC story was true and they were just spending those five days doing hyper-diligent journalism? Fact-checking and countering disinformation takes time and effort: if you’re a distinguished broadcaster you can’t be just shooting off stories from the hip to suit your political narrative!
<rolls on the floor laughing>
Yep, it turns out that their story was a pack of lies. Presumably it came as a surprise to the BBC, if they were still paying any attention, that Farage was able to access Coutts’s documentation of his case, which showed the reasons were indeed purely political. What was the political problem? Well, as always these days, everything is one thing: Brexit, Russia, racism, vaccine scepticism . . . they’re all in the dossier, referenced extravagantly. Among many genuine shockers in an astonishing exposure of the thought-policing investigation of Farage, he is accused of the crime of describing Grant Shapps as ‘globalist’ – a term, Coutts say, whose use ‘has associations with anti-Semitism and the far right’.
It’s a litany of violations of dogma, a case-study in totalitarianism the like of which even three years ago would be found only in fiction – yes, literally 1984 – or salutary histories of Stalinist regimes. The validity of Farage’s positions is not even considered, of course, because it doesn’t matter. What his views signal, how they smell told Coutts the only thing that matters: Farage is not in the Party. He is an outsider, a dissident, a kulak, a capitalist-roader, a Goldsteinist, the enemy who every right-thinking, inclusive, kind citizen-warrior knows must be destroyed before they can open their mouth.
The debanking of Farage is scandalous enough of itself. As he points out, in effect this excludes him from society – how can he be paid for work, make purchases, have any kind of normal life? This kind of shadowy threat is redolent of the worst machinations of totalitarianism, not just for its effect on Farage but for the message it sends that anyone might be cut off from society and the economy, rendered unable to feed their children, if they step over lines which they cannot see.
The apparent active involvement of the BBC in smoothing over the issue and diverting public attention by publishing a report which served to undermine Farage, but which was completely false, is sinister in the extreme . yesterday afternoon ed. The national broadcaster has been caught red-handed generating pure propaganda with the clear intention of legitimising and facilitating the punishment by their regime of a prominent politician that opposes it.
–perhaps it ,to –orked. O,.