British Ukip and United States Breitbart site

This video from the USA says about itself:

Right Wing Website: Hitler Was Gay

11 May 2013 is promoting the theory that Hitler was secretly gay, playing into one of the most extreme and damaging anti-gay smears in right-wing politics: that gay men were responsible for the Holocaust.

By Solomon Hughes in Britain:

Exposing the Bigots Behind Breitbart

Friday 10th July 2015

Ukip has found some keen admirers at a mysteriously wealthy right-wing news site – but who’s pulling the strings? SOLOMON HUGHES investigates

A FASCINATING article in the Spectator at the end of June described the involvement of some well-heeled individuals from the US in the Ukip meltdown.

I don’t suppose Morning Star readers look at the very right-wing Spectator that much. But when it comes to the internal life of Ukip, I think Spectator journalist Freddy Gray has better sources than me, so the story merits some attention.

Ukip’s leadership have all fallen out with each other since failing to get any more MPs at the last election.

Obviously, the failure to get seats is the biggest reason for their disarray. But the Spectator says there is another force at work.

During the election Nigel Farage went for a strategy called “Shock and Awful” — of deliberately making statements that even his fellow Ukippers thought were shocking.

A prime Shock and Awful outrage bomb was dropped when Farage said “foreigners” with HIV shouldn’t be treated on the NHS in a high-profile television leaders’ debate.

This looked like a move away from Farage’s English-as-a-pint-of-bitter bigotry into US shock-jock styling.

And there was a US influence at work. A US website called Breitbart, run by former banker turned amateurish journalist Steven Bannon, got very keen on Ukip.

Bannon’s work and the Breitbart websites look pretty weak from Britain — sort of like a badly written Daily Mail.

Their documentary Occupy Unmasked gives a flavour of Bannon’s paranoid approach.

Apparently Occupy was a violent, dangerous, drug-ridden movement that was secretly funded and organised by big money “liberal operatives” — so simultaneously far-left, and run by Obama’s financial backers.

The Breitbart paranoid work may look unconvincing in Britain, but there are a lot of Tea Party-ish US folk clicking their mice and staring at their screens in the US, so it is fairly successful.

The Spectator called Breitbart a “mysteriously rich right-wing website.” There is a lot of cash around in the US to fund fairly bonkers right-wing projects.

Breitbart has set up a British wing under James Delingpole, a British journalist who tried — and mostly failed — to be a right-wing “personality.”

This website began flirting with Farage, and he winked back at the US-funded outfit.

Raheem Kassam, a former Conservative Party activist, first took a job with Breitbart, and then as a senior adviser to Farage.

Kassam is British, but he is an admirer of US-style Tea Party politics, and in turn was much liked by those behind Breitbart.

Kassam is widely seen as a divisive personality who helped Ukip’s leadership fall apart.

As the Spectator tells the tale, this shows that Farage was tempted by these US-funded types who promoted a “Tea Party tendency” in Ukip, whose attempts to launch an aggressive, US-style culture war destabilised Ukip.

Farage was once able to build a right-wing party by making it look down-to-earth and very British, to appeal to full-on bigots but also not frighten the horses of the horse-riding set.

But the brash US rightwingers spoiled all this.

“British politicians are easily seduced by American money and power, and it seems Farage, for all his anti-elitism, was no exception,” said the Spectator, with sadness.

Many of us aren’t sad at all about the Ukip self-destruct. But it is an interesting lesson about transatlantic traffic on the right.

US rightwingers have big money and loud voices, so can be a creepy influence on British politics.

But they mostly deal with a naive and supportive US audience so their schemes sometimes fall apart when they try and run them in Britain.

What the Spectator carefully avoided saying was that Kassam was also director of campaigns at the Henry Jackson Society.

This is another transatlantic right-wing group, that spends its time supporting US foreign policy — even if that means endlessly defending the CIA against charges of torture.

Some top Labour MPs — including shadow cabinet member Chris Bryant — should wonder if they still want to be members of a group that can employ Kassam, a man too divisively right-wing even for Ukip.

How Do Google, Amazon, And Facebook Justify Advertising With Breitbart? Since November, over 1,100 companies have chosen to pull their ads from Breitbart. 02/21/2017 08:26 am ET: here.

56 thoughts on “British Ukip and United States Breitbart site

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