30 Years of Night: Priti Patel and Brexit

Image courtesy of Spitting Image.
Conservatives drain your vital interests to feed their own. (Image courtesy Spitting Image.)

In the under-watched and underappreciated 2007 film 30 Days of Night, a coven of vampires invade a remote Alaskan outpost during the perpetual night of the Arctic winter. They methodically and ruthlessly cut-off all communication and connection to the outside world, trapping all those that Remain.

Unlike classical vampires, this incarnation manufacture their own hostile environment, where they can prey and feed upon an insular, isolated population without outside interference. In a week where legal bodies have issued stark warning of a looming Brexit dictatorship, the parallels do not need to be laboured.

An interesting take on the genre, the vampires of the film are not portrayed as the sophisticated, seductive figures so romanticised in literature and Mormon teen sex fantasies. Here they are recognisably unhuman, they are inhuman. They are a new breed. No longer are they aristocratic dandies indulging in the sexualised, ritual courtship of a single victim. They are the savage Other, brutally herding and massacring their defenceless victims.

The other interesting deviation in the film is the imperative of this group that victims are exclusively for consumption, not turning. The citizens are stock to be exploited and consumed, not to be given equal status that would dilute the purity of the coven and the distribution of it’s resources. Sound familiar?

Now the decision of Spitting Image to portray Priti Patel as a vampire begins to make sense.

She and the Vote Leave coven are intent on isolating the UK from any protective outside influence. Like her proposals for corralling asylum seekers in remote offshore detention centres, the vampire caste want to imprison the UK population in its own cage of shadows, where the normal rights and rules of law no longer apply. They want a society based on binary hierarchy, predator or prey. They were elected on the classic vampiric false seductions of power and the immortality of wealth. All it costs is your humanity.

Make no mistake, Priti Patel epitomises this new, inhuman breed of Tory. She is deeply embedded in a matrix of connections all geared towards Taking Back Control from the UK population and giving it to a rapacious elite. They’re no longer concerned about disguising their true identities and appetites in the shadows. Under the false flag pretences of Brexit they want to dismantle the last protective vestiges of our institutions and democracy, and plunge Britain into 30 years of night.

PRITI PATEL

Coven connections of Priti Patel. @seanfreepress

Even as a young woman Priti Patel was already describing herself unapologetically as a “massive Thatcherite”.

Most of you would probably agree we could just end the article there! However.

Before she was an MP she was a lobbyist for Weber Shandwick, specifically responsible for the British American Tobacco account which was concerned with influencing government policy on tobacco policy and smoking bans. She has since voted to overturn the UK smoking ban as an MP. She was also employed by Diageo as part of a team lobbying for influence on alcohol policy and regulation.

As if further evidence is required of her doctrinaire Conservative credentials her voting record shows she has never rebelled against the Conservative Party, and thus never deviated from representing the interests of the elite instead of the rest of us! Some highlights include how the now Home Secretary, responsible for equality and human rights legislation and enforcement:

Generally voted against laws to promote equality and human rights.

Consistently voted for a reduction in welfare benefits spending, 50 votes to 0.

Voted against devolving powers consistently to Scottish and Welsh Assemblies.

Consistently voted for stricter asylum rules, mass surveillance and retention of communication data.

Generally voted against measures to prevent climate change and for selling off England’s state-owned forests.

Like many Conservative politicians, Patel is embedded in an establishment network of influence that explicitly protects the interests of those within it, against the interests of those without. Us. Prominent right-wing lobby groups and think-tanks that Priti Patel is known to be associated with include:

1922 committee

European Research Group

Henry Jackson Society

Vote Leave

Conservative Friends of Israel

Free Enterprise Group

Referendum Party (UKIP predecessors)

Cornerstone Group

Along with Kwasi Kwarteng, Dominic Raab, Liz Truss and Chris Skidmore, Patel co-authored ‘Britannia Unchained’. This was essentially a free-market diatribe against what they saw as restrictive labour laws and a spoiled, welfare dependent working-class nurtured by a bloated nanny state. They are at least unequivocally clear in their writing as to their attitudes to those of us that work for a living:

The British are among the worst idlers in the world. We work among the lowest hours, we retire early and our productivity is poor. Whereas Indian children aspire to be doctors or businessmen, the British are more interested in football and pop music.

When Extinction Rebellion blockaded the Murdoch press Priti Patel branded them “organised criminals” and tweeted that “This attack on our free press, society and democracy is completely unacceptable.”

We would argue that a greater threat to the UK ‘s free press, society and democracy is the Murdoch press and Nosferatu’s long reaching influence in Priti Patel’s government. This man, whose wedding Patel was a guest at in 2016, has a far more corrosive effect on our institutions than the protestors of Extinction Rebellion, as highlighted in this excellent investigation.

As an MP Priti Patel continues to promote the predatory inhumanity lurking in the heart of this Tory government. She remains pathologically defiant over her handling of the Windrush Scandal and the Hostile Environment, Satbir Singh pointing out the classic Tory hypocrisy that “Priti Patel’s statement speaks of regret and building a more ‘compassionate’ Home Office, while committing to no specific actions which would actually prevent an injustice like Windrush from happening again.”

But Patel’s hostility is not only targeted at those seeking a better life in the UK. She is currently embroiled in an ongoing bullying scandal that senior civil servants have claimed is “eroding trust within Whitehall” itself.

The BBC reported that a former colleague of Patel’s in the DWP was awarded a £25,000 compensation (hush) package after threatening to take legal action over bullying and harassment she had been subjected to. She claims that her dismissal was because Patel “did not like her face” and that Patel behaved towards the complainant “with an unprovoked level of aggression.” The complainant subsequently took an overdose in an alleged suicide attempt.

At the time of publication Patel has also been accused of dangerous rhetoric whilst berating “the do-gooders, the lefty lawyers” who are voicing opposition to her plan for marooning asylum seekers offshore for processing and resettlement.

Patel was also forced to step down in 2017 by Theresa May for an undisclosed and unauthorised trip to Israel with the Head of the Conservative Friends of Israel, Lord Polak, on which she met with Israeli government officials, including Benjamin Netanyahu. This trip was in direct contravention of ministerial protocol, showing us once again the instinctive disdain the Tories have for the rules that apply to the rest of us.

Lord Stuart Polak is the Honorary President of the Conservative Friends of Israel. He has featured in The Telegraph’s ‘Top 100 most influential Right-wingers list’ . He is affiliated with two lobby groups called Kesher Strategy and TWC. Both have links to Shmuel Ben-Tovim, a former Israeli diplomat and businessman. TWC counts amongst its current clients the Israeli arms manufacturer and frequent BDS target Elbit Systems. As reported this week by the excellent Daily Maverick, the UK has spent £46 Million on Elbit manufactured arms since 2018.

(See the appendix for further details of the Board of CFI.)

As pointed out by Anoosh Chakelian, when Patel returned from Israel she proposed “sending British aid money to the Israeli army, for funding humanitarian projects in the occupied area of Golan Heights – something she discussed with Israeli officials.” The necessarily secretive nature of the meeting becomes apparent when Chakelian highlights the fact that the UK government does not (officially anyway) recognise the Israeli illegal occupation of Syrian territory, let alone provide funding for the Israeli armed forces. Imagine if Jeremy Corbyn had suggested the backdoor channelling of arms to another state’s military?

Priti Patel is married to Alex Sawyer, a market trader and marketing consultant who has previously worked for NASDAQ. In September 2019 Sawyer was hired as a Marketing Expert for a new peer-to-peer betting app called Wannbetonit. In September 2020 it was reported by the Guardian that Dominic Cummings and Munira Mirza had taken a “personal interest in a push to reform the 2005 Gambling Act.” Priti Patel’s voting record shows she has generally voted against tighter regulation of the Gambling industry. Sawyer is also a Conservative Councillor and Cabinet Member in the London Borough of Bexley.

In 2017 the Daily Mail reported that Patel had paid her husband £25,000 as her (part-time) office manager. On record this is the year in which she claimed the highest amount of staffing costs at £135,112.14. Her expenses claimed for the year 2019-2020 were £29,480.04. Keep this in mind in the next section when you see how much she gets paid per hour as a consultant!

DONORS/ REGISTER OF INTERESTS

Image courtesy of Bing Creative Commons.
Those that profit from other’s toil.

(Full register of interests available here.)

Patel has registered herself as a Strategic Advisor to Viasat Inc. They are a US based internet provider and communications network supplier for military and commercial interests. She registered a contract lasting between 1st of May 2019 to the 24th July 2019. It was reported on the 15th May 2019 that Viasat Inc had presented to a select committee on the need for a change in the UK military procurement system. We assume the change they recommended was procuring Viasat Inc assistance in this matter! Patel was paid £5000 for this six-week contract by Viasat. Her expected number of hours worked was 5.

Patel also registered as a Non-Executive Director of Accloud Plc. Accloud is a business solutions advisory company for entrepreneurs whose Directors include Dominic Mcvey, a millionaire and advisor to Departments of Trade and Education. Patel expected to be paid £45,000 for approximately 20 hours work.

Mazen Al Sawwaf had Patel as his personal guest at Ascot. He is a Saudi businessman “involved in various initiatives that aim to strengthen business relations between the Arab World and Western economies.”

Patel was also a guest of the Jockey Club at 2019’s Grand National. Dido Harding sits on the board of the Jockey Club.

Michael Hintze is a billionaire Australian-British businessman who believes that “every crisis is a business opportunity” . He is a key source of funding for the Global Warming Policy Foundation. They are based at Tufton Street 55 and promote climate change denial.

For the 2019 election Hintze donated £341, 225 to the Tories, and he is a member of the Conservative Treasurers Group, an exclusive group of donors with direct access to senior party figures.

In 2019-2020 Hintze also donated to Dominic Raab, Maggie Throup, Penny Mordaunt and Mark Garnier.

We covered OBE awarded Jon Moynihan in our previous article. He was a key figure in the Parent and Teachers for Excellence network. This was founded by James Frayne and Rachel Wolf of Public First. Moynihan is also a newly appointed member of the board of trustees of the Institute of Economic Affairs.

He was also affiliated with Business for Britain, the Vote Leave campaign and is Chairman of the think-tank Initiative for Free Trade. Tony Abbott is a former board advisor to IfFT which is affiliated with the Koch brother’s Cato Institute.

Moynihan has also donated this year to Steve Baker and Sir Bernard Jenkin.

J.C Bamford Excavators is a company owned by Lord Anthony Bamford whom we covered in our previous article. He is a billionaire Brexit supporter and long-term Conservative Party donor. Other recent recipients of his patronage are: Esther McVey, Aaron Bell, Ben Bradley, Mark Fletcher, Vicky Ford, Stuart Andrew and Robert Jenrick.

Peter Cruddas is also a billionaire Brexit supporting long-term Conservative donor who was embroiled in an alleged cash for access scandal and who has just been elevated to the House of Lords by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Rami Ranger is the CEO of Patel donor Sun Mark Ltd. He is a Conservative donor who was honoured with a peerage by Theresa May. He has donated over £1.3 Million to the Tories.

Ravi Gidar is also a patron of the Conservative Friends of India. Chairman’s of the group include Zac Goldsmith and Rami Ranger. Rishi Sunak and Alok Sharma are also members.

The Henry Jackson Society paid for Priti Patel to be a delegate at the AIPAC Homeland Security Forum on Middle East and International Security Issues.  This visit included “a programme with HJS in Congress pursuant to UK and allied interests in the economic and security spheres.” Whatever that means!

We defer here to the excellent article by the Daily Maverick which looks into the £83,000 funding the Henry Jackson Society received from the UK Home Office between 2015-2017 and their wider establishment links. Definitely check it out for context!

For further context on the HJS impact on contemporary UK politics, another affiliated Conservative MP is Bob Seely who published a HJS report in 2019 proposing the dissolution of the Department of International Development which should start the alarm bells ringing! The forward for this proposal was written by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Other Signatories linked to the HJS Statement of Principles include:

Marquess of Lothian Michael Ancram – Oxford educated. Bullingdon Club member. Former MP and Chairman of the Conservative party. Founded Global Strategy Forum think-tank. Advisors at GSF include Gisela Stuart, Johan Eliasch, Philip Hammond, Frank Field, Adrian De Ferranti and Malcolm Rifkind.

Lord Paul Bew whose son, John Bew, is currently part of Boris Johnson’s No. 10 Policy Unit.

Damian Collins – Conservative MP. Oxford educated. Former employee of Saatchi and the Conservative Research Department. Formerly worked for the Bow Group think-tank. Also associated with the Bow group is Conservative MP and husband of Dido Harding, John Penrose.

Stephen Crabb – Conservative MP and member of Conservative Friends of Israel.

Robert Halfon – Conservative MP and former political director for the Conservative Friends of Israel.

Stephen Hammond – Former Conservative MP.

Lord David Willetts – Oxford. Former Conservative MP. Former Centre For Policy Studies employee. Chairman of the Resolution Foundation think-tank.

Full list here.

Other Conservatives linked to HJS include Michael Gove, Amber Rudd, Dominic Raab, Nadine Dorries and Nick Boles.

The current executive director of the HJS is Alan Mendoza. Educated at Cambridge he is a former Conservative councillor and included the Conservative Friends of Israel on his register of interests. Also associated with the Bright Blue think-tank and a co-founder the Disraelian Union. Bright Blue founder Ryan Shorthouse formerly worked for Bow Group.

These are yet more examples of what George Monbiot referred to as the “infrastructure of persuasion” which is designed to redirect authority and funds from our public institutions and consolidate them in private hands. Those that donate to politicians such as Patel are rewarded with peerages and with contracts.

Patel and her patrons view the state as a beast to be bled to feed themselves, not one that is to be nurtured so that it may feed others. The shepherds have become the wolves.

SPADs

Image courtesy of Bing Creative Commons.
All Vampires have their familiars aspiring to join the elite.

(Remember many of the characters we mention here can be cross-referenced with our other articles in our matrix series!)

One of Patel’s former SPADs is Alex Wild. He has worked as a Research Director for the Taxpayer’s Alliance and as a Director at Public First, the PR firm run by Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings associates James Frayne and Rachel Wolf.

Another former Patel SPAD is James Starkie. He worked for Portland PR (as did James Frayne). He worked for Vote Leave (as did James Frayne) and he worked for Michael Gove (as did James Frayne). Starkie is apparently an advocate of calling his parliamentary colleagues c**ts. Unfortunately we believe he is not referring to those of his own party!

Rob Oxley also formerly advised Patel and is also an alumni of the Taxpayer’s Alliance, Vote Leave and Business for Britain.

Harry Methley is a current SPAD to Patel. He is a former Head of the Political Section of the Conservative Research Department.

Stuart Gulleford is Patel’s current Parliamentary Assistant. He also provides political advice through his consultancy firm to climate change sceptic and UKIP MEP Stuart Agnew and Brexit advocate Lord Stoddart of Swindon, an influential figure in Campaign for an Independent Britain. Gulleford himself is a former UKIP candidate with some questionable views on women, and questionable views in general!

conclusion

Priti Patel and the current government are a new, brazenly nihilistic strain of conservative. Like their proto-fascist counterparts in Brazil, Eastern Europe and the USA, they are creatures of pure, voracious appetite. They are vampires born, not made. Albert Camus foresaw this in the politics of the 30’s and his words remain vitally relevant today:

Every time I hear a political speech or I read those of our leaders, I am horrified at having, for years, heard nothing which sounded human. It is always the same words telling the same lies. And the fact that men accept this, that the people’s anger has not destroyed these hollow clowns, strikes me as proof that men attribute no importance to the way they are governed; that they gamble–yes, gamble–with a whole part of their life and their so-called ‘vital interests’.

With Brexit, the hollow clowns of Vote Leave have created a hostile environment of internal as well as external borders. They’ve constructed their own dark fiefdom where the hierarchy is stark. They are predator, you are prey.  They want you divided and alone, praying for a sun that will never shine. They have already crossed the threshold, their fangs are at your neck. Will you continue to allow yourself to be governed in this way, your vital interests exploited to feed another’s?

Now is the time to shine a light on their misdeeds and chase these vampires back to the shadows where they belong.

Follow Sean Rankin on Twitter: @ClydesiderRed

APPENDIX

CONSERVATIVE FRIENDS OF ISRAEL

We feel it is best to let CFI describe themselves in their own words:

“CFI works to promote its twin aims of supporting Israel and promoting Conservatism in the UK. With more than 2,000 supporters, CFI is active at every level of the Conservative Party.

CFI organises numerous events in and around Westminster, takes Conservative parliamentarians and candidates on delegations to Israel, campaigns hard for Tory candidates in target seats, and works to ensure that Israel’s case is fairly represented in Parliament.”

CFI are registered as donating £516,124 to the Conservatives since 2003. Questions about the true amount of funding provided by CFI and it’s members has been questioned, with the true figure suggested as significantly higher by those investigating CFI’s influence, a claim disputed by CFI.

Current Chairman is Andrew Heller. Son of Sir Michael Heller. Andrew is the very well paid Managing Director and his father is the Chairman of the Bisichi Coal Mining conglomerate that operates mines in South Africa. Andrew’s only registered donation is to John Lamont’s Selkirk constituency in 2017 when Lamont was elected.

Sir Michael is a former deputy chairman of CFI and substantial donor to the Conservative Party. He has also served as Deputy Chairman of Thatcher’s Centre For Policy Studies alongside Robert Salisbury of Stalbury Trustees. His Property company Clerewell Ltd has donated £500,000 to the Conservatives, including £50,000 for the 2019 General election.

Hilda Worth is the CFI Deputy Chairwoman. She is a Magistrate at the Ministry of Justice. She is a Board Member of the Institute For Jewish Policy Research and The Jewish Leadership Council and numerous Charities and community organisations. She is registered as donating £186,150 to the Conservaitve Party since 2009, including to Michael Gove.

The CFI Treasurer is Stephen Massey. He is the Chairman of Canaccord Genuity Ltd part of the Canaccord Genuity group, a behemothic financial services corporation with a revenue of Billions. Stephen Massey has donated £242,500 to the Conservative Party since 2007.

Finally the Honorary President is Lord Stuart Polak CBE.

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