You could hardly make this up. American-Hungarian billionaire George Soros is openly funneling money into overturning the Brexit referendum result. He’s even declaring the aim to crash the British government and trigger a new referendum that he hopes will result in a new vote for Britain to remain part of the European Union. That’s tantamount to regime change. Yet somehow, this foreign entity is not accused of “meddling” in British democracy. Oh not, that accusation is solely reserved for Russia which has been wildly vilified for trying to subvert British, European and American elections — on the basis of no evidence whatsoever.Recall British premier Theresa May’s shrill speech delivered at a City of London banquet at the end of last year in which she provocatively asserted that Russia was “sowing division” and eroding Britain’s democracy.
This is a classic example of “doublethink” — the phrase coined by the great political essayist George Orwell to denote a mental condition of espousing absurd contradictions due to brainwashing.
Last week it was reported in the British media that billionaire speculative investor George Soros had donated nearly $550,000 to the Best for Britain campaign. That campaign is openly advocating for a reversal of the British referendum result which was cast in June 2016 for Britain to leave the European Union.
In other words, the Best for Britain campaign wants to overturn the democratic mandate for so-called Brexit. There’s no beating around the bush either. The campaign is transparently aiming to push the British parliament to axe Britain’s historic decision to quit the EU over the next two years.
Following the furore over Soros’s funding of the campaign to reverse the referendum, the 87-year-old financier was far from chastened by the reports. Indeed, he defiantly doubled down on his intervention in British politics. He has now pugnaciously revealed that he will donate a further £100,000 ($140,000) to the anti-Brexit movement.
Soros is to be sure a controversial global figure. Raised as a child in Nazi-occupied Hungary, he is described as a philanthropist who has donated billions of dollars to set up an institution under his personal guidance called the Open Society Foundations. The OSF operate in many countries across the world promoting various so-called liberal causes and pro-Western “color revolutions”.
His OSF has been banned in Russia where it is accused of trying to promote pro-Western political interests by destabilizing the government of President Vladimir Putin. It is evident from his own public statements that Soros is deeply antagonistic to Putin.
In defending his advocacy against Brexit, Soros wrote in a British newspaper article this week: “I am a proud supporter of Best For Britain, a group that wants Britain to remain a member of the European Union. I consider Brexit a tragic mistake.”
He goes on: “To make matters worse, the [Brexit] divorce process will preoccupy both Britain and Europe for years ahead, when they should be uniting to resist external enemies like Putin’s Russia.”
Soros, who is ranked by Forbes as the 22nd richest person in the world and who does not have British citizenship, is candidly admitting that part of his desire to see Britain remain in the EU is based on his hostility towards Russia. He is bankrolling a public campaign to overturn a constitutional democratic mandate to satisfy his worldview of antipathy towards the Russian state.
What’s more, the multi-billionaire and his pumped-up Best for Britain campaign are brazenly canvassing for de facto regime change in Britain to achieve their objective over Europe. The Best for Britain movement is calling for Conservative lawmakers to rebel against Prime Minister Theresa May, which would then throw her government into further disarray and trigger a general election, or a second referendum on the issue of Brexit.
Soros, without a hint of shame, calls for “the reversal of the 52:48 majority for Brexit”. In self-congratulatory tone, he says of the anti-Brexit campaign that he is bankrolling: “The trend is moving in the right direction. The question is how its momentum can be accelerated so that it reaches a tipping point in the next six to nine months… the electorate needs to push their MPs to give them the courage to rebel against the [Conservative] party leadership.”
Some senior Conservative party figures are accusing Soros of illegal meddling in British politics. Norman Lamont, a former chancellor and now member of the upper House of Lords, said Soros was abusing Britain’s electoral laws forbidding foreigners from funding one side or another in a referendum vote.
Soros’ interference in British politics has a long history. He made his wealth on Black Wednesday back in 1992 when the capitalist speculator “broke the Bank of England” by betting on the currency market to undermine British sterling in relation to European regulations.
Since then Soros has gone on to place ever-more political hedges in several countries. In the 2016 American presidential elections, it is estimated that he donated up to $25 million promoting Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Due to his American citizenship, the Hungarian émigré can legally spend such money in US politics, even though that should raise deep concerns over democratic principles.
Soros’ role in Britain, however, is a different legal matter. It is arguable that his massive monetary influence to scuttle the Brexit referendum is an audacious attack on British democracy.
Whichever way one may view the decision for Britain to quit the EU, whether good or bad, the fact is that the decision was made through a democratic vote. For Soros and sections of the British establishment (City of London financiers, for example) to mount a rearguard campaign to reverse the Brexit is a violation of democracy.
The laugh about all this is that Soros’ flagrant meddling in British politics and elsewhere is somehow deemed to be acceptable by large sections of the Western media and commentariat.
Indeed, in the British media in recent days so-called liberal outlets and pundits were decrying critical reports about Soros as being motivated by anti-semitism (Soros is Jewish) or by rightwing conspiracy theorists. One commentary even accused the Kremlin of being behind the anti-Soros backlash. Talk about doubling down on doublethink!
Russia has been excoriated non-stop over the past year by Western politicians, media and think-tanks for allegedly “interfering” in American and European democracies. No evidence has ever been provided to substantiate the frenzied Russophobic allegations.
Some ropey Western media reports claimed that the Kremlin paid $270,000 in sponsoring advertisements on social media which somehow was meant to get Trump elected over Clinton.
British lawmakers have also issued baseless allegations that the Kremlin covertly agitated the British public to vote for Brexit in the 2016 referendum.
It’s amazing how such hollow fantasies and scaremongering have elicited so much public condemnations against Russia over the past year in American and European media.
But when a foreign billionaire shovels money into a campaign to sabotage a referendum, well that’s somehow all very decent and proper. And if you dare complain about that egregious interference, then you’re anti-semitic or a Kremlin stooge.
The views and opinions expressed by Finian Cunningham are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.