Sunday, 19 November 2017

Open letter to Carole Cadwalladr

Dear Carole,

When dealing with Arron Banks you have to remember one thing. Attention is all he craves and any attention is good attention. You are dealing with a man with no shame. He is expert in political judo in that he will use your own force against you. The more he trolls you the angrier you get, and the happier he is - not least least because when you play that game you get sloppy and you overreach.

His strategy is to make you look like a conspiratorial lunatic grasping at straws - and no offence intended, it is working. Your reaction plays right into his game and he is laughing at you.

If I was you I would have a look at Leave.EU's bid to become the designated leave campaign. You will note that it is badly constructed and sloppy. When you look at it side by side with that of Vote Leave you will see the obvious difference in quality. That is pretty much the hallmark of Banks. He is a fly-by-night who wings it, doing the bare minimum and has no concept of how stupid he is. He is an exemplar of Dunning Kruger syndrome. That is his weakness if you play it skillfully.

What Banks wants most of all is continued exposure. Without it he's just an insurance salesman in a lot of financial bother. That's one thing his galactic ego could never permit hum to acknowledge. He likes his persona as a shady operator because it feeds his delusions. Otherwise he's a singularly unremarkable and pretty sad man whose influence has peaked.

You must also note that his actual support is minimal. He is out on his own. Everybody who had any dealings with him on the leave side concluded two things almost immediately. Firstly that he is a waste of time - and secondly; he and his entourage are thick as a whale omelette and a complete liability.

Ultimatley the only thing sustaining him and his operation in the public eye is you - and all you are really achieving (while carving a niche following for yourself) is discrediting some of the very real concerns about the likes of Legatum Institute. I think you are too emotionally invested and that is counter-productive.

I'm not sure if you have the self-awareness to see it but the more your Guardian readership buys into the victim status you are building for yourself, the less seriously anybody normal will take you. The consequence of that is "boy who cried wolf" syndrome when it really matters, and nobody will care about Legatum and their very real commercial agenda. The whole case will have jumped the shark.

Ultimately you can take or leave this advice, but were I you I would give some thought as to how you are being manipulated. Banks is functionally stupid but he does know how to play people, and he has you hook, line and sinker. I would venture it is your own ego feeding the beast.

You will get no argument from me that their output is pretty grim stuff. Conterversy is his modus operandi and has been from the beginning. The reason they are targeting you is because it works. Your reaction is exactly what they want. You say the bullies are winning - but that's because you're giving them everything they set out to get. Rather than helping any partiular cause you are building yourself a support group and it looks like you are emotionally capitalising. Not surprising you have found common cause with Brendan Cox.

Banks might very well be a shady dealer - and a poor businessman with questionable ethics, but ultimately your body of evidence is pretty thin gruel. Supposing there is any deeper investigation it will only reveal trivial financial irregularities and will do nothing to serve your ultimate ends of deligitimising the referendum.

All the while your web of innuendo about shady internet operations will come to nothing. It is highly probably that Banks did part with money for what he believes to be sophiticated online operations but in all likelihood he was conned by some shakedown artists who saw him coming a mile off. A fool and is money are easily parted.

What I might suggest is that if you want to do some serious journalism you should ignore the Banks decoy and focus your attention on Steve Baker, Owen Paterson and the Northern Ireland connection. If you can't find sleaze on the Tory fringes then you're just not looking hard enough.

If you think Arron Banks is the target then you are mistaken. He's not that important and he never was. The moment Vote Leave was granted the lead designation he ceased to be of any significance. There is nothing to be slavaged from the corpse of Ukip, and his own media efforts will come to nought simply because he and his team lack the talent to make it work. He's finished. His political life support machine is you - so that just makes me wonder, what do you get from it?


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