In our articles covering the nefarious connections that have influenced #Brexit we’ve covered the crony network of funders of the Leave campaign as well as the surprising incidence of Tory MPs with offshore investments who would suffer from the 2019 EU tax evasion legislation were the UK to remain in the EU.
We’ve established that the #Brexit corruption extends its viral fingers deep into the heart of the British establishment, but where does it start, and how far does it extend?
To follow that trail further, we’re looking at the connection between two of the chief architects, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, and the top establishment backer, The Daily Telegraph.
That the Telegraph is a strong Conservative supporting paper is not controversial. The Conservative ties go back years. What’s more interesting are the #Brexit and Boris connections. Two minutes on Twitter show just how much this association has tarnished The Telegraph’s brand amongst a certain right leaning One Nation Conservative Base that would previously have found a home there.
The Boris connection has become externally embarrassing and is apparently a regular topic of discussion amongst more senior members of the team. They talk about Boris with the same hushed tones that might be used to describe Uncle Hubert’s drink problem at the family Christmas gathering. Apparently his only supporter is the Editor Evans (more on him later) who claims BJ drives sufficient readership to be valuable, seemingly unaware that he’s making an equivalent argument to including naked women in the paper. Maybe Evans could kill two birds with one compromise by offering Boris a new column entited, “the tit on page 3”.
Many suggest this economically illiterate and politically vacuous stance of the Telegraph is driven by the Barclay Brothers, or their son in residence, Aidan Barclay. Truth is that the brothers grim spend most of their time pursuing an attempt to keep their empire of Brecqhou as feudal as possible. The ravages of age (they’re now both 83) mean they have little time or interest in much else, and while their tax status would certainly benefit from the UK avoiding the EU’s upcoming tax evasion legislation, their à côté-sarkian domain keeps them shielded from most of the more nasty implications of EU membership that other billionaires face.
In their somewhat reclusive absence, Aidan Barclay has become the man with his hands on the day to day reins at The Telegraph and so you might assume he’s pushing the financially ludicrous Telegraph obsession with #Brexit. Now, Aidan Barclay is certainly a Viledemort figure for many of the left, counting the employee and pension fund philanthropist Phillip Green amongst his personal friends.
However inside sources paint him as something of a wise businessman, adeptly helping The Telegraph stay profitable and advocating any number of modern innovations such as “the Internet” to its otherwise luddite editorial team. The younger Barclay is smart enough to know the UK’s exit from the EU is a disaster wrapped up in political ideology and pragmatic enough not to welcome the farce that negotiations have become. Most informed sources say he’s firmly on the fence on Brexit and increasingly frustrated with Evans’ subjective Brexit coverage and his advocacy of Boris footinmouth Johnson.
Which brings us firmly around to Chris Evans, editor in chief of The Telegraph.
If the Barclay Brothers are reclusive, Evans is elusive, preferring to scheme from the background in a Moriarty-esque style. Newspaper editors normally have something of a public profile, Evans hasn’t made any public speeches of note since taking the job, and based on his much mocked “Krill-like Verbiage” Telegraph cover sheet, is as incoherent and pretentious a speaker as those he would choose to mock.
Famously acerbic, Evans is as political as most of the people he covers, and his raging ego has created a thin skin that is as readily bruised as a peach. In a much talked about incident last year, he devoted significant time to raving frothy mouthed at poor support staff about the quality of the replacement company car he needed. Overheard by everyone on the news floor, what was acutely embarrassing for Evans was the new car was only needed after his wife crashed previous one. A more humble man might have somewhat shamefully taken a Robin Reliant and focused his efforts instead on the next day’s headline.
Evans is a man as welded to the print version of the paper as a rudder is to the hull of a sinking ship. He is hopelessly lost in the past, and regally drags various minions around to all his meetings to take notes and do his bidding like an old fashioned megalomaniac. Rumours are he still gets his emails printed out so he can dictate his responses to a secretary. His nativity about all things on the “interweb” has become almost as embarassing as his lack of attention to the digital edition of the paper and its abysmal social media presence. There are loose lips at the Telegraph constantly leaking nasty messages to Private Eye about those in the Telegraph who are attempting such crazy “modern” things as Twitter or Snapchat. One might wonder if these leaks are in support of Evans’ maintaining his power Base and elderly readership. Afterall if the Telegraph actually entered the 21st century he might find his job at risk.
Evans claim to fame is having wielded the knife on more excellent Telegraph Journalists than any editor before, or most likely after him. Much of this is not forced by the profitability challenges of the media industry. Evans, a one time Daily Mail hack who learned his trade on the nasty side of journalism, is on a mission to transform the paper into the Sensationalgraph. He has only priotised integrity driven journalists for the cull leaving their higher paid sycophantic brethren in place. With deeply ironic intent he calls this his mission in support of quality journalism, which is simply a cover for an increasingly populist agenda demonstrated by racist articles about Cambridge and homophobic pot shots on healthcare. It’s an open question at the Telegraph whether anyone in senior management will intervene before he manages to kill readership completely. Apparently brand appeal of The Telegraph is at an all time low and all data points at the Mail type sensationalisation of the coverage as the cause.
So why is Evans on such a low brow mission at this once great institution? And what is his connection to Johnson and the #Brexit farce.
Apparently it all comes down to a plan concocted by Evans and Michael Gove when Evans first got the job. Frustrated by the inability of the Right to gain power in the UK, they decided they would find a way to legitimise previously shameful parts of the British body politic. Asylum seekers and Refugees would become Immigrants, Human Rights advocates would become Liberal Elites and Experts would be part of the Nanny State. It is the connection with Gove that has kept Johnson in the Telegraph and led to an series of bizarre attempts to support Gove’s ambition to recover the influence lost through the #Brexit disaster.
But where was this dubious partnership created? Would it surprise you to know Gove and Evans were best buddies at School? Nepotism, always the glue that binds the Conservative Party together is now being used to undermine one of the greatest British media institutions, all in the service of Populism and Brexit.
Time someone took back control of The Telegraph.
What are you doing next Monday Aidan Barclay?