Far-Right Social Media Juggernaut Aims To Break Up UK

The wave of populist nationalism that has rocked the world over the last few years, sweeping new governments to power in Greece, Turkey, Hungary, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States, now promises to continue to the next level – namely, dissolving nation states into a profusion of statelets based on regional enmities.

The United Kingdom is the first in line for the radical treatment (if you discount the rebellion in eastern Ukraine). According to the Guardian, Jim Dowson, a far-right millionaire who previously masterminded online propaganda campaigns in support of Brexit and Donald Trump, is planning to turn his sophisticated social media and publishing operations to the cause of Scottish independence, in hopes of securing a “yes” vote in a second referendum, effectively breaking up the United Kingdom.

Dowson, who previously backed the far-right British National party and the offshoot Britain First party, and is said to admire Russian President Vladimir Putin, controls a network of online publishers and associated social media promoters based in Eastern Europe, including offices in Hungary and Serbia.

Dowson’s “Patriotic News Agency,” founded in July 2016, produced and circulated a variety of inflammatory content on social media during the recent U.S. presidential election, including fabricated news stories and conspiracy theories linking Hillary Clinton to fictional child sex rings and Satanists.

According to the New York Times, some of its stories were shared hundreds of thousands of times.

Now the PNA appears to be backing more far-right anti-immigrant political groups in Europe, including the French National Front led by Marine Le Pen.

Dowson also hopes to help break up the United Kingdom through a new referendum on Scottish independence, as already promised by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Dowson, who is from Scotland, explained his motivations to the Guardian, playing on xenophobic themes as well as Scottish dislike of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party: “I have been a fanatical defender of the union, but I am a pragmatist, and England is finished. It is not just finished because of the Muslim problem and immigration, but also because as of now we are looking at permanent Tory rule.”

The model will presumably follow his previous efforts on behalf of Trump, which he characterized as spreading “devastating anti-Clinton, pro-Trump memes and soundbites into sections of the population too disillusioned with politics to have taken any notice of conventional campaigning.”
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