The Strategist

Ex-employee of Cambridge Analytica to create a fund supporting the extreme right forces in the EU

07/23/2018 - 15:19

The former vice-president of the analytical company Cambridge Analytica and the chief strategist of the election campaign of Donald Trump Steve Bannon has entered the pre-election race in the European Union. Ten months before the elections to the European Parliament, the American edition of the Daily Beast reported: Mr. Bannon is setting up a political fund for the support of extreme right-wing parties in Europe.

Gage Skidmore via flickr
Gage Skidmore via flickr
Former adviser to the US president on strategic issues Steve Bannon is ready to create the political fund The Movement in Brussels. The organization will investigate public opinion and advise populist political forces. It is planned that the fund’s staff will initially amount to a dozen employees who will be engaged in analytical and consulting work. In case of success of the right-populists in the elections to the European Parliament in May next year, the number will increase.

Before the creation of his non-profit organization, Mr. Bannon talked to leading representatives of conservative and populist European parties, including British politician Nigel Farage, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and leader of the French National Unity Marine Le Pen.

The American newspaper Daily Beast was one of the first to report about Steve Bannon's plans to support parties "often deprived of professional political structures and significant budgets". The publication rather sparingly quotes Mr. Bannon himself, but the newspaper’s website indicates that the journalists has repeatedly communicated with him.

His activity may form a new "supergroup" in the European Parliament, which will unite a third of right-wing deputies (currently, the two leading political forces of the European Parliament are conservatives and social democrats).

In 2014-2016, Steve Bannon was vice-president of the analytical company Cambridge Analytica (CA), which is accused of illegally obtaining personal data of more than 87 million Facebook users in the US and using this data for political advertising. After working at CA, Steve Bannon joined Donald Trump's team, becoming his strategic adviser, and then, after winning his election candidate, headed to a specially created post of chief strategist of the presidential administration. He stayed there until August last year, and in January Donald Trump publicly criticized his former colleague, assuring that he "does not talk with him" and that he "went crazy."

The news about the future creation of the populist political fund literally blew up the European media on the weekend. All leading newspapers in different languages shouted the news with reference to The Daily Beast.

Recall that one of the main results of the elections to the European Parliament in 2014 was the triumph of populist and extreme right parties. They even managed to form their own, the third largest political group (similar to the faction in the national parliament). Since then, the scenario of successful elections in extremely conservative or openly radical right-wing forces was repeated in the voting in individual EU countries: France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Britain, Austria. In a number of countries, righ-wing populists entered the parliament or even the government for the first time.

The leader of European liberals, former Prime Minister of Belgium Guy Verhofstadt, published a joint of Marine Le Pen and Steve Bannon on Twiitter. The two extended their arms as if in a Nazi salute. "We know what a nightmare nationalism brought to our countries in the past. We must ban Bannon! The generation of Europe must stop it! "- the Belgian politician wrote. "This is an attack on freedom and democracy in Europe. We will not remain idle. We will respond," commented the head of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, MEP Udo Bullmann on Twitter.