How corporations can delete your existence, by Gavin Haynes.
Let’s call her Laura. In September, Laura was out in Leeds City Centre, buying some bits, when her card was declined. Funny, she thought. She definitely wasn’t in the red. But these things happen, so she left the shop, tinting crimson, and dashed towards the nearest cashpoint.
But her card wouldn’t work at the cashpoint either. She tried another one. With the same result.
Laura opened the banking app on her phone. It said only ‘error’, then automatically closed.
She finally abandoned her shopping and went into the nearest branch of Santander. There, the counter assistant seemed just as mystified. After about an hour of waiting, though, Laura was called through into the manager’s office.
“I’m going to read a statement out for you,” the manager said. “But I’m not going to be able to answer any of your questions after that.”
He read out: “We have locked your bank account. We can’t give you any more information. We might be in touch in future with more information. But we don’t know when that might be.”
Could she have her money? No.
But how was she supposed to get home? After all, she lived eight miles outside of Leeds, and now she had no bus fare. Apparently, this was not the bank’s business.
This low-rent version of The Trial went on for another three weeks. Frequently, Laura would phone up Santander customer services. She’d be put on hold for ages. Then the phone would just go dead. She wrote to Santander to complain. They wrote back: they weren’t interested in her complaint and wouldn’t be taking it any further. Meanwhile, her rent, standing orders and Direct Debits stacked up, the late fees and penalties mushroomed around them, as life tumbled towards chaos.
Nearly a month on, she received a letter from Santander: “Under the terms and conditions… we can withdraw banking facilities at any time, and in line with company policy we don’t give further details.”
The account had been closed. Without apparent irony, the balance had been appended as a cheque.
Sadly, that story is true. It happened, and is increasingly happening to people who annoy the elites.
‘Laura’ could be any of us. But she is also Laura Towler, one of the founders of Patriotic Alternative. Towler is a sort of next-gen BNP type, a net-savvy white identitarian who campaigns against mass-migration, and occasionally winks to her Telegram followers about ‘you know who’ (they know alright: The Jews). It would seem that Towler had been expelled from Santander for her views. But in line with the bank’s conditions, this has not been made clear.
By a strange coincidence, in the same month, the same thing happened to Mark Collett, her Patriotic Alternative co-founder. Only, Collett doesn’t bank with Santander — he is with HSBC. Somehow, the same thing also happened, in different countries, to Europe’s leading young white identitarians: Brittany Pettibone and Martin Sellner.
Coincidence abounds in the modern world. Last year, on the other side of the Atlantic, various alt-ish-Right figures who banked with JP Morgan Chase woke up on the same morning to find that they no longer banked with JP Morgan Chase. They included the chair of the Proud Boys Enrique Tarrio, former InfoWars staffer Joe Biggs, Project Veritas associate Laura Loomer, and Martina Markota, a Trump-supporting performance artist.
Laura Loomer is a non-person, despite running for Congress as the endorsed Republican candidate:
Of those four, it’s the other Laura whose case drives home the full capriciousness of corporate power in a networked age. Loomer styles herself as the “most banned woman in the world”. In addition to Chase, she is banned from PayPal, from VenMo, from The Cash App, Airbnb and Instagram, from Lyft, Uber and UberEats, from the blogging monetisation platform WordAds and the t-shirt print-to-order site TeeSpring, from Twitter and Facebook — obviously — and from any one of a half dozen other platforms for digital congress. …
Another great thought experiment dawned in August of last year, when Laura Loomer stunned the Republican establishment by winning the GOP primary for Florida’s 21st Congressional District. The 21st is West Palm Beach, where Mar-a-Lago lives. Trump himself has already cast his vote for her.
Clearly, Loomer’s campaign has been adversely affected by her various bans. At the time of her deletion, Loomer’s tweets were getting 150 million impressions a month. As she puts it: “They just assume that people can afford TV, and that they’re not going to get all their information through social media.” She might have wingnut tendencies, but Loomer is also half of the choice for voters in the 21st District.
This year, “in the interests of transparency and fairness”, Twitter has given every single candidate standing in the US election a blue-check verified account. So, when she won her primary, she applied to have her accounts reinstated.
No dice. She can’t get on Big Social, the broadcast networks are ignoring her, and her opponent, Lois Frankel, won’t even say her name, let alone debate her.
Same as climate change. Credible critics of the problems with the carbon dioxide theory of global warming simply do not exist in media world. This, despite the theory’s obvious problems (which also don’t exist in media world).
We had all better pay attention to this. If you think that the banks and other gatekeepers of the financial system are going to stop with far-right political extremists, you are deluded. ..
Having a bank account is required to participate in the economy in more than a primitive way. To deny someone that is to exile them from modern life. Moreover, the more our economies move to the cashless model, the more difficult it will be for those without a bank account (and a debit card that goes with it) to participate at all in the economy.
It cannot be left to the HR and PR departments of these banks and financial companies to decide who does and doesn’t have the right to participate in the economy, certainly not based on whether or not they hold political, religious, or cultural views that tick off decision-makers in those private entities.
If lawmakers don’t use the power of the state to keep access to the economy open to individuals that the ruling class finds deplorable, then we should understand that we are well on our way to allowing Woke Capitalism to create an American social credit system.
hat-tip Stephen Neil