Libertarian protagonists: Chloe Westley

Chloe Westley is Boris Johnson’s Special Adviser.

On 20th February 2018, when campaign manager at Tax-Payers’ Alliance (TPA), Westley and three of her TPA colleagues visited Warrington.  They stood in the town centre and tried to persuade inhabitants of Cromwell’s town that lower taxes (or no taxes) for wealthy people would solve everyone’s problems and that the town’s Labour council was to blame for everything rather than eight years of Tory government.

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Shahmir Sanni, Chloe Westley, Harry Fone and Dave Thomas in Warrington

TPA is a 55 Tufton Street libertarian think-tank that creates and promotes policies designed to enhance the wealth of the wealthiest.  Its purpose is to assist extremely wealthy people and businesses in avoidance of tax.  It called tax havens “low-tax jurisdictions” and “international financial centres.”  Like all such think-tanks a key facet of its methodology is to misrepresent nefariously its aims and concomitant aims of conservative politicians. 

TPA is very secretive and dishonest about its donors.  On 6th August 2018, as a paid employee of Conservative Home website, Westley presented a wholly untrue description of TPA: “The truth is, we’re a team of ten and have the operating budget of a local pub.  We’re funded by thousands of people, many of whom give less than £100.  Our press team is just me and my colleague, James Price.”  Two months later Rob Evans, David Pegg and Felicity Lawrence revealed that “TPA has received at least US$286,000 (£223,300) from US-based donors in the last five years, including US$100,000 originating from a billionaire-founded religious trust incorporated in the Bahamas.”  TPA is part of Atlas Network who awarded TPA US$100,000 in 2013.

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55 Tufton Street, home of Tax-Payers’ Alliance

As part of TPA’s ‘Stand Against Socialism’ (SAS) programme she complained that “socialist and communist countries generally do not allow for the free exchange of ideas.”  To back-up her statement Westley mentioned “communist” North Korea, the Russian revolution of over a hundred years ago and Venezuela’s battle against anti-democratic terrorists led by Juan Guaidó. 

As Boris Johnson’s Special Adviser did Westley object to any of the following restrictions on “free exchange of ideas?”

  • Home Secretary Priti Patel’s intent to outlaw political protest
  • Education Secretary Gavin Williamson’s direct intervention in teaching to censor politically what texts can be used in lessons
  • Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden’s interference in information provided by heritage organisations and locations to ensure they do not give a full historical account
  • Housing, Communities and Local Government minister Robert Jenrick’s interference in councils’ decisions regarding erection or removal of statues of political figures
  • Several Tory cabinet members’ opposition to footballers taking a knee  

The answer is “No.” 

She did not object to proposals in this year’s Queens Speech that are part of a determined attack on freedom and democracy by the Tory government.

  • Judicial Review Bill will severely restrict the capability of legal challenges to government decisions
  • Electoral Integrity Bill will demand photo identification in order to vote.  It is straightforward, unambiguous voter suppression and will affect disproportionately non-Tory voters
  • Online Safety Bill will censor social media use
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Juan Guaidó, terrorising

Venezuela has a democratically elected socialist government.  It has the largest reserves of oil in the world.  Minor Venezuelan opposition politician and professional far-right grifter Juan Guaidó is a well-paid puppet of other governments (including USA and UK) and of financial institutions who act on behalf of major oil companies against Venezuela.  He helped them to steal Venezuelan money (and gold) and he attempted a military coup that was dealt with expediently.  

In her SAS article Westley wrote approvingly of Guaidó’s terrorism: “Juan Guaidó, who has been recognised as the legitimate leader of Venezuela by more than 50 countries including the UK, France and Germany, led the uprising.” 

She spouted the familiar counterfeit argument of blaming Venezuelan government for economic problems that resulted from political sanctions (including theft) imposed by other countries.  The sanctions are a means of trying to undermine the Venezuelan government and install a government that will work for oil companies’ profits.

As part of a depiction of socialism as intrinsically violent Westley said “in order to seize ownership of the means of production the state has to use force.”  That was a rare moment of accurate analysis.  To remove the exploiters, thieves and con artists it may be necessary, and often will be the only option, to use whatever force is required. 

University of St. Andrews is the home of The Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) from whom Westley obtained a “certificate” in 2017 in “Counter Terrorism Studies” that included “cyberterrorism, terrorist use of ICT and cybersecurity, key issues in international terrorism, terrorist ideologies, aims, beliefs and motivations, and terrorism and human rights.” 

CSTPV, partially publicly funded, investigates terrorism via “rigorous and sober scholarship” according to its director Tim Wilson.  The extent of “rigour” applied is debatable but its “sobriety” translates as perceiving terrorism distinct from inter-connected state conflicts.  CSTPV’s definition of “political violence” is bounded by a specific worldview whereby “democratic” capitalist states are absolved of wrongdoing.  Its most recent publication, dated 22nd June 2021, discussed right-wing incitement in Israel by describing pro-Israel extremists as separate from the government and as a threat to the new government led by Naftali Bennett.  Meanwhile, Israeli air force’s carpet-bombing of Gaza continues and settler violence and theft of property continues overseen by the Israeli army.

Westley is an ex-director of ‘Museum Of Communist Terror’ (MCT).  It is not a museum.  It is a website and political lobby group.  Uber-ubiquitous Dan Hannan, a participant in many hard-right economic think-tanks and lobby groups and current UK Board Of Trade member, is also a director of MCT as is Eamonn Butler who is a director of extremist think-tank Adam Smith Institute. 

MCT published ‘Communism: A Little Book Of Facts’ that it offerred to “school history teachers who might like to use it for classroom discussion.”  That invasion of political propaganda into schools, supported by the UK prime minister’s Special Adviser, sits beside Education Secretary Williamson’s instruction that schools should not use teaching materials that are not pro-capitalist.

Westley has never shied away from handing solidarity and exposure to extreme-right activists.  She appeared in a promotional video for extremist USA lobby group Turning Point and on 21st July 2016 she asked people to fund For Britain member Anne Marie Waters’s book that claimed “Islam injected our civilisation with poison.” 

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Anyone who opposes socialism, whatever their other views, will receive approval from Westley.

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Stuart Robert MP

Westley’s political career began as election campaigner for Australian politician Stuart Robert. 

Robert, a minister in libertarian Liberal Party governments and close associate of prime minister Scott Morrison, established the privatised Robodebt scam that robbed people of over A$700,000,000 via false demands for repayment of welfare payments.  Separately, when a government website crashed on March 23rd 2020 after a large number of people tried to access information because their employment situation had changed due to Covid-10 pandemic, Robert lied that there had been a DDoS attack on the website.

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Westely (left) and Australian prime minister Scott Morrison

Westley is an alumnus of Mannkal Economic Education Foundation (MEEF) based in Western Australia and founded by Ron Manners, Executive Chairman of Mannwest Group and founder of Croesus Mining NL, a gold mining company.  Manners founded the short-lived extremist libertarian anti-socialist Progress Party (also called, erroneously, Workers’ Party) in the 1970s.  He is a climate change denier and a fan of Ayn Rand.

MEEF’s stated mission is to “develop future free market leaders to promote free enterprise, limited government and individual initiative for the benefit of all Australians.  The flagship activity at Mannkal is the Leadership Development Program, which provides scholarships to Western Australian university students to attend conferences, participate in study tours and connect with industry both domestically and internationally.  These opportunities allow students to appreciate the role of property rights, common law, free markets and limited government in fostering economic growth and human dignity.”

That is, MEEF is a corporate funded breeding ground for anti-socialist libertarian disciples to infiltrate and direct governments, NGOs and media around the world to destroy public services and infrastructure, remove societal responsibilities and concentrate wealth in the hands of the wealthiest.  Its most recent promotional paper concluded with a quote from Rand.

Westley acquired a degree in philosophy at (discontinued) Heythrop College in London.  (Coincidentally, white supremacist anti-Semite Sebastian Gorka did the same course at the same college twenty years earlier.)

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The Special Advisers in Downing Street.  Who looks the most smug?

Westley possesses sufficient skills to maintain a lucrative career as ‘adviser’ or ‘campaigner’ to whoever is willing to employ her. 

Extreme inculcated dishonesty is the driving force of Westley’s professionalism.  Hypocrisy, verbosity, misdirection and relentless lies are her tools.  Her strategy of persuasion is standard ultra-conservative mendacity.

Embedded securely within the libertarian mire her analysis, ideology and policy advice are underwritten by unfaltering support for continuation of wealth concentration.

Recommended reading 
Tim Lezard for Union News 
Tim Fenton for Zelo Street
Thomas Scripps on MCT 

Gunther Bett

Related blogs
Tax-Payers’ Alliance 
Tory government directing political education in schools 
Oliver Dowden, culture war and selective history 
Robert Jenrick, planning permission and statues 
Queen’s Speech May 2021 
Venezuela: Pick a side

 

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Libertarian protagonists: Chloe Westley

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