Deny, Attack, Accuse - How to Distract the Public From the Debanking Story
I genuinely can’t believe I have to write this article because everything I am about to say is exceedingly obvious.
Before launch into it, we should touch briefly on a concept known as DARVO (Deny, Attack and Reverse Victim and Offender) which abusers often use when confronted by their victims. Note how neatly this concept applies as we recap the debanking of Nigel Farage.
Mr Farage recently revealed that his bank account with Coutts Bank had been closed for unspecified “commercial reasons”. The news was met with denial by large sections of our media. In a now-viral debate on BBC Politics Live, Paul Mason, a former culture editor at Channel 4 and business editor at BBC Newsnight, told me the story was a “red herring”:
It’s just banks protecting all of us by following regulations, he explained.
When the BBC gleefully reported that a source at the bank had confirmed that the reason Farage’s account had been closed was that he did not have enough money to meet Coutts’ strict wealth requirements, sneering celebrations erupted on social media:
Jon Sopel, Simon Jack and the BBC itself have since apologised but it is telling that none of them had considered the wisdom of leaking and publishing someone’s personal financial information. These attempts to discredit Mr Farage and his claims were a direct attack designed to deny him the credibility necessary to pursue his case in the court of public opinion.
Shortly after, however, a Subject Access Request submitted by Nigel Farage revealed that his account had, in fact, been closed for political reasons - his views, it turned out, were “at odds with [Coutts’] position as an inclusive organisation”.
At this point, some particularly deranged individuals like David Aaronovitch attempted to maintain the lie but most had the sense to shift the narrative to “Yes, of course, Nigel Farage was debanked, and rightly so!”.
When the CEO of NatWest, which owns Coutts, was forced to apologise to Mr Farage, this was Aaronovitch’s response:
As readers will be aware, having made this apology Dame Alison Rose was given the full confidence of the board.
It is at this point that the final phase of DARVO was implemented:
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