Irish media outlets appear to have expanded their rolodexes recently for voices opining against the rise of populism and so called ‘fake news’ online with the inclusion of representatives from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) on the national airwaves.
While superficially part of the white noise against our current inchoate populism, ISD and its personnel are of note to the keen observer as to how our NGO class function and embody the emergence of a new and equally as pernicious player onto the scene.
Ostensibly a London-based counter-extremism think-tank, ISD is a quiet but powerful global voice in the world of policymaking, liaising with tech platforms and governments on how to combat primarily the radical right and jihadist expansionism. Founded in 2006 amid a milieu of post-9/11 counter-jihad, it has subsequently focused more and more on how to combat so-called right-wing extremism, conspiracy theories as well as attempts to boycott the State of Israel.
The current flavour of the month for ISD appears to be dealing with the scourge of fake news online, which in layman’s terms translates as shutting down any avenues for aberration from the liberal consensus.
Even the most passive of media consumers will find it hard to have missed ISD Analyst Aoife Gallagher, long-time friend of this publication for her embroilment in our investigative project, formerly of the ‘social media intelligence agency’ Storyful and repeatedly platformed on the topic of fake news and Qanon. Like shooting fish in a barrel and feeling proud afterwards, Gallagher’s professional penchant is debunking the rather bewildering Qanon conspiracy theory, apparently spreading rapidly online in Ireland, with calls for tech censorship stitched on for good measure.
Featured multiple times on primetime slots for RTÉ, Irish Times, various popular podcasts, and even anti-fascist blogs, Gallagher appears to make her daily bread purusing the grungier sides of social media to inform us of the ludricousness of the Q theory. To summarise Qanon is a rather madcap theory citing the alleged existence of an international cabal of elite paedophiles and an almost messianic belief that Donald Trump will overthrow them with the eponymous ‘Q’ being a deep state operative leaking information through 4chan. While prima facie ludicrous, dismissing certain claims is made harder in the aftermath of the Jeffery Epstein fiasco and the networks it showed as existing among the global elite.
Those with sharper memories may also remember Gallagher from controversial reporting of failed attempts to plant a Direct Provision centre in Galway last year, as well as a passive-aggressive article in the Irish Times targeting Professor Dolores Cahill.
She is not the only former member of Storyful staff to make the crossover to working at the anti-extremism think-tank, demonstrating a certain cross pollination with these networks. Founded in 2010 by former Prime Time journalist Mark Little, the news and social media monitoring service has found itself a niche in the corporate realm, having been gobbled up by Rupert Murdoch in 2013, as well as detecting disinformation online.
Gallagher as a dogsbody NGO minion is of very little note aside from her employer and the airtime it affords. ISD is a major if not the major player in the world of tech censorship and policymaking, with its website boasting of partnerships with the veritable who’s who of the tech world, from Google to everyone’s favourite meddling plutocrat George Soros.
The more wakeful of nationalist observers know the influence of these high-rolling NGOs on the Irish media and political landscape, from the Soros-funded ‘Irish Network Against Racism’ (INAR) to the forest of Chuck Feenery funded open border organisations who pepper our commentariat daily. While we are lectured ad infinitum on the need of watching out for foreign ‘dark money’ facilitating an anti-globalist movement, these organisations operate through the purse strings of alien plutocrats with media impunity, more often than not working one degree of separation from street-level antifascists.
With regards to ISD, its genesis may present some amount of awkwardness in the Irish context due to the organisation’s history and opinions on the Middle-East.
Founded and initially chaired by the arch-Zionist publicist and master networker Lord Weidenfeld, ISD is arguablly to some critics nothing more than a thinly veiled Zionist front organisation with a modus operandi to defend certain interests under the guise of anti-extremism rhetoric. How can any organisation pontificate on matters of combating ethno-nationalist extremism in Ireland, before then towing the line for the Zionist State ought be a matter of abject hypocrisy to the Irish mind.
Similarly to Newstalk’s partnership with the fanaticially pro-Israel Anti-Defamation League to combat hatespeech, there is a certain degree of hypocrsisy in UK-based Zionist organisations moralising about the rise of hardline nationalism and foreign interference in Ireland.
On the topic of Qanon, from which Gallagher has made a career out of examining superficially, it must be said the absurd media fixation on it ignores the very real issue at hand of child abuse at elite levels. Without over-sensationalising it, paedophilia and even aspects of the occult have been instrumental to the functioning of intelligence agencies for centuries, with the goings on at Epstein island no doubt just the tip of the iceberg.
Would Gallagher and co. have scoffed in the 1980s at the idea that elements of British intelligence were sanctioning religious cults that trafficked children, as was done arguably with Kincora House, or the potential of politically connected murderers being protected in the case of Mary Boyle?
Qanon, while absurd, is merely an expression of neuroticism that afflicts otherwise normal people when they scratch the surface of the moral heart of darkness controlling the Western world.
No, Tom Hanks is not engaged in child sacrifice, but at the same time it is hard not to minimise the fact large swathes of the global ruling class were caught up in a sinister paedophile ring under the eye of intelligence agencies, as well as the probable murder of Epstein himself.
Similarly, the barrel run towards the sexualisation of children by medium of an organised transgender lobby is another increasing fact of life. The fact we apparently require well-financed globalist organisations to assure us that there is no globalist paedophile conspiracy isn’t exactly reaffirming in addition.
The targeting of the low hanging fruit of Qanon serves two purposes, one to discredit those who speak against child abuse at an elite level, as well as to pave the way for internet censorship the later of which appears to be ISD’s modus operandi. As if to confirm almost every anti-globalist cliche ISD has carried its humongous global influence onto the Irish media rostrum with Gallagher’s endless media gigs a byproduct of a vast think tank machine muscling into Ireland to which she acts merely as a spearhead to.
Be mindful of bland sounding foreign think tanks intruding themselves into our media discourse. Behind the benign names and acronyms are an institutional lattice of pernicious influencers attempting to manipulate the public into complacency and censorship.
ISD’s move into the realm of Irish punditry signifies the fact this sudden uptick in anti-globalist sentiment in Ireland has been like blood in the water to certain global players, whether or not these sharks are challenged by the Irish people is another matter.