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This Super-Rich Tory Donor Brexiteer is trying to profit from British firms going bust due to Brexit

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Taking back control: the entire thing was an illusory dog whistle of a time gone by. Control of what? From whom? In what way was it really lost?

As we find out each day with the relentless back and forth, yes and no, hot and cold, Katy Perry anthem of a constitutional shift, the ridiculous truth is emerging that there really never was any definition to the idea. It was just that. An idea. A yearning for something, but quite what was ripply and untouchable.

It was a mismatched idea of sovereignty fed to the masses who thought for once they had a say. Of course, all that exists in a neoliberal world is the inalienable sovereignty of wealth.

Yesterday, it was revealed that a hedge fund tycoon and major Tory donor called Crispin Odey stands to profit from the failure of British businesses in the fallout of Brexit. This comes after he himself called for Theresa May’s resignation because she would not be able to carry Brexit through. 

Crispin Odey is a forthright Brexiteer and an outspoken backer of Brexit-backing duo Jacob Rees-Mogg and Michael Gove. Now it transpires that the reason for this may not some sense of British identity, of middle-England pride, but perhaps because his stock market short positions will come up trumps when British businesses flounder as a result of the isolationism of Brexit.

Odey is simply one of the many Brexiteer actors who cared not for the country but for their wallets.

In shorting positions, Odey merely eyes investments, companies or funds that are likely to fare badly and he bets on them doing so. His firm, Odey Asset Management, has bet over £500m against British companies including Debenhams and ITV.

The EU represented corporate globalisation to a great many people. A breakdown of borders on terms on which people felt they had no say. Yet it was heralded by people whose interests were a million miles from those they were pandering to. 

These include Jacob Rees-Mogg, for example, whose investment firm, Somerset Capital Management, has holdings namely in Russia, and which transfers money through tax havens.

Shorting is disaster capitalism, and it is merely symptomatic of the worst instincts of neoliberal capitalism. That is, profit arising not from production, but from the compilation of wealth on wealth. Odey’s profession doesn’t contribute anything to society, it merely bets against its success. 

His short positions, which are thought to have their best chances of seeing success if Brexit works against the businesses on whom he holds the positions, are a burning symbol of the hypocrisy of Brexit and the need for real, grassroots change.

Whether you voted for or against Brexit, one thing is for certain. The money cares simply about replicating and it holds no loyalty to country or kinsmen. Change is needed, and a new system with checks on these excesses built into it from the ground up. 

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Jess Miller

Co-Founder, Contributing Editor

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