The Russians have been very busy

Politics: Leading Brexit campaigners held secret meetings with Russian officials arranged by suspected Kremlin spy before referendum, report says

As many of us thought, it sure looks like the Russians were a driving force behind Brexit:

Did data meddling win the election?

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Chris Wylie gave compelling testimony to UK MPs last week that he believes the EU referendum outcome could have been different “had there been no cheating”.

(I hope Americans are paying attention, because this should apply to Cambridge Analytica’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election, as well.)

Wyle made a persuasive analogy. “When you are caught in the Olympics doping, there is not a debate on how much illegal drug you took,” he said. “Or, ‘well, he probably would have come in first anyone,’ or ‘he only took half of the amount,’ or… it doesn’t matter. If you are caught cheating, you lose your medal.

“Because if we allow cheating in our democratic process, and we allow this amount, then what about next time, and what about the time after that? This is a breach of the law. This is cheating, and the thing that’s really important to understand here is that this is not some council race or a by-election.

“This is an irreversible change to the constitutional settlement of this country. First of all, that’s why it matters. And if you cheat on an exam, you get a fail. If you cheat on the Olympics, you lose your medal. You should not win by cheating, first point.”

Second point, he said, was that Dom Cummings, the campaign director of Vote Leave, said that AIQ, the Canadian company that developed the software used by Cambridge Analytical, won the election for them.

“They are incredibly effective,” he said. “I think it is completely reasonable to say there could have been a different outcome, had they not cheated.”