The corporate deplatforming movement made another encroachment in Australia with Westpac Banking Corporation sending a letter to patriot activist Blair Cottrell informing him that they were closing his personal bank account for “commercial” reasons.
The letter says they cannot go into what these “commercial imperatives” are but maintain it is consistent with their customer terms and conditions. They have given Cottrell a month to make alternative banking arrangement before his account is closed.
Cottrell posted the letter on his Gab account and stated that these “commercial imperatives” were likely due to his views and reputation.
Westpac is one of countless major Australian corporations who virtue signal on social justice issues like same sex marriage. A patriot activist last night noticed this sponsored Westpac post on Facebook
Cottrell had at the end of last year been banned from PayPal which he had been using to raise funds for his appeal for his conviction under Victoria’s Racial and Religious Tolerance Act for his participation in the mock Islamic beheading by the United Patriots Front in Bendigo in 2015. The appeal trial is set for the County Court in August.
Since his PayPal ban Cottrell had been asking supporters to direct deposit donations to his appeal to his bank account, so this could have played a part in Westpac’s decision to close his account.
It is also noteworthy that Bendigo Bank closed the bank account of Julie Hoskins in 2015 who was challenging the approval of the Bendigo mosque and housing development. Hoskin is currently fighting a bankruptcy declaration but to this date the mosque has not broken ground in Bendigo.
Blair Cottrell is not the first right-wing figure to be deplatformed by a major bank. In February Proud Boys Chairman Enrique Tarrio had his account with Chase Bank closed who told him they could “no longer support his banking account(s)”.
The fact that payment processors and now banks have joined the social media giants in deplatforming those whose politics they disagree with is particularly concerning given that they are essential services. The absurdity of this next step was illustrated by Summit News founder Paul Joseph Watson.
What is next? Are telecommunications companies going to cut off the phone and internet of those whose politics they don’t like? Are utilities going to begin cutting off electricity and water to far-right households?
Cottrell though is unfazed by his bank account closure and will continue his personal banking and raising funds for his legal appeal elsewhere.