ON June 24, 2016, Crispin Odey was smiling. The hedge fund manager and long-time Conservative Party donor had two good reasons to be happy. Britain had voted to leave the EU. And he had just pocketed £220 million.

Odey, who donated almost £900,000 to pro-Brexit causes, made a fortune on referendum night betting that financial markets would collapse if Leave won.

Around a decade ago, the US writer and activist Naomi Klein coined the term “disaster capitalism” to describe this. Essentially, when there is a massive shock to a political and economic system, there is an opportunity during the ensuing confusion and uncertainty to create a new order.

Where you and I see, well … disaster, these captains of industry see opportunity. Opportunities to tear down what is left of the old world. And, for a few, to get very rich in the process.

Disaster capitalism is generally something we imagine happening far away. This week, however, it came home.

READ MORE: Fact check: Boris Johnson's claims of post-Brexit 'golden age'

No modern British Prime Minister has been as closely aligned to a small group of corporate interests as Boris Johnson. In less than a week, the new Prime Minister has made his rapacious intentions clear.

Take Dominic Cummings. The appointed advisor, and former campaign director of Vote Leave, recently wrote of British politics: “What is happening now is a once in 50 or 100 year crisis and such crises also are the waves that can be ridden to change things normally unchangeable.”

And, of course, those determined to rip down the old order – with its regulations to protect us – rarely care about breaking the old rules.

Cummings ran a Vote Leave campaign that broke electoral law by funnelling more than £675,000 through a pro-Brexit youth group to circumvent referendum spending rules. And who was the most famous face of Vote Leave? Our newly minded PM, Boris Johnson.

Cummings was later found in contempt of Parliament for refusing to appear before it to answer questions on Vote Leave’s referendum campaign. Nothing happened to him as a consequence. Parliament has no power to compel witnesses to give evidence.

Joining Sajid Javid at the Treasury is former Vote Leave chief executive Matthew Elliott. Previously Elliott headed up the TaxPayers’ Alliance, a right-wing think tank that never saw a piece of public spending it did not want to cut.

Another new arrival in No 10 is Australian Chloe Westley as head of social media. BBC regular Westley previously worked for Vote Leave then the TaxPayers’ Alliance (seeing a pattern here?). In 2016, Westley described Anne Marie Waters as a “hero”. Waters had previously launched the UK wing of the German far-right outfit Pegida with Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson).

So why is Johnson getting the old Vote Leave gang back together again? One clue is the hundreds of Facebook ads that the Conservatives have run in the past few days, testing a variety of subtly different messages.

Cummings is no stranger to online advertising. He pushed Vote Leave to spend 40% of its total budget on targeted ads in the crucial final days of the referendum campaign, spreading false messages about Turkey joining the European Union and the apocryphal £350-million-a-week Brexit boon to the NHS.

The National: Boris Johnson has appointed Dominic Cummings as his chief of staffBoris Johnson has appointed Dominic Cummings as his chief of staff

The current flurry of Tory adverts suggests that Johnson could be preparing for an early General Election. If he does go to the polls, expect to see Lynton Crosby at his side. The conservative Australian spin doctor bankrolled Johnson’s leadership bid – an unusual turnaround to the typical business relationship where the politician pays the public relations firm.

Johnson has an uncanny knack of attracting such generosity. In the past 12 months, the new Prime Minister has raised more than £1m in donations and speaking fees, including more than £120,000 from an Indian magazine company for giving an after-dinner talk in a New Delhi hotel earlier this year.

Hedge funder Crispin Odey was among the backers of Johnson’s leadership campaign.

This week Scottish Labour MP Ian Murray wrote to the Government’s most senior official warning of a series of potential conflicts of interest.

The Tory leader has already floated proposals that would likely please some of his financial backers: he has proposed cutting stamp duty while receiving more than £60,000 in donations from property developers; touted the idea of creating free ports after taking £25,000 from the owners of Bristol port; and suggested “reforming” the NHS having received money from a leading UK investor in the private health care system.

Johnson’s ability to raise funds is not confined to political donations. The new Prime Minister has also earned more than a quarter of a million pounds a year for his weekly Daily Telegraph column. He will have to give up this public platform now he’s in Downing Street – but the Barclay brothers seem set to continue to weigh in behind the paper’s one-time Brussels correspondent. An email went around Telegraph staff this week congratulating their star columnist on his success.

The extent of the outside influence on this new administration does not stop with Crosby and Johnson’s media boosters. Lobbyists are set to enjoy unrivalled access to government. Many of the most influential think tanks define themselves as “libertarian” – but could be better described as disaster capitalist. Privatise the NHS? Sure. Leave tax havens as they are? You got it.

The epicentre of Britain’s think tank world is 55 Tufton Street, an exclusive address a stone’s throw from Westminster. Many of these think tanks do not declare where their funding comes from, and even avail of tax breaks from charitable status.

The Tufton Street massive will have plenty of friends in Johnson’s cabinet. New foreign secretary Dominic Raab is close to the influential Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), which has previously received money from the gambling and oil industries. The IEA is fiercely opposed to a tax on sugar, a cause shared by Johnson on the recent campaign trail.

READ MORE: Michael Russell: An open letter to the new Scottish Secretary, Alister Jack

In 2011, Raab co-authored a book called Britannia Unchained that proposed a string of radical, pro-corporate ideas such as for-profit schools and abolishing including rights to time off work. The former Brexit minister later said: “It was the IEA which supported us in waging the war of ideas and launching that book.”

New home secretary Priti Patel, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Liz Truss and other government ministers are all on first-name terms with many of Britain’s most prominent think tanks. As myself and my colleagues at openDemocracy have shown time and again, there is a network of Tory politicians and corporate interests behind what one think tank boss described to an undercover reporter as “the Brexit influencing game”.

A major player in the Brexit influencing game has been the European Research Group (ERG), a cadre of hardline Conservatives that hates Europe and produces “research” dismissed by experts as “biased” and “highly partial”. The ERG has now been moved to the heart of government: Johnson appointed its leader, Jacob Rees-Mogg, as leader of the House of Commons.

New electoral laws are needed to prevent those found guilty of breaking the law from sauntering into the heart of government. But legislation alone will not solve the crisis in our democracy.

As Boris Johnson’s first week in office shows, Westminster has been taken over by corporate interests.

What Britain will look like after they are finished is anyone’s guess. But one thing seems certain: a few people are set to make a lot of money.