The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming! 152

The complete and unmitigated irrationality of the current epidemic of Russophobia does nothing to reduce its incredible virulence, as it continues to infect the entire political and media class. There is a zero chance that Russia will launch an attack on the UK, yet the entire corporate and state media is leading today with the “need” to spend billions against that most unlikely threat, as propounded by General Nutty McNutter.

Researching Sikunder Burnes gave me crucial insights into the recurrence of Russophobia as a key element of British politics for two centuries, despite the fact historians can demonstrate that at no stage in that period has Russia ever planned an attack on the UK, or seriously considered it as an option. But the current Russophobia has new elements.

We are currently in some sort of crisis of capitalism, as the concentration of wealth continues apace and the general population of western countries increasingly feel insecure, exploited and alienated. It is still very hard for voices that reject the neo-liberal establishment view to get a media platform, but Russia does provide comparatively small platforms in the West – like Russia Today and Radio Sputnik – which allow greater democratic freedom than western media in the range of views they invite to be expressed. So the ultra-wealthy, their politician servants and media lackeys view Russia as some kind of threat to the dominance of neo-liberalism .

There are a number of ironies to this, not least the very real deficiencies in Russia’s domestic democracy and media plurality, and the fact Russia has an even worse oligarchic capitalism than the West and has a 1% completely integrated with their Western counterparts. But despite these ironies, the Western 1% perceive Russia as some sort of threat to their dominance. This leads in to the intellectually risible attempts to prove that Russia somehow “fixed” Trump’s election, for which no solid evidence can ever be adduced as it did not happen; but nevertheless vast resources continue to be spent in trying.

The second cause of the extreme Russophobia is Putin’s masterly pursuit of his foreign policy objectives. He has two major objectives.

Putin’s first major objective is to bring majority Russian speaking regions of the Former Soviet Union into Russia. He has had some success with this in Georgia and Ukraine, to the embarrassment of NATO. I do not in fact support Putin in achieving this goal by military means. I have no objection to the re-arrangement of boundaries, but it should be done by democratic choice, and non ethnic Russian regions within Russia, such as in Dagestan, Chechnya and Tatarstan, should be given the same opportunity of choice to change boundaries.

But while I do not support Putin’s means, there is no doubt he has pursued them with some success, and more importantly he is shrewd enough to know when not to pursue them by military means, eg in the Baltic States. To claim that Putin’s very limited objective, to bring small Russian outlying regions within Russia, constitutes a threat to the UK or USA, is ludicrous.

Putin’s second foreign policy objective is to prevent the further destabilisation of the Middle East and to stymie the spread of jihadst Wahhabism. In this he has also been very successful, especially as regards stopping the US and Saudi backed jihadists in Syria, and in bringing Iran back into the international community. Again it is ludicrous to claim that this foreign policy success constitutes or denotes a military threat to the USA or UK. In the Middle East, I regard Putin’s policies as both lawful and helpful.

You do not have to be uncritical of Putin to understand that the Russian threat is a bogey and the current wave of Russophobia is completely unjustified.

The New Cold War is being foisted upon us whether we want it or not. But at least it is giving us a few laughs. There is an excellent example of the 100% evidence free “Russians fixed the US election and are undermining democracy” meme by Nick Cohen in yesterday’s Observer. He claims a Maltese Professor Mifsud is a Russian spy because he founded a “diplomatic academy” in London which had no money for computers and no laptops, because Mifsud once met Putin and Boris Johnson, and because of a meeting with George Papadopalous, which if it involved Russians in any way at all, Cohen does not tell us.

I really do urge you to read the Cohen piece carefully and analyse whether there is any reasonable case for branding the man a Russian spy.

Cohen’s claim that Professor Mifsud is an academic charlatan may or may not be founded, but the accusation that he is a Russian spy is an appalling example of McCarthyist witch-hunting of which Cohen and his Editor should be deeply, deeply ashamed.

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152 thoughts on “The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!

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  • AdrianD.

    It’s just about as well evidenced as Carole Cadwaladr’s award-winning stuff has been I suppose. I’m afraid to say that it’s getting some traction though. I had an exchange with Prof Richard Murphy (TaxResearchUK), who I otherwise admire greatly on this.

    He simply refused to accept how pitifully weak the evidence was, even when I walked him through it. Cadwaladr’s linking of Assange to Farage to Cambridge Analytica to the Kremlin relies upon one lunch and, get this, the fact that the Ecuadorian Embassy is only a couple of miles from Cambridge Analytica’s London offices.

    • Radar O'Reilly

      Craig, good article, blatantly authentic.

      I have genuinely met one Russian sleeper agent in my long career – of course I didn’t know it at the time. He was allegedly prepared AND able to do enormous damage to UK civil/mil infrastructure in the 1960’s – 1970’s [very similar to the real journo Freddie Forsyth “The Fourth Protocol” novel and film] so I’d counter your ‘zero chance’ and replace it with ‘highly unlikely unless you actually poke a bear with a stick’ – then unfortunately we might see what a cold-blooded sensible defence procurement by a potential enemy, who play chess, can wreak

    • K. Crosby

      Murphy is a bit like Maxie Keiser with a quiet voice, show him evidence outside his field (like the bogus democracy here) and he retreats into slogans and the sulks.

  • Martinned

    Putin’s second foreign policy objective is to prevent the further destabilisation of the Middle East and to stymie the spread of jihadst Wahhabism.


    Speaking of which, I have a bridge you might want to buy…

      • Walter Cairns

        Exactly, Craig. Wahhabism is the most vicious and aggressive form of fundamentalist Islamism, which takes its sharpest form on the shape of ISIS, which Saudi Arabia created and finances. The other terrorists, of course, are al-Nusra, fully supported and trained by the West.

        • K. Crosby

          No, it is a confection of the US empire and its Saud pervert protectorate. Without the status of a nationalised industry, it would be as widespread as chris is here.

    • John Goss

      “Speaking of which, I have a bridge you might want to buy…”

      Wouldn’t by any chance be the Kerch Straits bridge due to be opened to road traffic in December 2018 and rail traffic in December 2019? It will unite mainland Russia with Crimea. If the will is there, which it was after the west created the Kiev fascist state, you can do anything. All this was achieved while Russia was helping Syria defeat ISIS in Syria.

      However, Martinned when I write “you can do anything” I don’t mean you literally. I believe the Russians have got a bridge. You have not even attempted to provide an answer the quote you filched.

      • SA

        Apparantly this bridge which is 12 miles long will not only be on time but within a budget of $3 billion .

        • Kangaroo

          Boris might want to discuss a civil engineering project with them. He would have at least £50billion left over for PFI style corrupt payments to his City banker mates.

        • Kempe

          Of course it will.

          Any significance to the fact that the contract was awarded to Putin’s childhood friend Arkady Rotenberg despite his company having limited bridge building experience do you think?

  • Loony

    “We are currently in some sort of crisis of capitalism, as the concentration of wealth continues apace and the general population of western countries increasingly feel insecure, exploited and alienated.”

    …and there we have it, a neat summary of a staggering misunderstanding of what is happening.

    There can be no crisis of capitalism because there is no capitalism. Capitalism is all about creative destruction. It is not about propping up systemically insolvent institutions.Western policy is completely dedicated to a maintenance of insolvent institutions. Widening wealth inequality is a consequence of socialist policies albeit socialism for the few and not for the many.

    No informed person believes that Russia is a threat to the UK or the US. Any informed person would understand that Russia is home to vast amounts of natural resources and the west wants access to these resources. Because the west has debased their currencies as a side effect of propping up insolvent institutions it has nothing to offer by way of trade. Hence the plan is to steal these resources – once again this has nothing to do with Capitalism.

    The only way in which it is possible to steal Russian resources is by way of military force and developing a military capacity that is completely unwarranted by reference to objective threats. Therefore it is necessary to dumb down the population and to create a media that spews constant lies. None of this is anything to do with capitalism.

    What you have is a toxic combination of a kleptocracy infused with institutionalized idiocy and an absolute refusal to accept that this is the case.

    Crazy people squawk that Brexit is racist and bemoan the iniquities of PFI but never understand that PFI (or something analogous) is the only way that the UK can build infrastructure and remain compliant with EU rules.

    • Ishmael

      Capitalism can’t exist as a system. It’s purely idealogical. “Free markets” could not exist without planned state help. It’s how markets came into being.

        • Walter Cairns

          It has always been about Russian natural resources. One of the reasons why the US banks financed the Russian revolution was because they wanted to punish the Czar for refusing them access. Of course it went badly pear-shaped – what they wanted was a weak Western-style parliamentary set-up which they could push around, but of course Lenin and Trotsky had other ideas…

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Walter Cairns January 22, 2018 at 14:07
            Just as they backed Hitler between WWI & WWII, and even during WWII.
            Prescott Bush (‘W’s’ grandpappy) was a Nazi Front bank director.
            The US postwar is looked upon by some as the Fourth Reich, not without reason, since Project Paperclip and similar policies.
            The founding of the NSC and CIA in 1947 began the fast-track of the end of ‘Democracy’ in the US (though it was badly flawed before that).

      • Loony

        It is flat out false to state that free markets could not exist without planned state help.

        There is a lot of similarity between the development of the concept of free exchange with the development of language. Both emerged as form of human social co-ordination and both predated any concept of the state.

        It is the case that Capitalism is a largely ideological concept, but that is irrelevant to the fact that western economies have morphed into full blown kleptocracy. Any system you can imagine will produce winners and losers, with the exception of kleptocracy which, over the long term, will produce only losers.

        • Ishmael

          No it’s historical fact. As explained in chapter 2 ‘The Myth of Barter’ in Debt: The First 5,000 Years. By anthropologist David Graeber

          As numerous historical failed attempts at forcing the myth of a capitalist system down people’s throats have also proven. As the bail outs also prove, As does public/state investment that underpins corporations prove. You may not like these facts, but this is how this sytem maintains itself. It can do no other.

          Though I don’t expect this… IOU to ever drop for many so wrapped up in a fantastical view of the world.

        • K. Crosby

          Anarchism is the natural state of human relations and free markets depend on the state to prevent minorities from usurping them. Actually-existing capitalism is a symptom of the symbiotic relationship between boss class political and economic structures.

          • Ishmael

            Well put.

            Hence the term free market is more like free prison. Sure you can try & leave but you’ll die like a dog in the gutter if you try, or get thown in “real” prison if you break any of the rules it enforces, in order to survive by other means.

            Because that would be unjust, “We” own this land. “We” own your life unless you choose death. Obay or die.

            Aren’t capitalists so kind hearted. Outright slaves had it better.

    • SA

      That kleptocracy has taken over does not preclude that the underlying system is capitalism.

      “…..the owners of the means of production (capitalists) are the dominant class (bourgeoisie) who derive their income from the surplus product produced by the workers and appropriated freely by the capitalists.”

      And also not forgetting what Lenin said:

      Imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism.

      • Ishmael

        As a …gift loony & perhaps Craig & others with odd Adam Smith ideas. A summary of study on the myth of the barter economy.

        Another Scott being followed blindly. Perhaps there is a cautionary tale in this.

        • Ishmael

          This is why I have issues with “the left” ..We are not humans, we are an audience for their product. Same with Novara. They don’t want to work together to make a better sytem, they want to sell their individual vision within the market system. …useless and rather offensive treatment.

  • Ishmael

    I do him the honor of not reading a thing he writes.

    Another good podcast that relates to this is “Trump washing” (by Citations Needed)

    …And obviously all unjust authoritarian sytems need to exagurate threat to justify expanding their own contoll & keeping position. Keep people in fear. It’s disgusting really.

    Self analysis is out of the question, so let’s wash ourselves in big bad Russia while stuck up USA’s behind. Same old twisted narrative.

  • MJ

    I think that there may be a third and broader objective of Russian policy, namely to turn the Eurasian landmass into the earth’s largest trading bloc, incorporating China, the middle east and Europe as well as Russia. a bit like the EU only on a grander scale and dollars not accepted. Such a bloc would make the Eurasian landmass the economic centre of the world, as it is already the geographical centre.

  • Kempe

    ” Russia Today and Radio Sputnik – which allow greater democratic freedom than western media ”

    Thanks for that, best laugh I’ve had in ages.

    ” Putin’s first major objective is to bring majority Russian speaking regions of the Former Soviet Union into Russia. ”

    Whether they want to or not. These regions split from the old Soviet Union in the first place because they wanted independence, no wonder the Latvians are getting nervous. It’s also reminiscent of a policy someone else pursued in the 1930s to unite all German speaking peoples. That didn’t end well either.

    • Walter Cairns

      The Russians are getting nervous because of all the NATO provocations on its borders with the Baltic countries – especially with NATO sending German – yes, German!! – troops there in the process.

      • John Goss

        Exactly Walter Cairns. Engineer Kempe quotes Craig:

        ” Putin’s first major objective is to bring majority Russian speaking regions of the Former Soviet Union into Russia. ”

        Then adds his own piece of subjectivity/

        “Whether they want to or not.”

        I don’t even belive that it is Russia’s objective is to bring former USSR states into Russia. If that were the case they could easily have sent resources into the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics to defend agains the neo-Nazi regime established by the west.

        Crimea was a different kettle of fish. Russia already legally had some 20,000 plus troops there (if memory serves) and could have had more there legally. Crimea is of immense military significance to the Russians. Ukraine used to be too but is now just another US imposed failed and bankrupt state.

      • Kempe

        What problem do you have with German troops?

        Recent Russian exercises in Belarus featured 60,000 to 100,000 troops and 800 tanks, more than Nato has in active units deployed in the Baltic States, Poland and Germany put together.

        Tell me again who should be feeling nervous.

        • Walter Cairns

          After the Nazis’ jolly little outing across the Dnepr which left a few tens of millions dead, this might possible be seen to err on the side of gross provocation.

          • Kempe

            Which was 70 years ago.

            By the same premise who’d want Russian troops around after what happened in Berlin?

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Kempe January 23, 2018 at 07:02
            Hitler had more justification rolling into Czechoslovakia and invading Poland, than NATO and it’s coalition cronies did in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria etc.

        • SA

          According to Wikipedia this inflated figure was not confirmed it was a scaremongering figure used by NATO for its purposes. Check Wikipedia zapad 17 I think.

  • Walter Cairns

    I agree substantially – except where it comes to Putin’s alleged desire to annex the former Russian-speaking territories on its borders. That is not so – what is happening in the Ukraine is that the ethnic Russians are standing up for themselves against the persecution that has been constant in Luhansk and Dombass ever since the NATO and EU-backed fascist coup d’état that overthrew the democratically-elected Yanukovich government. And as regards Georgia, it is a fact that the Georgian army invaded South Ossetia first before Russia responded. In fact, Russia has been extremely patient in the face of repeated NATO provovocation, including sending German – yes German!! – troops to its borders.

    • John Goss

      It is good to read common sense from commenters.

      P.S. The link on your name does not work. Not for me anyway.

      Are you the author on European Law?

      • Walter Cairns

        Hi John

        Sorry about that link – I blame the Russians of course.

        I am indeed the author in question. Only teaching (very) part-time now, have returned to my original profession of freelance translation.

        • John Goss

          Hi Walter

          Thought you might be. There are a few other scholars who comment here. You can generally tell who they are by how informed their comments are. Thanks for yours.

          P. S. You can learn a lot about others from their comments too. 🙂

  • Rob Royston

    It all sounds like a Banksters / Military Industrial Complex version of that same old protection racket. Young trainee gangsters offer to “watch our motors” when we park in their territories, local gangsters ask for fees to protect our shops and business premises.
    These guys do their threatening through their owned TV channels and we say nothing when their bought politicians buy up their often out of date weapons.
    Of course if they can get countries to go to war that’s even better, they are probably supplying both sides.

    • Ishmael

      It certainly works in both corporate state interests to amp up threats. & as we know from our past they do fund both sides. These people have no interest in any nations welfare.

      As they bow low at the Cenotaph, how do they miss the vomit they walk in.

  • glenn_nl

    CM: “Researching Sikunder Burnes gave me crucial insights into the recurrence of Russophobia […]”

    Speaking of which, any idea when my copy is likely to arrive here in NL? 🙂

  • Peter

    “There is a zero chance that Russia will launch an attack on the UK”

    Absolute nonsense!

    If the US and Russia begin throwing nuclear weapons about the UK will be targeted and completely destroyed within the first hour.

    100% certainty

    The reason …. the UK’s holding onto completely useless (for defence or offence purposes) nuclear weapons.

    If the UK gave up the nuclear weapons there would be a good chance that we would be left alone.

    Trumps Mantra – Put America First

    Well how about – Put the UK First.

    • Ishmael

      Well I’m sure Russia would perceive it just as a US base of opporations in that case. So at least we wouldn’t have to take it personally.

      I think Craig’s point stands, by itself the UK is certainly no interest of Russia other than a market for gas & vodka perhaps.

  • Sharp Ears

    More of it from Murdoch today in the form of Sir Nick Carter, who is the candidate of choice for the next Chief of the General Staff to replace Peach. Carter was due to make a speech at RUSI and the Times were briefed. All in the future tense.

    Tory MPs back defence chief after cuts warning
    Boost spending now to counter Russia threat, urges top general
    22 January 2018
    General Sir Nick Carter, head of the army, will warn that Britain “cannot afford to sit back”
    Britain would struggle to withstand Russian forces on the battlefield and ministers must invest in defence or further erode the country’s ability to combat threats, the head of the army will say today.

    General Sir Nick Carter will point to President Putin’s ability to launch long-range missiles and deploy large numbers of combat troops swiftly, as well as the threat posed by cyber-warfare, as he uses a rare speech to warn that Britain “cannot afford to sit back”.

    It is highly unusual for a serving senior officer to speak so frankly about vulnerabilities and threats. The officially sanctioned intervention by the chief of the general staff appears designed to raise public awareness of the scale and urgency of the challenge — and to ratchet up pressure on Philip Hammond to award more money to defence.

    “Our ability to pre-empt or respond to threats will be eroded if we don’t keep up with our adversaries,” Sir Nick, 58, will say in a speech at the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) think tank in London. “State-based competition is now being employed in more novel and increasingly integrated ways and we must be ready to deal with them.”

  • mog

    Not sure I can see any gain in reading Cohen’s writing. We all have long known that any contribution from him is worth precisely zero.
    I long for the discussion to move on: What can we do to circumvent online political censorship of anti-establishment points of view?

    I do not think that Twitter, Google, Youtube or Google are going to be any more responsive to the pleas of dissenting writers and thinkers than are The Guardian, the BBC, or any other corporate media organisation.

    Can’t the likes of Craig, Assange, Cook, Medialens, Pilger, Greenwald, Bastani, et al join together in a campaign to promote spaces online that are impervious to the interference of state/ corporate power?

    Why are the likes of Paul Joseph Watson uploaded onto Bitchute, yet the Left dumbly staggers on with Facebook and Twitter? All the while some of their key spokes people (e.g. Monbiot and Mason) are amplifying the Russophia and thereby undermining their own causes!

    We get that the media is fundamental and that it is fundamentally broken. Do we just sit back and watch as social media becomes an equal (or even more of an) adversary to truth ?

      • Ishmael

        Because these platforms don’t work for us, they sideline & demote left wing ideas, right wing reactionarys always get the floor given to them. As they bitch & moan about being sidelined.

        You think Pauls following is a reflection of the un-bias system? With as many followers as Julian? Wikileaks is shoved in a corner & beaten up on a regular basis.

        If I stated a YT channel it would be like me on Twitter. The system simply does not work againt itself. & I would be actively working againt it trying to get people to quit & think for themselves. Like novara (a questionably left wing org) these are imo a lot about thinking for people & don’t seek their own destruction, esp if it pays the rent.

        • Ishmael

          It is I guess, an interesting question. How does someone who does not want followers, likes, thumbs up etc, in this totalitarian populism, get ideas out that undermines that very system.

          An age old problem. The ring answers to the one, it has no other master.

  • SA

    Interesting discussion on Radio 4 this AM at about 07:30. Nick Robinson and Chris Parry and Richard Barens, about the importance of defending this country against Russian aggression. Examples cited were Russian aggression in Ukraine (right next door to Russia and a long term ethnic and close trade links) and Syria ( a long term strategic ally not too far from the Russian border) as examples of threatening our interests. Said completely without irony. So We have more interests in Ukraine and Syria than Russia should? How dare they? Also mentioned was Zapad which caused much hysteria at the time but proved to be nothing of the scale that the west said it would be.

  • joel

    The hegemon, with 1000-odd military bases overseas, an unparalleled record of nuking/ chemical weaponing civilians and interfering in the politics of others, kicks up a cloud of sand by constantly yelling that someone else is a bully.

    Textbook psychological projection.

  • Doug McGregor

    Good piece Craig . We also seem to be experiencing a little up turn in the refugee/immigrant scares on the box. What’s in store for us this time?

  • Republicofscotland

    The West has a macabre fixation for demonising Putin at every turn. Of course the portrayal of Russia as the bogeyman, does wonders for arms manufacturers, and that is one of the main points of why all thing Putin are bad.

    As for Russia hacking the US election, I doubt they did so. However Trump is becoming more unstable by the day, and if it meant impeaching him by using some unfound concoction surrounding Russia, which is probably the plan of some in the US Democrats and for that matter the GOP, then so be it. That’s one for the near future.

    Russia facing West anyway is met by a barrage of US bases, in Eastern European countries. One look at a map, shows clearly who’s threating whom. So it make sense, in a defensive manner to unite Russian speaking regions, galvanising them against Western propaganda in the process.

    As for Russia in the Middle East, Putin gained a bit of respect, and rightfully so over his stance on Syria. Russia’s also on good terms with Iran, but is Putin a more trustworthy or financialy viable ally than the US in the ME, only time will tell.

    • James Dickenson

      “Edward Snowden and others familiar with the NSA say that if long-distance hacking had taken place the agency would have monitored it and could detail its existence without compromising their secret sources and methods. In September, Snowden told Der Spiegel that the NSA ‘probably knows quite well who the invaders were’. And yet ‘it has not presented any evidence, although I suspect it exists. The question is: why not? … I suspect it discovered other attackers in the systems, maybe there were six or seven groups at work.’ He also said in July 2016 that ‘even if the attackers try to obfuscate origin, ‪#XKEYSCORE makes following exfiltrated data easy. I did this personally against Chinese ops.’ The NSA’s capacity to follow hacking to its source is a matter of public record. When the agency investigated pervasive and successful Chinese hacking into US military and defence industry installations, it was able to trace the hacks to the building where they originated, a People’s Liberation Army facility in Shanghai. That information was published in the New York Times, but, this time, the NSA’s failure to provide evidence has gone curiously unremarked. When The Intercept published a story about the NSA’s alleged discovery that Russian military intelligence had attempted to hack into US state and local election systems, the agency’s undocumented assertions about the Russian origins of the hack were allowed to stand as unchallenged fact and quickly became treated as such in the mainstream media. “

  • John Edwards

    I first came across Nick Cohen in about 1979 when he was a hack on the Oxford student newspaper “Cherwell” and he came to my college room to interview me as I was standing in a student union election as a Trotskyist. I can’t remember what we talked about but I got the impression he thought I was a crazy extremist – it was indeed probably all a bit Life of Brian. Amusing to think it was in fact Cohen who later turned out to be a nutter.

    • John Goss

      Thanks Tony. I’ve witnessed this with Google first hand including this morning when I tried to find a BBC report aired today concerning the elderly and malnutrition. All the articles it pointed to were years old. Some of us are not allowed to find the links we seek. I realise there is not somebody sat in an office making research as hard as possible. So it has to be done by AI.

      Wikileaks is probably going to be the only source of truth soon. That is unless they find a way of shutting it down. Their problem in that respect is, as with the resistance in WWII, there are many knowledgeable people within the establishments ranks who are dedicated to seeing that good overcomes evil.

  • Ben


    Are nukes or conventional your only concern. Heh. Trump isn’t concerned about Cyber warfare either..neither are Assange…or Greenwald .

    All good company.

    • Ben

      “A European security source acknowledged that UK authorities were aware of the latest reports about infrastructure hacking attempts and that British authorities were in regular contact with other governments over the attacks.

      UK authorities declined to comment on the extent of any such attempted or successful attacks in Britain or elsewhere in Europe or to discuss what possible security measures governments and infrastructure operators might be taking. ”

      • Ben

        “In the run up to the referendum on the United Kingdom exiting the European Union (“Brexit”), Prime Minister David Cameron suggested that Russia “might be happy” with a positive Brexit vote, while the Remain campaign accused the Kremlin of secretly backing a positive Brexit vote.[32] In December 2016, Ben Bradshaw MP claimed in Parliament that Russia had interfered in the Brexit referendum campaign.[33] In February 2017, Bradshaw called on the British intelligence service, Government Communications Headquarters, currently under Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary, to reveal the information it had on Russian interference.[34] In April 2017, the House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee issued a report stating, in regard to the June 2016 collapse of the government’s voter registration website less than two hours prior to the originally scheduled registration deadline (which was then extended), that “the crash had indications of being a DDOS ‘attack.'” The report also stated that there was “no direct evidence” supporting “these allegations about foreign interference.” A Cabinet Office spokeswoman responded to the report: “We have been very clear about the cause of the website outage in June 2016. It was due to a spike in users just before the registration deadline. There is no evidence to suggest malign intervention.”[35][36]

        In June 2017 it was reported by The Guardian that “Leave” campaigner Nigel Farage was a “person of interest” in the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation into Russian interference in the United States 2016 Presidential election.[37] In October 2017, Members of Parliament in the Culture, Media and Sport Committee demanded that Facebook, Twitter, Google and other social media corporations, to disclose all adverts and details of payments by Russia in the Brexit campaign.[38]”

  • John Goss

    I’ve just listened on Sky News to “British Army Chief Of Staff General Sir Nick Carter” whose waffling verbosity was even longer than his job-title talk about the needs of the British Army today. If I understood the pillock correctly to carve through the gobbledygook he sees a need to confront the non-threat posed by Russia. To do this he proposes adopting the same military strategies of Nazi Germany pressing on the borders of Russia. This dickhead believes NATO should increase its presence in bordering countries to counter the defences Russia are sure to put in place to defend against it. (That made me laugh out loud). He does not believe in British troops on the ground in Russia but seeks to use NATO troops from bordering countries.

    Even the half-wits who have difficulty getting a job in civilian life and are pushed into signing up must be able to work out how much they are at risk with a bozo like this at the head of the army. Apparently he proposes using a mixture of regular troops and 30,000 to 60,000 reservists sat in offices. At that point even Sky News had the common sense to switch to another story. Everybody knows the Russians have submarines circling this sceptred isle and should anything untoward take place, and they would likely be cause by twats like British Army Chief Of Staff General Sir Nick Carter, all communications in this land of ours would be struck dumb in minutes. What a pillock!

    • SA

      This was also discussed on Today radio 4 this morning and the message is that currently the British army would not be able to prevail on our ‘enemies’ such as Russia, in the battlefield. Given that there is no common border between Britain and Russia, I am not sure where this battlefield is supposed to be.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      John Goss,

      I thought about this in 1984, when we still had a real cold war going on with The Russians, rather than this obviously fake nonsense. It was the time, when mobile phones first started to appear. They were typically the size of a small suitcase, and cost an exceedingly large amount of money, that I could not afford. Instead , I bought this CB Radio thing second hand. It was probably built in the 1960’s. I’ve still got it. It still works. So when we get nuked, if we survive. I should still be able to communicate. It uses AC/DC 240V, but we have a converter and several old car batteries that still work, though charging them up might pose a problem.

      My basic philosophy, is that you’ve got to go with what you have got. Things would be very much better, if we didn’t have this array, of complete and utter pillocks in control, but the fact of the matter is that we have.

      “Dr Strangelove ending ”


      • John Goss

        Tony, I shouldn’t worry about not being able to charge up the batteries, you’ll probably be the only guy left with one of those antiques and nobody to talk to! Only joking! I have seriously thought of popping down and buying a generator just in case. But I won’t. Emigration is another possibility. New Zealand still seems quite sane (though it is one of the five eyes).

        A Corbyn success would most likely put a stop to this sabre-rattling. Thanks for Dr Strangelove and Vera Lynn. I heard today that scientists say the depletion in the ozone layer is recovering and should be recovered by 2060. Not with Dr Strangelove and that twat British Army Chief Of Staff General Sir Nick Carter at the helm.

  • bill geddes

    Cohens article was so boring I could not plough through it all…besides he is so discredted as a journalist I am staggered the Observer are still prepared to pay the tosser for his fantasy drivel.

  • Effin Hippy

    I don’t think “the Western 1% perceive Russia as some sort of threat to their dominance”. The Russian Bear is used to keep Western serfs frightened and subservient and to justify ever increasing arms manufacture and profit for the 1%

  • K. Crosby

    Craig, you aren’t so bacofoil as to think that Putin wants to bring the Baltics heim ins Reich are you? Why would he bother, the neo-fascists have bled them dry; I suggest that his policy is to keep the giant vampire squid of US Piracy at bay, not to expand like a Potemkin Thatchlerite.

  • nevermind

    Tonight fighter jets are practising their deeds above the house, whilst Radio 4 is reviewing the rekindled Raymond Briggs animation ‘where the wind blows’ about what it means to be part and parcel of a nuclear attack,

    As yet it is only the US military leviathan that released these evil weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, making the Japanese civilians feel like twhat Briggs was on about.

    But to round it all off the new film reviewed was sold to us with a poignant reminder of today’s FAKE NEWS of Russia’s alleged bad intentions and what could happen, the full political and cultural fake news from the BBC, our very own propaganda channel, Haw haws public broadcasting service in full support of FAKE NEWS.

    How about a bit of duck and cover for all primary schools tomorrow? with Michael Gove gyrating his tongue muscles to drum it home to our children?

  • nevermind

    Tonight at 20.30 Panorama, BBC 1 puts the spotlight on Blackburn and Darwen, a divided community were indigenous ‘whites’ are revolting due to lack of local council support and services. Craig and myself can talk reams of the division that has been dealt out by Jack Straw.

    Whether it will be accurate we have to see, maybe the reduction of the Panorama team from 6 permanent journalist and researchers to three, the Tory’s had enough of the petty scrutiny sofar it seems, to now three permanent staff will mean that it is a tough programme.

    • nevermind

      The program was limp, it said nothing about the institutions and politicians who have divided this community to suit their own electoral ends, a sad indictment of non existent BBC scrutiny.

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