I have just watched Nick Clegg’s feeble posturing about the all of a sudden sacred ‘integrity’ of Ukraine, (a serious concept yes, but undermined and cheapened by those who support and fund bloodthirsty coups from abroad) and issuing of pitifully empty threats to Russia. Frankly, laughable. When the likes of ‘Willy Hague the vague’ declare blustering and ill-defined ‘or elses’ to Vladmir Putin denouncing ‘aggression,’ it is clear to the rest of us that Western neo-liberal politicians are truly beyond satire and their hysterical gesticulating is surely self-parodying at this point. It is true that there is much to be concerned with from Russia’s actions, but more to the point is the outrageous build up to these events that have been all too predictable.
Those who represent Russia as a lone Evil Empire we must ‘stand up to’ are simply not serious about history or committed to preventing the escalating troubles in Ukraine (which yes, is already an extremely corrupt region, nobody is denying this or pretending the ousted Government was in any way good) and are willfully lying about the situation. David Cameron attempting to appear menacing to Putin promising ‘economic sanctions’ (gah!) is as hilariously tepid as his domestic promise to the London looters of 2011 that they would face the ‘full force of the law,’ (or his hand smacking their bottoms as my Dad mocked the TV at the time). Quite simply the impotent ignoramus Cameron has neither the means, will or knowledge to do anything whatsoever and should shut his insipid mouth. As a Spanish waiter might be described- he knows nothing.
I should add that it is also elements on the Left not just mainstream politicians who are incapable of grasping what is going on. I have seen Left-wing journalists still banging on about so-called ‘persecuted political dissidents’ Pussy Riot as if that minor issue has any relevance at all, trying to paint Putin as ‘Hitler-like’ and the Ukraine ‘uprising’ as a genuine widely supported ‘right on movement.’ Don’t make me laugh.
With one breath our weedy misinformed MPs hurriedly egg-on and cheer violent neo-nazis toppling democratically elected Governments months before a fair election was to due take place, and moments later they stamp their feet and cry foul as Russia, (who is tired of being pushed around and treated as if she is still the USSR) is compelled to step up and act due to her uniquely legitimate vital interests in the region. The hypocrisy of our establishment over all this is simply unmatched and cannot go unchallenged from those of us who truly care about the ongoing turmoil.
The very real danger is by treating Russia as an untouchable pariah we risk turning it in to an extremely disgruntled, volatile and angry outsider and thus the very thing our incompetent Government and illiterate Media claim it already wholly is. Russia has been consistently provoked by vile Western media demonising, constant EU expansionism and the US and UK arrogantly playing childish and irresponsible politics with Ukraine for far too long. And now people feign astonishment that Russia takes action? Ridiculous does not quite cover it.
But we must be friends of Russia. Contrary to the shrieking idiocy of third-rate celebrities such as Stephen Fry this is not a political game to elevate their weak attempts at intellectualism and dying careers. Just as Russia is no longer the Soviet Union, shrill poorly-educated liberal claims that it has anything in common with fascism or Nazi Germany are as disgustingly insulting as they are insurmountably inaccurate.
Nobody is pretending Russia is remotely angelic, perfect or that no corruption exists there (it very much does), but making considered criticisms of the faults of countries’ administrations, (and no doubt there are many) is different to the perpetual smug slating of Russians off-hand from many interfering neo-conservatives and modern liberal-‘left’ commentators alike. Such baseless insults and jeering not only fail to differentiate between the Russian establishment and ordinary Russian citizens in general, but have also been often borderline racist in application. And all this from the pious elitist commentators that claim Russia is some ‘monster dictatorship’. You could not make it up. Well, you don’t have to, trendy celebrities are on hand to do it for you.
Sickening anti-Russian prejudice is being displayed throughout the UK by dim-witted middle-class people who like to think of themselves as ‘radical’ and ‘edgy’ but are in fact intolerant pawns being played by the super-rich media into this blinkered way of thinking. Russia is flawed just as her actions may be, but no, she is not evil nor is she attempting to madly start World War III. People have been watching too many Bond films and need to grow up.
We should wholeheartedly reject all this nonsense and instead be seeking to build links with Russia. Even non-politically, with broad brush strokes and simply as human beings we should begin to develop a deeper cultural understanding together and create wider social solidarity to diffuse potential tensions and heal old wounds between us alike. Similarly, as Trade Unionists and those of us in the Labour movement generally, we should be uniting with Russian workers’ plights and making friendships with shared interests. Moreover Russia has become very culturally Christian after the cold materialist dogma of the dastardly Soviet Union and Britain should also build bonds with this in common to boot.
In short, the cold war *is* over – GET OVER IT (as an imaginary double-decker campaign bus might suggest). And we should not allow the over-inflated egos of our pathetic Government to pretend otherwise.
The BBC, which seemingly no longer even pretends to be impartial, last night declared a “new cold war.” No. No. No. Why do our journalists with some noble exceptions (I reproduce and link to these exceptions here – (https://railreplacementservice.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/its-time-these-observers-ripped-up-their-cold-war-scripts/) and again here – (https://railreplacementservice.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/no-wonder-putin-says-crimea-is-russian/) thirst after never-ending bloodshed and war so much? Why do they intend to create such catastrophic conflicts that hold no water in reality? Treat a Nation like dirt, portray it as sinister and threatening and then moronically wonder aghast when it acts rapaciously in it’s geostrategic imperatives. Shock horror? I think not.
But what is Russia supposed to do exactly? What do her despisers propose? The fact is that a very great many people of Crimea, Odessa and Donbass and so on believe Russia is there only guarantee of security now that the Government has been supplanted by the violent Nationalist upheaval. The Russian media has claimed that in excess of 600,000 ordinary citizens have fled to Russia, and over 100,000 beg for asylum. Whether these numbers are accurate or not, (and they may very well be largely inflated) it cannot be denied that Russia feels she must respond to the destabilising of vast areas where many thousands of Russians live, not to mention that which are vital transport hubs, key military strongholds and several trade routes for many many goods. To not react would be suicidal for Russia that fairly also sees Ukraine as a protection from potential future land attack. Of course we can debate *how* Russia reacts and what conduct is acceptable/unacceptable, but to simply denounce Russia as behaving purposefully aggressive for no reason is piffle of the highest order. She is doing no such thing.
These are all of course very complicated and sensitive issues, and the oafish grandstanding of our effete political class in Britain who act spuriously alarmed at Russia’s plainly predictable and understandable movements helps nobody, just as the relentless media depiction of Russia as wicked is utterly false and counter-productive. Where is the maturity and intelligence from our political representatives and journalists on these subjects? All we get is bombastic hyperbole and unfounded hatred of Russia, a Cold War hangover displayed by adolescent minds.
I personally will now be wearing a Friends of Russia pin on my lapel, (a British flag next to a Russian one) and ask plainly at this point why do we not initiate a ‘Labour Friends Of Russia’ grouping? A group to support Russian citizens, build social trust, relationships, cultural understanding and counter the overall demonising of Russia that has been going on for God knows how long in the build up to current situation. There was a rather bizarre and failed Conservative section previously that’s motives were widely questioned and eventually crumbled amidst scandal but that need not deter us. After all, at the same time as the ConFoR Labour’s Emma Reynolds MP declined to set up a Labour one when asked though explicitly *did not* rule out the possibility of a future one so long as it was clearly independent, could avoid the mistakes of the Cons and not be controlled by the Embassy. Quite rightly. So why not now? If not now, when? Does the Westminster Russia Forum still exist? And what good is it if it employs the services of a nonce supporter such as Peter Tatchell?
Those demonising Russia and claiming to be pro-Ukrainians, pro-democracy and anti-interventionists are no such thing. How is it that those Nationalist meatheads who advocate and partake in the brutal butchering of other humans are now permitted to dictate the terms of global social justice and preposterously claim it is solely Russia who has undermined democracy and sovereignty? Ukraine’s integrity has been sabotaged not by Putin’s diplomacy but by the violence of a selfish native minority. Those of us who are serious about these topics and wish to avoid further bloodshed by not stupidly ruffling up Russia the wrong way so as to deliberately heighten tensions are the true pro-Ukrainians, pro-Russians and indeed are acting with genuinely pro-British interests, not to mention global peaceful ones.
Illegitimate far-Right murderous coups of this kind supported and funded from abroad months before an open and free Ukrainian election do not constitute ‘democratic change’ let alone an ‘organic revolutionary protest.’ This analysis is an untenable farce and does not survive a mere moments examination. In the wise words of Old Labour stalwart Dennis Skinner- “Have I got it right, or not, that a Tory Foreign Secretary has come to the House to take money out of the pockets of people in Britain – flood-ravaged and austerity-riddled Britain – to hand it over to the EU fanatics in Ukraine?” Too right. He has it too right. End of tragic story. And indeed, Russia feeling compelled to respond to protect the welfare of her people in Ukraine and her wider interests does not constitute entirely ‘violent unprovoked aggressive intervention’ either as various commentators both Left and Right fantasise through their out-dated Cold War masturbatory glasses. It has even been suggested that Russia is embarking on an ‘adventurist war.’ Total horse manure, this is not an invasion whatsoever.
Lets put an end to all these false narratives and temper these turbulent divisions, lets work together for a thoughtful non-military political solution before it is too late and the kind of wars the media are dreaming up and relishing in the imagination of actually begin to take place. I repeat, this is not a game.