The Russia Report
Posted on July 21, 2020
Unless you are totally deluded, it is now apparent that Russia cyber interference has almost certainly taken place within the UK establishment. Only the extent of it is unknown.
Cyber interference is a complicated operation that goes beyond my brain capacity but, essentially, it is regarded as a cheap and effective way to target and influence the mindset of unwitting people. These will generally be those who are vulnerable to fake news or populist ranting that distracts them from more serious issues.
By hacking and hash tagging, influencing on social media is not only relatively simple, it is also cost effective. If it doesn’t work, so what? It cost a pittance. If it does work, well, it is a bargain. If it helped Russia influence a nip and tuck EU referendum in the UK, it is the bargain of the century.
What is Russia’s Gain?
Some people ask what Russia would gain from aiding the UK’s exit from the EU. Well, the most obvious gain to the untrained eye would be the weakening of a powerful union on their doorstep. I think it was George Bush senior who warned that as the former USSR states became independent, then joined the EU, Russia would push back; it’s obvious when you think about it.
Britain has enjoyed the Russian money that has come our way since the fall of communism allowed a kind of ‘investment for visa’ deal from the mid nineties onward. However, with every bounty, there comes a price. Many financial experts say that Russian money has infiltrated Britain to an extent where it floods around parliament and the House of Lords. This has led to untoward security activity being largely ignored, willingly, or unwillingly.
To make matters worse, unless you are one of those benefiting from deregulation and tax avoidance, there is nothing to be gained from Brexit. If the EU collapses courtesy of one of its key members jacking it in and selling itself to the highest bidder of a hawkish bunch (likely to be the US) Russia it would appear, will have achieved its goal.
The EU may have its flaws but as a 28-country union, including some of the wealthiest nations on earth, it does have clout. Without the UK, the EU will be damaged but not as much as the UK is. Not unless a face-saving fudge deal is arranged before 2021. That does not seem likely now, but it is still not impossible.
What is so clever about Russian interference in UK democracy is that it feels like a conspiracy theory. It is all a bit 007 sounding, so it can be packaged as the stuff of whack jobs (Boris Johnson called it “Bermuda Triangle stuff”). Russia appear to have played a blinder. Over the period of two decades, the suggestion is that they have successfully infiltrated the British establishment, played games with our democracy, and destabilised the union next door to them (The EU).
No one knows how much the current and previous governments have been compromised by this strategy. This is because the juicy stuff is not allowed into the public domain for national security reasons. What we do know is the British government didn’t want this report to be published.
Ask yourselves why? Why would a government of any sane nation be prepared to risk domestic prosperity and stand alone with nothing but hope? Why would they blindly hope a country (the US) with a madman in control, would come to our financial rescue with a cracking trade deal?
Either they are raging nostalgia merchants in rose coloured spectacles, or Russia, the masters of Chess, have the bloody fools at checkmate. Are they in so deep there is no way out? We can only guess. I don’t know, but it looks to me that they have infiltrated the system with cash so a blind eye can be turned at other activities.
If Brexit allows Russia to destabilise the EU whilst those it has paid off get to carry on hiding their cash, free of regulation, it’s win win. Both the Russian security services and the tax avoiders are happy.
And no one seems to have the time and inclination to care.