The Russophobia of the British State

And so, after over a year in the making, the British government’s Integrated Review, outlining its approach to security, defence and foreign policy – entitled Global Britain in a Competitive Age – has finally been published.

Setting out ‘the UK’s role in the world over the next decade’, it combines breezy rhetoric about openness and opportunity, a deliberately ambiguous attitude to China, and a lot of self-aggrandising puff about Britain’s moral mission in the world, best captured in the awkward-sounding phrase, the ‘force-for-good agenda’ – which, in many parts of the Greater Middle East, will sound like a threat.

There is also a troubling pledge to increase the UK’s nuclear warhead stockpile for the first time since the end of the Cold War. This not only makes a mockery of the British state’s own commitment to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty; it also exposes the hypocrisy of its lecturing and punishing the likes of Iran over their nuclear ambitions.

But one aspect of the review that has received relatively little attention is the role played in it by Russia. Not the actual nation Russia, of course. No, the imaginary Russia. The Russia that haunts the Cold War-hewn imagination of the British establishment like no other. In this sense, Russia’s role here is similar to that of climate change. It is the threat that justifies action, the evil that provides the soon-to-be nuked-up British state with a sense of moral mission.

So we’re told several times that Russia is ‘the most acute threat to our security’. We’re told it wants to ‘exploit and undermine democratic systems and open economies’. We’re told that, alongside North Korea and Iran, with which it is routinely grouped, that it is a ‘destabilising’, ‘opportunistic state’.

There is not even a cursory attempt to explain any of this. No attempt to say why Russia is persistently up to no good. That is just a given. Like Kevin, you see, there’s just something about Russia. Something off. Something not right. Something a bit, well, evil.

But then that is the point of Russia. It is the bad guy to Britain’s good guy. Without it, some clearly fear that the British state will lose its moral direction. They need this Russia. They need this chemical-weapon wielding violation of the moral order so as to be for something. ‘We will uphold international rules and norms and hold Russia to account for breaches of these’, the review declares, as if ‘international rules and norms’ were invented precisely for the policing of Russia.

The problem is that this anti-Russian sentiment, which has hung in the air of Britain’s corridors of power for too long, often turns into outright bigotry. After all, there’s a gossamer-thin line between demonising Russia the nation and demonising Russian people. The review’s authors even feel the need to state that ‘the UK respects the people, culture and history of Russia’.

It is a caveat that should not be necessary. But it clearly is, given the tendency of politicians and media alike to brand Russians living in the UK, especially London, as agents of Putin – something The Times had to apologise for recently after it alleged Alexander Temerko, a critic of Putin, was some sort of Kremlin agent.

And no wonder. If anything, we’ve seen an escalation of elite anti-Russian sentiment over the past two decades. In part this has been a reaction to the rise of Vladimir Putin, helped by the arrival of many of his fiercest, most vocal critics in the UK, after arguments and fallouts in the post-Soviet carve-up. They helped create the hellish image of Putin’s Russia that many in politics, academia and the media now hold to be true.

But it was also a product of the elite response to Brexit, when many Remainers, fastening on to this growing anti-Russian sentiment, decided to blame their defeat in the EU referendum on Putin. Indeed, last year’s parliamentary report into allegations of Russian interference in British politics rehearsed many of the same prejudices running, like a red thread, through the Integrated Review. There the Russian state was described, incredibly, as ‘fundamentally nihilistic’. ‘Any actions [Russia] can take which damage the West’, it read, ‘are fundamentally good for Russia’ – which makes it sound less like a nation state than Darth Vader.

And this is just the official caricature of Russian malevolence. Below that we’ve seen the media routinely pin all sorts of wrong on Russia, be it suggesting Dominic Cummings was a Russian spy, or that Russian donors to the Tory Party are doing Putin’s dirty work for it, or even the horrifying portraits of Russian society ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

It seems there is an almost existential need among parts of the British political and media classes to cast Russia as the enemy. Yes, the Russian state is far from a saintly force in the world. But it demands understanding not demonisation. Its annexation of Crimea in 2014, for example, needs to be understood as a strategic, defensive action in the face of perceived NATO expansion, not as an expression of Putin’s evil plan.

And that is what is missing from the integrated review: any understanding of Russia, from its politics to its society. Instead, we have a phantasm. But one that could provoke an all-too-real conflict.

Source: Spiked

  1. padre says

    “Yes, the Russian state is far from a saintly force in the world”! In other words you agree with their assessment, you would only put in more civilized terms!

    1. yuri says

      pukere=self uglified has never lived in a civilized nation

  2. ken says

    The British Empire ended a century ago. The American Empire ended 2001. Not because of anything the People did other than insanely follow their governments propaganda.

    After time, all governments go mad. The people do not recognize it in the beginning and by the time some do,,, it’s usually too late.

    Today, the Western governments have gone mad. The people do not recognize it and are blindly following the propaganda easily coerced and misled, believing everything their told. The mask is an instant tell. Two masks and there’s no hope!

    The fake virus,,, fake economy,,, fake financials,,, fake money,,, fake everything in the West as a result of government insane policies which are then blamed on other nations whose governments have not yet went berserk. (Russia, China)

    This insanity is a top down thing in that it filters down to the under educated and indoctrinated masses. Soon the entire nation is mad and it’s just a matter of time until they attack the reasonably sane nations seeking to retain/regain wealth and power they lost due to their own poor decisions.

    This is where we are at presently.

    The insane nations will either crumble on their own or be conquered. Soon the whole process begins again, (unless nukes are used), as humans never learn from their follies.

    Instead of 1776 it’ll be 2076 and somewhere a new nation will spring up proclaiming liberty and freedom for all. Then ever so slowly those freedoms will be given up voluntarily by future generations in the name of safety and security.

    Round and round it goes,,, where it stops, nobody knows. We have a chance to stop it but history shows it’s very unlikely.

  3. voza0db says

    The Herds of western modern moron slaves need a constant feed of distractions based of Fear!

    That’s the only way the SRF & Billionaires have to maintain the Secular Ruling status and keep the flow of Wealth to them.

  4. Jerry Hood says

    The SERPEMT DOCKS,known as Canary Wharf( Can= Serpent), is the Serpent people,the jews, as the City of London Corporation( state within a state), the biggedt money stealing and money laundering place on Earth,run by the satanic Rat-childs, and the UK politicians are always lackeys deep in Rat- childs arses, some known as Gorfon Browns, some as Tony Blairs, and so on, who sings the songs of the feeding palms,the Rat-childs…
    Russia disrespected their Jew World Order as Novus Ordo Seclorum for 2033 set up date, and they hate solidly independent Russia under president Putin, and tthese satanic Globalists and pedophiles hate Russia for her wealth in natural resources, they cannot rob and enslave the Rusdian Varyags= Viking descendants, the best warriors in the world!

  5. yuri says

    backward shallow anglos
    England now a US CONONY….soon Scotland will secede; England/Wales will become 51st state

  6. Mr Reynard says

    Quote: The Russophobia of the British State ? IMO it isn’t exactly the British State but that famous square mile known as the City of London, a State within the British State,

  7. Mark says

    ‘We will uphold international rules and norms and hold Russia to account for breaches of these’

    Ummm…how, exactly, does the UK propose to ‘hold Russia accountable’? Rhetorically? Blabbering until its eyes glaze over?

    Perhaps this would be a good time to bring up the fact that, after BREXIT, the UK is a single entity, and can no longer piggyback on EU energy deals. It will have to either deal directly with energy supplier countries, or negotiate transfer arrangements with the EU.

    Maybe this would be a good time also to assess how dependent the UK is on energy imports. This is an old assessment, from 2013, but the UK’s situation has not improved significantly – it remains import-dependent to an extent not seen since the 70’s.

    At that time, all the UK’s domestic energy production was in terminal decline. ‘Terminal’ means ‘not recovering’, and there is not going to be a miracle discovery of a boundless domestic source of cheap energy. The UK bought loads of coal from Russia, but prided itself on Russian gas never making up more than 1.5% of its supplies. Mind you, it did buy gas from the EU, whose supply was about 37% Russian. But the British government proudly maintains that the very great majority of its gas comes from Norway.

    Now, you know, I see a problem there. And you will, too, if you google “Shrinking Norwegian Natural Gas Production Puts Europe In Dire Situation”. And that post was from 2015. Norway’s gas production peaked around 2012, and is projected to run out as a viable international supplier around 2025. Gosh; that’s uncomfortably close, isn’t it?
    The EU won’t care. It will still be getting cheap gas from Russia. But Britain will no longer be part of the EU. Which would leave it more or less completely dependent on…LNG tankers from Qatar. Say; isn’t Qatar an awfully long way from London? You know, it is. Probably why Qatar ordered 60-65 new LNG tankers from Korea last year, something like 60% of the global shipbuilding capacity for next year, and it could go as high as 100 tankers, although any of those numbers would take decades to build; it takes about 2 years to build a single ship.

    Oh, wait – another problem. The UK has no LNG liquefaction terminals, not really a huge problem since liquefaction is the production side and not the purchaser…but only 3 regasification terminals. How often does a Qatari tanker need to be offloading at each of these terminals in order to keep the UK supplied with its daily gas needs? Didn’t we just say Qatar was a long way from the UK? How fast is an LNG tanker? Not very. How many of them need to be at sea in order to ensure there is at least one offloading frequently enough to ensure the British supply is not interrupted? These are math problems to keep Parliament up all night.

    Of course, you and I know they’re not going to do that. They’re going to buy Russian pipeline gas from the EU, and all the while they will keep mouthing it up because, as much of a pipsqueak as the UK is, one thing it has got lots of is mouth.

  8. Juan says

    The adventures of Airstrip One.

  9. Jerry Hood says

    This f..k up,3rd world country,called “Berith Bnai” can kiss Russian arses, that’s all…

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