The Graun’s latest piece of Russophobia is so flamingly, screamingly ridiculous, there’s no need to deconstruct it….
Senior government officials fear the violence unleashed by Russian hooligans at Euro 2016 was sanctioned by the Kremlin and are investigating links with Vladimir Putin’s regime.
…runs the headline.
Oh dear dear dear. Can’t you just see the editors squirming and cringing when this morsel landed on their desks from GCHQ? Can’t you picture the ensuing phone call…
Editor: Hi yes, it’s me – we just got your latest, and well, it’s terrific as usual obviously, but there’s a couple of teensy little issues we sort of want to chat about…
GCHQ: Go on…
Editor: Ummm…you know…we’ve been talking here and the consensus is – do we really want to actually say the Kremlin sponsors football hooligans?
GCHQ: Why not?
Editor: Well, ummm, perhaps because it looks – I mean obviously it isn’t – but it sort of does look just a tiny bit…silly?
Editor: Yes. I mean, we’re just sort of a little bit wondering if perhaps some of our readers might say ‘why on earth would the Kremlin bother to do something so totally pointless’?
GCHQ: Pointless? Didn’t you read the memo? This is Putin doing hybrid warfare.
Editor: Oh absolutely! we all know that, I mean obviously Putin sent the hooligans to Marseilles to undermine western values, but… I’m just not sure our readers will believe it.
GCHQ: I’m not sure we like your tone. Are we going to have to send the boys round again?
Editor: Oh good God no. We are totally on side in this. Absolutely. It’s just…do we really have to say the thing about the football hooligans?
GCHQ: Yes. You do.
Editor: But what if people make fun of us?
GCHQ: That’s your problem isn’t it.
Editor: Yes, I suppose so.
GCHQ: I mean it’s you looking silly, not us.
Editor: Yes, right.
GCHQ: Because that’s what we pay you for.
Editor: Yes. Ok. Umm…Alec really doesn’t want to put his name on this one, and neither does Shaun, and even Luke’s not too keen – I think they’ve upped his meds or something.
GCHQ: Look, we don’t care what bloody name you stick on the thing, just publish it…
Editor: yes, right…probably I can lean on Daniel to do it, he owes me a few …
GCHQ Ok, so get on with it then.
Editor: Yes, of course. Will do. Thanks for the chat. And thanks once again for the amazing privilege of working with you.
GCHQ: Oh shut up you bloody little dogsbody.
Editor: Yes, of course. Right. Anything you say…
Which is why even Shaun Walker feels the need to distance himself from this cringeworthy nadir. And poor old Daniel Boffey, “policy editor” gets to carry the can.
— Shaun Walker (@shaunwalker7) June 18, 2016
Not much else to say, is there?