Guardian Watch, Kit, latest, Ukraine

Crimea and Ukraine: Luke Harding goes off his meds

by Kit


Modern mass-media is replete with instances of cognitive dissonance. However none can so perfectly encapsulate the madness of the pretend world so many “journalists” now live in better, than these two offerings from the always entertaining Luke Harding.

It has been reported that Russia has beefed up security on the Ukraine-Crimea border, in response to an apparent attack by SBU agents that resulted in the deaths of 2 Russian servicemen, there are also fears Kiev may try to disrupt the September 18th parliamentary elections.

Luke’s reaction to this, on twitter, was as balanced and reasonable as anybody who reads his articles would expect (at least, the ones he hasn’t stolen from other people):

Yes, he declares the Ukrainian attacks are “classic fakery”, when asked he would not provide evidence for this assertion. But then evidence isn’t really Luke’s thing.

The strange thing is that, in his other writings, such as this column for the Guardian, he writes:

Last November Ukrainian activists blew up energy pipelines to Crimea, plunging homes into darkness. People ate dinner by candlelight, factories shut down and for the first few days even traffic lights stopped working. The peninsula’s water supply is also vulnerable.

So which is it Luke? Do Ukrainians target Crimea or not? How can you state that the most recent Ukrainian attacks on Crimea are “classic fakery”, whilst at the same time volunteering that Ukraine has been actively trying to terrorise the population of the peninsula for over two years?

How can you confidently speculate about “another invasion” of Ukraine by the Russian army:

At this point there seem to be three possible scenarios. One is that Putin will try to leverage this latest crisis to persuade EU countries to drop the sanctions imposed over the Ukraine conflict. Another is that he is preparing a limited military incursion, possibly to set up a security corridor, which doubtless would include the electricity station in the nearby Ukrainian city of Kherson. A third is that he is planning something bigger.

…whilst simultaneously admitting that every single one of your previous speculations as to Russia’s plans in Ukraine had been totally wrong?

In spring 2014 there was speculation that he would seek to carve out a land corridor connecting separatist Donetsk and Luhansk with Crimea. That would involve over-running Ukrainian forces in the port city of Mariupol and advancing along the coast. The Kremlin also floated the idea of Novorossiya, a historical pseudo-entity encompassing Ukraine’s southern and south-eastern Russian-speaking regions…None of this happened

Not for a moment does the author’s fevered brain consider that, given every single one of his previous speculations “never happened”, maybe he should lay off the speculating this time. Not once do his previous humiliations cause him to adjust his world view. It is, to put it bluntly, insane.

It is staggering that, no matter the utter and complete failures of logic, no matter the number of totally incorrect rampant speculations they publish, the MSM will simply continue to push insane narratives about Russia, written by a man with only the flimsiest grasp on reality.

Oh well, that’s The Guardian for you. And especially Luke Harding, it’s why he’s our favourite.


  1. Robert McMaster says

    Don’t suppose Lukie-boy actually goes to the actual scene of events to gather evidence or facts. No, I didn’t think so.

  2. You have to admire Luke Harding and his unstinting dedication. Here’s a man who sees the hammer and sickle in every shadow, terrified that his underpants are radiating intelligence to the FSB, knowing that huge bearded dancing Cossacks lurk over every horizon, yet he crouches doggedly over his keyboard, typing nonsense for his bizarro masters to his bizarro audience . . . and getting paid for it. Bravo!

  3. Eric_B says

    Harding talks about the power lines to Crimea being blown up then speculates that as Crimea is short of electricity Putin might invade Ukraine to gain control of a power station.

    If he had done any research he would know that since April Crimea’s electricity needs have been supplied from Russia.

    He describes the people who blew up the power lines as ‘activists’. The EU has a different view, defining such people as ‘terrorists’.

    And the Guardian wants us to pay £5 a month for the privilege of reading trash such as this?

  4. michaelk says

    Editorial standards, old-fashioned concept, I know, seem to have really slipped at the Guardian since Viner took over at the wheel. Harding is referring to gossip coming from highly questionable sources and presenting it as a verified story, which is absolutely terrible journalism.

  5. Jerome Fryer says

    In fairness, this is an ‘opinion’ piece. Luke Harding’s opinions can be safely disregarded, I believe.

  6. elenits says

    It could be that the Graun has invented a new business model by fielding fake, nonexistent ‘Avatar’ journalists to deliver the Nooz.

    The Avatars replace the old real journalists as they leave or retire. Senior trolls are used to personalise the Thanatopolis DC press releases.

    No pension funds necessary. No huge rental costs. Huge savings as its once readers abandon the paper.

    • Robert McMaster says

      This is beginning to sound like the ‘Guardian’ is a Scientology knock off. L. Ron is hoovering around somewhere.

  7. elenits says

    Does Luke Harding actually exist? Did Roland Oliphant perhaps invent him?

  8. Thanks for this piece Kit. Clearly Harding is emblematic of what the Guardian now represents. In any ordinary job that relied on honesty, accuracy and integrity he would have been sacked long ago.

    What struck me reading his piece of agitprop was that in his haste to milk his Langley brief he forgot that the real flaky fakers in Kiev signed up to the Minsk agreement which should have been implemented in full by January this year and hasn’t.

    Now surely if Poro & Co were doing what they should, what they had agreed to and signed up to the whole situation in Ukraine would have largely resolved itself.

    Clearly at the Graun or Langley Poodle Farm as it is now usually called, fact and fiction are very blurred. They claim to represent democracy, self determination and pretend to be standard bearers for identity politics.

    So when we read such stuff as this belched out by Harding we realise this is the true fakery, for surely a referendum for self determination such as took place in Crimea is the ultimate in self expression and choosing your true national identity.

    It seems without his meds Luke can’t sleep at night being haunted by the horrors that his handlers have brought to the world!

    • reinertorheit says

      The Graun has long since dispensed with any requirement for fact. In reality, facts at the Graun are customised to order. to fit the needs of the Russia-rubbishing campaign being operated at the time. However, since forgetting to get a new Russian visa in time, Luke has been sidelined to the Naughty Corner in Muswell Hill, and the groundwork is done by his one-time rival Shaun Wanker, previously of the Lebedev-owned paper laughably known as the ‘Independent’.

      For example, Shaun and his imaginary friend ‘Roland Oliphant’ (ie a pseudonym he uses to flog his trash to other newspapers, and similarly add credibility to his own stories by way of verification) set off for Rostov Region, which adjoins SE Ukraine. There he and ‘Oliphant’ posted astounding reports that they had seen “a huge convoy of Russian tanks thundering across the Ukrainian border”. Although this convoy allegedly took over half an hour to roll past them in front of their very eyes, neither of the ‘two’ redoubtable reporters managed to get a single photograph of them. Like the best fisherman’s tales, ‘oooh-errr, it were a big one, it were this long!’. When pushed on the matter the Graun then published a photograph of a single tank, not in a convoy, driving down a road in a city suburb of Ekaterinburg, hundreds of miles away in the Urals… and passing a petrol station which was instantly identified by netizens furious at the fraud.

      This is the level of the Graun’s incompetence, recklessness, and fraudulence. Publishing a frontpage headline that one country had mounted a military invasion of its neightbour… based entirely on a made-up story written by a little schoolboy who dreams of being a war correspondent… so has to invent the war first.

      Just like Harding’s screed of garbage published yesterday :, this was another case in which the sabres were not just being rattled – they had been entirely dreamt up, with the specific aim of causing the outbreak of war.

      Our Luke the Puke is back at his Henry V schtick today – with a character assassination piece about Putin, allegedly as advice to Theresa May:

      And of course, for all these stories, Chris Elliott, Reader’s Editor and Chief Neocon Troll is rallying a soapbox army of the usual paid-to-post shills: TheGreatRonRafferty, Strummered, Carlossie, Putzik, JokSnoweden, Balliegillies, Jezzam, OskarKrieger, and the rest of the simian rabble.

      Astounding to see The Guardian rallying to the cause of a hardline Conservative PM!! :(((

      • made-up story written by a little schoolboy who dreams of being a war correspondent… so has to invent the war first.

        Suddenly I am reminded of Damien, the roving reporter in Drop The Dead Donkey, renowned for his efforts to “spice up” stories (or even fabricate them entirely).

      • Richard Le Sarcophage says

        I can’t see any difference between what Harding does as a VICIOUS hate-monger and war-monger and what Streicher did, and what got his necked stretched. Of course, Streicher was more likeable and intelligent than Harding, but otherwise I see no differences.

    • Richard Le Sarcophage says

      Harding, in my opinion, is a prime example of what forty years of total dominance in the West by Rightwing psychopaths has done to society. The MSM is an absolutely vital brainwashing apparatus, central to elite parasite totalitarian control, so the intellectual, moral and spiritual disease is most marked there. I could name twenty psychotics at least as florid in their maniacal disinforming and hate-mongering as Harding, in just one Murdoch title here-his flag-shit, the ‘Australian’.

  9. Well, when I read this Harding’s piece, my first reaction was that, rather than “off his meds”, he must be ON something; I don’t know: magic mushrooms? LSD? Time to lay off the acid, Luke…

    • Jen says

      Naah, don’t blame the magic mushrooms or the LSD, I reckon Harding is on ice.

  10. Propgandists like Harding live in a different world from most ordinary people. They tend to be either cheap opportunists who would do anything for preferment of promotion to a higher status, or, conversely, they actually believe in their own bullshit – a narrative which no amount of counter-factual evidence will impact. The great student of ‘nationalism’ – a term used to mean any sort of ideological commitment to the love object – the master of understanding political psychology, George Orwell, makes some penetrating observations:

    ”All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe but oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage – torture, use of hostages, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, assassination, the bombing of civilians – which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by OUR side…..

    The nationalist does not only disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them …

    Some nationalists are not far from clinical schizophrenia, living quite happily amid dreams of power and conquest which have no connexion with the physical world.” (G.Orwell – Notes on Nationalism – 1945)

    In his dystopian novel, 1984, where 3 superstates, Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia are permanently at war in different permutations. There is a particular scene where the hero, Winston Smith, finds himself in the company of Syme, a party intellectual, and Parsons a complete dolt. An annoucement comes over the tannoy system. ”Due to increases in productivity the chocolate ration will be raised from 30 grammes to 20 grammes per week.” (read it twice). Winston noted that Parsons bought it with no qualms, Syme also bought it in an cerebral sort of way involving the use of newspeak and double-think.

    All of which sums up the mindset of people like Harding. They are an intellectually and morally diseased caricatures of human being. BTW The complete works of Orwell are well worth a read.

    • JJA says

      Very cogent analysis.
      with regard to:
      “All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe but oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency.”
      From a recent visit to Spain, I discovered many English immigrants (both pensioners and people working, albeit mostly in the ‘black’ economy serving English immigrants in Spain) had actually voted Brexit, mainly on the grounds that there were now too many immigrants in England.

    • Richard Le Sarcophage says

      Do you remember Harding inside Syria doing propaganda for the jihadists pretending that they were the mythical Free Syrian Army, when they were al-Nusra Front? He just likes fascists butchers, that’s all. Very common on the Right.

  11. Joe Kilroy says

    Nice try at demolishing a brilliant journalist who has more courage in his little finger than the lot of you put together. Is the huge typeface on your site so that morons can read it ? I see you don’t like being called ‘ Putinbots’, how about Putinoids, is that any better? Your rag has Kremlin-funded written all over it. You’re a joke.

    • Laguerre says

      Harding never had much of a reputation for truth-telling. So I guess there must be some ulterior motive behind you gushing praise.

    • Hi Luke Joe – thanks for picking up on the crucial issues here, namely a) the size of our typeface and b) that we’re being paid by the Kremlin. If I can briefly address both these important points.

      a)Our font size is 16px actually, which is fairly bog standard,though maybe a little to the larger size of average. Bigger than RT’s font, but around the same as the Intercept if I remember correctly. I hope this settles this vital question for you.

      b)We aren’t actually being funded by the Kremlin, or by anyone. I think you might find it helpful to experiment with the idea that people can find your Luke’s writing substandard or even risible without having to be paid to do so.

    • reinertorheit says

      Yes, it certainly takes a lot of “courage” to overstay your visa and get deported. As Luke did. It was the reason he was not allowed back into Russia. Later on, he claimed that “Putin” had blocked his visa.

      Plagiarizing stories from The eXile and thinking no-one would notice was another example of Luke’s ‘courage’.

      I wonder which Grauniad staffer is lurking behind the name “Joe Kilroy”??

        • JJA says

          To be fair to Shaun, even he tweeted scepticism about the Guardian/Observer’s claim that Russian football hooligans in France this summer were soldiers trained by Putin for the very purpose!

      • elenits says

        Don’t tell me! NOT Kilroy as in “Kilroy wuz here”?!!

        • Brian Harry, Australia says

          Yeah……that’s him……”Like”

    • There is nothing courageous about going along with, imbibing and spouting the orthodox narrative; on the contrary real courage comes from opposing the received wisdom of the day. In the face of the Spanish Inquisition it took courage to defy the Grand Inquisitor, whereas Mr Harding is the spokesman for the increasingly neo-MacCarthyite Inquisition. In Ibsen’s famous play ‘The Enemy of the People’ the principal figure Dr. Stockman has discovered they are being polluted by waste from the town’s tannery. Of course there is money involved and in opposing this scheme Stockman and his family are subject to vicious persecution. That takes courage. One time Editor of the Guardian, C.P.Scott courageously opposed the British war in South Africa 1899-1902 and as a result both is house and the Guardian building in Manchester were attacked and damaged by jingoistic mobs. That took courage.

      Harding is essentially a neo-con fellow-traveller and is well rewarded for his service, he has nothing to fear and everything to gain. Courage indeed, pah!

    • david king says

      Yes sure.
      Isn’t Harding just pissed off because the fsb moved his pens about?

    • Eric_B says

      why would making the typeface bigger make it easier for morons to read?

  12. reinertorheit says

    And especially Luke Harding, it’s why he’s our favourite.

    But when it comes to ambulance-chasing in Russia, Grauniad readers are spoiled for choice. Will it be Shaun “I saw the tank convoy, really I did, Roland Oliphant* was standing next to me” Wanker? Or how about rabid neocon whackjob Alec Loony?

    Or we might be treated to some paid-to-post trash from the Carnegie-funded loss-making propaganda, The Covert Journal. (This is for stories which even Wanker and Loon refuse to cover). The Covert Journal is used to add the veneer of apparently ‘independent’ journalism to trash which is so badly unsupported with facts that it can’t be run anywhere else, or to provide employment for the glitzy young children of Carnegie employees.

    “Roland Oliphant” = the pseudonym under which Wanker files stories in other newspapers. Twice the fee.

  13. Seamus Padraig says

    Of course, Hellary’s story that the Russians hacked her server simply must be taken at face value.

    • elenits says

      Also at face value:
      Killary’s assertion that Putin / Russia hacked the DNC server…hand in hand with Trump, naturally.

  14. Secret Agent says

    Well, the Graun had to run this one out quickly as Theresa May says she is going to talk to Putin. This is a catastrophe for the Empire and must be stopped. Expect war to break out in the Donbass shortly. The UK must fall back into line.

    It’s bad enough that the Turkish coup failed and the Philippines are making goo goo eyes at China while calling the American ambassador a homo.

    The other news is that Russia has fielded a couple of tank divisions in anticipation of a Uke blitz on the Donbass and if necessary will annihilate the army Porky has assembled for the purpose of cleansing the breakaway regions. NATO is 100% behind the planned attack, but they are fools and don’t believe there will be a Russian response. Now they are probably crapping their pants because they hadn’t anticipated that Russia would see through their little scheme and if they make a move, will face a major shitkicking.

    It looks like Obama backloaded his imperialist plots to. Play out as he was leaving office, but it’s all blowing up in his face.

    Should be an interesting run up to November.

    • elenits says

      We still have half of August (the traditional war month) and the 5 months to Inauguration to change “facts on the ground”, ne’er fear!

    • Richard Le Sarcophage says

      This is why Corbyn MUST go, one way or another. Rigged court ‘decisions’ a speciality of the ‘Common Law’ where bent judges can read ANYTHING they like into words that other ‘esteemed’ judges find plainly say the opposite, just shows you HOW vital his erasure is to the elite. This is because a Corbyn-led Labour would be an obstacle to the full Libyan-style assault on Syria that Netanyahu has ordered and his psychotic stooge, Clinton, is slavering to deliver. I very much expect a frenzy of hate against Corbyn, featuring accusations of ‘antisemitism’, of course, then a naked rigging of the vote count, all supported 1000% by the MSM cess-pool. Or they’ll kill him.

  15. Dak says

    I would say something about this but there is really no point, Hardings always-wrong predictions, laughable conspiracy theories about Russia, grandeur delusions about himself which in turn cause paranoid delusions are all well known. Journalism is a very strange thing if you’re coming from a science background. You can lie all the time, you can be consistently proven wrong for years and years, as a matter of fact your whole carrier can be nothing but laughable misses and your “op-eds” exposed as nothing but official propaganda, you dont have to provide evidence, none at all, just hide behind “anonymous sources” and you can still have great carrier and be considered reliable source and invited over and over to give your opinion if your “opinion” is the “right” opinion. Take a look at the army of Bush-era neocons who lied over and over, who wrote articles of 100% proven evidence about Saddmas wmds and his imminent attack on USA, how can someone like Bill Kristol who has been wrong about EVERYTHING for years still be considered a reliable source? Or Jeffrey Goldberg with his never ending stream of lies, scoops and “evidences” all which have been proven wrong. Or Max Boot, or David “Axis of Evil” Frum? All zombie neocons from Bush era have returned and regained their credibility because they support Hillary, despite a history of their failures. Yet Luke Harding is worse than all of these, not only does he lie all the time and writes most insane and laughable conspiracies or plagiarizes other people word for word, but he gives it a personal note and makes it about himself. Other are liars and propagandists but they usually make it on national level “they wont to destroy us”, they are jealous of us”, but with Harding its all about him. Its Putin personally ordering his stalking, its Medvedev who needs to be informed that Harding is leaving Russia, its entire FSB apparatus turning on him and opening his windows. In any other filed these kind of delusions and consistency of being wrong and plagiarizing would end your carrier but not in “journalism”, as long as you push official line you are fine

    • elenits says

      Luke Harding is an international joke by now.

      • reinertorheit says

        Although Ben Judah takes the throne of Clown Prince of Poppycock.

    • Richard Le Sarcophage says

      I remember something written by Montaigne, where he said that lying, properly understood, was a crime more worthy of the stake than most others. He lamented that once the tongue had acquired the habit of lying, that it was dreadfully difficult to make it return to honesty. What would he make of the moral, spiritual and intellectual sewer that is the West these days, where lying is not just ubiquitous, but almost universal? I now cannot think of any politicians and very few journalists, only one or two ‘mainstream’, in this country (Australia)who are NOT utter, psychopathic, shits.

      • Jen says

        Montaigne never met Hillary Clinton, otherwise he’d revise his opinion of lying being worthy of the stake … that is, the stake being the only worthwhile punishment for lying.

      • Brian Harry, Australia says

        “Utter, psychopathic, shits”……You’re not kidding. I believe British newspapers are notoriously, ridiculous rubbish, but Australia’s News Corp are the absolute pits………..

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