Every week (or, rather, most weeks, since the coronavirus torpedoed our schedule), we like to highlight three or four stories that go full-Guardian, but don’t require an entire article of refutation.
We encourage reader-participation here, so if you come across something you feel should be included in the next edition either post a link below, or send us an e-mail.
Polly Toynbee’s minders have let her loose at the gin again, and she’s rattled off an incoherent mess of an article which is essentially an effort in curling all the people she doesn’t like into one ball and flushing it down the toilet.
She’s overjoyed that the government has already committed to buying 90 MILLION doses of a vaccine that might not work and hasn’t been safety tested, but is afraid some people won’t want to use the rushed vaccine to defend themselves against a virus they probably won’t get, and will likely do them almost zero harm should they get it.
No, in Polly’s (presumably unfocused and wobbly) world, these incredibly stupid right-wing, anti-vax, non-masking leave voters are suffering “brain failure” and will ruin it for everyone if we let them. For one thing, it’s known that vaccines only work if everyone takes them, so somehow these people who don’t vaccinate themselves are putting everyone else in danger.
Meanwhile the mask-wearing, safety-first Remain voters are going to save us all. If only everyone will listen to the Scientists (the right scientists obviously, not the wrong scientists).
Patrick Wintour is asking the questions we’re all too afraid to ask. Like, “what if the UN changed so that China and Russia couldn’t hold back Western Imperialism?”
He doesn’t phrase it that way, of course, but when he rails against “the age of impunity” and the “debilitating veto”, he’s very much talking about everybody else, not lovely NATO. This is made more than apparent by the countries he singles out for criticism.
He has cross words for Assad and Putin predictably. Somehow Venezuela comes in for some flak too, despite not being at war with anyone for decades.
Israel, though, goes un-named. As does the war in Yemen, for which neither the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia nor their backers in the Pentagon receive any rebuke. Afghanistan is not mentioned, nor is the NATO bombing of Libya.
At one point he quotes David Miliband saying: “[We’re] living through the age of impunity”
He doesn’t mention that David could easily be talking about himself, having voted to invade Iraq, and then voted against any inquiry into that war. and never suffered any kind consequences for those crimes.
In fact, in an article about impunity for war crimes, he doesn’t use the word “Iraq” once.
Really, nothing more need be said.
In this article, Luke Harding lists rich Russians – or rich people who were born in ex-Soviet states – and rattles off how they are connected to the British government and/or the Russian government.
To be clear – he is not accusing any of these people of doing anything illegal whatsoever, at one point he goes out of his way to say so. Most of them have done nothing more than attend an event, or give money to a Tory fundraiser, or be photographed with a politician or something equally asinine.
Luke doesn’t even critique their politics – both sides are represented, anti-Putin and pro-Putin (or “Putin apologists” to use Luke’s totally non-partisan wording). No, they did nothing except be Russian.
Now, did a bunch of Russian billionaires make their money in unethical and borderline evil ways during the dark days of the 1990s? Absolutely yes. Is this true of most billionaires? Most assuredly. Is it nauseating to watch the global 1% support each other in keeping a boot on the neck of the working class? Incredibly so.
Does their ethnicity have any bearing on this? Of course not.
They aren’t RUSSIAN billionaires, they are Russian BILLIONAIRES. That’s the problem with this article, it focuses on the wrong word in the name of spreading Russophobic hysteria.
These people are very much billionaires first, and Russians second. For heaven’s sake, many of them have been “exiled” from Russia thanks to Putin’s radical political ideas, like insisting people pay tax and stop stealing their worker’s pensions. Several now have British citizenship.
If Luke were a journalist he might ask why billionaires prefer to keep their money in the notionally democratic law-abiding UK, and not the allegedly corrupt free-for-all that is Putin’s Russia.
But Luke is NOT a journalist, he’s an MI5-backed paranoid personality and an increasingly xenophobic one at that; because this article is straight-up racism.
Listing a bunch of men and women as somehow being potentially dangerous, whilst admitting they have committed no crimes and have nothing in common but their nationality, is the definition of racism.
If you don’t see it, it’s because in the West we’ve been inoculated against anti-Russian racism through constant exposure.
To see just how seedy this article is, simply re-write it in your head replacing each use of the word “Russian” or “Soviet-born”, with the word “Jewish” or “Israeli”.
Following a week in which Israel and its links to the UK have been in the news, the Guardian has looked into the impact of Jewish-born men and women on recent UK public life.
Super-wealthy businessmen from Israel also control a dizzying array of UK assets spanning football clubs, oil and gas and multimillion-pound mansions. Their financial clout affords members of this select group considerable influence and access to Britain’s professional and ruling classes.
Not pretty, is it?
BONUS – The Magificent Rebrand of One Keir Starmer
This isn’t about this week, so much as a general shift in tone over the last few months. Media coverage of Labour has totally changed since Sir Keir Starmer replaced Jeremy Corbyn. Nowhere is this clearer than the pages of the Guardian, most especially in their coverage of the sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey.
Now, a cynic might see RLB’s removal as a contrived mess designed to further dilute the meaning of “antisemitism” and cast-out the last even slightly left-leaning frontbencher.
Most improbably of all, we’re told Starmer is Competent, likeable and decisive. All of which, were it true, would not need to be said. Just as, if a virus is deadly, you don’t need to keep telling everyone how deadly it is; if someone is likeable…you don’t need headlines pointing it out.
Sir Keir Starmer is not now, and never has been previously, anybody’s idea of likeable or decisive. He has the voice of a bank manager, the face of a substitute teacher and the charisma of a not especially interesting cucumber. He is a nonentity. A suit full of bugger all. And it’s not a nice suit.
Assuming we’re still allowed to vote come the next scheduled election, I would expect Starmer to walk it – heralding a wave of nostalgia for Blair and regret for the “wasted Corbyn years”, but I don’t expect anything to change, not for the better at least.
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