RED FLAG: the Russia Report has raised any number of red flags. Disgruntled Tory MPs, who have voted for stuff they don’t really believe in because they are shit scared of “Classic” Dom Cummings, are asking why we are so keen to sell out to Russia in the first place.
What have the Russians ever done for us, is the cry, and it’s a good question. Roughly translated, it really means “Where’s the bribe – I mean, donation – you promised me?”
But apart from bribery, what have the Russians ever done for us? Well, there’s paying the government and security services to turn a blind eye to their activities. And there’s the huge amount of money laundering business they have brought to the London Laundromat.
Then there’s the abuse of social media by the deployment of trolls and bots. The trolls need somewhere to hide which is why Boris Johnson keeps building bridges.
But apart from bribery, money laundering and social manipulation, what have the Russians ever done for us? I suppose that they are quite good at poisoning spies with Novichok, Cold War style. Then there’s the massive effort to undermine democracy to ensure Brexit happened. That put an end to the EU’s efforts to clamp down on dodgy financial dealings, which would have broken up their cosy little party.
The Russia Report describes a government which is reluctant to act, even when it has advance warning of a problem. It describes a government that ignores the evidence placed before it. It describes a government that creates confusion by dividing responsibilities between different agencies, each thinking one of the others is in charge, and reduces their staffing levels and funding. Any parallels with its handling of the Covid crisis are entirely deliberate.
So, apart from bribery, money laundering, social manipulation, poisoning spies, and undermining democracy, what have the Russians ever done for us?
Vodka. And borscht. But mainly vodka.