It was the Russians!

By now, we all know that Trump only became president of the US because the evil Russians interfered with the election and manipulated public opinion. We know this thanks in part to the fearless investigative journalism of ex-Tory-MP and ex-soft-porn-writer Louise Mensch.  The latest headline news this week from the BBC was that a member of the Trump team has some shares in a company that has shares in a company that has some connections with Russia. Clearly a smoking gun of Russian interference in the US election.

More recently it has emerged that Brexit, too, was caused by Russian interference. The Guardian claims that Matthew Elliott of Vote Leave was “targeted” by someone who might have been a Russian spy. Brexit funder Arron Banks says that “Allegations of Brexit being funded by the Russians … are complete bollocks from beginning to end.” But he would say that, wouldn’t he? The New York Times has a quite comical article about this conspiracy theory – “it would not be surprising if [Russia] were found to have mounted a campaign in favor of Brexit”.

At least one Brexit voter confessed:

But others denied it, despite the overwhelming evidence:

Now, news of more troubling Russian interference has surfaced.  Super-sleuth physicist and self-styled “skeptic” Mark Boslough has made the remarkable discovery that climate deniers are also on Putin’s payroll.

 

This prompted a certain amount of ridicule:

This is all getting a bit confusing – isn’t it climate sceptics who are supposed to be the conspiracy theorists?

See also Monday Mirthiness at WUWT.

 

62 thoughts on “It was the Russians!

  1. Let me come clean about conspiracy theories. I’ve always found it a bit weird that the four most prominent leftwing US politicians (Kennedy 1, Kennedy 2, King and Church) were all murdered by lone assassins within a few years. Didn’t one of them even have a friend to give them a hand? Maybe the FBI just didn’t have the means to find out. And the same thing for the four Saudi Arabians of 9/11.

    And it must be the same for those who think that Brexit, the election of Trump, and the rise of the populist right in Europe just can’t have happened by chance. Except that I’m puzzled by how just four people could change history, and they’re puzzled by how hundreds of millions could.

    The standard argument used against conspiracy theories (for example by Noam Chomsky in the case of 9/11) is that if it wasn’t one person (or four, in the case of 9/11) it must have been thousands, in which case we’d all know about it. (The fact that we do all know about it doesn’t count as contradictory evidence, apparently.) Therefore it must have been one (or four.)

    The Russian conspiracy theories are quite different. Apparently it can’t have been millions who really wanted Brexit, Trump, etc., so it must have been one person: Putin.

    It’s a return to the idea of a Prime Cause.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Mark Boslough asks:

    Deniers freaking out over possibility their agenda is Kremlin funded. Do any denialist bloggers have US security clearances? Any at all?

    I’m sure I don’t. I wasn’t even given clearance for a residency permit in France, in clear contravention of the Treaty of Rome, until a lawyer took up my case. “I get a lot of Africans and Asians,” he said, “But you’re the first British citizen..”

    Thinking about it, I could see a few reasons why: – a cartoon in an Anarchist magazine; a poster I sold at the CND shop; a letter in a Trotskyist paper the day after Bloody Sunday, which the kind Trots published, together with my name and address. We know CND was infiltrated, from the memoirs of the head of MI5. No doubt the anarchists and the Trots too… And then I was present at the scene of an IRA bombing, arriving five minutes late, luckily…)

    So, No, Mark Boslough, I probably don’t have US security clearance, dating from the Nixon period. That’s probably why Putin has never made me an offer. Happy now? What about installing a ban on immigration from countries with high levels of climate denialism? There’s a precedent you know…

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  3. While there is a real possibility that the Russians stoked the fires a bit for both the US election and Brexit, they were a drop in the ocean compared to the brazen attempts of ‘allies’ from inteferring. I think that Obama’s intevention pushed Brexit over the line. Of course the best argument for voting to leave was from the 40+ years of the EU and its various guises. The disruption of its enemies was a reason for the Russians to try and influence elections.

    However, when it comes to AGW, there is nothing for Russia to gain from stopping the West acting. If AGW is true then they’d want as many countries as possible acting. If it’s not a risk then the Russians gain by the US frittering loads of money on renewables.

    In all cases where the Russians are supposed to have interferred the main argument is that they’ve fielded teams of Twitterers and social media kids. To influence whom? The younger generations is the obvious answer. I’ve said before that the warmists are wasting their time on the young, not because they won’t sign up for climate change belief but because they are the most CO2 spewing generation ever. Instead of settling down to a mortgage, they’re spending their money on ephemera. Putting off having kids, perhaps too late. Now that could be worked two ways for the Russians. Do you convince the young that they have no future and they might as well keep spending on ‘experiences’ or do you disrupt the society by telling them that their future has been stolen from them by the Baby Boomers? Revolt!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It is reasonable to think that Putin, his bots and machinations played a role in the election of Trump or in Brexit. It would be truly daft to think that anyone who suggests such a role is saying that everyone who voted for Trump/Brexit voted that way because of Putin. But “skeptics” can be relied on for some things…

    [PM: Who is thinking “that anyone who suggests such a role is saying that everyone who voted for Trump/Brexit voted that way because of Putin” ? You are fabricating again.]

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  5. Geoff:

    And it must be the same for those who think that Brexit, the election of Trump, and the rise of the populist right in Europe just can’t have happened by chance. Except that I’m puzzled by how just four people could change history, and they’re puzzled by how hundreds of millions could.

    Brilliant – and by that I mean the whole post.

    I’m with you on JFK, by the way – the most important of those terrible 60s murders.

    And I’m with Louise Mensch in thinking that we need to know more about Russia’s St Petersburg troll farm. I depart from her, it seems, by assuming that such Deep Troll efforts (as I called them way back on Bishop Hill) have been made by many different groups, not least climate consensus enforcement.

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  6. RICHARD DRAKE

    I’m with you on JFK, by the way – the most important of those terrible 60s murders.

    I’m not sure I’m with you there. He certainly seemed important at the time (you’re too young to remember.) But since then we’ve had the tales of him and his brother nude in the White House swimming pool with their secretaries. Is that a CIA-inspired fantasy to provoke jealousy, or disgust, among jaded baby boom lefties? I remember a Lenny Bruce sketch in which the comedian expressed his admiration of JFK because he was the kind of guy you could imagine jacking off to a Playboy calendar pinned to the bathroom door. Sounds strange in an internet age.

    And then Senator Richard Church certainly didn’t order the invasion of any countries, and even publicly denounced murders conducted by the US government.

    Only the other day the left-leaning Euronews was reporting how, according to the FBI, Martin Luther King participated in orgies with Joan Baez.

    Euronews is a pan-European multilingual international news channel .. owned since May 2017 60% by Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris, 25% by the American channel NBC News, and 15% by 21 European public audiovisual groups and 3 French local authorities. (That’s from the French-language version of the Wikipaedia article. You won’t find it in English.)

    The trouble with conspiracy theorising is that it’s a full-time job.

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  7. LEN MARTINEZ (07 Nov 17 at 10:29 pm)

    It is reasonable to think that Putin, his bots and machinations played a role in the election of Trump or in Brexit.

    It is reasonable in this day and age to think that anyone may be trying to influence anything. During the Brexit campaign, did Cameron have bots on the ground, and if not, why not?

    But did anyone notice the Russian input during the Brexit campaign or the US election? And if not, how did it influence the campaign? Did the out-of-work miners of Pennsylvania pick up messages from St Petersburg that escaped the finest minds of the New York Times? What greater tribute can you pay to the intelligence of the average voter than to suggest that their collective antennae picked up a message invisible to the liberal media?

    Or maybe they just voted the way they felt.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. So the Russians spiked the EU’s drinks and persuaded them to tell David Cameron to get lost, when he went to them seeking help, prior to the Brexit Vote.

    And the Russians spiked Hillary’s drinks, and Juncker’s, and Mensch’s and ….?

    Perhaps Mark Boslough is envious and feeling left out.

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  9. Back in 2005 the Graun spent a lot of effort trying to get Obama elected. Where was the indignation? It was overt rather than either covert or a fantasy /delusion of paranoid metropolitan elites. Did the Guardian influence the outcome of the election?

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  10. I don’t think I have seen anyone make quite such a fool of himself in a couple of days as Mark Boslough (though I may have forgotten some interactions with Ken).
    He thinks that “hide the decline” is a fake quote fabricated by Steve Mc:

    Despite the fact that the most famous of the climategate emails has been public for 8 years, Mark Boslough can’t find it:

    (There are many places you can find it, here for example.)

    He complains about name-calling:

    and an hour later he is ranting about dishonest deniers:

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  11. Document 942777075.

    From: Phil Jones
    To: ray bradley ,mann… [Michael E. Mann], mhughes… [Malcolm Hughes]
    Subject: Diagram for WMO Statement
    Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000
    Cc: k.briffa… [Keith Briffa],t.osborn… [Timothy J. Osborn]

    Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,
    Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or
    first thing tomorrow.
    I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps
    to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from
    1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual
    land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land
    N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999
    for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with
    data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.
    Thanks for the comments, Ray.

    Cheers
    Phil

    my take:
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/25/currys-2000-comment-question-can-anyone-defend-%e2%80%9chide-the-decline%e2%80%9d/

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Boslough is just the latest – and most striking example – of the mental illness which has taken earthly root in those (mainly liberal, left wing) people whose world view has been fundamentally challenged by the silent majority.

    How could the electorate have voted for Brexit? How could they? The entire Establishment; the Treasury, the Bank of England, the main stream media, the government, MPs, banks, economists, major businesses, celebrities, immensely well known British brands, all lined up to tell the British public what a huge mistake they would be making if they voted for Brexit. But they did, anyway! The liberal establishment has been reeling ever since. They cannot understand how sane, rational people would do such a thing, completely oblivious to the obvious explanation that it is precisely because they ARE sane and rational: they voted to end open borders, restore full sovereignty, end the protectionist trade policies foisted upon us by the single market and customs union, stop sending huge amounts of money to Brussels and being told how to spend the lesser amount they condescendingly return, etc. Basically, Brexiters voted to take back control of their country and its destiny.

    Being totally unable to comprehend why mainly working class Brits voted for Brexit when elite experts and professionals told them it was the wrong thing to do, Remainers have been forced to conclude that an undetectable but immensely powerful Russian government propaganda campaign, executed via social media, swung voters in favour of Brexit, despite the very obvious, exceptionally pervasive – and at times, very dirty and disreputable – Remain campaign mounted by the entire Europhile left wing liberal establishment. Likewise, the same for the unexpected election of Trump, and now, as climate alarmists face losing the battle of minds re. public perception of the ‘danger’ of man-made global warming, the ‘Russian option’ is starting to look increasingly attractive to the more unhinged among them – and Boslough is genuinely, certifiably unhinged. The screws have worked their way loose, have busted out, and have disappeared between the cracks in the floorboards.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Richard:

    I’m with you on JFK, by the way – the most important of those terrible 60s murders.

    Geoff:

    I’m not sure I’m with you there. He certainly seemed important at the time (you’re too young to remember.)

    I was indeed partly thinking of later, from the 70s onwards, when conspiracists of left and right increasingly dated the blooming of modern-day theorising to the widespread belief we’d not been told the truth about the murder of JFK. Gordon Brown giving material on the subject to Alex Ferguson, which the football manager reportedly keeps on his bedside table, all that sort of thing.

    And more importantly, because John Kennedy had won the election to be become US President, narrowly but according to the rules, from Richard Nixon. For his life to be cut short and the people responsible not to be exposed (as many including Brown and Ferguson believe) was therefore the most serious of all these murders, even if JFK himself was in part irresponsible with the power given to him.

    Having said which, I respect your and anyone else’s opinion on whose was the most important life. Martin Luther King has some claim to that I would assume. But I think that’s subtly different from the importance of the murder. In the alleged conspiracy of November 1963 everyone eligible to vote in November 1960, including King, Church and RFK, was being cruelly abused.

    It is reasonable in this day and age to think that anyone may be trying to influence anything. During the Brexit campaign, did Cameron have bots on the ground, and if not, why not?

    This nicely restates my own view, except I consider ‘bots’ an inadequate subset of social media malware. Jenna Abrams is a truly extraordinary example of the other end of the troll spectrum, exposing the naivety of many, including some of the most respected names in the so-called mainstream media.

    The Ongoing Ignorance of Experts I would call it, if I was to post on Cliscep today, the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, so totally unforeseen by the experts of the 70s and 80s, way beyond Brexit and Trump forty years later. Thinking about it.

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  14. For me the most important event occurred in 1991 but is scarcely remembered in the West. But if it hadn’t occurred we would be living in a very different world. I would be surprised if anyone recognizes the name “Gennady Yanayev” or the “Gang of Eight”.

    Yanayev and his Gang overthrew Gorbachev, but the important event occurred three days later when the coup itself was overthrown, Gorbachev was reinstated (but eventually was superseded by Yeltsin) and the Soviet Union eventually collapsed. Without that successful counter-coup, East-West relationships would have resumed being adversarial.

    The reason I remember these events is that I had been in the USSR and was flying from Moscow to London when Gorbachev was overthrown. I followed events with more interest than most.

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  15. Yes, an important detail that I also well remember Alan. But 9th November 1989 has come to stand for all of that, though it was by no means certain at the moment the Berlin Wall was no longer defended (a knife-edge decision it seems) that it would lead to the end of soviet communism. Yeltsin, the creation of the oligarchs, followed by Putin were by no means ideal either. Giving up vast tracts of the old soviet empire, on the other hand, was a tremendous positive, reflected in a ‘peace dividend’ that reduced world arms sales dramatically. (Few pacifists I know even mention this, let alone with good cheer.) Meanwhile ascribing enormous evil power to the economically weak remnant Russian state is I believe, with Paul and most climate sceptics, very silly. The latest way the irrational Left has found to deny the world-changing importance of 1989-91. But that denial has been there for 28 years and counting. And it has found perhaps its greatest expression in extreme environmentalism, as Rupert Darwall’s important new book seeks to show. That also has its roots in Germany and one Benny Peiser, no less, according to Rupert’s amusing account to the GWPF last week. Thanks for the correction, anyhow! And Geoff would probably want to correct some parts.

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  16. In the book “Shattered” about the Hillary campaign it is revealed that the “Russians did it” narrative was hatched by Robby Mook and a few others at Hillary’s campaign headquarters the day after the election. Hillary’s compliant media lackeys then spread the narrative far and wide. This has got to be the biggest lie in recent political history. And now it turns out Hillary’s campaign was the one that was actually “colluding” with the Russians and spreading Russian propaganda. The infamous dossier was paid for by Hillary’s campaign (through a legal firm of course) and never disclosed (in violation of campaign finance law). This dossier was in turn peddled to the FBI which may have used it to justify wiretapping US citizens associated with the Trump campaign. You see, Obama and his sycophants thought Hillary was going to win and this would all disappear under the Clinton rubric of “bimbo eruptions.”

    Well done Paul. Satire is the only response to this that can do justice to how deeply corrupt the Obama/Clinton machine was.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Geoff Chambers: “I’ve always found it a bit weird that the four most prominent leftwing US politicians (Kennedy 1, Kennedy 2, King and Church) were all murdered by lone assassins within a few years. ”

    As an assassination buff I confess I’ve never heard of the assassination of any ‘Church’, although there was a Church Committee. Googling ‘Senator Richard Church’ or ‘Church assassination does not help. You’ve got me. Can you provide further information?

    [PM: Sorry your comment was held in moderation – that’s what wordpress does for new commenters. Subsequent comments will go straight up if you use the same details.]

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  18. Sorry Richard, but I don’t consider it a detail. If Yeltsin had been drunk and incapable, the hardliners with their troops would have taken the White House, Glasnost and Perestroika would have disappeared and our world would be very different. With Estonia and Latvia declaring independence, there may well have been war.

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  19. Here’s the latest wisdom from Boslough, on ‘hide the decline’ – all they did was avoid “data that don’t apply”. Twitter now allows 280 characters so he can make twice the fool of himself.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Poor Keith

    Data declined by others
    Yet blamed
    and Gated.

    With but a single tree
    In all the wilds of Yamal
    offering solace.

    Singer beneath Bridges

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Keith Briffa was my friend.
    Many were the hot debates
    With and to students
    On all things climatique

    It was he who, often alone,
    protected my right
    to be sceptical
    in a house of belief.

    He knew what I thought of his “science”
    Yet we smiled at each other.
    We had not spoken in a decade
    Yet I will miss him.

    Singer beneath Bridges

    Liked by 3 people

  22. RICHARD DRAKE (09 Nov 17 at 9:15 am)

    A large part of the interest of the Kennedy conspiracy theorising to me is the fact that the evidence – a bit of 8mm film, a report on the rifle that fired the shot(s) – was so sparse, due to the state of technology at the time. Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Richard Church were murdered in circumstances where there was little chance of other records. While 9/11 has left so many forensic traces that it would take a century to sift through them. Michael Moore had the right approach in his film Fahrenheit 9/11, in concentrating on the essential fact that the head of state and of the army was in hiding for eleven hours during an attack on the USA. And no-one cared enough to have him tried and shot for treason.

    Trump, on the other hand, may have employed someone he once met and described as a great guy who once met a lady who wasn’t the niece of the elected head of the 9th or 10th most powerful country on the planet, and alll hell breaks loose.

    “if I was to post on Cliscep today…”

    Please do. Most of your comments are worth a post. And Big Oil pays the same for a post as for a comment.

    ALAN KENDALL (09 Nov 17 at 10:16 am)

    I didn’t know that. I had young children at the time, and was probably busy with Lego or reading bedtime stories. I have a stock of Holy Grail facts which I came across by chance (often thanks to some subversive journalist at the Guardian who revealed something which wasn’t meant to become common knowledge) but that wasn’t one of them. Thanks.

    ELECTRONIUS (10 Nov 17 at 3:57 am)

    Sorry I didn’t see your comment earlier. I’ll reply in a minute.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Geoff: “But did anyone notice the Russian input during the Brexit campaign or the US election? And if not, how did it influence the campaign?” How would you know? It is like the old advertising trope: “We know half of our ad spending is wasted, we just don’t know which half”. It does seem like it would be quite easy to fire up Trump support by targeting the nastier aspects of prejudice he represents.

    “Trump, on the other hand, may have employed someone he once met and described as a great guy who once met a lady who wasn’t the niece of the elected head of the 9th or 10th most powerful country on the planet, and alll hell breaks loose. “

    I’ve been away for a week, so I don’t know who/what that refers to, but there’s a lot more wrong with Trump and his administration than that implies.

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  24. Alan:

    Sorry Richard, but I don’t consider it a detail. If Yeltsin had been drunk and incapable…

    I said important detail – and I meant it.

    Really sorry to hear about Keith Briffa and your sense of loss. I also strongly support your rejection of the questioning on Tom’s thread. One of the evil things trolls delight to do, that may not be recognised as such.

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  25. Geoff Chambers: “And the same thing for the four Saudi Arabians of 9/11.”

    I hate to be picky but there were 19 alleged Arab hijackers of 9/11, fifteen of whom were Saudi Arabians.

    I think you are safe from any accusation by Loondowski et al that you might be conspiracy theorist!

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  26. I really do feel an important point is being missed. It really does not matter too much now if Russian attempts to surreptitiously influence the politics of other countries were successful or not. What is significant is whether Russia attempted to influence in this manner and (in the case of the USA) if there were indigenous groups willing to cooperate.
    To mock those who might be willing to entertain Russian influences is to perhaps encourage Russian attempts in the future (again?).

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  27. Theresa May is now speaking out about alleged Russian interference.

    Though that BBC article says that Boris “had not seen any evidence of Russia trying to interfere in British elections or the 2016 Brexit vote”.

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  28. Gosh this willingness to disbelieve (from the out) what Western leaders say the Russians are attempting – it’s almost as if maskirovka hadn’t been invented.

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  29. Alan, it’s not really ‘willingness to disbelieve’. It’s just straightforward scepticism. Of course, lots of people are spreading misleading stories on social media to promote their agendas. But where’s the evidence of an organised campaign by the Russian state that had a significant effect on Trump or Brexit? If there was such evidence, wouldn’t somebody have shown it to our foreign secretary?

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  30. I’d like to see some examples of this manipulation. I can fully believe that Simon Wren-Beardy for example is being funded by Putin but that does not mean he has much influence on what I think on the subject of Brexit. The same goes for the idiotic ramblings of former diplomat(!?!) Craig Murray. I don’t think that either Richard or Peter North, Delingpole, Redwood or Worstall are Putin puppets

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  31. Exactly Paul, it’s the complete lack of tangible evidence that there was any interference. Without evidence, the Russian plot to destabilise the West and sow discord is just a theory. On the other hand there is abundant evidence that western leaders are doing just that: bringing Jihadis back into our midst, giving preferential treatment and immunity from prosecution to immigrant law-breakers, curtailing free speech, inventing an existential threat from ‘far right extremists’, allowing mass immigration to continue unchecked and not bothering to trace and deport illegals, the list goes on. Look at the real influence Soros has; an unashamed globalist. What on earth could the Russians do to contribute to such an obvious threat to our stability and security? Why would they even bother when our own leaders are doing such a fine job? May must think we are idiots to swallow her Russian conspiracy theory.

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  32. To what advantage does the West aspire, by engaging in massive maskirovka against Putin or Russia? Who is coordinating the claims coming out of Democratic USA (but not Trump (strange that)), the UK, Germany, Canada, Poland, the Baltic States and others? Is there absolutely no fire with all this smoke (and mirrors)? Are we to believe Russian accounts of the glorious rebonding of Russia with Crimea and large chunks of Georgia? All questions I ask myself, but which you may have found the answers. Do share.

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  33. Alan how is Russia benefitting if it is doing all this stuff? When GDR funded CND or Russia funded the Morning Star and various Communist Parties it was clear what was going on, unless your name was Bruce Kent. If Russia is doing something, how can we see it? Obviously the BBC is on a mission to bring down May and BoJo, with even people held hostage in Iran being used for that purpose, but how does that benefit Russia? Would Corbyn be able to lift sanctions? Would someone other than Merkel buy even more gas from Russia?

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  34. Man in a Barrel. I observe an imbalance in the way many commentators here judge Russia-Western relationships (siding with Russia) and find this odd. I ask why the West would collaborate to malign Russia. Asking me in turn what Russia would gain, is no real response.

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  35. Alan, the reason behind current bandwagon of blaming Russia for Trump, Brexit, climate scepticism and everything else is the same reason that climate activists blame Big Oil and the Koch brothers for climate scepticism. It’s a fabrication, a scapegoat, a fig-leaf, a smokescreen, an excuse, for their own failings and incompetence, the reality that they cannot face. (By the way I don’t think anyone here is really ‘siding with Russia’).

    See this rant from Pete North – click to see the whole thread (warning, strong language!)

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  36. Paul. I’m not blaming Russia for Trump, but I do entertain the possibility that Russia (or some Russians) did try to influence the election in a more underhand way than Obama tried to influence the European Referendum. My problem is that many here (and at WUWT and BH) seem to be perfectly willing to believe all kinds of nefarious doings of our own governments whilst give Russia a clean bill of health. I might be totally wrong but I am more willing to give my own government and the West a cleaner bill of health. I wonder why I seem to be alone in this.

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  37. I’m certainly not siding with Russia. I don’t much care for Putin and the country itself is not exactly a glowing example of a democracy, but if May and others want to implicate the Russian government in some plot to destabilise the West, they should at least provide a motive and evidence of a means. Nothing has been forthcoming and in light of the appallingly treacherous behaviour of many of those accusing the Russians of attacking our democracies and trying to destroy our hard won freedoms, I can only conclude that the accusation is BS and, as Paul points out, a cover for their own failings.

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  38. You are not alone, Alan. I doubt you appreciate being on the same side as me, though it pleases me. It seems unlikely that there is anything that would convince people here or at other skeptic sites that Russia should not have the benefit of the doubt. Read Bill Browder’s excellent book to see what led to the Magnitski Act to understand what sort of state we are dealing with.

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  39. What exactly are the accusations against whoever (treason, incompetence, etc) that go beyond applying international agreements and treaties and applying domestic laws? It is easy to accuse but without evidence it means little.

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  40. Len. I had forgotten the Magnitski affair but doubt its direct relevance. More important(for me) is the proven (indeed almost bragged about) involvement of the Russian state in Ukrainian elections. I find it difficult to believe that having used cyber espionage once it hasn’t continued with the practice.

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  41. All the talk about ‘adoptions’ seems to be code the Magnitski Act. American people were banned from adopting Russian children in response to the act. Anyone who doesn’t view Russia with the utmost suspicion should read Red Notice. Or see the film Icarus of 2017.

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  42. And what did this cyber espionage amount to? How did it have any impact on the election in Ukraine?
    All this posturing by Western politicians is eerily reminiscent of the way they grouped together to blame Saddam Hussein for manufacturing WMD. That worked out well, didn’t it? Why is it so bad to want to see evidence of some kind when such a bizarre accusation is made? What means did the Russians employ to change, influence, subvert or have any kind of impact whatsoever on the election of Trump, the Brexit referendum or anything else? Did they conspire to alter the result of Strictly Come Dancing too? How did they do it? Did they bombard my house with subliminal messages? Did they run newspaper or internet ads? Did they mount a Twitter campaign? Did they employ people to wear Vote Leave t-shirts in key parts of the country? Did someone enter my house and whisper in my ear while I was asleep how I should vote? Simply on the basis of recent history, when a Western politician makes an accusation like this without adducing any kind of proof, we should think that they are deceiving us.

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  43. Man in a barrel
    I thought we were having a sensible discussion – seems not.
    Rather than asking me about the Ukrainian election, in a manner implying I must be stupid to fall for such a falsehood, why don’t you do a bit of research for yourself?

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  44. ELECTRONIUS (10 Nov 2017 at 3:57 am)
    Sincere apologies. I confused two American politicians and got one of their names wrong.

    Senator Frank Church was an early critic of the Vietnam war who “inspired the passage of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the creation of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence….In a secret operation code-named “Project Minaret,” the National Security Agency monitored the communications of leading Americans, including Senators Church and Dr. Martin Luther King, who criticized the U.S. war in Vietnam.”

    Representative Leo Ryan “was famous for vocal criticism of the lack of Congressional oversight of the Central Intelligence Agency” and “was shot and killed in Guyana in November 1978 while investigating claims of people being held against their will at the People’s Temple Jonestown settlement, just hours before the group’s mass suicide took place.” (All quotes from Wikipaedia.)

    Lone gunmen in the sixties and seventies had a habit of targeting critics of the CIA. The CIA had a proven habit of killing people it didn’t like. That’s all.

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  45. MAN IN A BARREL (14 Nov 17 at 3:07 pm)

    When GDR funded CND or Russia funded the Morning Star and various Communist Parties it was clear what was going on, unless your name was Bruce Kent.

    Of course it was clear. The Soviet Union was desperate for nuclear disarmament because the arms race was ruining it economically. They financed CND in the interest of disarmament. The British government infiltrated it in order to prevent it.

    The “glorious rebonding of Russia with Crimea and large chunks of Georgia”mentioned by Alan Kendall consisted in reclaiming bits of the Soviet Union inhabited almost entirely by Russians, with rather more justification than the retention of Northern Ireland in the UK, since only about 55% of the population there feel British.

    I’m surprised that no-one’s mentioned Steve McIntyre’s posts on the subject. Analysing the evidence for unproven claims of Russian hacking and use of social media is necessarily technical. Very few people seem to be doing the heavy spade work necessary to uncover the truth, and they seem pretty sceptical. I’m with the experts on this.

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  46. McIntyre an ‘expert’ in the internet security? Pull the other one. There are plenty of real experts, many working at NSA, FBI GCHQ etc. Listen to what these organizations say. And you could read Bruce Schneier (https://www.schneier.com/) as a *real* independent security expert.

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  47. Applauds Alan… Leaving the stage with a Russell Brand Air of vindication. I looked at snopes about Putin’s involvement in the Ukraine elections. https://www.snopes.com/2017/06/27/ukraine-fake-news-hacking/

    Not very convincing.

    As for the UK, any smokescreen that May can put up is welcome. I am sure that is why she put BoJo, Davis and Fox in such prime roles. Diversion is the game. But foreigners like BoJo. He is more honest than someone like May or Cameron Or Brown Or Blair or drunky Juncky or Guy Hightown or anyone from the EU. The talk of cyber espionage is May’s way of saying that the election was stolen from her rather than lost by her. The same goes for Hillary

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  48. Geoff
    “The “glorious rebonding of Russia with Crimea and large chunks of Georgia”mentioned by Alan Kendall consisted in reclaiming bits of the Soviet Union inhabited almost entirely by Russians,”

    Hardly in the case of Georgia, where the Russian population was less than 2%, and in the case of South Ossetia the breakaway population were Ossetians who now overwhelmingly dominate because of practising ethnic cleansing.
    Crimea was occupied by a majority Russian population but you need to consider what occurred in the 20th century: originally with a predominantly Ukranian population, this was substantially modified by forced expulsion of Tatars and state-sponsored immigration of Russians until they dominate (the same practice occurred in the Baltic States).

    In any case it was the manner by which Russia achieved its ends that I was really commenting upon.

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