Since my last post it feels as if everything has changed. What I thought was sabre rattling by President Putin has turned into an invasion of a peaceful democratic country. Sorry not an invasion, it is a special operation. What is really worrying about the current events, apart from the obvious crisis of a physical war and its consequences, is the disinformation war that President Putin has been and is waging. President Putin makes statements that are palpably untrue and then relies on them to make them an excuse to defend against actions that are untrue in the first place, “fake news”. A term used so frequently by President Trump, who has come out and called President Putin a genius, one of his discredited supporters Steve Bannon also says the U.S should be supporting President Trump as he is anti-woke and anti LGBT. God help us. It goes way beyond anti woke, LGBT concerns.
This is about essential democracy, freedoms of speech and human rights. This is not just Ukraine, this is about serious domination of the world stage where it would appear Russian has been waging a war of disinformation for a very long time with the intent of destabilising Western countries who have either slept walked into our current situation or at worst been complicit.
In the UK it seems that there has been Russian interference in our political system, investigated in the much talked about Russian Report which has not been released, in fact has been held back by the Government leading to suspicions that it would show they were complicit and working with Russia, Russian money supporting the Leave campaign and Brexit. Allowing Russian money to be laundered and invested in the UK when the EU was planning to curb dirty money from Russia. It is alleged that there was Russian funding supporting the Brexit campaign and behind many extreme right movements intended to destabilise western democracies.
In Russia it is illegal to demonstrate and thousands have been arrested and detained every day since the beginning of the special operation for demonstrating against the invasion of Ukraine. The UK government is trying hard to pass the Borders and Policing Bill which will effectively make demonstrating illegal in this country. The government say it will only be used in extreme circumstances, yet it is the government that determines whether these powers should be invoked. The House of Lords keep rejecting and amending the Bill, the Government keeps sending it back to the House of Lords and in time it will no doubt get passed.
Surely, the one thing current events must highlight is the need to hang onto democracy and basic freedoms, to look closely at how those that govern us behave and to try and re-establish a sense of decency, transparency and concern for the majority and not the vested interests or ambitions of the few.