Sputnik: The Foreign Office says the Institute of Statecraft is an independent charity which has been the victim of a hack and Russian disinformation, what do you make of that?
Professor David Miller: Well, we don't know if it has been the victim of a hack. As far as I can see the reporting on the Institute for Statecraft and its Integrity Initiative has not been Russian disinformation but rather British outrage at the way in which the Foreign Office is handling this and the political class is handling this.
Sputnik: The Institute for Statecraft has denied any party political meddling in the UK, saying ‘at no time has the Integrity Initiative engaged in party political activity and would never take up a party-political stance'. However, it added that ‘disinformation and malign influence from rogue states and certain non-state actors are a threat to democratic values and transcend any party political cause' which essentially gives them a mandate for meddling as has been suggested does it not?
Professor David Miller: That's right — they're saying they're not party political but they can have a go at Jeremy Corbyn and indeed parts of the Conservative party if they want. This is the secret state saying that they can attack any politicians regardless of what their party background is. That again is fundamentally undemocratic; it takes you back to the seventies when the secret state undermined the Labour party and indeed undermined any party which had policies it didn't approve of. In the case of the Irish conflict, the secret services tried to undermine Ted Heath the Conservative Prime Minister, as well as Harold Wilson, the then Labour Prime Minister.
Sputnik: What questions remain unanswered regarding this organization?
That becomes more interesting in light of the fact that Chris Donnelly who was the recipient of the grant does not just have a career history in military intelligence but in 2015 was appointed as an honorary colonel in military intelligence; a position which he apparently still holds today. So the question is, is this a charity operation being funded by the Foreign Office, or is this, in fact, a Ministry of Defence operation, an intelligence operation, using a charitable front in order to first of all attack Jeremy Corbyn, but also to attack politicians in other countries.
The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.