Journalist Ollie Richardson has shared his views on the matter.
Sputnik: Could accusations of Russian interference in British politics damage Boris Johnson’s bid to win a parliamentary majority?
Ollie Richardson: In general, I think that British society is extremely divided, and it doesn’t really need accusations of Russian interference to affect the election. For example, there’s just been flooding in parts of England, and many of the residents are not happy of the way Boris Johnson came and basically used that situation as an opportunity to give himself good pr.
People, I think, see through the charade that politicians who are essentially part of the old, unipolar global system, the same system that invaded Iraq propagate. And as a result of this fragmentation of the political system in Britain, we have parties like the Brexit Party which appear, and which really seem to be the result of people’s rejection of the liberal system that’s in place. So I don’t think that Russian interference smears could really do much damage. It’s been used before and if Johnson doesn’t get a majority in parliament, it’s simply because the Conservative Party is really not fit for purpose anymore, and it’s part of the old system of liberal politics.
Sputnik: Is the mainstream media quick to slander legitimate donations to pro-Brexit groups and the Conservatives?
Ollie Richardson: The article that the Independent wrote saying that Johnson is wrong when he says that there is no evidence of Russian interference in UK politics, Boris Johnson is correct here, there is no tangible evidence and the Independent is wrong to say that there is.
Johnson is afraid that legitimate donations can be twisted by rivals, and used to sabotage his electoral campaign. And of course the elections now are in general a game to see who can throw as much dirt at each other.
The aim is to present it as if donations are a criminal act, which they are not. Similar to how Trump in America refuses to let his tax returns be published in the public domain, because it’s known that the Democrats will just simply rip him to pieces, they will find something or invent something.
Sputnik: Is the US and British mainstream media guilty of hypocrisy for constantly highlighting the perceived threat of foreign intervention in domestic affairs?
Ollie Richardson: There is a big layer of hypocrisy here, because many politicians from Europe and the US go to Crimea to conduct business and to see the peninsula, and of course the media doesn’t speak about that.
The actual slogan of the scholarship is to raise the new leadership in these countries — and in this case it is Russia. But another quick example is in March of 2018, the ambassador of Great Britain met with the mayor of Yekaterinburg; and a month before that he met with Baroness Elizabeth Smith, and this was at the time of the Russian presidential election. And this year we’ve also had riots and disorder in Moscow from the so-called opposition.
If we’re going to be talking about interference in the affairs of other states, what exactly are British diplomats doing in Russia? Because I think that if the Russian diplomats were behaving like that in England, people would not take too kindly to that. But since there is no proof of that, much like with the Skripal affair, and no proof will obviously be presented because it’s nonsense, it’s a bit of an example of the pot calling the kettle black.
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