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    Britain's Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt delivers his keynote address at the annual Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, Britain, October 4, 2016.

    Jeremy Hunt and the UK Government are the 'Malign' Actors, Not Russia

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    Neil Clark
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    The UK couldn’t possibly get another Foreign Secretary as bad as the gaffe-prone red-nosed clown Boris Johnson, the ‘expert’ commentators said. Well, the experts were wrong.

    Fresh from doing great harm to the NHS with his pro-privatisation reforms, Jeremy Hunt, aka Hunt the Shunt, (there is an even ruder rhyme which we won’t use as this is a family show), is now turning his attention to international relations. 

    The man who can’t even remember the nationality of his own wife is urging the EU to replicate Washington’s latest sanctions on Russia in response to what he calls Russia’s ‘malign’ behavior around the world. 

    And what does this ‘malign’ behaviour amount to, I hear you ask?

    First up, there’s the Skripal case. Never mind that the UK authorities, five months on, still haven’t produced any hard evidence linking the poisonings to the Russian state. Russia is guilty as charged (as was Iraq, over its non-existent WMDs in 2003). 

    Everyone has to accept the UK government’s word for this and punish Russia accordingly. Or else Jeremy will get terribly annoyed with you and stamp his feet with indignation.

    Then there’s a reference to ’foreign attempts’ to manipulate elections. Again, Hunt presents no evidence of Russia involvement. The new Foreign Secretary shamefully tries to link the still unsolved Skripal poisoning case to events in Ukraine- referring to ‘transgressions.. from the streets of Salisbury to the fate of Crimea’, ignoring the fact that the people in Crimea voted in a democratic referendum to return to Russia in 2014 following a western-supported regime change operation in Kiev. 

    Hunt accuses Russia of ‘territorial incursions’, having himself voted for the bombing of Libya in 2011 which transformed the country with the highest living standards in the whole of Africa into a failed state. Hyprocisy? Not much.

    It’s also reported that Hunt will lambast Russia for its support of ‘the Assad regime’ in Syria- claiming that Russian foreign policy has made the world a more dangerous place. Just how much more disingenuous can you get?

    Russia only intervened in Syria when it looked likely that ISIS/Daesh* was going to  reach Damascus. It was the backing that the UK, the US and their regional allies, gave to extremist sectarian terrorists in Syria that has made the world a more dangerous place, not Russia’s lawful intervention against said terrorists.

    Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that the US had watched IS/Daesh extend its territory in the hope it would weaken the Syrian government. ‘The reason Russia came in is because ISIL was getting stronger. Daesh was threatening the possibility of going to Damascus at some point and that’s why Russia came in… We were watching. We saw that Daeash was growing in strength… we thought that we could manage that Assad might then negotiate’, Kerry said.

    Think of the terror attacks that IS/Daesh- and other extremist organisations such as Al-Qaeda, hace carried out across the world. Yet Russia is blamed for coming to the defence of a secular government whose country was overrun by such groups. 

    Jeremy Hunt, the self-declared supporter of an ‘international rules-based order’ who stayed as silent as a Trappist monk with a sore throat when a Saudi-led attack and injured dozens of children in Yemen earlier in the month, says he wants the EU and the US to speak with ‘one voice’ on Russia. The good news is that ‘Hunt the Shunt’ is  not likely to get his way on this.

    European countries have had enough of being bullied by UK ministers on what they should, or shouldn’t do, on behalf of foaming-at-the-mouth US neocons, especially when they’re being told to act against their own economic interests. There is a widespread feeling across the continent that anti-Russian sanctions have gone far enough. This view is shared by the UK Labour Party, whose spokesperson Barry Gardiner, told the BBC  "I think imposing new sanctions on Russia would further ratchet up international tensions. I don’t think it’s the right way to go’. 

    The UK government’s Russophobia comes across as a desperate attempt to deflect attention away from its own domestic failings. Let’s face it- Russia is not the reason the UK has the highest rail fares in Europe- that are set to go up once again. Russia is not the reason why almost 400,000 more UK children and 300,000 more pensioners have plunged into poverty in the last four years. 

    Russia is not the reason why food bank use in the UK has reached its highest rate on record. Russia is not the reason why public libraries, local bank branches and public toilets have been closing in large numbers across the country.

    Russia is not the reason why many British households are at ‘breaking point’ after a decade of falling real wages.

    It’s worth pointing out too to those Remainers who blame Russia for the current Brexit shambles — that there is absolutely no evidence that the Kremlin wanted the UK to leave the EU. This is another unsubstantiated allegation pushed by the anti-Russian lobby to get supporters of the EU to turn against Moscow and join in with their obsessive vendetta. 

    Hunt the Shunt, a man who shows us that stunning mediocrity is no bar to promotion in Tory Britain, wants us to blame Vladimir Putin and the dastardly ‘Russians’ for  our ills. But the real ‘malign’ behaviour- as more and more people are now realising- is coming from those much closer to home.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Niel Clark and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position

    *Daesh (ISIL, ISIS, Islamic state) is a terror group banned in Russia

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