From reader, Contrary, today:
From what I can see, Russia does have human rights abuses problems, but not much more than those provided by Westminster (the UN has stated this, repeatedly), and certainly not on a par with those of Saudi Arabia (and other countries), but I have not seen any sanctions on the Saudis or their country being encircled by NATO (who include large financial institutions). So hypocrisy and double standards abound.
So why pick on Russia? Well, the theory is that the financial big wigs need a war or crisis of some sort for ‘economic growth’ because they cannot sustain themselves without out and out austerity, which can be accepted through by patriotic need (my simplification and quite likely off the mark), and Russia is a good target.
How does this affect Scotland? It shows that media bias is not just simply anti-independence, that part is just one small, but frustrating, part of the whole of western media – in cahoots with big finance – in cahoots with big political players – in cahoots with security services. I just want people to take moment to think – we know how much we are being lied to and misdirected by our own ‘Scottish’ media, thanks to John and his fellow bloggers of the debunking myths ilk – so when you find yourself influenced by media rhetoric on international matters, it is likely we are not hearing the whole story – otherwise why try to influence our thinking? Thought control indeed.
Back to Bill Browder: he seems to me to be the epitome of what is wrong with much of our power structures, that one man is propped up by the establishment to sell extremist misinformation. He is allowed to influence our thinking without alternative views being put forward (sounds familiar), and influences those in power, perhaps because it is the ‘accepted view’. A documentary maker, enthusiastic about exposing human rights abuses in Putin’s Russia, decided to tell Browders heart rending story, but found himself at odds as some (all maybe) of the story didn’t stack up. I got the link from one of Craig’s tin foil hatters, but they say it may not last long as it has been removed from other platforms, so I hope a few people will take the opportunity to watch this (docu-drama) even though it’s a good 2.5 hours long. The producer has had problems getting it shown, even in Germany, whose state broadcaster partially funded it but then refused to broadcast it.
(The background is: Browder was an American (now British, allegedly to avoid tax), was involved in the asset-stripping in 90s and 00s Russia, was caught dodging taxes etc in the millions of dollars, was investigated (those people are now named, individually in the magnisky act) and found guilty, magnisky was Browder’s ‘lawyer’ and died in a Russian jail).
Documentary about Bill Browder:
It might wel be an example of ‘confirmation bias’ on my part, but the analysis presented in the first three paragraphs set out pretty well my own views. Such views have been set out for many years by such as Noam Chomsky. There is, indeed, a lot of literature and research on this, but very little appears in the mainstream media, including the bombastically self-declared ‘progressives’ in the Guardian, Observer, New Statesman (which gave a recent puff on THE COLONEL, plus two other articles by or about, those fine fellows, the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party.
By Brexit, a fairly small, but wealthy group, fronted by Nigel Farage, is attempting a coup d’etat and is pretty close to achieving it. One aim is to severely reduce basic rights for the majority of us, and another is to reduce regulation, to ensure that this group can do pretty much what it likes.
In the video, there is, as you say, no alternative perspective. But with Scottish independence, for example, we usually get the alternative perspective first, to ‘frame’ the ‘debate’. With regard to climate change and global warming, reputable scientists, with rigorous research data and peer reviews are counterposed by such as Nigel Lawson, whose argument is, essentially, “Naw it’s no”
Channel 4 on Friday had a so-called interview with shadow chancellor John McDonnell. It was severely edited and intercut, with Mr McDonnell, rarely afforded time to develop an argument, without the editor interposing a sneering comment/interruption by the interviewer.
I think that the mainstream media are making fewer efforts at ‘balance’ and becoming more overtly propagandistic. The closing down of YouTube outlets for alternative websites is an example of this authoritarian, monopolistic approach.
I think I will need to read some Chomsky sometime, but I get the feeling it will be well over my head!
I should state that the reasoning behind the economics aspects touched on above were my thoughts after reading this book:
Book debunking Bill Browder’s book:
Click to access TheKillingOfWilliamBrowder_PrintLayout_6x9-1.pdf
That is, I didn’t come to the conclusions above just from the documentary. It is an engaging read, and gives some interesting history for context.
Here in Switzerland, I’ve met quite a few Russians who have no intention of ever returning. This is why:
The rate of ECHR judgements against Russia per year per head of population is five times that of the UK.
Click to access Stats_violation_1959_2017_ENG.pdf
Where would you rather live?
I am concerned about human rights in the UK but to make an equivalence between UK and Russia in this regard is preposterous.
Yes, it was an exaggeration to compare Russia and the UK, my only aim was to suggest that the actual level of aggression shown towards Russia using the human rights argument is not consistent, and I should have kept the real comparison solely between Saudi Arabia and Russia – which of these would you rather live in?
I did not really mean this to be a discussion in support of Russia, but an example of how we are controlled in our thinking about any issue, and how important it is to have alternative opinions and sources of news to make a judgement from – just as you have, and quite rightly you should have access to that information. If you watch the documentary, you can see the producer is really devastated about how the lies and subterfuge shown by Bill Browder in the end overshadowed the events and awful conditions Magnistky was kept in – it may have been a good story to sell to the west, but the circumstances take away from a real issue.
The other point is that this demonstrates that the ‘accepted rhetoric’ is always there for a reason, and that reason is unlikely to be for the benefit of the population at large.
To claim an equivalence between UK and Russia on human rights is not an exaggeration. It is a falsehood. There is no equivalence between a nation at the top of the league of human rights and one at the bottom. No coherent argument can start with such an equivalence.
We do not need to invoke a conspiracy theory involving shadowy financiers to work out why we are wary of Russia. Russia is deliberately undermining our very own order in our own backyard. The annexation of Crimea, the troops in Transnistria, the military presence in South Ossettia, Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh. This is serious stuff. Which side am I on? Well, I’m on the side that will promote human rights. I want the people living in these regions to experience better human rights, prosperity and opportunities. Russia directly undermines their chances. In doing so, it also undermines our own chances of maintaining our own standards.
Russia does not want to cede more geopolitical influence to Western Europe and the EU. It seeks a return to the era of the great powers. They are doing that with military power and with strategies aimed at undermining our democracy and our institutions. There is now overwhelming evidence that Russia was involved in the Trump campaign and the UK’s EU referendum. The legal and institutional orders that brought peace and prosperity to our lives is under threat. Russia is at the heart of that. It’s tentacles are all over it.
Russia is implicated in the poisoning of UK citizens on UK soil. Russians killed Litvinenko with radioactive poisioning. Russsians are implicated in the Skripal case. In both cases they left behind toxic traces that endangered the population. Someone died. But it’s all media bias. It’s all media bias and financial conspiracies.
The “accepted rhetoric” is accepted because of the established facts. We are right to be concerned about Russia.
“I got the link from one of Craig’s tin foil hatters”. Perhaps, just perhaps, think about what you wrote there.
Indeed and that is why people need to be aware and keep apace with what is happening in the UK, and waht could or will happen post Brexit. Also human rights abuses in the US, they are serious and hidden. The UK Tory and far right are not that disimilar to each other and the UK government do not work alone, they have deals and interests with dodgy regimes some of which have NO human rights, quite the opposite in fact. The UK is on a slippery slope, so although Russia has a terrible record on human rights, we must not allow the UK to stoop any lower in that regard. That could be very challenging given who is behind Brexit, the far right.
Can I just point out, to everyone, that at no point did I say ‘the UK’ above. I very specifically used Westminster. In fact, Scotland and Wales both have excellent human rights records, and they are part of the U.K., so I would never have used that term. Westminster policies have the potential to undermine human rights and cause those abuses we see elsewhere. Westminster policies. I understand people see things from their own perspective, but please do not imply I said or meant something I did not. As the headline states the focus here is on how propaganda may affect our thinking, and why it may be being affected, it is not about human rights. The use of those kind of emotive issues are what the ‘elite’ are using to influence us, instead of trying to make our world better.
Thistle, I agree with you – none of us should be setting a low bar! It makes me glad we have a Scottish government that sets a high bar – even when they are targeted by the media when they have not ‘met targets’. It may not be perfect, but the intention is there and the action to try and implement those good intentions.
This whole Russian poisoning the west is a fairy tale that even a drug induced Hollywood producer would turn down , the story is so full of holes and devoid of any real evidence it borders on fantasy , if you are going to produce a believable story try and get the bloody continuity right , We have people in space suits handing over items to shirt sleeved policemen , then the same spacemen being passed by people walking dogs , the spacemen then proceeded to hose down a van in full view of the public , where did this contaminated water end up ? , Yes they really do believe the public will fall for anything .The point being the ones who present this guff dont care anymore , they move on to the next bit of guff before the previous junk has been investigated .
Aye Robert, that whole weird affair is what sucked me into things pertaining to Russia, only to find global subterfuge – I would have never thought about it otherwise, why report the poisoning in the first place? That was my first thought, then the PM accusing someone without any evidence, without an investigation, well that just seemed farcical. Do you not say ‘alleged’, or that they were waiting the outcome? ,,, best not speculate because the story in no way makes any sense – why not just get it all in order then report an outcome? Whether it’s lies or not, if it’s consistent and makes some kind of sense then ,,, hmm, no one would have bothered.
A lot of reporting seems to be suppressed because of a D notice (something to do with Christopher Steele and the Trump Dossier?), which is fair enough, but why report it at all – it’s hardly like we normally get English-bad news in Scotland so. It just makes the security services look incompetent, in the uk and from wherever the alleged instigators came from.
It has been suggested that it could have been opioids poisoning – apparently a drug called fentanyl can cause symptoms similar to those described by witnesses (these are just unverified opinions from other people), and it is often used to cut heroin with to make it more potent – there have been increased overdose deaths in America because of it (I read a study, but didn’t save the link, sorry). I meant to look into increased drug overdose deaths in Scotland to see if there might have been a link – it is a worrying development, and all the more reason for allowing safe places in Glasgow for drug users to go, something that Westminster has flat out refused.
Not that we will ever find out what actually happened to the Skripals!