The people of Britain have recently witnessed both an historical and hysterical moment. For the first time in history, a director of MI5, Andrew Parker, the British internal intelligence agency (aka secret police), gave a public interview to the neo-liberal Guardian newspaper.
But he did not disclose any state secrets, nor did he talk about matters concerning the pragmatic security of the British public. Instead, he used to opportunity to add his voice to the chorus of individual saying ‘Putin Did It’.
MI5 director Andrew Parker said that Russia is, …“using its whole range of state organs and powers to push its foreign policy abroad in increasingly aggressive ways involving propaganda, espionage, subversion and cyber-attacks”. He added that, “It is MI5’s job to get in the way of that”.
It doesn’t help that he gave no tangible evidence of such things, but as the leader of MI5, it’s difficult to say what one can and cannot disclose in an interview. Perhaps he could consult former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on such matters….or maybe not.
What is clear is that Britain is following the example of John Kerry and the US State Department by shamefully putting Russia on par with the very real and present threat of Islamic terrorism. The truth is that, of the great world powers, Russia is the only country fighting Islamic terrorism without any caveats or exceptions. This ought to unite the world behind Russia’s efforts, but sadly, a warped ideology has come between what Enoch Powell described as the gap between ‘freedom and reality’.
Powell understood Britain’s role in the post-colonial world and moreover, he understood the proper manner in which Britain could conduct a meaningful and mutually beneficial relationship with Russia. In 1971 Powell made a speech advocating a contrary opinion to Britain’s membership of the Common Market. In the speech he spoke of Britain and Russia bookending Europe rather than being an implicit part of Europe. If anything, his words ring truer today than they did then. Powell said:
“Of all the nations of Europe Britain and Russia alone, though for opposite reasons, have this in common: they can be defeated in the decisive land battle and still survive. This characteristic Russia owes to her immensity. Britain owes it to her ditch. The British feel – and I believe that instinct corresponds with sound military reason – that the ditch is as significant in what we call the nuclear age as it proved to be in the air age and had been in the age of the Grande Armée of Napoleon or the Spanish infantry of Philip II. Error or truth, myth or reality, the belief itself is a habit of mind which has helped to form the national identity of the British and cannot be divorced from it.”
What a divergent statement Powell’s is from the childish, near-sighted and anti-factual remarks of Mr. Parker. Britain ought to be an ally of Russia. It was indeed an alliance between Britain and Russia which twice saved Europe from Continental aggression, first against the terror of Napoleon and in the 20th century against the horrors of Hitler’s fascism.
The periods in which Britain has been antagonistic to Russia have been mutually detrimental to both sides. One can point to the ‘Great Game’ of the latter part of the 19th century as a total waste of British expenditure and diplomatic will against an enemy that never was. Likewise, one can point to the Cold War, where Britain was in no danger of ‘falling to Communism’ if she did not throw her weight behind the, by then, far more powerful United States in her carefully conducted cold war of attrition.
To quote Powell again from the same year:
“The prospect of a Russian conquest of Western Europe is one for which history affords no material. The theory that the Russians have not advanced from the Elbe to the Atlantic because of the nuclear deterrent is not more convincing than the theory that they have not done so because they do not want to do so and have never envisaged, unless perhaps in terms of world revolution, a Russian hegemony in Western Europe… Of all the nations of Europe, Britain and Russia are the only ones, though for opposite reasons, which have this thing in common: that they can be defeated in the decisive land battle and still survive. This characteristic, which Russia owes to her immensity, Britain owes to her moat.”
Manifestly, Britain and Russia have more in common than they do in opposition. Any opposition rendered against the two countries in modern times, is a product of historical racism, or those with lingering depression over the lack of influence Britain was able to exude over Russia in the 1920s, both amongst those who financed the October Revolution and those who attempted to conduct activities in opposition to it.
As is the case with America, Vladimir Putin and Russia do not actively nor in any sense wish Britain harm. If the London Underground is to be blown up tomorrow, it will almost certainly be at the hands of Islamic terrorists. By no possible twist of logic could such a tragedy be conducted by the hands of Russia. Implicitly, the British public know this.
When one steps away from the snobby clubs of Pall Mall and St. James’s, one finds a British public who partly voted for Brexit because they yearn for an independent foreign policy, one not influenced by the hysterical nations of Eastern Europe, nor by the ambitious and misguided war-mongering policies of Hillary Clinton’s Democratic party in America.
If Donald Trump wins next week, perhaps Mr. Parker will need to reconsider his remarks.