THERESA MAY’S Lord Mayor’s Banquet speech, in which she harangued Moscow for meddling in elections and spreading fake news, smacks of political desperation.
Her willingness to sing every tune from the Hillary Clinton songbook simply illustrates, as with the US presidential election loser, that she cannot accept personal responsibility for her own political misfortune.
Clinton did not believe she could lose against ignorant loudmouth Donald Trump, having already snatched the Democratic Party nomination from Bernie Sanders because she had the supposedly impartial Democratic National Committee in her corner.
She was wrong because she didn’t understand the level of resentment against her sense of entitlement and image as the voice of Wall Street.
May’s electoral misfortune too was entirely of her own making.
The Prime Minister had a workable parliamentary majority after succeeding David Cameron but plumped for a snap election because she believed dodgy media forecasts that Labour led by Jeremy Corbyn would melt down, leaving her a landslide victor.
Labour gained seats, leaving Corbyn much stronger, while May exudes weakness, having to retain the likes of Philip Hammond and Boris Johnson in her Cabinet because sacking them would leave her in an even more abject position.
Rather than engage in self-criticism — the action of a confident and honest leader — she lashes out at Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Her allegations that Moscow has been “meddling” in elections, planting “fake stories and Photoshopped images in an attempt to sow discord in the West” and fomented conflict in Ukraine indicate that the PM lacks self-awareness.
Has she learned nothing about the history of the country of which she is Prime Minister?
Does she believe that Britain’s security services played no role in developments affecting countries that were once close allies of Moscow or constituent republics of the Soviet Union?
Conflict in Ukraine was never part of Putin’s planning. Russia was supportive of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych who wanted European Union membership while maintaining existing trade links and friendly relations with Russia.
For the EU, US and Britain it was all or nothing and they encouraged the so-called Maidan violent protests led by fascist gangs that ousted the president and provoked armed conflict in the east of the country.
May refers to “Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea” as “the first time since the second world war that one sovereign nation has forcibly taken territory from another in Europe.”
Crimea was transferred from Russia to Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchov in 1954 in an opaque operation that was neither explained nor debated at that time.
It was then and is still populated overwhelmingly by Russians and the Crimean city of Sevastopol was and remains the home port of the Black Sea Fleet.
Since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Western powers and their transnational corporations walked all over Russia, with the connivance of corrupt and drink-addled president Boris Yeltsin.
Promises that Nato would not extend itself to Russia’s border were disowned and dishonoured.
Putin is no Bolshevik. Neither is he an anti-imperialist. His preference would have been acting as a friend of the West, but the worm turned in response to being demeaned and his intervention in Syria was dictated mainly by Russian self-interest.
If his corruption-sodden regime has, as May alleges, meddled in elections and spread fake news, Russia has simply been imitating global masters in the art.
Whatever her claims, May’s problems are not made in Moscow. They are totally home-grown.
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