Interfering in other countries’ democracies, channelling public funds to shady operations that attack and smear opposition politicians and undermine the freedom of the press, maintaining secretive networks of loyalist journalists and civil servants at home and abroad, spreading social media disinformation, electoral cheating to maintain power, and all as the head of a political party bankrolled by dodgy Russian oligarchs.
You could be forgiven for thinking that this is a description of Vladimir Putin and his regime, but in fact it’s Theresa May and the Tories.
Anyone who has paid the remotest attention to how the Tory cabal funds itself will know that they’ve racked up more than £3 million in donations from dodgy Russian oligarchs and Putin cronies since 2010, including the sale of direct personal access to government ministers just weeks before the Tory government quashed Labour moves to clamp down on the tsunami of dodgy Russian cash flooding into the City of London.
Anyone who was paying attention during the 2017 general election will know that the Tory party is just as willing to use despicable social media propaganda to achieve their objectives as Vladimir Putin and the armies of Russia-based social media propaganda bots.
And who could forget the brazen electoral cheating the Tories got away with in 2015?
And now we’re learning about the incredibly shady activities of a government funded propaganda operation called the Institute for Statecraft after the leak of a cache of damning internal documents about the global propaganda operation they’re running (see here to browse the documents for yourself).
The Institute for Statecraft has been set up as a charity so as to avoid paying tax, and has benefited from around £2 million in public cash channelled through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
They’ve established what they refer to as “clusters” in democratic states across the developed world, including the UK, Spain, France, Greece, the US/Canada, Scandinavia, the Baltic region, and the Balkans. These shady cells act as anti-Russia propaganda outfits and also actively interfere in other countries’ democratic processes.
One of the operations they’re most proud of was their mobilisation against the appointment of Army reserve colonel Pedro Baños as Spain’s Director of National Security with a concerted smear campaign in the media within hours of the announcement.
They also openly brag about their interference in Spanish politics and the “silencing” of non-conformist voices on Serbian television in a document called “Top Three Deliverabilities for the FCO”.
So the UK government is funding this organisation to the tune of £millions, and they’re reporting back on their successes in interfering with the political systems and free press of other democratic states.
For an organisation that has been ostensibly created in order to counter Russian propaganda, this all seems more than a little Putinesque does it not?
The Institute for Statecraft operates a Twitter account called “Integrity Initiative” which, according to their Twitter bio, exists to “counter disinformation and malign influence” and “promote media literacy and media freedom“.
So now we have an organisation that brags about silencing unwelcome voices on Serbian television simultaneously posing as champions of “media freedom” on Twitter!
And it gets worse. This government funded Twitter account has published several highly partisan political attacks on Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party, including one Tweet labelling him a “useful idiot” and others sharing the work of bitter anti-Corbyn propagandists in the mainstream media.
So we have a shady propaganda outfit that’s pretending to be a charity in order to avoid paying tax raking in £millions from the Tory government while they abuse the leader of the opposition on social media.
The channelling of public funds into a shady organisation that attacks and smears the leader of the political opposition is an absolutely appalling look for an organisation that ostensibly exists to counter Putinism.
The Tory government’s use of public cash to fund a shady organisation that interferes in other countries’ democracies, attacks press freedom, and bitterly attacks the leader of the opposition would be an absolute outrage under any other circumstances.
Just try to imagine it. Jeremy Corbyn becomes Prime Minister and then sets about channelling £2 million in public cash into a shady left-wing pseudo-charity propaganda outfit that actively interferes in other democratic states and bitterly smears his political opponents at home.
Do you honestly believe that there wouldn’t be absolute outrage about it across the BBC and the corporate mainstream media?
But you almost certainly won’t be hearing anything about this outrageous Tory scandal on the BBC or in the right-wing propaganda rags, and one of the principle reasons why is that this shady pseudo-charity has infiltrated them (especially the Times with three of their ‘journalists’ listed as Institute for Statecraft assets) as well as dozens of charities, think tanks, and government departments.
Another principle reason is that the mainstream media groupthink is to desperately defend the crumbling and incompetent Tory establishment out of fear that Jeremy Corbyn will actually follow through on his word and reform the political system to put the interests of ordinary people at the heart of government for the first time in decades, rather than continually pandering to the wealthy and coddled establishment cass to which most mainstream media hacks belong.
Hence this scandal will be brushed under the mainstream media carpet along with all the other outrageous Tory scandals they either forget about within days, deliberately obfuscate, or don’t even bother to cover at all.