Who is corrupt? Ah; Putin

This is the US government Treasury official on Putin:

We’ve seen him enriching his friends, his close allies, and marginalizing those who he doesn’t view as friends using state assets. Whether that’s Russia’s energy wealth, whether it’s other state contracts, he directs those to whom he believes will serve him and excludes those who don’t. To me, that is a picture of corruption [1]

The BBC has used these claims to make a ridiculous documentary in which they also explain to their viewers that Putin is “implicated” in the murder of ex-spy Litvenenko. (Thus their fulfil their statutory role of expanding establishment propaganda. They can only use the word ‘implicated’ because of an establishment inquiry which incestuously based its ‘findings’ on the word of MI6).

But – as far as “enriching his friends” etc. goes, what is laughable about this is this is exactly how it works in the West. For example, it is a truism of governance in the UK that each political party awards large IT contracts to their favoured supplier. In some cases that favoured supplier or one of its directors reciprocates with a large party donation or loan. [2] Ex-government ministers sail into lucrative consultancies in which they exploit the networks of contacts they made and indeed the regulations they passed while in power. Corporate purchase of the American political system is well-known. [3] In the main though, the only reason that ‘corruption’ isn’t so visible in the West is because it is so institutionalised that it doesn’t stick out. In the West

A bunch of migrants… a bunch of cynical manipulators.

David Cameron’s remarks about “a bunch of migrants”.

We can despair or rage that the Prime Minister of the country should descend to language which denigrates people like this. Whatever you think about refuges/asylum seekers/economic migrants in Calais – and there are representatives of all three groups – it is fine to have a policy say of not admitting them. But to use this extremely disparaging and dehumanising language is another matter.

But this is a calculated piece of populism. So there is no point really either despairing or raging.

It has come to this. The Prime Minister of one of the world’s leading nations reads a prepared script which uses horrible and demeaning language about people

How the Guardian does propaganda

This is a small example. In a story about some remarks President Putin of Russia has made about Lenin and the way that the Soviet Union managed ethnic boundaries we have this:

As an example of Lenin’s destructive legacy, Putin pointed to Donbass, the industrial region in eastern Ukraine where a pro-Russia separatist rebellion flared up weeks after Russia’s March 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Time for a reality correction:

i. Russia’s ‘annexation of Crimea’ was preceded by a popular vote in the territory which voted overwhelmingly to return to Russia. The Western press tried to disparage this referendum – but it seemed the worst they could accuse the Crimean authorities of doing was using purple ink on the ballot papers.