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Surely the issue is systemic? In a system where media outlets and social media influence can be bought, sold or owned with no limitation or safeguards, it's hardly surprising that malicious actors get in on the game. Change that, through regulation, and that's another avenue of attack closed off.


https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/jul/31/johnson-peerage-for-lebedev-crowns-mutually-beneficial-friendship Kind of tells the story how deep it goes imo.


Of course. If politicians and political parties are also for sale, then there will be people buying them. To assume anything else is naive. In this case you have a legislative chamber where appointments are made through political patronage, which obviously invites corruption. The only thing stopping it from being directly harmful is the devaluation brought on by the huge size of the assembly in question and its lack of legitimacy. I'd suggest that buying influence and access through the UK parliament is a far more dangerous issue.


Getting a peerage gives you a 24hr expenses paid access to the house of commons. That Boris is so close to this guy shows how deep Russian money goes imo and that its past buying and more been bought.


>I'd suggest that buying influence and access through the UK parliament is a far more dangerous issue. It's a crime , but as yet the Met. Police have declined to investigate. I think they will have to get involved at some point. This is far greater than the expenses scandal, which was then thoroughly policed.


> Change that, through regulation Yeah - easy! All you have to do is get the corrupt sleazballs, to make laws to stop their own sleaze! No problem!


Of course it's not easy, but that doesn't matter because it is *necessary*.


This is all self evident. It wasn’t by accident. Johnson and the Brexiteer pirates have close links with Russian Oligarchs / gangsters. They use London as a money laundering centre, exactly as they use NYC. There is absolutely zero interest for these people in the wider prosperity of the UK, they are only interested in laundering money and weakening the EU.


Bill browder does amazing work uncovering the evidence of this.


When you are raised in money, surrounded by money, where money is the key to every door or basis of every friendship you ever had then it is all that matters to you. They don’t care about the country because they don’t know or understand the people. The people can do only one thing for them: give them power with a vote so they can keep control of the money. Only when the people of this country stop associating wealth with capability can we ever move on. Unfortunately we’ve been failing for hundreds of years.


Part of a long-term strategy, yes “The long-term objective of Russian influence activities is to weaken NATO and the EU.” What better way than supporting Brexit? Karlsen, G.H. Divide and rule: ten lessons about Russian political influence activities in Europe. Palgrave Commun 5, 19 (2019) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41599-019-0227-8


Russia bought people that were for sale. Don't put all of that on the shoulders of Putin and prosecute the UK side of this fraud.




There was a very light investigation in the UK that came to nothing. If course the crooked party in power will not investigate or prosecute itself. Putin is laughing his ass off. For very little money he got the UK to self destruct. Don't worry, you're more alone. He did the same thing to the US, Brazil and Hungary plus a half dozen others.


Even on the Russian side this is likely less Putin and more some other people looking to make money. How do people believe these Russian billionaires got rich? They made their fortunes off a collapsing state in the 90ies. It had nothing to do with Putin. The British government was a thousand times more helpful to them than Vladimir. If they didn't care about their own country why would they care about yours? They only see your politicians put it up for sale, just like it happened 30 years ago in Russia. And they'll happily take advantage of that again.


In the beginning of the 2000s, Putin whipped up the Russian oligarchs into obedience. He jailed a prominent one, resume using assassination and showed that without the Russian state's help, they were nothing. It is said that half the profits of big companies have to end up in Putin's pocket. He may not be at the origin of all Russian initiatives, but it is unlikely that one happens without his blessing.


Don't forget Murdoch.


Murdoch is just a convenient foreigner to put blame on. Quickly blaming foreigners is a bad English habit. He's an arsehole, but he's hardly worth mentioning in relation to Brexit, since he only owns the Sun and the Times and has some minor stakes in other UK media. When it comes to Brexit, the rot comes mostly from within. The Daily Mail, Daily Express and Telegraph are the loudest Brexit backers among UK media and are owned by English titled billionaires, most of them off-shored for tax reasons. Why are they almost never mentioned in the UK? It almost seems like there's nothing wrong with vile right wing propaganda coming from tax dodging billionaires, as long as they're good and wholesome English toffs...


Murdoch demanded from Major that he take Britain out of the EU decades ago and Major told him to stick-it. Decades of Euromyth articles later, and we have his two hacks Johnson and Gove sitting in ambivalent Cameron's cabinet "suddenly" leading on Brexit. As well as that CA, the regime change outfit, were directly connected to Murdoch in the US : https://twitter.com/peterjukes/status/1317460134969397250?t=1-UbFS_w1wWTHlPA4ka8dQ&s=19


If Murdoch was Eastern European, then it would be okay to blame him.


Russian misinformation about Europe and Remainers would have gotten absolutely nowhere without millions of people willing to lap it up without checking. It's certainly true that Brexit played into Russia's interests, and that - obviously - they threw what they could at influencing the result. But Brexit wasn't a coup, and it wasn't imposed on us from the outside. Leave voters were not hypnotised by Putin. Brexit was chosen, wilfully, by people who chose fantasy over reality and chose not to scrutinise lies and misinformation that were absolutely paper-thin. That's not on Russia, it's on us.


Putin knows racisn - hate and fear are the buttons to push. Brexit was born in racism and won with racism.


None of it was created by the Kremlin though. It was all here. I do think there is more to Brexit than racism (inequality, destruction of our education system, the Middle England fascination with personality cults and a fantasy version of history) but it's for sure that the Leave campaign would never have gotten off the ground without it.


augmenting something that exists and growing it isn't the same as creating it from scratch, but you're still the force taking something small and insignificant and making it into the central policy of a country.


UKIP and Farage were funded by Putin. They took a crackpot idea added a load of racism (here come the Africans, the Turks, the East Europeans...) and used Facebook, fake websites, etc and that crackpot idea became mainstream-ish. Putin funded Johnson and the Tories, helping turn them into a populist authorian party - just like the Republicans in the US. And now the UK is imploding.


Yes, Russia is stirring shit up. But that shit has been there in the first place.


Technically you're correct. But "that shit" exists everywhere - always has, everywhere, always will be - like dangerous bacteria on the soles of our shoes or flushed down the toilet. Providing that bacteria with environment and resources to exponentially multiply is a critical contribution.


Nope, the amount of shit hasn't changed. It simply became socially acceptable.


They didn't target UKIP out of a hat though, did they? They started throwing resources behind UKIP because it was already doing well... why? Because, essentially, of the fantasy life of Middle England. I don't disagree that Russian money has been involved in trying to destabilize the UK but it's too simple to say that 'Putin did this to us'. We did it to ourselves, and the enemies of this country encouraged us with glee.


All true but the UK leaving the EU wasn't in 'Russia's interests'. A ton of Russian tax exiles keeping money in the UK is not really what the Kremlin want. Being rich and Russian doesn't automatically make you a friend of Putin. A foreign policy goal of the Kremlin, since the Soviet Union day has been to sow discord.






*Russia and Putin’s Brexit* *Russia was suspected of interfering with voting; they used cyber warfare to push a negative narrative of the EU.* Oh, please! British media has been more than willing to invent shit to tar the EEC and then the EU. They eagerly blamed domestic blunders on the continent for over 40 years. Their current prime minister even made his name as professional bullshit writer as the Brussels correspondent for the Telegraph and personally inventing quite a lot of Euromyths. Blaming the Russians is weak sauce.


Yeah, I agree. Without four decades of sowing the seeds, there would be nothing to grow in the first place.


Exactly. "Putin's Brexit", what a bunch of garbage. Does anyone seriously believe that Brexit would not have happened if Russia/Putin had not existed? Give me a break (not directed at you). Putin is just an easy scapegoat like the dog that ate your homework. Swallowing the anti-EU/Europe propaganda from their trashloids was a *choice* that the British public made years before Putin came to power. Holding the referendum was a *choice* that Cameron made. Treating an advisory referendum as binding with only 52% majority was a *choice* that the British parliament made. Giving an 80 seat majority to Johnson and the Tories was a *choice* that the British public made. Taking such an adversarial attitude towards the EU is a *choice* that the elected British government(s) made. The fact of the matter is that Brexit could easily have been avoided with a bit more wisdom from the British.


Just they supplied the finance for the campaign


> The UK’s future with the EU was dictated by 3.8 percent of voters. 3.78% was the margin of victory. It follows that Brexit was "dictated" by half that number plus one.


>Nine Russian business people who gave money to the Conservative party are named in a secret intelligence report on the threats posed to UK democracy, which was **suppressed by Downing Street**. *emphasis mine* And nothing happened. The UK public just "moved on". Another example of UK disfunction imo.


I thought the May government refused to even investigate Russian influence. Kinda telling when you think about it.


The tories completely refused to investigate any kind of outside influence over the EU referendum They didnt know and didnt want to know


Sounds kosher.


Black Friday sale. Buy a peerage for only £2million.


I guess every major country is doing this. Causing unrest and disharmony in "enemy" states. What the CIA did so successfully, now Russia leads the way. And very good value for money too.


Putin and Russian politics in general are a terminal illness to the world, a parasite that is lurking to act up on any open wound. It's hard to imagine anger and injustice that is being felt by intelligent Brits on this one, Putin basically locked up 67 million people in the island.


And how many Russian or Russian paid trolls are around reddit? Especially r/Europe? The biggest winner of a drifting apart europe is Russia.


No way. Why would Russia want the UK, a key member of the western alliance, to divorce the political union spanning most of the continent Russia neighbours?


The KGB trained him well….


Britain and USA both drank Putins tea now witness the debilitating death