Guardian misinformation on Russia

The interesting question is why?

This piece contains straight lies. Not distortions, lack of balance, one-sided presentation – straight lies.

The level of violence was unusual for protests in Russia, where heavily armoured police usually methodically kettle protesters without resorting to open fighting in the streets. Videos on Saturday showed police beating protesters with truncheons, and one showed an officer kicking a female protester in the stomach and knocking her to the ground. She was hospitalised in a critical condition. The officer has not been identified.

Interestingly an admission that all the Guardian’s previous stories about riot police “brutally” suppressing demonstrations in Moscow have been lies.

The point here about the ‘female protestor’ is a) she wasn’t a protestor – she is a middle-aged lady who stepped in front of officers who were escorting an arrested man to remonstrate with them and b) while she certainly was kicked the police in St Petersburg have already admitted it happened and apologised. [1] There is some doubt about the “critical condition”. According to one news report she was well enough to meet the local police chief in hospital. He went to apologise. Roth is telling lies. He is a liar.

Update. According to a subsequent Guardian report by agencies the woman suffered concussion and needed stitches and is now well enough to ne giving interviews demanding the officer who kicked her be punished. So definitely not critically injured as Roth wrote. A lie and it is highly inlikely Roth will go back and correct it. Indeed the whole event is being misrepresented. At first she was a protestor and now she is a woman who simply ‘asked’ officers why they arrested a man. As the video in the link shows she blocked the path of the officers who were carrying out an arrest and remonstrated with them. A single abberant act which the police have already acknowledged as such is being used to create a ‘brutal crackdown’ narrative.

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Videos have also emerged of protesters attacking police and of several dozen smashing the glass of a car that appeared to belong to the FSB, Russia’s domestic intelligence service. The driver of the car was reported by the RIA Novosti state news agency to have sustained a serious eye injury, but this has not been confirmed.

The woman hurt by police is “in a critical condition”. (Doubtful). The security personnel attacked by demonstrators may be injured but here “it has not been confirmed”. (One wonders who Roth will turn to to “confirm” this – maybe Navalny’s press office?)

Authorities have required social media companies such as TikTok to delete posts from underage users supporting the protests.

I am 99% sure this isn’t true. All the reports I have read in the Russian media are that social media are being told to remove posts summoning children to illegal protests. A completely different matter. At best – both kinds of material are being removed. [2] Again – Roth is lying. (In the UK too this would be precisely the sort of thing which the police would get involved in: people inciting children to illegal acts on social media).

But why all these lies by journalists? It can’t surely be explained by entirely by “lazy journalism” though I don’t doubt that the Guardian relies very heavily on Navalny’s press releases in producing their copy on Russia. Is it hatred of the conservative and ‘illiberal’ regime in Russia? A straightfoward copybook regime change op. with the media fully understanding their role in serving the interests of corporate power?

Update 27-1-21

Why bother to full up the pages of a newspaper with lies? Why bother?

This is more from Roth

“alleged breaches of coronavirus restrictions during last week’s” – funny but in the UK at the moment no political protests of any kind at all are allowed and old ladies are being bundled into police vans for protesting.

“The raids put additional pressure on Navalny as the Kremlin weighs whether or not to risk giving its most stalwart critic the kind of lengthy prison sentence that could turn him into a political martyr”. Roth pretends he knows that Navalny’s case will be decided in the Kremlin. The situation may not be quite this simple. At any event Roth doesn’t know this and so this sentence fails a basic test of journalism; to report what you know not what you don’t and when you are speculating make that clear.

The whole piece is written in effect from the point of view of Navalny. His point of view predominates. As usual this is the underlying racism we see in these people; the people who don’t accept their liberal values (Russians who don’t support Navalny i.e. the clear majority) are simply de-existed – like the people in Donbass who are de-existed because they claim their own heritage and it just happens not to align with what the EU and NATO had in mind for that piece of territory.

“The powerful group [actually not a ‘group’ but a legally constituted criminal investigation body] has also launched an inquiry into alleged calls for underage Russians to join the protests” – in reality there is nothing alleged about this. Navalny is even doing it from his prison cell. (In England calling children out onto the streets would be immediately condemned across the political spectrum; liberals are however happy to see it happen in Russia even in the middle of a coronavirus epidemic).

“Meanwhile the Insider newspaper, in a collaboration with Bellingcat, released new information on the FSB hit squad that allegedly poisoned Navalny” – “information” – ho ho. Everything from this side is “information”. Everything from the Russian government is an “allegation”. The FSB “hit squad” with reference to Navalny is a fiction. 100% fiction. There is zero evidence of anything of the kind. (The evidence relates to a surveillance team. There is no evidence that the surveillance team poisoned Navalny with ‘Novichok’).

Roth goes on to reference new material from Bellingcat. Using the same apparent phone data that they have in their possession they claim to link the FSB to more assassinations. These include: “Nikita Isayev, a prominent political activist and pundit on state television, died of an apparent heart attack on a train in 2019. He was avowedly pro-Kremlin in his public remarks, and the Insider [Bellingcat’s media partner] said it was unclear why he was apparently targeted.” Which rather undermines the story it would seem. I.e. maybe he wasn’t and maybe the fact that someone was under surveillance by the FSB (if they indeed were) does not mean that when they die or fall ill it is because the FSB did something. One can see how wedded they are to their own narrative when facts they turn up which taken at face value oppose their conclusions are simply presented as surprising exceptions.

Notes

  1. https://www.gazeta.ru/social/news/2021/01/24/n_15529382.shtml
  2. https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/4660588

No state media in the UK?

The government has introduced a 12 week regime for the 2 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. This regime was not tested in Stage 3 trials. It has been disowned by the manufacturer. Leading US virologists have referred to the policy as “guessing” and “the Wild West“.

Even leaving aside the dangers of running a vaccine programme not based on Stage 3 trial data there is the nasty act of bad faith. People in their eighties where given a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on the precise basis that they would receive the next one in 3 weeks time. They were even given appointment cards. And then in mid-stream the government changed the regime, breaking the manufacturer’s guidelines, to 12 weeks between first and second dose.

Evidence from Israel is that a single dose may not be very effective. Oh dear.

This regime – which breaks WHO guidance and the manufacturer’s guidance and in which the UK appears to be virtually (or completely) alone in the world – was introduced by government scientists. (The people who should be protecting us). Johnson is using the new regime to make 100% dishonest claims about the numbers who have been “vaccinated”. If they have received one dose in a rogue regime they cannot be said to have been “vaccinated”. The suspicion must be that the aim of the rogue regime was purely to generate these fake numbers. Whitty – the dangerous Chief Medical Office for England – is trying to appease his conscience by saying it is justified on Public Health grounds. Even if it were true that this will save more people than the tested 3 week regime, and remember that this is “guessing”, Public Health does not justify the act of bad faith in tearing up the appointment cards of thousands of people in the eighties. That really is an act of bad faith. No wonder he is trying to fix his conscience.

Continue reading “No state media in the UK?”

The asylum trick

The background to this is extremely complex. I have only half-followed the story. The basic allegation is that there was a conspiracy in Scotland to fit up the previous SNP leader Alex Salmond by the current party leadership acting in cahoots with figures in the police and government bureaucracy.

You don’t need to have followed the story to follow this one point I want to make. Craig Murray (dissident blogger, ex-Ambassador and alleged conspiracy theorist), who himself is being persecuted by the same allegedly corrupt establishment, has been demanding the release of certain messages from the Crown Office in Scotland. He has also been asking why the Scottish Parliament inquiry into a botched attempt to bring down Salmond with a disciplinary process has not asked for all these messages.

Recently it was reported in the mainstream press that the Scottish Parliament inquiry has demanded the release of documents. This is the Guardian’s account. If you read that you will come away believing that this is a bold move by the committee that will get to the truth of the allegations (which are essentially of a conspiracy by senior Scottish government politicians and staff to stitch up Salmond).

Continue reading “The asylum trick”

Yet another Covid scandal in the UK

The plan to break the manufacturer’s guidelines and launch an illegal vaccination programme was heralded as a triumph of British sovereignty.

It now appears to be badly unravelling. The actual field data from Israel is that a single-dose of the Pfizer vaccine does not confer anything like the full 95% that the 2 dose regime does. [1][2] Oh dear. This, of course, is why there are such things as stage three trials.

Sir Patrick Vallance is leading the way with the cover-up:

Speaking to Sky News, he said: “We need to look at this very carefully. What we know from clinical studies… is that if you take everything from day zero to day 28, then the overall figure is something like 50 per cent protection. “But of course you don’t expect any protection in the first days because your immune system hasn’t had a chance to build up and some people may have been infected before they had the vaccine. If you take it from day 10 up to day 21 and beyond, it looks much more like the 89 per cent figure the JCVI gave.

It would be interesting to know where the evidence for “and beyond” comes from. The manufacturer, Pfizer, has specifically said: “There are no data to demonstrate that protection after the first dose is sustained after 21 days”.

Notes

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/19/single-covid-vaccine-dose-in-israel-less-effective-than-we-hoped
  2. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/01/20/uk-look-carefully-claims-vaccine-efficacy-has-dropped-33-per/