Sunday, 24 August 2008

If Only We Were More Like Russia

Thank God for Peter Hitchens, the voice of Old Labour whether he likes it or not (which he does, really):

I remember the day in 1991 when the Kremlin stopped being a threat to Britain, a bright August morning in Moscow as the tanks withdrew from the end of my street, the Stalinist vigilantes packed up their little checkpoint in my block of flats and the KGB-sponsored putsch collapsed.

The bins were full of torn-up and half-burned red and gold Communist Party cards. Communism was gone for ever.

It has not come back. Private life, Christianity and family life returned and are (in some ways) now less threatened in Moscow than here in Britain.

I had been a militant pro-Washington Cold Warrior. I had been despised and sneered at by much of my own fellow-travelling generation.

They were specially nasty when I opposed communist infiltration in the unions, or attacked CND and pointed out that the nuclear threat to this country came from Soviet missiles, not from our own.

I knew my enemy at home and abroad, inside-out. And from that 1991 day onwards, Russia was not my enemy any more, just a big European country that I was lucky to have lived in, puzzling, cruel and harsh in some ways, deeply touching in others.

The German-dominated EU, it quickly emerged, was now a much more potent and urgent menace to British liberty and independence.

I am baffled that so many conservative-minded people in Britain and America cannot see this simple point.

They continue to rage about the alleged Russian menace, when Russia’s armed forces are a junk-shop of fizzing, flatulent scrap metal largely manned by corrupt drunkards, backed up by a fleet of half-sunk, rusting ships.

They babble of a new Cold War, when communism – the whole issue of that war – is dead in Russia.

But it has come to life again in Britain and America as political correctness, which is destroying all the things we fought the Cold War to save.

They fancy that the Western Left still has sympathy for Russia. I haven’t noticed it.

Leftist ‘thinkers’ are switching to supporting neo-conservative Washington, which has taken over the Kremlin’s old role of invading other people’s countries for their own good, even copying Soviet Moscow’s unhinged invasion of Afghanistan.

Actually, I often wish we were more like Russia, aggressively defending our interests, making sure we owned our own crucial industries, killing terrorists instead of giving in to them, running our own foreign policy instead of trotting two feet behind George W. Bush.

Russia, oddly enough, has come to stand for national sovereignty and independence, while we give up our own.


ian said...

In a strange way, I agree with this.



David Lindsay said...

Glad to hear it.

neil craig said...

Not quite that good at killing terrorists. In an act of deference to EU sensibilities the Russians got rid of their death penalty. As a believer in that penalty & seeing that Russia had & probably still has a gangster problem that makes Toxteth look peaceful I think it is a shame they did so.

Of course that may not stop them killing the odd resisting terrorist as Thatcher did to a few IRA scum in Gibralter.

David Lindsay said...

What good did the death penalty ever do in gangster-ridden Russia? No wonder they got rid of it.