June 28, 2016 –
Svyatoslav Knyazev, PolitRussia –
Translated by J. Arnoldski
Russian liberals and Ukrainian nationalist patriots are quite similar. Both apparently believe the audience to which they appeal to be a bunch of complete idiots. Otherwise, explaining what they say and write is impossible. Once again, our “heroes” have proven this by expanding the information war against the results of the referendum on Great Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.
The leadership of the Russian “anti-Brexit” has been surely seized by Aleksey Navalny. On the blogger and ex-bureaucrat’s Twitter, a map with the results of the self-determination of Britons appeared which was apparently taken from the New York Times. Navalny could not resist from making the remarkably, sarcastic comment: “The countryside out-voted [the rest].”
Of course, the most respectable, educated, and civilized people could not be expected to vote for exiting the union which the most enlightened liberal intellectual dreams of Russia being a member of. Only vatniki, rednecks, and reactionaries could have done so.
Only Navalny remained true to the ancient principle “don’t reflect, expand.” As soon as you start to analyze what he’s written, you sigh out of disappointment. Aleksey, “you’ve done lied again.”
If you follow Navalny’s logic, then all British cities should have voted unanimously for a united Europe while only thanks to the efforts of rural inhabitants did the “exit” result succeed. However, it is immediately clear that what Navalny has said is not so pure.
Great Britain is one of the most urbanized states not only in Europe, but the world. If Wikipedia is to believed, then the urban population in the United Kingdom makes up more than 89%. According to some sources, this amount has crossed the threshold of 90%. How could 10% of Britons living in rural areas have out-voted the 90% living in cities given the turnout of June 23rd?
The answer to this question can hardly be obtained from Navalny. But let’s say that when he said “the countryside”, Aleksey had in mind not the village in the classic sense but tiny towns. All of the big cities were thus for Europe, but towns with a population of around 10,000 gave the opposite result. Fine. Let’s open the list of the largest English cities and the voting results.
In London, the EU’s supporters really did win. But the second largest English city, Birmingham, voted for Brexit. How could this have happened? Maybe it’s just a coincidence? Did the population in other big cities vote for the EU?
The opponents of Brexit won in Leeds. But let’s take the fourth largest city, Sheffield. What do we see? In Sheffield, the supporters of independent Great Britain won! In Manchester, Liverpool, and Bristol the supporters of the EU won. While in Coventry, the vote was for exiting as in both Bradford and Nottingham.
As it turns out, not everything is so one-sided with cities. The industrial cities of Central England actively voted against the EU. Perhaps the will of the people was resultant of the fact that in Rotherham, in the metropolitan area of Sheffield, immigrants from Pakistan have raped at least 1,400 children over the years with the connivance of the police and local authorities. Maybe people don’t want such a Europe?
Navalny skillfully skips over the fact that even in the cities where EU supporters won, the difference between them and the opponents of Eurointegration was negligible. Brexit supporters were even ahead in some districts of London!
But Russian internet trolls don’t need to know this. Their job is to love Europe and to spread, not reflect.
Navalny’s ally, Leonid Volkov, remarked in a discussion on the British referendum: “The saddest part is that pensioners forced a future upon British youth against their will. This is reminiscent of something.”
On Facebook, Volkov burst into a lengthy speech about the split in British society and the inadmissibility of making important decisions with such a small margin of difference.
Volkov finds his explanation: the youth supported the EU, while the older generation supported independent Britain. There turned out to be more of the latter, but the situation is likely to change after a few years for demographic reasons.
Volkov was argued against in the comments by his own followers, who said that even those over 60 had in their youth supported the EU, but life experience had forced them to change their position.
In fact, the voting statistic themselves speak against Volkov. The greatest advantage of EU supporters was only in the 18-24 age group,i.e., that group of people which is most concerned with entertainment, traveling, and studying. Among Britons ages 35-44, the vote was split almost in half. Among those 45 and over, opponents of Eurointegration led by a lot.
The same thing will happen with the same youth which today support the EU as part of a united Europe. When they stop thinking about trips to Ibiza and start thinking about security, stability, and prosperity, then their opinion will most likely change dramatically.
Mikhail Kasyanov, the leader of PARNAS, called the Britons’ decision a “mistake.” Of course, it must be much more clearer to him than to the residents of the UK how the future of the United Kingdom should be built.
In fact, Kasyanov hopes that after the UK’s withdrawal, the EU will not treat Russia any better. “Commitment to universal values” is supposed to be higher than pragmatism and commercial gain. No comment.
The fugitive oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky described the UK’s intention to leave the EU as a mistake – yet another one of those people who think that they know better than the Britons how to live.
But the most merriment of all is to be had not from the Russian liberals, but the Ukrainian “Europhile patriots.” As always, they were fabulous and their statements deserve to be preserved in the annals of history.
The brightest of them all in Ukraine is the people’s deputy and head of the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs, Anna Gopko, who announced the sacramental “Britain out, Ukraine in.”
A bucket of caustic irony was poured on Britons by one of the most famous freaks of Ukrainian politics, the people’s deputy and advisor to the minister of internal affairs of Ukraine, Anton Gerashchenko. Gerashchenko gave a cruel round to David Cameron and British foreign policy. How will they ever live without his advice?
Petro Porosenko also pitied the British. Of course, the poor, unfortunate, impoverished citizens of Great Britain deserve pity from prosperous and rich Ukraine which, unlike the United Kingdom, has made the European choice.
Prime Minister Vladimir Groysman pitied all of Europe and promised to fight for it. Europeans have finally gotten what they’ve dreamed of.
The minister of foreign affairs of Ukraine, Pavel Klimkin, stated in his capacity as a professional clown that Ukraine’ has an important role to play in overcoming the serious challenges facing Europe.
The world’s biggest fan of ties, the outstanding governor of the Odessa region, Mikhail Saakashvili, stated that after the British referendum, Europe will enter a period of weakness. He promised that Brussels will call Ukraine to join the EU as precisely what the EU needs. However, he did not specify when exactly this would happen.
The minster of infrastructure, Vladimir Omelyan, said that Europe needs to change only one letter – from UK to UA.
If ordinary Europeans were to read the accounts of Ukrainian politicians on social networks, then the number of Eurosceptics in Europe would grow evermore. Becoming aware of what is tearing to join them in the form of “new” Ukraine, EU citizens will less and less want to keep their borders open.
And yet, what is most interesting of all is whether or not Russian liberals and Ukrainian “patriots” truly believe that the British are close people who just don’t recognize their ‘great Euro-happiness”. Or are they afraid that the British example will make the members of PARNAS and other Poroshenko blocs feel that they’ve been drugged by Euro-drivel?