BY JAMES BEMBRIDGE
It was sexed up as the smoking gun to shoot down Brexit, but the Russia report squanders over 18,000 words without ever risking a climax. One must wade through reams of apparatchik gobbledegook only to find tepid talk of a Russian ‘threat’ – the word ‘threat’ mentioned 67 times in the report – without the committee ever committing to say just what that threat is.
None will be more disappointed by this flaccid affair than the Guardian’s Carole Cadwalladr for whom the report was meant to be a grand vindication of every Bondion conspiracy promulgated by her over the past two years.
Before this non-event one couldn’t help but see Cadwalladr as more of a figure of pity than contempt – now you can’t help but feel sorry for the lass as laughter doing the rounds has reached the levels of a Tommy Cooper gig. If it were not for the FBPE folk who hail her every tweet, or if her clutter of cats had the anthropomorphic quality of speech to say ‘stop stealing my catnip’, then she could have had a future as bright as post-Brexit Britain. Alas she’s merely confirmed herself to be a lunatic trapped inside an echo chamber of Byline/Hacked Off tinfoilers. One flew over the cuckoo’s nest on speed (and clozapine).
Spurred on by her retinue of devoted cretins, Cadwalladr has put her name to a catalogue of conspiracies over the years, so replete with slander and speculation that once her articles are published it has become a viable sport to place bets on how many hours pass before they are corrected or retracted. The Cadwalladr apology is as certain as puddles after rain. Conspiracies to defend the conspiracy she has just apologised for are as certain as an Ickeian twist.
For a woman who has not only ruined her reputation but also faces a slander case for some of the words used to do so, one would think Miss Cadwalladr might adopt a more demure demeanour when approaching the topic of Russian influence – but then one would have to credit her with more sense than she is due. If Icke is off YouTube and Twitter why is Cadwalladr still on them?
In her latest column, she claims that Boris is a ‘Russian asset’ and that the Russia report revealed a great deal more than anyone else thought it did. The frenzied questions in this excerpt from the article read more like the ramblings of a Broadmoor patient than an ‘award winning’ journalist: ‘What did Johnson know, when? What role did he play in MI6’s lack of action? Is he negligent? Is he complicit? And will someone ask Sir Alex Younger, the head of MI6? It was a warning. But to whom? The prime minister, Theresa May? Or his boss? Boris Johnson.’ Those on journalist training courses ought to fast realise that ‘award winning’ means nowt – corroboration means all. Journalism is not just joining a few dots – most people got over that game at prep school.
One may wonder why remoaners like Cadwalladr are so invested in squelching the referendum result. For many, the investment isn’t monetary but ideological. Brexit threatens anyone with a reverence for authority and a cowardice for entrepreneurialism. This neotenous dependence extends far beyond Brexit. Deference to the state is often found in those who don’t have the body, mind or temperament to survive in the wild. To the more entrenched remainers, the British bravado of Brexiteers poses as much of a threat to their almost theological trust in technocracy as Darwinism does to religion.
James Bembridge is Deputy Editor of Country Squire Magazine.