Dave bestrides the geopolitical world like a colossus. A new Cold War? Bring it on! Even the Aussies, renowned practitioners of straight talking, were awed when Crocodile Cameron hit Brisbane for the recent G20 junket. Strewth! That bloke Dave really left Vlad up the billabong without a paddle…
Even before the talks among the leaders (the term is here employed in its purely technical sense, as regards Dave and his fellow Europeans) began, the Downing Street bruiser was squaring up for a fight. He denounced as “international machismo” Vladimir Putin’s deployment of a fleet of warships off the Australian coast. Dave’s pique was understandable since that is not an option open to him, due to lack of ships, though does he not have an aircraft carrier without planes? Or is it planes without a carrier? Or do we have one we share with France and get to use when there’s an ‘r’ in the month? Or whatever.
As a prelude to the summit, the Talleyrand of Chipping Norton had diplomatically compared Russia to Nazi Germany. Unfortunately, there are certain historical resonances relating to the years 1941-45, which apparently did not feature prominently on the Eton syllabus, that mean such a comparison does not play well in Muscovite circles.
During “robust” discussions Dave told Putin he was at a “crossroads” and could face further sanctions over the crisis in the Ukraine. He said that he and Mr Putin would have to “agree to disagree” on several issues, including the Russian leader’s continued claim that the uprising against the former Ukrainian president was illegitimate. So, that means Dave believes it was legitimate.
Here we touch upon the whole origin and nub of the Ukraine conflict. David Cameron speaks for the entire EU nomenklatura when he claims the rising that overthrew the president Viktor Yanukovych was legitimate. That is an interesting, if challenging, thesis. Yanukovych was elected president in 2010, in an election monitored by 3,149 international observers, including officials from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) who declared the proceedings transparent and honest. The result in any case reflected the lead of up to 10 points that Yanukovych enjoyed in the pre-election surveys published by all seven polling organisations operating in Ukraine.
In what sense, then, did he not enjoy legitimacy? Why does Dave think it was permissible to remove him by force? When the violent protests on the Euromaidan in Kiev, led by a motley array of pro-EU rioters ranging from homosexual rights campaigners to neo-Nazis, flaunting the EU flag, finally brought down Yanukovych in February this year, Ukraine was within 11 months of a mandatory presidential election when he could have been removed peacefully – if the country really wanted rid of him. Why could the Europhile rioters not wait for that peaceful transition? Because they feared the majority of the electorate would endorse the president and the party they wanted to overthrow, is the evident answer.
Dave would probably reply that Yanukovych’s policy towards the EU was unacceptable (to the EU, that is, not a majority of Ukrainian voters). So, Dave, if those who dislike your EU policy storm Whitehall, kill policemen and political opponents and chase you out of office – that will be legitimate, will it? You might want to pause and consider for a nano-second before you answer that one, Dave.
You do not have to be a fanatical admirer of Vladimir Putin to acknowledge that the West has constructed a false narrative around events in the Ukraine. What is the “moral” justification for preventing the citizens of the Crimea from integrating with their Russian homeland when they were only separated from it by a whim of Nikita Khruschev in 1954? Would critics who claim voters were intimidated in the Crimean referendum care to enumerate those residents of the peninsula who are anti-Russian? They can use the fingers of both hands, if necessary.
Putin did not start the Ukraine war: the European Union did, through its insane ambition to expand beyond all geographical reason. Yet, when all the other fatuous pseudo-benefits of EU membership have been exploded, Europhiles fall back on the infantile claim that only the EU has prevented war in Europe. Now there is war in Europe and Brussels provoked it.
When Vladimir Putin says “Russia will not attempt to re-format the world in her own image, but neither will she allow anyone to re-format her in their image,” he is denouncing a decade of infatuated Western attempts to export “values”, overthrowing Middle Eastern dictators who alone had the capacity to keep the jihadist genie in the bottle, telling African nations they must legalise same-sex marriage or forfeit aid – the whole deluded charade that has left us friendless and despised. Now Dave, who could not halt the career of Jean-Claude Juncker, is squaring up to Vladimir Putin. No wonder the Russian president left the G20 early – he was probably afraid of laughing out loud.