The Telegraph’s serial fraud Christopher Booker just cannot get his head around the situation in Ukraine. He still hasn’t lived down his recycling of the totally fictitious claim that flight MH17 was shot down by a missile launched by a Buk system supplied by Ukraine – the launcher and missile have been shown by Bellingcat to have come from Russia – and is now digging himself in deeper.
Consistently wrong for so many years
While the economic situation in which Russia now finds itself is generally accepted to be partly down to a range of economic sanctions imposed in response to Vladimir Putin’s strategy of assistance for eastern Ukrainian rebels, but mainly because the oil price has gone through the floor, with the Russian economy heavily dependent in oil revenues and needing a price over $100 a barrel, Booker blames the EU.
In his view, it’s all down to “the wish of the vast majority of Crimeans, 82 per cent of them Russian speakers, to rejoin the country of which they were part for most of two centuries – let alone Russia’s reaction to the prospect of seeing their warm-water ports taken over by Nato”. And, as Jon Stewart might have said, two things here. One, Russia has hundreds of Kilometers of its own Black Sea coastline already.
And two, making the argument over the presence of Russian speakers – Booker also talks of the “ethnic Russians of eastern Ukraine” – effectively legitimises Russia encroaching upon the Baltic republics. Would Booker care to explain that one to those majorities in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia who are more than happy to be within the EU, rather than part of a Greater Russia?
But then, this is the pundit who claims the EU was “founded to eradicate nationalism”, which is bunk. More than 55 years after the Treaty of Rome, no nationality, or spirit of nationalism, has been eradicated, and none will be. And, as for “Russia still supplies the EU with nearly a third of its gas”, it is Russia that needs the EU to buy, not the EU that needs Russia to sell.
The EU did not force Ukraine to deal with it; the country’s leaders entered into their agreement of their own accord. This Booker cannot accept, that anyone wants to aspire to EU membership. But when the alternative is to join yourself to an unstable economic basket case, it looks rather different. Rather than take a pragmatic view, the Tel’s pundit cannot look beyond the red mist.
But at least he’s consistent: in the same column, Booker rails against plans to reduce fossil fuel consumption by screaming “windmills”, while ignoring the move to harness tidal power. A new tidal power development off Caithness will deliver more than the earliest nuclear stations of the 1960s. Rather than complaining that the world is moving on, scientists and engineers are solving the carbon conundrum.
Like the Cold War, Booker is still frozen in the past. Reality has left him behind.