‘Europeans don’t need Russians to tell them the EU isn’t working’ – George Galloway
The EU is expanding a task force aimed at fighting alleged Russian propaganda. The decision comes ahead of elections in major European states and fears of external meddling.
The EU’s StratCom Task Force has a website where all its newsletters are published under the banner "Don't be deceived. Question even more". An apparent pun on the RT network's slogan "Question more."
RT: Do you think that such a task force is necessary? Do people need to be instructed to tell fake from real stories?
George Galloway: It is a sign of panic and desperation on the part of the European and formerly the North American political elite. They are having to come to terms with the fact that more and more people prefer alternative media to the so-called mainstream media that they have dominated for decades, a century in fact, and they're the collapsing worldview, the collapse of the prevailing orthodoxy of neo-liberal economics and neocon foreign policies abroad. People have no faith in these things any longer. So they thrash about looking for someone to blame. Of course, the last people to be blamed from their point of view are themselves. So, Russia is a convenient whipping boy, though if Russia had anything like the power over events in such widely disparate countries as France, Britain and the US, well, they would really be doing pretty well.
The truth is nobody saw the so-called WikiLeaks hacking in the US election, and the result went the way that it did. It went the way that it did for entirely American reasons. There was nobody with snow on their boots and a fur hat hanging around railway stations representing Moscow needed. Hillary Clinton was more than capable of losing the election herself. The EU is more than capable of losing the affection, trust, and respect of many scores of millions of people in the EU. They don’t need Russians to tell them that the EU isn’t working. The Americans didn’t need Russians to tell them that Hillary Clinton represented more and more of the same. And they were not happy with the same.
Strategic communication is part of the problem because what has happened is that politicians have now weaponized the way in which they communicate, and they think of it in terms of warfare and psychological manipulation. We are seeing this very powerfully in Western media circles and the EU parliament’s commitment to combatting what Russia Today is supposedly doing. It is very worrying, because in actual fact, I don’t think there is much evidence that people are manipulating things in the way they say. And they are in fact showing that they are attempting to manipulate people’s perception. In a way, it has always been like that. Everybody is always trying to get their point of view across to disempower all the narratives. But there is an element of hysteria that has now developed which is truly alarming. - Martin Summers, independent journalist, and commentator
RT: Now, this fear of meddling in European elections comes on the backdrop of a major wave of anti-establishment political successes all across the bloc. Don't you think that EU's real problem isn't meddling but rather a changing political landscape?
GG: It is. And for the reasons I just adumbrated. The prevailing orthodoxy is collapsing in front of our eyes. No one believes the political class and the echo chamber that much of the mainstream media represents. They talk about state propaganda outfits, the BBC is the most slavish state propaganda outfit anywhere out there, and moreover, you get sent to jail if you don’t pay for that in the form of a television license. So, yes, indeed, they should be looking at the beam in their own eyes rather than looking for a mote in the eyes of Moscow.
But it won’t work, you know. They have only employed 10 people in this EU counterpropaganda unit. If they had 10,000 or a 100,000, it still wouldn’t work because people don’t like what the elites have got to say. They don’t like what the elites have done and propose to do more of. And that is not going to change by giving them a kind of fake news vaccine as some idiot suggested the other day. People tune in to RT, for example, there are other examples, they tune in RT because they get they think a more sensible approach to world events than they do on CNN or Fox News or BBC…
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.