RIP Eurovision, 1956-2016

Neil Clark
Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. He has written for many newspapers and magazines in the UK and other countries including The Guardian, Morning Star, Daily and Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Spectator, The Week, and The American Conservative. He is a regular pundit on RT and has also appeared on BBC TV and radio, Sky News, Press TV and the Voice of Russia. He is the co-founder of the Campaign For Public Ownership @PublicOwnership. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66
Ukraine's Jamala reacts on winning the Eurovision Song Contest final at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, May 14, 2016. © Maja Suslin
Mark the date. Saturday May 14, 2016, the day the music died and a song contest whose well-intentioned original aim of national harmony has become the latest front in the Western elite’s obsessional and relentless new Cold War against Russia.

A blatantly political song by Ukraine - which should not have been allowed in the contest in the first place as it clearly broke the European Broadcasting Union’s ‘No Politics’ rules - was declared the ‘winner’ of the Eurovision Song Contest, even though the country which got the most votes from the general public was Russia.

What helped Ukraine ‘win’ were the ‘national juries’ panels of so-called ‘music industry professionals’ who were given 50 percent of the votes and who only put Russia in joint fifth place, with 81 fewer points than Ukraine.

What we saw last night, as some on Twitter have commented, was a replay of the 2000 US Presidential election between Al Gore and George W. Bush, when Gore got the most votes, but the neocon-backed Bush made it to the White House. The Establishment may give us plebs a say, but it has mechanisms to make sure that it gets the result it most desires.

The prospect of a Russian Eurovision win and next year’s contest being held in Moscow certainly seems to have caused great panic in Western Establishment circles. We’ve already got the next football World Cup scheduled to be held in Russia in 2018- an event which has come under attack from Russophobes who are calling for boycotts or for the tournament to be transferred; having Eurovision in Russia as well would clearly be too much for them. For daring to resist Western regime change plans in Syria and elsewhere, Russia should be sanctioned and isolated and not be hosting international events watched by millions of people around the world!

We heard earlier that the European Broadcasting Union was very worried about Russia winning Eurovision 2016 and by jove, they did everything they could to prevent that from happening. It wasn’t just the voting system –with ‘national juries’ used to skew public opinion, it was also the running order, in which Jamala, the Ukrainian contestant, was given a prime Number 21 slot to sing ‘1944’.

In modern Eurovision contests, in which there are so many countries taking part, singing towards the end of the show is usually a major advantage.
Would Jamala have done as well if she’d been asked to go on fifth? I very much doubt it.

In the end, the EBU got the result they wanted. But in doing so they have destroyed the contest. Eurovision has for long been plagued by bloc voting - in which countries vote for their neighbours - but what we saw last night was something different altogether. The contest has never been so blatantly political and the agenda so obvious.

Genuine Eurovision fans, who believe the contest should simply be about voting for the best song regardless of what one thinks of that country politically, are appalled at what happened.

Take the voting of the UK ‘national jury’. Britain’s ‘music industry professionals’ gave 10 points to Ukraine, but none to a Russian song which the general public liked best. Bias? Perish the thought, old chap ! I’m sure Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond heartily approved of the panel’s conclusions.

As I’ve noted on OpEdge before, the British public doesn’t share the elite’s anti-Russian prejudices and this was reflected in the results of the public vote - in which Russia came fourth - ahead of Ukraine.

The disconnect between national juries and the general public was seen in many other countries too.

The Serbian national jury gave 12 points to Ukraine, but the Serbian people voted for Russia. Israel’s national jury gave no points to Russia but 12 to Ukraine, the Israeli public by contrast put Russia second. It’s also worth pointing out that Ukraine public also put Russia first- showing that anti-Russian hostility is in the country is very much elite-driven.

Those who thought Eurovision was about voting for the best song were left scratching their heads after last night’s conclusion.

Paddy Power – who in common with other bookmakers had Russia as the red-hot favorite, spoke for millions when he tweeted

How did this song win? Rubbish

The answer to Paddy’s question was provided succinctly by Dan Eccles ‘Politics init’.

While Russians will understandably feel cheated – in one way what happened last night was good as it shows to everyone the limits of democracy in the West.

People have to be seen to be given a voice – but to make sure the result is not one that elites don’t like ‘blocks’ have to be put in place.

In the US, the peoples candidate Bernie Sanders is gaining on Hillary Clinton in the race to get the Democratic nomination, but even if he does catch Hillary the Hawk, the candidate of Wall Street and the military/industrial complex, there’s the unelected ‘Super Delegates’ - of whom Clinton is said to have the support of 524, compared to Sanders’ 40.

Last summer in Britain, the antiwar left-winger Jeremy Corbyn swept to victory in the election to be Labour leader, having been supported in large numbers by the party’s ordinary members and supporters. The party’s Blairite Establishment though were clearly rattled by this outbreak of genuine democracy and plans are afoot to change Labour’s leadership rules to give MPs - who are far to the right of the membership - more say in electing the leader.

What elites in ‘democratic’ US and Europe are terrified of is people being allowed to decide things without any undemocratic ‘blocks’ being in place.

If the plebs, after all the brainwashing and pro-Establishment propaganda, do happen to vote the ‘wrong way’ then they’re told they simply have to vote again - as the Irish were told when they refused to support the EU’s Lisbon Treaty in a referendum in 2008. And does anyone seriously doubt that if the British do decide to vote for Brexit on the 23rd, the EU won’t try to get the result reversed?

Perhaps David Cameron - if he watched Eurovision last night - will actually change the terms of a referendum so that an appointed ‘national jury’ of ‘experts’ will have a 50 percent say in the result.

If Eurovision had been decided by the popular vote alone then Russia and not Ukraine would have been crowned winner last night. Thank god for the super delegates, oh sorry, ‘music industry professionals’, who made sure that a ‘nightmare’ result for the Russophobic Western establishment was avoided. It may ‘only’ be a song contest but the result was clearly of great importance to some people.

Follow Neil Clark on Twitter @NeilClark66

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.