'MSM Benefit From Cold War Atmosphere’ – Former Diplomat

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Hacker - Sputnik International
A new batch of leaked documents by the Anonymous hacktivist group show that the UK’s Integrity Initiative project played a central role in influencing the media narrative after the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury last March.

Sputnik has discussed the silence in the mainstream media about the revelations by Anonymous with William Mallinson, a former British diplomat and Professor of Political Ideas and Institutions at Guglielmo Marconi University.

Sputnik: The mainstream media are largely silent about the revealed details about the Integrity Initiative. What response or explanation could we expect or will this issue be ignored?

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William Mallinson: Many of the key journalists now in the so-called mainstream press are themselves either under pressure or indeed benefiting in some way or other from this new Cold War atmosphere that they're trying to create to, from what I can see, to lobotomize the masses, the man on the street, the ordinary people to get back to a Cold War atmosphere. The big difference, of course, is that in those days it was anti-communist and anti-Soviet.

Now these days it's now just anti-Russian, which, of course, goes back a long way, right back to even 1791 when the British prime minister criticized Russia for wishing to break up the Ottoman Empire. And it's going on ever since then and it doesn't stop. So you will not find much analysis of what's really going on from the mainstream press. One reason being that the mainstream press is itself partially involved.

Sputnik: Where do you think this is all going William because something is going to give or it's going to have to give, isn't it, surely?

William Mallinson: There is one major, let's say, force of stability and I consider that at the moment, strangely enough, to be Russia; whereas the US and Britain are forces of instability. When countries have problems, internal problems, they tend to export those problems and they want literally to show, to flex their muscles macho style abroad because they're failing at home. That's also very much the case for Britain.

READ MORE: UK Creating Network to Counter 'Russian Disinformation' in EU, US — Anonymous

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It could be the case for France to a certain extent because we must not forget that both France and Britain also suffer to some extent again from what I call this post-imperial rigor mortis; just like Turkey does with the Ottoman Empire. Therefore, they have to convince their voters that they're strong and they're fighting the new enemy. The new enemy, of course, is the old enemy — Russia. In the middle there was communism and there was terrorism. Now it's back to Russia for the time being. It could all settle down at some point. I don't know, but it is slightly worrying and it's interesting.

I'll tell you one person who must be quite happy at the moment in Russia, and that would Alexander Dugin; who I've met, who actually chaired a conference at which I spoke at Moscow Lomonosov University three years ago. I've read what he's written and a lot of what he's written is actually sort of coming true slightly. There is chaos in the world and Russia is a stable force. And it seems to me that the stronger Russia becomes, actually, in someways the less aggressive it becomes; whereas the more disorganized NATO becomes the more aggressive it becomes.

So it's question of balance. Russia has to look after its interests, of course. It has to keep its armed forces up, it has to have its own information system, which it has and which is very efficient, but this whole thing is slightly chaotic. This Institute for Statecraft Integrity Initiative project is actually subtle propaganda. There can be no doubt about that. I've known one or two journalists in Greece as well who benefit from this one way or another. Sometimes through NATO scholarships, sometimes through pressure from embassies, etc., as you can imagine.

Sputnik: What's your thoughts on the attempts to stifle opinions that differ from the mainstream narrative?

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William Mallinson: It's completely undemocratic. It shows that the West is becoming increasingly totalitarian. Paradoxically, I think Russia is becoming slowly but surely less totalitarian and this is a paradox. I think of George Orwell. He was absolutely right. We're all becoming digitalized numbers. Social media are exploited by the security services. The masses are lobotomized. People no longer have opinions have "appinions" — A, double P. That's not meant to be a joke because they get all their mainstream news on these silly apps on their smartphones and they don't have time to think anymore.

Let me give you one of my quotes: "In order to reflect you need the space not to think". And that's worth thinking about it and that's what's happening. You look at some newspapers, extreme newspapers like the Daily Mail who is are so totally anti-Russian, it's bizarre. It's like a sort of play, like a farce, like a comedy. There's nothing good they can say about the country, which is unbelievable.

And the danger of all of this is demonizing individual people and the Russian people as a whole who are one of the most least aggressive people internationally in recent history, I have to say. If you look at the number of wars that have been started the Russians hardly ever started a war. It's more Britain, America, France, and Belgium. So I think that's the context that we should look at this in.

READ MORE: Anonymous Hacktivists Release New Part of UK Integrity Initiative Project Docs

Also, finally, I have to say that the mainstream media for me is becoming the backwater media, actually. And it's more online sites that are becoming mainstream. Because if you analyze the number of people that read the news you'll find that the mainstream isn't read as much as it was because it is becoming increasingly irrelevant sometimes.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of William Mallinson and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

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