Remoaners are losing their grip on reality

Their latest conspiracy theory is that Dominic Cummings is a Russian spy.

Tim Black

Tim Black

Topics Brexit Politics

The plot thickens.

It was reported in The Sunday Times last weekend that from 1994 to 1997, Dominic Cummings, then fresh out of Oxford University, spent three years in Russia. Is it a coincidence that 20 years later he was campaign director for the official pro-Brexit campaign group, Vote Leave? Is it by mere chance that he is now special adviser to UK prime minister Boris Johnson, and still pushing for Brexit?

Many Remoaners think not, it seems. To them it is just further proof of what they think they have always known. That is, that the whole Brexit catastrophe, like Donald Trump’s Manchurian presidency, is part of a Russian conspiracy. They really do want to believe that. They want to believe, in this instance, that Cummings is part of some sort of Russia-backed, dark-money-funded plot to topple the liberal-democratic order. Just as they want to believe that Trump, with an alleged pee-party video in a Kremlin safe as leverage, is in thrall to Big Bad Putin.

Just listen to them: shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry has already written a letter to Dominic Raab, the UK foreign secretary, demanding to know if Cummings has been properly vetted by the UK security services. Citing the unspecified concerns of ‘an official-level whistleblower’, she has also asked to know the purpose of his three-year period of work in 1990s Russia, and his relationships with members of the group Conservative Friends of Russia (CFR). ‘Is Dominic Cummings a Russian Spy?’, tweeted shadow trolling minister David Lammy.

The Russian conspiracy doesn’t stop at Cummings, either. It goes all the way to the top, apparently. After The Sunday Times’ (non-)revelations, the Guardian reported that someone called Sergey Nalobin, the son of a former top KGB agent, instigated CFR in 2012, in an attempt to ‘infiltrate the Conservatives’. The Guardian tells us that Nalobin, such is his evil event-organising genius, went so far as to call Johnson ‘our good friend’, and even hosted Cummings and fellow Vote Leave bigwig Matthew Elliott at CFR’s launch party. And guess where Nalobin now lives? In Moscow, in an apartment bloc known as ‘FSB house’, so chock full is it with employees of the Kremlin’s spy agency. Coincidence? You join the dots.

In fact, don’t bother. CFR was a pretty unsuccessful diplomatic venture, even at the time. It gained notoriety almost as soon as it launched, after it tweeted a picture of Labour MP Chris Bryant in his Y-fronts. In response, CFR’s honorary president and ex-Tory minister Sir Malcolm Rifkind resigned, and was followed out of the door by several other Tory MPs. As infiltration ventures go, it lacked a certain stealth. No wonder Moscow dragged Nalobin back to the high security of FSB house.

Ah, but if Russian interference hasn’t helped Cummings and Johnson, why is the government holding off on publishing the parliamentary report, from the intelligence and security committee, on the threat Russia poses to the UK? What have Johnson and Cummings got to hide?

Not much, if Buzzfeed News is to be believed. As it reported on Friday:

‘The UK’s intelligence agencies have found no evidence that the Russian state interfered in the outcome of the Brexit referendum and the 2017 General Election, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the findings in an as-yet-unpublished report from parliament’s intelligence and security committee. One of the sources told BuzzFeed News the finding was categorical.’

In fact, beyond innuendo and giant speculative leaps, the proof that Russia somehow played a pivotal role in the Brexit vote is yet to be found. Yes, Remainiac conspiracists do always find grains of something like truth. It is true that Cummings spent the mid-1990s in Russia. It is true that Cummings attended the launch party of CFR. And it is true that Vote Leave was found to have broken electoral law on campaign spending (as, in fact, was the Remain campaign). But to then suggest that these are all visible moments of a hidden Russian plot takes a rather demented leap of faith.

But then that is precisely what conspiracy theorists do. They believe in their truth, so they leap, again and again and again. They draw causal lines between dots, attribute world-shaping agency to individuals, and see nefarious intent everywhere. They believe the truth of the conspiracy is out there, and they have just got to find it. And so they seek out that which confirms their belief, and disregard that which does not – usually as the work of their enemies.

Not that they are really interested in the truth. No, the Remainiac determination to reduce the Brexit vote to a conspiracy theory is, above all, a political act – an act of political propaganda. Its function is to delegitimise the 2016 referendum result, to chuck enough suspicion at it in the hope that some of that suspicion starts to stick.

It’s a desperate and dangerous attempt to deprive Brexit voters of authorship. An attempt to turn a popular accomplishment into no more than a shadowy plot. A con-trick. A masterclass in multimillion-dollar, data-driven electoral manipulation.

The best retort to all this insulting conspiracist nonsense, thrown up on a near-daily basis now, is to re-affirm Brexit the best way we can on 12 December.

Tim Black is a spiked columnist.

Picture by: Getty

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colin witts

11th November 2019 at 11:40 am

Re-Moaners will try anything, We know that.

Andrew-Paul Shakespeare

6th November 2019 at 10:27 am

“guess where Nalobin now lives? In Moscow”

By God! The smoking gun! He’s a Russian! And he lives in Moscow! Case closed!

And while we’re on the subject, have you noticed the number of Welsh people living in Cardiff? The vast majority of them! What conceivable innocent explanation could there be???

Mike Ellwood

9th November 2019 at 9:29 pm

Dwi ddim yn credu hi! Ti’n cael chwerthin! 😉

Philip Humphrey

6th November 2019 at 8:26 am

It seems to parallel the conspiracy theories the other side of the Atlantic about Russian interference in Donald Trump’s election. Funny how it’s all gone quiet about that, after flogging that dead horse for over two years and getting nowhere, the Democrats have moved on to the Ukraine “conspiracy” in the hope they can wring something out of that. To me, it’s symptomatic of a left and an old establishment that simply has no ideas left. All they have is conspiracy theories and “investigations”.

M Blando

5th November 2019 at 7:35 pm

Conspiracy theorists are usually rather entertaining. They think the world is so predictable, simple and above all, so controllable. They seem to have little grasp that it’s all chance and chaos – all, as in: everything. A miss-timing here, a wrong word there, a misunderstanding here… how often do things “go to plan exactly” without any glitch at all? How often do folk follow instruction to the letter? Naive children, it’s usually laughable. I say usually… I’ve lost a fair amount of humour since 2016 and don’t have the patience to indulge these idiots anymore.

Jim Lawrie

5th November 2019 at 6:21 pm

The biggest threat Russia poses to The UK and The USA is that it is now producing the best IT personnel in the world. With a decent strategy, and an understanding of the need for honesty as a business necessity, not a moral prejudice, they could challenge the software industries of both countries.
It is possible that much of the hullabaloo reflects the fear that their patriotism combined with their skills and hard graft means they’ll best us online.

The conspiracists also know that that Dominic Cummings one is clever enough in a fiendish sort of way to actually be a Russian.

A Game

5th November 2019 at 5:54 pm

Wasn’t Yeltsin in power when Cummings was there? The west’s stooge? Putin wasn’t a glint in the Russian electorate’s eye, the oligarch’s were tearing it up on the riches of owning all the public assets for bargain basement prices… it was a country of the capitalist. On its way to being another Cuba, albeit on a much grander scale.
I guess one of those dots out of reach is using the Yeltsin years and pretending they were Putin years?
Its quite fascinating, isn’t it, how deranged the progressives are these days. Is that part of the progressivism? When sanity has run its course, time to bring it right around to insanity? That London Coke is being snorted by someone. All that Prozac is being taken by someone. Too much pot makes you psychotic, especially the hydroponic, which I imagine would abound in the UK, especially in winter… Not enough carbs?

Anyway, the remainers should be sitting back and taking it easy, in their pathological hatred of the person who outsmarted them. (Cummings a genius? No… just smarter than them, not an overly high bar, patently.) This election, you can see where the tactics were leading. Get a BRINO, get Boris as the man of the people, Leave voters united… then shaft them and tell them they will split the vote if they disagree, they will get Corbyn, if they disagree. I think Dom has underestimated his fan base. They’ve achieved unity in the middle classes… Everyone loves Boris, everyone is terrified of Corby and Co… The Tories are proud and united and envision a glorious decade of rule… its just those Leave voters actually know what they voted for, actually know where to find out why that Surrender Treaty is a dog’s dinner of EU control, and, sorry lads, it just aint good enough. Its now a battle of wills – Frankenstein is now in combat against his monster. And they should be flattered. They’ve taken a leaf out of Project Fear’s book of manipulative tactics.
So they should kick back and take it easy… there’s a better show in town than Russian conspiracies… (Oh, how times have changed. When the left revered Russia… and now they hate them.)
Funny, for people that pride themselves on US xenophobia, they can’t help themselves in slavishly following the same lines as the US conspiracists. (And of course, all this fretting about foreign interference… the irony of wanting to hand their country over to Germans and French and Belgians…)

Mark Bretherton

6th November 2019 at 11:07 am

Ah, but Putin was KGB at the time Cummings was in Russia! So obviously he recruited him then, knowing that 25 years later Cummings would be in charge of the attempt to split the UK from the EU.
Putin’s genius and tentacles must not be underestimated!

A Game

7th November 2019 at 4:25 pm

Lol. That Putin, by God, a super evil genius! Thanks Gods the left are onto him, though. They’ll meme him into submission… and his Brexiteering proxies.

Dominic Straiton

5th November 2019 at 5:33 pm

Those Russians are so clever. They obviously control the West. Its just so obvious!!! I woke up after the referendum with a splitting headache with no idea what happened the day before.

Jerry Owen

6th November 2019 at 9:14 am

How odd you say that .. I woke up the next day with the urge for a glass of Vodka and a funny little dance with a big kitchen knife !

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