Remember the old “Prime Minister of Australia/Muslims Out of Australia” canard that a while back was making the virtual rounds of enfeebled minds duct-taped to the Rusnet and other nets?
That hoax was especially popular among folks who a) did not have the slightest clue about anything Australian, and/or b) did not read English and could not (or, rather, would not) do the elementary double-checking that would have shown the whole “news story” to have been a crude hoax.
Mostly, though, they just wanted to BELIEVE that somewhere out there in the big white world there was someone as Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, and racist as they were, but endowed with real political power to implement or, at least, shamelessly voice his or her racist views. (“Her,” because John Howard, Kevin Rudd AND Julia Gillard took it in turns as the particular “Australian prime minister” attached to this Islamophobic libel as they succeeded each other in Canberra.)
I will not be the first person to point out that the current refugee crisis has been a field day for racists, xenophobes, twilight-of-Europeanists, and other factually challenged folks in Risen from Its Knees (among other places). This new moral panic has been fueled both from the top and the grassroots.
As with the classic “Australian PM/Muslims Out” viral canard, many of the “facts” and “news items” traded like playing cards among the Russian grassroots via social media have been spun from whole cloth, to wit:
Шотландия сделала громкое заявление по России: у Евросоюза нет другого выхода, миграционная ситуация на пределе. Глава правительства Шотландии Никола Стерджен выступила с заявлением о необходимости привлечения Российской Федерации к разрешению миграционного кризиса в Европе.
Voice of Russia
Scotland has made a sensational statement concerning Russia: the EU has no choice, the migration situation is at the breaking point. Head of the Scottish government Nicola Sturgeon made a statement on the need to involve the Russian Federation in resolving the migration crisis in Europe.
Try and find any corroboration of Scottish First Minister Sturgeon’s “statement” about the need for Russian involvement in the fact-based world.
All I could find that was remotely related was this item in The Guardian, about Sturgeon’s alleged willingness to welcome Syrian refugees into her own home.
There is no mention of Russia in this article, of course.
Now a comrade has just informed me that the “Australia PM” canard was cited on Rossiya 1’s Special Correspondent TV program last night as if it were a real, historical, factual, true fact. (The reference is made by the notorious Natalia Narochitskaya between the six- and seven-minute mark of the program.)
This is not very surprising, sadly. It is a perfect illustration of how the Russian mainstream media have pushed off into a parallel universe of their own devising with lots of encouragement, alas, from large swathes of the country’s grassroots. [TRR]