“The Australian Prime Minister Has Done It Again!”

I hate to get down and dirty with you all, but this is what the current prime minister of Australia actually looks like.

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Malcom Turnbull, the actual prime minister of Australia. Photo courtesy of newskaada.com

 

His name is Malcolm Turnbull, and he is the new leader of the Liberal Party of Australia, which currently governs Australia in coalition with the National Party of Australia.

Mr. Turnbull is new at his job, because he ousted the rather wretched Tony Abbott in what the Australians quaintly call a “leadership spill” less than a week ago.

While I don’t like Mr. Turnbull’s politics for the most part, he will be a real improvement over Mr. Abbott, if only because he is less prone to saying and doing blatantly stupid and awful things. Mr. Turnbull comes across as an intelligent, affable and well-spoken fellow.

But that is beside the point.

I wonder whether events like this ever make the news in Russia, because frighteningly large numbers of Russians think that Kevin Rudd (of the Australian Labor Party) is still the prime minister of Australia.

Or, alternately, they think that John Howard (Liberals) or Julia Gillard (Labor) is the prime minister of Australia.

Basically, for the Russian “grassroots” imaginary, it doesn’t really matter who the prime minister of Austrialia is, because whoever she or he is (or isn’t), the “prime minister of Australia” is a folklore character with a penchant for making outrageously Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, and, now, in a new twist, rabidly pro-Zionist statements such as this:

В отношениях евреев и арабов Израиля, да и всей Палестины в границах мандата Лиги Наций. хозяин страны и земли в этой стране НЕ ТОТ, КТО ПРОЛИЛ БОЛЬШЕ ЧУЖОЙ КРОВИ, А ТОТ, КТО ЕЁ СТРОИЛ, ЗАЩИЩАЛ И ТРУДИЛСЯ ДЛЯ ЕЁ ПРОЦВЕТАНИЯ. Из этого следует что мировой порядок не может определяться голосованием в ООН, созданной коалицией , организовавшей массовое истребление евреев в 1933-1945 годах и пытавшейся завершить это истребление в 1953 году – коалицией из Британии, СССР, США, Германии и Франции Эти государства своими тайными и открытыми действиями на протяжении 1933-1945 годов активно участвовали в истреблении еврейского народа и сумели в лагерях и поездах, в расстрельных рвах сожженных сооружениях методично и организовано уничтожить не менее 12 миллионов беззащитных жертв, избранных по национально-расовому признаку. И они же создали организацию ООН и при ней – UNWRA – НЕ ТОЛЬКО ПРОДОЛЖИТЬ ПОЛИТИКУ ДИСКРИМИНАЦИИ ЕВРЕЙСКОГО НАРОДА, НО И СОЗДАЛИ НОВЫЙ “НАРОД” с единственной задачей – не допустить выполнения решений Лиги Наций о СОЗДАНИИ В ПАЛЕСТИНЕ НАЦИОНАЛЬНОГО ДОМА для еврейского народа,

Историческое тайное решение о ликвидации еврейского народа принимали правительства перечисленных выше государств на конференции в Эвиане и неких тайных совещаниях. . И сегодня, когда над миром, над всей Западной цивилизацией нависла исламская угроза Третьей Мировой войны для Европы и Америки, пора опомниться и присоединиться к Австралии и Японии и остановить самоубийство человечества.

[Source: NewRezume.org]

I won’t even bother to translate this fake crap into English. If you are curious, go to Google Translate and let the smart robots there do the hard work for you.

The forger of the above libel goes on to express his and “the Russian world’s” delight in the “Australian prime minister’s” continuing campaign against Islam:

Премьер-министр Австралии снова сделал это!! Этого человека следует назначить королем мира..[sic] Более правдивых слов никогда не говорили..[sic]

The Australian prime minister has done it again! This man should be appointed king of the world… Truer words were never spoken.

God knows that real Australian prime ministers have done and said a lot of really awful things in their time, although, if actual truth be told, besides being remembered for being a fairly goofy customer himself, Mr. Rudd is also remembered for his apology, in parliament, to Australia’s Indigenous people for the so-called Stolen Generations.

Again, that is not the point. The point is that there are rather vigorous forces in Russian society, both at the top and the grassroots, who are keen on putting the most dire spin on current events while also fostering the illusion that their bleak outlook or their own aggressive, imperialist policy has lots of fans in the outside world.

If you are wondering why Kevin Rudd (or, rather, the “prime minister of Australia”) is such a folk hero on the Russian internets, the simple answer is that not enough Russians speak or read English well enough to be able to sort out hoaxes like this.

In more vegetarian times, this would not have mattered as much, but now the Kremlin has been actively priming the pump with fake news and commentary via its “active operations” on social media.

I hope to be describing another such recent hoax, involving a non-existent Finn named Veikko Kerhonen from Oulu, in the next day or so. Here is a sample of the imperialist Russian screeds this non-existent Finn is into posting, exclusively in Russian!

In the meantime, you can reread my recent, obviously futile attempt to expose the “Australian prime minister” canard.

Nicola Sturgeon, Prime Minister of Australia

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?

Nicola Sturgeon, the pro-Russian, Islamophobic prime minister of Australia. Photo courtesy of The Independent.

 

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:

Голос России
September 9
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
September 9
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]

Germany Going Down the Tubes, or, Lies Come in All Sizes

Greg Yudin
September 2, 2015
Facebook

Excellent, just excellent. I look and see that Ulyana Skoibeda has published a diary about how terrible life is in Germany [in the mass circulation newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda]. I think, what is this crap? What would Skoibeda know about Germany? I have a look: the entire structure of their propaganda and the stuff of which it is made are visible after three paragraphs.

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Ulyana Skoibeda (center) and friends

The diary’s author is a certain Galina Ivanova, who moved to Germany but is now escaping it in horror at the influx of immigrants and the inaction of Germans. Since the text is executed in the “eyewitness” genre, it has immediately become wildly popular. To drive the point home, Skoibeda has supplied the diary entries with “links to major German media and speeches by officials.” She is thus hinting that every piece of evidence of Europe’s disintegration is backed up with a reference in perfect German. This is not the story of the three-year-old boy, allegedly crucified in Slovyansk by Ukrainian soldiers, but since proven a fake, she seems to say. You won’t nitpick this one to death.

What is great is that if you follow these links and start reading, you will find that almost all of them are total lies. And the lies come in all sizes. Some of the links lead to off-topic stuff like poverty statistics. Or, for example, the diary’s author angrily reports that Muslims have been abusing Germans to such an extent that “in many school cafeterias, pork sausages, salami, and pâté have been banned.” The link leads to a story about a crazy Egyptian family who asked a court to ban pork dishes. This happened in Vienna (which, for Skoibeda’s information, is in Austria) and was laughed off by the local legal community. But does it really take much to scare Russian readers?

Or, for example, there is a tear-jerking story about German pensioners having to dig in trash urns to collect empty bottles. The link is to an item in Die Republikaner in which there is not a single (!) mention of pensioners. The item itself is about how a society in which people are forced to collect bottles (by the way, have you never seen such a society outside of Germany?) should deal with this rather than facilitating the collection of bottles.

And then there is the top of this pop chart, which, of course, consists in the fact that the majority of the links in the text (including the links to newspapers, officials, and various sensational news items) in fact lead to one and the same site, Netzplanet, a collective right-wing blog that went online two years ago. The bloggers there complain about immigrants and scare each other over Islamization. Their Facebook page has already been blocked because its owners were not willing to provide the necessary information about themselves. The site itself is registered to a company in Panama. I won’t go on.

No “Galina Ivanova” really exists, of course. (In any case, it wasn’t she who wrote this text, unless Galina Ivanova is Skoibeda’s real name.) Because at any newspaper, even this one, there are fact checkers, and if Skoibeda really had been sent a “diary with links,” she would have found people with a knowledge of German and verified the information.

But the miserable PR people and degenerates from the security service who were given the task of collecting facts about problems with immigrants in Germany do exist. And they blew it. And now Skoibeda’s byline is attached to an article with a thousand proofs that she lies.

I always recommend the first thing university students do is learn foreign languages. Because you are surrounded by tons of people who intend to mess with your brains, and your own government is engaged in this above all. It is not the gullible who are most easily manipulated, but those who don’t know how to check things. Languages are the best chance of navigating the world on one’s own. It is impossible to know all languages, but if you know one foreign language, and your friend knows another one, the government will find it much harder to put one over on you. That is exactly why our MPs are so keen to ban the study of foreign languages in schools. Then Skoibeda will be able to tell readers that people with dogs’ heads inhabit Europe.

Greg Yudin is a research fellow and lecturer at The Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Photo courtesy of Trud.ru. Translated by The Russian Reader