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Brexit: the Russians did it!

In the last few days, the British MSM – Anti-Brexit to the core – have been publishing reports alleging that Russia ‘interfered’ in the Brexit vote, through manipulating social media like Twitter and Facebook. There were even questions in Parliament demanding the HoC Intelligence and Security Committee to investigate.

These allegations have been around for a year, well under the radar of the MSM. They started in the wake of Trump’s election as President of the USA with the ensuing accusations, outcries, FBI investigations etc about Putin having got Trump elected by manipulating Americans online, by manipulating social media, by manipulating voter behaviour.

Nobody here in the UK seems to have noticed that Russia interfered in the Leave vote – until, surprise surprise, at this exact moment when the Government is trying to get the Brexit Legislation through the Commons, with the anti-Brexiteers in all parties doing their utmost to prevent this and thus to prevent Brexit.

When one starts reading beyond the headlines, something odd occurs. From ‘Putin did it’ at the top, we soon come to the basis for those claims: some research by some scientists who show that there was a ‘spike’ in Russian tweets. That spike, however, is pitiful but e.g. the Guardian, while correctly quoting the numbers, omits to also report the context. They write:

“UK academics have already established that at least 419 Twitter accounts operating from the Kremlin-linked Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) tweeted about Brexit and that thousands of other Russia-based Twitter accounts posted more than 45,000 messages about Brexit in just 48 hours during last year’s referendum.”

That article was published on the evening of Nov 15th. Remember that date!

Next let’s look at the report by the BBC, of Ms May attacking Russia in a banquet speech (see here). Except for reporting the fact that she did indeed do this, there’s no meat in the article, no supportive evidence. Perhaps the BBC reporter had already seen this piece in ‘Business Insider’, reporting that the Facebook (Europe) Vice President said:

“Facebook has seen no evidence to suggest that it was used by Russia to interfere in Brexit in the same way it was during the US election last year.”

That article was published on Monday 13th November, reporting on an interview on SKY. So some journalists at least must have known by then that ‘Russia did it’ was not based on facts.

A week before that, on Nov 6th, there was an interesting piece in the ‘Financial Times’ – a publication not exactly known for their pro-Brexit attitude. Here’s a most instructive quote:

“During the Brexit campaign, the audience ratings for Russia’s RT television channel were too low to justify complaints that pro-Brexit propaganda addled the brains of British voters.”

Even more instructive is the conclusion:

“[…] it makes little sense to attribute the Brexit victory to Russian dark arts. The result’s origins lie in the miscalculations of David Cameron’s 2010-2016 Conservative government and in longer-term British political and social discontent, which culminated in a collective howl of protest on referendum day.”

That, to recap, was published on Nov 6th, the ‘Business Insider’ article on Nov 13th. But on Nov 14th we find a wonderful example of how to manipulate with headlines. This report was published in the night of Nov 14th:

“Fake Twitter accounts targeting EU referendum ‘co-ordinated by Russia”

Starting with the ‘oh look – the Russians did it’, it soon becomes obvious that this allegation was blown out of all proportions:

“Ms Lu told Sky News: “First of all the number of these tweets is important to highlight. So there’s about 400 tweets here out of 22.6 million. That is a very infinitesimal fraction. So the word interference is perhaps a bit exaggerated.”

However, those accounts appear to have coordinated strategically, retweeting each other to amplify their message and making much more use of photos and videos than normal Twitter users during the same period.

“There’s some kind of network happening here,” Ms Lu said.”

And there you have it – the bare numbers: ca 400 out of 22.6 million! We really must be very afraid … and worse: the re-tweets! Networking! Because nobody else retweets anything, do they …

And now we have the Hon. Labour MPs demanding during PMQ on Wednesday, Nov 15th that the HoC Committee on Intelligence and security should investigate – armed with, one assumes, the SKY headline which, as demonstrated above, is misleading, to say it gently.

Obviously, our MPs and our PM don’t have time to read the papers themselves, they only have time for the headlines. Equally obviously, the MSM headline writers know this, as they know that questions will be asked at PMQ. Also obviously, given their anti-Brexit attitude, they are only too happy to ‘help’ anti-Brexit opposition politician by providing at least a juicy headline they can base their question on. No, that’s not collusion – only the Russians collude!

One would, however, think that the researchers and civil servants supporting Ms May might have been duty-bound to point out the various reports saying that no such Russian influence had been found, that it’s all very much hot air. So – did they, or didn’t they? If not – why not? Did Ms May insist on alleging that ‘the Russians manipulated Brexit’? If so – why?

Explanations will of course not be forthcoming, but one might entertain the impression that our Government and Whitehall are not precisely heaving with Brexiteers – but that’s a theme for another article!

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About Vivian Evans (258 Articles)
Vivian is a UKIP patron, Vice Chair of UKIP Cardiff and Editor in Chief of UKIP Daily

9 Comments on Brexit: the Russians did it!

  1. I treat all this with a great deal of suspicion and scepticism. The story will change depending on who the media wants to forment public opinion ‘against’.
    Take the story the other week; that cyber-attack on Parliamentary emails from earlier this year, was originally blamed on “The Russians”, yet conveniently became pinned on “The Iranians” just as the media were whipping people up into a frenzy against Iran.
    Don’t worry, when North Korea becomes the ‘bad guy’ again, the story will shift and it will somehow be “The Koreans” at fault.

  2. Fake “botting” It`s a load of rubbish innit.
    Why has that pillar of the community Alex Salmond just started presenting a programme on RT?

    Oh! sorry I didn`t understand, I`ve been misled,have I? he`s not such a pillar – he led an independence movement don`t forget, that`s classed in the EXTREME grouping (left, right centre neo-Nazi or terrorist) along with the other riff – raff Grass Rooters who must never be allowed to control (or have a voice) in a proper democracy.

    Oh silly me, they`re still supporting the enemy, there`s that bonny fighter for independence (Brexit) now, cavorting with George Galloway on RT Sputnik this morning – is there no end to this fraternisation with the “enemy within”?
    Oh!, it`s without as well, didn`t that nice Mr.Fallon indicate the real enemy was Russia? – good job he`s left the defence ministry, now he was really dangerous!

  3. I am sick and tired of hearing the mainstream politicians constantly blaming Russia for everything. Oh my! I burnt the toast this morning, blame Putin!

    Can’t help thinking it will be Mr Putin who eventually gets Britain out of the stinking EU. I am currently trying to learn Russian so I can thank him in his own language when that day comes. Far fetched? Possibly not.

    Oh, sorry if it’s ‘too much information’ but I wouldn’t mind a roll in the hay with him as well.

    Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Mrs May.

  4. And remember, it was a Russian linesman who helped us to win the World Cup back in 1966 (at least according to this KitKat advert).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIm9yMCEBhg
    Sinister! Just how long has this Russian interference been going on?

  5. I’d expect the demographic the remainers have previously claimed was the bulk of the Brexit vote, to be the least likely to have used social media.

  6. Atleast twice a week I try to raise the subject of Brexit with aquaintances or strangers in casual conversations if I can.
    My impression is that more people want Brexit now than last year; and they blame the EU Commission for the pantomime cow like negotiations. Greens and libdem are going off the radar. Labour has lost nearly as much support as it has gained. SinnFein/IRA support is a lead balloon for the vast majority.
    The university attending children of some neighbours have picked up the corbyn virus and spout insane ideas as if they have suddenly discovered Fermat’s last Theorem. Nobody is wildly enthusiastic about the tories or any other party.
    Written on the wind however is a strong unspoken disgust with the tolerance shown to intolerant foreigners who seem to think we should follow them. This is going to end unpleasantly and I have said it before….
    It is the native white working class of Barnsley Burnley Middlesbrough Sunderland Stoke on Trent who will perforce shoulder the burden of winning back Olde England whilst the wet willies in the posh suburbs pretend they do not know what is happening.
    GE In Hungary and Itlay next May. In both countries the left will receive tiny vote shares and nationalist parties sweep the board.
    Visegrad5 now firming up a resistance plan to Brussels.
    If we had a decent ForeignSec he would be in negotiations with them every day.
    Finland Denmark and Bulgaria all going the same way ultra nationalist

  7. Perhaps Putin will do us a favour and send his men in black to deal with the remainer MPs! No more a fantasy than his interference in elections.

  8. VERY GOOD ARTICLE
    In the 6weeks before Referendum Day I volunteered in 9 contiguous constituencies which gave me a lot to do every eve and weekends. My holiday leave likewise I used on the campaign. The spread was not intentional but I did stints in rural, suburban, urban, old labour, tory, libdem seats etc etc
    Leafletting, canvassing, helping manning a stall esp Mkt Days and Saturdays, public meetings. My family barely saw me.
    I spoke to thousands of people. Many were not communicative. Some were rude. A few were very hostile. My impression was that most people who were going to vote had roughly decided; some poss leavers were worried about the consequences and might vote remain; few vote remain were open to discussion.
    Perhaps 10% voters were genuinely unsure. Typically educated people with oldish children worried about the consequences for their student age kids.
    To my knowledge nobody was trawling the internet to find the golden answer.
    Those who mentioned IT wanted to avail themselves of youtube recordings.
    Twitter is extremely unlikely to make someone radically alter their beliefs. Ditto F/Book. They are both self selecting. You ‘mix’ with likeminded people.
    There is no sensible argument to claim that the Ref result was changed by Russia. It shows the intellectual depravity of our elites and of the MSM esp the bbc.
    The UK is hopefully going through a period of reclaim and renewal whereby there is a complete change in the political assumptions at the top in favour of democracy truth and justice.

  9. May did it as a form of distraction from all of her other problems. Forget May it’s the anti-Brexit agitators that are trying to invalidate and smear the Referendum result. Bradshaw was at it in the HoC on 16 Nov insisting that the intelligence and security committee address his concerns – this included mentioning Nigel Farage as a “person of interest” in the US investigations. The Chair of the committee was having none of it so far. This story actually has the potential to backfire on the anti-Brexit brigade and benefit the leave side if handled well. Let’s make a mockery of these pathetic claims.

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