It's unlikely that many attending the glittering celebrations last night would have expected Theresa May to take a pot shot at Putin and in so doing, give President Trump a wake-up call. The Russians are trying to interfere in our politics and infrastructure to undermine our democracies -- that was the basic message of last night's speech. It comes less than a week after President Trump was seen chatting to Putin and later reporting that he believed the Russian leader when he claimed he didn't interfere in the US Election.
Now, it's not usually good form to talk about another country's elected leader, but when it comes to joint issues, I think an exception can be made. When you consider the admissions from Facebook that fake news was distributed by the Russians in last year's election and many thousands of political ads were brought by Russian activists and furthermore, that more than 2,700 Twitter IDs have been passed on to the authorities as potential Russian trolls, it's hard to believe that there has not been some form of collusion from the Kremlin. Put it this way -- if Putin wanted Russian interference stopped because it wasn't sanctioned by him, it would have stopped instantly.
In fact, we have the interesting case of The Independent calling out a Russian troll who used a picture of a Muslim woman walking past a dying victim of the Westminster Bridge attack while checking her phone to say she was ignoring the terrible events that had just happened. The truth is, the victim was receiving medical attention, and in the words of the guy who took the photo, she was acting in exactly the same manner as many confused and frightened people leaving a horrific scene.
if Facebook is having to confess to mass fake news distribution and is also considering informing users who were exposed to Russian-backed advertising and Twitter has identified 2,700 IDs the US House Intelligence Committee is now investigating, then it's pretty clear something has gone on.
So, last night fake news was once again centre stage as Theresa May warned Putin that he has been rumbled and the UK will work with its allies to do all it can to protect itself against Russian interference. The American President's position is that Putin said he didn't do anything -- and it looked like he really meant it, so he probably didn't.
This from the country that didn't have anti-aircraft missiles in the Ukraine, despite clear evidence that they actually did, and didn't fire at Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, although the evidence would suggest otherwise. Enough said?