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On the Russian Presidential Elections

George Henry Borrow (1803–1881) was a Norfolk linguist and author who wrote novels and travel stories based on his own experiences around Europe. In the course of his travels, he developed a close affinity with gypsies, who figure prominently in his works, The Bible in Spain, Lavengro and The Romany Rye. Less known, however, are his connections with Russia and the two years he spent there.

In 1833 he informed the Protestant British and Foreign Bible Society that, ‘I possess some acquaintance with the Russian, being able to read without much difficulty any printed Russian book’. As a result he left Norwich to travel to Saint Petersburg in August 1833. As a traveller, he was overwhelmed by the beauty of Saint Petersburg, writing, ‘Notwithstanding I have previously heard and read much of the beauty and magnificence of the Russian capital……There can be no doubt that it is the finest City in Europe, being pre-eminent for the grandeur of its public edifices and the length and regularity of its streets’.

During his two-year sojourn in Russia, Borrow called upon the national poet and writer Pushkin. Unfortunately, the poet was not at home. Borrow left two copies of his translations of Pushkin’s literary works and Pushkin expressed his regret at not meeting him. Borrow described the Russian people as, ‘The best-natured kindest people in the world, and though they do not know as much as the English, they have not the fiendish, spiteful dispositions and if you go amongst them and speak their language, however badly, they would go through fire and water to do you a kindness’.

With his mission complete, Borrow returned to Norwich in September 1835. In his report to the Bible Society he confessed, ‘I quitted that country, and am compelled to acknowledge, with regret. I went thither prejudiced against that country, the government and the people; the first is much more agreeable than is generally supposed; the second is seemingly the best adapted for so vast an empire; and the third, even the lowest classes, are in general kind, hospitable, and benevolent’.

Let us be clear: in the Kingdom of Heaven, there are no politics, no politicians and no elections. They are not necessary. Politics are a necessary evil. They exist only because of the fallen state of this world. Politics are never pure. Therefore whatever vote politicians deign to grant us and which we must use, it will only ever be a vote for a lesser evil. Before any vote, we should pray and then vote according to our conscience, aware that we are voting for a lesser evil, not for a higher good. The higher good is found only with Christ, not with politicians of any sort.

Having said this, the recent ‘reporting’ and manipulations by Western media of the Russian Presidential elections have been especially appalling. It is clear that the Western media are State-controlled. Soon they will be telling us that there are weapons of mass destruction hidden in Iraq, or that the murderous, Western-installed, Islamist fanatics who now rule Egypt and Libya and desecrate Christian churches and graves there, are better than the corrupt fools who went before them, or that a civil war with a million Syrian dead and a million refugees is better than the horrors that are already happening there now to both sides.

Why the character assassination of President Putin? Whom do the middle-class Western media prefer to him? The Communist Party under Zyuganov? It came second - and a long way behind. Or do they prefer the Fascists under Zhirinovsky, the Socialists or a corrupt millionaire oligarch? Or is it all just out of envy and hatred of Russia, a powerful but Non-Western country?

Election rigging in Russia? First of all, no rigging has been proved. And yet the accusation has been repeated by bitter Westernised Russian losers and Western ‘NGOs’ (that is to say front organisations for Western spying in Russia), though not by international observers.

However, corruption does exist in Russia, since it developed greatly under Communist banditry and even more under Yeltsin and the corrupt Western-backed oligarchs who stole the nation’s wealth through ‘privatisation’. Today corruption there is very probably even worse than in Italy.

But for the sake of argument, let us say that Mr Putin did receive extra votes through the corruption of local election officials. That could only have increased his share of the vote by a few per cent. For the sake of argument, let us say by 10%, raising his share from 53% to 63%. Any Western politician would have been very happy to obtain 53% of the vote. Most of them do not, but either govern with far fewer votes or else in coalition with others.

Moreover, Western governments are themselves expert in election rigging. Many Western governments are somehow elected by about 30% of their voters. And US elections seem to be decided by the amounts of cash spent on campaigning. And even then there is the question of ‘chads’. Was Mr Bush ever elected by a majority of those who were not too disillusioned to vote?

It is extraordinary that the West cannot see the beam in its own eye, but only the speck of dust in the eyes of others. The Western media’s rejection of the Russian Presidential election result shows only Western contempt for most Russian voters, contempt for democracy.

As for the ‘mass rally’ of protest against President Putin after the election, as planned by the Western media before it happened, it gathered only some 14,000-20,000 in a city of over 12 million! A few violent troublemakers were arrested. A very different picture from the regular and violent anti-capitalist riots in ‘democratic’ Western countries, with up to a million participants.

Post-Communist Russia – and let us never forget that Russia only became Communist because the West overthrew the Tsar and exported Communism to Russia - has many problems. Of that there is no doubt. But maybe the West should start looking at its own problems - total bankruptcy, mass unemployment, crime, abortion, drugs and poverty, before it starts condemning others.

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