When I first heard the news that Alex Salmond was going to try his hand at becoming the next Graham Norton, I almost pissed myself with laughter. Not only does Alex lack the confidence, charisma, humour, intelligence and creativity to actually make it a success, he also doesn’t realise that RT has only offered him this format because it aids the Kremlin’s agenda.
But why did Russia Today offer him the slot in the first place?
Considering that RT is a government-funded (Russian Government) international television organisation, everyone knows the one thing the Russian government wants more than anything else, which is disunity in the West.
For countries like Russia and Iran, issues like Scottish independence act as a great distraction from global crises like the war in Donbass (Ukraine) or tensions in the Middle East.
The assumption is that if a country like Britain is somehow distracted with its own affairs, such as Scottish separatism, it won’t be making time for any international scuffles.
It’s quite obvious when you look at the facts…
The journalist and blogger Stephen Daisley recently wrote about exactly this issue in The Spectator.
He highlighted the fact that: “A report commissioned by Facebook confirms Iran set up proxy accounts on social media to push nationalist messages to Scottish users in 2014, including cartoons depicting David Cameron as ‘the embodiment of English oppression’. The propaganda operation appears to have been a pitifully modest and short-lived affair. Losing Scotland was bad enough but it turns out the Yes campaign couldn’t even keep the Ayatollah on board.”
The plan is simple. They want to destabilise Western democracies via their domestic affairs and thus weaken their ability to act on the international front. Funnily enough, a jolly Scottish nationalist in the form of Alex Salmond is therefore just what Russia Today needs to create all this rabble-rousing.
Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland and a close friend of Salmond, was very much opposed to the idea of him having his show aired on RT… and you can’t really blame her! This is an organisation that talked about ‘9/11’ being an inside job, said the chemical attack in Syria was a hoax and also reported that the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was actually carried out by Ukrainians when obviously the wider theory was that Russian separatists were responsible.
This is clearly a questionable organisation, but Mr Salmond seems to think it is the perfect outlet for his chat show. When the programme first aired a couple of years ago, he addressed the matter of why he chose RT:
First, he mentions the power of having editorial control. I mean, that’s hardly surprising! If RT (Russia) wants Britain to be caught up in its own domestic battles, then some rambling Scot clogging up the airwaves, trying to shout down the Westminster elite and push forward the message of separatism, is exactly what they want. So it’s no wonder they are going to let Alex Salmond run his mouth off because they know exactly what he’s using the show for. It’s an SNP mouthpiece, and that works in their favour.
And then he says that RT offers an international platform… okay, that’s true. But he is just being broadcast on RT UK… so it’s not exactly as international as one might hope. It’s a pretty lame excuse. He should just have said that no other channel would commission him.
However, the fun doesn’t stop there. You see, while you were watching that video, you probably didn’t think twice about the individuals sending in those tweets to be read out – and why would you? Everyone does it on political shows nowadays – just look at Question Time, Peston, Andrew Marr and Sophie Ridge. The difference between them and Alex Salmond was that they hadn’t fabricated their comments.
An Ofcom investigation, which took place after the first episode had aired, found that some tweets and e-mails that Salmond read out on the show had not actually been sent in by members of the public.
One was presented as coming from a Twitter account that did not appear to have posted it, while a second only appeared online several hours after the programme was broadcast. Following an investigation, the media regulator Ofcom declared that the show had breached broadcasting rules by being “materially misleading” and undermining viewers’ trust. However, RT then criticised Ofcom’s investigation and attributed the issue to a “trivial teething problem”.
This is all just wheels within wheels, and Alex Salmond is now well and truly the plaything of Vladimir Putin.