Ian Payne 4am - 7am
Where there is harmony, may we bring discord?
23 December 2017, 20:39 | Updated: 23 December 2017, 20:46
The relationship between Britain and Russia is at a delicate stage. Not since the Cold War have feelings between the two nations been so precariously balanced.
Distrust and enmity are in the air.
At a time like this, we need to be represented by our most skilled and tactful diplomats; emissaries of sensitive refinement and discretion.
So naturally, we sent Boris Johnson.
He started his tour to Russia by addressing the press and accusing his hosts of being hostile. They replied that they would like to have him say that to their face and would he care to step outside?
It got considerably worse from then on.
To paraphrase and summarise: Boris said that the Russians have smelly pants and the Russians said the British have smelly pants.
If it were in school, teachers would be pulling them apart in the playground.
Bozo of the F.O. accused the Kremlin of interfering in the EU referendum.
This is a pretty odd thing for a born-again Brexiteer to say.
Essentially, by his own admission, we are leaving the EU in part because of Russia meddling in our democratic system.
He tried to assure the people back home that such intrusiveness did not work, but how could he possibly know?
The Russians are also famously on the hook for trying their best to get Ancient Orange into the Oval Office.
The FBI said they did it and the CIA said they did it and the National Security Agency said they did it and MI5 and MI6 and GCHQ and Theresa May said they did it but the Russians said they didn't, and that's good enough for the leader of the free world – case closed, move along please, nothing to see here.
The reason that Trump is so sensitive to claims of Russian help is that if true, it would mean that he did not win the big prize all by himself.
It would tarnish the shine of his orange magnificence.
Boris is not so sensitive. In fact, he does not appear to have any sense at all.
He flat-out accused the Russians of trying to sway the vote on the EU and of efforts to sow discord and hatred among us British by employing factories of internet trolls to send out messages designed to whip up anger and disharmony.
They are accused of doing this by employing so called sock-puppets.
These are not the amusements of our childhood.
Sooty and Sweep were not involved. They are otherwise engaged.
Sooty is currently on remand for dealing in stolen goods and Sweep is facing historical allegations of abuse, like pretty much every other children's television entertainer of my youth.
These particular sock puppets are people posting on social media, supposedly paid by the Russian state to send out inflammatory messages on both sides of arguments to whip up us locals.
Boris says this had no effect.
I am not so sure. If 2017 was notable for anything, it was for the cacophony of animosity that filled the air.
If that was the Russian's plan, I would say that it was very successful indeed.