Nick Cohen in the Guardian on the UK’s pandering to despots:
Europe’s most blatant example is Vladimir Putin’s Russia. When its agents poisoned Alexander Litvinenko with polonium-210, the Russians were as astonished as the Saudis that Britain insisted on bringing alleged criminals to justice. ‘I don’t understand the position of the British government,’ a foreign ministry spokesman spluttered. ‘It is prepared to sacrifice our relations in trade and education for the sake of one man.’
From Leon Trotsky on, the Soviet regime has killed exiles. The difference between the old and the new Russia is that now Russia can buy the support of corporations and capitalists who will excuse their crimes.
In The New Cold War, his study of Putin’s impact on Europe, Edward Lucas of the Economist argues that the Russian elite has understood that money can be used to undermine freedom because there are many in the West who believe that ‘capitalism is a system in which money matters more than freedom’.
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