Yesterday Natwest said they would not be reconsidering their decision to close Russia Today’s bank account – well, under 24 hours later they are. A spokesman now says:
“We are reviewing the situation and are contacting the customer to discuss this further. The bank accounts remain open and are still operative.”
So what’s going on? It could be a response to the Kremlin threatening to freeze the BBC’s accounts in Russia in retaliation. Or maybe they thought again after Russia whinged about their right to freedom of speech/propaganda. Bit of an overreaction given RT wasn’t exactly being taken off air. Bank error in their favour?
An alliance of Corbynistas, George Galloway, UKIP’s nutty wing and internet conspiracy theorists have rushed to the defence of Russia Today after it had its Natwest account frozen:
— George Galloway (@georgegalloway) October 17, 2016
— Mohammed Ansar (@MoAnsar) October 17, 2016
Worried about those appearance fees drying up…
Putin propaganda channel Russia Today say their bank accounts in the UK have been frozen. Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan says:
“Our accounts in the UK have been closed. All Accounts. ‘The decision is not subject to revision’. Long live freedom of speech!”
Where will Jez get his news if they go off air?
Croydon Labour delegate Edie Fairservice earned a round of applause from the conference hall for this message:
“Condemn Assad and his allies at all opportunities. Do not share platforms with Assadists, and that includes Russian and Iranian state broadcasters.”
Whoever could she mean?
Team Clinton have continued their attacks on the Breitbart-UKIP nexus, with a top Hillary adviser boldly claiming: “the Russians are openly funding UKIP”. Neera Tanden made the extraordinary allegation in an interview with Politico:
“If you’re in Europe, the Russians are openly funding the far-right groups, from UKIP to Marine Le Pen … There is widespread knowledge among the center-left parties that that is a rising development
“Look at RT, Russia Today. The amount of time they spend propping up the third parties in the United States, the amount of time they spend attacking Hillary, and in ways that are just very aligned with the arguments of the Trump campaign. Russia has a history of playing in European politics. And we should not be surprised if they are attempting to do the same here.”
There has long been lurid speculation of clandestine financial links between the Kremlin and anti-establishment parties in Europe. Louise Mensch touches on them for Heat Street today. Of course, there is as yet no actual evidence to support any of the claims. It is certainly factually incorrect of Clinton’s aide to state that the Kremlin is “openly funding UKIP”. Kipper sources say those making the allegations are conspiracy theorists on the “paranoid lunatic fringe”. Come on then Hillary, if you’ve got the evidence, let’s see it…
After her end-of-show monologue outburst she is apparently being sent to the Crimea…