Gerald Warner: New perceptions of Putin

Russia's President Vladimir Putin. Picture: Getty
Russia's President Vladimir Putin. Picture: Getty
Have your say

‘I NEVER thought I would live to say this, but I find myself agreeing more with Vladimir Putin than with any of the Western leaders…” “We need a Putin…”

Such are the sentiments that are beginning to appear with increasing frequency on the Anglophone internet.

They mark a rising surge of discontent with the failed leaderships and institutions of Europe and North America and a corresponding esteem for the strongman president of the Russian Federation.

It would be easy to shrug off such grumbling with clichés about “democracy” and the suggestion that the grumblers, if they were ever to experience the Russian governmental system, would not be so keen to live under it. For easy, read “facile”; for we have now reached such a pitch of disillusionment with and contempt for the Euro-American political class that there is a serious prospect of its mass rejection. All it would take would be a major financial catastrophe to precipitate a revolution in western politics. Only apathy keeps the Camerons and Obamas in power; one economic tsunami would not only unseat them but also dissolve the discredited model of parliamentary pseudo-democracy that has sustained scoundrels and fools in office for too long.

There is a new public mood and it is gaining ground due to the online exchange of discontent. The new-found admiration for Putin is rooted in an appreciation of the contrast he presents to the politically correct wimps running the European Union and the United States. Last week’s G8 photographs said it all. The posturing “statesmen” who had been ordered by PR advisers to take off their ties in a pathetic effort to appear “relevant” – a bunch of dads dancing at the school disco – invited the mockery and contempt they duly received. Putin went along with the charade; but when it came to the substance – the demand for his endorsement of the Obama/Cameron/Hollande ambition to arm al-Qaeda in Syria – the response was an uncompromising, Molotov-style “Nyet!”

No wonder the British public wished its own leaders would speak for its interests instead of the Russian president. Everyone knows Putin is a former KGB officer and that he is ruthless in dealing with his enemies. Yet such reservations are receding from the consciousness of many in the West as they observe the spectacle of a leader who has a realistic understanding of his country’s interests and no hesitation in pursuing them; who makes war on Islamists rather than lavishing taxpayers’ money on them; who is maintaining the third largest defence budget in the world rather than traitorously dismantling his nation’s armed forces.

Putin has faced enormous economic problems: Russia’s growth slowed to 1 per cent last month. Yet he has just concluded two massive oil and gas deals with China, turning his back on Europe. Rosneft, the Russian state oil company, is believed to have secured $60bn in prepayment from China for the supply of 360 million tonnes of oil over 25 years, eventually worth $270bn; and Novatek, the gas producer, has also signed a lucrative Chinese contract.

In contrast, last week, the disastrous Obama presidency plumbed new depths of failure, spurned over Syria by Putin, humiliated both by the Taleban and President Karzai in Afghanistan. When Obama made a hammed-up speech in Berlin intended to mimic John F Kennedy’s famous oration, it received lukewarm applause from a bored audience. Benghazi and Prism will haunt Obama for the rest of his days in office. All western leaders are determined, while invoking “freedom”, to intervene ever more closely in the details of citizens’ lives while neglecting their legitimate responsibilities.

The great irony of the emergent situation is that it amounts to a new Cold War, but this time it is the West that is promoting cultural Marxism both at home and, neo-colonially, in the developing world, opposed ideologically by Russia. While western leaders are imposing same-sex marriage legislation, Putin, at the request of the Orthodox Church, has introduced severe anti-homosexual laws across the Russian Federation. As for guff about “equality”, Russians had enough of such hypocritical rhetoric in the Soviet era, whose iconic emblem was the Zil lane, and it would ring as hollow in the land of the oligarchs as in the European and American banker fiefdoms. The population of Britain and Europe is contracting fatally under the contraceptive culture – disastrously compensated by immigration – while Putin decorates the begetters of large families with the Order of Parental Glory.

The contrast between the West and Russia is one of infatuated liberalism, cultural masochism, indigenous depopulation, loathing of the family and hedonism substituted for personal responsibility in confrontation with a virile nation, firm political will and ruthless pursuit of national interest. The clever money is not on the Western wimps. «

Twitter: @GeraldWarner1