Ever since the Brexit vote in 2016, there has been a committed group of activists and politicians convinced that only Russian meddling could possibly explain why the British people decided they wanted to leave the EU. The political equivalents of Hiroo Onoda — the Japanese soldier who refused to accept World War Two was over — they have continued to press the case that Vladimir Putin used nefarious means to trick the electorate into casting their ballots for Brexit, even as the evidence (and polling) has continued to show that Brits are still happy with their decision to leave.
Now though it appears this political group has found an ally willing to fight alongside them in the jungle. Step forward Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and 2016 presidential candidate. In a talk with William Hague organized by the think tank Chatham House about the ‘future of liberal democracies’, Clinton once again resurrected the Russian boogeyman, and suggested that:
‘I think there was also significant evidence of Russian involvement, if not influence or interference, in Brexit.’
This isn’t the first time that Clinton has waded into the Brexit version of Russiagate. In 2019 she declared that it was ‘inexplicable and shameful’ that the UK government had not released a report on Russian interference by Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee. Surprisingly, it seems that Clinton did not manage to read the report itself when it was published in 2020. Perhaps because the report found that it ‘had not seen or sought evidence of successful interference in UK democratic processes.’
Considering how much Clinton rallies against misinformation and ‘fake news’ on social media, Cockburn wonders if the former presidential candidate might finally provide some evidence for her claim that Brexit was a Putinesque plot. Cockburn isn’t holding his breath…
This article was originally published on The Spectator’s UK website.