This orchestrated campaign first came to light a couple of years ago with the massive publicity given by the British state broadcaster the BBC, and other liberal media outlets, to the trial of the Russian feminist punk group Pussy Riot. The three women involved indulged in gratuitously offensive behaviour in Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral. They justified their actions as a political protest against the Russian Orthodox Church leader's support of President Putin. The women were found guilty of 'hooliganism motivated by religious hatred' and given a two year prison sentence.
The liberal media in many Western countries were aghast at the verdict and the harshness of the sentence. Ageing has been pop stars such as Madonna and Sting also registered their outrage. What was more disturbing though was the way that Western governments joined in the chorus of disapproval. Foreign Office minister, Alistair Burt expressed 'deep concern' at the sentence, which he considered a 'disproportionate response to an expression of political belief.' The US State Department was 'concerned about both the verdict and the disproportionate sentence' urging the Russian authorities 'to review this case and ensure that the right to freedom of expression is upheld.'
Pussy Riot ideology is presumably based on the short lived British punk scene of the late 1970s. Politically this was noted for its nihilist rebellion against a supposedly reactionary British establishment that in reality was rapidly being hijacked by liberal subversives. Musically it is remembered for its lack of musicianship, compositional ability or vocal talent. Trendy, left inclined, music critics, true to form, heaped uncritical praise on this base and trashy cultural phenomenon, whilst at the same time dismissing as 'dinosaurs' bands of huge musical creativity such as Genesis, Yes & Jethro Tull.
Liberal critics have focussed on the severity of the sentence given to Pussy Riot, the attack on freedom of speech, and accused the Russian government of engaging in a show trial as a means of persecuting political opponents. In the case of the British and American governments this is rank hypocrisy. In the USA you can receive a 15 year sentence for possessing an erotic image of your 17 year old girlfriend, or a 25 year sentence for stealing razor blades. Needless to say there has never been a peep of disapproval from the British Foreign Office that these sentences might be disproportionate.
On freedom of expression the British historian David Irving received a three year sentence by an Austrian court for comments he made over a decade earlier questioning the factual accuracy of events in World War II. There was absolutely no criticism from the liberal media, or the British government, on this sentence and attack on freedom of expression and historical inquiry, for actions that are legal in Britain. With regard to show trials, Britain is developing some form here, with the two trials of BNP leader Nick Griffin for comments he made about Islam, and the trial of footballer John Terry for remarks on the football field. No demands here from liberals or the British government that the right to freedom of expression should be upheld.
The truth is that liberals are not particularly interested in freedom of expression. Whenever they can get away with it they seek to control expression within increasingly narrow parameters consistent with their own sensitive, elevated and increasingly self righteous viewpoint. Sacrilegious behaviour by feminists in a Russian Orthodox cathedral evidently comes within these parameters. A white nationalist rock band invading the Regents Park mosque to make insulting and abusive comments about Sharia law, almost certainly would not.
On the issue of gay rights, in a news bulletin the BBC opined that many people 'would have been outraged' by the comments of President Putin, for having the temerity to include both paedophiles and homosexuals 'in the same sentence', both in a condemnatory manner. This blog shares this sense of outrage. It is quite unacceptable to link eighteen year old youths who are in committed relationships with their fifteen year old girlfriends, with predatory middle aged men who seek out youths for casual sex.
The British politically correct establishment is in no position to wag a censorious finger at Putin’s Russia. They have handed down savage sentences to the artist Graham Ovenden, the teacher Jeremy Forrest and the broadcaster Stuart Hall. They are hounding aging celebrities for, at worst, relatively minor misdemeanours alleged to have occurred decades ago. They have promoted the crazy out of control hysteria over Jimmy Savile without a shred of hard evidence to back it up. There was the Lib Dem defamation campaign against the hapless Lord Rennard over his clumsy chat up technique. And finally they have sponsored the notion, now ingrained in society, that all adult males are potential paedophile monsters.