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Dana White told reporters:
“The Russian disinformation campaign has already begun. There has been a 2,000 percent increase in Russian trolls in the last 24 hours.”

In last year’s Defense Intelligence Agency report on Russian military capabilities, the American agency devoted a section to the topic, stating “weaponisation of information is a key aspect of Russia’s strategy and is employed in time of peace, crisis, and war”.

“Russia employs a troll army of paid online commentators who manipulate or try to change the narrative of a given story in Russia’s favour. Russia’s Troll Army, also known as the Internet Research Agency, is a state-funded organisation that blogs and tweets on behalf of the Kremlin.

Trolls typically post pro-Kremlin content and facilitate heated discussions in the comments sections of news articles. Their goal is to counter negative media and “Western influence.” While the goal of some trolls is to simply disrupt negative content, other trolls promote completely false content.”

Russia is at the forefront of information warfare in the modern age, utilising an array of organisations and strategies to spread disinformation to further national strategy but how are they doing it?

Every now and then we come across a report from one of the many Russian state broadcasters that have more than remarkable headlines revolving around military equipment and it seems fairly obvious that the piece has a clear agenda but why is this being done?

They were false but the rumours had begun spilling into conventional news media. Numerous analysts and experts in intelligence point to Russia as the prime suspect, noting that preventing NATO expansion is a centrepiece of the foreign policy of the nation.

Even the UK Defence Journal has been contacted by various Russian based ‘news organisations’ looking for soundbites whenever we publish a story about an MoD blunder or questionable government decision.

The flood of inaccurate stories is so strong that both NATO and the European Union have established special offices to identify and refute disinformation.

The most effective instrument in this effort appears to be Russia Today, the organisation has been frequently described as a propaganda outlet for the Russian government and media regulator, Ofcom, has repeatedly found RT to have breached rules on impartiality, and of broadcasting “materially misleading” content.

In the paper ‘Computational Propaganda in Russia: The Origins of Digital Misinformation’ Sergey Sanovich argues that the digital propaganda of the Russian government seeks to insulate Putin’s leadership from any domestic challengers and aid in his foreign policy ventures, which increasingly sets Russian interests off against the West.

The study argues that the propaganda tools, including trolls and bots, were conceived and perfected in the pockets of political competition and a globally integrated market economy still left in Putin’s Russia.

“It’s argued that Russia could be on a mission to restore its Soviet or imperial glory and to prevent liberal democratic values from taking root in the Russian political system. 

Yetthe tools used are precisely the ones developed in the most internationally competitive part of the Russian economy that emerged during the liberal 1990s and (until recently) was not subject to heavy-handed interventions by the government: the online media and tech sector.”

The paper concludes that the fact that bots and trolls thrive in the low-trust, anything goes, prove-it-on-the-spot environment. People share sensational and alarmist headlines without much verification more often on social media than any other medium.

The paper also advises that that building up the reputation of mainstream media, ensuring their objectivity, fairness and professional integrity are trusted by the public would do more than anything else to deny Russian digital propaganda the power it currently wields.

“These external limitations, coupled with the vibrancy and tightness of and the emphasis on the burden of proof in the Russian blogosphere, required the government to build sophisticated tools of online propaganda and counter-propaganda.

They combined the ability of bots to jam unfriendly and amplify friendly content and the inconspicuousness of trolls posing as real people and providing elaborate proof of even their most patently false and outlandish claims.

Beyond that, exposing trolls and bots as well as the nuts and bolts of their campaigns could help both to educate the public in how to avoid falling for the misinformation they spread and to find technological means of disrupting their activity.”

55 COMMENTS

  1. Morning all
    Welcome to asymmetric warfare.
    This is another new normal.
    For those that like to watch, listen and read news from multiple sources this is going to be an interesting couple of days.
    It’s game on now for those who fight battles virtually, a new warfare is being contested, one where the learning curve is steep and one where currently the aggressor has the advantage.
    Game on

  2. Putin is targetting the strength of western political systems; our democratic assemblies and free speech. He is using cyber warfare to turn us on ourselves. He saw it fragment the west when Cameron lost the UK parliament vote for action in Syria. Corbyn needs to wise up.

    • “Corbyn needs to wise up.”

      He doesn’t even believe the official narrative himself. He will likely profit from any misinformation, especially amongst the younger part of the electorate who rely more on social media for news. Kompromat will likely be used against some of our politicians in the coming weeks and you can bet those who support Corbyn will not be targets.

      • Fair enough. But Corbyn conflates two issues. His world view does not allow of any circumstances which justify taking up arms and his insistence on the strictest interpretation of legality would have meant that all evidence of a crime would have been erased and that one of the protagonists, Russia, is permanently able to block political progress. There are times when the nation has to be united.

        • But the nation isn’t united on this Paul, in fact the majority of the general public back him on Syria.

          Go have a look at the first few articles on this, its about 50/50 on there as well in the comments.

          Like people have said on here myself included over the last week, it isn’t a black and white case as much as May and Macron tell you it is, lots more atbolay and at stake in this.

          Lord West the former first sea lord was on the bbc earlier totally going against the narrative, he doesn’t think it was Assad in the Douma attack and doesn’t believe there is any evidence.

          • Well, I am susceptible as the next man to conspiracy theories. Did rogue forces in Assads army with Islamist or Turkish sympathies hijack a helo? Possible but unlikely. With all respect to Lord West I don’t believe he is privvy to all the intelligence.
            For my part I believe other statements to the effect that Assad’s forces have actually used chemical weapons fifty times since the last strike made by the US.
            It is valid to ask why then has nothing been done before; why act now? Should UK Parliament, US Congress and the French assembly not have debated this issue earlier and empowered their countries leaders to take action. Good question.
            My view is that the action was justified and proportionate. Better late than never.

          • Lord West does not constitute the majority view. We all have the right to an opinion but in this case, in particular, I’m with the government. The free World must not allow the use of chemical or germ weapons, and always be allowed to punish those who deploy them. The use of force isn’t the only instrument at our disposal, sanctions are considerably more effective than weapons in many cases.

            The weekend attacks gave a clear warning to any party considering the use of these hideous weapons, and that they will not go unpunished. I for one don’t believe Russia sanctioned their use and found the Syrian situation to be both awkward and avoidable.

            The sooner this horrible civil war is over the best it will be for many Syrians; who must wish for some semblance of order to return. That said, using chemical weapons is not the answer.

          • Hi lads

            Was a helo used at all though Paul? Who told you that the BBC? Did they see it, who told them the white helmets? This is what information war is.

            I personally am not making any comment on who was responsible because I don’t know. But a lot of people a lot more qualified than me including men like Lord West and Major-General Jonathan Shaw are questioning the official narrative.

            Where is Macrons evidence? The US has already labelled their evidence as classified. Do we even have any evidence, if not this was taken on a hunch that it was Assad that did it.

            And yes if the UN have said after investigation that Assad’s forces are responsible then in my eyes they were responsible for them. Although the UN have accused the rebels of using them as well. And if the UN were aloud to investigate and accused Assad I would be in favour of a strike taking out his stockpile and ability to make them, and I certainly would be dismayed if we gave him a weeks warning so he can move them.

            For me it’s because Russia is involved that’s making it much harder to believe any sides stories, because there is so much in play geopolitically.

            Also I’m not even that bothered about it now, it’s happened, everyone got home safe and the targets destroyed with no loss of civilian life, the thing I am worried about is further escalation with an erratic US president taking the lead.

            Either way I agree what needs to happen now is a swift end to the war, we really need to step up in Libya as well, both countries need some normallity and time to rebuild so the millions of refugees in Europe can return.

  3. I would not be surprised to see an escalation of probing flights and UK coastal patrols by the Russian military in the coming months. This type of activity has been growing exponentially in recent years and, no matter what the politicians say, it has a disquieting reaction from the public. When lying on a British beach you don’t expect the roaring jet above or the distant warship to be Russian!

    I’m not surprised Russia has stepped up the electronic aggression, however, like conventional military methods of response GCHQ will have to up their game too!

    • Haven’t Soviet & now Russian warships always passed through UK waters transitting between Northen/baltic fleets & the Med/Black sea?Eastern fleets?

      I’ve noticed in recent years every such transit is portrayed as exceptional Russian provocation by our media, sensationally.

      Russia under Putin is a serious concern for the UK & their support shielding & propping up Assad sickening, but we have to be careful of our own paranoia too.

      Troll factories as part of military/political strategy is a real threat to be countered. Trump also acts as a Troll when he spouts lies & distorts truth, no wonder he liked putin so much.

  4. Is Peder about to spawn some offspring to come and post even more crap on this site?

    As someone who studied computer science mainly due to an interest in artificial intelligence and who spent the first few years of his career working on natural language processing (getting computers to read and “understand” newspaper articles and simple stories, hold conversations with people, understand speech etc) I do find this whole area extremely fascinating.

    It’s a subject area where the average lay person simply has no idea how difficult the technical challenges are. Beating a moderate to good player at chess is massively (and I mean massively) easier than building something that can read and accurately summarise the contents of even a simple newspaper article. Technology is moving on however and I bet that Russia and the major Western powers are investing increasing heavily in natural language technology, both to help GCHQ/NSA/etc in automating analysis of high volume intercepts beyond simply searching for keywords but also probably now an increasingly big effort to create chatbots sophisticated enough to convincingly spam misinformation across various sites posing as real people.

    Even when I was in the field in the 1980s a huge percentage of the funding for artificial intelligence work came from the MoD/DoD etc. I worked on 3 different military projects in my early days and a huge number of my peers both in Europe and the USA were working on stuff funded by the military.

  5. Taking a wider view, its so sad to see Russia in full retreat from the civilized world.

    After a brief filtration with democracy after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has progressively turned into a personality cult dictatorship.

    Putin’s Kremlin is truly an insidious regime, that even uses the Russian Orthodox Church as a weapon to progressively brain wash the youngsters, to prop itself up and encourage attacks on minority groups.

    From our perspective, the only thing a bully like Russia understands is a strong shove back. To me this means cyber counterattacks were nessasary, to undermine Putin …. See how he likes it!

    Its becoming clear now that we must return to 3% allocation for Defence ( including cyber warfare and wider intelligence), ring fenced and enshrined in law.

    • I agree that a 3% allocation for defence is required.

      However, given the current climate, a far larger investment is required to bolster our lack of investment over the years across all of our armed services, including cyber warfare and our intelligence services during the course of this parliament.

      Time to invest heavily in British designed military equipment including its manufacture. Now is most definitely not the time for complacency!

    • Echo your point re Russian retreat. Sad to see that. Oligarchs notwithstanding the Russian people are just like the rest of humanity. Sadly a bunker mentality is historically woven into their psyche and is being ruthlessly exploited by Putin. It would help if the Russian Orthodox church needs got out more.

    • The best weapon against lies is the truth, not our own properganda, though deception is a necessary tactic in military intelligence.
      “Know the truth & the truth will set you free.” The best thing we can do is provide Rusians with the truth & allow them to realise where Putin is coming from for themselves in time. You can only decieve & supress your people for so long.

  6. Just look at any Russia related Daily Mail article, The comments are full to the brim of Russian trolls pretending to be British citizens insulting their own country and praising Putin’s.

    • That’s very interesting, they have infiltrated virtually every comment section of every news outlet that I’ve seen lately. Saying that some facebook groups are also getting bombarded not only by trolls but also the libtard gullible tinfoil hat types who are more than ready to see their own country as a force for evil in the world, especially if they throw in a few anti-semitic rants at the same time, rather than face up to exactly what Russia is capable of.

  7. I just think their trolls are completely counter productive. Whenever I see a pro Putin comment I automatically assume it’s a troll. Which most of the time it probably is.

    • It always makes chuckle when the liberal element in our society think we should have a nice little chat over tea and biscuits with the Russian bear, to resolve our differences….

      Having worked as an outside contractor to a UK based, Russian Aviation Company (that has now packed up and gone thank god) in the past, I believe I have a fairly good handle on the typical Russian mindset.

      Top management in Russian companies are absolutely feared by the employees, the highly skilled Russian engineers employed by that Company were decent friendly people, all of them were terrified of the boss, they run things with a rod of iron and this is asymptomatic of how they run their country.

      Most average Russians are in fact decent hard working people, we need to careful not to vilify the general population, they are just under the jackboot of the current totalitarian regime, as the poor unfortunates always have been, Tsarists/Communist/ or the current short bloke syndrome, Putin personality cult … all cut from the same cloth…

      • Now that is an interesting comment.

        I am not military but industry, metals and treatment. I have a lot of Russian (and Chinese for that matter) colleagues. They are good people.

        I agree that “the boss” in these countries is key. Knowledgeable people will do what a halfway tells them to do, knowing it is wrong, because they are “the boss”.

        It’s why Chinese steel is shit (just this week I have audited a rusty 316L stainless steel – 3 weeks old).

        The biggest benefit we have in this country is workers who will tell idiots to piss off when they are given stupid orders.

  8. There’s one bright spot in all of this. At least there’s no shortage of photos of Putin looking either smug, sinister or both for the media to use to illustrate their articles, the one at the head of this story being a good example.

    And with images of the mighty Putin parading bare chested on hunting trips and wrestling bears, if only we had a prime min…. Ooops, on second thoughts let’s not go there 🙂

  9. Russia wouldn’t get the leverage it has if we had a more diverse media. Presently, there is a dulling homogeneity of thought on all major topics, worse dissent is not tolerated. Our liberal media and political consensus is neither liberal nor tolerant.
    If you want to debate same sex marriage – you’re a homophobe.
    If you want to debate Islam – you’re an islamophobe
    If you want to debate unchecked migration – you’re a racist
    If you voted for brexit – you’re a small minded simpleton and probably a racist
    If you want a smaller state – you’re cruel and lacking compassion
    If you’re pro-life – you’re a bigot who hates women.

    Irrespective of where one stands on a topic, it is frankly impossible to have an open and respectful conversation on any of these without being labelled a whatever – and in reality most people do not accept the received truth on all of these point and so consequently most people are on occasion on the receiving end of liberal ire.

    I’m sorry to say it but Britain cannot be a liberal and pluralistic nation when the majority of people at certain times feel harassed and censored because they have dissenting opinions.

    Along comes Great Uncle Putin and his trollocracy and they find a fertile environment for ploughing dissent. If our nation could stomach open debate without descending in to name calling and taking offence we would have a far more robust society but we don’t and the Russian are able to exploit this.

      • I’m a little unsure on this one. The best selling newspapers in this country, for example, are arguably all just about as far to the right as Corbyn is to the left. And there are still extremely high quality journalists/news reporters/commentators in the UK, such as Andrew Neil.

        I fully agree that the general standard of the conversation on every one of those topics is atrocious, especially on the TV. That is why so many are now turning to online content instead. There is an increasing trend of youngsters watching and listening to 2 hour + long conversations and debates on cultural and political topics on YouTube, for instance, where the diversity of thought is far higher, but where misinformation is just as likely to be a problem. If that’s not a remarkable development I don’t know what is. Guess we’ll see where it leaves us only in the long term.

        There is definitely a large swath of leftist dogma that is accepted and regurgitated without thought in polite conversation and in most of our main public arenas (e.g. the education system). In many other circles, just not the most visible cultural ones, I’m sure the same can said for rightist dogma.

        What should be farm more alarming to some (in this country the left, in the US the right) is the fact that an openly hostile foreign power is systematically trying to influence and disrupt our public conversations.

        I forget who said it, but the line “Russian interference is real and serious but it wouldn’t work if we weren’t already so so stupid” really sums everything up.

    • What a great comment Nathan.

      It’s identity politics through and through in this country at the moment, everybody has to be labelled for having an opinion.

      There is an establishment narrative about a whole host of topics, from the so called gender pay gap to what’s going on in Syria.

      Because it’s the narrative of a liberal elite in their safe ivory tower in London, they are imposing their views onto the rest of us.

      You seen it with that c4 presenter Kathy Newman with the great John Peterson, she couldn’t get her head around the idea that her narrative might be complete bullshit, it was great to watch.

      I debate a bit online, and I get called all sorts for not following the current Russian narrative, but it’s my choice to read other sources and look at all the evidence presented by both sides and make a decision based on what I see, not what the media tell me.

      War sells remember, bad guys sell, horrific attacks sell.

      Lord West the former first sea lord was on bbc news today and he doesn’t believe it was Assad, he is going against the official narrative and gave his argument why it wasn’t, and the female present asked him a couple of times if he thinks his comments are “wise to make at this time” and “should he be making these comments at all” and the look on his face was bewilderment, all he did was have an opinion.

      Sky news went even further, they cut off Major-General Jonathan Shaw for questioning it to.

      It’s fascinating to watch this information war, because like all wars it has more than one side believe it or not.

    • Spot on. Wierd how intollerant secular liberalism has become. The BBC, which we all have to pay for, is one of the worst. They’re forever preaching their extreme liberal values & have cheapened & undermined their impartial reputation.

  10. Stay wise, stay balanced, stay alert, explore both sides of the argument, think carefully and then make up your mind. The answer to all this is in our own hands. If we knee jerk every time, the trolls will win…

      • Let’s look forward to a 2000% increase in Peder’s nonsense here. For a wee Russian troll he certainly is annoying to us wee little folk. I usually need a wee rest after reading some of his wee stuff on my wee iPad.

  11. This article is annoying, in the sense I seem to have spent the last day or two fighting off a couple of absurd stories, one definitely via RT. The stupid thing is it’s verifiably false with just 1 minute on google, yet even when you point it out people still argue that it must be true. And it’s not even competent to start with, but people are so desperate to believe one thing or another – they will.

    It makes fools out of people, but perhaps the good news is that it makes fools of the very people who are sympathetic to the Russians. So basically the Russian trolls are attacking friends. I would say I ‘m sympathetic to the Russian place in the world, or was, this is so stupid it’s putting me off being fair and even-handed towards them (the leaders not the people).

    Simple to counter (mostly) but it needs all of us to be busy pointing it out to people who trust us and our opinions and analysis on other matters.

  12. Letter sent to Secretary of State for Defence, The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP

    16th April, 2018

    Dear Secretary of State

    I am writing to you as a member of our Constituency MP’s focus group and as you will note I am a member of the Conservative Party.

    I am concerned at the amount of tax payers’ hard earned monies being spent by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and as you will be aware from previous correspondence between us, the cost of even the most basic items of equipment right down to simple items such as light bulbs are grossly inflated by less than satisfactory methodology and purchasing methods. I do know that you are addressing this issue.

    My most recent concern is the involvement of the UK in Syria. It has been released by the media that just eight cruise type missiles were expended by the RAF. When compared to the French munitions use and then that of the USA, the UK’s involvement has been described by ome back bench MPs as being of such insignificance as to render it not only a wasted exercise but a waste of tax pounds.

    I and other constituency forum members accept that from what we have been told, the Syrian regime has used poisonous and noxious substances to murder many of its own citizens and this is to be condemned. However, other regimes around the world are equally murderous and the UK does not become involved.

    Just eight missiles used over Syria will have cost us much financially and possibly even more in terms of the problems we quite possibly visit upon ourselves as a result of this involvement.

    You will be aware from our previous exchange of letters that I and an increasing number of party members are concerned that the UK is embarking upon a foreign and defence policy which is financially unsustainable. You will also understand that an increasing number are concerned about our relationship with the USA, the economy of which is firmly based on a military industrial complex which places it at great variance with that of the UK.

    We believe that it is time defence was ‘brought home’ rather than being used in overseas expeditionary missions which are of dubious value in the short term and indeed, could prove disastrous in the medium to long term future.

    All government departments must remain within their budgets and the news in some quarters that the RAF action over Syria achieved very little is extremely concerning.

    This whole affair should have been properly debated in parliament as well as at the United Nations.

    Britain can no longer police the world. Our own economy is far from robust and the latest figures from the High Street where my own business interest lays are a real cause for concern.

    Reduction in the defence budget are ultimately inevitable and prioritisation is a matter of debate at this time. Our own shores are relatively undefended whilst enormously expensive vessels are built and deployed in far away places. This must surely change.

    I welcome your comments on this and have copied this letter to not only my own MP but to Sir Graham Stuart Brady MP in his role as Chair of the 1922 Committee which I know has concerns.

    Yours faithfully

    • Complaining about the cost of 8 missiles? The cost? Of 8 missiles that have already been paid for and otherwise would be sitting in a warehouse.

      How morally bankrupt can you get.

      • Exactly. “Morally bankrupt” is the absolutely perfect phrase – it says it all.

        The above is also totally incoherent. At the start he says …

        “It has been released by the media that just eight cruise type missiles were expended by the RAF. When compared to the French munitions use and then that of the USA, the UK’s involvement has been described by ome (sic) back bench MPs as being of such insignificance as to render it not only a wasted exercise but a waste of tax pounds.”

        So you (TH) start out by complaining that we fired too few missiles compared to the French and Americans, presumably had we fired more the above wouldn’t have been a concern for you, but then you go on to complain about the costs of the U.K. part of the operation that was carried out. So what was it, we should have fired more or none at all? If none at all then you go on to say…

        “I and other constituency forum members accept that from what we have been told, the Syrian regime has used poisonous and noxious substances to murder many of its own citizens and this is to be condemned.”

        So you accept that innocent people have been murdered by the Syrian regime but that we should have left it to France and the USA to attempt to stop any recurrence? That’s the attitude of a child who want to leave it to the grown ups to sort out difficult things for them. As a nation we need to act as grown ups, realise that there is a world beyond the flower beds in our back gardens, and play our part in global politics. We are still a big enough economy with enough military resources and soft power to do that and thankfully that is what we do. A few of our citizens obviously need to start acting like grown ups too.

  13. I agree with the homeland being relatively undefended, but do we not have ongoing responsibilities to our commonwealth and overseas territories that require the ability to defend them if necessary? I do think we should narrow our areas of operation a bit to relieve the strain though. The idea that we will be sailing our carrier into the Pacific to wind up the Chinese is not one I support.
    If we withdraw completely we loose our strategic airfields and ports around the globe, forever limiting the scope of our involvement in future conflicts, and open the door for some of our unsavoury adversaries to gain influence and take our place.

  14. Read it again. I don’t say too few missiles were fired. I say that those that were represented an insignificant amount and were not worth the subsequent problems which will be visited upon this country. The good thing is that I am not alone in these beliefs. More and more are questioning this military madness and the amount of our money spent on it.

  15. TH I do not suppose when you wrote to “your MP” and the head of the 1922 committee that you actually disclosed that you are one of the same trolls and PutinBots this article is actually about.
    It must be depressing working all day in the basement of the Kremlin, why do you not turn off your computer, save the electricity and some of your poor countrymen probably need to boil a kettle and go outside and get some fresh air.
    The UK simply needs to increase its defence budget precisely because of Russia’s insidious attempts to undermine UK democracy and spread lies and falsehoods with the hope that they will be believed if you say them enough times and publish them in enough in places and on enough platforms.
    Hopefully GCHQ can do something to counter all those trolls like infect them with malware of simply trash their computers that would be a suitable response.
    The syrina regimen and its allies Russia and Iran are guilty as hell in terms of breaching world wide law on the prohibition of manufacturing and deploying chemical weapons and our response was actually very restrained compared to the horrific crime of mass murdering innocent civillians using chemical weapons.
    What has become more troubling is not just the fact the weapons were deployed but that Russia and Syria then tried to cover this up. As soon as the area hit by the weapons was secured the Russian Military Police moved in, sanitised the area, removed as many fragments of the weapons as they could find, washed the whole area down and rounded up all the medical staff who treated the chemical weapons victims and took them all away. Where are all the hospital doctors and nurses now may I ask?
    Probably dead, killed to silence them from making accurate medical diagnosis and descriptions of the signs and symptoms of the chemical weapons attack.
    As I say guilty as hell and our response was very restrained. I would have preferred double the number of strom shadow and some TLAM fired from HMS astute.
    Interesting article in daily mirror yesterday saying the Astute was shadowed in the Med by an improved Kilo class sub- article says Astute could have been sunk.

  16. What the daily mirror fails to say is that if the Astute was aware it was being shadowed then it could probably track and destroy the improve kilo any time it wanted too.

  17. Put your silver foil hat on Bell…end. You really do live in cloud cuckoo land. Go back to reading your Victor comics. Rest assured, the campaign for more responsible defence spending will continue and ultimately we shall succeed.
    Taxpayers deserve better for their hard earned money.

  18. What a fool you are. Utter idiot TH. When will you ever grow up and realise the world we live in is no Corbyn dreamed up Navannah.
    3% GDP to defence ratio is what is required, that should be enough to keep you nice and safe in your lefty leaning house dreaming of a world that does not exist. That is if you actually do live in the UK.
    You should hang your head in shame if you are a UK citizen. Did your grand parents or parents ever serve this country or teach you about citizenship, or the importance of defending democracy and how precious our way of life is?

    • Bell…end, I am a long time member of the Conservative Party. I and many others advocate neutrality. It works for other countries. I was born in this country. I don’t see the country needing to waste money on a ill budgeted department in order to keep safe. A lower level of expenditure would be adequate as in other countries. You should hang your head in shame swaggering around and attempting to poke your nose in other country’s matters. I serve thi country Bellend. I make money and employ people as did my father before me. Now, as they say in my part of the woods, fuck off and grow up. Either that or go play with your toy soldiers.

  19. By the way Bellend, Navanah is a personal name. Go read your BNP/EDL manual and find out how to spell, you ignorant twat.

  20. Evening all
    Who would have thought an article about Putin bots and 2000% would end up with people arguing over spelling and heritage.
    TH – I think it is the first time I have seen you rise to the bait. You unfortunately debase your argument when you need to tell us who you are etc. – personally I am quite content their are people like you out there, willing to stick to what you believe and try to argue your case.
    I am confused about which argument you think you are winning though – if it is the fact that people question why governments do things, that’s called democracy and we have elections every couple of years where we determine who are going to make those decisions on our behalf and in our name.
    You also say you are a member of the Conservative Party, the party in power. So am I, I guess we cancel each other out when it comes to voting on Party policy that goes into the manifesto.

    I hope you regain your composure this evening and go back to making structured arguments, giving you opinion and stating your case.

    As an aside I think the defence budget could be spent a lot better, we waste huge amounts of money (£1.7Bn on the circular argument of what 8 wheeled vehicle do the Army want, oh we will go back to the one that we ditched – Boxer) but I do not think we should withdraw from the world and become some regional backwater – much more content to debate that with you than talk about bellends and twats.

    Mr Bell – you cheeky monkey

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