The BBC have made a new film of the classic 1930 children’s novel Swallows and Amazons, and you’ll probably not be surprised to know who the new baddies are.
Arthur Ransome’s book, set in England’s beautiful Lake District region, was about the outdoor adventures of two families of children. The 2016 adaptation has introduced two new characters to the story. Guess what? They’re Russian spies!
What makes the tampering with the original text all the more objectionable, is Arthur Ransome himself was a Russophile, and an admirer of a certain Vladimir Lenin. Swallows and Amazonsand Shady Soviet Spies? Red Arthur, who shared a flat with Radek and who married Trotsky’s secretary, must be turning in his grave.
The makeover of Swallows and Amazons is only the latest example of Russian baddies being wheeled out in new film and television productions. Since 2013, when, purely coincidentally, Russia became official enemy number one for the western Establishment by blocking plans for regime change in Syria, we’ve had a glut of productions featuring diabolical, sinister Russkies.
At the same time in book publishing, a spate of anti-Russia/anti-Putin titles have appeared and been aggressively promoted (and done very well when it comes to winning literary prizes). Anyone who arrived back in Britain from a few years abroad could be forgiven for thinking that we’re being prepared for a major war. It’s hard to escape from all this Russophobia. It hits us when we switch on the TV to watch mainstream channels, go to the cinema or pop down to our local bookshop, where we’re likely to see books with subtle titles like 2017 War with Russia: An Urgent Warning from Senior Military Command, by General Sir Richard Shirreff, prominently displayed.
On the telly, it’s not just the Russian spies in Swallows and Amazons we’ve got to look forward. There’s a new production of Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent. In the original 1907 novel it is only implied that agent provocateur Adolf Verloc is working for the Russian government. But the new production – it seems – will leave us in no doubt as to who’s behind the devilish plot to bring terror to London.
It’s not only in Britain where dramas with Russians as the baddies are in vogue. It seems to be the norm elsewhere in NATO-land. Last autumn, Okkupert (Occupied), a drama depicting a future Russian invasion of Norway, premiered on Norway’s TV 2 channel. The budget for the series was 90m kr ($11m) making it the most expensive production in Norwegian television history. It goes without saying that the UK is one of the countries which Okkupert has sold to. The Baltic States have also bought it. That will do a lot to ease tensions with Russia, won’t it?
The Russians, quite justifiably, feel offended by this very cold piece of cold war propaganda. The Russian Ambassador to Norway noted that it was the 70th anniversary of the Red Army’s victory over the Nazis that involved the liberation of Northern Norway from the Germans. In fact just a year earlier King Harald V had paid tribute to the Red Army, saying:
“Norway has never forgotten, and will never forget, the contribution our Russian neighbor gave to our freedom. Many hundred Soviet soldiers fell in the battles in Eastern Finnmark in the autumn of 1944. Of the nearly 100.000 soviet prisoners of war that were sent to Norway, more than 13.000 died, and are resting in Norwegian soil.”
Resource: Pew Research
Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. He has written for many newspapers and magazines in the UK and other countries including The Guardian, Morning Star, Daily and Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Spectator, The Week, and The American Conservative. He is a regular pundit on RT and has also appeared on BBC TV and radio, Sky News, Press TV and the Voice of Russia. He is the co-founder of the Campaign For Public Ownership.
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Read full article Source: Oh look, there’s another Russian baddie! — RT Op-Edge