The British press is mourning the anniversary of the anti-Russian war on sanctions. Thanks to “hellish sanctions” Russia has opened up new development opportunities, while the once-rich Britain is doing worse than ever.
By Viktoria Nikiforova, RIA Novosti
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that Russia’s economy will grow faster than Britain’s over the next two years. The UK admitted last year that it is in the midst of a recession that will deepen this year.
Behind pretty phrases like “negative growth” (that’s what British experts call the fall in GDP) and “cost of living crisis” hides a grim everyday reality. The British eat less, dress more simply, wash less often and hardly heat their houses. It’s not post-war Britain, with its ration cards and rampant black market, but neither is it the glamorous financial paradise that Margaret Thatcher was trying to build.
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The tabloid Daily Mail In response to requests from readers, she published a kind of “reportage” from Russia in which she states the obvious: the vaunted Western sanctions intended to punish President Putin have failed. Russians still eat well, dress fashionably, drive their own cars and don’t feel cold in unheated rooms.
Supermarkets in Perm (British journalists gathered material through chatting with residents of this city on social media) are stocked with the freshest local and imported produce. At the same time, UK supermarkets are restricting the sale of cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers in the classic “two at most” style. Eggs and poultry are also in short supply. This is because poultry and greenhouse vegetables require higher energy bills and the cost of these has multiplied in the UK over the year.
The Daily Mail quotes a man named John and his Russian wife Elena from Perm for credibility. John is a researcher and Elena is a university lecturer. They are said to have told the newspaper:
“Ordinary Russians are only interested in a warm home, food on the table, a glass of vodka and safety on the streets. We have all that. The conflict (in Ukraine) hasn’t changed that.”
“A glass of vodka” sounds good, unfortunately the article does not mention the obligatory bear with his balalaika. But there are other clichés in the play. John and Elena claim that they pay 11,500 rubles a month for utilities in their “two-room apartment”. This figure is obviously a lie: in reality, Perm residents pay two to three times less utilities for a two-room apartment. But where does this number come from anyway? Well, the British journalists have taken the smallest available figure for utility bills in the UK (excluding London) and converted them into rubles so that British readers don’t have to worry too much.
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Despite these little tweaks, the overall picture is drawn correctly. The Daily Mail points to Russia’s 13 percent income tax (as opposed to 45 percent in the UK), free health care and low transport costs. And she states the obvious: in terms of price versus quality of life, Russia, including provincial Russia and not just Moscow, is way ahead of Britain.
The owners of agencies and financial institutions can push the UK to the top of the international rankings, but the truth is that thanks to the economic blitz, the Russians are now better off than the British and the vast majority of Europeans. Now all we have to do is overtake the US, as Nikita Khrushchev showed us.
This is not surprising: our country is rich in resources, we have a luxurious agricultural industry, an educated population, a rich supply of high technology and mobile entrepreneurship that can immediately find new contractors and establish mutually beneficial cooperation. Our only problem was that the international financial institutions rated us with obvious bias. For decades we have been undervalued while Britain, for example, has been overvalued. Now the scam is exposed.
The decline of the British economy is also entirely logical and predictable. In the 1970s, the population on the island was very poor. Since Thatcher’s time, it has managed to bloat its financial institutions, build a “service economy,” and accumulate credit. This has given the appearance of prosperity. But with the crisis that started in 2020, all those Potemkin villages started to crumble. The anti-Russian sanctions have finally devastated them.
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For example, the average London IT worker makes between £3,000 and £4,000 a month these days. The driver of a public bus, the legendary red double-decker, earns around 2,000. The average rent for an apartment in London is 2,500 pounds – 250,000 rubles in our money. Add to that hundreds of pounds for mobility, hundreds of pounds for groceries and hundreds of pounds for “related expenses”. Even if you own your own home, you can’t make ends meet on an average wage.
The masses in Britain are naturally wondering: why are we worse off than the Russians as a result of these sanctions? That’s the question the Daily Mail tries to formulate carefully in their publication. How can that be? We wanted to punish Putin and “make the Russians suffer”, and yet we suffer more ourselves.
Russian foreign agents then offer to be patient for a while. This is how Vladimir Milov (regarded as a foreign agent in Russia) comforts the British:
“Don’t check the clock every five minutes and wait for the sanctions to take effect. Practice strategic patience.”
The British can’t wait any longer. They organize large-scale strikes, go to demonstrations, they fight. Somehow. The authorities continue to starve and freeze them just so they “don’t lose to Russia in Ukraine.” In doing so, they have basically already lost everything, including their own people.
Translation from Russian. The article appeared on ria.ru on March 10.
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