The Guardian’s obituary on Castro reads like hagiography, understandably. Castro was merely a radical exponent of the same ‘philosophy’ The Guardian preaches in slightly muted tones, which is at base hatred of every founding tenet of our civilisation.
The Guardian has never seen a left-wing despot it couldn’t love, nor any leftie slogan it wouldn’t happily run up its flagpole. Naturally, Castro’s Cuba has always been one of its cherished causes.
Yet even I was surprised to see who wrote that revolting panegyric. If I were The Guardian’s editor, Richard Gott would be my last choice for this commission. Call it decorum, call it prudence, but I wouldn’t want someone exposed as a KGB agent of influence to write a eulogy for a Soviet puppet.
One would think that Gott’s 1994 exposure by KGB defector Oleg Gordievsky would have destroyed the hack’s credibility even in the eyes of Guardian readers. Apparently not.
After the truth came out, Gott, at the time the paper’s literary editor, admitted being in the pay of the KGB and resigned: “I took red gold, even if it was only in the form of expenses for myself and my partner. That, in the circumstances, was culpable stupidity, though at the time it seemed more like an enjoyable joke.”
Gott shares his sense of humour with Philby, and I’m sure he enjoyed the joke at the time. Yet in some quarters such jesting is called treason – the Soviet Union at the time was, as Russia still is, an avowed enemy of the West.
Soviet missiles were, as Russian missiles are, trained at us and our NATO allies. Soviet chieftains were, as Russian ones are, issuing threats of nuclear annihilation. The Soviet Union was, as Russia is, the deadliest enemy the West has had since Genghis Khan, although Islam is vying for this distinction too.
For a Western journalist, selling his services to the KGB was, and still is, tantamount to selling his soul to the devil, a transaction that can sometimes be regretted but never revoked.
Gott claims he got nothing but expenses, £10,000 or so in total. Yet, even if that’s true, it’s the thought that counts. The sum is peanuts by the KGB’s standards, and not a fortune by Gott’s. Yet some questioned that his services, whatever they were, would have been worth even that pittance to the KGB.
Such doubters simply don’t understand the nature of that sinister organisation. Weaned on spy novels, they see KGB activities as cloak-and-dagger stuff, stealing secrets, running agents high up in Western governments, ‘whacking’ (in Putin’s parlance) leading anti-Soviet figures.
True, the KGB did, and still does, all those things. But its principal function always has been, and still is, not just subverting the West’s military strength, but poisoning its mind and thereby paralysing its will.
Agents of influence like Gott were the toxic bacilli, they were, and still are, the slow-acting poison building up within the West’s brain. When it has reached a deadly concentration, the body will die. Without the brain to move it, the military muscle atrophies.
Any country that deserves to survive would have locked Gott up for life. But hey, even Anthony Blunt, exposed as one of the ‘Cambridge Five’, remained at large. Losing his knighthood was the spy’s only punishment, as his resignation was Gott’s.
Selling one’s soul to the devil is bad enough, but offering it for free is truly satanic. I’m certain that Gott did the KGB’s bidding not for a few pieces of silver but out of an innermost conviction. He genuinely believed, and still does, in the cause promoted by history’s most murderous cabal.
The KGB no longer serves Russia; it’s now the other way around. What with 85 per cent of Russia’s ruling elite made up of KGB officers, whatever they call themselves now, the KGB isn’t an arm of the country’s government. It is the country’s government.
Its status has changed, so have its slogans, but the objective of destroying the West hasn’t. And, as in the past, it has no problem recruiting Western quislings, mostly voluntary ‘useful idiots’ serving the cause with disinterested alacrity.
Since the KGB has changed its tune, the choir of its witting or, typically, unwitting shills has to intone different songs. The dominant parts are carried not by leftie falsettos but by rightie bassos, the booming voices of Fillon and Le Pen, Trump and Berlusconi, Hitchens and Booker – all those who are just as useful and idiotic as their leftie precursors.
But the nostalgic notes of admiration for the Soviet Union are still being struck by the likes of Gott. Hence his 4,000-word hagiography of Castro, with nary a mention of the tyrant’s tens of thousands of victims.
Not one word about Castro’s driving a sixth of Cuba’s population into exile and reducing the rest effectively to penal servitude. Nor about the destruction of a previously sound economy. Nor about the suppression of the free press, spreading military subversion all over Latin America and Africa – not even a single rebuke for bringing the world to the brink of nuclear catastrophe.
This time the panegyric is paid for by The Guardian, not the KGB. One may be excused for wondering if there’s a valid difference.