Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Pussy Riot just another liberal claws celebre

Pussy Riot members, from left, Yekaterina Samutsevich, Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (AP)

There is nothing the liberal English love better than raising a cheer for artistic freedom, especially where Johnny Foreigner is concerned.

The rubbish girl band jailed for blasphemy and sundry offences in Russia is unlikely to be the interval entertainment at BBC Sports Personality of the Year, but that doesn't stop the luvvies leaping to conclusions about the whole of Russian society and, bizarrely, blaming Russian president Vladimir Putin for personally imprisoning these poor arty girls, as if he were Stalin and they were innocent.

In fact, they were found guilty by a Russian court.

But let's not let that get in the way of fantasising that Putin is a Soviet tyrant rather than a democratically elected leader of a big democracy. Which is more than liberal darling Nick Clegg is.

Thankfully, though, the protest was conducted in an Orthodox cathedral rather than a mosque, thereby liberating the liberals from the psychic meltdown of not knowing who or what to support. Which usually ends up expressing itself as total silence.

But if the current liberal mouthfroth concerning Mother Russia is remembered for anything even by this time next week, it will probably be less for the outrageously lengthy sentence given to the masked ladies and more for the magnificent opportunity it gave the British Nation to hear newsreader and Antiques Roadshow host Fiona Bruce utter the words 'Pussy Riot' on national TV as if she were describing an artefact from some obscure 19th century agrarian unrest in rural England.

Now that is a cause worth someone else going to jail for.

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