Our blog seems very popular in Russia just now. Last month there were more pageviews from there than from the UK, with the USA far behind in third place. A third of all pageviews from Russia since figures began occurred during May.
What can we say to provide some context for readers in the world’s largest country?
First and foremost, we offer another point of view. The mainstream media in the UK accommodates a startlingly narrow range of opinions, with those not endorsed by the rich and powerful dismissed as contradicting reality. Media concentration means that even those branch studios and provincial newspapers that one might expect to stand up for diversity of thought do not in fact do so. Where would we be without the Internet? We may not be rich or powerful. We may indeed have deep contempt for those who are. But we exist and we have something different to say that we believe is worth hearing. This year in particular, Jubilympics and all that, 'the eyes of the world will be on London'. Our voice, small as it is, is raised against the perception that the UK is nothing more than a city-state.
Second, we have a political philosophy, of space to ‘live and let live’, that stands for things that interfering globalists just cannot appreciate. We have no wish to impose a philosophy on the world – that would be the very opposite of regionalist thinking – but we are not unhappy if others learn from us, just as we are willing to learn from them. Tribalism is at the root of many conflicting identities but its destructive power can best be neutralised by dividing political authority, by respecting the sovereignty of the small, not the great, and by not taking more than we need from the common treasury we inhabit. The key to all that is that place does matter, that without it there is no understanding, no community and no vision.