So, after two years and half a million pounds of taxpayers’ money, the conclusion of the UK’s Intelligence and Security Committee is that Russia is a threat to the UK’s national security. Well, shucks!
The ISC is supposed to be the watchdog for Britain’s intelligence services. Since its creation in 1994, it has often been accused of being toothless. But this latest report would seem to just about prove it.
The report highlights another thing which we could have all told them before they even started their enquiries: that the UK government is reluctant to investigate whether Russia influenced the 2016 Brexit referendum. Of course they are! The current government are the ones who benefited from the result. Why would a government cut its own throat? Imagine if an inquiry proved that Russian influence had been enough to tip that finely balanced result?
The government has fought to delay this report lest it cause the British public to stop and ask some difficult questions. They wanted it delayed until at least September (that would have been eleven months, the longest an ISC report has been delayed before is ten days). But it now looks like July was long enough. This flaccid report will simply allow the government to do one of two things:
a) Do nothing until attention drifts away to some new subject;
b) Appoint a new committee with a timeline so long and a brief so vague that by the time it reports, the findings won’t matter anyway.
In truth, the ISC could have got right to the heart of this very quickly. They should have named names and looked at connections. The first name they should have started with is Dominic Cummings.