The Crisis that Dare Not Speak its Name

According to this article by Adrian Blomfield at the Telegraph, survey results in Russia are showing that people are feeling even more positive about the economic outlook this month over last:

And sure enough, at a time when their country is locked in its worst financial crisis in a decade, they are more optimistic about the economy than they have ever been. According to opinion polls, 57 per cent reckon it is flourishing, up from 53 per cent in July.

The survey’s findings are a triumph for the state, proving that the Kremlin has not lost its touch when it comes to manipulating fact. Obeying orders from the top, Russian television has banned the use of words such as “crisis”, “decline” and “devaluation”. Coverage of the mayhem in the country’s stock market, where shares have fallen by 75 per cent since August, is scant.

Instead, just as in Soviet times, Russians are told how bad everything is inthe West. The US, Russians are told, is in irreversible decline, whiledesperate Britons are throwing themselves into the Thames. The Queen, facingimminent penury, has been forced to pawn her diamonds and, according to onetabloid front page, we can no longer afford to bury our dead.

It has fallen to Russia, one television commentator gravely intoned, to cometo the rescue of Europe. Russia, another newspaper declared, was set tobecome the continent’s lender of last resort.