Kremlin Trolls: Top First Order Following beyond Graham_WP’s Reciprocal Network

This abstract enjoys networking and Twitter. Recently it came upon an interesting blog post (accessible here) about a Twitter account of interest: @Graham_WP.

The article briefly examines reciprocal relationships which exist between this account and accounts which appear to be part of a so called ‘Kremlin Troll’ network. It carefully pointed out that whilst the interpretation of accounts being ‘Kremlin Trolls’ is to a degree up to the reader, the reciprocal relationships are significant as they allow direct messaging and perhaps reflect an affinity between the accounts which are engaged.

This abstract decided to take a look itself, and wanted to examine the outbound links of this reciprocal network, to see who it as a whole was following, and what the order of popularity of the accounts being followed by the network was.

The interpretation of the results is of course up to the reader, but shared common follows by the group – even if they are not reciprocal – should give an insight into deeper common values shared across the network as a whole. Indicated also may be those accounts which could have more of an influence on the reciprocal network as a whole.

The details were snapshot in early April 2015.

The total number of accounts in the reciprocal network was: 52

The reciprocal network at this time was following 52,627 accounts in total.

The following are the top 100 accounts in order of popularity followed by members of the reciprocal network:

Followed Account Total In Network Following %’age of Network
@marcelsardo 39 75.0%
@Novorossiyan 38 73.1%
@RT_com 38 73.1%
@cy80s 36 69.2%
@russian_market 36 69.2%
@SputnikInt 35 67.3%
@ValLisitsa 35 67.3%
@NinaByzantina 34 65.4%
@AntiMaydanUA 33 63.5%
@Mukha_Kaloev 33 63.5%
@varyagi 33 63.5%
@AndreyPanevin 32 61.5%
@AntimaidanENG 32 61.5%
@GogiGogi12 32 61.5%
@JenniferCohagen 32 61.5%
@MarkSleboda1 32 61.5%
@RussiaInsider 32 61.5%
@verafilatova 32 61.5%
@Black_Bomb 31 59.6%
@Catherina_News 31 59.6%
@EnaLolena 31 59.6%
@homo_viator 31 59.6%
@NadezhdaAle 31 59.6%
@Hermius1 30 57.7%
@mfa_russia 30 57.7%
@Slavianushka 30 57.7%
@DenisPushilin 29 55.8%
@KremlinRussia_E 29 55.8%
@Loveussr 29 55.8%
@robinmonotti 29 55.8%
@DrMarcusP 28 53.8%
@DrPavelSlavenko 28 53.8%
@JPexsquaddie 28 53.8%
@LuhanskRepublic 28 53.8%
@OlgaNTT 28 53.8%
@RenieriArts 28 53.8%
@RussianUniverse 28 53.8%
@southfronteng 28 53.8%
@tassagency_en 28 53.8%
@wavetossed 28 53.8%
@wikileaks 28 53.8%
@P1R5V8rH 27 51.9%
@theLemniscat 27 51.9%
@UkrToday 27 51.9%
@VKofSEVASTOPOL 27 51.9%
@A_J_S_B 26 50.0%
@Adam1Baum 26 50.0%
@ilyushin76 26 50.0%
@IrinaGalushkoRT 26 50.0%
@MeaganMacha 26 50.0%
@SerboCanada 26 50.0%
@StirringTrouble 26 50.0%
@strelkov_info 26 50.0%
@SuchanVladimir 26 50.0%
@_I330 25 48.1%
@aleksiskander 25 48.1%
@dnrpress 25 48.1%
@EmeraudeALB 25 48.1%
@MFinoshina_RT 25 48.1%
@NZSarvo 25 48.1%
@PatrickECooley 25 48.1%
@Ruptly 25 48.1%
@SNalobin 25 48.1%
@haloefekti 24 46.2%
@NOVORUSSIA2015 24 46.2%
@rougek68 24 46.2%
@SputnikNewsUS 24 46.2%
@BanderaTrash 23 44.2%
@coldwar20_en 23 44.2%
@Ian56789 23 44.2%
@JackMarsman 23 44.2%
@jasonsmith7080 23 44.2%
@JohnDelacour 23 44.2%
@kp_steshin 23 44.2%
@ProfessorsBlogg 23 44.2%
@PutinRF_Eng 23 44.2%
@RT_America 23 44.2%
@SgforgoodStella 23 44.2%
@steve_henley 23 44.2%
@ultimateOne 23 44.2%
@algator2 22 42.3%
@BurtRambeau 22 42.3%
@ChristophHeer52 22 42.3%
@DissidentView 22 42.3%
@DMeralles 22 42.3%
@EgoRZemtsoV 22 42.3%
@idaltae 22 42.3%
@leon_elk 22 42.3%
@myrevolutionrus 22 42.3%
@Narwhal8915 22 42.3%
@NeilClark66 22 42.3%
@NovorossiaNews 22 42.3%
@pmsxa 22 42.3%
@PressTV 22 42.3%
@PutinPolitics 22 42.3%
@sashakots 22 42.3%
@sbobkov 22 42.3%
@VagelisKarmiros 22 42.3%
@wmk2u 22 42.3%
@actionScript3 21 42.3%

As with the composition of the network itself, the network’s most popular follows do include an interesting mix of media sources which are themselves noteworthy.


A diagram of the follows from the relevant subset of the reciprocal network to the above accounts is available in pdf here:


Color code:

Gray: Source accounts (Reciprocal Network)

Red / Pink: Target accounts (Outside Reciprocal Network)

Red: >= 30 connections, Pink / Gray: < 30 connections

Blue edges indicate connections to targets with >= 30 connections

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IFF failure and how not to deal with suspected online ‘Trolls’: A Minor Study

Following a recent and somewhat bizarre block over a list addition by the FSB’s online Bulgarian team, this abstract experienced another bizarre blocking from an account which would otherwise be described as ‘friendly’. IFF – Identify Friend or Foe – appears to be difficult in the virtual wilderness of mirrors that is social media.

Firstly, the account: @GorseFires

@Gorsefires Profile

@Gorsefires – GorseFires Collectif
‘Resistance is life. We are partisan. We are for Ukraine, Freedom and Democracy. United against Russian aggression and occupation. RT/Following ≠ Endorsement.
Ukraine, Ireland and Britain’

The account is worth following as it generally provides a time line of useful re-tweets on matters related to the Ukraine conflict and NATO matters in the European theater. Indeed, this abstract has the account listed in one of its news feeds and regards it as a good source.

On Feb 26th, after some interaction with two unrelated accounts on the matter of the recent Jihadi John / MI5 revelations, the following tweet came in from nowhere:

Gorsefires Tweet1

Gorsefires Tweet: Accusation 1

The accounts of the other folk involved in the conversation are disclosed as they initiated the conversation with this abstract. Until this point @GorseFires was not involved or included in the tweeting. The total Twitter interaction between this abstract and @GorseFires may be seen here.

Twitter is a social media platform and is designed in part for facilitating idle conversation. Most of this is banal / harmless. The conversation involving this abstract and two others above is available on my time line and took place on Feb 26 2015.

With a twitter advanced search such as this it is straight forward to locate – if interested.

Following this tweet, upon checking the status of @Gorsefires this abstract did indeed find the following:

Gorsefires Profile: Blocked

Gorse Fires Profile: Blocked

A bit heavy handed, but it is every users right to block whoever they want for any reason, however with the initial accusation there was a clear motivation in this case.

At this point another account interjected and suggested that ‘mute’ would perhaps be better than a block for accounts that may be ‘distracting’. The following reply was sent through to that account with further accusations:

Gorsefires Tweet2

Gorsefires Tweet: Accusation 2

This abstract denies the accusation, and that can be confirmed by examination of its @EUFundedEUTroll timeline. This abstract has had experience of timeline cluttering by chatter, an example is here.

The issue raised relating to the other accounts and @PMBreedlove appears to relate to interactions on February 26 which can be found easily with an advanced Twitter search.

NB: If searching for a specific day, Twitter’s advance search fails if the start and end dates are specified the same. Set the end date to T+1 Day.

Ok, so at this point all of this seems to be a storm in a teacup over some tweets, but there are some relatively serious points brought up which relate to information warfare strategy.

Firstly: What is the best strategy for dealing with suspected or known ‘Trolls’, or even identifying them?

i) Private Lists and Observation

This is discussed by @webradius briefly on the Kremlin Trolls blog here.

The strategy can be broadly expanded thus:

a) Add a suspected (or known) disinformation source to a private list and keep an eye on them.

NB: More subtly you could create a public list with an innocuous name such as ‘News Info’ and place them there. In the latter case ensure that some non-disinformation sources are included to prevent suspicions being aroused. They will be watching.

b) For those you do not wish cluttering your timeline – mute them if you find annoying, block and report in extreme circumstances, TOS violations or outright credible threats being received.

It is a good idea not to completely ignore them – excepting of course those which cross personal red lines etc. in their broadcast content – as there is much that can be learned from reading the enemy’s disinformation provided it is identified as such and is not too time consuming.

c) It may be an idea not to step in on behalf of other twitter users. Direct Messaging is good for sharing concerns. A notable exception is when it is observed that an innocent account is being unfairly targeted to force it off of the service by making fraudulent claims of breaking terms of service. Twitter appears to be dealing with these strategies better now. Drawing attention could have an unwarranted Streisand effect for the account being ‘protected’.

ii) Try to avoid public denouncements.

Denouncing accounts is very hazardous.

Except in situations where the timelines of accounts are very clearly and consistently broadcasting deliberately provocative and offensive material, or are advertising they are essentially based in the Kremlin itself (eg. @MarkSleboda1), or a Russian Embassy, the practice should be avoided. Even in those cases it should be considered carefully.

One recent nonsensical denouncement was of @20committee which came across more as borderline comedy than a serious attempt to discredit. However, for anyone not aware of the game being played the denouncing tweet(s) will set the opinion of a percentage of folk whose prejudices the message confirms. They may also have a negative effect on the recipient if the claim is false, provoking a response.

Genuine Russian Trolls are known to do this in order to engage their targets in order to waste their time in sometimes heated but always pointless exchanges.

Another problem with public denouncements absent any decisive evidence is that this can work against you. Firstly, if proven wrong the denouncement may undermine your own credibility as a source. Secondly, if a false allegation is made against a specific individual that can have legal consequence in the ‘real world’.

A recent controversial example of the latter case was the infamous ‘** innocent face **’ tweet of Sally Bercow when commenting about the fact that since deceased Lord MacAlpine was trending on Twitter. That proved to be a rather expensive tweet.

The former case is easily avoided by not making accusations without having prepared a case with clear objective evidence.

The real world case of Katya Zatuliveter is an example of a situation that straddles the two.

Kremlin disinformation that is disseminated online and through other media sources largely relies on making accusations that appeal to prejudice absent any real evidence. There is quite a large corpus of ‘conspiracy theories’ out there which exploit this technique, ranging on subjects as diverse as the health effects and philosophy of municipal water fluoridation through to the incredible notion that Ukraine was forcibly taken over by gay Nazis just prior to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

There is nothing new about the techniques or their intent. Social media and the internet is just a new broadcast medium.

The real problem with a denouncement is if it is disproved, or a climb down occurs. At that point your reputation will be diminished slightly – sometimes that can be lasting.

On February 27th this abstract received the following more friendly and very much welcomed tweet from its accuser:

@Gorsefires Tweet: Unblocked

@Gorsefires Tweet: Unblocked

This should not discredit the information that @GorseFires broadcasts, but the account’s counter-intelligence credibility is questionable.

Future discretion is advisable, as is perhaps following advice and examples set by others with more experience. This abstract bears no ‘grudge’ and does not consider the episode an attack on its own Twitter following.

A positive result

On a positive note, this bizarre episode did expose what appears to be one genuine pro-Russian Troll – @PostEuropian:

@posteuropian Tweet: Russian Troll?

@posteuropian Tweet: Russian Troll?

The entities profile certainly does raise suspicions:

@posteuropian Profile

@posteuropian Profile

This excellent article explains why it should. The entity’s time-line content adds further support.

The reader is left to check the entities timeline, if interested, and form their own opinion.

This abstract has added it to its private collection. A public denouncement beyond a concern raised in a blog post is not appropriate in this abstract’s opinion.

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Twitter, the Russian Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria, and a list related block

This abstract likes to keep up with the latest news around the world, and Twitter is a good tool for this. Twitter accounts affiliated with the diplomatic missions of foreign countries are a very good source of all kinds of information.

Usually, such accounts do not mind people listening in to what they have to broadcast: After all, what is the point of tweeting if you don’t want people to read your tweets?

There are some exceptions. One of them appears to be an account that claims to be affiliated with the Russian Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria: @RKIC_Sofia

Its profile seems quite plausible:

@RKIC_Sofia Twitter Profile - 20150225

(20150225) @RKIC_Sofia
‘I am affiliated with Russian Culture+Info Center in Sofia. Opinions on this blog my own! RT ≠ endorsement. РКИЦ-София’

This abstract maintains numerous Twitter lists for managing information sources, and in the current geopolitical climate has been constructing a public one for Russian Embassy Twitter accounts.

The reasoning for use of lists is four fold:

i) To organize information logically

ii) Use of Google Translate

iii) Bypass the problem with follower limiting – eg. the 2000 problem

iv) Avoid missing tweets on an otherwise totally unusable home timeline.

@RKIC_Sofia’s tweets are in a variety of languages and organization of non-English accounts into lists allows for easy use of the gist-based Google translator service for translation.

Google translate works well with Twitter, but the translation tool does interfere with the typing of tweets, so it is good practice to have a dedicated browser session for a translated timeline, and a secondary non-translated for actual interaction.

Twitter lists are a very useful in this scenario.

This abstract was somewhat taken aback when within one minute of adding the @RKIC_Sofia account to a list, with no other interaction, the following tweet was received:

@RKIC_Sofia Block Tweet  - 20150221

@RKIC_Sofia Block Tweet – 20150221

When @RKIC_Sofia’s profile was re-checked, this abstract found itself to have indeed been blocked:

RKIC_Sofia - Blocked

RKIC_Sofia – Blocked

Some further investigation has suggested that @RKIC_Sofia may be a so-called ‘Kremlin-Troll’ account, possibly FSB operated alongside the Russian embassy in Bulgaria. It does appear to be quite multi-lingual, and its time line is quite interesting.


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Dezinformatsiya: A Ukraine-China-Russia Nuclear 12k-15k troop Tango.

An interesting and instructive dezinformatsiya (disinformation) attack has apparently taken place.

On the face of it this was directed against Russia, sourced from Ukraine.

A moments reflection, and considering that maskirovka (deception) may also be at play, would suggest this is a third party attack, apparently against the Russia-China relationship apparently sourcing from Ukraine.

This is worth looking at closer as it is quite interesting and instructive.

The Western conspiracy theory world of Prison-Planet / Infowars and even David Icke lit up with news of Chinese troop movements on the 9th September, 2014.

Twelve to Fifteen thousand Chinese troops, complete with artillery and other heavy weapons had apparently been moved towards the Russia-China border. The source for these alleged events was a Russian FSB border service official, who further informed of the movement that he: ‘smelled something bad’ – details that were apparently reported in the Russian media.

Into the mix was added detail about changes to Russia’s nuclear weapons doctrine, news of nuclear weapon drills and pipeline construction. Quite juicy.

The reports which outline this apparent falling out between neighbours and trading partners of the east on the 9th were from the usual suspects in the alternative media world: Infowars, Prison Planet. David Icke himself was tweeting links to yet another blog source of truth across social media.

There was a video produced with a still of some Chinese troops frozen in mid march during a parade and some narration. It should be noted that the diction of that narrator indicates that he is not a native English speaker – Neither is he Ukrainian nor Russian.

The full alternative media reports are from known non-credible sources, the gist of the narrative presented is similar across all three:

There is to be WWIII triggered by a confrontation between Russia and China: This troop movement proves it!

Now, that conclusion is broadly incredible, and at this time incorrect. It is also based on a completely unconfirmed event allegedly having taken place.

The articles are worth looking at.

Each of the articles reference some individually credible detail which is worth looking at if unfamiliar with these recent world events:

NB: China is not a part of NATO.

The way these details are suggested to relate to each other is not correct. They are very separate. It is worth noting that the links are suggested by insinuation rather than reasoned argument.

The source for the unconfirmed FSB quote and troop movement details is a blog article on (detail) The uainfo site is described as a feed consisting of processed Ukrainian and foreign blog posts, including posts to ‘social networks’.

The piece was presented with an undated, and unlocated picture of a Chinese armoured column and text taken from here

The live journal account, v-n-zb, is a paid for account, apparently located ‘Kiev, Ukraine’ with name: ‘A pogovorit?’

The post states that the troop movement happened and FSB commented on the 6th September.

The posting indicates that is was placed on 9th September.

It is worth noting that in the uainfo post the report is stated as being ‘unconfirmed’ and uainfo is not ‘Russian media’ as was stated in the reports on Infowars, Prison-planet and elsewhere.

Some background and information that was not presented:

This was pre-planned and is a joint operation. Large movements of troops are to be expected, however, China may have other reasons for moving a large number of troops to its Eastern provinces as suggested below, if such a movement is confirmed.

Further, as the pipeline development indicates, Russia and China are currently enjoying good relations. Indeed, China appears satisfied with the oil deal it has signed with Russia and Russia is keen to supply China in order to break its dependency on European markets.

The two countries do have some problems along their border:

China has an issue with restive western provinces and Islam – the Uighur’s in particular. China has already deployed deadly force to calm its Uighur population, and even took the extreme step of banning observance of the holy month of Ramadan. The US is also seeking backing for a coalition with China against Islamic State. Islam in the western provinces is a politically sensitive topic in China.

Russia shares the problem with radical Islam, but is also dealing with a restive Siberia which wishes to split from Moscow and independently federalize.

A separate event was later reported on the 11th September.

Putin had ordered his forces in the east to undergo a major combat drill, and was visiting to inspect and test the Moscow TSB troops willingness and ability to work in war:  AP, Interfax and Russia’s TVRain (among others).

It is worth noting of course that the original FSB claims / rumours of Chinese Troop movements are not mentioned in anywhere here, or elsewhere for that matter. Being unconfirmed, that is to be expected. However, despite that, some on social media did attempt to form a false link between the two events. eg: this tweet

The disinformation here is interesting, as is the path it apparently took to get into the alternative media ‘mainstream’.

It is not clear what is the precise target: Discrediting Ukraine, targeting of Siberia / China by implication relating to politically sensitive domestic issues, attacking the Russian-Chinese relationship, or just pushing some important actual world news into the alternative mainstream albeit with a somewhat warped interpretation of reality. Many on-line publications claiming to be ‘investment’ related picked the story up, which could suggest that there may have been a part economic motive to pushing this news out.

The original source, the livejournal post, seems to be more directed at Russia and against China. The video seems firmly targeted at China itself.

The intent of this piece is to discredit the reporting in relation to this unconfirmed event, but not the critical processes which could otherwise form the links. The ‘conspiracy sites’ do damage to critical independent analysis when they push discredited or fantastic stories such as this: One effect is to close down critical thought, but more importantly the process of insinuation and misguided reasoning (or absence of reason) distorts the reader’s perception of reality and capability to reason in a way that could cause harm to the reader.

This recent piece in the Atlantic, Russia and the Menace of Unreality, is instructive, and discusses how reality in Russia is being intentionally warped by the State through manipulation of its media channels. The art of spreading disinformation by suggestion and deception is very well practised by Russia.

The case presented here is similar in some respects, and demonstrates how such techniques can be deployed through social media and the other media which comprises the internet.

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EU Federalization: The Pan-European Manifesto (Paneuropa)


Below is a translation of a document known as the Pan-European Manifesto, also known as Paneuropa.

This is the founding document of the Pan-European movement.

The original in German may be found here:

Click to access II-01.PDF

NB: The translation is as close to literal as possible whilst remaining intelligible. Some passages may not read fluidly in English. The intention of the author is preserved. Minor changes have been made in order to ensure some passages are intelligible. The layout – paragraphing – is as per the German source. Typographic emphasis has not been preserved.

The Pan European Manifesto 

Count Richard Nikolaus von Coudenhove-Kalergi, 1923

Europeans! Europeans!

Europe’s fateful hour strikes!

In European factories weapons are daily forged to rend European men – in European laboratories daily are brewed poisons to exterminate European women and children.

Meanwhile, Europe is playing with inconceivable levity its fate; in incomprehensible blindness it does not see what is imminent; in incomprehensible inactivity it can is without will against driving the most terrible disaster that ever a continent met.

Europe’s policy is heading for a new war. Two dozen new Alsace-Lorraine have emerged. One crisis triggers another. This can be performed daily by an accident – for example, by an attack or a revolt – the European war of destruction break out, our continent turned into a cemetery.

This war of extermination, the prepared European politics, shall in the awfulness of World War leave far behind – like this the German – French. Its element will be the air – poison the weapon – its goal the eradication of enemy nation. The main fight will be against the cities of the hinterland, against women and children. The defeated Nations are destroyed – the victorious mortally wounded from these mass murders emerge.

This threat of war means the thorough destruction of Europe, its culture and economy. Other parts of the world will take its place.

The second danger, the answer is a fragmented Europe, is: the conquest by Russia.

Russia is related to Europe, as once Macedonia to Greece.

In Philip’s throne no Greek believed in a Macedonian danger; because Macedonia was then in confusion and anarchy.

But Philip’s genius brought order out of chaos, and after 20 years, the number of peasant people of Macedonia was strong enough the fragmented civilizations of Greece prostrate.

Under the leadership of a red or white dictator could Russia, by good harvests, American and German capital
organization, again raise faster than Europe suspects. Then the fragmented and disunited small states of Europe would face some Russian world power whose area is five times as large as the entire European.

Neither the small states of Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the Balkans nor disarmed Germany would then be able to repel the Russian rush. Rhine, Alps, Adriatic would be Europe’s borders; until this limit falls and Europe is a Western Province of Russia.

Against this danger there is only one salvation: the European union. For a united Europe, there is no Russian threat. Because it has twice as many people as Russia and a much more developed industry. So is the decision on Russian danger is not in Russia – but in Europe.

The next two decades will be the history of the spectacle of a race between the offer of unification of Europe and Russian re-construction: Russia recovering from its economic disaster before Europe agrees – as Europe must irretrievably for Russian hegemony to expire; agrees Europe before Russia is restored – as Europe is rescued from the Russian danger.

Thus the freedom of Europe is in the hands of the Europeans.

The third danger for Europe’s life is economic ruin.

Never can the shattered economy of the disunited States of Europe remain competitive against the closed economy of the United States of America. For the European interim duties impede the price of production. The parcels of European Economy are therefore condemned by the non-European economic empire in America, Britain, Russia to be crushed in the future, of East Asia as well – as shopkeepers of trusts.

Chronic crises undermined the European economy, increasing the distress, misery and inflation – until finally the bankrupt Europe economy is an American colony. This condition is the enslavement of Europe’s workforce lead by American capital, which will escape all control.

Against this danger there is only one salvation: merger of the European continent to a duty association, abolition of tariffs between European States and the creation of a pan-European economic area.

Any other path leads to ruin.

Thus, the fragmented Europe is a triple disaster contrary: the war of extermination; the subjugation by Russia; economic ruin.

The only salvation from these impending disasters: Pan Europa; the union of all democratic countries of continental Europe into an international group for a political administration union and economic purpose.

The danger of European war of extermination can only be averted by a pan-European agreement to arbitrate; the risk of Russian rule can only be averted by a pan-European defensive alliance; the risk of economic
ruin can only be averted by a pan-European Customs Union.

The arbitration agreement secures peace – the alliance secures the freedom – the Customs Union with the economy.

These three points comprise essentially the pan-European program.

Pan-Europa includes the peninsula between Russia, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea; to Iceland and the colonies the European states. The large European colony, halfway between Tripoli and Congo, Morocco and Angola Africa includes, could supply with raw materials at rational management of Europe.

Russia and England are Paneuropa neighbors. These two empires are viable even without Europe – while the remaining States of the Hemisphere are connected by their geographic location common destiny; condemned, either jointly basis to go – or resurrected together.

From many sides, the inclusion of England is required in the future Pan. This claim fails because of the construction of the British Federal Empire. Never the Dominions would tolerate that England swing to another state system into closer relationship as to them; so that is the connection of the English kingdom of Pan-Europa obsolete. The connection of the British Empire Federal Pan-Europa to lapses by the impossibility to transform Canada into a European state. The consequence of this challenge
in America would be the connection of Canada in the Pan American Union and the disintegration of the British Empire.

Thus, a merger between the Pan-Europa and Pan-British states the league is currently impossible. Good, but a global political cooperation between these two complexes possible and necessary, in the interests of peace and of progress. In no case may Pan-Europa be directed against England.

Also, the inclusion of Russia in the Pan-Europa is currently impossible. A merger between democratic states on the one hand and Soviet on the other hand is impractical. Through the rejection of democracy, Russia has voluntarily renounced the European states system.

Even against Russia Pan-Europa has no hostile attitude. The goal is to preserve the Russo – European peace,
joint disarmament, economic cooperation and respect for the mutual inner development.

Is Pan-Europa created, so it may be an equal global power with America, Britain, Russia and East Asia, a new close League of Nations, in which no part of the world need to be afraid of foreign interference. Only such a world alliance could the United States of America and the Soviet Union join.

As an independent group within the League of Nations Pan-Europa would have the ability to control its own destiny, rather than as this is happening today in Geneva to have to leave the most important European decisions Latin Americans and Asians. The American Monroe Doctrine is finally, after a hundred years, becoming a European comparable: “Europe for the Europeans!”

The pan-European program forms an indivisible whole. The path is divided – the target uniformly. Without a backup of European permanent peace is a European customs union impossible. As long as each state lives in constant fear of its neighbors, it must be prepared to produce all the necessary goods like a besieged fortress even in the event of war. This requires national industries and protective tariffs. Only a disappearance of the threat of war by compulsory arbitration requirement would open the way for European States to the reduction of customs barriers and the transition to the European Free Trade. Conversely the form of national industries and their protection by the state is a hotbed of European nationalism and a threat to the European Peace. Community of interest, however, is the surest path to political community. To support the political part of the Pan-European program of economic and vice versa.

The path to the realization of Pan-Europe is as follows:

First, grouping of European countries according to the Pan-American pattern ; this would be possible either within the League of Nations (after Germany’s accession) or by convening a pan-European conference on the pattern of the Pan-American.

Second, completion of mandatory arbitration agreements and mutual border guarantees between the states of Europe.

Third, defensive alliance for the protection of the common eastern border.

Fourth, initiation of a customs union by periodic conferences of the European states.

This program, which contains nothing impossible, should be taken without delay of any attack, Europe’s position is it wants to recognize and save the continent.

The first step to solving the European question is: whose reeling. The dangers that threaten our continent, not combated enough because they can not be detected sufficiently. The political education is the way to political rebirth.

Because ninety percent of all Europeans want from politics nothing more than the preservation of peace and freedom and the increase of prosperity. When they realize that the present policy of peace, freedom and prosperity is life-threatening and constantly threatened, they will leave this slippery slope and look for another political setting.

Since a reeling of the European question inevitably leads to their solution, it is not provided by the policy – but embezzled.

One can not blame the governments that they respond to the European question wrong, but that they do not provide the same.

While the social question with law is discussed everywhere every day: in the press and Parliament, literature and family – is the second life question simply hushed up for 300 million Europeans.

The European question is:
“Is it possible that 25 states live on the small European peninsula in international anarchy next to each other without this state ending with a terrible political, economic and cultural disaster ? ”

Anti-Europeans answer that question by saying that this previously was possible.

This response ignores the facts. For in the twentieth century, all the requirements for the previous particularism have changed Europe fundamentally.

The old Europe had world domination. Outwardly sure it could afford the luxury of internal wars without danger to life. In the twentieth century that European world domination collapsed. Asia awoke under Japanese leadership. America outperformed all European states, Russia has been solved by the introduction of the Sovietism of Europe, England has come from a major European power to head an intercontinental world power whose focus is in the Indian Ocean.

This growing organization of the non-European world into mighty empires is the growing disorganization of the European World over. Here the fragmentation has made further progress by the war. In Central Europe, two Great Powers fell to a number of smaller states to make room. So Europe is forced out of the center of the world, once the subject of world politics – it has become their object: weakened, wounded, destitute, torn.

A recovery of European world domination is impossible; but it is possible, by combining the European
States to unite this continent, as a fifth world power and save the peace, freedom and prosperity of Europeans.

The advances of technology have made a return of Europe of the last century impossible. The steel war of the past, the nations only weakened – the gas war of the future would destroy them. Also, car and Railroad, airship and radio, European distances have decreased so much that today’s Europe has become relatively smaller than the Italy of the Renaissance.

This coming together of all European countries, the community of interests, has also multiplied their opposites.

Thanks to the technology, the interests of neighboring European countries today are so entwined that they have only the choice between enmity and alliance; indifferent neighborhood has become impossible.

So the whole European question culminates in either – or:

War – or peace!
Anarchy – or organization!
Arms race – or teardown!
Competition – or cooperation!
Collapse – or merger!

No Europeans will be able to dodge this decision. Before making that decision neutrality is treason. Who is not Pan-European – is anti-European!

Who does not, sees the dangers to which the fragmented Europe politically opposed to, is blind; but who sees these dangers and still does not doing anything to avert them – is a traitor and criminal to Europe; he sacrifices his convenience or his profit, the future of his children, his nation, his culture; he is complicit in all the disasters that must befall Europe, if he holds on to its present course.

The answer to the question of Europe, the future of Europe depends. This answer is in the hands of the Europeans. We live in democratic countries and are responsible for the policies of our governments. They have no right to criticize us, to limit, but duty to participate, in shaping our political destiny.

If the peoples of Europe want – Pan-Europa will arise: you just need her voice, all candidates and parties to fail, the external program is anti-European. So every European can participate in the demise – or at the resurrection of Europe!

The majority of Europeans do not see the decision to which it revolves, and the responsibility that weighs on them. Demagogic phrases have made large masses of Europeans ​​blind: blind to today’s chaos – oblivious to the impending disaster – Blind to the blindness of their leader.

Others are falling back into hopeless inactivity; abandonment has done to the political initiative and left lunatics, the headless race against the abyss, and pull the mindless masses along with them into perdition.

These two groups of Europeans; the blind and the lame, it is important to shake. One wants to see the others learn. It is imperative political knowledge – to arouse political will here.

Over and over again the simple truth is to be repeated: A fragmented Europe leads to war, oppression,
Misery, a united Europe to peace, freedom, prosperity!

Once this either-or in its full meaning is clear to the Europeans – then everyone likes to choose which of these two paths they want to go: the path of European anarchy – or the way the European organization; the path of Death – or the way of life.

The struggle for Pan-Europe will be tough and bitter. It requires faith, perseverance, determination. It revolves around more than about the fate of a party, a government: It revolves around to be or not of European humanity!

The leaders of the anti-Europeans are tough and devious. You will always find new keywords to combat Europe.
They are the pan-European initiative to push their enemies – to prevent the merger; they are ancillary questions pushed to the fore – to bypass the main question; they will hide behind the idea of ​​a World Federation – to thwart Pan-Europa; they are finally trying to stamp Pan-Europa as utopia, then, with an expression heartfelt sympathy, refuse.

Let you, Europeans, not be deterred by such maneuvers! Answer them, that every people in with the Europeanization must begin, as none can begin at the other. And that it will one day be no higher honor for a European people, as: to have been first known to Pan-Europa.

Reply to those who reject Pan-Europa because of its limitations, that it can not wait for the collapse of the British or the Democratization of the Russian Empire. But that Pan-Europa is alive and organic as any political entity and that its future union with Russia or England is not impossible.

Reply to those who make a change in the current boundaries as a condition of a new Europe that a shift of these limits only by general war and ruin is possible – during their degradation in national, strategic and economic ways performs minority protection, arbitration agreement and Customs Union to peace and prosperity; that stable borders in Europe are possible – but reasonable limits impossible.

Reply to those who reject Pan-Europa on behalf of the Alliance, that only Pan-Europa is the way to replace the League of Nations and Russia and America to open the gate in the same. The fact that Europe is only a precursor, not unlike the world League and that what is desirable only to the extent possible ie policy.

Reply finally those who want to stamp Pan-Europa a utopia that no great historical event before its emergence escaped on charges of utopia. But Pan-Europa is not a utopia, because no natural law of its realization in the way: Only the will of Europeans can thwart it – only the will of the Europeans can do it!

Reply, then, those who ask you if Pan-Europa will arise – or not: “It is when you want! If you do badly,
want energetic and persevering! This is not to question whether it will be built – but, that it may arise – and so be built. Because we are not astrologers – but politicians; not prophets – but fighters “!

For this struggle for Europe, I call on all, in the possibility and the necessity of the United States of Europe, believe; but a program – for the Pan-Europa is no utopia; not a dream – but a demand!

Against this great goal disappear the contrasts of the nation, religion and party: first must be a house built before the dispute over the wallpaper begins!

So like parties, and denominations their opposites in domestic politics unsubscribe – in foreign policy they must be united in the struggle against the enemies of the European idea. Pan-Europa victory – so the web is free to solve all social and cultural issues; subject Pan-Europa – then do all the other questions of themselves, as in an old man, a mass grave, Europe will be a pile of rubble – a cemetery of a once thriving culture.

Only through unity can the Pan-Europeans of all tongues triumph over the discordant anti-Europeans in their chauvinism and fight each other.

The weapons in the struggle for Pan-Europa are: Enlightenment and Propaganda. A resolute and staunch Pan-European is considered more than a thousand weaklings and doubters. Because of the faith and advertising power of the first Pan-Europeans depends the victory of the idea.

Why throw, Europeans, the European question in all debates; at home and among friends, in clubs and assemblies, in the press and in the literature! Forcing your fellow human beings to decide for or against the European idea! Open their eyes, and tear them out of their indifference!

Make it clear to all that this is about everything. Are your opponents strong:You’re stronger! Are they smart:You’re smarter! Are they resolved: You’re more determined than them! – They refuted everywhere, shows where their path leads! Debunked, their leaders as deceiver, and blind!

Those who are anti-European from blindness – be clear eyed! They are from insanity – fight! The it for profit and ambition are – destroyed! For the sale and barter away your future and the future of your children: There are no worse Traitors and criminals more dangerous than them!

In this struggle against blindness, madness and crimes of the anti-European policy is your commitment: clarity of cognition and purity of will.

The “Pan-European Union” is the organ of the Pan-European movement. Admission is open to all, and save some of the Europe want: women and men, associations and organizations. She puts her fellow fighters on the duty to fight for Pan-Europa.

Everyone struggles with the means at his disposal. Recruit new Pan-Europeans, compel your candidates to the European Agreement program to confess! Who can speak for the propaganda talking about! Who can pay for it, pay! Who write for them can write!

Because of the way to Pan-Europa says: Propaganda, propaganda, propaganda!

What Comenius and Nietzsche dreamed – Kant conceived – Bonaparte Mazzini and have wanted – the Pan-European movement should realize: the United States of Europe!

In the struggle for Pan-Europe, the roles are distributed so that the German Pan-Europeans only against the German anti-Europeans – the French Pan-Europeans against the French anti-Europeans, fight. Any other tactic does more harm than good and increase chauvinism rather than reduce it. Only when in a nation of European ideas against the chauvinism is enforced, it has the right to wear it on the outside.

The first Pan-Europeans should be aware that they are a million army outpost in the struggle for the future decision of their continent.

The Sign of the Sun Cross, which connects the sun of the Enlightenment with the Red Cross of international humanity – will the pan-European ideas triumph over all restrictions and inhumanity chauvinistic destruction policy.

In this sign the new Europe will grow, which already confess the best Europeans.

Help, Europeans prepare this great division between future and past, between humanity and inhumanity, Enlightenment and delusion, rebirth and destruction!

Given the choice between War and peace, freedom and oppression, prosperity and ruin, Europe will in its overwhelming majority in favor of Pan-Europa decide.

He who loves his nation, must Pan-Europa want!

He who loves his family, must Pan-Europa want!

Who loves himself, must Pan-Europa want!

Only a European permanent peace for the future of European nations, families, and people.

Close to you, Europeans, the Pan-European Movement in the masses, rescues Europe and your children!


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EU Federalization: The Briand Plan

Ariste Briand devised the so called Briand plan in 1929. The plan concerned the creation of a federal union of European States within the framework of the League of Nations.

Who was Ariste Briand ?

Ariste Briand

Ariste Briand was a French Statesman. He served 11 times as Prime Minister for France during the time of the French Third Republic. He was born in Nantes, 28th March 1862, and died on 7th March 1932.

Whilst studying at the Nantes Lycée, Briand developed a close relationship with Jules Verne. Briand read Law, and moved into politics, writing articles for the anarchist journal Le Peuple, and became a politically active and prominent membere of the movement for the formation of trade unions. Briand became a leader of the French Socialist Party from 1894, and later declared himself a strong partisan of the union of the Left, aka the Bloc, in order to check reactionary Deputies on the Right.

Briand succeeded Clemenceau as Prime Minister in 1909, serving until 1911. Briand served briefly again as Prime Minister in 1913, and following French defeats in WWI, Briand became both Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in 1915, taking over from René Viviani and Théophile Delcassé respectively. He resigned in 1917 following dispute over the prospective Nivelle Offensive.

In 1921 Briand returned to power and supervised the French Role in the Washington Naval Conference of 1921-1922. Due to German intransigence which led to failure in reaching agreement over reparations, Briand was succeeded by Raymond Poincaré. Brand’s more conciliatory style made him more acceptable in the wake of the Ruhr Crisis, and in 1925 he returned to the Quai d’Orsay as Foreign Minister, a role he occupied until his death in 1932.

Briand notably negotiated the Briand-Ceretti Agreement with the Vatican, which gave the French government a role in the appointment of Catholic Bishops, and he shared the Nobel Peace Price with Gustav Stresemann in 1926 for his work on the Locarno Treaties. (The UK’s Austen Chamberlain had received a share of this prize a year earlier for his contribution to these Treaties: The Pact of Locarno – Rhine Pact – ended the dispute between France and Germany over war reparations.)

In 1927, Briand and US Secretary of state Frank B Kellogg settled a universal pact outlawing war which led in 1928 to the Pact of Paris: The Kellogg-Briand Pact (27th August 1928).

The Briand Plan: Roots

Whilst working on the Locarno Treaties, Briand developed a plan for addressing what he saw as a fundamental problem in the structure of Europe for guaranteeing peace post WWI.

On 23rd February 1926, Briand expressed his concern thus:

« Il y aura un moment où l’Europe ne restera plus dans l’état de dispersion où elle est. Elle sera, comme l’Amérique, un État fédéral. Sinon, et cela pour régler une production anarchique, elle va à la catastrophe sociale. Il faudra à un moment donné une espèce d’association d’intérêts qui sera forcément dominée par les préoccupations d’associations politiques, il faudra trouver une formule d’Union fédérale d’Europe comme en Amérique. La France doit se tourner vers un tel avenir »

‘There will be a time when Europe can no longer remain a dispersion of states as it is. It will, like America, become a federal state. Otherwise, like an anarchic production, it will head towards social catastrophe. It will be at some point some kind of association of interests inevitably dominated political concerns and associations, we must find a formula for federal Union Europe like in America. France must turn to such a future.’

Briand did not revisit this concern publicly again until 1929 when he brought his idea into the public and political domain. This started with an address to the Council of the League of Nations in Madrid of that year, followed by Press releases on the 10th July 1929.

On 31st July 1929, Briand addressed the French parliament:

« il y a quatre ans que je réfléchis à ce vaste problème »

‘For four years I have reflected on this vast problem’

In the address he went on to present his plan to the government and discussed the possibility of permanent contact between European governments.

Why did Briand revisit his concerns ?

i) In December 1928 the Council of the League of Nations in Lugano saw confrontation between Stresemann and Zalewski. There was a problem with German minorities separated from Germany as a result of the treaty of Versailles, and German revisionism.,2655823

ii) There was general disappointment with the Kellogg-Briand Pact as it became clear that the law was not working.

iii) The conference of the Hague, 1929 and the Young Report. This caused the estrangement of Briand and Stresemann, a division between France and Germany.

The Briand Plan

Briand formally presented his plan for a European Federation at a speech on 5th September 1929 given to the 10th General Assembly of the League of Nations in Geneva.

« Je pense qu’entre les peuples qui sont géographiquement groupés, comme les peuples d’Europe, il doit exister une sorte de lien fédéral. Ces peuples doivent avoir à tout instant la possibilité d’entrer en contact, de discuter de leurs intérêts communs, de prendre des résolutions communes. Ils doivent, en un mot, établir entre eux un lien de solidarité qui leur permette de faire face, au moment voulu, à des circonstances graves si elles venaient à naître. »

‘I think between peoples who are geographically grouped, as the peoples of Europe, there must be some sort of federal link. These people must have the opportunity at any time to get in touch to discuss their common interests, to take joint resolutions. They must, in short, establish between them a bond of solidarity that enables them to cope, when required, with serious circumstances should they arise.’

« C’est ce lien, messieurs, que je voudrais m’efforcer de créer. »

‘It is this connection, gentlemen, that I would endeavor to create.’

« Évidemment, l’association agir a surtout dans le domaine économique: c’est la nécessité la plus pressante. Je crois qu’on peut en ce domaine, obtenir des succès. Mais je suis sûr aussi qu’au point de vue politique ou au point de vue social, le lien fédéral, sans toucher à la souveraineté d’aucune des nations qui pourraient faire partie d’une telle association, peut être bienfaisant »

‘Obviously, the association has to act especially in the economic field: the most pressing necessity. I think it is in this field, we obtain success. But I am also sure that politically or socially, the federal link, without affecting the sovereignty of any nation that could be part of such an association can be beneficial.’

The French Government issued a memorandum on the Briand Plan on 1st May 1930.

The memorandum raised the following key points:

a) Refuting allegations that the new institution could undermine the League of Nations, Briand believed that a Federal European Union could be created within the framework of the League:

« Il ne s’agit nullement de constituer un groupement européen en dehors de la SdN, mais au contraire d’harmoniser les intérêts européens sous le contrôle et dans l’esprit de la SdN (…)»

‘There is no way to establish a European grouping outside the League of Nations, but rather to harmonize European interests under the control and in the spirit of the League (…)’

b) Refuting possible hostility of the project to other states outside Europe

« L’abolition des douanes intérieures ne signifie pas l’instauration aux limites de la communauté d’une «barrière plus rigoureuse». »

‘The abolition of internal customs does not mean establishing the boundaries of the community to a “more rigorous barrier”.’

c) No loss of sovereignty on the part of Member States

« C’est sur le plan de la souveraineté absolue et de l’entière indépendance politique que doit être réalisée l’entente entre nations européennes. »

‘This is in terms of the absolute sovereignty and full political independence must be achieved agreement between the European nations.’

The memorandum presented some concrete proposals:

  • Development of a “pact of general political character”

« Assurer à l’Union européenne les organes indispensables à l’accomplissement de sa tâche. »

‘Ensuring the indispensible organs of the European Union for the accomplishment of its task.’

… and suggested some organs which would be required for the European Union:

  • European Conference
  • Political Committee
  • Secretariat

Key points on the philosophy and approach to Federalization were also stated:

« Subordination du problème économique au problème politique. »

  • « Fédération fondée sur l’idée d’union et non d’unité »
  • « Extension progressive à toute la communauté européenne de la politique de garanties internationales inaugurée à Locarno »

‘Subordination of the economic problem to political problems.’

  • ‘Federation based on the idea of union and not unity “
  • ‘Progressive extension to the entire European community of the international polical guaranties inaugurated at Locarno’

The prescription of « Fédération fondée sur l’idée d’union et non d’unité » : Federation of Union not Unity, is of fundamental importance to Briand’s idea, and indeed Federalization for Europe.

This builds on the model of Federation described by Proudhon in ‘Du Principe Fédératif’, 1863.

The full text is here in French:

A translation of the core passages in English here:

Proudhon considers government to derive from systems of organization driven by two diametrically opposed forces: Authority and Liberty. The dialectic which exists between these desires, reflected by a societies struggle between faith and reason, result in individual systems of government emerging which Proudhon considers to be ‘sketches’.

Proudhon isolates Federation in Chapter VII as a more certain system of government which can bind the sketches together through contract and alliance in order to ensure peace, mutual economic prosperity and stability.

An important point which Proudhon argues is that Federation should stabilize the balance of the forces of authority and liberty preventing polarization occurring within Federated members, and indeed the Federal entity itself. Briand’s plan was broadly disrupted in 1930’s Europe as European States polarized along these lines, leading to a break down in the international order and ultimately WWII: The social catastrophe of which Briand foresaw the possibility of in 1926 was then realized.

Federal authority requires the consent of member States in recognizing the sovereignty of the Federal entity. Proudhon points out that such consent does not necessitate the release of sovereignty by member states. The Federal authority should respect the sovereignty of member States as per the contract that has been entered into when the member States recognized the Federal authority.

In the United States of America, the respect of member State sovereignty by the Federal Sovereign is codified in the 10th Amendment of the US Constitution:

In the aftermath of WWII, when speaking in Zurich 1946, Churchill modified Briand’s vision slightly when he stated:

‘The structure of the United States of Europe, if well and truly built, will be such as to make the material strength of a single state less important. Small nations will count as much as large ones and gain their honour by their contribution to the common cause.

The ancient states and principalities of Germany, freely joined together for mutual convenience in a federal system, might each take their individual place among the United States of Europe.’

There is a slight problem here as this increases the requirement for the Federal Authority to be authoritarian.

That was an understandable desire in the aftermath of WWII, but for modern liberal Europe after 70 years of peace, such an expression by a Federal Authority would likely result in reaction among prospective member States which would lead to their internal polarization to either meet or reject the demands of the Federal authority. That is being seen at this time of writing and may lead directly to the scenario which played out in 1930’s Europe that resulted in WWII.

The memorandum goes on to speak about how federation could be realized:

« rapprochement des économies européennes réalisé sous la responsabilité politique des gouvernements solidaires »

  • « pacte de solidarité économique »dont le but final serait l’ « établissement d’un marché commun pour l’élévation au maximum du niveau de bien-être humain sur l’ensemble des territoires de la Communauté européenne. »

‘Harmonization of European economies performed under the political responsibility of supporting governments’

  • ‘Economic solidarity pact’ whose ultimate goal is the ‘Establishment of a common market for the maximum elevation of the level of human well-being in all the territories of the European Community.’

« organisation rationnelle de la production et des échanges européens par voie de libération progressive et de simplification méthodique de la circulation des marchandises, des capitaux et des personnes»

‘rational organization of production and European trade through progressive liberalization and simplification of the methodical movement of goods, capital and persons’

The responses of the other 26 European Governments to the French Memorandum are documented here:

At the Eleventh Assembly of the League of Nations, between 11-17 September 1930 the French plan was discussed.

On September 11th, A report was issued on the Briand Plan which led to the creation of the Commission of Enquiry for European Union (CEUE) on the 17th September 1930.

The first session fo the CEUE was held on September 3rd, and the CEUE operated until 1932, ending with the death of Briand in March of that year.

A report on the constitution, organization and procedure of the CEUE to the League of Nations:

A report by the CEUE to the League of Nations on a draft economic non-aggression pact is available here:

There is more information on the CEUE and ‘United States of Europe’ as proposed by Briand in the book:

Post-War German-Austrian Relations, The Anschluss Movement, 1918-1936, by M Margaret Ball

After the death of Briand the Federalization of Europe was put on hold. This was in part due to the loss of its key proponent, but also due to the events which led Europe to WWII.

Briand’s chief of staff, Alexis Leger, also known as Saint-John Perse, gave a speech in Hommage to Braind at the University of New York, on 28th March 1942:

Alexis had been exiled by the Vichy government in 1940 and moved to the US. He had served as a the French diplomat to China, and is more widely known as a poet.

Leger had come to prominence previously when the French press on the right (Le Figaro) and extreme right (L’Action française) had attempted to destablize him and Briand’s Memorandum in what is known as the ‘Case de Noblet-Briand-Leger’ This dated back to 1928, initiated when a confidential document was leaked in the Hearst press of the US leading to the derailing of the Franco-British negotiations by painting them as being against Germany. It should be understood that Hearst supported the Nazi regime at the time, and the French Right used such tactics against the Left.

The 3rd secretary of the Embassy, Jean de Noblet, was held responsible for the leak, working with a journalist acting on behalf of Hearst. This led to Hearst himself being turned away at the French border in 1930.

The ideas within the Briand plan were revived in Europe after WWII and were expressed by Churchill and Monnet in particular.

The main proponent of an earlier and competing idea for European Union, the Paneuropean Union, Count Richard Nikolaus von Coudenhove-Kalergi, attempted to contact Leger in the US. Kalergi himself was in the US at that time.

The Paneuropean Union is described here:

Note: More background is provided in the ‘Post-War German-Austrian Relations, The Anschluss Movement, 1918-1936’ chapter cited above, including the detail that the Paneuropean model sought to explicitly exclude England and Russia from its vision for European Union.

Churchill’s speech in Zurich on 19th September 1946, speaking of the tragedy of Europe, asked essentially the same question after the fact that Briand had before in 1926:

‘What is this sovereign remedy?

It is to re-create the European Family, or as much of it as we can, and provide it with a structure under which it can dwell in peace, in safety and in freedom.

We must build a kind of United States of Europe.

In this way only will hundreds of millions of toilers be able to regain the simple joys and hopes which make life worth living.’

Jean Monnet re-formulated the idea in his work of 1949. Parts of Monnet’s work have themselves come under strange focus recently:



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Google Translate: Gist Based Translations and Political Risk

Today this abstract found an interesting claim that was doing the rounds on Twitter relating to an El Pais article published 8th April 2014 and a claim that it reported that UK Prime Minister David Cameron had stated that he would not respect a Yes referendum vote.

Whilst there are some ongoing credibility problems for officialdom on this issue, and despite appearances this abstract is not completely partisan, this seemed worth investigating further.

The article which was making the claim is a blog post on the Boiling Frog site:

This article has been duplicated here:

To quote:

Cameron has no intention of honouring an out vote in the unlikely event one would occur. In an interview with the Spanish El Pais with the headline quote from Cameron; “The best solution for the UK is to stay in a reformed EU”, he was asked the following (via Google translate):

In case of a Yes victory in the referendum that will organize onleaving the EU, would you be willing to withdraw from the Union?

And Cameron’s response:

I would not. (No me gustaría)

That Cameron makes such an admission – of willfully ignoring a referendum vote – in a foreign newspaper is revealing. Truly he’s the child of Europe, his hero evidently instead is Barroso (EU Commission President):

“They must go on voting until they get it right.”

Slightly amazingly “cast-iron” has managed to sink even lower.

Pretty damning Op Ed, potentially devastating if backed up by the source.

Now the source is here:

Running this through Google translate, the offending response this abstract got on the first attempt is:

I would hate. (No me gustaría)

The clue to the error in the blog post, and proof that the Op Ed is seriously flawed, is actually quoted in the blog article:

I would not. (No me gustaría)

Some Spanish theory:

The verb ‘to like’ is: gustar

Conditional tense structure for first person (me = I) is: gustaría

A correct, and literal, translation is:

I would not like. (No me gustaría)

Whatever the reporter recorded of Cameron’s words indicated that he was emotionally neutral in expressing a political fact that he would not like a Yes vote. There is no indication in the El Pais report that he stated he would not honour a Yes vote – as the erroneous Boiling Frog translation suggests.

Where could the error have come from ?

Applying Hanlon’s Razor, malicious intent on the part of the Boiling Frog translator can be discounted, and the error can be accounted for through a form of ‘supidity’: In this case a lack of experience using the Google Translate tool.

Google Translate is not a 100% perfect translator: No electronic translation tools are, simply because machines still do not understand ‘context’ and are limited by however good the individuals who built them built them to be.

With Spanish one has to be careful with Google Translate.

The tool will offer alternative translations – these are not necessarily correct either, but are offered  because the tool designers know it is not perfect. When used properly it is effective, but that requires a little understanding of the language.

The alternative translation of: ‘I would hate’ demonstrates this limitation of Google Translate quite nicely.

In Spanish, the verb to hate is: odiar

Conditional tense structure for first person (me = I) is: odiaría


Yo me odiaría (I would hate)

Now, in discussion with a third party they raised the point that the intention was roughly the same: I would hate = I would not like.

This abstract disagrees as the emotional content of ‘hate’ is much more obvious – it is a very much stronger expression of intent, and clearly by the verb used in the report not reflective of the expression of dislike.

That Google Translate offers the ‘hateful’ expression as a synonym for dislike should now be as curious to you the reader, as it is to this abstract.

This abstract will finally point out that the construction of Babel ended when language was confounded.


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