Re: More FUD
Sure. So am I. Thought in this case things have a much simpler explanation.
1. He is topping up his pension. There is a ridiculous assumption in the British public and press that senior mandarins once released from the civil service somehow develop independence and wisdom. The legend is that they now act in the country interest by freely providing the future generations with their wisdom by reflecting on current events through the prism of their decades of experience. That is bollocks - all they do is to top up the payments on their yacht by towing the EXACT party line by supplying PAID FOR supposedly independent pronouncements.
2. He is clueless. Same as his ex-office, same as the foreign office, same as Mi5 and Mi6 Russian sections.
2.1. They are continuing to drive the party line that Putin is trying to reincarnate USSR or the Russian empire. That party line is complete and utter bollocks. The key differentiator of Russian Empire (from Peter the Great till its fall) and USSR was that they were NOT nationalistic. Nationalism was frowned upon and discouraged because it was getting in the way of keeping the empire as a cohesive whole. That is absolutely invalid for modern Russia. It has become a nationalistic state. How, what, who - the transition is quite clear and it has been orchestrated from the very top over the last 10 years. It was part of an escape policy of something Putin and Co are even more afraid of than WW3 (what - exercise to the reader). As a result Russia today reacts differently compared to the reactions of the Russian empire and USSR before it.
2.2. He has missed the train on the emergence Wagner and the other Russian army for hire corporations. Think of Blackwater armed to national army standards with tanks, missiles, attack helicopters, artillery and AA missiles (a lot of them with serial numbers listed in "officially scrapped" lists so totally deniable up to and including their existence). There is a similar situation in cyberspace too with even more armies armed to the same standard.
2.3. When you combine 2.1 and 2.2 and stir it up with a few billions in the wrong hands courtesy of our support for Russian disintegration during the Eltsin era you get what Russians call "a monkey with a hand grenade" - you do not know where it will go.
2.4. Going back to the Russian guns for hire (cyber and real). They sometimes fight on the side of the Russian state, sometimes for their own agendas and sometimes someone pays them. In most cases they are not under any state control for a very simple reason - plausible deniability. They "volunteer" to do certain jobs or are paid by "concerned citizens" to do them so that they are in the right place on the shortlist when the state comes with a big order at a later date.
We need to be honest and actually state the facts in 1 and 2 as this changes the strategy of countering them or coexisting peacefully (whatever is chosen) in the first place. Trying to do what this ex-mandarin does to top up his yacht contributions and singing the perennial "Reds Under Our Beds" gets us nowhere.