As Novye Izvestia has already reported, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain bestowed the title of Baron of Hampton and Siberia on the son of Russian businessman Alexander Lebedev, owner of The Evening Standard and The Independent, Yevgeny Lebedev.
Publicist Pyotr Kromskikh recalls that such "honorary" foreign titles are not news for Russian citizens at all:
“The family tree of the baron is more reminiscent of a generic portrait of Russian capitalism... It would not even be a potential international scandal with the appropriation of the nobility in Russia to be noted in connection with the awarding of revolutionary red trousers, which, if it does, will not end with anything, but a final return to the sacred essence belonging to the Elite.
Let me explain how Lebedev managed to become Baron of Siberia (it's good that not Baron Harkonnen (Baron Vladimir Harkonnen is a famous character in the science fiction novel “Dune” by American writer Frank Herbert, one of the cult villains in the world of science fiction, - ed.)). The conferral of a title is indistinguishable from the ordination of vicar bishops, the backbone of the church bureaucracy, in the Christian denominations. The first Russian Catholic Bishop Nikolay Dubinin, for example, bears the title of Bishop of the Waters of Bizatsen, a now defunct city and center of the diocese in North Africa.
The situation is even more similar in the Russian Orthodox Church: the vicars of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia receive the titles of bishops of the cities near Moscow. When the Archdiocese of the parishes of the Russian tradition in Paris joined the ROC last year, its head, Archbishop John (Renneto) of Khariupol, became Metropolitan of Dubninsk. And then in France, the bishops of Reutov and Domodedovo were ordained.
And one more thing this event makes indicative: the emigrant community has turned from a club of the most successful and privileged compradors into a prosperous, but hopeless ghetto. A sort of Brighton Beach at maximum speed: London has long been bursting with Russian businessmen of this kind. The Russian elite is already the lowest part of the British, and the real success for its representatives is climbing the social ladder in the metropolis..."
And the public "A couple of phrases" recalled in this regard the immortal poem of Venedikt Yerofeyev "Moscow-Petushki", the author of which foresaw this situation:
“Fit into the interior. Yevgeny Lebedev vs Venichka Yerofeyev
Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain granted businessman and publisher Yevgeny Lebedev the title of Baron of Hampton and Siberia, according to the government bulletin The Gazette. “The Queen was delighted with the Certificate of Merit, sealed by the Great Seal, to confer a lifetime title of Baron of the United Kingdom on Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Lebedev under the name of Baron Lebedev from Hampton in the London area of Richmond-on-Thames and Siberia in the Russian Federation,” the announcement reads. Lebedev will become the first peer from Russia and will become a life member of the British House of Lords. The title was awarded for his services in the development of the media industry and charity. Yevgeny Lebedev, the son of Russian businessman Alexander Lebedev, owns Lebedev Holdings Ltd, which publishes the British newspapers Evening Standard and Independent.
British media wrote that he wanted the title to include the word "Moscow", but according to the rules, the government of the respective country must give permission to use a foreign geographical name. Other details are not provided.
Venedikt Yerofeyev, "Moscow - Petushki":
At twelve zero-zero GMT, I was already introduced to the director of the British Museum, his last name is some kind of sonorous and stupid, like Sir Combi Corm. "What do you want from us?", - the director of the British Museum asked. “I want to engage with you. Rather, so that you engage me, that's what I want..." "Is it in such pants that I began to engage you?", - said the director of the British Museum. "What are these pants?", - I asked him with latent annoyance. And he, as if he had not heard, stood on all fours in front of me and began to sniff my socks. Having sniffed, got up, winced, spat, and then asked: "Is it in such socks that I should engage you?", - “In what socks exactly?!", - I began, not hiding my annoyance, - in what socks? Those socks that I carried back home, they really smelled, yes. But I changed them before leaving, because everything in a person should be beautiful: both the soul, and the thoughts, and...". And he did not want to listen. He went to the House of Lords and there said: “Lords! There is a bastard standing outside my door here. He is from snowy Russia, but not very drunk. What am I to do with him, with this wretch? Engage this scarecrow? Or not to give this bogeyman any engagement?". And the lords looked at me in a monocle and said: “Try it, William! Try it, put it up for viewing! This dusty doucher will fit into any interior!"