He put some poison into a spy (allegedly)
Read my original thoughts on this absurd confrontation with Russia here.
I’ve read some serious garbage about this confrontation in the newspapers and heard some utter tripe on the news channels about it too. Some people seem to think it’s the Cold War again and Leonid Brezhnev is standing atop Lenin’s tomb watching his missiles roll by whilst Roger Moore saves the planet with one raised eyebrow. The two comparisons that keep coming up are with Sarajevo, 1914 and the Sudetenland, 1938.
Let me say this very clearly and very simply so that everyone can understand. Putin is not Hitler and Sergei Skirpal is not Franz Ferdinand.
Theresa May is doing a ghastly impression of Churchill, thinking that she is having a Margaret Thatcher/Falklands moment, whilst Boris Johnson is doing his best Viscount Palmerston impersonation. Everyone else is doing historical comparisons, so why can’t I join in? And my Palmerston/Johnson analogy is better than any Putin/Hitler nonsense I’ve read – an ambitious Foreign Secretary using a conflict with Russia to overthrow the weak leader of a divided government sounds about right.
Continue reading “Ra Ra Vlady P, Russia’s Greatest Love Machine Update”
He put some poison into a spy (allegedly)
For readers of a certain vintage, here is a video of Boney M singing ‘Rasputin’ on the Christmas Day edition of Top of the Pops back in 1978.
Grigori Rasputin was a Russian priest from a peasant background who is best known as a counsellor to the last Tsar of Russia Nicholas II and his wife Empress Alexandra. He had gained imperial favour because he was supposedly able to help their son Tsarevich Alexis with the pain caused by his haemophilia. From this position of trust, Rasputin was able to interfere in Russian politics and sleep with many aristocratic Russian women, who fell for his supposedly ‘divine’ influence. He was murdered during the First World War by a group of nobles who felt his hold over Alexandra was undermining Russia’s war effort. He was played with gusto by Tom Baker, the greatest Doctor of them all, in the otherwise mediocre movie Nicholas and Alexandra.
The best comparisons I can think of to the relationship between Rasputin and Nicholas II are Steve Bannon’s role in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, Alastair Campbell’s wire-pulling during Tony Blair’s decade as Britain’s Prime Minister and Seamus Milne’s place in Jeremy Corbyn’s court. I decided to make these political comparisons after I initially considered rewriting Boney M’s song for this week’s spy shenanigans. However I quickly dropped this notion as I was roundly mocked for my song Everything Is Racist (about the identity politics fundamentalists at Guardian Towers) written to the annoyingly catchy theme tune to ‘The Lego Movie.’ Continue reading “Ra Ra Vlady P, Russia’s Greatest Love Machine”
I have often made reference to my 1970s childhood when discussing the racism-obsessives at the Guardian and the so-called BBC. Back then there really was racial prejudice – the language you heard on the street, the unfunny racist ‘comedians’ on prime time television and monkey noises on the football terraces when an opposition player who happened to be black got the ball. This last one mystified me as fans of my hometown club would do it even when there were several black players in their own team.
The 1980s, a much-derided decade, was a great one for me personally as it was when I was a teenager and was able to leave home to attend university. This simple act – leaving home at eighteen – forced me to grow up and learn about things I had taken for granted, cooking my own meals and washing my own clothes in particular. The horrendous expense young people face at university today forces many of them to live at home; I’m pretty sure my university days would have been much less enjoyable had I been forced to live at my parents’ house. Continue reading “There Is Nothing New Under The Sun”
“Our belief in the human rights and in the liberties of Western democracy is part of our way of life, which must be the basis of all our publicity. This belief represents in foreign countries more than anything else what we stand for in the world.” Continue reading “Quote Of The Day #41”
Nick Cohen is a true liberal
As I have said repeatedly on this blog and elsewhere, I am no fan of the so-called BBC. I see no other group of people that has done more to poison political debate over the past twenty years than the corrupt denizens of Jimmy Savile House. Whilst loudly proclaiming their progressivism, the so-called BBC continue to be funded by what is effectively a poll tax and are in bed with some of the most unpleasant and far right misogynists, homophobes and anti-Semites in Britain today.
Nick Cohen, a columnist for the Observer newspaper I have praised before, is to be commended for a programme he presented on Radio 4 which he provocatively called ‘The Silence of the Liberals.’ I have made a few comments below but I would urge everyone to listen to Cohen’s excoriation of the “deepest silence” he finds amongst Western ‘liberals’ who for reasons best known to themselves have allied with the Islamist hard right to defend the inequality suffered by women in Islamic ‘communities’ in the UK, “inequalities that would never be accepted if white women had to endure them.” Continue reading “The Silence Of The Liberals”
Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Assim al-Hakeem
Some readers may recall a debate I had with a lady back in June 2017. She disliked my description of a quote from Islamic cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi. The original quote I shared was…
“If they had gotten rid of the apostasy punishment Islam wouldn’t exist today.”
We had a (mostly) civilised debate about what I had written about al-Qaradawi’s quote and the apostasy law. The best comment actually came from my fellow WordPress blogger Dioclese who commented that I “won’t win this argument” as some religious folks have a tendency to “go on and on and on and on.”
I was reminded of this debate by a couple of tweets (yes, I have joined the madhouse that is Twitter) I read from another Islamic ‘scholar’ called Assim al-Hakeem. Continue reading “Quote Of The Day #10 Update #2”
With apologies to Tegan and Sara
It is a mainstay of British political debate and comedy that newspapers pander to their readers’ prejudices. Talk about people living in a bubble and not listening to views they dislike long predates the advent of social media. The classic sitcom ‘Yes, Prime Minister’ aired an episode in 1987 called ‘A Conflict of Interest’ where the three main characters discussed the readership of various newspapers…
- The Daily Mirror is read by people who think they run the country.
- The Guardian is read by people who think they ought to run the country.
- The Times is read by people who actually do run the country.
- The Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country.
- The Financial Times is read by people who own the country.
- The Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by another country.
- The Daily Telegraph is read by people who think it is run by another country.
- The Sun readers don’t care who runs the country, as long as she’s got big tits.
View the scene here. Continue reading “The Guardian Theme Song”