Monday, 1 September 2014

Putin joining dots


Putin is joining the dots – he took the Crimea a few months ago and now he’s joining it up with the Russian mainland by sending “off duty” Russian soldiers into southern Ukraine. The extent of his territorial ambitions is unclear. He certainly wants a land corridor to Sevastopol; Odessa would be nice to have (deep water port there) and making the Ukraine a landlocked country by cutting across to the border with Romania would be the icing on the cake.


Russian territorial ambitions

The West is bleating about this and a new round of sanctions cuts in this week, as soon as the EU and USA can agree what little baubles the Russians are going to have to do without – electronics and oil exploration equipment most likely. Of course we don’t want to cripple the Russian oil industry too much because then our lights would go out.

The “nuclear option” on sanctions is to cut Russia out of the world banking system – no funds to be electronically transferred in or out of Russia. It’s unlikely they will do this. To buy oil from Russia you do need to be able to send them money. No money in, no oil or gas out; if prolonged the consequential rise in crude prices would send the West into recession. Western nose would become detached from Western face.

Meanwhile the Ukrainian government is quite laughably trying to join NATO. In NATO an attack on one is an attack on all. (Less well known is the fact the EU Lisbon Treaty has the same clause.) The Ukraine is trying to get the West to fight Russia for it.

No thanks. We should sit this one out. Let’s not forget that the Ukrainian government came to power in a coup d’etat and has absolutely no legitimacy.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite has said that Russia is practically at war with Europe. That’s very wishful thinking from the Baltic. They must be feeling Russia’s cold breath on the backs of their necks. The three Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) are members of NATO and an attack on them would draw us into war with Russia, but not the Ukraine, they are not in NATO and until they are genuinely democratic should not be admitted.

For the first time, over the weekend just past, Putin has started talking about the future of the Eastern Ukraine. Previously he maintained an inscrutable silence on the subject. Now he is saying a change in ownership needs to be discussed.

It must be remembered that although the West is calling Russia’s actions an invasion, for the people who live there it is more like a homecoming. They want to be Russian, or independent if they cannot be Russian.

As this blog has mentioned before, the Americans must be wishing they had never sponsored that coup back in February. It’s all gone horribly wrong.

Friday, 15 August 2014

A good day for bad news

ISIS are chasing Yazidis up mountains; Al Malaki has finally given up the reins in Baghdad; the Syrian "Arab spring" rumbles on; unreported by the mainstream media Boko Haram is making territorial gains in Nigeria (and not #BringingOurGirlsBack - looks like the girls are gone for good) and of course Israel and Gaza are alternating between ceasefire and mutual mass murder.

This would seem like an ideal time for Russia to invade the Ukraine.

Maybe they already have and no-one has noticed!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Oh no, not Sir Cliff!

The shadow of suspicion has fallen on the ultimate golden boy - Sir Cliff Richard. Police from Op Yewtree have searched his Berkshire home after receiving allegations dating back to the 1980s. The victim was supposedly a 16-year-old boy. Blue-rinses everywhere are going to be devastated.

But frankly neither the gaydar nor the paedodar are pinging on this one. It's probably going nowhere.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Lady Warsi resigns

Baroness Warsi, expenses-fiddling, toenail-painting, Secretary of State at the Foreign Office has resigned because of Gaza. Or did she quit because she was demoted in the last reshuffle? Opinions differ.

Dumpling

Either way she won't be missed. In fact this blog has no idea what she did for the country in the first place. Nor why she was made a "lady".

She was considered a disaster waiting to happen at the FO and seems to have been notorious for attending meetings where she took no part but instead wrote copious notes on what everyone else said. The general assumption is that she is planning a pay-day by publishing some dirt-filled diaries.

She may have decided that since this government has less than a year to run it was time to leave and cash in. She may also be planning a defection to Labour and have an eye on a government job after the election next year. As an unelected peer she doesn't need to worry about how her constituents would take the betrayal and she would need some time to bed into a new party.

One thing is sure, she won't be quitting the Lords and will be seen there briefly but regularly collecting her £300 daily attendance allowance.

Monday, 4 August 2014

One hundred years ago

This month, one hundred years ago...

Winston Churchill, Member of Parliament and First Lord of the Admiralty, argued in Cabinet that England should go to war with Germany and started the shooting by personally sending the telegram telling all Royal Navy ships to start hostile acts against the Germans.

Adolf Hitler, impoverished artist living in Munich, illegally volunteered for the German army as a rifleman ("rifleman" being the lowest possible rank, not his job, he was actually a messenger. He was later promoted to Lance-Corporal, or in American terms: Private First Class.) Illegally, because he was an Austrian citizen.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

PM talks tough

David Cameron had an article in the Telegraph on Monday. In it he says a lot of good things about immigration. He intends to:
  • Clamp down on bogus students.
  • Revoke driving licenses of illegal immigrants.
  • Close their bank accounts.
  • Make landlords check their tenants' right to be in the UK.
  • Deport foreign criminals first, hear appeals later.
  • Legal immigrants can only claim job-seekers benefit for three months instead of six.
  • Employers cannot recruit exclusively from abroad, must also advertise in the UK.
It's all good stuff. The benefit reform is a bit weak - immigrants can still claim Child Benefit, Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits and Housing Benefit. (Note that selling the Big Issue counts as self-employed and opens the door to all the top-up benefits just like a job would.)

Of course none of this is actually going to happen. Dave is just talking tough because he is afraid of UKIP. Well stay afraid Dave, very afraid, because no-one believes anything you say anymore.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Unfortunate name

Here is a rather disturbed individual...

David Ruffley MP, Wife beater

Nominative determinism strikes again. Seriously, if your name is Roughly Ruffley then you need to avoid cautions for common assault. The Tabloids won't be able to help themselves anymore than a yappy little dog can ignore ankles.

Just saying.