I once met a fellow, boyfriend of a girl I knew slightly, whose work was as a balloon pilot based in Bristol, which I believe is one of the main UK centres of such activity. I was a belated Bar Finals student then (late 1980s), and being a balloon pilot seemed a wonderfully carefree way to make a living.
On this day a year ago
From the newspapers
“In practice, the Worker Protection Bill is a sinister threat to our freedom of speech. It will impose on employers a responsibility to take ‘all reasonable steps’ to prevent their staff being offended.
That can only lead to bosses trying to impose pre-emptive forms of censorship to avoid being dragged to a tribunal. Do we want to see our lively pubs reduced to a state of silent sterility, as if they were public libraries rather than public houses?“
That is exactly what the “woke” activists want…
“The total collapse and break-up of Vladimir Putin‘s Russia has begun and the West must be prepared to deal with the potentially catastrophic aftermath, a top official in Volodymyr Zelensky’s Government has warned.
Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said the West must be on high alert, having in the past failed to be ready for the collapse of the Soviet Union.
He said Kyiv [Kiev] believed Russia was about to fall apart in ‘spectacular’ fashion within the next few years.
But he warned that China currently holds the upper hand over the Kremlin’s imminent capitulation. He said if the West allowed China to take territory in Russia, a new grave problem would be created.“
Normally, I would discount anything said by members of the corrupt and dictatorial Jew-Zionist regime in Kiev, but in this case the prediction may be accurate, at least in part.
Russia today has no ideology beyond pro forma Great-Russian shadow nationalism and chauvinism, mixed with a pathetic 1930s/1940s pseudo “anti-Nazi” propaganda campaign (re. Ukraine), which campaign fell flat as soon as it was introduced a year or two ago.
In the past (pre-Russian Civil War, and pre-1917/18), there was Tsarism and the Russian Orthodox Church; in the formulation of Pobedonostsev, “Autocracy, Orthodoxy, Nationality” (Правосла́вие, самодержа́вие, наро́дность).
Later, there was Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism, which from the early 1940s mixed elements of the previous “Holy Russia” into the mix. Post-Bolshevik messianism mixed with geopolitical expansionism and the other bits and pieces.
After 1989, Russia and many of its people signed up to Western materialism and the largely but not entirely (of course) fake “liberal democracy” Schauspiel. That, in its very active phase, lasted for only about a decade. The Russian people soon discovered, like the cat in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, that the “freedom” promised by the semi-Americanism under Yeltsin included some unwelcome “freedoms”, such as the “freedom” to be homeless, jobless, cold, and hungry (though, to be sure, Sovietism itself had produced plenty of most of those, especially before the 1960s).
This lack of overarching ideology is Russia’s primary problem, the one which underpins all the others (e.g. the poor morale of the Russian Army and intelligence services).
Russia has to find an ideology which is both intellectually coherent, and able to inspire the Russian masses emotionally.
Looking at the situation now, Russia has only one indisputable trump card— its strategic nuclear arsenal. In all other respects, Russia has few if any cards to play. So far, its military machine has proven so poor that it has had to be stiffened by the mercenary Wagner Group. As for the SVR and GRU, Stalin would have shot half of them by now. The same goes for much of the senior officer corps.
Russia does seem to be reprising its historical role of the “colossus on legs of straw“. Judging from the outside (I have not been there since 2007, and now have no connection with Russian laws, business, or people), it seems to me to have only limited internal stability, though at the same time little significant political opposition to the present Putin government.
I doubt that there will be a split into separate countries, if only because Russians remain one people (albeit with hundreds of minor nationalities alongside), with one language (ditto), and a shared history. What might happen, and has happened since 1991, is increasing autonomy of various far-flung territories.
Ukraine was always almost one country with Russia. The present war is almost a civil war, which may explain its bitterness, and its sometimes barbaric standards.
In the end, Ukraine will probably be devastated and then repopulated with Russian settlers, at least east of the Dnieper. We shall see.
One thing is for sure: if Putin does not do something to break the static situation that now exists in eastern Ukraine, he will follow the Soviet Union and DDR, and Nikolai II, into history, and sooner than he ever imagined.
Carol Vorderman is a rather uninteresting careerist “celebrity”, who left university with a third-class degree (which was poor even in the days of the 1970s before award inflation took hold; effectively a fail): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carol_Vorderman#Early_life_and_education.
It might be said that Carol Vorderman is to mathematics what “Jack Monroe” is to cuisine…
I happened to see the YouTube video below: DDR (East Germany) in 1988. I was there in the summer of that year, though in the south of the country, and only for a couple of days. I have blogged before how, though there was no sign of imminent collapse, yet the DDR seemed to be a kind of stage-set of a state rather than a real one. Just impressions here and there.
About 14 months later, in 1989, the whole system collapsed and, in a final irony, the President, Honecker, sought political asylum in Chile, the government of which the DDR had for years called “fascist” etc. I recall having been very amused by that.
Anyone watching such a parade in 1988 would have thought that the display exuded statist stability and permanence. So much for that.
Does our own system in 2023 present even the appearance of stability? I think not. Perhaps the difference is that, in 1988 and 1989, the East German population could look to the West, to —immediately— the wealth and relative freedom of the Bundesrepublik and then, beyond German borders, to the rest of the EC (as the EU then was), and to the Americas.
To what, to where, can our people look for a potentially better life? Nowhere.
Incidentally, here is another DDR ceremony, this one in 1979, utilizing marches that include old German ones and at least one from 1920s Bolshevism (slightly pre-Soviet Union):
The marching steps could also have been seen in both the Second and Third Reich.
More tweets seen
“Jack Monroe” never did sue MP Lee Anderson. Neither has she refunded any of the monies donated (needless to say)…
I looked today at Amazon. The “Jack Monroe” book Thrifty Kitchen, which bombed on release a couple of months ago, is now no. 26,957 from the top of the bestseller list. This indicates sales of about 160 copies per month at its new reduced price of £8.50 (original price was nearly £20, but that was immediately reduced to £9.99), out of which “Jack Monroe” may be getting between 50p and £1 per copy. New or near-new copies can be had on Amazon for as little as £5.
No wonder that she wants to keep going the Patreon scam, which must still be providing several thousand pounds each month, presumably taxfree as well.
Another (Chinese?) social control measure. How long before that sort of control arrives in the UK? The police of today, often politically-correct/”woke” automatons, would enforce it— we saw that during the “Covid” “panicdemic” and “scamdemic”.
If only that could be a matter of selection, affecting only certain groups.
North America is prey to every kind of craziness now, even when compared to the UK, Sweden etc.
Most of what one does, in any given occupation, is a waste of time from the point of view of the individual’s own utility or satisfaction.
For example, it is hardly a new idea that, in many ordinary, modest, occupations, one almost works in order to pay out to be able to work.
Leave aside highly-paid professional or other activity and focus on modestly-paid work (let alone minimum-wage activity). The employee, say an office bod, needs to spend out in order to get clothing for the office, say a few suits.
He (or she) needs to pay out for daily travel (which can be very considerable in cost), for luncheon food (even if only a roll and coffee, which might amount to £10 a day in Central London), and for various other things as well.
All so that the employee can work at all. Then there might be occasional or regular socializing, in which said office bod is more or less expected to participate. The resulting remuneration, after tax and “National Insurance” (more tax), is scarcely enough to do more than pay for the costs of having a job, plus food and basic shelter. Maybe not even that.
Likewise, look at someone who wins on a lottery, say £50,000. People say “like a year’s (or two years) pay” within the usual range in the UK. Not so, though. In terms of real pay, even a relatively modest sum such as £50,000 is huge, because most people, after all their taxes, costs, and expenses, have almost nothing left at the end of a month, or even year.
10 thoughts on “Diary Blog, 4 April 2023, with thoughts about where Russia goes from here”
Is Jack Monroe still alive? I am joking, of course, but I really thought she had disappeared after all the humiliating exposés about her. This woman is unbelievable! What about the morons who support her and invite her?
I suppose that “Jack Monroe” needs to keep going or (like the shark) die. The msm has pretty much written her off, but people who have not kept up with events around her may still think of her as some kind of “poverty expert”. Those festivals are fairly obscure. I had heard of neither “Greenbelt” nor the “Cambridge Literary Festival”.
As to her hardcore supporters on Patreon, they have dwindled to 458 from nearly 900 in 2022, but (judging by tweets seen) many are either very silly people or have some kind of mental health problems.
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I love the polite way you describe Jack’s fanatical supporters (“very silly people” or people with “some kind of metal problems”) I have to say that I would not be surprised if we find out that many of those fools are been treated for some kind of mental illness. Having said that, I prefer your other expression: “utter mugs” 😂 😂 😂
Ha. I have to admit that “utter mugs” describes the two or three kinds of “Jack Monroe” supporter better…
Here is something that should happen more often. Yesterday a poor bus driver was robbed and murdered in the outskirts of Buenos Aires. The useless Minister of Security (pardon the pun!), Sergio Berni showed up to show (of course!) his “sympathy”; well, there was a group of bus drivers who attacked him with stones and beat him up.
I had to redact your last paragraph lest (((anyone))) try to claim that you are inciting anything in *this* country, and that therefore I myself am also “inciting” anything by reason of having published your comment. Regrets but, in the UK, free speech is truly “dead on arrival” these days.
I perfectly understand your editing of my message. After I sent it (as usual, too late) I realised that I said things I shouldn’t. One weird detail, there was no police protecting him, I think the fool though it would look good if he appeared without bodyguards. He obviously got it wrong!
Especially with “Latin hotheads” like you around. (only joking).
The fact is that free speech is all but dead in the UK, a fact which becomes more obvious daily.
Talking about AI, this rubbish is appearing everywhere here. For example, a few months ago, I had to contact some electrical appliances manufacturers to ask for repairs or a technician. Well. out of nowhere a stupid little face came up and said: “Hello, I am Joe/Jenny, your personal assistant, ask me anything!”, of course I dismissed the useless “assistant” and I managed to talk to a human being, very soon that will not happen.
I agree. God knows what society will be like in 2050 (assuming that a nuclear war is averted, which I now begin to doubt).