On this day a year ago
On the blog 5 years ago
“Dirty democratic politicians” [Adolf Hitler]
I happened to see this menu from the House of Commons:
The MPs almost literally have their snouts in the trough, and at heavily-subsidized prices— at the same time as so many people are going hungry and (once the weather cools, from this coming weekend) cold as well.
The House of Lords offers its members similar if not better fare, also at rock-bottom prices. A friend of mine often dined there, though many years ago, and told me all about it. In those days, roast salmon, with all trimmings, was about £2 or £3, I think.
In fact, it is reminiscent of the old “Kremlyovsky Payok” (“Kremlin ration”), a system of both free and heavily-subsidized food rations originating in the 1920s, and which expanded under Stalin to become a whole system of (some) free food, and special shops with either subsidized or generally unobtainable food and other items, sourced both from within the Soviet Union and from outside. Ground coffee, for example.
The Kremlyovsky payok was the highest level, awarded to members of the Politburo and other very high-ranking persons, but there were more modest yet still worthwhile “rations” (and other items) available to anyone who was a member of the “nomenklatura“, such as GRU officers down to the rank of major.
In Kazakhstan, where I lived in 1996-1997, Army personnel still got a payok of that sort at that time; I recall that my “landlord”, a Russian colonel in the Kazakhstan Army (ex-Soviet Army; I became very friendly with him, his wife, and their youngest child, who all lived not far from me) received a large sack of grain and a lot of tinned goods regularly.
That system extended (in Soviet days) to —in effect— private hospitals, vacation “sanatoria” (hotels with a health and fitness aspect), and access to foreign (and usually better) domestic equipment such as refrigerators, ovens, washing machines etc.
A few extremely valued people (such as Mikhail Sholokhov, the writer of The Quiet Don, aka Quiet Flows the Don— https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/And_Quiet_Flows_the_Don; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Sholokhov), and the holder of numerous awards, including 6 awards of the Order of Lenin and 2 awards of Hero of Socialist Labour, were even allowed “open bank accounts”, which meant that they could go to a bank and be given effectively any amount of money they wanted (Soviet roubles only, of course), whenever they liked.
Continuing facemask nonsense
Biden has at least the excuse that he is, or is said to be, somewhat demented.
I went to Waitrose yesterday evening (it being the only actual supermarket for miles), and noticed a woman walking to her car in the car park— alone, in the sun and a slight breeze, yet masked.
For some people, wearing one of those stupid masks or muzzles has become a kind of “I can prove that I really exist” virtue-signal, or a flag of allegiance to some sort of fake communitarian “clap for the NHS” club.
Those cranks must have hated it when shops were allowed to reopen without subjecting their customers (that’s customers, not prisoners) to the whole soulless and pointless rigmarole of “social distancing”, the facemask nonsense —“would you pull up your mask please!“— and the rest of it all, monitored by shop staff suddenly given petty power (but who now have to return to stacking shelves and helping the shoppers rather than corralling them).
The loonies or semi-loonies still wearing their (completely useless) facemasks remind me of the Japanese soldiers on Pacific islands, still fighting the war in 1980, not having understood that it finished in 1945, and then realizing (?) that they had just been wasting their time doing something rather stupid.
England’s housing crisis
Worth reading. Depressing. Angering, too.
The result of a number of factors, among which are mass immigration, births to non-whites (causing an increase of maybe 10 millions in the past two decades), and the politically-driven sell-off of local authority homes (from the mid-1980s onward).
As for the USA, whatever one might say in mitigation, it has attacked, or bombed, or engaged in warfare in, a huge number of countries even since 1945, including Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, various other countries of Latin America, Grenada, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Lebanon etc.
The tweeter “@ThePFofJudea”, as Hitchens implies (I think) has apparently confused William Joyce, aka “Lord Haw Haw” [shown above, when young, in the 1920s or early 1930s], with Adolf Hitler, merely because Joyce also sports a small moustache. Note the slashed face, a result of a politically-motivated attack on Joyce in 1924.
A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, as they say… [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Joyce]
“No-one can rule guiltlessly” [Saint-Just].
Putin had no real choice, but his decision must have assumed, evidently mistakenly, that Russian military intelligence (the GRU) and the Russian Army (both on the ground and in the General Staff or, to use an old term, the Stavka) was up to the job, competent. Not so, it seems to have been proven.
This is a potentially existential crisis for Russia as anything purporting to be an independent state, let alone a regional power (the “superpower” label having been lost except in terms of nuclear weapons).
Russia cannot lose this war. By that, I mean that Putin cannot afford to lose this war.
The Russian side is now proposing peace talks. The Ukrainian or Kiev-regime side has refused, saying that only the “return” of Crimea (historically, usually part of Russia rather than Ukraine) and the Donbass etc can be the precondition for talks.
Russia will never accept that Crimea, especially, and its almost entirely Russian population, be given , or “returned”, to the Kiev government.
The present situation is worrying even for those who live far from Ukraine. There is a mob, of the malicious and/or idiotic, baying for Russian blood, and for war with Russia, in effect. I wonder what a Venn diagram would look like if it contained that Twit-mob and also the similar mobs who wanted war with Iraq and then Afghanistan?
If the present limited “Ukrainian” counter-offensive in the south succeeds, and the Kherson pocket or bulge is eliminated, Russia may start to attack, more heavily than heretofore, Odessa, other cities, and Kiev itself.
There is a danger of huge escalation here. The Kiev regime is being supplied with more and more and better, more powerful, arms. Not only arms but money, food, medicines etc. Supplied by the West, but mainly from the USA and UK.
Without those arms, without that money, the failed state of Ukraine could not exist at all. It has almost no exports, its industrial areas are inoperative, or ablaze, or under Russian control. Millions of its wealthier and/or better-educated citizens are in exile. Within Ukraine, the Zelensky regime has shot or imprisoned opponents without trial, or after neo-Stalinist quick “trials”; it has banned trade unions and all opposition parties, and there is no freedom of speech.
In short, Zelensky, like his shambolic and corrupt “government”, is a “monkey on a stick”. This is a Punch and Judy show.
Having said that, if it is true that Russia’s forces are faltering, if it is true that Russia’s supply of heavy weapons to the war is slowing, then that may leave Putin and his top people with an incentive to escalate the war beyond anything yet seen. That in turn might provoke a NATO response. If that were to happen, European civilization, in Europe, itself might be in peril.
Look at the UK. Ten years ago, even five years ago, look on, eg, Rightmove, and you saw numerous English or Scottish country estates for sale, some with thousands of acres. Now? Nothing, pretty much. I blogged about this previously, even a few years ago.
Cash is being phased out. It’s a control mechanism. Once cash goes, the citizen is reduced to complete and utter dependence on his little plastic cards. If they are restricted or taken away, by whoever controls the system, the individual is immediately an outcast, without money, without any way (short of theft, robbery, or begging) even to access food.
When I last visited Hong Kong, in 2006, there was a regional technical problem with credit and debit cards. None worked for several days. Fortunately, I was already in hotel accommodation (the Sheraton, Kowloon) and had several thousand US dollars in cash as well, but what if a similar situation occurs, and you have no cash (because cash does not exist), and what if you are not in accommodation for whatever reason? You sleep on a park bench, and forage for whatever food you can find.
Do not imagine that the banks are some kind of unbiased arbiter or supplier of services. They may be, most of the time, but even now we see examples of people with “the wrong views” being cut off from banking services. It happened a while ago to Sam Melia, Laura Towler and Mark Collett of Patriotic Alternative. I am not talking even about the PA official bank accounts. No, I refer to the individual, personal bank accounts of those people.
It can happen to you and to me, too.
More tweets seen
That’s right. Either they would be seen as “hideously white“, in the words of the cretinous Greg Dyke [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greg_Dyke], or too pro-“colonialist” (The Four Feathers https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Four_Feathers_(1939_film)), too European, or not sufficiently viciously “anti-Nazi”, (even Casablanca, because it does not mention the sainted Jews at all).
You can see the way UK television drama has gone, even detective stories such as Endeavour, Grantchester etc. A kind of “we must have half the characters black, brown, other non-white, or at least gay” ethos.
Late tweets seen
Interesting that this alleged fact should emerge now, just as her family and friends, with other supporters, are trying to get her back to the UK. Is someone trying to provoke her assassination?
Not that I want her back in the UK. I do not want any of them here in the first place.