Tag Archives: CATLA

Diary Blog, 22 January 2023

Morning music

[Rome: the ruins of the Forum]

On this day a year ago

On the blog five years ago

Though my prediction for the next general election (2019) was wrong (I thought hung Parliament or small-majority Labour win), in my defence I can say that that election did not, in the event, happen until almost 2 years after the blog was posted (blog— January 2018, but General Election— December 2019). I think that the rest of the assessment has held up quite well.

Peter Hitchens

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-11661589/PETER-HITCHENS-Sending-Ukraine-tanks-turn-Europe-one-big-radioactive-graveyard.html.

This was the moment at which we began the unstoppable descent into terrible danger which so many of us will bitterly regret in times to come.

I won’t waste time here going over the question of who started the Ukraine war, or even why. Most people don’t want to know and refuse to think about it, or to look up the facts. They defame and abuse anyone who tries to tell them. So to hell with that.

When the Defence Secretary announced that British tanks were going to Ukraine, not one MP raised any doubts or opposed the move. Not one. To read the record of the non-debate is like reading the proceedings of some Communist fake parliament, supine and brain-dead.

The country where political freedom was born has decided not to bother being free any more.

So it is left to me to tell you that it is an act of grave stupidity for the West to supply Ukraine with modern tanks. Unlike everyone else in the media and politics, I am not a military expert. But I know what tanks are for, and it is not defence.

What we have just decided to do is to prolong and deepen the war. Maybe Ukraine’s new tanks will sweep all before them. Maybe they will bog down. Maybe they will try to take Crimea. Maybe they will soon be taking part in a Victory Parade in Red Square. I don’t know. But if they cross into what Russia regards as its own territory, then do not be surprised by anything which happens.

...there is the real possibility that a large chunk of Europe might be turned into a radioactive graveyard and that American conventional retaliation for this (which will be furious and powerful) will take us a stage further into the world of horror, loss, flight, pestilence and poverty which always follows war.”

[Peter Hitchens in the Mail on Sunday].

Exactly.

The Cold War was frozen, formalized, mutual aggression. The world came close to disaster more than once, but the situation was at least stable. That was hard on the peoples of occupied Central and Eastern Europe, caged by the “Big Three” agreements of the WW2 period (Casablanca, Teheran, Yalta, Potsdam), but actually life there was not always and everywhere terrible— just worse (usually, mostly) and —overall— less free than in the (better parts of) Western Europe and North America.

That was better than nuclear war across Europe, the Soviet Union, and the USA.

The gradual collapse of socialism in the 1956-1989 period of 33 years meant that one of the two main pillars of that stasis collapsed, meaning that outside socio-economic and other forces could start to flow into what had been Soviet territory..

Without Soviet power in place, the whole Soviet system fell apart quite quickly. By 1991, the Soviet Union was history. Western goods and ideas flooded Russia and the newly-liberated or created states. Ukraine was, for the first time in history, an independent state (a simplification, but basically correct).

Instead of a genuine attempt to help Russia and other former components of Sovietism transition to a better society, there was a scramble to rule over Russia, and to exploit its people, taken part in not only by Jewish (yes, and other) interests in the West but also by Jews inside Russia, the so-called “oligarchs”. Some, such as Boris Berezovsky, have died (probably murdered, despite living in the UK), others have increased their security and moved permanently to the UK, USA, Israel etc.

I myself saw elements of that scramble, not only when I first visited Moscow in 1993, and not only in my year in Kazakhstan (1996-97) but also in other ways, e.g. by my sitting (1995-1996) on the Committee of the Central Asia and Transcaucasia Law Association [CATLA], a body set up by large law firms with interests in the post-Soviet states, with UK Government assistance.

Also later, when back in London, in the Caribbean, and elsewhere.

On the foreign policy side, the “New World Order” [“NWO”] tried to take over Russia, and nearly did so when Yeltsin was President. What prevented it was a combination of circumstances: Russian pushback fuelled by wounded pride, Putin taking over as President, the collapse of the dotcom bubble in the West, and the focus of the NWO shifting to its other major interest, i.e. destroying the states hostile to Israel; that was after the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001.

The military aid being given has gone from small items of defensive “kit” (in the British military term) to large items of offensive armament, as Hitchens writes. There are few weapons more aggressive in offence than a tank.

I recall being at a CATLA meeting in London in late 1995 or early 1996 when an account was given of a report that day by telephone from Dushanbe, Tadzhikistan, then the epicentre of a civil war. The report had had to be curtailed because the person on the end of the line had suddenly said “I’m going— a tank has just come round the corner.” End of conversation.

As I recently blogged, 14 British tanks may not be much, but the Zelensky regime is all but demanding that other European states provide 300. Still a small number compared with those in action in 1943 at Kursk (over 8,000 tanks in total); however, in Egypt, Rommel’s initial advance on Alexandria involved about 300 German tanks.

The point is that the war is now getting to the point where, in the absence of a ceasefire or negotiated settlement, the Russians either have to recruit, train and deploy an army vast enough and powerful enough to overwhelm the forces of the Kiev regime in 2023, or go nuclear (whether tactical or even strategic).

The USA and UK (etc) are getting to the point where they might be seen as actual participants in the war.

Leaving the huge forces (mainly American) of NATO aside, there is no way for the Kiev regime to win this. Ukraine is becoming a country without electricity, it has little functioning industry now, 20% of its population has fled to other states, and its population is anyway a fraction of the size of that of Russia.

If the West (NWO/ZOG) does not stop supporting the Kiev regime, we are on and sliding down a slope which might well devastate all of Europe.

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Kursk.

Jack Monroe scandal

I shall believe that when she stops taking people’s money, particularly from those who have little to start with, and/or those who are vulnerable (even if they are utter mugs to send “Jack Monroe” anything at all).

Seems that the tweets referred to have been deleted (another habit of the “Bootstrap Cook”).

Another poor and/or financially-struggling “Jack Monroe” fan? Oh, no, wait…a dim-seeming librarian from the University of Bedfordshire (is there such a university? Maybe there is). She has obviously not seen any of the voluminous evidence against her idol.

A good description. Worthy of a social anthropologist, perhaps a bit —in manner— like David Attenborough, but specializing in Essex “grifters”.

Quite funny seeing all these terribly “concerned” and virtue-signalling women (mostly women), who are, unwittingly, simply advertizing their lack of nous.

…so tweets a total loony (another “not quite all there” “Jack Monroe” fanatic).

Yes. I recall “Jack Monroe” doing the same or similar about 4 months ago, around the time when I published my (entirely fair, but far too kind, as it turned out) assessment of her: see https://ianrobertmillard.org/2022/09/30/diary-blog-30-september-2022-including-an-assessment-of-jack-monroe-aka-the-bootstrap-cook/.

There is no incentive for “Jack Monroe” to pause or stop her Patreon “grift”. After months of criticism and evidence presented, there are, as of today, still 635 utter mugs sending her money, between about £2,500 a month and about £30,000 a month (probably about £6,000 pcm). Why would she stop taking it? Certainly not because a few have threatened a small claim in the County Court. Those few can be paid off easily enough.

If other mugs donate via other channels, then “Jack Monroe” can simply say (or not even bother to say) “thank you very much” and keep the cash, using it for her own purposes, as she has done.

More music

More tweets seen

[“Revenge— get down there where you wanted to send me, you unclean spirit!“]

Ha ha! The presumption of the girl there is incredible. Trying to grift a living as an “online influencer” or something, like thousands of others, from “Jack Monroe” and Owen Jones, through Julia Grace Patterson and others of that type, and right down to “who she?” types like the one in that tweet. She should get a job in a bottling plant or something (at least until robots take over completely).

Britain used to be a country that did things, real things, and had people at all levels who, many of them, were solid, even in the House of Commons etc. Now look…

Men (and women) of straw are now around in huge numbers and, if they were just to “disappear”, not only would I not care but in fact would actually applaud their removal.

Ha. Well put.

More tweets

It is truly incredible to see just how gullible so many of these “concerned” women are, the “Jack Monroe” partisans. She has been repeating those behaviours for years— angrily snarling and threatening, then pretending to stomp off from Twitter and/or pretending to have one of a whole host of physical and/or mental conditions, then claiming to have been “bullied” or “forced off Twitter”, after which she returns within a day or two (and counts up her new donations).

Yes, many rather unstable people who somehow imagine that by at least tweeting in support of “Bootstrap Cook”, they are striking a blow against the hated “Tories”. No so. The “Jack Monroe” assertion “I can feed someone on about 61p a day” (literally what she claims, feeding a family of four for £20 a week), plays into the idea that “welfare” (social security) benefits are perfectly adequate, or even too generous.

“Jack Monroe” now knows that, however outlandish her tall tales are, hundreds if not thousands of utter mugs will believe them all, and will think her a kind of saintly warrior against poverty and injustice, no matter what obvious lies she posts.

She has claimed, ludicrously, to have been involved with fighting the fire at Grenfell Tower, to have been in high-level discussions about Government inflation statistics, to have been so poor that she had to unscrew lightbulbs to save on electricity, and that she boiled down soap to make shower gel (!). All surely, plainly, lies, obviously so to any but the totally deluded, yet her often-mentally afflicted fans lap it up, either believing the lies, or believing that they somehow do not matter.

I agree with tweeter “Littlegiteshob”. It is absolutely incredible how stupid and guillible many are.

Look at that “@tomcheater”. Does not know what day it is.

More tweets

The French love massive demonstrations, but such events rarely change anything, not on their own.

When did huge marches in the UK change anything? A million marched against war in Iraq. Result— nothing. A couple of hundred thousand marched against “austerity”. Result— nothing.

So long as “Jack Monroe” has 635 utter mugs sending her a total of anywhere between £2,500 and £30,000 a month, I doubt whether she will feel any pressure to get a job. In any case, it is hard to imagine the kind of job for which she might be qualified, even leaving aside her alleged drug and drink problems, and her peculiar mentality.

Some tweeters are enraged that “Jack Monroe” has (for the umpteenth time) used by faked (probably faked, allegedly faked) physical illness or feared illness, and also mental illness including suicide hints, to garner sympathy, deflect from her fraudulent or near-fraulent “grifting”, and collect even more money from naive people on Twitter etc: see below

Why tweeter “@Calderpeople” thinks that “Jack Monroe” has no money any more, I have no idea. After all, the 635 Patreon mugs are still presumably paying up, and the Thrifty Kitchen book is out, though I suspect not selling well; I believe around 400 copies, including Kindle, per week. I may be slightly out, but think that each sale gets the authoress about £1, though possibly less, possibly more. See https://www.societyofauthors.org/Where-We-Stand/buying-choices/How-do-authors-get-paid.

That is on a price of £9.99 for the hardback, the original cover price of £19.99 having been abandoned, in effect.

I do think that the msm has almost dropped “Jack Monroe” now. I notice that, apart from the Independent, the newspapers have not much covered the release of the book; a few fairly low-circulation magazines have.

This, from 2020, made me laugh: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-7925127/This-Morning-viewers-slam-food-writer-Jack-Monroes-three-meals-5.html.

I was surprised to see how small she is, even up against the TV people, who are not giants:

Was someone that tiny really trained (for a while), and as she claims, as a firefighter? To me, that seems very doubtful.

“Anthea Rogers” (possibly “Jack Monroe” in disguise) weighs in:

“Jack Monroe” and cocaine

A word about the alleged cocaine abuse by the “Bootstrap Cook”: I find it interesting that (until recently) she was being supported publicly by the Jewish TV cook, Nigella Lawson, and by the (also Jewish) food critic Jay Rayner, as well as by Tom Parker Bowles (food writer, and son of Queen Camilla).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigella_Lawson; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay_Rayner; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Parker_Bowles.

I have never seen any suggestion that Jay Rayner is a cocaine abuser, despite his playing jazz piano with his own Rayner Quartet.

Having said that, I now see:

Also, he was expelled from school over cannabis use: see https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/entertainment/news/jay-rayner-pilloried-in-public-over-school-suspension-for-drug-use-39222774.html.

As for Nigella Lawson, she has admitted that she has (“in the past”) abused cocaine and other drugs on a number of occasions (read “regularly“?).

Then we have Tom Parker Bowles. God knows what Brigadier Parker-Bowles, his father (who was Commanding Officer of the Household Cavalry and Silver-Stick-in-Waiting to the late Queen Elizabeth), thinks of his son’s choice of career. Not that it is inherently bad, and it must be lucrative, but I wonder all the same whether there is parental disappointment.

Tom Parker Bowles has admitted being a cocaine abuser: see https://www.theguardian.com/drugs/Story/0,2763,207412,00.html; and also (“in the past”), a drug supplier or dealer: see https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/6635934.camillas-son-drugs-supplier/.

With these blots on humanity, it is always “occasionally” or “in the past“, nicht wahr?

So all three? Or just two? Still, “two out of three ain’t bad” [Meatloaf].

Interesting co-incidence, though, even in this decadent and degenerate society.

Late music

When I Had Lunch at an Italian Restaurant, Visited the EU Commission, but Never Saw Tashkent

Explanation

I am now writing about a personal experience, because I feel that some people might find it interesting anyway, and because I also feel that, inter alia, it says something about the EU and the way it operates.

The facts

In 1998, some months after my return from a several-months sojourn in Egypt, I was telephoned by someone whom I did not know, Leasor by name, who told me that my name had been suggested as someone who might be a suitable candidate for a project funded by the EU, and would I meet the next day to discuss it? I was interested, not least because I needed a job.

At the time, I was staying temporarily with my parents, at the yachting haven of Hamble, in Hampshire. As I say, I had been in Egypt for quite a while, had then spent three months penniless and effectively homeless in London (a dystopian nightmare), and since that time another lucrative work possibility, in Odessa (Ukraine), had just recently fallen through. The small financial settlement I had been paid (after having had to issue court proceedings against a Jew fraud —will blog about that another time—) was running out rapidly. So I was happy to investigate this new idea, whatever it might be.

A day or two later I was in London, lunching in a smallish and pleasant Italian restaurant in Pimlico, a stone’s throw from the Vauxhall Bridge Road. My host, Leasor (I forget his Christian name), was easy to talk to and explained that there was an EU TACIS project coming up for tender. TACIS was “Technical Aid to the Commonwealth of Independent States”, a foreign aid umbrella supposedly helping out the former Soviet republics by providing “expertise”. I regarded it as largely a boondoggle, a major aim of which was to help out not the former Soviet Union but large Western law firms, accountancy firms, “consultancy” firms and industrial concerns.

I believe that, since our telephone conversation, I had faxed my CV to Leasor, so he knew my work background, qualifications etc. He also knew that I had been, during 1995-1996, on the Committee of the Central Asia and Transcaucasia Law Association [CATLA], also connected with TACIS; the CATLA committee met every few weeks at one or another plush office of law firms in the City of London or West End. I remember that they included Clifford Chance, Norton Rose and other large firms. CATLA had been set up by UK law firms with interests in the new states recently carved out of the Soviet Union.

As for Leasor himself, I do not think that he said much about himself, save for the fact that he had been involved in a few similar deals in recent years. I am not someone who questions people closely (leaving aside my years at the practising Bar); I always think it rather rude. Neither did I enquire how he got my temporary home telephone number.

I had spent a year in Kazakhstan (1996-97), and had, a few years earlier, visited post-Soviet Moscow. This was of interest to the consortium which was bidding for the contract in Uzbekistan; also useful was my far-from-perfect but serviceable Russian language (both reading and speaking).

After lunch, Leasor took me to see his brother (in fact he had or has at least one other, but I did not know that then). His brother had been Adjutant of the 17th/21st Lancers, a smart cavalry unit now (at time of writing) not in independent existence; that brother was running what was basically a public relations outfit in a small office in Westminster. The brother or his firm would also be part of the bid consortium. I found both brothers pleasant and polite, though the ex-officer one did carry light traces of his former profession of arms in his speech and manner.

The next meeting was at the offices of yet another part of the consortium, the large law firm Simmons & Simmons, in the City of London. The meeting was chaired by its then “emerging markets” partner, a small Jew with a name so Scottish that the possessor of it should have had bagpipes and a tartan Tam O’Shanter. I had met him before. Also present was a City of London bod with a good line in convoluted financial jargon.

The project in Uzbekistan was to be based in the capital, Tashkent, the largest city in Central Asia. The title of the project was something like “Secondary Markets in Uzbekistan”. What I knew about secondary markets could be written, if not on a postcard, then certainly on a single side of paper, but no matter: the financial bod and the law firm would jointly take up that slack. My role would be to be second-in-command, so to speak, based as sole resident representative in Tashkent. All that was really required of me was legal and resident experience in the region (Uzbekistan borders Kazakhstan) and serviceable Russian. The others would be based in London.

It turned out that this was the EU’s second attempt to get a secondary market going in Uzbekistan. The first had sunk without trace, taking about £2 million in EU funding with it. I discovered that the team who had won the previous bid (I think French) had blown almost all the budget on salaries and on staying in the most expensive hotels in Tashkent, Moscow and European capitals, leaving nothing for publishing useful (educative) information or for effective liaison with the government of Uzbekistan.

20 years have now elapsed. I realized only years after the events now chronicled that, in overall charge of TACIS projects for that part of the world from 1994-1996, i.e. not so very long before I got directly involved in the region, was one Nick Clegg, since then of course MP (2005-2017), UK Liberal Democrat Party leader (2007-2015) and (2010-2015) Deputy PM, but then just a wealthy “trustafarian” whose parents had got him a job in Brussels:

He took up a post at the European Commission in April 1994, working in the TACIS aid programme to the former Soviet Union. For two years, Clegg was responsible for developing direct aid programmes in Central Asia and the Caucasus worth €50 million. He was involved in negotiations with Russia on airline overflight rights, and launched a conference in Tashkent in 1993 that founded TRACECA—an international transport programme for the development of a transport corridor for Europe, the Caucasus and Asia.” [Wikipedia].

No wonder the project for which I was recruited had failed at its first attempt! Clegg! I note also that only now, a quarter of a century later, is the “new Silk Road” coming into being. I wonder how much EU money Clegg wasted overall…

Coming back to a micro level of economics, my own proposed salary was, if I remember rightly, going to be somewhere around £100,000 (I think more) taxfree (and paid offshore), equivalent to maybe £150,000 or so taxfree today (educated guess). I think that accommodation and flights were also on offer. This was more than attractive to someone who had, that very same year, been for months all but destitute in London (where some of my adventures would make amusing reading, were I able to write them down).

So to Brussels…

The two Leasor brothers and I flew on a small business airline to Brussels. The jet was almost empty and arrived just as darkness was falling, around 1800 hrs. A confusing taxi ride through endless tunnels and we were there, in the middle of Brussels, a city to which I had never been (though I had visited Belgium itself on a number of occasions, starting in (I think) 1963, aged maybe just 7, when my family flew Sabena from Heathrow to Ostend, a service long-since discontinued).

In the morning, after an excellent dinner (Brussels is noted for cuisine) and a night in some hotel which appeared to be exclusively occupied by delegates and supplicants to the EU Commission or Parliament, we set off on foot to our own appointment with the Commission.

At the Commission (not the famous main building but a quite neglected smaller one nearby), we were ushered in eventually to a room set up like a tribunal, with EU flags on vertical poles and tables for us, the Uzbek delegation and the Eurocrats judging our bid.

The Uzbeks were a government minister (I forget now, 20+ years later, whether it was the Foreign Minister or Minister for Foreign Trade, I think the former) and his English-speaking assistant, a clever-looking young man who had “KGB” or the equivalent written all over him.

The “tribunal” consisted of a troika: the chairwoman was a French or Belgian woman, maybe 50, very much conscious of her importance (whatever that was) and looking somehow lacquered, as if her hair or face might crack if she were to fall over. There was also a besuited person of, I think, Belgian nationality and an English or maybe Scottish civil servant, looking scruffy and wearing a roll-neck jumper, making him look like the once-famous 1956 publicity shot of the young Colin Wilson, writer of The Outsider, pictured as enfant terrible of popular philosophy.

After one of the others gave an overview of our bid, it was my turn to be grilled. The main thing was to ask about my legal background and then to test my facility in Russian conversation. That was done by the minister, with help from “KGB” assistant. After a while, the KGB assistant carried on, until one of the troika interjected and said “I think that we have established that Mr. Millard has a good command of Russian…we are running short of time.” The KGB assistant wanted to carry on interrogating me but had to shut up. Not before time. The bastard had pretty much reached the outer limits of my fluency. As he subsided, he flashed me a smile and a sharp glance as if to say “I’ve got your number…”

We went back separately to London. I thought that we had done enough to win the bid, as had the brothers, but in the end it turned out that, for purely political reasons, a consortium from, if I recall, Spain had to be awarded the contract, because Spain had not had enough of a bite at the TACIS cherry…

Aftermath

My visit to Brussels over, I only heard once more from Leasor (the one who contacted me initially). I ended up, not long afterward, going to live for a while in the Caribbean and elsewhere. To this day, I have never visited Tashkent.

It was only much later that I started to wonder whether there had been something else behind that —superficially— purely commercial bid. Uzbekistan, like Kazakhstan, was just then, in 1998, becoming pivotal in geopolitical terms, as “Western”/NATO/NWO power rubbed up against an upsurging China, a Russia starting to be resurgent, and Islamism from the South. Maybe Professor Haushofer was at least partly correct…

Uzbekistan was under strict dictatorial control and at that time had not yet committed itself to cooperation with NATO. It might be that our bid was really an opening gambit to insert an intelligence post into Tashkent, with me as “clean” figurehead, at least at first. The project would have provided access to Uzbek ministers and advisors at or near the top level of their government.

Evidence? Not much. Was it relevant that I was called out of the blue? Not necessarily (headhunters had done that before and would do so again). Was it relevant that the Italian restaurant was near Vauxhall Bridge Road? Not necessarily. Was it in any way relevant that —as I only discovered a few years ago— the brothers were the sons of the writer James Leasor, who was a WW2 officer, later a foreign correspondent and writer of famous books on war and espionage, some of which were filmed: The One That Got Away and (filmed sub nom The Sea Wolves) Boarding Party? I suppose not. Straws in the wind, as we are in life…

Notes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical_Aid_to_the_Commonwealth_of_Independent_States

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Clegg#Careers_before_politics

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Leasor

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jamesleasor

https://www.jamesleasor.com/about/

https://woodstockleasor.com/#leadership

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/17th/21st_Lancers

https://www.countrylife.co.uk/property/country-houses-for-sale-and-property-news/the-house-we-bought-for-20000-18459

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tashkent

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secondary_market

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Outsider_(Colin_Wilson)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Haushofer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sea_Wolves