Baiting the Bear

23rd January 2022 5

With Russian troops massing on Ukraine’s eastern border, and in Belarus, in readiness for a possible invasion, it is not difficult to paint Vladimir Putin as the arch villain. His actions in recent years have done little to endear him to us in the West: poisoning opponents, closing down opposition parties and media, engaging in cyber warfare, oligarchic corruption, the … [Read on]

Is there an alternative to Boris?

15th January 2022 15

The incomparable Jewish-American comedian Jackie Mason once commended Nixon over Watergate. He told lies but at least he sweated when he told them. The man had a conscience. But no sweat for Boris and his friends. Is it narcissism, Eton entitlement syndrome, or megalopsychia – the classical belief that one is a higher order ‘great souled man’? Whatever it is, … [Read on]

The Revenge of Dominic Cummings

14th January 2022 5

In scenes in the House of Commons reminiscent of the final chapters of Wind in the Willows Prime Minster Boris Johnson (Mr Toad) confessed to the assembled Stoats and Weasels – Labour, Lib Dem, SNP and other po faced creatures from the Wild Socialist wood – that he had held parties for the staff at 10 Downing Street during lockdown. … [Read on]

BBC humour has stopped at the potty.

14th January 2022 6

‘Ma’s out and Pa’s out, let’s talk dirt! Pee-poo-titty-bum-drawers!!!’ As a child I was a bit shocked when I heard that the esteemed (by adults) duo Flanders and Swann, had sung such a song, not on TV, ‘Auntie’ BBC would not have liked that in the 1960s, or Flanders apparently lingering in his Falstaffian basso over the word ‘drawers.’ These … [Read on]

An Old Soviet Soldier

3rd January 2022 8

I’m not yet old enough to perk up my ears every time an old man dies. Yet I was saddened to learn that an old communist I’d known gave up the ghost recently. I’d visited his St Petersburg apartment about fifteen winters ago and we tossed back many tumblers of Ararat cognac. (The Armenian stuff Churchill was fond of – … [Read on]

False compassion lures more illegal migrants to risk their lives in the English Channel.

30th December 2021 29

The leader of the Anglican Church Archbishop Justin Welby, a man given to increasingly bizarre pronouncements, told us in his Christmas sermon that we should show compassion towards refugees crossing the English Channel from France to Britain. I completely agree, if I understand compassion properly as ‘sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.’ Setting off in … [Read on]

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