Bullying the neighbours is a traditional sport in Russia – so it’s no wonder that after the Ukrainians decided to go pro-Western, the Russians decided to make them freeze by cutting off their gas.
However, it’s interesting to see that, because Russia is so poor and dependent on the West for everything, the Kremlin effectively backed down. The new gas price is in line with Ukraine’s demands, not with Russia’s intentions.
So as long as Russia remains poor, Europe’s energy supplies are safe. It’s lucky, then, that any prospect of liberal reform has been replaced in that country’s electoral landscape by populist, militaristic strongmen like Vladimir Putinâ€¦
If you work in a mine, you’ll probably die in some kind of accident. If you work in a mine and form a union, you’ll be much less likely to die in an accident.
However, this will be largely because the union and the government will end up controlled by crazed fanatics who only care about saving face and refusing to compromise, and the entire industry will be closed down. How many mining accidents were there in the UK last year…?
I’m not really sorry for the low postage around Xmas/New Year, but if it makes you happy then I can pretend. Service resumes, now.
No, not because they blow people up. The number of people they blow up is sufficiently trivial that only paranoid loons would even bother worrying about it.
In any case, it’s hard to see how removing 3000 New York bankers from the equation could have failed to make the world a better place. Fuck off with your whiny, obscenely wealthy shrink-going self-obsession, and endure some of the misery and suffering you normally only inflict on other people for profit. Win-fucking-win (see also John Monckton).
Returning to the Islamists, though, I hate they way they provide a cover for would-be tyrants and process-crazed bureaucrats to demand or impose whatever the hell stupid measures they like. Ian Blair and some Russian apparatchik were both interviewed on today’s Today programme; both of them blethered on incessantly about the terrible measures required to deal with the terrorist menace (the fact that prior knowledge of British or Russian politics is the only way to tell between the two country’s terrible measures – detaining people for three months without evidence versus demanding a government license for all NGOs – is also worrying, but not the point).
The point is that because The People are scared that these freaky types in funny hats and odd-coloured skin will achieve the singularly unlikely feat of a not-utterly-pathetic-and-laughable terrorist attack – say, one which kills or mains more people than a year’s worth of road casualties – governments in both countries can get away with proposing these measures without being immediately overthrown and hung from makeshift gallows for tyranny. Stop it, you pathetic wusses.
“As soon as anybody starts to do something about it somebody sticks their hands in the air and says ‘What about their human rights?’ What about the human rights of my daughter and the 50-odd people on July 7?” – July 7 parent John Taylor. Oh, fuck off. Shame your daughter was killed and not you, really.
Banning smoking at work is entirely reasonable. Banning smoking during working hours is a scummy thing to do, but not an outrageous one. Refusing to hire people who smoke outside work is something that should be punishable by death. If anyone burns down the WHO building, I’ll give them a fiver.
My attention is brought to an interesting site which points out that the media reports of how the July 7 bombers got to London were clearly bollocks. The train departure board from Luton that morning shows that one of the alleged bomber-transporting trains didn’t run, while the other was over 20 minutes late.
Although it’s tempting to assume this means an Extreme Cover Up, it seems far more likely that the hacks are lazy bastards and the coppers have better things to do just after a terrorist attack than check out train times before saying “yeah, that sounds about right” to hacks who call them for info. If you’re a London-bombing terrorist, even quite a shit one, that you’ll turn up at the station in plenty of time in case things go wrong – so the bombers will have caught a delayed train way ahead of the reported 7:40/7:48 one (which is the last one they could have taken had it been running, and had it not been half an hour late, respectively).
Annoyingly, neither Thameslink nor Midland Mainline (the two companies to run trains from Luton to London) have CCTV on their trains. And the police mightn’t ever catch anyone directly enough implicated with the July 7 bombs for this evidence to be disputed in court anyway. Even so, I’m seriously hoping some of this will come up at the 21 July non-bombers’ trial (assuming Tony doesn’t have it held in secret with baying Sun-reading 7 July victims’ families taking the role of judges and jury).