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Re: Politics

Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:46 pm
by jhopgood
Not quite on the same subject, but whilst having a drink with a friend the other day, he mentioned that Putin is the major threat to the world these days. Apparently, Putin wants to make Russia great again by destabilising western democracies.
Looking at the US and UK, he has had a certain amount of success so far.
My friend considers that the Balkans are about to explode again, and that the Crimea was a foregone conclusion as Russia would not contemplate losing access to the Black Sea. He also said that the US military has recognised Putin's ambitions and is not keeping Trump informed of all their activities. Trudeau apparently prefers to talk to the US military rather than Trump on defence matters.
Is there any truth in my friend's allegations, or was it the beer talking?

Re: Politics

Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:26 pm
by michael scuffil
I don't see any reason why the Balkans should be about to explode again. But otherwise everything is plausible. Trump has become a figurehead, after all there's a country to run.

Re: Politics

Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:50 pm
by rockfreak
This takes me back to my history lessons at CH when Chern was always telling us about trouble in the "Balkanth".

On another note, is there a sudden absence from JR or is it that he doesn't have anything to say? Any news of him?

Re: Politics

Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:17 pm
by Avon
It's Wahhabism that will do for the Balkans, not Putin.

Re: Politics

Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:47 pm
by J.R.
michael scuffil wrote:
Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:31 pm
Don't worry rockfreak, we have a govt. which has not only found the magic money tree to buy itself a majority (the same money would have re-clad all the tower blocks in the country, but not bought their votes), but also one which is positively rolling in its love of red-tape and regulation, as witness its proposals for EU citizens in the UK, who for more than forty years have managed to live in the UK without any red tape at all...

Incidentally, the great and good Mr Michael Gove, in a throwaway line on 'Farming Today This Week' last Saturday, said that any future immigration policy would be dictated by economic considerations alone*. Which is another way of saying that the government has no intention whatever of even trying to reduce immigration.

*I think we can expand his sentence with the words: 'and not by xenophobia or uninformed prejudice'.

I hear that there is a new trawler operating out of Hull, ready to exploit the great new possibilities offered by the end of the Common Fisheries Policy. The trawler was built in Turkey and its crew is mostly Icelandic and German. But the paperwork is British to the core.
A bit ironic. I well remember the TV news pictures of the so called 'Cod War' !!

Re: Politics

Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:33 pm
by sejintenej
rockfreak wrote:
Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:02 pm
Freaky does it again! Another letter in today's Guardian (24 June). Along the lines of "The 70s wasn't so bad". Ha ha! Already I can hear Banker Brown grinding his teeth and muttering darkly about unions, strikes, three-day weeks, etc. Actually he might also have mentioned flares, idiotic suits with wide collars, kipper ties and garish interior décor.
Ah, yes, the days when strikers sat on bridges over motorways dropping building blocks onto the windscreens of vehicles passing underneath. I don't think anyof them were sufficiently competent to kill anyone passing by. As for "muttering darkly" I know a mutter is a German mother, Ing is a Dutch bank and dark is after the sun goes down but I can't work out the connection unless she is a cleaner in the bank at night - sorry but I never was into other people's wives

Re: Politics

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:12 pm
by rockfreak
Contrary to Avon's mutterings, 74 is the perfect age to be sending letters to the Guardian, as Freaky proves today (30th) with his latest missive which goes under the heading "Economic recovery depends on spending". This may seem a pretty obvious point but the question is "whose spending"? Writing in the years after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the economist JK Galbraith discerned that extremes of inequality were one of the drivers of boom and bust, and indeed a hindrance as the economy struggled to recover. "The rich cannot buy great quantities of bread," he declared. The economy prospers as a result of the more predictable spending of the working punter than by the erratic speculation and investments of the mega rich. If bankers, City speculators, property developers, overpaid CEOs, greedy shareholders - oh yes, and wealthy public schoolboys - were going to kickstart the economy they would have done so by now.

Re: Politics

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:18 pm
by michael scuffil
"The rich cannot buy great quantities of bread"

Which is also a less-often-mentioned reason why immigration is a good thing per se. Almost the only reason why the UK economy has held up so well in the last 15 years is that unlike many other countries in Europe, it has a rising population, largely fuelled by immigrants. (If they happen to have useful skills, so much the better, but that's a bonus.)

Re: Politics

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:43 pm
by sejintenej
jhopgood wrote:
Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:46 pm
whilst having a drink with a friend the other day, he mentioned that Putin is the major threat to the world these days. Apparently, Putin wants to make Russia great again by destabilising western democracies.
Looking at the US and UK, he has had a certain amount of success so far.
My friend considers that the Balkans are about to explode again, and that the Crimea was a foregone conclusion as Russia would not contemplate losing access to the Black Sea.
Is there any truth in my friend's allegations, or was it the beer talking?
Not necessarily the beer talking. A local historical association had a gyest speaker talking about world flash points.
He commented on the Crimea and that whole area in the same vein. He pointed out the Arctic for two reasons - undersea minerals (Russian has already planted its flag under the North Pole claiming the entire Arctic as Russian) and the owner of the arctic has a direct border with North America (a bit like the earlier Cuban situation). Within the Arctic heading is also Greenland - another land mass close to the USA and Canada.

Re: Politics

Posted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:47 pm
by rockfreak
Yesterday's (Saturday's) Justice for Palestine march in London was at the larger end of these sort of events, by my estimation. Yet not a whisper on the evening news bulletins of BBC, ITV or Channel 4. I do sometimes wonder whether I'm living in a democracy or whether the government has control of the broadcast media. Earlier in the week the Maybot entertained Benjamin Netanyahu to dinner and appeared to have given him assurances of our (or maybe her) continued support for the state of Israel. It appeared in most printed and broadcast media channels with no challenge to her about the legitimacy of the state of Israel, failure to obey UN resolutions or the continued settlements on Palestinian territory. One MP who has spoken out against the influence of Israel on our politicians is Martin Linton who was in Prep B in the 1950s with me and who became Labour MP for Battersea in the Blairite period. Linton set up a group called Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East and was, I seem to remember, censured by Parliament at one point for going over-the-top in his criticism of Israel (for which perhaps read, upsetting the long-established and thin-skinned Tory Friends of Israel grouping).

Re: Politics

Posted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:56 pm
by sejintenej
jhopgood wrote:
Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:46 pm
......a friend the other day, he mentioned that Putin is the major threat to the world these days. Apparently, Putin wants to make Russia great again by destabilising western democracies.
Looking at the US and UK, he has had a certain amount of success so far.
My friend considers that the Balkans are about to explode again, and that the Crimea was a foregone conclusion as Russia would not contemplate losing access to the Black Sea. H
Is there any truth in my friend's allegations, or was it the beer talking?
My wife had been going to history lectures by a retired professor who seems to really know his stuff.

Last summer he did a "summer school" about "coming world flashpoints". Yes, Putin was there in at least three arenas. Iran - Iraq for oil supplies, Ukraine area for acces to the Black Sea (as your friend suggested) and to get back those countries which were under USSR control and thirdly the Arctic for its mineral reserves - he has already claimed it by planting a Russian flag on the seabed at the North Pole. from what he said he semed to consider the Arctic to be the most sensitive because so many countries already have stakes in the area.

Re: Politics

Posted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:55 am
by J.R.
And on this subject, did anyone else watch that very long programme 'Gulag' on TV last night ??

We all know Stalin and Co were monsters but this programme was a real eye opener.