Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


I welcome your comments, so do please write. Please note however that all comments are moderated prior to publication. Whilst I fully appreciate that life can be frustrating, nevertheless, abuse, SMS language and illiteracy will not be tolerated!

Monday, 27 December 2010

Spot the Similarity (If there is one)


I hope that you had a peaceful and plentiful Christmas, faced as you all you are with what is shaping up to be an austere 2011 (except of course for the bankers amongst you whose bonuses I understand, will be robust).

I see that in England, nine suspects have been remanded in custody charged with conspiring to cause explosions. All well and good; I hope that they are thrown out of the country if guilty.

However, the BBC report contains a paragraph which did shock me deeply:

Five of the defendants are also facing a third charge of possessing documents and records containing information likely to be of use to terrorists.

What were these "documents" I wonder? A life story of Guy Fawkes? A map of London? I find it incredible that anyone in a so-called free country (which of course it isn't) can be charged with the "possession of documents" unless of course the documents in question were stolen, in which case they would be charged with "stealing documents" wouldn't they?

So the English are now having to be careful what they read?

Meanwhile the New York Times reports:

"Allegations against them, the police said, included downloading and researching material from the Internet."

That of course changes everything: researching material from the Internet? Whatever next?

To me this is as disgraceful as the sham trial in Russia of Mikhail Khordokovsky on what are apparently trumped-up embezzlement charges. That one really stinks I think.

Here's an extract from a Daily Telegraph analysis:

"At times too during the trial it seemed like the defence would win. Several high profile figures, including a former Putin trade minister who is head of the Russia's largest state-owned bank, testified to Mr Khodorkovsky's and Mr Lebedev's innocence. They were also absolved by their auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In the end, the semblance of true process was, as an American diplomat wrote in a leaked embassy cable last November, like putting "lipstick on a pig". The political reality is that powerful people are determined to keep Mr Khodorkovsky behind bars. This is partly because they fear a challenge to the redistribution of assets that followed Mr Khodorkovsky's downfall. More generally though, Mr Khodorkovsky's incarceration has become harder to overturn as it has become a central part of the narrative of Mr Putin's political career."

Big Government...


Until the next time


banned said...

Interesting comparison Paul, on the one hand yet another group of home grown foreign 'terrorists' "reading stuff" and a self-made Russian Oligarch "reading stuff" on-line.

We are presented almost monthly with 5 or 9 or 6 'terrorists' getting arrested and/or charged but remarkably few seem to get to court and still fewer get to gaol.

As a scare tactic it is past its sell-by date but no doubt the Great Thaw now upon us will bring worries about Localised Flooding Shock!

Paul said...

Thanks again for commenting; I should do so myself more often on the blogs I support.

As for Khordokovsky, well I'm certain that those oligarchs are not lily-white; like Philip Marlowe in "The Long Good-Bye" I have never understood how the super-rich accumulate those vast fortunes in such a short period of years. However since Khordokosky was financing the political opposition to Putin, in this case I think the wrong lies elsewhere!

As for the Great Thaw, I suspect that you haven't seen the last of winter this time, given the blizzards in the US.