Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from August, 2015

In Praise of Manly Virtues

In a world where we still struggle to redress the wrongs done to women, both historic wrongs and present ones, it can sometimes seem that to praise the assumed masculine virtues is still -somehow- to denigrate women.

The masculine stereotypes are deconstructed and criticised to the point that it is sometimes hard to remember that just as there are specific virtues to the feminine so there are specific virtues to the masculine. In a world where words have become weapons even stating such a commonplace carries the risks of hostility, even- sometimes- of vilification.

The battle of the sexes may end in a hard fought draw- as indeed it must- but in such areas as public breast feeding, for example, many battles are still to be found even in supposedly equal societies. Personally I find it bizarre that anyone could object to a mother feeding her child and those who demonstrate hostility to mothers who make that choice seem to me to be both discourteous and even rather strange. Perhaps I feel …

The "Power Vertical" shifts in Russia

One way analysts have chosen to examine the dysfunctional political system of Russia is as a "power vertical" where closely linked economic and political interests share out the spoils of the economy. Like all models it is a simplification, but it has sometimes explained events that make no other sense. As the Russian forces in Ukraine have increased their hostile activity- the latest being a renewed offensive against Mariupol- there is now increasing evidence that the power vertical is less united than it has been for sometime.

As I noted a few days ago, the campaigning season in Ukraine is getting short, and with only a few weeks left there is great pressure on the Kremlin to break the deadlock before further help can get to the Ukrainian armed forces and the balance of power turns more strongly against the invaders. What is true for the military may also be true for Russia's internal politics. The announcement that Yakunin may be running for the Federation Council seem…

Putin reaches a crossing point

The increase in fighting in Eastern Ukraine is reaching levels not seen for some time. The pressure on the Putin regime is now significant. Essentially even a frozen conflict outcome will look like a defeat for the Kremlin, so the heat is on to find a solution that puts more of the region under Russian control and allows the illegal statelets that Russia has created a more sustainable future. To that end, the Russian state authorities are cracking down on their local satraps and imposing increasingly direct rule from Moscow- de facto annexation.

However, in an attempt to create either a viable entity, or better still, the breakout that gives Russia the land bridge to Crimea they still clearly seek, the Russian armed forces are facing stiffer resistance from the Ukrainians than they expected. This is a problem, because if they can not break though before October then the contrary winds against them will probably force a significant change in direction. Rumours swirl that Putin is under …

The enemy of my enemy...

According to Peter Kelner, Labour seems determined to follow the death road and elect Jeremy Corbyn as leader. Well, as we know polls may not be as reliable as they seem, so we will need to wait until the final agony is ground out. However if this deluded and dangerous man IS elected leader of the Labour Party, what then?

Well, for a start it may well be that Norman Baker's gloomy view of the UK as a one-party state is actually fulfilled. Certainly an electorate that was pretty reluctant to endorse Ed Miliband is unlikely to give more support to a party led by a leader from the pro-Russian far left.

To my mind it seems pretty clear that a new form of politics is still needed in the UK. Indeed without it there will not be a UK for very much longer. Across the political spectrum, from left to right, there is recognition that a new constitutional settlement is needed. This needs to create a looser and more federal structure for the nations and regions of the UK and also open up the mec…

Corbyn is a C**t

Just because Jeremy Corbyn is "authentic", in the sense that he says what he believes, that still does not make him any more moral or ethical than any other politician. In fact since most of what Corbyn believes is either bollocks, bullshit or delusional we could say that Corbyn is authentically dangerous.

His record as an "anti poverty" campaigner is highly questionable: especially since most of his discredited economic policies, including state control over much larger parts of the economy, are more likely to create wider poverty than to reduce it. He is an ex-union organizer and a campaigner: he is certainly not an economist and his membership of "The Peoples Assembly Against Austerity" is almost hilarious in its po-faced self regard.

Meanwhile, if we are to judge a man by his friends the Corbyn keeps extremely questionable company.

Corbyn repeatedly condemns the British Army, while speaking up for the murderers of the IRA. Corbyn has actively supported t…