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London, England
An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about threats to liberty in Britain
Interests: liberty, travel, photography, writing
Recent Activity
Nice choice. I did consider a classic Bentley — perhaps even one from the time grandad was in the factory. I was a classic car guy years ago, but there’s a commitment required that I’m not ready for at my age. Best wishes to you too. I hope you get that car and enjoy every mile.
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on Where are we now? at THE LAST DITCH
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No car holds its value if driven hard and long. I’d aim to put 100,000+ miles on Felicity before I die. As for Miss Joan Edwards, what a naïf! But then I suppose the most common error of our age is to mistake the gangsters of the Deep State for a force for good.
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Where are we now? at THE LAST DITCH
1 reply
It’s been two months since I last posted here. The Last Ditch is not dead but it’s moribund. The same might be said for me. I have made some progress since Mrs P the Second left last November. I am no longer in purdah. I am going out with my... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at THE LAST DITCH
Thanks James. I am trying to spend a peaceful day, but I am in no mood to celebrate. Time will heal, if I am granted enough of it.
Toggle Commented Mar 18, 2022 on What is Putin up to? at THE LAST DITCH
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"Atrocities" of Western Agencies? Really? You've swallowed the мистификация hook line and sinker, James. I love Russia but even the most patriotic Russian I know, who will rail at "the West" with the best of them, tells me privately that he cannot support what Putin has done. "The West" is very largely a Russian conspiracy theory anyway. There is no command and control of a unified entity in the sense that Russia has. There never was. The West was at its least disunified with the threat of a Soviet attack and a strong America to lead it. We have neither now. Even then, the continentals were free-loading. The fascistic mentality underlying the expression "brother nation" (aren't all men brothers?) is the problem here, not any of the West's stupid errors, which are just used for cover. Putin is an old-fashioned Slavic nationalist. His ire is more for Slavs who don't crave Slavic brotherhood, than for dirty foreigners like us with Ukrainian flags on our profile pics. There's a good article in the Sunday Telegraph today about how disunited the West really is. Britain and the US have closed sterling and dollar clearing to Russia, but the EU still permits Euro clearing. The value of Russian bank assets sanctioned in the UK is £258.8 billion; in the whole of the EU it is £38.8 billion and the Continentals are anyway busy carving out their own key exports from sanctions altogether - e.g. Italian luxury goods. Continentals are virtue-signalling like crazy with doves and flags on their Facebook pages but their governments are – as always – leaving the defence of Europe to the anglophones they so comprehensively despise. Putin must be laughing.
Toggle Commented Mar 6, 2022 on What is Putin up to? at THE LAST DITCH
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It will be fascinating to speculate on Putin’s mental health when this is over. As long as the Russian armed forces obey his orders, it will be too soon to allow such speculation to influence action. We can’t be like the namby-pamby judges of our soft and decadent nation in excusing the actions of a criminal because of his difficult upbringing or poor mental health. He’s the Commander in Chief of a powerful army he’s sent on a wicked mission. I feel sorry for the Russian soldiers facing danger because of him, some of whom were told they were on exercises in Russia and didn’t know they were at war until fired upon. I feel sorry for them but they *are* at war and no one can blame the Ukrainians for defending their country as best they can.
Toggle Commented Mar 1, 2022 on What is Putin up to? at THE LAST DITCH
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Vlad you are my friend, not just my colleague, and I thank you for contributing to the discussion. I know you as a calm, thoughtful person and a Russian patriot. There’s much to be patriotic about and I respect that. Another of our partners who was present at one of the conversations you mentioned verified the gist of what you say. Our former partner from Ukraine is indeed a Ukrainian patriot with strongly hostile views about Russia. Views I don’t share, as I hope you know. But, with respect, so what? In Ireland and France (to give but two of many examples) there are people who hate England and wish us harm. Their views on us and our contribution to world history are every bit as strong as our former partner’s views of Russia. The world would condemn us — quite rightly — as war criminals if we invaded them on that pretext. Everything you say is true but none of it justifies Putin’s invasion. I respect you enough to believe that, while you’ve illuminated the history of tension between the nations at war, you don’t think so either.
Toggle Commented Mar 1, 2022 on What is Putin up to? at THE LAST DITCH
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The West’s politicians have been naive and stupid in dealing with Russia. There’s no doubt about that. Anyone who spent time there knew the score, so their diplomats must have told them. The Russian establishment’s paranoia about NATO was no less significant for being irrational. You lived there when I did James and share my affection for Russia, its people and culture. Putin is not entirely to blame for the tensions, but his decision to invade a neighbour that posed no threat to Russia is a war crime. He’s responsible for that.
Toggle Commented Mar 1, 2022 on What is Putin up to? at THE LAST DITCH
1 reply
I practised law in Central and Eastern Europe. My old firm had offices in both Moscow and Kyiv. I lived in Warsaw (11 years) and Moscow (7 years). The region is where most of my friends are, including both Russians and Ukrainians. I am pleased to see some of the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2022 at THE LAST DITCH
Firstly, some sad news. Some of you will – like me – have once followed JMB's Blog Nobody Important. It's open only to invited readers now but back in the heyday of blogging (when we all thought citizen journalism was going to change the world) you will remember her often... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2022 at THE LAST DITCH
Thank you my dear friend. I am sure you are right. If I am honest though, I have never entered a new year with less optimism. Yesterday I decided I must start exercising again, having sulked in my tent for too long to detrimental effect. I am staying with my parents so I went on a familiar walk from my youth. Nothing will make you aware of how unfit you are as that! I struggled up hills that were flat in my memory and ended up so exhausted I had to call for Dad to come fetch me. It was a wake-up call. If I am metaphorically to put one foot after another and keep living, I need to do it literally to recover my strength. As my soon-to-be ex-wife is due to come recover her stuff this month, there's more grief ahead. All I can do it put it all behind me as fast as I can, I guess. In the meantime, I need to focus on my health. I hate physical exercise with all my heart, but sadly I just can't continue as I am.
Toggle Commented Jan 2, 2022 on Thoughts at year end at THE LAST DITCH
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Thanks. That’s a door I will never open again. I could never give another woman the power to hurt me. If government will get back in its box however, there are places to go and people to see. My grandfather told me on his deathbed he regretted turning down a chance to visit Japan, for example. I’ve bought enough of their wonderful lenses that the least I can do is go point them there.
Toggle Commented Jan 1, 2022 on Thoughts at year end at THE LAST DITCH
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It's easy to identify wrong choices after the event but it's important not to lose your life to regret. Every door you choose to open, leaves not one but many closed. Who is to say which of the others would have led to better paths? If real life gave us... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2021 at THE LAST DITCH
When did our parasitical lords refuse income? The point is *not* that it’s not really law. It is. I am addressing their primary motivation for making that law. My theory explains (a) why they are not frightened to break the rules themselves and (b) why Hannan thinks we’re wrong to criticise them on a “one rule for us” basis.
Toggle Commented Dec 13, 2021 on The uses of Law at THE LAST DITCH
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In an interesting article in today’s Sunday Telegraph, Dan Hannan (arguably the British politician I least despise) makes some sensible points, which you can read yourself here. In the course of that he says indignation about #PartyGate is misplaced because, amongst other reasons, no-one strictly complied with last years COVID... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2021 at THE LAST DITCH
I apologise for posting once more about my personal life. It’s not in my nature, I hope, to overshare. The Oprah Winfreyite idea that everyone has a personal “truth” that it’s somehow brave or noble to bare disgusts me. It’s self-indulgent and morally-corrosive. Having begun a sad story here however,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2021 at THE LAST DITCH
Ambush Predator: Maybe It's Time You Stopped Talking About 'Learning Lessons' And Actually Learned Them..?. Julia M at Ambush Predator's heart is – as always – in the right place. Her scorn for the ritual public sector response to the cruel abuse, torture and death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes is palpable... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2021 at THE LAST DITCH
Maybe but actuarially I probably don't have long enough to reach that wise view. Thanks.
Toggle Commented Nov 27, 2021 on The blogger at bay at THE LAST DITCH
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The second Mrs P., who led me from my grief at the death of Mrs P. to a new and briefly happy life, has left me. She met a new man at her work. Our age difference (almost thirty years) was always a risk. For years before we married I... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2021 at THE LAST DITCH
The Pleasure of Apparatchiks > Theodore Dalrymple. Theodore Dalrymple is the nom de plume of Anthony Daniels, formerly a physician/psychiatrist at Winson Green Prison but now better known for his writings. Wikipedia describes him as a cultural critic. He's certainly one of the best commentators on the culture of modern... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2021 at THE LAST DITCH