How to become Putin’s public enemy Number 1

Posted on Updated on


From the Daily Beast 2 February 2015

Bill Browder was a highflying businessman in Moscow, until Putin turned on him. His new memoir details how dangerous it is to end up on the strongman’s bad side.
In 2013 I went to London’s notorious libel courts to gaze with anger and despair on yet another case that should never had come to trial. Pavel Karpov was suing Bill Browder, an investment fund manager, who had launched a devastating campaign against corrupt officials who had driven him out of Russia, and tortured and murdered his lawyer, SergeiMagnitsky.The retired major from Putin’s Interior Ministry Policewas appalledto be on Browder’s sanctions list. His luxuriously expensive lawyers claimed that Browder had not only defamed Karpov, but caused “moral suffering” to his tender frame. With evident regret, the judge stopped the hearing. Karpov had no reputation in England andtherefore could not sue. Lessdoltish observerswere struck by the Putin paradox, which niggles at everyone who watches the Kremlin.
Read the rest of this entry »

Why hasn’t Labour sacked Ed Miliband?

Posted on Updated on

Ed Miliband Attends Launch Of Online Mental Health Resource For Children

From the Spectator 14 October 2014

If a bus driver were heading towards the edge of a cliff, the passengers would try to seize control of the wheel in all cases except one. Members of the Parliamentary Labour Party would sit back in their seats, put on their most confident smiles, and tell each other they were going full-speed ahead in the right direction.

Ed Miliband is leading the Labour Party to disaster. His latest approval ratings are almost as bad as Nick Clegg’s  – which is not company any of us want to keep. Voters see him as an insipid waffler, too weak to stand up to foreign rulers or the trade unions.

Read the rest of this entry »

JK Rowling is too good to be a propagandist

Posted on Updated on

JK Rowling


From the Observer 9 August 2014



Celebrity watchers in Gloucestershire can spend their summer ogling Michael Gambon, Keeley Hawes and many another star. The BBC is in Stroud to film JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, because it tells us “something insightful about the country we live in”. The BBC forgot to add that the best insight that the arguments about Rowling bring is that vindictive fanatics swarm over British culture.

Her story of rivalries in a small west country town is the most unfairly criticised novel in modern fiction. You will not understand why unless you understand the mentality of an intellectual policeman. Perhaps you scan a novel like an inquisitor interrogating a heretic looking for a passing reference to Palestine, America, climate change, the EU or whatever else stirs your passions.

Like a Freudian slip or DNA fingerprint, it tells you all you need to know. Writers may devote 99% of their time to talking about other subjects. They don’t fool you. A forensic scientist can identify a criminal from a stray hair. So it is with the cops who police culture. They need only a scrap of evidence and – gotcha! – ideological guilt is proved beyond reasonable doubt.

Read the rest of this entry »

How to be a traitor

Posted on

7th edition of the Festival of Literature

No one is as hated as deeply as the apostate. Ordinary opponents are nothing in comparison. They are unbelievers, who know no better. It is not their fault if the light has not fallen on them. The apostate, by contrast, has known the truth and rejected it. There can be no excuses for his treachery, no defence of ignorance the law. The Devil must have seduced him, or to translate old superstitions into language of a secular age, he must have “sold out”.

Carry on reading

You sexist/racist/liberal/elitist bastard! How dare you?

Posted on

Terror arrests aftermath

While he was dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease, Tony Judt found the breath to educate those who believe they could ameliorate pain with soft words and bans on ‘inappropriate’ language.

“You describe everyone as having the same chances when actually some people have more chances than others. And with this cheating language of equality deep inequality is allowed to happen much more easily.”

Carry on reading

Chomsky and the Crimea: The malign double standards of the “anti-imperialist” left

Posted on Updated on


Go to London or of any other Western capital and here is what you will not see. You will not see mass demonstrations against the Russian invasion of the Ukraine swaying down the same streets in which the liberal-left marched against the invasion of Iraq. You will not hear prominent left-wing voices emphasizing that Putin is attempting more than an invasion; that the Russian Federation – and what a benign word ‘federation’ is for a revived Tsarist autocracy – is the last of the European empires, and is seeking to expand its borders, as empires always do.

In short, the activist left will not tell its followers that we are witnessing imperialism: not ‘cultural imperialism’ or ‘neo-colonialism’ or any of those other catchall, thought-forbidding phrases, but the real thing

Carry on reading