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Sturgeon’s gift to Putin
Nicola Sturgeon calls for further action against the Putin regime. Perhaps Ms Sturgeon should reflect on how her demand for independence from the UK is undermining the security not only of the UK but of Nato. Apart from the disruption and economic uncertainty that another independence referendum would bring, if Scotland were to separate from the world’s fifth largest economy it would be left defenceless, and the most important submarine base in Europe would be closed. The nuclear strike force based at Faslane is a vital cog in the machinery of Western defence, and without it, we would be open to Putin’s nuclear blackmail. You cannot reason with people who are unreasonable. You cannot trust Putin and Lavrov an inch, and other dictators who may emerge to present further threats to our way of life. An independent Scotland would be a gift to Putin. The SNP should end its opposition to nuclear weapons immediately and drop their foolish separation agenda, because unity is strength.
Canada’s thieves have betrayed their own
Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland have broken the Omerta code of silence, revealing how easily governments can seize the assets of their citizens. In one stroke, the thieves have betrayed their own, wiping out any future trust in government, international finance and banking. Perhaps they forgot that the term Omerta has a mafia provenance. Cue music, camera, action . . .
What am I missing?
The BBC’s Panorama discusses how terrible it is that vaccines have not been supplied to the Ivory Coast to protect them from Covid, but if you look at the figures they have 29 deaths per million population compared with our 2,346 and rank 197th in terms of deaths per head of population. What is it that I am not understanding?
Strangest ‘invasion’ I’ve ever seen
On Thursday at 8am I turned on the BBC news to hear of an invasion by Russia into Ukraine. Being the suspicious sort, I immediately looked online at arrivals at Kiev airport. As expected all international flights were marked as cancelled, but I was surprised to see that almost no domestic flights were thus marked. Aviation authorities would have lots of reasons to ground all civil flights if they believed that their country had just been invaded by enemy ground and air forces. And as the crisis had been building for weeks they would have been prepared, with contingency plans.
The following morning, which is the time of writing, there is a departure scheduled to fly to Minsk, which the BBC suggests is involved on the side of Russia. There are arrivals from Riyadh and Sharm el-Sheikh, which is just a giant tourist resort. Strange.
The BBC repeatedly showed what is claimed to be a building that has been hit by a shell with white smoke pouring out of a few windows and firemen spraying water on it. There was neither sight nor sound of the BBC crew. This must be the first building hit by a shell in history which shows no structural damage. When you view film clips of burning buildings the smoke is usually black or grey. Smoke generators usually emit white smoke.
This building is obviously a block of flats under construction and just the concrete shell is completed so far. Later the BBC showed a clip filmed by someone entering a room in the building, probably with a smartphone camera. We saw furniture smashed to pieces, lots of dust, and a big clothes rail miraculously still standing with a few items hanging from it. Why would a building under construction have a room full of furniture? And any normal person wouldn’t enter a bombed building due to the danger of unexploded ordnance or building collapse.
There was footage purporting to show panicked civilians on their way to bomb shelters. As the attack reportedly began at 5am Kiev time, most of the citizens would have received the news while watching breakfast TV. Strangely, most of them had found the time and inclination to grab and don their masks while rushing out of their homes. I would have grabbed passports, food and water, warm clothes and blankets.
We saw footage of a large group of primary school-aged children all perfectly wearing their masks in a supposed bomb shelter. Few if any Ukrainian mothers would have sent their children to school if they’d seen news of an invasion.
BBC reporters are frequently shown with the city of Kiev as a background saying ‘this city is under attack’. Yet none are wearing body armour or helmets. There are no distant columns of black smoke as we saw in the London riots of 2011.
The only footage I’ve seen of actual ordnance flying through the air and landing with an explosion appears to be similar to a cruise missile. It’s interesting that at the start of the clip you see a large van with decals written in our alphabet, not written in cyrillic as you’d expect from that part of the world.
As already mentioned the attack reportedly began at 5am Kiev time. At the moment sunrise there is at 6.50 am. It’s odd that all the footage of the first day broadcast by the BBC between 6am and 9am UK time was filmed in daylight.
Finally, one or more gas pipelines leave Russia and enter Ukraine, some of the gas being for Ukraine’s domestic use. Yet the BBC reports that neither side has thought to shut down or sabotage these pipelines.
Strangest invasion of a country I’ve ever seen. Just saying.
Ross and Cromarty
The nonsense of importing energy
Recently numerous Conservative MPs and peers called on the government to end the UK’s moratorium on fracking. Environment Minister Lord Goldsmith refused, saying ‘Between just one and three per cent of UK gas comes from Russia.’ Why are we paying this man more than £100,000 a year if he does not realise how much coal, gas, oil and electricity we are forced to import? Every year the UK imports 3.5million tons of coal from Russia, Venezuela and the US and 438 TWh of gas from Norway, Qatar, Russia and the US. We import 46.9million tons of oil from the USA, Norway, Russia, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria and 17.7 TWh of electricity from France, Belgium and the Netherlands. It makes no sense importing energy when there is enough oil and gas under the North Sea for at least 20 years and enough shale gas under our feet to last for 47 years. Politicians must ignore the Green Luddites and ensure that the UK has energy security and is not dependent on foreign nations.
Ukraine is a diversion from Covid
What sublime comedy, the woke BBC and the woke establishment in full hue and cry in support of the corrupt and neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine. Arming Ukraine is pouring petrol on a fire. The US public doesn’t support intervention and the same is probably true of the UK public. If Russia was still communist today, woke Western leaders would be warmly embracing Putin. He must be splitting his sides at Western idiocy and hypocrisy, while holding the receipts on Western criminality at the highest levels.
The West really does deserve a bloody nose for interfering in a historical dispute that is none of our business. It’s gross displacement activity and distraction when we should be focusing on rebuilding after Covid. It stands to reason that Ukraine, an unviable state, should opt for neutrality and not press for Nato membership, as Russia demands.
Rhydwenna E Jones
I am sure that I cannot be alone in thinking that certain sectors of the media and the Met Office in particular have become infected with storm hysteria. The practice of named storm warnings was introduced in 2014 in order to ‘make people more aware of them and how dangerous they can be’ and was modelled on the US National Hurricane Center’s initiative in the 1950s to forewarn of potentially life threatening and severely destructive weather systems. Only on rare occasions in the UK, such as the recent Storm Arwen, is this process fully justified. This is not to belittle the human and financial consequences or recent turbulent weather but by applying it to routinely unsettled weather systems dilutes the message and treats us like children in constant need of care, guidance and reassurance.
We are frequently reminded that ‘extreme weather events’ are becoming more prevalent due to human induced climate change. This is reinforced in the minds of many by dramatic images of thunderous seas, surging floodwaters, uprooted trees and parched, fire-ravaged landscapes. Such extremes are really nothing new. Increasing levels of CO2 are seen as the prime driver of such events but these planetary woes have more to do with our ever-growing population, demand on resources, deforestation, overgrazing and settlement in inappropriate areas. Undue influence from Green activists is often another causal factor.
At one time the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concurred that there was no significant global upward trend, in storm frequency, droughts or floods. Their intrepretation shifted recently with peculiarly worded predictions that ranged from ‘low confidence’ to ‘very likely’ between a 66 per cent and 99 per cent band of probability. This is based on multiple climate computer models which fail to factor in many variables and present alarming worst-case scenarios. By redefining certain criteria bad weather events become storms, thus fanning the flames of fear and false perceptions.
Neil J Bryce
The West, not Putin, is to blame in Ukraine
Russia’s strongman Vladimir Putin should not be blamed for the Ukraine crisis, which represents a failure of Western diplomacy over three decades.
British people separated from our enemies by seas and oceans have no understanding how the long fluid borders of that vast country give Russians a very different view of security from us or the Americans. Our country has not been repeatedly on the receiving end of huge hostile armies.
Putting that aside, Russia has a legitimate interest in protecting the Russian minority which predominates in the rebel regions and in the Crimea. Furthermore, the Ukraine has no historic claim to the Crimea, which was administratively transferred to it by Nikita Khrushchev in 1954.
We should not forget that the 2014 Euromaidan revolution, which triggered the current division of the Ukraine, involved the overthrow of an elected president, not a dictator. Nor should we ignore the fact that the US State Department, the German Foreign Ministry and Western NGOs, notably the Open Society Foundation, sponsored the opposition and that revolution.
At the collapse of the Soviet Union we had the opportunity for a different sort of relationship with Russia. The key actors in the West chose to ignore Russian concerns and continue to treat Russia as a hostile power. At the same time, they ignored the growing threat from China, which in the long term is as much of a threat to Russia as to anyone else. Generals re-fighting the last war is an old phenomenon, but we have had diplomats doing the same thing.
The real way out of this crisis is by negotiation. The two sides must agree a new border, which recognises the Crimea and the Eastern areas which have seceded as Russian. On their side, the Russians must renounce further claims on the Ukraine. Also, the Ukraine must agree to neutrality between NATO and Russia.
Closer to home, our politicians and diplomats have to start dealing with the real complex world we live in, rather than the simple imaginary world of good guys and bad guys which we are daily spoon-fed by the mainstream media.