Alexander's blog

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Are our lesser royals republicans at heart?

This question is facetious of course. A royal of any rank is about as likely to be a republican as a pious Muslim to be a pig farmer or, for that matter, a pig to be a pious Muslim.

But sometimes our HRHs act as if they wished to hasten the advent of an RGB (Republic of Great Britain). Why, I don’t know, but I could venture a few guesses.

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Putin’s war on food

Over the last few days Putin’s storm troopers… sorry, I mean law enforcement agencies, have destroyed almost 350 tonnes of food. Meat, fruit, poultry, cheese, vegetables were bulldozed into the ground, incinerated, dumped to fester outside.

These were the Western foods covered by Russia’s countersanctions, yet imported into the country illegally. And of course, Russia has a rich tradition of law abidance, a foundation on which the present KGB/FSB junta has built a temple to legality.

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Criticise the NHS at your peril

An oncologist working at London’s Royal Marsden Hospital once told me that the NHS really stands for ‘Nasty Health Service’.

Proving the physician’s point, his co-worker Joseph Meirion Thomas, one of the world’s top cancer surgeons, has been pushed out for daring to criticise the NHS in print.

Professor Thomas’s expressed concerns about the scale of health tourism, and also complained that GPs don’t provide “even remotely personal service” because they hardly ever see the same patient more than once.

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It’s socialism that makes the poor poorer

Britain will no longer “tolerate the gap between the rich and the poor”, says London’s Mayor Boris Johnson. I find it harder to tolerate Mayor Johnson.

Being a politician, he personifies the failings of the breed. One of them is seeing any problem as merely an opportunity for scoring cheap points off the opposition. In this case, Boris’s sole message is that the Conservative Party, especially if led by him, will reduce the offensive gap.

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A parallel universe exists – we’re living in it

According to quantum freaks, there exists a parallel, timeless, self-multiplying universe into which all dead people move to live on in perpetuity.

Epileptics, they say, are envoys from that universe, which is why they supposedly can see the future as clearly as the rest of us see the present.

One may ask why, if so, they never win the lottery, and this is just one way in which that madcap theory can be mocked. Yet reading the news makes one take just about any madness seriously – so-called reality outpaces them all, carrying us into a parallel universe.

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Imprisoning Blair is a good idea, but Corbyn isn’t

Regardless of their party affiliation, politicians say little but talk a lot. And the more they talk, the greater the statistical likelihood that they’ll say something that makes sense.

The odds of that happening improve en route to the right end of the political spectrum, but even a left-wing demagogue may surprise you by sounding reasonable for a second or so.

That’s how long it took Jeremy Corbyn, the likely future leader of the Labour Party, to suggest that Tony Blair’s 2003 foray into Iraq ought to get him tried for war crimes.

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A £385,000 watch isn’t just a watch – it’s evidence

At his wedding last week Putin’s spokesman Dmitri Peskov was photographed wearing a Richard Mille wristwatch, one of 30 ever made.

This has drawn a torrent of comments, some irate, some sympathetic, some of the ‘so what?’ variety. However, no one displayed intimate familiarity with the genre of the detective story, with its reliance on a tiny piece of evidence as the clue to solving a heinous crime.

For this £385,000 timepiece tells you everything you need to know about Russia’s kleptofascist regime. Start with this one detail, and nothing will remain unravelled.

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Danny ‘Boy’ Barenboim strikes again: music is “social engineering”

For those of you who don’t follow such things closely, Daniel Barenboim is a musician who’s much better at tooting his own horn than playing the piano or conducting.

Having failed to develop his natural gifts into serious musicianship, he has instead devoted all his inexhaustible energy to developing his unrivalled talent for self-promotion, that sole guarantor of success in the modern musical world.

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Calais’s burning – and so is our sanity

Following the news these days makes one feel not so much like a viewer or reader as a psychiatrist, trying to come to grips with a pandemic of madness.

What’s going on in Calais proves that, while paradise on earth is unachievable, hell on earth isn’t. All it takes is British home and foreign policy to come together with French labour relations, and there you have it – a creditable reproduction of hell, complete with clouds of black smoke.

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Putin: “I was a common Petersburg thug”

One must compliment Vlad for making no attempt to embellish his impressionable youth. And his grown-up life makes it hard to doubt the veracity of this particular recollection.

The ongoing inquiry into the murder of Alexander Litvinenko has already established Putin’s complicity, and the in camera part is still to come.

Speaking for the victim’s family, Ben Emmerson, QC, called Putin an “increasingly isolated tinpot despot” and a “morally deranged authoritarian”, who, “beyond reasonable doubt”, ordered the murder.

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