[I wrote this last evening, but wasn't able to upload it until just now; GPRS on my laptop weirdly having gone on the blink before boarding]
…on Russo-Western relations and I tippy-tap emails and simultaneously watch BBC World. I have just been watching Hard Talk, with the quite excellent Stephen Sackur.
Today’s freshly-minted edition starred Marina Litvinenko and Berezovsky-paid side-kick, Alex Goldfarb. Normally, Hard Talk isn’t a tag-team interview event, but allowances I suspect were made for the widow in her non-native tongue. Whatever one else thinks, she is a widow after all.
Actually, I thought the BBC handled the issue perfectly: this was no easy ride for the widow and the odious Goldfarb (who, like an old courtesan has been passed first from the Court of King Soros, to be picked up by Prince Boris). Goldfarb, in my humble opinion, is the epitome of the slick, smooth-tongued, high-performance PR man: personally, I wouldn’t trust a word he says; no matter how well he says it.
Anyway, in this program at least – if not in the mainstream, rabidly anti-Russian British media – the BBC had a fair crack at exposing the ABSURDITY that the Russian Government had anything to do with the policeman – hardly a spy – Litvinenko’s untimely death. Interestingly, early on in the program, I thought both widow and Goldfarb looked distinctly shifty about ‘whose words were those?’ (apropos the infamous statement, allegedly dying Litvinenko’s own words, where he said he had been murdered on the orders of VVP).
Overall, I thought Goldfarb’s snow-job sufficiently undermining for the reasonable viewer to conclude: ‘of course, President Putin didn’t order his death’. If only because the use of Polonium 210 is so desperately sneaky-nuclear-power it is as melodramatic a false-flag as that moment in Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile; when the killer uses the dead victim’s bloody finger to sign out the name of the person they would want framed… and the analogy fits to the extent that some Diaspora-oligarch has bought some rag-tag hangovers, from KGB days, who have used post-Soviet technology against the state that made it… enough already: I am so bored of the Litvinenko thing, it’s like he’s died twice and we’re looped in endless re-runs!
In fairness though, I thought I would repeat this email exchange:
Sent: 05 June 2007 11:47
To: [‘prince of darkness’ – black PR mate] [UK political mate]; [Documentary TV producer mate]; [lawyer mate]; [BBC TV mate]; [entrepreneur mate]
Subject: Coming to London
I am scooting to London on the last BA tonight. Thursday is the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce’s annual Business Summit which I usually avoid like the plague, but I have bracketed it with some meetings. It seemed a good time to come over while the British seem intent on provoking Russia to herald a slightly chilly tiff, if not the ‘cold war II’ that some forces in Washington and Israel would like to see started…
Anyway, I have a gap for pre-dinner drinks; and/or separately dinner, Thursday evening: would anyone be free for either?
From: [UK political mate]
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2007 4:16 PM
Subject: RE: Coming to London
What a shame: I will be watching Beating the Retreat and having dinner after. With the increased tension being generated by your adopted President, the opportunity to see what our boys can do (albeit ceremonially) will be good for my morale.
By the way, I must remember that if I ever put up a fence in my back garden to be wary of my neighbours saying "right then, I'm going to get ready to lob some stones over it".
Meanwhile, it's nice for Peter Tatchell that having spent the last 10 years being set upon by Zimbabweans that he can now travel to Russia to be met with the same treatment. Apparently he was all set for a cosy evening at the Lubyanka until the police realised that he had some political celebrity and let him go. Still, it's good to see that Putin is relaxed about allowing some "people power". The way that the state security services allowed gangs of right-wing youths to freely give vent to their views on homosexuality is an eloquent rebuttal to those who would claim that freedom of expression is an outmoded concept in the Motherland.
I wonder if, just before you come over, you could commit some crime - perhaps the murder of a Russian citizen? That way when the Russian police track you down to London and try and extradite you, you could accuse them of being naive and political.
Yours, feeling the comforting nostalgic chill of the 70s and 80s and hoping it leads to a reinstatement of a 50 ship frigate-destroyer fleet and finally puts the seal agreeing the replacement of Trident!
Yes, it’s going to be a nasty, overly-rhetorical summer; especially given the speech I have just seen President Bush give in Prague…