This Is The Problem

It could be the Russians, they are more than capable of these murders. It could be the UK Security Services working to make life difficult for the Russians who have swamped London with criminal riches. MI6 is quite capable of arranging for such a  show. It could be the CIA playing dirty tricks as a way of getting to the Russians as the White House seems to have been bought up by Putin.

All are possible. Which you choose, or which variety of conspiracy you vote for, is largely up to your existing perception of the world of dirty politics. It isn’t even up to wondering which is the more likely as, going on past experience, they are all as likely as each other.

As Putin is no more than a Cossack crook I would go for the Russians having a vendetta against old friends. But then there is a whole nest of thoughts about how other countries will play this fact to their advantage. That’s the trouble with dangerous games, they get more and more complex as time goes on.

Spy vs Spy

In the great old days of the 1970s MAD Magazine was an oasis of improper thoughts, wild suggestions, satire and ribald wisdom of the type they would have recognised in the days of Hogarth. Amongst the funniest was spy vs spy, a cartoon in which a black clad spy and a white clad spy battled it out with ridiculous pranks, bigger and bigger armaments and deadly intent.

Of course it was an eye being cast upon the KGB and CIA and the deadly games they played but today, as two people lie ill in a hospital in London, the old game seems to have come back to haunt us. Putin’s Russia doesn’t take prisoners and the UK, ever the obedient servant to the USA, may even as we speak, be covering up their part in this ex-spy’s predicament.

However dangerous these games are they are still games and while a spy may take on the risks knowingly we are all in the firing line for what these men and women do.

Forget Syria

Millions of people who have been anti-west for decades. A country Russia sees as the easiest way to get a warm water port not only in the Mediterranean but close enough to get ships through Suez and into the Red Sea in days. A place where the Kurds and Turks who hate each other can happily fight, where age-old tribal enmities can reach their endless bloodbath with Assad and the Baath Party.

Here USA troops scored a first…they beat a Russian cadre of ‘mercenaries’ in a fight. So Hollywood have a new film for 2019. Satellites can watch to see how well planes fare in getting rid of entrenched combatants in civilian areas. Drones are all over the places whether US, Russian or Israeli watching and looking. Israel takes in wounded but also hits back when rockets land in her territory.

And Chamberlainesque the United Nations and Europe look, wave bits of paper and call for cease fires to save people no one cares about. Absolutely no-one.

The Zinoviev Letter

Not much talked about except by historians and those interested in dirty-tricks in British politics. After twenty years of steady growth and demands the nascent Labour party was on a footing to challenge the Conservative Party in the 1924 general election. Unions were getting stronger (the General strike was still two years away) and the establishment was rattled by Russia so this letter emerged supposedly between Zinoviev, the Russian leader of the Communist International in Moscow and the Communist Party in the UK.

It is basically a call to arms and it was dutifully published 4 days before the election by the Daily Mail. Strangely enough it was concocted not by hidden forces in Conservative head office but by Russians in Europe wanting to drive a wedge between Russia and England. Why they thought one was needed I don’t know.

But hearing, this week, the smears that Corbyn aided Russia in the Cold War with secret information brings the mind the lies politicians will give in order to maintain power. In 1924 enough Liberals believed the letter to vote conservative. Upon such things countries are made and unmade.

Let’s Play, Play, Play The Game

If you have read Kim by Rudyard Kipling you will be aware of the long and testing spy war fought alongside the military wars between Russia and Britain over Afghanistan. This was brought to mind today when Russia stood firm against UN declarations against Assad in Syria whilst people died, and my thoughts went once again to the way in which we think it justifiable to put one county’s interests over and above the people of another country. It is the way in which deals were done when there were no true democracies in the world and I have to wonder why they are still doing the same things?

Of course Russia is a  thug ridden semi-Tsarist nation not even playing at democracy but it isn’t just Russia, all countries play this game whilst championing the cause of freedom. The Chancellor of the Exchequer during the famine in Ireland would not open soup kitchens because he thought the poor would get used to them and stop working. I am sure he went to church every Sunday whilst a million people died.

The sadness is when you have power you no longer make decisions based upon who suffers,  but upon who benefits and not seeing that alleviating all suffering is the greatest benefit is the corruption at the heart of all government.

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