Woops, he's done it again! Had an Idea. An Idea, moreover, thoroughly approved of by Bill Browder. Who he? He's the CEO and co-founder of Hermitage Capital Management, which was once the largest foreign portfolio investor in Russia. 10 years ago he had $4.5bn under management, and was the largest single foreign investor in Russia. Browder’s primary investment strategy was shareholder rights activism. He took on large Russian companies such as Gazprom, Surgutneftegaz, Unified Energy Systems, and Sidanco.
So what's the Baron's Idea? International support for Ukraine's war with Russia is fading, as the conflict drags into its second year. In the United States a Bill to provide more than $60 billion in lethal aid for Ukraine was blocked by Republican Senators. So; Baron Call Me Dave, Britain's Foreign Secretary, has decided that the £278 billion in Russian bank accounts, frozen as a key part of the international sanctions to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, should now be stolen. In his own words:
“Instead of just freezing that money, let’s take that money, spend it on rebuilding Ukraine and that is, if you like, a down payment on reparations that Russia will one day have to pay for the illegal invasion that they’ve undertaken. I’ve looked at all the arguments and so far, I haven’t seen anything that convinces me this is a bad idea.”
Okay, Baron, how about that for an argument?
I daresay the Baron, before he was a noble gentleman, looked at all the arguments against inserting his privy member into the decapitated head of a pig (allegedly) and didn't see anything that convinced him it was a bad idea. Most of the less privileged classes would have recoiled in horror, saying "you want me to do What? Stick my dong in That? And it's not even cooked?"
Most of us have no problems in grasping the concept that Putin would be pretty hacked-off if Britain steals £278 billion from him and his chums, bearing in mind the fact that Boris Johnson has already made us into The Great Satan with his schoolboyish enthusiasm for joining in with a war that has nothing to do with us and which it is inevitable that Putin will win - me too, he squealed, let me play, too, take their minds off Covid. But of course, Boris is a fellow Bullingdon Boy and he probably looked at all the arguments and didn't find anything to convince him that taking on Russia was a bad idea.
Have you seen the size of the place?
So why is Bill Browder so keen on this Grand Theft Rouble? He's got skin in the game. Basically, he's on the run. In 2013, he was tried in absentia in Russia for tax fraud, convicted and sentenced to imprisonment. Interpol has so far rejected Russian requests to arrest Browder, saying the case was political. He has written a couple of books about his experiences with Putin's Russia:
Freezing Order and Red Notice. In November 2009, lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was beaten to death by eight police officers in a cell in a Moscow prison, having been imprisoned following testifying against Russian officials who were involved in a conspiracy to steal $230 million of taxes through a tax refund scheme. Browder and his team tracked the money as it flowed out of Russia through the Baltics and Cyprus and on to Western Europe and the Americas, through battles with ruthless oligarchs in post-Soviet Union Moscow, to the heart of the Kremlin.
He was on the Laura Kuenssberg Show this morning, opining that Britain and the US must win their proxy war against Russia, or Russia would next attack Estonia, a NATO ally. Which would require NATO to officially, rather than surreptitiously, join in and thus kick off World War Three. Given his particular experience of the ruthlessness of Putin's Russia, you'd think he would urge caution and not cheer on Baron Dave-I've considered-all-the-arguments..
Here's a few thoughts from mr ishmael about the Baron and his Good Ideas:
"There is no doubt in my mind about HamFace’s undergrad deviance; end, as they say, of story. I imagine at bedtimes poor Mrs Cormorant is compelled to dress herself from head to foot in suede and utter ecstatic oinks, the whole grisly charade applauded by a quartet of masturbating Old Etonians. Sadly, Cameron, a catastrophically over-promoted airhead, himself starting to pout and mince and play to the gallery of reptiles, combing his hair this way and that, dragooning bloated self-satisfied geriatrics to his cause, adds to the national woe; he is good, as we say in Scotland, for fuck-all; his strategy is Hang On Sloopy, Sloopy Hang On. While the country slides into a sea of shit, David MustaphaWar Cameron, seeks a Thatcher Falklands moment to divert attention from his stupefying, hand-waving, shirt-sleeve, shit-brain, good-for-fuck-all and increasingly bad-tempered maladroitness, before pissed-off British citizens take to the streets burning the useless prat in effigy and with any luck in person, rightly blaming him for EU-led treachery, for inflation, rocketing fuel prices, unemployment, repossessions, the gerryman-dering of boundaries, the rigging of the constitution, the wholly unmandated destruction and privatisation of public services and the shameless, self-interested kowtowing to the financial terrorists who got us all into this shit, all over the fucking world."
The Scottish Sunday Show, compered by the manly Martin Geissler, led this morning on the rejection by the Court of Session of the appeal by the Scottish Government against the UK Government’s Section 35 order imposed to put a stop to the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill. The legislation harmed women's rights and was the result of a poor policy process, insincere consultations, partisan lobbying by Stonewall and the Equality Network and evasive debates. The Scottish Government was given legal technical advice to the effect that the legislation was unlawful and that the UK Government would step in. Of course, that's fighting talk to the SNP and so the Bill to allow gender self-identification was passed by a majority. The rest followed, as night follows day, and the Court of Session has vindicated the UK Government's decision to stop the legislation in its tracks. Rather than allowing for a period of reflection and acceptance, the SNP has dressed this up as an attack on devolution itself and is considering how it can go about overturning the legal decision.
A bit like Shifty Sunak's legislation to work around the Supreme Court's judgement against the expensive plan to send a handful of illegal migrants to Rwanda For Fuck's Sake.
Dear Jonathon Sumption, a former Supreme Court Judge, said Shifty Sunak's plan was "profoundly discreditable. If the courts are told [by an Act of Parliament] that they've got to pretend that Rwanda is safe, whether it is or not, then that will work domestically, but it won't work internationally. It will still be a breach of the government's international law obligations. It will be a breach of the refugee treaty. It will be a breach of the rules of customary international law which the government has been promoting and saying covers this obligation for some years." He reckons that Shifty Sunak's proposed legislation, over which Chubby Jenrick
has resigned his post as Immigration Minister, not because it is diabolical but because it is insufficiently rigorous, will not make it through the House of Lords because it is shite. He didn't say that, of course - he's very careful with his
worms words - he said:
"It would be constitutionally a completely extraordinary thing to do, to effectively overrule a decision on the facts, on the evidence, by the highest court in the land."
Back to Scotland - Section 35 of the Scotland Act 1998 is a legal provision that allows the Secretary of State for Scotland to veto a bill passed by the Scottish Parliament. The veto can only be used if the bill is incompatible with international obligations, defence, or national security. The veto is considered a matter of last resort. Shows how incredibly seriously the impact of this gender self-identification Bill on the three other nations within the United Kingdom would have been. The Bill included these provisions:
- The age limit for applications to be cut from 18 to 16
- The requirements for medical reports, including a gender dysphoria diagnosis, will be dropped
- The period applicants are required to live in their acquired gender will be reduced from two years to three months (and, after an amendment to the legislation was accepted by ministers, to six months for 16 and 17-year-olds)
- The addition of a three month "reflection period" before a gender recognition certificate is issue
- Applications will be handled by the Registrar General for Scotland instead of the UK panel
Needham, fourth from the left.
Football player, Francesca Needham, 30, was said to have left her opponents 'terrified' to play against her after Needham broke another player's knee while blocking a shot, citing "safety concerns". Needham is a big, strong transwoman who was born a man.
Speaking up for the dignity of the Scottish Government on the Martin Geissler Show was Ellie Gomersall, a distressingly ugly transwoman who is, by her own admission, leading an undignified life.
We're not going to hold his/her ugliness against him/her. God knows there's enough formidably ugly biological females around. And I have no doubt that his/her undignified life is a matter of deep distress. (S)he says "I think ultimately the only person who can really describe my own identity, my own gender is me," explaining his/her inability to change his/her birth certificate because (s)he has been unable to acquire a gender recognition certificate - because (s)he has been unable to obtain an initial appointment, let alone a diagnosis of gender dysphoria or the required medical reports, at Glasgow's Sandyford gender identity clinic, one of four facilities run by NHS Scotland. So (s)he wants the law changed. Sounds like there's a great many trans people in Scotland if the four clinics are so over-run that Ellie couldn't get an appointment in five years. It's only a small country, remember. Population of 5,463,300 in 2019. No, its not the ugliness or undignified life. It's the fact that this person has made a career out of gender issues, first in the National Union of Students, then in the Young Greens. Grievance Politics.
Wot's on Telly
Dr. Who, with David Tennant. Very stylish, very funny, incredibly gay, written by Russell T. Davies, so it's grooming of the nation stuff. The budget seems to have run to helicopters and explosions. No more shaky scenery.
mr ishmael: "Across the board, many adults are Woganised, infantilised, unable to bear their own silences, unable to entertain, comfort, amuse or stimulate themselves, millions addicted to the children's programme, Dr Who, pretending to watch it because it is challenging, philosophical, science fictional, tackling difficult issues, when all they are doing is lusting after whichever character
is the current Dr's current jailbait cyber-minx,
IS he gonna fuck her?
Kleptocrats robbing and raping us, angry millions on the move in our direction, ice-caps melting and we lose ourselves in spells and wands and wizards; in Time lords and Daleks; in retreaded galactic wars of empire.
It takes a Cat to Scratch a Mackerel.
It's back to Square Peg One.
More extreme political satire can be found in the four-volume Call Me Ishmael oeuvre, the work of editor mr verge.
Honest Not Invent, Vent Stack, Ishmael’s Blues, and the latest, Flush Test (with a nice picture of the late, much lamented, Mr Harris of Lanarkshire taking a piss on a totem pole) are available from Lulu and Amazon. If you buy from Amazon, it would be nice if you could give a review on their website.
Ishmaelites wishing to buy a copy from lulu should follow these steps :
please register an account first, at lulu.com. This is advisable because otherwise paypal seems to think it's ok to charge in dollars, and they then apply their own conversion rate, which might put the price up slightly for a UK buyer. Once the new account is set up, follow one of the links below (to either paperback or hardback) or type "Ishmael’s Blues" into the Lulu Bookstore search box. Click on the “show explicit content” tab, give the age verification box a date of birth such as 1 January 1960, and proceed.
Link for Hardcover : https://tinyurl.com/je7nddfr
Link for Paperback : https://tinyurl.com/3jurrzux
At checkout, try WELCOME15 in the coupon box, which (for the moment) takes 15% off the price before postage. If this code has expired by the time you reach this point, try a google search for "Lulu.com voucher code" and see what comes up.
With the 15% voucher, PB (including delivery to a UK address) should be £16.84; HB £27.04.