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2020 Jan 17 - Vladimir Putin Beyond 2024?

One of the shorter articles on Wikipedia, is the page listing Russian Presidents, it's only got 4 entries on it and two of them same guy. At the time of writing, there's the same number of Russian Presidents alive today as there are members of The Beatles.

Vladimir Putin is no Fool On The Hill though and he's very aware that he's running out of constitutional loopholes to keep him in power so he's decided to play the classic autocracy play of convincing people that he should be able to rewrite the constitution because you can trust him to not do anything too sneaky. It's not like he's an ex KGB spymaster or anything... Of course this is to all intents and purposes up there at the political level of erecting gold statues of yourself, redesigning the calendar, thinking that the public will forget about Brexit, or turning up to formal world events in a suit and leopard skin hat combo like that madman in Zaire who killed the Tutsis and spent the country's wealth to get Muhammad Ali to fight a boxing match there rather than do what everyone else does and just phone up the pay-per-view tv company with a credit card to hand.

Russia though is still currently technically a democracy though Putin has worked to the letter of the law rather than the intent. Years ago he spent two 4 year elected terms before he had to stand down, so he got his friend Dmitry Medvedev to be the figurehead for an interim 4 years before he could come back for 2 more consecutive terms although the one thing that Dmitry did was allow the term limits to be changed to 6 years, meaning that Vladimir could come back for 12 more years and so he'll be in office until 2024. That's the year that Highlander II: The Quickening is set in and much like that tv+film franchise, Vladimir wants more and more sequels so we get therefore we reach the question of how his constitutional rewrite will go and he assures us that we can trust him but I'd place more faith in someone electing Michael Barrymore to be a lifeguard. On the other hand, at least he knows at what level of contempt to hold those in Brussels which is more than can be said of most of the leaders the UK has seen over the past 19 years. And he's done more to put Salisbury on the international map than the English tourist board ever did.
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2019 Feb 03 - Russian Threats

There have been a lot of ludicrous scare stories in the press about how Brexit will lead to war, pestilence, the deaths of millions, Jimmy Savile coming back to life, all the iPhones being rounded up and other similarly sensationalist nonsense. To be honest I doubt anything could be worse than the current situation where Tony Blair is given air time and political debate is reduced to discussing how everything from healthcare or the price of a train ticket is as a result of Brexit, or sometimes a ......

2018 Sep 15 - Hurricane Florence & 2 Russian Spies

It's once again tropical storm season with Hurricane Florence crashing into America's east coast like Mel Gibson in the parking lot outside a liquor store. In addition to the loss of life and the economic impact of the storm, the property damage alone is estimated to be $170bn and you have to remember that that's just the initial quote the repairman gave. So bear that in mind when you look at the pictures of mobile homes and trailers which have been for whatever reason, remained firmly in place ......

2018 Aug 25 - Manafort and Cohen Guilty

America has given us baseball, jazz and just as importantly (and depressingly) a culture in which top lawyers are treated like Babe Ruth and Louis Armstrong rolled into one and this past week saw more legal drama than a whole series of Perry Mason as the investigation into the 2016 election cracked up a notch.

Paul Manafort, the president's campaign chairman was found guilty on 8 counts consisting of tax fraud, bank fraud, hiding foreign bank accounts, and now faces 240 years in jail. That's a ......

2018 Jul 21 - Trump and Putin

This week started off with a press conference between President Trump and Vladimir Putin in which Mr Trump fully exonerated the Russian president before saying that he in fact meant to say the opposite. Just like when Theresa May claimed that Brexit meant Brexit.

Since then, there's been talk about Vladimir Putin visiting the US, ideas thrown around about exchanging people for "questioning" and right now Sylvester Stallone is finishing up the 8th instalment in the Rocky franchise so maybe he'll ......

2018 Jun 10 - G7 Summit

This weekend Canada hosted the G7 conference, a political get-together with a level of expectation and excitement akin to watching the numbers on a microwave ticking down before your substandard dinner. These meetings are supposedly meant to help the worlds biggest economies sort out ideas, which is no doubt why they don't invite China or India to the big economies get-together. To add insult to injury, Germany gets invited twice, once as itself and once as its puppet the EU.

President Trump wa ......

2018 Apr 15 - Syria

One of the problems with Syria is that we can either let President Assad remain in charge or we can force him out and let ISIS fill the power vacuum. It's like in the Star Wars prequels when Liam Neeson helped destroy that droid army but then he died and Jar-Jar Binks became a senator.

Maybe we could force Assad out and have an election in Syria, and the Russians definitely won't try to rig it with the hundreds of personal they have all over the country. If you've ever been to a carnival and wa ......

2018 Mar 31 - Russia + Brexit

It's Easter weekend so maybe you're watching this before heading out to a church service or in many cases, the pub. Just be sure to look out for Russian spies because if you see someone lying in the street in the gutter outside Wetherspoons then it could be that it's in fact a former Russian businessman or outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin. I'm sure that nerve gas is a good excuse if you return home and you're met with questions about why it took 6 hours to go to the shops and why you're now st ......

2018 Mar 11 - Trump will meet Kim Jong Un

Big news in the world of diplomacy, bigger than Kim Jong Un's waistline even. It was announced that President Trump and Kim Jong Un are going to be meeting in person. This marks a big shift in diplomacy from both the North Koreans as well as the president who has spent the past year or so conducting international affairs via Twitter with all the dexterity of a drugged horse

The meeting itself could be a set-piece historic event like the Yalta Conference in 1945 when Franklin Roosevelt met with ......

2018 Feb 18 - Russia Update

Normally when there's a "Russia update" it's means bad news, just ask Napoleon. It's often the one of worst kind of updates you can get, just short of that update that pops up on your computer constantly demanding that you upgrade Adobe Flash.

So to this week's Russia update when Robert Mueller put out a report naming 13 Russians who supposedly set up a troll farm in order to sway the result of the 2016 election. My favourite part of the report was when it talks about the Russians financing the ......

2017 Dec 31 - End of the Year

It's the end of December and the end of 2017 and it's possibly the end of the line if you're the sort of person who originally became a politician or a tv celebrity to get close to the young female interns. Of course I'm joking, Kevin Spacey got into show business for the young male interns, he's probably looking forward to 2018 because he thinks there's 2000 of them.

Talking about "end of the line" though, one of the stories I'm sure we'll see a lot more about in the future was this week's ann ......

2017 Jul 14 - Three Types of News

The talk of a leadership challenge against Theresa May seems to have quietened off a bit, at least for this week, as the government made another move with a big piece of Brexit legislation. In response a senior civil servant tried to get your average lager drinking, white van driving bloke on the street onside by making a Brexit analogy involving a cricket ball and went on to say that Brexit was falling apart like “a chocolate orange” which seemed odd given that if you’re already doing the ......

2017 Mar 03 - The Award for Worst Infighting Goes to

In amongst all the poverty and despair and general horribleness endemic in today’s torrid world, the Hollywood elite in their ivory tower were rocked to the core last weekend when a competition for best movie went briefly and mildly astray and it was even suggested that Vladimir Putin, not content with supposedly rigging the US election also had firm views on cinema and in particular the hit musical La-La-Land. I guess that the KGB must have a lot of time on their hands these days if that’s ......

2017 Feb 24 - Corbyn vs Trump

A lot of people in America think that President Trump is some sort of Manchurian candidate, groomed by the KGB to have a buffoon in Washington so that the world turns to Vladimir Putin for relatively sensible world leadership. You’d think it would be easier for Putin to just buy a new shirt+tie and leave the horses alone? If there’s a grain of truth in it I certainly hope it’s not a grain of Polonium 210, that’s how they do things over there…

Contrast that to the UK where some people ......