You are there and then you are not.

When Nicolae Ceauşescu and his wife Elena were led into a courtyard to be shot by their own soldiery they were dazed and confused. This was a man who, hitherto had cultivated a strong personality cult. There are stories of him wearing a brand new suit every day and being presented with drugged deer to shoot whilst out "hunting". These men are surrounded by sycophants because they have their opponents "taken care of".

The Romanian leader's last thoughts were probably ones of astonishment: how could these people who loved him as a father, who lauded and honoured him as he walked abroad, how could these people have changed their minds?

It was a time of fantastic change. 1989 was also the year the Wall came down. Vaclav Havel ceased to become a fugitive and became instead the President of the Czech Republic. A truly heroic man, Mikhail Gorbachev had effectively set Eastern Europe free.

Not even Putin can put the genii back in that bottle, but he is certainly trying. Vladimir Putin installed a puppet President and has effectively turned Russia into a refuge for bandits. He is often depicted, shirtless, doing macho off-road things. He is big friends with Silvio Berlusconi, a sort of Putin lite. He is fabulously powerful, and yet, it only takes one bullet. Remember that, Vlad. What goes around comes around.


Jim Baxter said...

Laughable to see the British press taking the high moral tone after all the 'independent inquiries' into the actions of our own leaders. With some exceptions, they're not so hot at criticising the Chinese, our press aren't.

Putin is popular in Russia because he is good, in the eyes of many Russians, for national self-esteem. Gorbachev wasn't.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Ah, yes Jim, but I expect Ekaterina got you to say that. Well, she would, wouldn't she? Can I expect the next visit to an oriental restaurant to include Sushi that glows in the dark?


Jim Baxter said...


I hope you are not suggesting my good lady is a polonium blonde. Underneath the brunette, I mean. Yes yes, not a bad place to be, etc., blah.

Jim Baxter said...

Anyway, yours can be dismissed as an 'add polonium' argument.

OK, took me an extra whisky to think that one up.

James said...

" and yet, it only takes one bullet. Remember that, Vlad. What goes around comes around. "

Which is why he's putting any oppostion into prison and blocking any free press. Russia has oil and gas. Once that runs out they're finished. Like Saudi, they produce nothing else that anyone wants to buy. A corrupt, backward country will go back into oblivion.

Jim Baxter said...

'A corrupt, backward country will go back into oblivion.'

You have only to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down, you mean?

Last man that thought that way got some surprises.