Opinion – Theresa May Expels Russian Diplomats. But Now Comes the Hard Part – NYT – John Gelmini

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr Alf is right.

The reality is that the poisoned ex spy was tried and then poisoned a long time ago, so the question then is who benefits all these years later from the poisoning of him, his daughter and the hapless British policeman.

We do not know but Mrs May whose political position is precarious and has the answer.
She has at best an 18 month shelf life and her measures against Russia will not work.
Expelling a few diplomats simply triggers a reciprocal response, freezing bank accounts of oligarchs simply gets those who have assets elsewhere to move them further offshore to tax havens not controlled by the UK.

Militarily, we have an army not much bigger than the Papal Guard, no coastal protection vessel, just 17 escort vessels for our shipping and less than 12000 cyber warriors, compared to 2 million in the GRU, and 5 million in Russia’s ally, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

We will want Russia’s assistance with the final settlement in Syria and we cannot survive as a modern economy without chromium. 75% of the world’s chrome comes from Russia and South Africa, so in a world where Vladimir Putin can tell South African Government ministers which ones to appoint and fire, whether we like it or not we have to deal with Vladimir Putin.

Mrs May has been out foxed and outclassed at every turn, so it is time we replaced her with a smarter operator along with her lacklustre cabinet. Before strutting about and calling people out, it is best to hold some high cards and be in a position to apply pressure that is effective. The UK is not in that position and Mrs May goes on making a fool of herself and making the country look stupid.

John Gelmini

Opinion – What’s brewing in Germany?: How to understand Angela Merkel’s comments about America and Britain | Blog – The Economist – John Gelmini

English: The Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989. Th...

English: The Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989. The photo shows a part of a public photo documentation wall at Former Check Point Charlie, Berlin. The photo documentation is permanently placed in the public. Türkçe: Berlin Duvarı, 1989 sonbaharı (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr Alf brings us a series of complex conundrums, which herald events which in some ways are almost Biblical in nature.

What is brewing is a reordering of the old tectonic plates of big power politics and projection, caused partially by Brexit and partially by Trump.

The ‘5 eyes countries’ which share intelligence are seen by themselves as cousins because they share the same monarch are part of the Commonwealth and have fought in every World War and significant conflict together since 1914 except for Vietnam.

For Americans, Australians are brothers, the British tiresome allies with good soldiers, and the rest cousins for whom mutual defence is natural. Germany has always been the master of Central Europe since the mid 1800s when she started to rearm through to the period when the Kaiser ordered the Keil Canal to be widened so that E boats could sail through.

The fear of America and Britain has always been that Germany would then form a rapprochement with its old enemy the Russians to create a massive economic and military rival.

Thus it suited America and Britain to have a divided Germany with the Western part sitting within NATO where Germany, which they never fully trusted could be watched and controlled.

Germany never saw itself as one of the 5 “cousins”(America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK) and now because of Trump’s remarks, Jared’s silence and the silence of others, Germany now sees itself as a “Great Power” again, wanting to be taken seriously. It will build a European Army and it will work harder and faster on building relations with Russia. Merkel will drive this process for a time but will be replaced and whoever comes after her will have to deal with demographic and manufacturing voids by employing automation, robotics, AI and workers in Eastern Europe, rather than Middle Eastern and Muslim migrants.

May will win her election with a tiny majority and then mess up the negotiations with the EU so that the UK will rejoin EFTA. Trump could well be impeached or driven from office, leaving his daughter Ivanka free to make a run in 2022.

China will watch and wait and Vladimir Putin will smirk and say that this is nothing to do with him.

John Gelmini