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Putin: “I was a common Petersburg thug”

One must compliment Vlad for making no attempt to embellish his impressionable youth. And his grown-up life makes it hard to doubt the veracity of this particular recollection.

The ongoing inquiry into the murder of Alexander Litvinenko has already established Putin’s complicity, and the in camera part is still to come.

Speaking for the victim’s family, Ben Emmerson, QC, called Putin an “increasingly isolated tinpot despot” and a “morally deranged authoritarian”, who, “beyond reasonable doubt”, ordered the murder.

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Lie like a PM, George, and you just may become one

Warm waves of euphoria are wafting over George Osborne, whose crack-papering budget is being hailed as the apex of sagacity.

Actually its chief feature is that it’s less damaging than Ed Ball’s would have been had he been in a position to draft one.

While improving Tory ratings and paving the way to George’s personal ascent, his budget doesn’t mend the structural flaw of our economy: having to service a national debt inexorably heading towards two trillion, if at a slightly slower rate than under Labour.

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Let’s kill old people like dogs

Our true opinion formers are neither politicians nor businessmen nor even pundits, though some of them may have a bit of influence.

But not nearly as much as ‘TV personalities’ and ‘celebrities’. It’s possible to define those in either category as people I’ve never heard of, but this definition isn’t precise. After all, many of those who are unknown to me are also unknown to everyone else, other than their own families, friends and colleagues.

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Ever wonder why the Germans became Nazis?

Repeat after me, 10 times: NOTHING unspeakable done by any ethnic or religious group comes from its character or history.

Good, now you’re ready to be a modern person, for you’ve just enunciated the core belief of PC modernity.

Though applicable to any group, these days it’s most widely practised in relation to Islamism, as Islam is fashionably known.

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Huckabee is ‘ridiculous’ – and right

Obama’s triumphant tour of the African half of his roots was marred by Mike Huckabee, Republican presidential candidate.

Now I dislike any politician of a certain age who insists on being known by the diminutive version of his Christian name. However, Mr Huckabee’s ability to rile Obama entitles him to calling himself even Mickey if he so chooses. This is what he said:

“This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history… he would take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven.

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Must a man wear a bra to be politically astute?

In his capacity as the Lords’ Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the Privileges and Conduct Committee, Baron Sewel, 69, was in charge of enforcing good behaviour in the Upper House.

His own behaviour, however, didn’t always meet the high standards whose guardian he was. The other day Lord Sewel resigned his posts after starring on hidden camera.

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How the French spit (and urinate) on the law

This, as the British cyclist Chris Froome found out, isn’t a figure of speech, at least not just that.

On course to win his second Tour de France, Chris has got up the nose of many a French spectator. They vent their frustration through other orifices, by spitting on the cyclist as he speeds by and throwing urine in his face.

Such acts don’t just defy fair play, a notion that has left a negligible imprint on the French mentality. They are actually against the law.

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Thank you, Barack, for your advice

Barack Hussein, who owes 100 per cent of his ascent to 50 per cent of his genes, has generously given Britain the benefit of his geopolitical wisdom.

Britain, he hectored, ought to stay in the EU because that’ll give the USA “much greater confidence in the state of the transatlantic union”, and America hasn’t got “a more important partner than Great Britain”.

Britain must stay, explained Barack Hussein further, because the EU “has made the world safer and more prosperous”.

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Let’s hear it for progress

As a firm believer in progress, I’m convinced that, ever since Darwin created mankind, it has been going through a series of incremental improvements.

Imagine a steady climb from level ground to the top of a shining peak – that’s mankind progressing through the centuries. We may or may not have reached the very top yet, but we’ve certainly established a toehold within reach of the summit. 

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How Putin looks after his people

Many Brits, mainly those on the political right, are so fed up with our own spivocratic government that they go blind. The fetid slush on the other side looks like green grass to them.

This explains their attraction to Putin. The sentiments behind it are irrational, more akin to some perverse secular faith than to any conscious preference.

Hence rational arguments make no inroads on the believers’ creed. “Yes,” they acknowledge the obvious facts, “but at least he looks after his people.”

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