Surrey jogger could run but he couldn’t hide

Running is a dangerous sport, especially when its practitioner runs from Russia.

Alexander Perepelichny, a Russian Mafioso turned grass to Swiss police, showed just how dangerous. He went for his customary jog near his mansion in Weybridge, then suddenly collapsed and died.

He fell victim, a fourth one, to an epidemic of sudden cardiac arrests afflicting those who testify against Russian crime syndicates in what is usually referred to as the Magnitsky case.

By way of background information, what our papers call ‘crime syndicate’ is the timid shorthand for Putin’s government and him personally. All big business in Russia is transacted by this crime group either directly or by proxy, through smaller Mafias erroneously described as companies in the press. Hence my description of Perepelichny as a Mafioso – if he was Russian and rich, then he was either a world-famous musician or a criminal, and he never performed at the South Bank.

Perepelichny is actually known to have belonged to the deadly Klyuev gang, which he crossed and against which he agreed to testify in the Swiss investigation of money laundering. But, as far as information goes, this knowledge is merely the icing on the cake.

For no one can make a large fortune in Russia without either belonging to the Putin Mafia or at least staying on its good side, typically by paying it off in money or in kind. I’m sure the distinction would be important in an independent court, but from any ethical standpoint it’s irrelevant. We can safely assume that any extremely rich Russian is a criminal, be that as an active perpetrator or abettor.

Bill Browder (whose grandfather co-founded Communist Party USA) was allowed to run his Hermitage hedge fund and make his billions in Russia for as long as he was Putin’s friend. When the friendship went sour, and nothing is more fickle than a tyrant’s affection, he was kicked out of the country and his company was robbed of £140 million. Sergei Magnistky, a Hermitage lawyer, chose to stay behind and expose the crime, whose proceeds were mostly laundered through Swiss banks.

To encourage the others, Magnitsky was arrested and subsequently tortured to death, but some of the others weren’t sufficiently encouraged. Perepelichny was one of those slow on the uptake, possibly because his link with the Magnitsky case featured one or two degrees of separation.

The Swiss of course take money laundering as seriously as a priest would treat a desecration of his altar. Heirs to William Tell have a pure, disinterested love of money, and they hate to see the object of their affection abused.

They are prepared, just, to tolerate on their soil companies like Guvnor International, a shady Russian oil-trading concern of which Putin is rumoured to be a shadow owner. After all, no prima facie evidence of wrongdoing exists, and, even though every Russian knows what’s going on, the Swiss tacitly agree to feign innocence.

But the scam Perepelichny was exposing provided ample prima facie evidence, so his previously healthy 44-year-old heart had to give way on a routine morning jog. All our police are saying at the moment is that murder can’t be ruled out. I’d say it has to be most emphatically ruled in, considering the Russians’ form.

Having said that, the police may eventually prove me wrong and ascribe Perepelichny’s death to natural causes. What is absolutely impossible is that either the police or I or anybody else should say it’s unlikely that Russian ‘businessmen’ or government officials or Putin personally would underwrite a murder.

Once again, Russia as a country is being run like a Mafia family. Those who are ‘made’ become rich; those who aren’t eke out a modest living if they are lucky or starve if they are not. It’s as simple as that.

What is truly upsetting is our acquiescence in all this. If money didn’t smell of effluvia to Emperor Vespasian, to our government it smells of roses. Provided it’s big enough, it’s always welcome to Britain whatever its provenance.

Those who made their fortunes in, putting it mildly, dubious ways, are greeted with open arms in London. They are then allowed to go legit by buying up not only mansions and yachts, but also venerable British institutions: businesses, newspapers, old football clubs. Once ensconced, they use our courts to settle their differences, the way their American equivalents used to rely on Tommy guns. When that’s impossible, they dispose of one another in all sorts of ways, ranging from old-fashioned bullets to nuclear-age polonium.

And yet we welcome them – who else will be shelling tens of millions for yachts to keep our leaking economy afloat? When the underlying immorality of this is pointed out to our MPs, they shrug their shoulders and deliver themselves of platitudes, along the lines of ‘innocent until proven guilty’.

Chaps, read my lips, for I’m repeating this for the last time: no rich Russian is simon-pure, for it’s impossible to make billions there in honest ways. They can’t, nor should be, convicted of any crime without being found guilty beyond reasonable doubt. But they can, and should be, kept out of Britain for purely ecological reasons.

To paraphrase a 1569 court ruling, England is still too pure an air for a Russian billionaire to breathe.



Back to the USSR: our Department for Education

Comrades! The march of progress shall not be stopped! All must toe the line! Or else!

To make this point abundantly clear, DfE has issued a diktat: from 2013 all ‘free’ schools in England, including religious ones, must teach evolution as ‘a comprehensive and coherent scientific theory.’

Failure to do so will incur ‘swift action which could result in execution…’ Sorry, I’m jumping the gun, as it were. The diktat still only threatens ‘the termination of that funding agreement’, but the overall tendency is clear enough.

Sir Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, is ‘delighted’: ‘The new clause… should ensure that all pupils at free schools have the opportunity to learn about evolution as an extensively evidenced theory and one of the most fundamentally important tenets of modern biology.’

Judging by the style of Sir Paul’s comments, while Darwinism will be compulsory, English will remain optional. After all, pupils must feel free to use elegant phrases like ‘evidenced theory’.

It’s this kind of politicised nonsense that makes our education the laughingstock of Europe. The French, for example, can’t understand the febrile dedication les Anglo-Saxons pledge to this half-baked theory. They are taught enough modern science to know Darwinism is neither ‘comprehensive’ nor ‘coherent’ nor ‘extensively evidenced’.

So, I bet, do Sir Paul and DfE. But for them it doesn’t matter, for Darwinism has long since left the domain of science to enter the world of shrill political propaganda centred around vulgar materialism. Appearing roughly at the same time as Marxism, it has always served the same destructive purpose – and has been just as comprehensively debunked.

Cosmology shows that our material world hasn’t existed for ever; it appeared more or less instantaneously at the beginning of time.

Physics can’t always differentiate forms of matter (particles and field). Their material characteristics are now often seen as secondary to their metaphysical properties describable in terms of information only.

Palaeontologists have studied millions of fossilised remains and yet discovered practically no transitional forms in the development of species. Scientists know that, if data collected over 150 years show no evidence of macroevolution (one species turning into another), no such evidence exists. In fact, experiments with bacteria (whose lightning-fast propagation rates make it possible to replicate within a few decades the millions of generations associated with the length of life on earth) show no macroevolutionary developments whatsoever.

Genetics demonstrates that the amount of information in a single DNA molecule is so vast that it couldn’t have been accidentally created even in the time exceeding by trillions of years the most optimistic assessments of the age of our universe.

Geology is presumed to teach that the sequence of geological layers testifies to the gradual development of life. Then how is it that we observe sharply defined layers at all, rather than the evidence of smooth evolution of species? How is it that specimens of new species always appear in fossil records instantly and in huge numbers, fully formed and lacking any obvious predecessors?

Microbiology accepts irreducible complexity as fact: myriads of extremely complex biological systems could not have existed in a simpler form at all, which means they appeared ready-made, rather than evolving from a more primitive stage.

And we haven’t really begun to discuss the mystery of man. Psychologists and neurophysiologists have spent billions trying to understand the human mind. Yet, after all those Decades of the Brain and Genome Projects, they still don’t even know what the mind is, how it works, what produces and constitutes a thought, or whether consciousness ever will be wholly describable in any physical or biological terms.

In other words, the neuroscientists have neither begun to acquire the most rudimentary knowledge of their object of study nor given any indication that they will ever do so. What they do know is that Darwinism doesn’t even begin to explain man. No amount of purely evolutionary development can turn a single-cell organism into a homo sapiens, even one as tragically flawed as Sir Paul Nurse.

Sir Paul should apply his training in analytical techniques to his own feelings. Then he’ll realise that his animus comes from an irrational, all-consuming hatred of what he calls ‘the creationist myth’.

This is apparently shared by Dr Berry Billingsley of Reading University: ‘Evolution is a fantastic theory and explains so much how humans come to be here.’ For once I agree – this theory is indeed fantastic, in the real sense of the word. Apart from that, the statement displays little of the intellectual rigour associated with scientists.

Before things evolve, Dr Billingsley, they have to be. Ignorance of elementary philosophy, especially when matched by ignorance of modern science, is a wrong premise from which to make highfalutin pronouncements. These chaps use words without even understanding their meaning.

None of this is to suggest that Darwinism shouldn’t be taught at all. It’s an important part of scientific history, and pupils ought to learn about it side by side with other ‘fantastic’ theories, such as geocentric universe, flat earth and four humours. If the teachers wish to do so, they can put forth the evidence pro and con, challenging the pupils to weigh it in the balance.

Nor do I think that ‘creationism’ should be taught in science classes, even though it’s infinitely better supported by scientific evidence than Darwinism. Just as Darwinism is less than science, Genesis is more than science. Scripture belongs in courses on theology and philosophy, perhaps metaphysics – all higher disciplines than biology or chemistry.

School education can be all sorts of things. One thing it must never be is hysterical, unscientific propaganda aiming to destroy the very foundations of our civilisation. Otherwise those of us who have experienced Soviet Agitprop first hand will feel very uncomfortable indeed.

A quick question is in order. DfE is headed by Michael Gove, universally regarded as our most sensible and conservative minister. So what outrages will soon be perpetrated by departments headed by lesser men?