"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in"
(Leonard Cohen)
"Ignore all proffered rules and create your own, suitable for what you want to say"
(Michael Moorcock)
"Look for your own. Do not do what someone else could do as well as you. Do not say, do not write what someone else could say, could write as well as you. Care for nothing in yourself but what you feel exists nowhere else. And, out of yourself create, impatiently or patiently, the most irreplaceable of beings."
(Andre Gide)
"I want my place, my own place, my true place in the world, my proper sphere, my thing which Nature intended me to perform when she fashioned me thus awry, and which I have vainly sought all my life-time."
(Nathaniel Hawthorne)
“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.”
(Franz Kafka)
"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated"
(John Donne)
“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
(Robert J. Hanlon)
"Life is beautiful, but the world is hell"
(Harold Pinter)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Ukraine: Great Power Tug of War

Illusions in EU rife

EXTRACT: True, in the minds of many Ukranians [EU] associate status in theory means the free movement of labour - which, of course, is very attractive to many, especially younger citizens, looking towards Germany as a possible port of call in their hopes for a better future. Many are genuinely enthusiastic about the EU and all it appears to offer. But cruelly it is very unlikely that associate status will lead to the free movement of labour, leaving the ambitious - using that word in the best sense - trapped in a decaying and fragmenting Ukraine. A horrible situation.

After all, what is the alternative facing them? Russia has offered £14 billion in aid (cheap oil, cheap gas, etc) and some sort of ‘common market’ that also includes - wait for it - Belarus and Kazakhstan. It is almost impossible to conceive of a less appealing prospect. By comparison, Greece, Spain and Portugal are near to paradise on earth. Belarus (literally ‘white Rus’) is a truly weird and frightening place, like a cross between Putin’s and Stalin’s Russia - it still has all the old monstrous statues. Kazakhstan, another strange place, has a large Russian-speaking minority. Yet the only thing these countries have in common - or at least parts of them - is an inchoate and nostalgic Slavophilism, which would quickly break down under the cold economic winds.

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