torsdag 24 april 2014

Carrot as well as stick

Riga Coal Dock

I watch with some dismay the hostile attitudes that are hardening in the relationship between Russia and the EU and USA. What is being ignored here is that there are genuine issues which ought to be conceded. The borders following the break-up of the Soviet Union do not correspond to linguistic and national borders. Adjustments and exchanges of territory (this goes in both directions), subject to referendum, could reduce dissatisfactions.

There is also a better need for economic development and collaboration. The Russian populations in the Baltic countries seem to have missed out quite badly. The EU could play a role here, in particular in relation to parts of Latvia and the Russian enclave which was formerly East Prussia, with joint infrastructure projects and other investments.

The economic dependencies are closer than is generally appreciated. For example, coal from the eastern Ukraine goes by train to Riga where it is shipped to.... Tilbury.

Carrot as well as stick.

söndag 13 april 2014

Forgotten cost of Scottish independence


One of the hidden costs of Scottish independence has never even been mentioned yet - haggis-proof fencing along the border. The vicious little beasts are both excellent climbers and burrowers. They can dig down a metre deep, which means that hundreds of miles of expensive fencing will have to be erected along the border. All vehicles will have to be carefully checked at crossing points to make sure that none of them escape, or are smuggled into England.

onsdag 9 april 2014

Scottish independence peril


Following a "yes" vote, the Loch Ness monster will awake from his slumber, opening a fiery fissure from Fort William to Inverness. A vast subterranean magma chamber will spew forth its contents and create a molten lava field which will eventually bury the whole of Great Britain in a layer six metres thick. Clouds of poison gas will spread all round the globe. A decade of summerless years will cause mass starvation and will be followed by an ice age which will go on for 100,000 years.

Bit coin futures trading

The BitCoin mania reminds me of tulip mania. I might be mistaken, since a currency has a value as a medium of exchange as long as enough peo...