Posted on 17th September 2022

This week has not been good for Vlad the Bad. Perhaps the most significant turn of events was a petition put forward by a group of council members in his home city of St. Petersburg calling on him to be removed from office because he had committed treason. There are also reports that he survived an attempted assassination. The attack was made when he was travelling to his official residence in a decoy motorcade because of security concerns. Ukraine’s stunning counter offensive has demolished the credibility of the Russian military. The possibility of the Ukrainians retaking all of their territory including Crimea no longer seems far-fetched.

Distant view of Slane Castle

Having gained this momentum it is essential for the United States and NATO to continue to supply the weapons that Zelensky requires. However, this war is far from over.  The Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz had a 90 minute conversation with Putin on Tuesday urging him to withdraw his troops and enter talks.  Vlad refuses to acknowledge he has made a mistake and continues to nourish dreams of a greater Russia.  So despite Russia sustaining up to 80,000 casualties, this war will grind on.  It is hard to understand the true strength or not of Putin’s position.  He is a KGB trained autocrat who I’m sure is at his most dangerous when threatened.  There is always the disturbing thought that he might be tempted to use tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield.  However what is clear is that the Russians have absolutely no qualms about hitting civilian targets and this week rockets struck a dam in Kryvyi Rih, President Zelensky’s home town.  For the moment Putin’s position is secure but Russia is a strange place.  It is more than a little unsettling the number of people who die falling out of high buildings.

This week, of course, Queen Elizabeth’s final journey continues to take up acres of newsprint and occupy our TV screens.  I like to watch it on CNN to get the American perspective.  I see they have finally found a role for the disgraced Duke of York.  He literally has gone to the dogs.  He is going to look after the Queen’s corgis.  I have to admit that I think King Charles and his Consort are doing a magnificent job and I only hope that the early part of his reign isn’t overshadowed by the publication of Prince Harry’s so-called autobiography or shall I say, his truth as he sees it.  I have a feeling I know who he is aiming his invective at and I think he would be advised to reconsider his position.

So next year is the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement and this week at a meeting of the Fianna Fail’s Parliamentary Party, the assembled T.D.’s and Senators were told that they should “own it”.  Then, following a contribution from Donegal Senator Niall Blaney, who said they should act in a spirit of inclusivity with regard to Bertie Ahern’s contribution,  it was then proposed by former Agricultural Minister Barry Cowen that Bertie should be re-admitted to the party.  Wow !  Come home Bertie.  All is forgiven !  Fianna Fail have spent years trying to shake off tales of dig-outs.  Maybe they should stick to that script.

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