Thursday, 30 December 2010

The true meaning behind Khodorkovsky's trial...

There's no doubt about it: Khodorkovsky is a very brave man. The oligarch who was previously  Russia's Richest, has been as relentless in his rebellion towards Putin and the Russian government, as Putin has been in his measures to incarcarate the former Yukos boss. Now convicted of embezzlement and money laundering, I've realised that a bigger picture has begun to reveal itself. His trial and indeed, the verdict, have highlighted some major issues within the Russian government: government manipulation, oppression of freedom of speech, authoritarian traits - some might say an unofficial dictatorship. Taking into account that Russia is a leading world power in control of a powerful military machine, it begs the question: what implications does this reality have for Russia and even, democracy?

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Nick Clegg: A good egg?

I'm not going to lie - I have soft spot for Nick Clegg. Here are 3 reasons:

1. Impressively, he's fluent in French, German, Dutch & Spanish. Being a lover of languages myself I give him a cheeky thumbs up for that.

2. Let's be honest, Nick is the much better looking out of the 2. Go on, who would you rather?

3. Charisma. There's nothing that tugs at my heart strings more than a good orator.

Truth be told he hasn't proved himself to be the most popular guy recently. NME's christmas special  certainly had a lot to say about him with respectable indie icons such as Carl Barat calling him "a cunt". Certainly, this was a reaction to the recent student riots which have used Clegg as one of the focal points for their aggression - seriously damaging not only his reputation but also the Lib Dem's credibility. Clegg-hating is officially the latest crazy.

What a shame. The guy had a large proportion of "The New Generation" on his side only a couple of months back. During the election, I personally felt he could offer us a new and better option to the two-party system. He seemed like a man we could finally trust.

I'm a great believer in second chances. I say we should stick by Clegg and try and support him as best we can - after all, he's not rotten yet.