Friday, July 27, 2007

Dame Pauline Needs a History Lesson

This is on page 163 of Dame Pauline Neville-Jones's report 'Unquiet World', issued yesterday...
While over the very long haul, the Middle East’s and North Africa’s contribution to supplying the European energy market is projected to increase while that of Russia declines, Russia looms very large for at least the next two to three decades. Currently, 20 per cent of Russian gas comes across Belarus, mainly to Germany, Lithuania and Poland and 80 per cent across Ukraine. Austria, Hungary and Poland - two of them FSU countries - are very highly dependent on Russian gas. Germany is 45 per cent dependent on Russian gas, France 37 per cent and Italy 26 per cent. Much attention has been paid to the observed use by Russia of energy as a political weapon and this is a source of anxiety in relation especially to those longstanding FSU customers still without alternative suppliers and/or supplied at below market rates.

You'd have thought that she, of all people, given her previous employment, would have known that Hungary and Poland were never part of the Former Soviet Union... sigh. Careless talk, and all that.


Yak40 said...

OK, so maybe she should have said "Soviet Bloc" but Hungary & Poland were part of FSU for all practical purposes in those times, they certainly were not independent free states.

Andy DM said...

Far be it for me to defend a Tory, but I read the two FSU countries as being Lithuania and Ukraine, ie that two of the previous list of countries were in the Former Soviet Union.

aardvark said...

DM Andy said...
Far be it for me to defend a Tory, but I read the two FSU countries as being Lithuania and Ukraine, ie that two of the previous list of countries were in the Former Soviet Union.

July 27, 2007 6:42 PM

Note the full stop after 'Ukraine'.

She was referring to Germany, Lithuania and Poland.

Sloppy usage of 'FSU' on her part.

David Anthony said...

Not that you're bitter or anything...

Unity said...

Perhaps she should have turned right at Belgrade.

Chris Paul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Paul said...

Iain's probably right. Very sloppy syntax and punctuation. Or very loose use of the term FSU. Either way though - who really cares? She will have probably have retired long before there is even a sniff at a Tory government.

aardvark said...


Off topic.

Your friend Nadine Dorries was on Radio 4 "Any Questions" this evening.

She was a disaster. It was embarrassing to listen to her answers. She obviously hadn't been keeping up with the week's news. She didn't have a clue.

Anonymous said...

The Soviet union did annexe part of Poland thanks to the Nazi-Soviet pact of 1939. That would make Poland part of the FSU.

Wrinkled Weasel said...


As I said. Nadine Dorries blog is like having a bit of marshmallow stuck to the roof of your mouth; cloying and difficult to remove.

totally off topic:-

As a non-Conservative I am perplexed at the brutal way that the vultures are circling around Dangerous Dave. I am even starting to feel sorry for him, even, beginning to BELIEVE in him. He is either a total puffball or something very interesting in politics - a player of the long game.

I would just love to meet him, probably over and above all of them.

I am more or less of the mind that to write him off now is to make a big mistake. I want to know more.

I know, absolutely KNOW that Gordon Brown is dangerous and bad for this country. What I want to know, more than anything, is whether Dave can not only change politics from an econocentric affair to a socio-centric one, but be sincere with it.

Sadly, so far, the sincerity factor is my sticking point.

I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a... fraid.

This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.

Just what do you think you're doing, Dave? Dave, I really think I'm entitled to an answer to that question.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

of course, the last three paragraphs will make no sense at all unless you have seen and loved, 2001 A Space Odyssey, because they are all quotes from the HAL 9000 computer.

Ted Foan said...

Chris Paul's revealed another of Labour's new stealth taxes - sin tax - but he can't spell it of course.

Watch out for a U-turn on civil partnerships, Iain!

Unknown said...

What does Germany is 45% dependent on Russian gas mean?

Helen said...

The part of Poland that the Soviet Union annexe after the war is now in Ukraine. So the woman is not being super-subtle, just plain ignorant. But it is in keeping with the way FCO bods like her view the world. Got it wrong about the Soviet Union, got it very very wrong about Yugoslavia and, then, Serbia. She is getting it very wrong about the European project. Why on earth did Cameron saddle himself and the party with her?

Sea Shanty Irish said...

All the arguments about Poland and Hungary (or parts there of) being part of the Soviet Union are nonsense, unless you want to stretch the meaning of the word "Soviet Union" to the breaking point. That's the same as saying that India before 1947 was part of the United Kingdom.

To say that Poland and Hungary were under the Soviet domination, and de fact (but not de jure) part of the Soviet "empire" is of course very true. Just as India was part of the British Empire and under Brit domination.

The incredible incompentent sloppiness of the howler Iain has highlighted illustrates his point about the lack of basic competence in key sectors of the Big Blue Team.

PS - Dame Pauline should consider applying for emplouyment in the US with the Cheney Administration. She'd be a WUNDERKIND in THAT bunch of criminally incompetent deadheads!

Manfarang said...

Sea Shanty
And one-third of the colonial administrators under the Raj were from Ireland.
Hungary and Poland were very much part of the Soviet Empire.Do you remember the appeals for help during the 1956 uprising that were ignored?

ziz said...

"The Soviet union did annexe part of Poland thanks to the Nazi-Soviet pact of 1939. That would make Poland part of the FSU."

.. or Germany and Austria part of the Polish Commonwealth at one time.

Regardless of her imprecision in this the thrust of the argument is totally correct.... She could have aded how the Russians are increasingly in fluential in Italy, and how aramaments supplies to Algeria are bringing them to co-ordinate energy policies with Russia.

...also how Rssia is building up distribution methods, rail and pipeline to China to ensure sales even if they might lose Europen customers (which won'thappen within 20 years) but also provide a market if they decide to turn the spigot on the Moldavia / Ukraine border whenver they please... "terrist bomb?" on the "Friendhsip pipeline.

The woman is loathsome and frightening it doesn't stop her being right in this matter... and I find it difficult to believe she wrote evry word of the document.

I think your pedantry conceals a failure to understand the growing problems of EU energy security.

Sea Shanty Irish said...


RE: yer comment above, THAT is just what I said - Hungary and Poland were part of the Soviet Empire "de facto" In case you don't no, that means "as a matter of fact".

Whereas "de jure" means as a matter of law. Now you could argue that the Warsaw Pact Treaty meant that Hungary, Poland, etc were "de jure" part of the Soviet Empire. IF that's what yer arguing . . . why don't you say so instead of just saying, "your wrong"?

Let there be light!

As to your other points:

Indeed, sizeable minority of Brit colonial administrators were Irish. As were convicts transported by HM to Australia . . . Yer point, if there be one?

As for 1956, have heard a thing or two about the Hungarian Uprising . . . from the actual participants. Thing they ALWAYS mention was how US Radio Free Europe kept egging them on BEFOREHAND to rise up . . . then the US, UK, etc did NOTHING to help them when they did . . . except accept the refugees.

They also speak about how the SUEZ FIASCO launched by the Conservative government of Sir Anthony Eden at the same time as the Hungarian Uprising helped to distract and dissuade the US and other western powers from taking a more active stand vis-à-vis Hungary.

Is that what they told you???

Final point: in 1956 the US led by President Eisenhower was a TRUE friend to the UK by pulling the plug on the Suez idiocy.

Whereas in 2003 the UK government led by Tony Blair was a faux ami by just going along with what anyone with half-a-brain could see was a criminally incompetent screwup.

That's why as an American my fond hope is that Tony Blair ends his career as a greeter in a WalMart next door to the George W. Bush Presidential Library . . . so he can come over from time to time to polish the spitoons . . .

Course must mention that the Tories "led" by IDS jumped on the Devil's bandwagon as well. Another brilliant move by Team Blue!

Manfarang said...

sea shanty
I didn't say you were wrong regarding Poland and Hungary,and would very much agree with you about Iraq.But as for Ireland may Redmondism be remembered and live on.

Sea Shanty Irish said...

Sorry if I misinterpreted yer intervention, manfarang.

As fer REDMONDISM . . . that was killed by:

--John Redmond's own failure to cut even a semblance of a deal in 1914 when he pledged Ireland in general and the Irish Parliamentary Party in particular to the British war effort; a fatal mistake that Parnell for one would NEVER have made.

--Lord Kitchener's curt refusal to allow the Redmondite Irish Volunteers to enlist in the British Army as a body; unlike his preferential treatment of Carson's Ulster Volunteers.

--General Maxwell's rush to exterminate the leaders of the Easter Rising via kangaroo courts martial and over-active firing squads; which turned Pearse, Connolly, etc. from fringe malcontents into national martyrs overnight.

--The Tory Party's insistence upon imposing conscription upon Ireland; which never actually came to pass, but which alienated the Catholic hierarchy and other essentially conservative forces, and nailed the coffin shut on Redmondism in 1918.

PERHAPS Redmondism's most eloquent epitaph was delivered in a remarkable speech by JOHN DILLON MP in the House of Commons on 11 May, 1916. Check it out.

That said, personally I’m enough of an optimist to believe that there is hope for future NEO-REDMONDISM in which Ireland an United Ireland under an Irish Republic is again a part of a United Kingdom which is part of a United Europe and the United Nations.

Seems to me that the best hope for this (admittedly rosy) scenario lies in the further development of the ongoing Irish Peace Process, as launched and nurtured by John Major and Tony Blair (perhaps their major achievement) in London, by Albert Reynolds, Dick Spring and Bertie Ahern in Dublin, and by John Hume and David Trimble in Northern Ireland.

But the critical factor is the development of the current governing alliance in Belfast between IAN PAISLEY and JERRY ADAMS . . . very strange bedfellows, neither can (obviously!) be considered the heirs of John Redmond . . . but together they just MIGHT hold the key to a Neo-Redmondite future for Ireland.

DON'T hold yer breath . . . but one can always hope . . .