Jumping off the fence at Fortress Wapping

The Sun’s twelve year love affair with Labour started and ended with mobile phone calls to Peter Mandelson. I vividly remember the first call, I was standing next to him at the time. We were in the lobby of the Atrium, a grim restaurant in Westminster, when a News International big cheese rang to say that the following day’s paper was backing Blair.

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Email scrap on Expat.ru

I have avoidedthe expat scene since I moved to Moscow, with one exception, I belong to a mailing list where foreigners in Russia ask questions and share advice.  The service is entitled Expat.ru and it's actully rather handy.

On Friday it also turned into a place for a good fight - read below:

Message 1

Dear Fellow Listers...

After 6 years we have parted from our Nanny even though she was a part of the family, but unfortunately our son was outgrowing her ability to keep up with him and his needs.

So here we are looking for a new Nanny... somebody who comes well recommended... English knowledge a plus, but not at all a must. A good education makes sense as she has to be able to challenge and stimulate our son also from an intellectual point of view.

We live easy to reach in Kitai Goriod with both Kitai Gorod and Lubljanka Metro stations within a 5 min walk.

Would appreciate any leads

Thanks in advance



Message 2 (a barbed reply)

Bourgeois hiring stimulating women for their obstreperous offspring? I envy your son, my father couldn't afford a clown!



Message 3 (the initial sender gets support)

Mr. Andrey .... well done .... (clap, clap, clap) .... such big words .... bourgeois, obstreperous and "envy", but I especially liked 'obstreperous',

did you have to use a thesaurus for that one? You know, you need to be wary of that green-eyed devil ... 'envy' ..., envy will get you in trouble or in

the least make you appear to be an 'ass', especially when an adult is envious of a young child .... lighten up Mr. Andrey or don't comment at all!

Best Regards to All, William


Message 4 (the original sender replies)

Andrey, what do you have a problem with... me working hard to try and offer my son the best life possible or you being frustrated with your pathetic life?



Один английский глянцевый журнал, читаемый сравнительно высокооплачиваемыми туристами возраста от 30 до 50, попросил написать список 25 мест, которые стоит посетить в Москве.

Нужны нетривиальные исторические достопримечательности, тусовочные заведения (кафе, бары,рестораны), гостиницы, необычные места и что-то о чем так сразу и не подумаешь.

Буду признателен за идеи.

We have band - live in Paris and next stop Moscow

The most talked about band in Britain (they just won the Q Emerging Bands Contest - top prize a slot on a
mnain stage at Glastonbury) are in Russia this week.

There are a few surprises in store: a guest appearance of the band who will DJ at a decent club on Wednesday and then on Thursay the band will play a track which features Russian poetry.

Come and see them at B2 in Moscow on Thursday night and Achtung Baby in St Petersburg on Friday.

The band's Russian language LJ has all the info you need wehaveband

I suspect an oldie - but goodie


   You have 2 cows.

   You give one to your neighbour.



   You have 2 cows.

   The State takes both and gives you some milk.



   You have 2 cows.

   The State takes both and sells you some milk..



   You have 2 cows.

   The State takes both and shoots you.



   You have 2 cows.

   The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then throws the milk     away...

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Bollocking bankers

The House of Commons yesterday welcomed the bosses from RBS and HBOS - two of the banks which the British government has taken significant stakes in.

The MPs on the Treasury Select Committee got their chance to grill the CEOs and Chairs of these businesses.  I have only had the chance to read the news reports and watch the film of the interviews, all here.

The main focus of the proceedings (though I will read the full transcript) appears to have been to seek to humiliate the bankers and demand an apology - that's all well and good.  But does that really help anyone other than puffing up the chests of a handful of the MPs?  Surely, we need to understand the group behaviour that we all collectively indugled in which pushed the world to the brink of financial collapse. 

Yes, MPs have a duty to represent the public and ask the questions which they want but they also have a responsibility to rise above the fray and use their position to widen the sphere of public knowledge, not simply slamming bankers for their greed and stupidity - after all, they were serving a market where we were all willing customers...

A different side of Mosow?

By chance I have done an article for today's London Evening Standard magazine on the Moscow which the tour guides will never highlight.  It is meant to give a flavour of what tourists can discover in Russia's capital if they step off the beaten track.

The fact that it is being published in the week that[info]alex_lebedev bought the whole paper, not just one copy,  for 45 Rubles (at today's exchange rate) is a complete coincidence.

The magazine is not online so I have put in this post the final text which I sent to the paper, their version might be a little shorter.

If one of my Russian readers want to do a translation then they are more than welcome, I will link to it from this post.

Have I shown Moscow in a new light to Western tourists?

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