I just finished watching the Simon Reeve in Russia, series. I was really looking forward to it but I feel disappointed and let down by the overall tone of it. The constant anti-Putin rhetoric, spoiled it for me and the thing about it is, the issues that Simon focussed on, are mirrored here exactly: health cuts, corruption, elites controlling and taking all for themselves and having special privileges, ordinary people having no voice. The only difference in here and Russia, is they actually have a strong leader and ours are all weak, ineffectual and useless. Politicians here would die for Putin's satisfaction ratings, up in the 80%'s.
On tonight's show, he featured a girl who lives in one of the old style apartments and is being forced to leave because they're knocking them down, and has to go and live in a brand new apartment block. There are working class people in this country wishing that was a problem they had! Simon has a short memory, does he not remember the issues around Stratford when the Olympic Stadium was being built or the social cleansing that has happened in London under the guise of 'austerity'. And just on that, the economy crashed in 2008, that's nearly 10 years ago, and we're still being hammered with austerity! What have they been doing all this time, twiddling their thumbs???
Anyway, Russia is a huge country and one that I hope to visit some day. I even starting learning a bit of Russian last year. I had a real flair for it too and was picking it up very easily. By the way, the Russian word for the number one is pronounced adeen, So, I'm nearly number one in Russia!
I'm studying the Cold War too, as part of DD306 at the moment so it's all very relevant especially since it all seems to be going strong again! Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose!