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You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!

Thanks to Almax and Douglas for drawing my attention to the obituary in the Daily Telegraph for Colonel Albert Bachmann

The obituary starts intriguingly:

Colonel Albert Bachmann, who has died aged 81, was Switzerland’s best-known and most paranoid spymaster, in a country that traditionally has no enemies and refrains from foreign entanglements. Mustachioed, pipe-smoking and blessed with an ability to wreak havoc within his own organisation, Bachmann’s resemblance to Inspector Clouseau was striking; by the time his plots and schemes were uncovered by an astonished commission of inquiry, he had reduced the Swiss military intelligence agency, in which he had mysteriously managed to rise to a senior role, to a state bordering on chaos, not to mention bankruptcy. So catastrophic was his impact that, when he was finally unmasked, many assumed he must be a double agent. He was not.

It continues…

Albert Bachmann was born in Zurich on November 26 1929, the son of a house painter, and grew up in humble circumstances. While employed as a printer, he enrolled in the youth wing of the PDA, the Swiss communist party. But in 1948, following the communist coup in Prague, he renounced his Left-wing sympathies, became staunchly pro-West and began his National Service with the Swiss grenadiers.

His military career blossomed, and against expectations (he had completed only eight years at school) Bachmann successfully applied to the officer training academy, where he specialised in intelligence gathering with the Swiss military intelligence service.

There, in 1968, he caused a stir as lead author of an official civil defence booklet, delivered to every household in Switzerland, with instructions on how to withstand invasion by an occupying power. In it Bachmann asserted that the gravest danger lay not just with the enemy but with the Swiss political Left, specifically pacifists and intellectuals, just the sort of people with whom he had himself mixed in the PDA.

In his anti-communist booklet, with its plain red cover redolent of the Little Red Book of the Chinese Maoist era, Bachmann controversially urged Swiss citizens to spy on one another.

He escaped the ensuing furore by heading to Biafra, which was seeking to secede from Nigeria. There he operated undercover as a pipe-smoking upper-crust Englishman called Henry Peel and cultivated an air of mystery, hinting at links to secret arms deals involving the Shah of Iran.

Some of the exploits of Albert Bachmann, who died on April 12, were satirised in the black comedy Beresina, or The Last Days Of Switzerland, screened at the Cannes film festival in 1999.

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Down Amongst the Dead Men

I thought I’d take a wee look at the fringe parties in last week’s Scottish Election. In particular I’m focussing here on parties which could reasonably be labelled to be on the far ‘left’ and ‘right’ of the mainstream.

The four elections looked at here are 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011
In the first two elections I only have data for the SSP so apologies if there were other left or right parties standing.

Nothing Left

If there were other far left votes cast in 1999 and 2003 then it would perhaps throw into even deeper relief how that vote has all but disappeared. Of course the trials of Tommy Sheridan have done nothing to help the SSP or in turn Solidarity. There is ample evidence that a split would have occurred anyway, not least because it’s what left wing parties do.

Right You Aren’t

On the right it’s good to see the BNP suffering losses although UKIP have gained ground. In reality though all these parties are for the foreseeable future, an irrelevance in Scotland.

George Galloway’s bid to bring  his bizarre love for despot dictators and medieval religions to Holyrood failed miserably. If you need any evidence of how Galloway speaks out both sides of his mouth then here it is:

And talking of medieval religions, I see the Scottish Christian Party are on the wane too.