I often refer to being Quartered Safely in Wiltshire, partly this is in homage to George MacDonald Fraser; partly it is because it feels a safe place to be despite sheep rustling, quad bike thefts, traveller slave gangs, and the occasional barn fire. I now realise my bit of Wiltshire is even safer than other parts because my local town has no Russian kleptocrats, oligarchs, scumbags and / or superannuated spies living there. Despite its local war on plastics, its keenness for fair trade, and its mad belief that the over-55s are 'old-folk', it remains unattractive to international dirty deeds and filthy lucre. And, as far as I'm aware, the mayor didn't send a telegram to Mr Putin saying:
"With all my heart I congratulate you on your re-election as Russian president. It's vitally important to continue dialogue."
No. That message, according to the Times, was from the desperate Mrs M, who's in hock to Team Putin for future gas supplies after she shut German's nuclear power stations in one of her rare moments of decisiveness, and is now dependent on dirty brown coal. A recent Economist report on the geopolitics of energy illustrated Germany's problems – and those of its neighbours who are interconnected with it for energy. Here's a handy website that shows how much of a coal junkie Germany is when the wind's not blowing.