Rod Liddle

Farty, smelly and in love with Putin? You must be middle-aged

20 February 2016

9:00 AM

20 February 2016

9:00 AM

There are things that happen when you grow older — bad things, harbingers of death and decay. Past the age of 55, I mean. For example, a friend and fellow columnist confessed recently that upon rising from a sitting position he almost always unintentionally farts. A delicate little ‘glip!’ from his bottom, every time he stands up. I am a little older than him and have yet to experience this demeaning imposition, this additional whiff of misery as we trundle downhill, via the unctuous and grimly cheerful hospice attendants, to the crematorium. But I am so terrified of it happening that nowadays, when I stand up, I rise very slowly and clench my buttocks tightly together just in case. It will happen sooner or later I’m sure.

In the meantime there’s the other stuff to be going on with. Deodorant and eau de cologne, for example. They no longer smell like they did. These days, they smell acrid five minutes after they have been applied: you can’t gild a turd and still less a corpse-in-waiting. Hangovers nag and gnaw in a way they never used to and I can no longer eat the carbohydrate-rich prole food I so love without biliousness and indigestion intruding. Then there is the futility of watching attractive women in the street. Oh you can watch — but they don’t watch back. Some vindictive bastard recently carried out research about what age men are when women stop noticing them: it’s at 50. After you’ve reached that wonderful milestone, they don’t even see you — and our apparent invisibility is justified. After the age of 50 you have only about nine spermatozoa left in your testes and they’re all limp-tailed and wheezing imbeciles.

And then there is Vladimir Putin. Of all the things which strike at men when they are past the age at which women notice them, a fervid love for the Russian president is the strangest and apparently most ubiquitous. I have now lost count of the number of times I have been enjoying a drink with someone of my age group — male or female — and they have eventually leaned in towards me, glanced around to make sure nobody else is listening, and whispered: ‘Y’know, I’ve got an awful lot of time for Putin. Running rings around the West. Got to admire him.’ This isn’t a right-wing thing — I’ve heard it from the most bien-pensant and politically correct university professors over the age of 50: Putin — doing a bloody good job.


I suppose that he fosters an image of virility which we all remember and sadly miss in ourselves. He is also atavistically decisive in a world which seems both lily-livered and plagued by doubt. And, his big pitch to the wider world, to the Chinese and the Muslims and the religious faithful of eastern Europe and even those dwindling adherents over here — he is socially somewhat conservative at a time when our own leaders, from Washington DC via Brussels to the Antipodes, are achingly right-on and let-it-all-hang-out. When you’re over 50 you don’t want to let it all hang out, even if it is. Perhaps there is also a nostalgic hankering for Russia to be our prime enemy again — a familiar and rational foe we can deal with, instead of the deranged head-chopping maniacs of Islamism, who are beyond reason.

None of this cuts very much ice with me, although the attacks upon Putin for being homophobic sometimes inculcate in me a vague glimmer of sympathy for the man, as much because of the hypocrisy which is always attendant on these denunciations. But in general he seems to me a ruthless and tyrannical bully (par for the course, in Russia, for a thousand years, with the possible exceptions of Brezhnev and Gorbachev) and sexually a lot weirder than the supposed deviants whom he purports to despise.

But there is one area where my peers and I may be in agreement: the depiction of Putin in the West and the plainly partisan reporting of exactly what it is that Russia’s getting up to. We suspect that the European Union and the USA were as much sinners as sinned-against over Ukraine, in supporting what was effectively a coup against a democratically elected government. We have long memories, sometimes pre-Krushchev memories, and wonder if Russia doesn’t have some genuine sort of claim on the Crimea.

And then we look at Syria. Aged and disillusioned, we wonder if it is right — as the BBC and most western politicians aver — that Russian missiles indiscriminately kill cowering civilians, and especially children, while precision-guided western missiles kill only heavily bearded maniacs who used to live in Luton. Nope, not buying it. Nor are we convinced that the ectoplasmic rebel Syrian army supposedly targeted by Putin a) actually exists and b) if it does exist is possessed of notably more democratic sensibilities than the Islamic State or al-Qaeda.

Our memories are longer, too, when it comes to the Kurds — we have this faint conviction that we have let these people down before now, in order to placate a government in Turkey which is less repellent than Putin’s administration only if you put both hands over your eyes or simply avert your gaze. We have the feeling, born of pragmatism and a weariness with the Middle East and its multifarious and catastrophic ‘springs’, that Syria’s Assad was awful, but probably markedly less awful than the likely alternatives. We think, in short, that we have more in common — politically, culturally, viscerally — with Russia, even under Putin, than we do with the world of expansionist Islam. But maybe that’s all just an age thing and our politicians should do what the attractive women in the street do, and just ignore it.

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Show comments
  • Rik

    OK so i resemble that remark,funny old world,the West with their Gulf allies mustering 1500 front line combat aircraft can’t stop the flow of oil that was funding ISIS in 18 months but the Russians stop it dead in 6 weeks.Wow we need to buy some of those special Russian bombs!!We are not all stupid,the calls for regime change in Syria are nothing to do with ‘uman rights and everything to do with Qatari gas reserves and pipeline.We of the west have prostituted ourselves for oil and gas and allowed the rise of radical Islam for far too long.

  • Dukeofplazatoro

    It may be a middle aged thing for us, but in Russia it would appear to be more of a babushka-and-youth thing. The babushkas like him because he goes to church, puts on a holy-Willy face and crosses himself in the right places. Then all those kids in St Petersburg, whose posts we should expect to see here in huge numbers – with their endless “what-abouts, WW2 etc etc – as soon as they have woken up and finished listening to their briefing for the day, and those fruity girls in T shirts who go round Russian supermarkets looking for French cheese to destroy, all seem to love him as well. The middle aged there, meanwhile seem indifferent to him, maybe as they have work to do and little free time. They will tick the box, when asked, to say that they approve of him, to avoid more trouble coming their way, but that would appear to be it.

  • Hayekian

    Our politicians prove conclusively that you don’t have to be over 50, a man or a lover of Putin to be ignored. For once, true to their beliefs, they are unimpeachably equal opportunity ignorers (unless of course you are a donor or one of their social set (though not necessarily their party)).

  • putin

    It’s the same reason that Trump will be president. They’re old-school and are powerful/rich enough to say and do what they want without caring who it offends. They do it strategically though, planning ahead. It’s fascinating to watch.

    • aspeckofboggart

      Please, why are you writing in the 3rd person?

  • buchanan17

    I think Rod you need to watch the film from a couple of days ago of a Russian plane clearly landing cluster bombs on blocks of flats.

    You seem to be falling for the same issue you are criticising. Dropping groups of bombs – that is bombs, not targeted missiles – on flats is just a huge tad different from the missiles targeting beardies who used to live in Luton

    • William Matthews

      It’s not been helped by the Russian official line “No we didn’t” when clearly they did. The point is though, we only have one side of the argument. I’m not defending Russia, but the Rebels, ISIS and Assad aren’t sweethearts either. And it’s quite clear we’re being fed only one stream of propaganda. Maybe if we had all four streams plus maybe Iran’s and Saudi’s stream we’d be fed enough BS to know to keep our noses out.

      As for Putin, I can’t abide him. But he seems to get things done. If he was British, he would be quite possibly the greatest leader ever. Aside from Maggie, obviously. 😉

      • marvin

        Obviously you are on the internet – so you can find out all sorts of information from various country’s media and you can cross check one against the other – that way you do get a full story – interesting it is too!

      • Todd Unctious

        Our greatest leader ever was Edward I .

      • CRSM

        A perfectly valid Russian response would have been: “Yes we did, but in extremis we have to do things like this to destroy our enemies” It would have been a callous response, but it would have been believable.

        • William Matthews

          old that old favourite “Our maps were out of date”.

    • Chamber Pot

      What about the Americans destroying Iraq and inventing WMDs ? Since then millions have died.

      The idea that we should be vilifying Putin for reversing the American inspired neoconservative regime change rampage In the Middle East at the gates of Damascus is ridiculous.

      He should be applauded.

  • Duke_Bouvier

    For good or ill, to end a conflict seems to require a degree of brutality that is considered unacceptable in the West. It may well however reduce the sum of misery compared to enabling the conflict to drag on forever. Sri Lanka is one case in point; looks like Syria may be another.

    • Chamber Pot

      Stalin also had the right idea and deported the Germans in cattle trains from East Prussia.

      • Todd Unctious

        Disgraceful comment. Where is the moderator?

  • gillardgone

    Once again Nigel Forage got Putin spot on, as he said you don’t have to like the man to admire his foresight and his get things done attitude, our politicians have in general been outclassed and found to be wanting.

    • Bankotsu

      Farage is past 50.

      • CRSM

        He is also someone with a mistaken sense of his own ability. We desperately need a radical, right of centre party, with a deep scepticism of the EU. But only as long as the gurning used-car salesman isn’t anything to do with it.

      • Todd Unctious

        Farage is a mouth breathing moron. But he is winning the IN campaign single handed.

  • Pioneer

    It is not only people past 50.

    Respect is probably more accurate than love.There is a perception that Putin looks after his own country and his own people.

    That is in direct contrast to the Western political elites obvious contempt for the very idea of a country, and their loathing of the natives.

    • jennybloggs

      Spot on.

    • Todd Unctious

      Well the perception is wrong. Putin and his close circle line their pockets through massive corruption and endemic bribery.

    • CRSM

      Well, yes he does put the state first. But then, as another politician with an inflated ego once said: “The State, that is me”.

      • William Brown

        Spot on.

  • Patrick

    The West leaving Turkey to butcher Kurds in Turkey, Iraq and now Syria is a disgrace. Turkey lectures Israel on “killing”, “Colonising” Palestine, while they kill thousands, and invade cyprus and colonise the north of it (as they did before, thats why there are turks on the island in the first place) I would prefer Russia in NATO and Turkey kicked out of it. (I am in my early 40’s and have wanted Turkey out and Russia in for as long as I can remember )

    • Chamber Pot

      Turkey needs to be dismembered.

      • CRSM

        Don’t you think it will be if it carries on like it is?

  • Alibogs

    I’m only in my 47th year but farting is what I do. I was thinking only the other day that if asked to describe my occupation in a visitors’ book, in filling out an official form or something of that sort, I would be torn between ‘online troll’ and ‘super-efficient, methane converting machine’. When anyone asks me these days if I had enjoyed whatever it was I was doing outside the confines of my own home, I am always tempted to reply, “well enough, it was as tolerable as any other four or five hours without being able to break wind.” I too admire Putin and tend to side with the Kurds. Perhaps there is a link: we are merely the mouth piece for those bacteria in the gut which feel they cannot express themselves satisfactorily as thunderous clatterings between lardy *rse cheeks, but needs must wax political.

  • Frank

    This article will get all the Putin lovers out in force!
    In point of fact, far from “standing up for Russia’s interests”, he is cruising for a bruising and his military aggression in Ukraine and Syria is bound to end badly.

    • red2black

      As horrible as it is, the idea seems to be to restore a ‘strong man’ to power in Syria, which seems to suit the West just fine.
      No-one seems to fancy taking Mr Putin on.

    • marvin

      Only for the opposition to Russia in those countries! Have you seen Russia’s war records? Russia wins nearly every war that they take part in, USA = Zero!

      • Frank

        Russia lost the first world war, Russia only defeated Germany because of the vast amont of war material that Britain and the USA gave her . Russia lost in Afghanistan and appears to be stalemated in Ukraine. Yes a wonderful pattern starting to show here. As against this, one could argue that America won the first and second world wars, ditto the two Iraq wars, versus losing in Vietnam.

        • Todd Unctious

          Defeated by Lithuania twice in the 16th C. By Sweden twice in the 17th C. Lost in the War of Austrian succession 1748, beaten in three coalitions against Napoleon, lost the Crimean War, lost the Russo-Finnish Japanese War in 1905, collapsed in WW1 and beaten by the Tatars in 1925.
          Russia has a poor military record. It is just a vast wilderness to conquer a bit like Canada. Only Canada does not lose wars.

          • zappata

            Conquered Lithuania,stripped Sweden of its Baltic Empire,defeated and absorbed all the Mongol-Tartar khanates.Revived by the Soviets and took back much of what was lost in ww1.As to the future…who knows.

          • Todd Unctious

            The point made was that Russia is never defeated in war.Patently wrong as it has regularly bennbested by various smaller nations. Their culture of revenge is significant and informs their paranoia in later years. I still see Russia as a busted flush and a waste of space.

          • zappata

            Your examples are poorly chosen – Sweden and Lithuania were great powers in the time frames you cite – Russia crushed them both despite Sweden being considered “invincible” and Lithuania being one of the largest countries in Europe even before its defensive merger with Poland.Bonaparte was ruined in Russia;even had he won at Waterloo,the large Russian and Austrian armies that were on the way would have finished him off.And if Prussia rather than Russia was so instrumental in his defeat why,when the spoils were being divided,did Russia end up with Poland rather Prussia which had controlled it prior to the Treay of Tilsit?

          • Frank

            Cheers

        • marvin

          America has never won any wars! They act in aggression by proxy of another allied country.

          • Frank

            Carry on believing that if it makes you feel better. Vlad is a maniac and driving his country into a dead end.

  • G.

    See, Author, it’s easy to explain.
    Russia is #1 in the World in alcoholism and heroin use. Half of Russian men don’t live much longer than 50.
    Russian men are drunk most of the time of day and night, and told 24/7 that “Russia IS Putin” (and vise versa) and that they are being very “patriotic” indeed by willing to live in mind boggling indigence, filth and lack of essential living standards.
    Russians have been like that their entire 350-year history. Their history is inseparable from their legendary obsequiousness.

    • post_x_it

      It’s the same reason why it’s completely futile trying to invade Russia. This is the nation that survived the siege of Leningrad on nothing but mind boggling stoicism. There is no other place like it.

      • Chamber Pot

        A nation as hard as nails and will make their enemies bleed white.

        • Todd Unctious

          A nation of schizophrenic liars and cheats.

          • The_greyhound

            Racist idiot.

          • Todd Unctious

            Explain how Russians are honest and don’t cheat.

          • red2black

            There are dishonest people in all countries. You seem to be claiming that all Russians are dishonest and unbalanced. What on Earth’s the matter with you?

          • Todd Unctious

            Yes of course. But sadly cultures where the Orthodox Church dominated tend to have a worse problem with distrust and general corruption. Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Greece, Cyprus, Serbia, Bulgaria have massive issues. They simply are not like us. The EU was mad to let Greece in. Madder still to welcome Cyprus and Romania.

          • red2black

            Countries where there’s a marked religious tradition or influence are to be avoided?
            What about Italy and Spain, for example?

          • Todd Unctious

            Somehow Orthodoxy trumps even Arabs for low cunning and the reverence of underhand practice.

          • red2black

            I’m not religious, but that seems to be an extremely harsh view of people who are.

          • Todd Unctious

            I am not pointing the finger at the religious ones. Most problems come from secular quartets. It is just nations with centuries of Orthodox tradition do not trust……not even there own families. They also seem to shun the idea of hard work or talent in favour of seeing what you can get away with.

          • Tamerlane

            Every single one without exception? You’re an immensely stupid and ignorant fool.

          • Todd Unctious

            Your limited erudition has driven you to mere playground insults again . As a paid shill you really are not giving your boss value for money.

          • red2black

            There isn’t much remaining after the religious and the secular have been dismissed in they way you describe.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Do you reckon your wife will ever come back Todd?

          • Todd Unctious

            From where?

          • Tamerlane

            He’s an activist from the Respect Party and the Orthodox church doesn’t stand for any nonsense from Muslims.

          • red2black

            I see.

          • Cyril Sneer

            His wife ran off with a Russian.

      • OscarJones

        I bet Vodka helped though

      • zappata

        True.When it comes to meting out-or absorbing-pain they are singular.

      • G.

        Yah, another myth of “mind boggling stoicism”.
        Russia per se was occupied only by 10% by Hitler, unlike other countries occupied 100% – and was protected by 200 nationalities of Soviet Union, that Kremlin invaded earlier, and helped by USA @Allies. Also having komissars and NKVD aiming at the back of the head from behind front lines helped with “stoicism”.
        And yet over 1 Million Russians took arms against Kremlin, and over 2 Million went POW to Germany. And how many were fighting for Germany you can read on your own.

    • Marcus Grant

      G wrote :”Russia is #1 in the World in alcoholism and heroin use.

      ====

      exept it is lies…..

      wiki:

      List of countries by alcohol consumption per capita (Pure alcohol consumption among adults (age 15+) in liters per capita per year)

      1/Belarus 17.5

      2/Moldova 16,8

      3/Lithuania 15.4

      4/Russia 15.1

      • Todd Unctious

        25% of the people in Moldova, Belarus and Lithuania are ethnic Russians.

        • Marcus Grant

          Todd Unctious wrote : “25% of the people in Moldova, Belarus and Lithuania are ethnic Russians.

          ====

          lies again

          ethnic russians in Moldova 9%, in Belarus 8% , in Lithuania 5 %

          source: wikipedia

          • Todd Unctious

            What are you doing?

          • Marcus Grant

            Tod Unctious wrote:”What are you doing?

            ===

            exposing trolls like you here

          • Tamerlane

            Ignore him, Tood Unctious is Yvonne/Barry Stuart-Hargeaves originally, he was tricked into admitting he’s a Respect Party activist so he changed his name. His irrational prejudice against Russia is because they’re the one country that stands up to his nasty little agenda and doesn’t take any cr@p from Islam. Most of the big Russian players in London are Jewish as well so the Respect Party really detest them. He’s best ignored, he’s an odious little Galloway troll.

          • Todd Unctious

            This is a lie. What do you mean “tricked into”? I simply said that in the 2004 I voted Respect as a protest against the Iraq war. You decided this made me a Respect activist as you desperately seeking to undermine my posts. You harbour a long standing grudge because I am better informed than you. You are paid to troll me. You are a liar.

        • Marcus Grant

          Todd Unctious wrote : “10% of the people in Moldova, Belarus and Lithuania

          ===

          ahaha!!!..you changed (edited) 25% to 10% in your post after I exposed your lies !!!…good try, troll !!!… lol !!!

        • Cyril Sneer

          Are you really a priest?

          If so, then that explains so much and no wonder you’re allergic to facts, logic and reasoning.

      • OscarJones

        I have Russian relatives and they do drink an awful lot. But not as much as my Australian relatives- they can really put it away and could drink the Russians under the table.

    • OscarJones

      I heard a Russian correspondent say just the other day that Russians had decades of Stalinism & Communism telling them what to think via their media so they now treat anything they see & hear in the media as rubbish.

      His point was he couldn’t understand why we believe anything in our media when we were never ordered to.

      • Chamber Pot

        An eminently sensible and cynical nation.

    • zappata

      350 year history?What do you take as being the start of Russian history?Most serious historians date it to pre 1000 AD

      • Todd Unctious

        The Varangian Vikings and the Khazars were not really Rus. Russia proper began after the old Mongol Khanates disintegrated. The Grand Duchy of Moscow emerged after the Black Death around 1360.

        • zappata

          The Varangians absolutely are part of the Rus.The Rurikid lineage runs from the 9th century through to the Time of Troubles in the late 16th century.The Khazars were something of a mystery but their separateness was lost amongst all the other subsequent waves of Turkic migrations,particularly following islamicization,that together comprise the Tartars….and scratch a Russian and you will find a Tartar.

    • Cyril Sneer

      You should seek help.

  • Freddythreepwood

    Wish Putin was doing our negotiating with the EU.

    • G.

      Wish Putin attended to Russian puny economy, 1.5% of global, well being and living standards of extremely impoverished, degraded and unhealthy Russian population.

      • Marcus Grant

        G wrote : “Wish Putin attended to Russian puny economy, 1.5% of global, well being
        and living standards of extremely impoverished, degraded and unhealthy
        Russian population

        =====

        wikipedia:…under the Putin administration from 2001 to 2007, the economy made real gains of an average 7% per year, making it the 7th largest economy in the world in purchasing power. Russia’s nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased 6 fold, climbing from 22nd to 10th largest in the world. In 2007, Russia’s GDP exceeded that of Russian SFSR in 1990, having recovered from the 1998 financial crisis and the preceding recession in the 1990s.
        During Putin’s eight years in office, industry grew substantially, as
        did production, construction, real incomes, credit, and the middle
        class. Putin has also been praised for eliminating widespread barter and thus boosting the economy. Inflation remained a problem however.

        In 2001, Putin obtained approval for a flat tax rate of 13%; the corporate rate of tax was also reduced from 35 percent to 24 percent;Small businesses also get better treatment. The old system, with high tax rates, has been replaced by a new system where companies can choose either a 6-percent tax on gross revenue or a 15-percent tax on profits. The overall tax burden is lower in Russia than in most European countries.

        • Todd Unctious

          Russia is a joke. A massive failed state. In democratic meltdown. Within 20 years it will be incapable of even fielding an army. £40 billion a year is siphoned off to Swizzland, Cyprus and Cayman. The rich all leave. The bureaucrats and politicians are a nightmarish Mafia.
          Russians trust nobody. Russians live in a wierd fantasy. Putin, the grim , grey nobody who resorts to heronworshipping Stalin to rally what is left if this hudkmof a nation.

          • Marcus Grant

            Todd Unctious wrote : “Within 20 years it will be incapable of even fielding an army

            ===

            we hear it for years, decades and centuries, yet Russia is still going strong as ever…those “predictions” by likes of you are called “compensation” in psychology – wiki : ” In psychology, compensation is a strategy whereby one covers up, consciously or unconsciously, weaknesses, frustrations, desires, or feelings of inadequacy or incompetence in life”

          • Todd Unctious

            No young man in Russia wants to join the army. They conspire, dodge and contive to avoid military service because it is backward and viscious. Many conscripts die each year from horrendous beatings and endure endless efforts to extort money by corrupt officers. These officers even kill their own recruits in hit and run incidents. Russia is a shameful excuse for a country. Uncivilised.
            Russia has insufficient manpower to control it’s vast territories. Russians are detested bybtge 20 %ethnic minorities, the Chinese simply wandervin to Russia and steal wood and minerals and they can do nothing about it.

          • Marcus Grant

            No young man in Russia wants to join the army.

            ====

            50% of Russian army are contractors – that means they go there because it is their decigion – they may not do that if they don’t want it…as for conscripts – there is no one country in the world where people like to be conscripted…

          • Todd Unctious

            Are you paid to post this garbage? Do you work at Putin’s Mafia embassy?

          • Marcus Grant

            Are you paid to post this garbage?

            ===

            not everybody are paid trolls like you

          • Todd Unctious

            It is a shame you Russkis are so defensive. I suppose you tell each other and yourselves so many lies there is no reality left to cling to. Your country has no future. You are a dumbed down child like culture. Russia will fragment and reinvent itself again and again until it disappears for good.

          • Marcus Grant

            Todd Unctious wrote : “Russia will fragment and reinvent itself again and again until it disappears for good.

            ===

            like I said – those kinds of things are said about Russia for decades and centuries, but nothing happens…Likes of you continue to salivate on those dreams, but again and again your dreams fail to become reality…Dream on…

          • Todd Unctious

            We’ll see. I’d happily bet that Russia will not exist in its current form within a generation.

          • Marcus Grant

            We’ll see.

            ===

            you will not see anything…you will be dead in some time while Russia will go on…

          • Todd Unctious

            Typical Russian response. Veiled threats and intimidation. Uncivilised.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Marcus is not Russian but you are a paranoid fool.

            Did your wife run off with a Russian or something?

          • Chamber Pot

            I wish Putin would medicine you and your hate fuelled ravings with a dose of Polonium.

          • Todd Unctious

            I don’t hate Russians. I pity them. I hate the liars and cheats that claim to serve them. I have nothing but contempt for the pretence that Russia is a global power.

          • ClausewitzTheMunificent

            Let me correct that for you. I don’t hate the British. I pity them. I hate the liars and cheats that claim to serve them. I have nothing but contempt for the pretence that the UK is a global power. It just makes me laugh. Close enough?

          • Todd Unctious

            More playground tactics from the congenitally simple.

          • Cyril Sneer

            Todd, you just got beaten in a debate and then you go all nasty.

            Get some class mate.

          • CRSM

            You may well be right, but surely that makes it all the more dangerous?

          • Todd Unctious

            Balkanisation of Russia will be a problem, yes indeed.

        • Gebhard Von Blucher

          Putin’s paid trolls constantly amend or challenge anything on-line that is even slightly critical of Russia – Wikipedia being a case to point.

    • Dr Strangelove

      You could always emigrate toRussia

  • wilson sadler

    if only Putin was as popular in Russia as is Cameron here

  • Landphil

    At 60+ of course you come back into view – a young girl on the checkout at Tesco asked me if I was doing anything exciting this weekend – as a gentleman I replied that this was the most exciting thing I was doing all weekend.

    • polidorisghost

      Did you have the horrible feeling that she might be taking the mickey?

      • Todd Unctious

        Well the only other young lady that he might see would be taking his pulse.

    • CRSM

      I think that supermarket check-out girls say this to anyone over 60 who seems to be still in reasonable physical shape. It may be in some sort of “How to treat customers” book of advice. I’m over 60, not good looking, but fairly healthy, and I hear it quite a lot.

      • John Steadman

        Yeh….alas….the girl at Asda always says, ‘See yu later’. But she never does.

        • Todd Unctious

          How do you know? You just don’t see her. Imagine 60 something old bloke has teenage stalker.!

          • John Steadman

            Bloke? Arrogant narrow-minded stereotyping comment – how d’yu know I ain’t a trans?

          • Todd Unctious

            Did you not consider changing your name from John, when changing gender? My assumption was reasonable.

          • John Steadman

            Oops.

      • Landphil

        She’ll probably become a hairdresser.

    • Cyril Sneer

      I would’ve responded – having dinner with you. But them I am a bit of a cad.

  • Sean L

    You’re wrong about women and age mate – it’s not the age in itself, certainly not 50s, that’s the issue but the fact that middle aged British white men, at least in their appearance, their shape and grooming, don’t seem to consider themselves sexual beings, capable of attracting a woman, at all: and why shouldn’t a woman take the man at his own estimation? If anything, a well kept middle-aged man has a massive advantage over his younger rival, if he only knew how to use it. Of course if you imagine yourself as a spent force she’ll sense it immediately and naturally you’re appearance won’t even register with her. But neither will that of younger men who are similarly handicapped in their idea of themselves, and of what women want.

    As to Putin, it’s not so much that we admire *him* so much as what he represents, something that we haven’t got: a *leader* who actually leads and doesn’t bend with the wind, whose principal allegiance appears to be to his own nation rather than some liberal globalist fantasy.

    • polidorisghost

      You’ve convinced me Sean.
      Tomorrow will see a new me.
      I wonder if a Terry Thomas moustache would suit – bit naff perhaps, but retro fashion is in I believe.

      • Gebhard Von Blucher

        Terry Thomas moustache = retro-cool

        • Todd Unctious

          Aah ladies. Picnic hamper, stuffed with champers . Austin Healey. Cigarette holder. Calf skin driving gloves. Marvelous.

      • jim

        I’d suggest late period Sean Connery .

        • Suzy61

          Really?

          Turned out to be a bigoted, hypocritical, old, whining NAT.

          Not very desirable.

          • jim

            It’s obvious your loins are aching for this old school alpha.

          • Suzy61

            You’ve called me out Jim 🙂

    • jim

      Exactly. To quote James Coburn in Sam Peckinpah’s masterful Cross Of Iron:

      “A man is generally what he feels himself to be”

      The average white, western, middle aged, straight male is undermined by the generalised cultural antipathy directed specifically at him and his kind. He should be angry but instead feels like a loser. Women sense this….I agree with the rest of Rod’s thesis but he should pull his gut in,stand up straight and maybe buy a leather jacket. Get some of that Liam Neeson vibe going.

    • Cyril Sneer

      Nailed it.

      • Sean L

        Cheers Cyril.

  • Dr Strangelove

    Putin a mass murderer, what’s not to like?

    • OscarJones

      all our current leaders are mass murderers. Putin just a bit more interesting.

      • Dr Strangelove

        What? Even Leanne Wood?

        • Todd Unctious

          She murdered a few pies.

        • Pioneer

          She must have murdered most of her brain cells.Thick as Kerry.

    • marvin

      And Blair, Cameron, Obama, Erdogan, etc.,etc.,etc., But I don’t like them one bit!

      • Swift John

        SSHhhh! he’s one of the asleople.

    • 22pp22

      As Wes Europe will soon have the demographic profile of Afghanista, why worry?

  • Todd Unctious

    I was told the age men go invisible is 44. But excellent use of the word unctuous Rodney.
    Putin of course, is a grim ,grey ,apparatchik. Positioned to justify the thefts of his Mafia cronies.

    • Charlie Anderson

      He’s a Woderick not a Wodney.

      • red2black

        Woderwick.

        • Todd Unctious

          Wonny.

          • red2black

            “Woddy dahling…”

    • OscarJones

      I wish Ron Liddle would go invisible

      • Todd Unctious

        Me too. But we have to put up with his messy eating and dribbling food and drink all down his shirt. Old Wonny Lidl.

        • A real liberal

          A bit harsh. I think he’s a National Treasure.

          • Todd Unctious

            Stewart Lee lampoon him as a messy eater.

      • Callipygian

        That’s because you’re weak, pathetic, have no arguments, and labour to comprehend the world with an impoverished imagination. You’re probably impotent, smell unpleasantly, and read the Guardian with reverence. Your bathroom is undoubtedly foul, you don’t change your socks often enough, and you fail to floss both sides of each tooth.

        In short, you’re hopeless and no woman of sense would know you.

        Nice chatting, and have a great day.

        • Chris Bartelt

          No, that’s me and my wife…

          • Callipygian

            %^0
            I thought it would have more power if I patterned it on life!

        • Cyril Sneer

          And you like to make sh t up about people you know nothing about.

          • Callipygian

            Now now, Cyril. Don’t be guilty of your own accusation, there’s a good lad.

  • Even worse, you could end up as an embittered leftie writing for the Spectator.

  • Kris

    I’m 35 have not opinion on Putin I don’t know him. But the war against terrorism s been is been won buy Russia.

    It would be good if the the UK and US were not so paranoid about Russia and had better relation the type where the US dose not go around bullying every one and the UK helps it.

    PS if the UK government had some courage it would work with Europe and not be the US termite that it has been.

    • Todd Unctious

      By bombing 30 hospitals. A brutal War crime or an incompetent tragedy.

      • Swift John

        Murica’s favourite war crime.

      • Kris

        You can believe the same propaganda that was responsible for the murder of 2 million people in Iraq or for once face up to the facts. It concerns me that people just believe what they are brainwashed to think. “30 Hospitals think about that” what a very bad piece of propaganda you have eaten up. How do you feel that your own government lies to you like that?

        • Business Cat

          It always looks weird if you feel the need to say ‘propaganda’ in every sentence.

          • Kris

            No your right. The deliberate brainwashing of good and normal people like me or you with sick lies that result in the deaths of fathers, mothers and children.

            How dose that sound? How proud do you feel now? How good dose it feel?

            Shame on you.

          • CRSM

            Your right what? (Right hand perhaps?)
            Obviously either not English speaking, or an IQ of <80.

          • Kris

            Yes, your better then all of the massive suburb you live in with a higher IQ. I would explain the reasoning and sentence structure but it’snot worth it. It’s all about putting people down with you nut jobs.

        • Todd Unctious

          It is more testimony to the terminal decay and ineptitude of Russia’s military. 30 hospitals targeted , but only 4 or 5 hit.

          • Kris

            The propaganda has gone from 30 hospitals to 4 or 5 and you can prove this. I cant lie like you.

          • Todd Unctious

            Russia is a basket case run by homophobic villains.

          • CRSM

            Surely in Putin’s case you mean homophilic?

      • polidorisghost

        They had thirty hospitals?
        Maybe

        • Todd Unctious

          Not now. They have 25.

          • Cyril Sneer

            It’s comforting to know that you’re allergic to facts Todd.

    • Callipygian

      From your perspective, it would be ‘good’ if the rest of us laid down and wove ourselves into a Turkish carpet for Putin to entertain himself on. Well, some of us still have some guts left and IT AIN’T GOING TO HAPPEN.

      Thanks for the Russia impression, Kris, you’ve been a great contestant. Better luck next time on Imitate a Foreign Tyrant Groupie!

    • Todd Unctious

      You really don’t understand Russia. Read Peter Pomerantsevs book, “Nothing is true and everything is possible”. Shocking.

      • Cyril Sneer

        You don’t even know your own government. If you did, Putin would be the last of your worries.

  • John Andrews

    Any over-50s for Viktor Orbán, the hero of Hungary?

  • Business Cat

    I have yet to feel any yearning for the shirtless billionaire tyrant.

    Though, being a cat, my lifespan will barely reach 16, let alone 50+

  • johnhenry

    I would like to see a remake of The Day of the Jackal, starring Putin in the central role, but with a better ending.

    • Todd Unctious

      But we’d have to call it Day of the Jackass.

    • Cobbett

      Why not Cameron?

  • Callipygian

    Clenching your bottom is good: the bum is the body’s engine and a strong bum is a sign of vitality and power. (Hint: my avatar.) No downside in that.

    A lot of people blame things on ‘ageing’ and it’s nothing of the kind. Farting when you stand is not normal. The man has a problem. Best investigated out of the public eye. I just don’t want to know, catch my drift?

    Yes, I’m snooty and superior about my good health. Darn right: I work for it. Haven’t seen a doctor in years and don’t have one. It’s not just that the Grim Reaper is going to have to sweat buckets and be sore the whole next week when he tries to pull me down. That’s not the project, particularly. It’s that I want to look good and feel good and be full of energy all the days of my useful life. Ideally, I want to die laughing, like Trollope. And the Grim Reaper can kiss my @rse.

    • NickG

      Best investigated out of the public eye. I just don’t want to know, catch my drift?

      Yup my thoughts exactly. Likely a buggery compromised sphincter…

  • Maureen Fisher

    One often sees the sad spectacle on our streets of the middle aged Beta male being bullied by the small children he has had in his forties. It’s not something you can imagine Putin doing, letting himself be pushed around by a mouthy three year old.

    • Todd Unctious

      Putin is an utterly corrupt , scummy charlatan. He is beneath contempt.

      • Cyril Sneer

        What do you call the supporters and enablers of international wahabi terrorism?

  • Gebhard Von Blucher

    This article has convinced me that I should make a note in my diary to make an appointment at the Dignitas Clinic when I eventually reach 49.

  • Jacobi

    Oh dear, are in a bad way Mr Liddle. Sense of smell going, difficulty in standing up, increasing hangovers for the same amount of booze, more importantly rambling and confused comment, all definite signs of advancing years. I would certainly keep them clenched from now on.

    Time for clear thinking. I am still in my seventies you know!

    Russia will be here and a major party in the Eurasian Continent, unlike UK, long after Putin
    has gone .

    Russia understands the current Islamic threat, something which Secular Europe is still in
    denial about..

    The U S of A were the sinners in the 2014 so-called Ukrainian uprising against the elected government. The helmeted, disciplined men with rifles and dark glasses watching well back from the crowd were not Ukrainians or Russians.

    In Syria, Russia is supporting the government not the Saudi/Sunni/ Qatar/ISIL and Turkish conspiracy, as the US of A is doing.

    In view of the world glut of oil, this is the time to shut down Saudi Arabia, the real villains. They should be asked
    politely to close their oil industry and failing that two or three well place strikes will sort out the problem.

    As for placating Turkey? Now that is the last thing ever to consider.

    • CRSM

      Agreed, but I think I’d totally pulverise the city of Mecca as a start.
      (And then tell Israel to keep their nose out of things unless they get a taste of the same treatment).

      • Jacobi

        Lets start with the oil!

      • greencoat

        Lots of people have tried to pulverise Israel. It never looks like a good move if you want to stay in one piece.

  • Seawolf

    Rod, on the basis of this article,I’ve just subscribed to The Spectator. I can’t get enough of you. The Sunday Times column is great, but not enough. As this is a leap year, I would ask you to marry me, but I understand you are already spoken for. I’ll settle for a subscription.

    • douglas redmayne

      If you married him you would have to put up with the farts. I assume you don’t mind.

      • Todd Unctious

        Is this the definition of Guff…..awe?

  • Cobbett

    As you get older you shed any drippy liberalism that you might have had when you were younger…I certainly prefer Putin over most world ‘leaders’. But then again I’m not much into authority figures(or authority)…whoever they are

  • Karol Czenko

    Sorry, but Putin does not represent any sort of ‘conservative values’ that can be vested with any meaning in any civilized sense. This is way off base, all the self-deprecation about middle-age farting notwithstanding. People like this writer and other Westerners have no idea what’s going on inside Russia, and that state of affairs is in a sense worse than the Stalin era because today’s crop have no excuse: it is much easier to go around Russia and see what’s going on for oneself than it was in the 1930s. The degradation and decay of Russia is ongoing, and Putin is no saviour.

    • zappata

      Been,have you?Or is this more of the usual bad loser Polish propaganga?

      • Callipygian

        This is the 21st century. If you love tyranny, find yourself an island and rule over yourself. Don’t try it with anyone else.

        • Alexandrovich

          It sounds like you don’t have a second-hand clue what tyranny really is.

          • johnhenry

            Drovski’, your Putrid bedmate is a thug and gangster with a 2 inch thingamagig, as you know from your first-hand examination. But I’ll grant that he’s not as dangerous a tyrant as Frau Merkel.

          • Callipygian

            I’m a historian: you bet I know. I’m just saying: tyrants may enjoy it; no one else does.

      • Karol Czenko

        Yes, I’ve been to Russia many times, and even lived and worked there. The Putinist propaganda is quite effective in the West because hardly anyone in the West has been to Russia, and those who have only spent time in Moscow or St Petersburg, which are not representative. This explains the support of so many American morons for Trump, who states his open admiration for Putin. Путин Хуйло.

        • Cyril Sneer

          Are they admiring Putin or are they admiring what he’s doing ie stopping the US from continuing its insane regime change policy?

          “This explains the support of so many American morons for Trump, ”

          It doesn’t actually. The clue is in what he says about the establishment. i.e. he isn’t establishment so that makes him very attractive to people who don’t want more of the same neo-lib BS.

          Oh look that must be why they like Putin – because he isn’t a neo liberal sh t and he’s actively fighting against it.

          It seems that you have no idea what the US government is all about and why people hate it.

          • Karol Czenko

            Don’t lecture me about the US government, you nitwit. Putin wants war with the West to save his collapsing economy. Nothing like a war to ‘restart’ things. ‘Neo liberal’ is just a slogan. You don’t have to like ‘neo-libs’ to have half a clue about what Russia is today, do a little comparative analysis, and conclude that it isn’t anything civilized people want. Ever spent any time in that hellhole you think is ‘fighting against it’? Didn’t think so. It’s a dump. Things are tough all over, but Putin isn’t standing up to anything. He’s just another member of the St. Petersburg Mafia who’s done well for himself, But now he’s screwed, and the sooner he gets a bullet in the back of the head, the better off we’ll all be.

    • Callipygian

      Thanks for saying this, Karol.

      • Todd Unctious

        Putin is an evil sod. But I fear he is simply the puppet placeman of bigger worse sods.

        • Callipygian

          Like?

  • Neil Saunders

    Farty and smelly? Yes, guilty as charged. Past 50? Yes, that, too.

    In love with Putin? As they say on Facebook, “it’s complicated”.

    He just happens to be the worst head of state in the world – except for all the others.

  • Cheddarcakes

    In my 30s and fairly gassy I guess, I blame the spicy food. Putin hasn’t ruined the planet like the Obama/EU sideshow, he just quietly plods along and does the best for his nations interests.

    The Arab spring = collossal clusterf*ck ; ISIS armed and supported by the USA = Bataclan ; Libya/Iraq/Afghanistan/Syria an unmitigated disaster = ra.pefugee crisis ; deposing the democratically elected leader of Ukraine and restarting the cold war = pointless failure; Banking crisis not averted and building up again = financial ruin for all of us

    Sod the EU and pray to whatever deity you believe in for Brexit and a resounding Trump victory

  • John Steadman

    Putin, detestable would-be tyrant, wrong on everything, except Syria.

    • Todd Unctious

      You have the words “would be” wrong. Putin is a disgraceful, corrupt, anti -democratic menace.

      • big

        Todd did you just earn ten quid for being an anti Putin troll

        • johnhenry

          big, did you just earn a hap-ney for going down on His Putrescence? You give “good head” as they say.

          • big

            I love your rant ,fantastic! in fact I’ve given you two upticks.

          • johnhenry

            As you know, it’s sometimes hard to know where another’s sympathies lie.

        • Todd Unctious

          Unlike many on here, I do it for free. The Barclays are not keen to pay for my comments.
          I am astonished that anyone in the civilised World has an ounce of sympathy or admiration for that two-faced creep. He is destroying Russia.

          • big

            No Todd it’s the transnational global elite,they are destroying the civilised world.The Barclays are part of the mind control apperatus.The neo liberal economic project is failing,its in need of a new enemy,Putin fits the bill,along with China, the west needs enemies to keep the military/ industrial complex going.

          • Todd Unctious

            That too. But Putin is a bigger menace , he has a nuclear trigger.

  • Suzy61

    Putin stands apart from the ‘jessies and fannies’ currently strutting the stage in Brussels.

    Let me think now, if I were in trouble would I call Putin or Guy Verhofstadt?

    If I looked for a man to make a decision would I call Putin or Junker?

    If I needed a man to take the helm would I call Putin or Cameron?

    If I had to choose, I’d rather smell sweat than urine.

    • mikewaller

      Change the names, and this is exactly what lots of folk had to say about Hitler pre-Munich and we all know where that ended up. The trouble with decisive strong men is that they start to believe their own crap and eventually do something really horrendous. My advice? Read Bernard Crick’s wonderful “In Defence of Politics” and grow up.

      • Suzy61

        I thank you for your advice – which I will gladly take – if not the insult thrown in at the end.

        I would not have chosen Putin – but he is the subject of the article. My point being that we are sadly lacking leaders – decision makers who lead with conviction and belief.

        Not all strong leaders end up as despots – but maybe your book will tell me different…. I’ll check it out.

        • mikewaller

          Sorry, but I still think the insult richly deserved. As I write, I am looking at a photograph showing a line of 3 1930’s German or Austrian women giving the Hitler salute, presumably as the Fuhrer drives by. One is in tears, presumably of joy; another is smiling broadly, the third looks wholly committed. I have little doubt that any of them would have signed off your contribution above with just a few name changes. Hence “grow up”.

          • Suzy61

            How about I change the name to say, Thatcher?

            I get tired of hearing of ‘Godwin’s Law’ but this time it does seem apt.

            I never mentioned Hitler – you did. I don’t think staring at morbid photographs is doing you much good.

          • mikewaller

            I am amazed that you keep coming back. I mentioned Hitler because, as many other commentators have noted, there is a great deal in common between Hilter’s behaviour in the 1930s and Putin’s (the guy about whom you wrote so admiringly) now. As for whether the study of history is worthwhile or merely a ‘morbid’ pursuit, writing the following out long-hand, say, 100 times might be of some assistance:

            “When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure. There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the Sibylline books. It falls into that long, dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong–these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.” Winston Churchill, House of Commons, 1935

          • PaD

            Just as well you have Churchill to quote ..otherwise your pseudo intellectualism seems a bit threadbare…oh ..and your bullying

          • mikewaller

            Responding “warmly” to anybody who venerates Putin seems to me a public duty.This, just in case you missed it, was Suzy61’s shameful opening offering:

            Putin stands apart from the ‘jessies and fannies’ currently strutting the stage in Brussels.

            Let me think now, if I were in trouble would I call Putin or Guy Verhofstadt?

            If I looked for a man to make a decision would I call Putin or Junker?

            If I needed a man to take the helm would I call Putin or Cameron?

            If I had to choose, I’d rather smell sweat than urine.

      • Grace Ironwood

        Obama should ask if he can hold Putin’s coat for him.

        • mikewaller

          Please read my measured responses to Suzy61 below. They apply with equal force to you.

  • Arclight101

    Not one of Rod Liddle’s best articles for sure.

    If he thinks the only the over 50’s like Putin, he should try spending more time with younger people. Plenty admire him, and yes it does tend to be a left right thing, as in both members of the anti establishment right and anti establishment left like him, while Blairites, Lib Dems and neo-con Camerists tend not to.

    As for the other 50s in general, I run 10km and 20 km races and there are plenty of participants in their 50s who in a race of 1,000 people of all ages make it into the top 100 with their race times. Some even into the top 50. It appears to be all about how people look after themselves. If you drink and smoke all day, your health will suffer. If you eat sensibly and exercise there’s no reason why anyone should be a belching invalid at 55.

    As for women, the 38 year old girl of my dreams recently passed over me for a 58 year man. They now have a kid. His second family. Worse than that, he doesn’t even look after himself.

    Back to the drawing board Rod.

    • Callipygian

      Never mind, Arc. She’ll regret it, if she doesn’t already :^)

    • mikewaller

      You might also have cited Jerry Hall’s recent betrothal and that between the late Mrs Kennedy and Aristotle Onassis. However, I am not entirely convinced that it was late-onset male sex-appeal that clinched it in either case!

  • terrilynnmerritts

    And what about sexy, in-shape, well educated, pretty women over 50 with successful careers who are not farty an smelly and have younger men hitting on us who find Vladimir Putin to be very hot for a lot of reasons and a lot of us here in the USA are like that. The man is gorgeous, sexy, active, smart, decisive, powerful, and hey, he loves dogs, cats and children.

  • mikewaller

    A toxic mix of mid-twentieth century left-wing relativism – “They are as bad as each other” – and a sentiment lifted directly from Chamberlain’s infamous pre-Munich observation that the then tensions between Germany and Czechoslovakia were merely ” a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing”. There can be no doubt that we are living through very dangerous times, but shoving your head in the sand and ignoring the lessons of history cannot, surely, be the smartest move to make.

  • greencoat

    Some men seem to take a puerile satisfaction in their physical decline and even exaggerate it. Is it because they are lazy and want an excuse to give up trying?

  • Innit Bruv

    And the fat w@nker gets paid for writing such drivel.

  • Cyril Sneer

    I’m 41 and I have a lot of time for Putin. In fact I have a lot time for anyone who stops the US neo-liberal regime change policy in its tracks.

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