A New Generalplan Ost

Novak and Goode, Going Postal
A totalitarian plan for the East.
Flags (European Union and Ukraine) at the Stadtweinhaus,
Dietmar Rabich
Licence CC BY-SA 4.0

“What are you doing next week?” asked the voice on the other end of the phone, “Nothing that I cannot move or delay,” I replied; recognising the voice as Linas, a Lithuanian with whom I had worked occasionally over the last 15 years. “Here’s the thing,” he said, “There is a conference in Vilnius next week about the Green Reconstruction of Ukraine, it’s all policy and stuff; more your sort of thing than mine, would you be able to go and report back?”. I hesitated for a moment; things were never straightforward with Linas. “It’s a bit short notice for flights and things,” I replied, “If the conference is of any size there might not be much of a hotel choice left, who is organising it?” Linas replied, “It’s the EU Commission.” I knew immediately most of the four or five-star hotels would already be overloaded with reservations and bookings from EU apparatchiks. Linas sensed my hesitation, “Look,’ he said, “I don’t care if you have to stay at the Kempinski I need you to be there” (Kempinski hotel in Vilnius is used by heads of state and is outside EU apparatchik subsistence rates).

I thought quickly, “OK,” I said, “My usual day rate, flights, meals, accommodation plus travel time,” I could hear Linas splutter on the other end of the line; “Look, at this short notice I might have to go via London or Warsaw, I’m not going to sit in an airport all day waiting for a connecting flight for nothing.” “Alright, alright,” said Linas, “Just make sure you are in town on Monday night I will come and see you, in the meantime I will send the agenda and register you.”

It was then onto the internet to see what flights and hotels were still available; as I thought, being late November, all the direct flights from my neck of the woods were gone, this meant either a three or four hour schlep to Luton, Stansted or London City (probably at shit o’clock) or a flight to Kaunas.Luckily there were still seats on the Kaunas flight out but not back, therefore I would have to come back to London and train it from there. My usual hotel still had a room, well rather a suite, but Linas had told me to book “whatever” so I did, as it was going to be cheaper than a room at the Kempinski. Given the flight times I ended up with an extra day in Vilnius, which was useful as I had a list of people waiting to see me.

The outward flight arrived at Kaunas on time, 30 minutes later the minibus left for Vilnius, it was one of those “luxury” types with reclining leather seats, 80 minutes later I was in Vilnius, 10 minutes more I was in my suite.

Two hours later I met with Linas for dinner to review his objectives for the conference. “There has been a problem,” was the first thing he said, “They are not accepting registrations from the UK as you are no longer part of the EU”. This did not worry me, there were plenty of other clients who had asked to meet whilst I was in Vilnius, no matter what, I would make sure Linas covered the costs as he had promised to register me. “Look,” said Linas, “I will pick you up in the morning and we will go there, you wait in the lobby and I will get my lanyard and then at the first break I will come out come to the lobby and pass it to you.” I was starting to suspect Linas had known all along that there would be no UK attendees.

The conference was split into two parts; the first two days covered “policy and political measures” towards reconstructing Ukraine, (I knew from the agenda this was more an explanation of general EU policy). The second two days focussed on “business” and this was where the interests of Linas lay, he acknowledged that without understanding the “policy” context it might be a bit tricky; he wanted me to endure the policy sessions then represent his interests in the business segment. He explained the conference was a “very hot ticket” indeed, 100s of would-be Lithuanian participants were not accepted for registration and there had been much moaning in business circles. Linas went on to say there would be a number of attendees from various LT ministries and that he was sure I would know some of them.

Then there were the Ukrainians; Linas said these were mostly from Ukrainian municipalities but that a couple of ministers would also attend. Linas wanted contact details for all of them. I cut to the chase, “Linas, I know the Ukrainians will all understand Russian even if they will not speak it, but my Russian is at a very low level, why are you not attending?” Linas looked shifty, “It’s because the Ukrainians are more likely to want to deal with someone from the UK,” he said. “We have history with Ukrainians. In Soviet times, after Khruschev, a lot of the Soviet officials sent here were Ukrainian. They were sent partially as a reward as we were seen to be more advanced and also because they would have no truck with Lithuanian independence, it will be easier for you to gain their trust and of course the conference language is English so they will send English speakers. If they think you are “Linas the Lithuanian” and question it just tell them you were born overseas or use some of your amazing Lithuanian on them,” he added sarcastically.

I was not convinced, but knew better than to press the point, I had already guessed the real reason for my attendance. Lithuanians can be enormously secretive in matters of business; I have learnt that they will often insist on private meetings out of the public eye as they do not want anyone seeing with whom they might be talking. Given it’s a small country with a political and business elite comprising no more than a couple of thousand people at most, word about who has seen whom gets around fast. I would provide the perfect cover for Linas.

At 9 am the next morning I was sat in his 4×4 as we headed to the conference. As directed, I waited in the lobby and at 10.30 some 300 or so people flooded out of the conference hall towards the coffee and cake neatly laid out on tables. Linas sauntered over and surreptitiously handed me his lanyard and beamed, “No photo, but I did have to show my ID card to get it.” I put the lanyard around my neck and wandered off to join the throng jostling for coffee and cake whilst Linas left the building. The bell rang to announce the start of the next session and I joined the crowd going in and walked past the security guards without issue. As I entered the hall, I noticed someone waving at me to come and join them, it was Arturas, a senior bod in one of the LT ministries, as I sat down, he whispered, “I don’t know how you managed it but it’s good to see you here.”

It was a typical format for a conference of this type; for each session there was a moderator, a panel of four or five contributors as well as some online inputs relayed to a large screen; many of the moderators appeared to be senior staff from an EU DG (Directorates-General; there are 37 of these that have policy responsibility for different themed areas. Trade, migration etc) and the contributors were largely EU apparatchiks involved in managing EU “programmes” (more on these later). There was a token sprinkling of Ukrainian contributors across the sessions and online. Arturas mentioned I had only missed the opening and keynote speeches which were streamed in anyway. Looking around I saw several familiar faces from both LT business and politics; the Ukrainians were easy to spot as were those from the EU; I did however notice there were very few programme grifters (academics and programme spivs) as they had been excluded from the policy session days. One thing that was noticeable was that the Ukrainians were mostly sat together and by and large seemed excited by what was to come.

The remainder of the session through to lunchbreak really just set the scene and scale of the task of reconstructing Ukraine. Half a trillion Euros was mentioned as being made available, 50bn Euros available almost immediately some before the fighting stops and so on. The Ukrainians were wide-eyed and excited by these metrics, “You know they have no money whatsoever,” said Arturas, “This must be like a dream for them.” All too soon the session finished and the lunch break came around.

The afternoon session started and went straight into linking “programmes” into policy, bit by bit various EU programmes started to be mentioned;

  • The New European Bauhaus
  • Horizon Life
  • EU Life Programme
  • The EU Green Deal
  • Europe 2050: EU Climate Action

These are EU-wide programmes supported by billions upon billions of Euros. One of the moderators mentioned when opening a session that “all of this money would be made available” and that “membership of the EU for Ukraine is assured; President von der Leyden has said it would be so”; a ripple of excitement ran through the ranks of the EU apparatchiks some of whom seemed to swoon at the news; by and large the Ukrainians beamed at this news. The excitement was building, “There will be a new European plan for the future of Ukraine,” the moderator announced in a rising crescendo of fervour; “Ah hah. a new Generalplan Ost,” I said to Arturas, “Eh? What are you talking about?” he replied; I just looked at him and winked. Before we knew it the sessions were over and the delegates swept out of the hall. There was an air of excitement not only for the forthcoming cocktail reception but also because of the announcements that had been made; the EU apparatchiks appeared to be in a state of bliss whilst ruminating on the new powers the announced expansion in the east would bring. I spent the next hour catching up with old acquaintances and went into the drinks reception when it opened.

Only about 100 people were there, all were Ukrainians or EU apparatchiks with the exception of a small number of politicos. It was immediately apparent who was who just by looking at their clothes; the Ukrainians were wearing cheaper clothes somewhat in the Central European style, the EU apparatchiks were generally wearing smart casual Western brands and the politicos were in suits. From the amount of food laid out and the tables covered in full glasses of wine and beer, it seems the hotel had anticipated that all those who had attended the first day sessions would turn up (and then some). By and large the groups kept themselves to themselves, a few politicos that I knew came and chatted but there was little mixing.

After a while I thought I would go outside to the smoking area as I know Central Europeans love to smoke or vape and sure enough there was a crowd of about 20 outside. They were all Ukrainians; one of them spoke to me in Russian and I replied in Russian that I only understood a little, she then spoke to me in English asking where I was from. I explained that I was from the UK and standing in for a Lithuanian colleague and straight away I was asked questions about the royal family, whilst I gave out my own business cards.

After a few minutes they all drifted back inside except for one who was a journalist; she said, “They will all now go and check out who you are, no one will talk with you on anything but the weather until they know you are not from Ukrainian security services”. She went on to say there was much suspicion within the Ukrainian delegation as they knew the agenda of the municipalities was at odds with the UKR Government who just wanted to grab all the cash going; with that she indicated that she was going back inside, I walked in with her and had another glass of wine then decided to leave, as I left, she said, “See you tomorrow Linas,” and winked.

The next morning, I arrived before the first session and the journalist waved at me to join her table for some coffee, she introduced me to a group of 10 or so Ukrainians and it was obvious I had been the subject of discussion after the event broke up the night before, the conversation was now much easier. The morning session focussed largely on legal changes that would have to occur within Ukraine before funds could be made available and all the areas of compliance and EU alignment that would be adopted before money would be granted and also applied to how it could be spent. This was not just about financial probity this extended to the “themes” of each funding programme policy and the additional requirements to meet specific programme objectives and outcomes.

These objectives included:

  • The Sustainable Circular Economy
  • The EU Green Deal
  • The Green Economy
  • Green Resilience
  • Nature Based solutions
  • Zero Carbon 15 minutes cities

It seemed as each session progressed the speakers vied with each other to reference or mention as many of these themes in their presentation as possible including input from a Finn who said, to gasps of horror, “Build back better is no more; we should now use build better forward,” for which he was applauded.

Only bids for funding that supported all these objectives would be considered; there was then a break for coffee. Over coffee the Ukrainians started to ponder the challenge of both the changes required to Ukrainian law and the legal framework and policies that would have to be developed and implemented to ensure all funded reconstruction complied; one confided to me that the changes could take a long time to be put into Ukrainian law let alone implemented within ‘projects’.

The rest of the day was taken up with examples of sustainable reconstruction presented by enthusiastic EU apparatchiks; I won’t go into great detail on these but I will mention a few examples that caused me to raise an eyebrow.

The first example presented focussed on the dangers of rainwater; apparently it is a huge threat and dealing with it must be considered in any project. It seems that digging out drains and laying pipes to remove water from an area is not green as it requires excavation using machines and using resources to manufacture the pipes. The solution is to manually dig and maintain ditches that carry the water away. A crazed EU apparatchik from Ireland presented a segment where she explained she had obtained EU funding to use “interpretive theatre” to raise awareness about the dangers of rainwater and I started to wonder if ditch digging and acting were some of the “well-paid green jobs”, we are all told the green revolution will bring.

Another example focused on the sustainable local circular economy; it involved the use of crushed bricks to make tiles. Apparently, the new green economy will prohibit the transport of raw materials for building that require substantial amounts of energy to process them into something useable or even to transport them more than a short distance. An EU apparatchik from Italy showcased a project where reclaimed bricks are crushed locally and used to manufacture tiles. It was not clear how much energy or CO2 was saved but these locally produced ersatz tiles only cost 25% more than brand new tiles and were part of a green future. She did acknowledge that in Ukraine there were potential dangers with rubble that could contain UXB munitions and that care would have to be exercised. Again, I imagined that retrieving these munitions from mounds of rubble was more of the well-paid green jobs to be found in the green economy.

After a coffee break the session continued, the DG who introduced the session mentioned she had been given a personal message from Ms von der Leyen to convey to the conference; Ms von der Leyen wished to reassure the Ukrainians that “money was not an object and that funds to rebuild Ukraine would be assured”. This led to a number of the EU apparatchiks breaking into applause whilst excitedly looking around the room to see who else had joined in clapping.

Novak and Goode, Going Postal
Ursula von der Leyen.
Ursula von der Leyen,
Licence CC BY-SA 3.0

The next presentation was given by a scruffy sweaty Flem who gave details of a project under his control. In one of the Flemish cities, he was responsible for projects that cut energy consumption which he considered an essential task. He admitted it was not an easy job; luckily there was a group of citizens who would do as they were told and would happily “invest” in EVs, heat pumps, insulation and so on and he saw that issuing grants at a good intensity was a “fair reward” for these planet conscious citizens.

He went on to lament however that it was clear there were also those householders who would not do as they were asked and for these he said, licking his lips, life would become more difficult and he was working on methods to firstly coerce and secondly punish non-compliance.

The more he spoke the more excited he became; over time he explained, the grants would be reduced and finally eliminated; rubbing his sweaty palms he went on to say the step after this would be house passports and that these would only be issued to conforming households. Without a passport a house could not be rented or sold and ultimately, he hoped to be able to force householders to make the alterations; alongside that, each house would be allocated a total annual energy usage amount of about 40% of that currently available. By now he had become manic and even more sweaty and with a rising voice he explained that ultimately the municipality would take over the properties that did not comply.

Watching this I felt he was making his pitch to become the next Reichkommissar fur das Ostland and that he already planning to implement these new found powers in the East. However, it seemed he had peaked and slumped back into his chair. It was then Q&A time and he was asked what would happen to buildings that did not or could not meet his standards, he snapped back to life responding they would be confiscated or demolished, “Even heritage buildings?” asked the questioner; “Yes”, he replied although he relented, “Perhaps one or two of special significance might be exempted.” With that it was time for more coffee and cake.

There was then a wrap-up session and the day was over. As I was leaving, I found the Ukrainians outside smoking and the journalist waved to me to join them. The mood within the Ukrainian caucus was shifting from happiness through to puzzlement. “Do they realise how difficult it will be to adopt all these measures and laws?” she asked me, “Do they know how long this will take and that we will be fighting the ministries all the way for the money and control of the projects?” It was clear that reality was starting to dawn.

I explained to her and her colleagues that the people from the EU were perfectly serious about everything they had said about how Ukraine will need to alter massively if it is to be assisted. “Did you see how they reacted when von der Leyen’s name was mentioned? It was like the reaction given to Goebbels by the audience to his “Totaler Krieg” speech at the Berlin Sportpalast in 1943 when he asked if they wanted total war. They are fully invested in all the concepts and ideas presented,” I continued; “In private one or two may speak of doubts but in order to keep their well-paid positions they have, at least in public, to appear fully committed and enthusiastic to deliver projects even if they are worthless.”

“Do you really think they intend to change us and our society so much?” asked the journalist. I replied, “You have seen what the guy from Flanders was like, implementing green policies is something he is fully committed to, however for him the idea of driving societal change and having control was a bonus that gives him wet dreams and remember all this green stuff is just the tip of the iceberg, you will have to adopt 1,000s of new laws and regulations when you join the EU.” By now the Ukrainians were silent. As I turned to leave the journalist said, “We have had years of Soviet control and now we have Zelensky, we know what totalitarianism tastes like and these EU plans are no different, only it is a different type of gulag we will be marching into, see you tomorrow Linas.”

On the way to the conference the following morning I was feeling sorry for the Ukrainians given how they had been the day before; however, I knew the next two days would be difficult but in a different way. The two days were themed as “business”; in reality this meant that the various spivs and chancers that make bids for EU programme funding would be there desperately seeking to sign Ukrainian municipalities up to whatever scam programme they were peddling.

It works like this; the programmes such as LIFE, HORIZON etc all have programme cycles within the seven-year EU budget. All these programmes have defined themes, for example LIFE is mostly green and climate scam-related technologies/processes. The EU DGs will determine the themes and then publish a call for bids against that theme in a process managed by the EU apparatchiks. Bids will then be made by “partnership groups” (typically business, universities and municipalities; the programme spivs) usually from at least three member states to deliver a project. This can be anything from proof of concept through to commercialisation of an idea although very few projects ever get commercialised. There can be multiple programme calls over the seven-year cycle, the EU apparatchiks sit on programme boards to filter and select the projects from those who apply.

If successful, the lead partner then creates a management and admin team (salaries funded by the bid) and joins a cluster of similar projects. They then sign up lesser partners such as municipalities and utilise a proportion of funds on salaries, travel, meetings and running conferences to develop their projects. They can spend awarded money within their own companies or partners/institutions. Bids can be made for several millions of Euros and provide a very nice living to those who get their hands on the cash as pay rates are determined by the EU and can be many hundreds of Euros a day for a “specialist”.

The main objective over the life of the programme is to spend all the allocated funds, outcomes and success are secondary; failure does not preclude you from bidding to have another programme. Across the EU there are many tens of thousands of chancers seeking to join programmes to develop and operate projects and many individuals hold posts across multiple projects. There have previously been what are known as “neighbourhood” projects in Ukraine but by and large, it is untouched and therefore very attractive for those who make a living from EU programmes.

When I got to the conference it was clear there were now at least another 100 participants. On the way to my seat, I was accosted twice by different individuals wanting to know if I represented a municipality. The session was opened by a UK EU Quisling DG who welcomed everyone and went on to say that the forthcoming sessions were very important as President von der Leyen saw the EU Green deal as her “legacy” and that he had been asked to convey the message that “money was to be no object in delivering a green economy in Ukraine.” Again, the EU apparatchiks (and some of the spivs) applauded with one or two of the apparatchiks going into rapture. He went on to mention that although the UK had left the EU, he was grateful that it was still tied to the EU Green Deal via the Brexit withdrawal agreement. I turned to Arturas and said, “Wir danken unserm Führerin”; he grinned and said what is it with you Brits and the Germans? That was 80 years ago or more” The rest of the day then focussed largely on “green technologies” (either new or under development) that could be used to reconstruct Ukrainian houses and towns.

Given that lengthy transport of building materials was to be forbidden under the New Green Deal local reclaimed materials would be used. Where there was timber, energy-efficient timber structures might be built. In agricultural areas, well, agricultural materials would be used and so on. Also, priority was to be given to recycling war debris and materials from damaged buildings.

Much to the horror of the Ukrainians a picture was flashed up onto the screen of a single-storey house made of compressed straw bales fitted with reclaimed UPVC windows and timber doors taken from destroyed houses. More pictures were shown of single-storey buildings made of compressed earth blocks (the weight of the blocks limits them to one storey and only allows for small windows).

Apparently, many of the well-paid green jobs would be for those who reclaimed doors and windows from damaged buildings and who then dug ditches and turned earth into compressed blocks. There were also to be numerous well-paid green jobs for those involved in sorting and grading rubble, again taking care to avoid UE munitions and also to separate out any human remains; in short Ukraine would become a devil’s kitchen and playground for the worst excesses of fantasy and experimental green “technologies”. Little was to be repaired. The focus was on building new “green” dwellings using processed rubble and materials all powered by renewables; “green reconstruction” in reality means primitive houses with no reliable power supply.

Alongside this, towns would not be rebuilt along existing lines, they would be “reformed” to create 15-minute cities. It was then time for coffee and cake, once outside the hall the programme spivs descended like wolves upon the Ukrainians asking for time slots to pitch their pet projects.

The final session of the day presented “successful” projects; I will only give one example to show the extent of the greenscam and this is a project funded to the tune of several million Euros via the EU LIFE programme. A company had produced research to show that building sites are noisy places with filthy air quality and that the air quality is degraded by the number of on-site generators used to power tools and equipment. The spokesman for the company went on to say that “hundreds of thousands of people die each year due to poor air quality” to my surprise this was not challenged and I even noticed an EU apparatchik nodding in agreement.

His company however had come up with a solution to this problem, they would replace all diesel generators on a building site with battery packs of various sizes. They bid for a few million Euros to make a project and were successful; the battery packs were manufactured outside of the EU so were carbon zero in their production, they were fuelled (charged) using power generated off-site so were emission-free and the whole thing was classified as zero carbon. This slight of hand was so successful in pointing to illusory carbon savings due to how the metrics are calculated and an improvement in air quality on-site, they have been awarded millions more Euros for further development, there is no CO2 saving it has merely been displaced elsewhere.

It was then I decided I would not attend the dinner reception later that evening, I had seen enough; I did not want to spend the evening fending off the spivs; it was also depressing to see how much of von der Leyen’s “legacy” Green Deal had been scooped up and repeated verbatim within the arms of the UK Uniparty Green Visions that are being espoused in the UK, even the “well-paid green jobs” mantra was word for word. As I left to go back to my hotel, I noticed the Ukrainians were once again in the smoking area and I was waved over to join them.

My journalist friend said that many of the Ukrainians were leaving very first thing in the morning as they were in no position to consider any agreements with the programme spivs whilst the war was ongoing. In addition, all the Ukrainians had driven to Vilnius via Poland (the war precluded flights or the more direct route via Belarus); given it was now snowing and that the average wait time to get through the Polish/Ukrainian border checkpoint was around 24 hours (with a drive of at least eight to nine hours to the Kiev area) they might have a chance to be home on Saturday afternoon. She said those who were staying into the weekend or visiting friends in LT would attend the sessions and industrial demonstrations and would therefore remain until the conference closed so that a mass desertion was not too evident.

I explained that I was skipping the formal dinner and was going to spend the evening at my favourite wine bar, she said the Ukrainians would all be at the dinner because as Ukrainian municipal workers their wages would not stand the expense of dining out in Vilnius. I wished her and her colleagues well and asked for their predictions for the future in Ukraine, no one would say anything. I turned and started to walk back inside to order a cab, as I got near the entrance the journalist caught up with me, she grinned and said, “I told you no one would talk”. She then smiled and said, “The war will finish sometime in 2024, as soon as it does the military will march on Kiev and hang Zelensky from a lamppost as he and the government have stolen so much of the money and arms given, so little of it has gone to where it is needed.” She kissed me on the cheek, grinned, said, “Pahkah (пока) Linas,” turned and left, I went inside.

The following morning, I arrived at the conference. Compared to the previous days the lobby was virtually deserted and the pastries and coffees lay on the tables mostly untouched. A number of the EU apparatchiks remained; however, the programme spivs were out in force desperately seeking out anyone they suspected was a Ukrainian. The morning sessions were in breakout rooms and one-to-ones were occurring around the lobby. However, at lunch it became evident how few people were left for the afternoon excursions to recycling projects; over lunch I was asked three times by different coordinators which excursion I was joining. As I was finishing my coffee, I saw two large executive coaches sweep into the hotel car park, there were barely enough delegates remaining to half fill one and I headed out of the lobby. At the door a coordinator directed me towards one of the coaches, I indicated towards the smoking shelter and said, “Back in a moment.” I waited until the coaches had left and went inside to book a cab and sent a text to Linas saying, “Meet in one hour.”


Linas was late, I was already on my second glass of wine when he arrived muttering about the Friday rush hour traffic, “Here you are,” he said, “Relaxing and drinking on my money I suppose.” “My dear Linas, don’t make a twat of yourself,” I replied”; I explained how the day had gone and the programme, I could see he was uncomfortable, reaching into my briefcase I pulled out a thick bundle of the business cards I had collected over the four days, “Here you are,” I said, “These are what you wanted, I will send you an engagement plan, a draft letter and a report along with my fee note on Monday.” Linas flicked through the cards and smiled, “What do you think?” he asked, “Do you think I can get some work?”

I explained to him about the sums of money that were being pledged by von der Leyen and he leaned forward, I then explained how there would be a fight between Ukrainian central government and municipalities over usage and control of the funding and before any of that can occur legal frameworks will have to be put in place, “And then there is the political situation to consider,” I said. I gave him an outline of what the Ukrainians had said and emphasised that things could be very different once the war ends.

I could see he was thinking hard. “However,” I said, “There is some good news, some of the initial 50bn Euros will be spent or at least allocated before the war ends and infrastructure and temporary buildings, kindergartens and similar are the most likely areas. You have products in this sector so you must keep in contact with all those I found for you, they are all interested, all of them are expecting contact from you I suggest you employ a Ukrainian refugee to manage contact and comms for you. Make it clear you are not a programme spiv but an infrastructure company with a range of environmentally friendly solutions that are past the development stage and with accreditations and reference sites already built; put them onto a mailing list sending updates about your range of products and projects you complete.”

Linas asked, “What about the programmes?” I explained the cult-like nature of the EU apparatchiks and how each time the name of von der Leyen was mentioned the EU goons went into rapture. I also explained if he went down that route he would have to wholeheartedly accept and acknowledge the greenscam bollocks. I continued, “There is no harm looking at programmes but you will always be a minor partner, the spivs will keep as much of the funding as they can and invent tasks relating to developing, checking and analysing the work you do so they can claim funding; for every Euro you are offered they will be earning at least ten.”

Linas replied, “I know these things often create delays as they work to their agendas.” “Look,” I said, “There is no harm in hearing them out but always ask for considerably more than they will offer and consider the risk to your work, if you want me to look at anything you are offered send it over, I will not charge you for an opinion”. Linas seemed to relax and leant back into his chair. “What did you think of it, the conference I mean?” he asked. I replied, “It was thoroughly dystopian and centred on sacrificing individual freedoms and lifestyles at the altar of Green. Actually, Linas, it put me in mind of another conference that was held some 80 years ago to discuss the fate of subjugated people in Central Europe”. Linas asked, “Do you mean Yalta?”; “No, Wannsee,” I replied. Linas crinkled his brow; the reference was lost on him.

© Novak and Goode 2024