Neil Barnett

We don’t need this annual outburst of pipeline politics

The Kremlin wants Western Europe to be dependent on Russian gas, says Neil Barnett, but that doesn’t have to happen if the EU is prepared — for once — to show leadership The annual New Year gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine assumed particularly menacing proportions this year, being longer than usual and coming in

King coal prepares for a comeback

Neil Barnett says the miners’ union that took on Margaret Thatcher and lost is now talking surprisingly good sense about Britain’s future energy security The National Union of Mineworkers’ headquarters in Barnsley has a splendid retro feel. In the assembly hall hang banners celebrating the struggles of the working class: from one of them, Arthur

Tantamount to financial terrorism

You sport a huge beard and a towel on your head and in the name of Allah you try to bring down the computer infrastructure on which the world depends. You are, in contemporary argot, a ‘cyber-terrorist’. You wear a button-down shirt and chinos, and in the name of turning a profit you deliberately set

Putin’s game in European energy: divide and conquer

Vladimir Putin’s efforts to divide the West may be on the back foot now that Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel have decided to stop being beastly to the Americans, but his most effective attack dog — Gazprom — is gleefully setting EU countries against each other. For governments fixated on more immediate threats such as

‘Remember Trotsky!’

Neil Barnett recalls his encounters with the poisoned spy who has had the bearing of a marked man for years. The Russian intelligence services, Litvinenko told him, are purely political organisations, whose only purpose is to shore up Putin’s power The hotel off a main square in a central European capital was a seedy, low-budget

Catch me if you can

Will Osama and Saddam ever be found? If they fare as well as the Bosnian Serb mass murderers Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, perhaps not. In July the desperate duo celebrated eight years on the run from indictments by The Hague Tribunal, and the smart money has them at large a while longer. Mladic seems