"He is the Napoleon of crime, Watson. He is the organizer of half that is evil and of nearly all that is undetected in this great city. He is a genius, a philosopher, an abstract thinker. He has a brain of the first order. He sits motionless, like a spider in the center of its web, but that web has a thousand radiations, and he knows well every quiver of each of them."
Boris Abramovich Berezovsky, the slippery and balding Armand Assante lookalike around whom London's Russian emigre political activist circles seem to pivot, might not quite be a Napoleon of crime - that would suggest the nekulturny turd possesses a measure of sophistication he doesn't seem to have - but he does share something in common with Professor Moriarty; both their careers show what happens when mathematicians go bad.
Baldy's remarks of yesterday that he was 'plotting a new Russian revolution' have been greeted with a measure of hysteria they don't deserve. Although both Russian and British police investigations into the Bawheid Boyar are welcome - one would be grateful to pay income tax for no purpose other than ensuring that MI5 are crawling up his orifices every hour of the day and night - they've been around this block before; he stated precisely the same intention in January 2006.
In those days, of course, Simon Heffer was more than happy to jump to Baldy's defence - and the same insane Putinophobia that's characterised The Daily Telegraph's reporting of Russian affairs for two years cannot help it from sort of, almost, kind of cheering Baldy on.
What do they have to say of Akmad Zakayev, one of Baldy's other pensioners and the father of The Great Big 'Alexander Litvinenko Died A Muslim' Lie? Don't they ever note, or have they ever known, that Zakayev eulogised Shamil Basayev - the perpetrator of the Beslan school massacre?
That's right, folks. When the Russians finally iced Basayev in July 2006, Zakayev was quoted as saying,
"There is simply no justification for what happened in the school and I know that Shamil Basayev regretted it in his heart and soul...Yet I do not believe that history will remember Shamil Basayev primarily for Beslan, but for his 15-year fight against Russian occupation."
Zakayev is a Chechen Gerry Adams - and one Gerry Adams is more than enough for any one country, thanks.
Zakayev and Berezovsky represent everything that is wrong with Britain's asylum system. The country from which they have come is imperfect, God knows; yet merely because Berezovsky, one of history's most accomplished thieves, has got a lot of money, and has policy goals broadly similar to those of our government, he is able to come and do what he wants here when he wants here - even, he thinks, up to and including agitating and overthrowing the government of what is still, for the time being, a friendly foreign power (though given the British Ambassador to Russia's cloddishness, for how long that will stay the case remains to be seen).
Berezovsky is more a Napoleon of slime than a Napoleon of crime - and his continued residence in this country makes us all dirty.