Get Your Own Fire Bucket

Just a bit of reasonable stridency from the Guardian’s editorial page:

In an off-the-record briefing to a visiting group of foreign academics and journalists this week, a senior official of the Russian government spoke in tones verging on contempt about the victims of the forest fires that ravaged central Russia this summer. He argued that there had never been a proper fire service in the forests around Moscow and that everyone who lived there knew it. For every hero in the fire service who sacrificed his life for others, there were a hundred others who never pitched up. But rather than accept the collective responsibility for failing as a government to organise a functioning fire service, he drew the opposite conclusion. He said it was up to each owner to have their own fire bucket. Why should the state help those who could not, or would not, help themselves? The narod are mugs.

As chilling as these comments are, they nevertheless represent an attitude prevalent in the elite around Vladimir Putin who run Russia.