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This is a photo of a rather nice little four inch bust of Joe Stalin which now sits on my desk. Amazingly enough the bronze is not something from the 1950s, but was made just a few months ago and in Ukraine to boot.
It was given to me last month by a friend of mine in London who has a Ukrainian girlfriend. The lady was under strict instructions to bring over a couple of these bronzes on her last trip and that she duly did.
Funnily enough I was in Birmingham of all God forsaken shitholes and I fell to talking with a Russian labourer that I met in some pub or other. I mentioned my Uncle Joe bust and his eyes lit up with glee. If only the great pipesman was still in charge, he reckoned, then everything would be sweet. At the very least he would not be working in a foreign country.
Is Stalin about to come in for some reappraisal, I wondered? According to my drinking companion, the man has always been a hero to ordinary Russians, so no reappraisal is needed.
I don't know how true that is as a general statement, but he seemed to believe it. And I rather like my bronze statuette of Uncle Joe.