Long Shot

In 1978, an episode of The Professionals concluded with an aeroplane carrying an international terrorist being diverted to a hostile Arab nation after one of the passengers had faked a coronary.

We can hardly now take the moral high ground with Belarus, because this ruse was conceived by one of our own, George Cowley.

It was a classic episode – Long Shot – starring Roger Lloyd Pack, the actor who played Trigger in Only Fools and Horses.

Long shot, Trigger… I love it when everything comes together neatly like that.

Most titillatingly, we can now rub our hands with anticipation at possible further re-enactments of CI5’s most potent adventures.

My personal favourite was the one when Bodie was framed for an assassination of an East German diplomat after spooks had finessed his prints onto a rifle butt at an amusement arcade.

I’m already warming to the concept of Guy Verhofstadt being stiffed for the world-record 1,700-mile headshot that takes out Priti Patel.

Those who assert that Putin and the gang are nostalgic about the Soviet era have now been proved right, and we should indeed congratulate these shadowy operators on their willingness to extend their capers to incorporate a cultural as well as a political revival.

Anyway, notwithstanding the possibility that the bomb threat was genuine and that the rogue blogger was fortuitously nicked, what will the EU end up doing about this? An EU plane creatively hijacked during a journey between two EU states would appear to be a reasonably serious incursion.

But then consider the number of people that the Russian state has been bumping off within the EU for many years, together with the bumper gas and economic tie-ups between Moscow and Brussels, and we will likely reach the conclusion that this one is going to fade away quicker that this blogger’s adulthood.

Even at the heightened frenzy about Navalny (remember him because nobody else seems to?), Von der Liar was signing COVID vaccine deals with Russia.

So what will now ensue?

It’s not been great publicity for the airline, but in terms of the ‘why my experience with Ryanair was shite’ hit parade is concerned, this dissident guy probably hasn’t broken into the top 10.

However, that might change when he ends up having to pay extra for his arrest and subsequent imprisonment.

All the European, political tyre-kickers are deeming this action unacceptable, but that’s precisely what it is. The EU and every bleating nation will accept it because they have no other choice.

Meaningful action is not even a long shot, because nobody has anywhere near the required range or the inclination to take it.

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