Another interesting debate tonight – this one was The West is provoking a new Cold War with Russia.

Two interesting things from this one. The first being that I abstained in the vote – the issue was far too complicated for me to make a decision on so little information. It seems that most people in the room voted again on the best speakers rather than on the facts of the date. Annie quite rightly says that from one point of view that is the point of a debate anyway.

The other point was an interesting 5 second aside that some said about the price of oil. They said that Weimar Republic started off with nationalistic tendencies following on from the German loss in the first world war but it was the associated economic collapse that lead to the rise of Hitler. After Russia lost the Cold War very similar nationalistic feelings arose and are still very present today. However, due to the very high current price of oil the Russian economy is just about holding together. A conspiracy theorist may say that the whole Iraq invasion may have been a chess move looking two steps ahead with a purpose of keeping Russia on a sane course. Myself I doubt that it was the primary reason but it seems likely that the American administration saw it as a happy bi-product…