Yesterday, Mrs Paine and I ran an errand in town and then walked through Red Square in the afternoon dusk to our favourite place to eat and drink. I took a few photos with my Christmas present to myself and I thought you might like to see them. The building is the GUM department store, which Mrs Paine's mother (then an ardent leftist on a "friendship tour" of Moscow) remembers seeing "stocked" with cardboard cut-outs of non-existent products. Now it is not only well-stocked, but also beautifully illuminated for the Russian Orthodox Christmas and the New Year.
The statue is, of course, mankind's greatest foe to date (although Al Gore seems keen to give him a run for his money). Near Red Square stands this effigy of the German charlie whose bizarre and now (except in Britain) discredited ideas led to the deaths of tens of millions, the imprisonment of tens of millions more and the impoverishment of hundreds of millions in the Twentieth Century. Marx has few friends in Russia these days, but his statue remains because he was so much part of the history of the Soviet Union, which whether or not is is to be regretted, is certainly not to be denied.