A solution to the pension problem

Posted: November 2, 2011 in Historical, Russia

With the ongoing court case over changes in public sector pensions I could not help laughing out loud at a passage in The Cleansing Flames by R.N.Morris. Once again crime fiction is at the cutting edge in both social commentary and finding solutions to problems. I would mention that the contrasting magistrates Porfiry and Virginsky in the St Petersburg mystery series remind me of Morse and Lewis, and Dalziel and Pascoe. There can’t be much higher praise.  

‘Are you the owner of the house?’ demanded Salytov sceptically. ‘I am.’ ‘The retired Arab?’ ‘That is correct.’ 

‘You do not look like an Arab. Your skin is whiter than mine.’ ‘I am not an Arab by race. But I am one officially, you see.’

‘No, I do not see. Some kind of fraud has been perpetrated here, I’ll warrant.’

‘No fraud. My transformation to Arabhood was sanctioned by the authorities. I went through the proper channels. It was my wife’s idea. She heard that Arabs retired from the service with twice the pension of ordinary Russians. “Ask them if you can retire as an Arab,” she said. And so I did. I put forward a petition, stating my reasons-‘

‘Reasons? What reasons could you possibly have?’

‘Well my main reason was that I could do with the extra money.’  

  1. Maxine says:

    Aha, tell that to the bankers! Or rather, don’t!

  2. Rob says:

    Is this worth a go, Norm? I’ve been thinking of buying, but might browse first. Rob

  3. Norman says:

    I think you would enjoy it Rob.I haven’t quite finished it yet as I am rather busy with other matters.

  4. kathy d. says:

    Ha ha! That got a laugh out loud from me. Sounds like a good reason for all of us.
    Is this book contemporary or historical?

  5. Norman says:

    Kathy, it is set in Russia in 1872, my review will be up in a few days.

  6. kathy d. says:

    I wonder if this is true and if so, why it happened. Or if it’s in the writer’s imagination.

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