Cyprus Mail
OpinionTales from the Coffeeshop

Tales from the Coffeeshop: Fat bum and a moderate lifestyle? You could be suitable to run AKEL

Comrade role model at the National Council this week, although he didn't look too happy to be there

COMRADE Tof, who heroically refuses to stay out of the limelight for too long, has made a few public appearances this month, in Kyproulla and Mother Russia, reminding us how boring and uninspiring political life has been without him around.

A couple of weeks ago he was a guest speaker at the Second International Forum of the State Institute of International Relations in Moscow at which he made a long speech lavishly praising the Soviet Union for its big contribution to his intellectual development. There was not a hint of irony in his words.

“I must say, as a political person, I owe everything to the Soviet Union, which equipped me with the lights and dialectical knowledge that came from the Institute of Social Studies, as well as from the Academy of Social Studies of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.”

So do not blame the comrade with the ample bum for the mess we are in today; blame the Academy of Social Studies of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union for teaching him dialectical knowledge instead of a few basic things about how an economy works.

There is no space to go into the rest of his paean to the Soviet Union, but we hope to give it more extensive coverage when we are short of things to write about and are feeling nostalgic for his dialectical knowledge and wisdom.

WHILE this speech was ignored by the media, his interview on Mega TV last Thursday, was given extensive coverage by the newspapers, because he revealed why he considered Nicos Katsourides unfit to have become the AKEL chief when the leadership was up for grabs.
In so doing he revealed the puritanical values embraced by our unreconstructed communists.

According to Tof, who portrayed himself as the perfect role model for all prospective AKEL leaders, Kats scored zero in the Puritanism test, often displaying a weakness for the decadent bourgeois lifestyle.

10406780_10204906572204979_1708973224128854882_n“Did you ever see me sitting in a public place drinking whisky with others?” he asked the interviewer referring to Kats’ immoral habit of sitting in the Hilton Hotel lobby downing Scotch and smoking a fat Cuban cigar (before the smoking ban) in the company of wealthy members of the Nicosia bourgeoisie.

Asked by the interviewer if this were a bad thing, the morally superior comrade snapped back: “For Akelites it is a bad thing; they should drink at home.” He said Akelites “want their leader to be an example,” again citing himself as the perfect example of commie leader. “Did you ever see me indulging in luxury?”

And Kats was also a bit lazy. “It is also a matter of daily work and how much you sweat on the chair, it is your way of life which for workers matter very much.” This was a bit disingenuous because if you have a fat bum you sweat on the chair even if you are doing no work at all. And Kats’ backside is as ample as comrade role-model’s.

IN SHORT, you can be the biggest idiot in the world, but as long you have a big bum that helps you sweat in your chair, do not indulge in luxury living and do not drink Scotch in public you can be the leader of AKEL. At no point did he mention a tiny bit of intelligence as a requirement for the AKEL chief.

He illustrated this point during the TV interview when he revealed that he disagreed with the way AKEL had handled Stavros Malas’ campaign in the last presidential elections. The party was wrong not to project “the very significant work that was done during my administration on all levels, even if the theft by the banks led things to where they are now.”

Should we ask on what level the blowing up of the power station was?

THE COUNTRY has become a much livelier place since the Barbaros entered our EEZ accompanied by a couple of warships last Monday. We just love a small and harmless Turkey-provoked crisis that enables us to demand attention from the international community and allows our politicians and hacks to go on the moral offensive.

The papers do their best to exaggerate the problem. “The waters in the Cyprus EEZ boiling,” warned the Simerini banner headline on Monday, the day on which Barbaros was to start its survey. Sigmalive website had a live stream from a website that follows the movements of all ships, showing the whereabouts of the Turkish ship at any given moment.

The next day Phil tried to outdo its rival with a headline about “the new invasion”, but on Wednesday Simerini hit back with the inspired “Turkish occupation of our seas as well.”

MORE worrying than the headlines was the two-day National Council meeting to discuss the measures that would incur a cost on Turkey for its provocative actions. And there is nothing scarier than hearing the party leaders praise the unity and harmony that prevailed at the meeting, because it meant the lunatics had taken control.

It was disappointing to see no mention of Mother Russia or Vladimir Putin in any of the eight measures, especially after Prez Nik’s two-hour meeting with Vlad in Milan and the arrival of the Russian warships in the Mediterranean for exercises on the day the Barbaros started its provocations which, as our government spokesman insisted, was no coincidence.

It was also no coincidence that the Russian warships did not go anywhere near the Turkish ship because they were in the Mediterranean for a military exercise and not to protect Kyproulla’s EEZ as many idiots had been claiming.

THE BIG test was at the Thursday-Friday European Council at which our Prez would have tried to secure the strongest possible condemnation of Turkey’s actions in line with the National Council’s decision.

We suffered a big setback when he fell ill, but Greece’s PM Antonis Samaras represented him and got a statement urging Turkey to show restraint and respect Cyprus’ sovereignty and EEZ. Don’t know if it was a good or bad statement – that is for our many experts to decide – but the spokesman liked it, as these “conclusions will help put pressure on Turkey to resume negotiations without threats and intimidation.”

In the unlikely event the conclusions pressure the Turks to return to negotiations who will pressure Prez Nik to return now that he is talking like Ethnarch Tassos and has the unanimous backing of the National Council. Last Sunday he declared: “I want to convey in every direction that I will not give in to admonitions and suggestions for a return to a dialogue of the deaf.”

SPOKESMAN Nicos Christodoulides borrowed a phrase from economics to explain the reasoning behind the government’s counter-measures. He kept repeating all week that our measures would exploit the ‘comparative advantage’ of Cyprus in relation to Turkey, such as our EU membership.

‘Comparative advantage’ is used in economic theory with regard to the potential gains from free trade. If we were engaged in trade with the Turks its use would have been understandable, but when it comes to power relations between countries in dispute over land or sea we tick all the boxes of not just comparative, but absolute disadvantage.

Crystal at the House, where she told MPs we should not flagellate ourselves
Crystal at the House, where she told MPs we should not flagellate ourselves

GOVERNOR of the Central Bank Crystal Georghadji showed the self-serving smugness of all the overpaid inadequates that make up our parasitic nomenclature when she went to the House ethics committee last week and said “we must not flagellate ourselves”.

The leading parasites do not approve of us being self-critical, because it reflects on them as well. Crystal was commenting about a report in the New York Times that cited minutes from an ECB meeting at which reservations had been expressed about the granting of ELA to Laiki; there were also accusations that Laiki had inflated, by more than a billion euro, the value of its assets used as collateral for ELA.

Crystal also urged deputies not to believe the foreign press about ELA, resorting to the traditional xenophobia that members of the nomenclature use when they do not know what to say. It is this foreign press that had been reporting there would be a bail-in of deposits in Kyproulla two months before the Eurogroup made its decision and we did not believe it.

The New York Times had referred to the possibility of a bail-in in January 2013.

Crystal might not like flagellating herself, but perhaps someone else should flagellate her for trying to offer protection to her predecessor by claiming foreign hacks were lying.

CRYSTAL should flagellate herself for the sneaky way in which she had a provision of her contract changed before assuming the post of governor, so that her lawyer daughter could carry on representing the former head honcho of Laiki bank Andreas Vgenopoulos in the legal case brought against him by the administrator of Laiki.

The provision she had removed, with the consent of her friend the AG, barred blood relatives of the governor from being involved in any business or profession that had dealings with the Central Bank. The blatant conflict of interest she is guilty of – the administrator of Laiki is answerable to the governor – is not in violation of her contract, so legally she is covered.

Deputies of the House ethics committee were to discuss this matter, but put it off because the AG did not bother attending the meeting. They wanted the AG to tell them there was a conflict of interest, as they would not dare say so themselves. They had the self-awareness of what people in glass houses should never do.

THERE WAS an unintended admission of corruption by the president of the Cyprus Football Association, Costakis Koutsokoumnis when talking about a dispute he had with Anorthosis football club. Speaking on Radio Proto, Koutsokoumnis said that the CFA did a favour in not deducting six points from Anorthosis, as it should have done, because the club had not satisfied the financial criteria of UEFA.

He said: “We did not deduct six points in March, because of the UEFA criteria, because Anorthosis signed a television contract with the CFA and took an advance. But when the club signed a contract with another provider as well, we could have brought back the issue of the criteria and deducted the points. It was afforded favourable treatment. We helped Anorthosis.”

And if anyone accuses Koutsokoumnis of not implementing the UEFA criteria, we would refer them to Crystal’s wise advice – we must not flagellate ourselves.

COULD you believe it? The presidency of the Russian Federation issued an official announcement of all the meetings President Putin had while he was in Milan and it did not mention the long meeting he had over dinner with Prez Nik, which our government made a big song and dance about.

Two leaders being sat next to each other at the dinner table – probably because no other leader wanted to sit next to Vlad – obviously did not count as an official meeting for the Russians. It did for our government which even issued an announcement informing us what Putin had told Nik.

Interestingly, when our spokesman was asked yesterday whether there had been a row at the European summit between Samaras and British PM David Cameron over the wording of the conclusions about the Cyprus EEZ, he haughtily replied that he did not comment about what was said between leaders at meetings behind closed doors.

Well, only a week earlier he was commenting on what Vlad had told Nik at the dinner table, behind closed doors.

WE ARE continuing our weekly item, featuring the obsequious reports Phil carried about the Soviet Union in days gone by, by popular demand (one reader said she liked it). On October 20, 1964 the Makarios mouthpiece wrote:

“The foreign policy of the Soviet Union remains unchanged, Leonid Brezhnev declared yesterday. The change of guard in the Kremlin, with the removal of Nikita Khrushchev from power, had caused concern in Cyprus. Until then, the Soviet Union constituted the main support of Cyprus and Makarios used it as the counter-veiling force to avert a possible Turkish invasion.”

The paper not only worshipped the Soviet Union it also attacked Soviet foes happily repeating Kremlin’s official rhetoric. On October 24, 1964, it had a report from the UK, which said: “The English conspiracy remains unchanged. The imperialists insist on a NATO solution; they rule out Enosis, demand bases and the stationing of Turkish troops in these.”

“The new plot”, according to Phil’s correspondent “aims at the NATOfication of Cyprus and its transformation into a nuclear base.”

These reports were as reliable as the Soviet propaganda organ’s claims, in the same period, that “Soviet warships, equipped with missiles had sailed into the Mediterranean to repel any attack against Cyprus and that “Soviet paratroopers were ready for immediate action.”

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