Cyprus Mail
Opinion Tales from the Coffeeshop

Tales from the coffeeshop: Showdown of the supersize egos

ANGER and outrage at the downing of a Russian warplane by the Turks gave way to national pride on the sunshine isle as Mother Russia hit back and turned the screw on Ankara with a host of retaliatory measures. Everyone enjoyed seeing Turkey lose its trademark arrogance, experiencing the type of bullying it regularly subjected us to.

We stopped short of bringing out the Russian flags, only because there were none available in the shops, but the newspaper headlines said it all. “Russia grinds its teeth at Turkey,” said Alithia while Simerini identified a “War fever between Russia and Turkey.” Phil’s unfunny cartoonist drew the Russian bear lording it over a tiny, terrified puppy on two consecutive days.
The parties also joined in the fun, angrily denouncing the shooting down of the plane and using the incident to indulge in the traditional NATO-bashing and bad-mouthing of the unprincipled West which backed Turkey’s act of aggression. Our principled parties and column writers were in shock because Western countries stood by their ally Turkey, when it was so blatantly in the wrong.
They forgot we did exactly the same when mother Russia invaded, occupied and annexed a big chunk of the Ukraine, not that our stance was noticed by anyone. We did not condemn it – our president publicly defended Putin’s expansionism – even though it ranked much higher in the league table of acts of aggression and caused much more human suffering than the shooting down of a single plane, because we consider Mother Russia our ally.

GREEK Orthodox fundamentalists were praying Turkey’s provocation would lead to the war that Ayios Paisios – the monk recently made a saint and whose biography offered by Simerini sold out a few weeks ago – had predicted in his writings. He forecasted that the “fair race from the north” would liberate Constantinople from the Turks. The internet was full of this nonsense in the last week.
Bash-patriots saw the downing of the plane as another argument against a settlement of the Cyprob. The Alliance of Lillikas urged Prez Nik to seriously re-consider his policies. “Is it with this country he is negotiating the dissolution of the Cyprus Republic and the creation of a partnership state?” it asked.
Hysterical columnist Costakis Antoniou warned of deadly dangers for Cypriot Hellenism. A federation would not be with Turkish Cypriots but with “the Turkmens and the jihadists of Ankara.” Politicians that backed a settlement “would bring the jihadist regime of Turkey in the ranks of Cypriot Hellenism.”
And this is not all. When the bizonal federation was set up, “Cyprus would become a staging post for jihadists, Turkmens and other fanatical Islamist terrorist movements, with the full support of the Turkish state.” We should give Paphos to the Turkmens.

BEING an establishment that has always warmly embraced what the comrades describe as “sterile anti-Akelism” we have to express our unadulterated disgust at hearing the commies give us lessons in human rights and individual freedoms.
These are the guys that worshipped and took orders from one of the world’s most repressive police states – the Soviet Union – which should disqualify them permanently from preaching about human rights. Not in Kyproulla, in which AKEL vociferously campaigned against a bill that would allow the authorities to use electronic correspondence – email and SMS – as evidence in a court case.
It also served a big lie to back its campaign, claiming the law would be used by the state to keep personal records on “unsuspecting citizens”. Such is commie commitment to individual rights that in the AKEL offices nobody dares to speak openly about anything because they know all conversations are being recorded by the party command. But they understand this is for a good cause, as it was in the Soviet Union.

Co=operative spirit: Aristos Damianou
Co-operative spirit: Aristos Damianou

THE REAL reason for the freedom-loving commies’ opposition to the bill, which was approved on Thursday, was revealed by Politis. The bill would allow the Attorney-General to use emails, in the possession of police investigators, that proved AKEL was paid a couple of million by Andreas Vgenopoulos, via Focus Maritime, something the party has vehemently denied. It could also land AKEL’s accountants who arranged the cover-up in a spot of legal bother.
This was why Akelite deputy Aristos Damianou, in a spirit of co-operation, had offered for the party to back the bill on condition that the law would apply to electronic communications sent after it was passed. The comrades did not mind if the state kept files on unsuspecting citizens and violated individual freedoms as long the illiberal law did not apply to old cases. The commies almost fooled us into thinking they cared about individual freedoms.

‘STERILE anti-Akelism’ knows never to take the commies at face value, even on the smallest things. This week it championed the protests by AKEL-controlled student organisations against the government’s plans to tighten the income criteria for grants to university students, so that only the genuinely needy would receive help.
The headline of the relevant report in the party mouthpiece Haravghi was “Students mobilise again and demand dignity.” The fact is they were demanding money not dignity. Call me a reactionary neo-liberal, but I really fail to see any dignity in demanding money from the state like beggars, especially when you consider students from low-income families will carry on receiving their grants. As AKEL has managed to make scrounging from the state a quest for dignity, I will also demand some dignity from the state, preferably in 50-euro notes.

IT IS GOOD to see that a modern type of political correctness has arrived in our backward regional centre. Cyprob and trade union political correctness have existed for decades and their respective, fascistic custodians continue to terrorise those who dare step out of line.
But we never had any of the modern forms of this correctness, equally as insane that blight places like the UK and the US where people now can be crucified on social media by the thought police for expressing an honest opinion about a social issue.
I mention this because last week Patroclos became a target of feminists in the social media for committing the crime of commenting on Dr Eleni Theocharous’ looks. I did not see these comments, because I am not on social media, but a concerned customer informed me about them. There are however two letters in today’s Letters to the Editor, which give an idea of why I should feel deeply ashamed of what I wrote and ask forgiveness of the local thought police.
The general conclusion was that the comments were ‘vile’, ‘sexist’ and a ‘disgrace’; a ‘right on’ male customer described it as ‘misogynist’. I was very disappointed with this reaction as I thought last week’s article would have made me the darling of feminists.
I wrote about a female politician in the same way I have been writing for years about the males of the profession, including making silly comments about their looks. Why am I sexist when I make similar jibes about a woman politician?
I am not complaining because I enjoyed my two minutes of social media notoriety, vilified by holier than thou feminist thought police.

NO CHANCE of Kyproulla’s gays taking the moral high ground and dictating what we are permitted to

Chief gay basher Andreas Themistocleous
Chief gay basher Andreas Themistocleous

write like feminists and the Cyprob fundamentalists have been doing.
Although on Thursday the House approved the bill on civil partnerships (but no adoption of kids permitted) our gays do not yet have the social acceptance and clout to impose moral correctness as gay communities love to do in America and Britain. Kyproulla is still a homophobia-friendly place in which gay-bashing is not unknown.
Reactionary DISY deputy and gay-basher-in-chief Andreas Themistocleous, who has likened homosexuality to bestiality in the past, was still banking on the homophobe vote, vowing, in his speech to the House, to fight against civil partnerships if he was re-elected. The majority of Dikheads, with the exception of Junior and Athina, voted against or abstained, but the bill was passed with a big majority.
Present at the legislature was Alecos Modinos, the man who fought for the de-criminalisation of homosexuality on his own, taking on our repressive, socially backward, Church-dominated society, despite being subjected to abuse and public ridicule. He is a reminder that courage has a personal cost unlike the cheap courage of empty words and career advancement of our manly politicians.
I hope this has endeared me to the gay community which would put in a good word for me in the social media today and counter the nasty abuse of the feminists.

LA THEOCHAROUS was in the news again this week again exchanging insults in the newspapers with former rector of the Cyprus University Stavros Zenios in what could be described as a showdown of the super-sized egos. It was a match made in heaven as Zenios is the equal of Dr Eleni in pomposity, humourlessness and moral superiority.
Unfortunately the exchange, as you would expect, lacked any humour, Zenios taking exception to Dr Eleni’s remark that he was not a worthy replacement of her. He would be in line to take her seat in the European parliament if she stepped down but she could not do this she said because her replacement “did not take even a fifth of the preference votes I received and his political positions are the opposite of mine.”
Zenios’ objection was that Dr Eleni’s maths was poor – he received more than a fifth her preference vote, a point graciously conceded in her response – and that she was being unethical in claiming their political positions were completely different as both supported transparency, horizontal voting, a clean-up of public life etc.

ZENIOS’ rant about ethical behaviour was used by Dr Eleni to promote her moral superiority. She agreed with many of his political positions but not on the number one issue – the Cyprob, on which she wrote there was drastic disagreement.
She wrote self-importantly: “But the people do not send MEPs to the European Parliament to solve problems of horizontal voting. It sends them to defend their country from possible dissolution.” It is the first I hear of the European Parliament threatening the dissolution of our country, but if La Theocharous says it, it must be the truth.
And she did not give up her seat in parliament because Zenios would not defend our national interests in Brussels and Strasbourg as tenaciously as she does. The money she would lose – in excess of 100 grand per annum – had nothing to do with her decision, even though the European Parliament also pays the salary of her parliamentary assistant and advisor Dr Charalambides, whom she would have to pay out of her own pocket to write responses to her critics, if she gave up her seat.
Money is not important when you are defending the interests of your country, which is why the heroic Dr Eleni has chosen to maintain her dignity by fighting against a Cyprob settlement in Brussels rather than in Nicosia. (I hope the feminists have not identified any sexism in this).

YOU HAVE to admire the way Phil gets others (usually the Bank of Cyprus) to pick up the bill for the events it organises. The bank and OPAP paid for that awards charade for the great Cypriots and now it is co-organising something called the ‘Naked Party’ with the Phil group rag Downtown.
This will be “the absolut(sic) underground pre-Xmas party” at which “50 well-known personalities will take off their clothes for a good cause.” The €10 entrance fee will go to a charity. There is no mention of which personalities will be disrobing, but if the Phil publisher will be among them I will buy 10 tickets.
You have to question the wisdom of the B of C in associating itself with such an event. A sick mind could think this was black humour – having taken all your assets the bank would also take the clothes you are wearing, but in fun way at the Naked Party for the good cause of reducing its NPLs.

MANY welcomed the news that B of C CEO John Hourican has rescinded his decision to resign. This is a very Cypriot thing to do, raising suspicions that the Irishman has gone native. This could also be the explanation for his agreeing to the bank being a co-organiser of the Naked Party – he may have thought he was leaving and didn’t care.

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