Cyprus Mail
Opinion Tales from the Coffeeshop

Tales from the Coffeeshop: Our very own inbetweeners

Dr Eleni and Junior: two members of Cyprus' inbetweeners

THE INBETWEENERS was a hilariously funny British sitcom, broadcast over three seasons a few years ago, about four teenage boys at an imaginary comprehensive school in the UK that act in the very foolish and deluded way that most 17-year-old boys, desperate for sexual encounters that never happen, behave.

The Inbetweeners
The Inbetweeners

The title of the series referred to teenagers who are in-between childhood and adulthood and therefore residing in limbo-land, neither one nor the other. I would highly recommend it to anyone who does not mind bad language, cringe humour, offensiveness and silliness. Two Inbetweeners movies were also made but neither was as good as the series, episodes of which can be seen on You Tube.

I mention this by way of introduction, because I realise that in Kyproulla we have our very own Inbetweeners who occupy what they themselves describe as the ‘in-between political space’ also misleadingly known as the ‘the centre’. There is nothing ‘centre’ about the hard-line rejectionists of Diko, Edek, Alliance, Greens and Solidarity whose Cyprob positions are identical to those of the far-right nationalists of Elam.

But it is factually correct, to say they occupy the ‘in-between political space’ as they are in-between the two big parties Akel and Disy. Akel remains stuck in its Cold War communist childhood refusing to grow up while Disy is the only party that has reached adulthood. And in-between are the perennial political teenagers, always making a noise and embracing the cartoonish negativity of adolescence.

 

NOBODY embodies the inbetweener, in thinking and behaviour better than Ethnarch Junior, who, despite his constant efforts to act grown-up, comes across as a boy as soon as he opens his mouth. In the last week, every time he was on air he accused Prez Nik of being a liar; on one radio show he used the word seven times.

And what did the angry kid base his accusation on? A document about the Cytalks, on the four basic freedoms, drafted last November and published on Tuesday by the inbetweeners’ rag, Simerini. The points made in the document were addressed by the two leaders at the talks and their agreement on the basic freedoms was one of the convergences. So who was the liar?

An announcement issued by Diko, on Tuesday, said “If what is written in the ‘joint document on citizenship,’ revealed by Simerini today is true, then unfortunately this documents proves that the President of the Republic is lying and misleading the people.”

As the Diko top brass is made up of inbetweeners nobody thought of checking whether what was written was true, before telling us it proved Nik was lying. What was written was untrue and out of date but this minor detail was not permitted to spoil the fun of Junior and the Dikids.

 

AWARE that his constant moaning and negativity could be seen by the public as childishness – the behaviour of a spoiled rich kid accustomed to always getting what he wants – Junior made an attempt at being grown up this week, by writing two letters, all by himself, and immediately making them public so that people would admire his maturity.

One was addressed to Nik and demanded clarifications about the possible holding of a five-party conference on the Cyprob as this hid ‘dangers’. His main questions were: who would take part, how would the participation of the Cyprus Republic be secured and how would the “breakaway entity of the ‘TRNC’ be left out?”

His other letter was sent to the president of the House whom he asked to arrange for the discussion by the plenum, as a matter of urgency, the following issue: “Illegal settlement, the demographic issue in a possible settlement of the Cyprob and Turkey’s attempts of ethnic cleansing in Cyprus.”

The non-inbetweener parties voted against the discussion of the issue on Friday, provoking an angry statement from the Dikids, complaining because the adults did not allow them to play their favourite game – Cyprob scare-mongering

 

THE SETTLERS is his latest cause, Junior with his impeccable inbetweener logic, claiming all non-TC people in the north were illegal (as they had been issued pseudo residence and work permits by the pseudo state) and demanding to know when, after a settlement, they would be kicked out. Among the ‘illegals,’ he counted the pseudo-students of the pseudo-universities.  (Loucas Charalambous deals with the issue in today’s column).

One or two of our regulars insist that Junior’s inbetweener thinking was more down to low intelligence rather than immaturity but I disagree. The kid has a good brain but he needs to be given a chance to grow up – he is only 43. As I know from personal experience a man rarely reaches maturity before he turns 50.

 

WOMEN usually mature much faster, but dear, Dr Eleni, despite being a pensioner – three state pensions on top of the MEP salary to prove it – remains an inbetweener. She still sees herself as a heroically courageous resistance fighter (all talk), markets herself as a potential national saviour of Kyproulla and dreams of being president one day, just like any deluded teenager with a big ego would.

While Dr Eleni was engaged in the thankless task of preventing prez Nik turning “the north of Cyprus Turkish forever”, she also had reasons to be cheerful. An MEP of the Communist Party of Greece, which makes Akel seem liberal by comparison, informed her that his party had decided to oppose bi-zonal, bi-communal federation for Kyproulla “because it violated human rights.” And we all know of the commitment of Stalinist parties to human rights.

Her other reason to be cheerful was that she had been granted two police bodyguards by the minister of justice. As a party leader she was entitled to them (even the Elam leader was given two) but the question is what will happen when she is at European Parliament? Will the taxpayer pay their air fares and hotel accommodation so they could protect her abroad? If not, will we pay the cops to do nothing while Dr Eleni is abroad, so she could have a chauffeur to pick her up from the airport when she returns?

 

SPEAKING of MEPs I read that Akel’s Takis Hadjigeorgiou, who recently defected to the inbetweeners after long spell as a zealous supporter of a settlement, issued an announcement on Thursday to inform us that he met Mother Russia’s permanent representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov.

Chizhov, had served many years in Kyproulla and in his first spell here he had been the Soviet embassy’s spokesman. At the meeting, Chizhov informed Takis about developments in Syria. He probably also thanked the Akel MEP profusely for voting against the European Parliament’s resolution calling on the Assad regime and Russia to stop their attacks on civilian targets in Aleppo, but this was not mentioned in the announcement.

 

DESPITE the ongoing efforts of the supporters of partition on both sides to wreck the peace process, the two amigos are making progress. So much so, they have agreed to meet in Switzerland for four days to discuss territory and, presumably, security.

This is why the inbetweeners are wild with rage – no matter how hard they try they are unable to derail the settlement choo-choo train which is heading to its final destination.

In the north, the rejectionist ‘government’ has blocked attempts to examine the capital adequacy of the banks, while in the south, their counterparts are demanding Nik briefs the public about the talks because they have run out of material for their scare tactics and misinformation.

 

AKELITE expellee Nikos Katsourides, pandering to Junior in the hope he would be the inbetweeners’ presidential candidate in 2018 – the Dikids might want someone that could pass as a grown-up – wrote in Phil on Wednesday about the need for the public to be properly informed about what was being agreed, because the selective leaking of info was “extremely dangerous” and caused “big confusion”.

Kats never asked for people to be properly informed back in 2004 when Ethnarch Tassos’ misinformation lieutenants were not only selectively leaking info about the A plan and the talks but also adding mega-negative spin on it, to create revulsion for a settlement. But the selective leaking was not “extremely dangerous” back then, because Kats approved of its purpose.

 

WE ARE not close enough to a settlement yet for Washington-based hack Michalis Ignatiou to report that the Yanks would be pouring tens of millions of bucks into Kyproulla to bribe Greek Cypriots to vote in favour of the deal. He did that in 2004 and then it was repeated, as if it were gospel by our wise politicians. Ignatiou has still to provide a shred of evidence to support his claims, even though he had promised he would publish a book with all facts and the names of the people bribed to back the A plan. Twelve years on we are still eagerly awaiting his book, which must be published before he makes any new claims of Yanks bribes.

 

LOOKING at the great hack’s website mignatiou.com I was not at all surprised to see an advert for Helector, the Bombolas-owned company that had the Marathounda waste management plant contract, and was bribing public employees (to the tune of €1.5m) to help it rip off the Cyprus government big time.

Helector also had the contract for the Koshi land-fill, charging rip-off rates that also came under investigation. The company must advertise with mignatiou.com because the hack played a key role in arranging an extension to Helector’s contract. Prez Nik was refusing to answer calls and requests for meetings by Bombolas, until Ig used his influence to arrange a meeting between the two men. At the meeting Bombolas, who as Mega TV’s owner was Ig’s employer, persuaded Nik to renew that deal that ripping off the taxpayer.

The least he could do to show his gratitude to Ig for his help, was place a Helector ad on his web-site.

 

HOW STRANGE that the stand-off between the British bases soldiers and the tree-loving Xylophagou villagers failed to spark a reaction from the parties, which, normally, would have grabbed an opportunity for some good old-fashioned Brit-bashing.

I do not know if there had been verbal protest, but Tass news agency which carries all the written announcements issued by the parties – about even the most trivial issues – on its website had just one condemning the action by the Brits. It was issued by Elam. There was nothing from the tree-lover Perdikis, the anti-Bases campaigner Lillikas or the anti-West Akel. Had they all turned into bird-lovers and secretly supported the Bases action?

Bases soldiers had been sent to Xylophagou to chop acacia trees that were planted by the tree-loving villagers. Apparently, acacia trees are used for trapping ambelopoulia with mist nets, which may explain the love shown for them by Xylophagites. These trees had been cut down in the past but new ones were planted by the acacia-loving villagers who also arranged irrigation of the area to ensure they grew fast.

What is this world coming to when the inbetweeners cannot devote 10 minutes to writing an announcement condemning the chopping down of a forest by the back-stabbing Brits acting like Kyproulla was still their colony? Have they all become sensitive bird-lovers, so now we have to rely on Elam to defend our national pride and dignity?

 

BEING a Bob Dylan fan for decades, I was happy when I heard that he had received the Nobel Prize for Literature. But I was overjoyed to hear that the great man had also pissed off a stuffy member of the Swedish Academy that awards the prize, by saying absolutely nothing about the award since it was announced 10 days ago.

“It’s impolite and arrogant,” said the academy members Per Wastberg, about Dylan’s failure to react to the news. Worse still, Dylan had not responded to repeated phone calls from the academy and nobody knows whether he will be in Stockholm on December 10 to receive his award from Sweden’s King and give a speech at the banquet for the winners.

This is the true spirit of rock ‘n’ roll, displayed by man in his seventies. Such disrespect for the academy wins my respect. Albert Einstein also snubbed the academy when he was awarded the physics prize in 1921, before rock ‘n’ roll had been invented, so Bob is in good company.

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