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Tales from the Coffeeshop: A regional hub for lack of perspective

Κίνημα Οικολόγων Κόμμα για τα ζώα Εκδήλωση Διαμαρτυρίας
Thursday’s demo, outside the AG’s office, revealed that virtue-signalling is not the only thing that animal lovers and environmentalists have in common. Members of both groups have terrible dress sense, always looking like they just got out of bed (Photo: CNA)

BEING a deeply religious man and an avid churchgoer, you would have thought the independent Diko-Edek candidate, who remains a Disy member, and will bring an end to the corrupt government he loyally served for nine years, would have been bit reluctant to tell blatant lies.

Christodoulides was openly accused of lying by the chairman of the Cybc board, Michael Michael, to whom he had sent a letter, complaining that the state broadcaster had misled people by announcing that he pulled out of the television debates scheduled for September, at the last minute, because he would be on the campaign trail.

“Our campaign team never agreed to the holding of debates in September as you mentioned in your announcement. On the contrary, during the meeting with the representatives of the campaign teams of the presidential candidates at Rik, when you presented the scheduled television showdowns, we stated that we reserved the right to respond,” wrote Christodoulides to Michael.

The letter was released on Friday and a couple of hours later, Michael issued a response. “At the meeting we had at Rik with representatives of the campaign teams, a month or so ago, and we analysed the way the debates would be held, the representative of Mr Christodoulides made absolutely no comment nor reserved the right to respond, nor did she do this in the period from then until August 9, nor had there been any mention about non-participation in the debates.”

In short, ‘you are lying.’

 

SUPPORTERS of the new Makarios could argue that it was his word against the Rik chairman’s and Michael could have been lying about what happened.

Independent candidate, Marios Eliades, fully backed Michael’s version of events, saying that “nothing could be further from the truth” than the Christodoulides claim he had never agreed to participate in the debates. Eliades accused Mr Nice Guy of “carrying on along the path of lies and misinformation.”

Eliades added: “For the restoration of the truth, we stress that for two weeks, during which there were meetings of the campaign teams and with Rik and the private channels, the Christodoulides campaign team claimed there was absolute readiness on his part for participation in the debates.”

But even if Eliades’ version of events is dismissed, on the grounds that he was a rival candidate, who had an interest in putting the boot in, the new Makarios provided his own proof about his disregard for factual truth.

In his letter to Michael, he wrote: “You know very well that I have never refused to take part in any discussion…” His audacity is admirable – just 24 hours earlier, he had told Rik he would not take part in the televised discussions of the presidential candidates.

 

THE HONESTY of the excuse he used for pulling out of the debate was also questionable. “Because of my tours all over Cyprus to present my programme I will not be able to participate in any debate in September.”

Now if he was campaigning in the United States this would have been a convincing excuse for not participating, but in Kyproulla, the furthest away anyone can be from the Rik studio is two hours’ drive. And it was not as if he was asked to participate in 10 TV debates, which could have disrupted his campaigning in September. It was just a couple of debates.

On the nights he would have appeared on the telly debates, he could have arranged to present his election programme in Tseri, Athienou or Alambra, all of which are less than half an hour’s drive from Rik. Someone who was not afraid to engage in debate, would have no problem being away from the campaign trail for a few hours over the span of 30 days.

 

A MORE honest excuse for not taking part would have been: ‘I am hopeless at political debates, because I am terrified of any form of confrontation, and I love to agree with everyone I talk to, as I do not have strong views about anything. The last time I appeared in TV debate with rival candidates, opinion polls showed that my performance had lost me seven percentage points, so why would I do something that would affect my election prospects.’

Perhaps there is too much information and too much honesty in the above. He could have gone for a humorous excuse like, ‘My wife won’t let me go on TV debates because I always mess up when she is not around to tell me what to say.’

Or: ‘I plan to win the elections with my looks not my intellect, which is programmed only for monologues and not helpful for TV debates.’

Silly or not, these would have been more believable than the campaign commitment crap he served up.

 

NINE YEARS by the side of Prez Nik, the protégé, did not learn the one big guiding principle of the prez – always tell the truth, or if this is not possible, never lie.

Another example of the prez’s uncompromising attitude to truth-telling was provided this week when the spy van story became big news again, after shaking up the political system of Greece. The government got a lot of stick from the opposition parties and independent candidates about way it handled the matter, as did the attorney-general.

Any attempts to expose Kyproulla by linking her to the scandal in Greece, “amounts to nothing but unacceptable and censurable populism, which without substantiation drags our country through the mud,” said government spokesman Marios Pelekanos.

He concluded his statement by offering the absolute truth on behalf of the prez. “We wish to categorically state that never, during the nine years of President Anastasiades’ administration, was the monitoring of any political person, political party, journalist, media or law-abiding citizen permitted or tolerated.”

After 50 years of Kyproulla governments listening in on the phone conversations of political rivals and media, we should be grateful to Nik for putting an end to this appalling practice.

 

AUGUST is always a lean month for news, as politicians go on holiday, businesses close down and media work with skeleton staff. The main generator of news-stories, the morning radio news show on Trito, has been replaced by a music show.

Under the circumstances, the spyware scandal was a godsend for us media-folk, as we would otherwise had only the death of the crossbreed savannah cat Berton to get self-righteous about.

Even Turkey’s president Tayyip Erdogan let us down last week, denying us the eagerly-awaited provocative and unacceptable action we could protest about. He failed to send his new drill ship, Abdulhamid Han, into our EEZ for exploratory drilling operations as we had expected.

Foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides, probably repeating information given by his minions, had said the Abdulhamid could venture into our EEZ, suggesting seven possible locations. In the end, the drill ship, will operate 55km from the coast of Antalya, disappointing all of us by the lack of provocation.

Perhaps Erdogan was afraid of the Republic unleashing another devastating war of words against him.

 

OUR LACK of perspective, for which we are undeniably a regional centre, reared its amusing head again, this week with the animal and green parties making a mega-fuss about the ‘tragic’ death of the crossbreed savannah cat Berton.

Call me a grumpy old man, a miserable old git, but I really do not understand why the death of a cat has sparked collective grieving among the so-called animal lovers, prompting them to go out in the scorching heat to protest about Berton’s treatment and demand the sacking of the veterinary services boss.

There are loads of cats killed on Cyprus’ roads every day, without anyone demanding an investigation or the prosecution of the guilty driver, so why did the treatment of Berton, who also underwent surgery, sparked so much anger and pain in the animal lovers and environmentalists? Total lack of perspective is the answer.

 

THURSDAY’S demo, outside the AG’s office, revealed that virtue-signalling is not the only thing that animal lovers and environmentalists have in common. Members of both groups have terrible dress sense, always looking like they just got out of bed.

Apart from chanting for the resignation of the head of the veterinary services, Christodoulos Pipis, whose “hands are covered in blood”, the protesters held placards that read “We demand justice for all animals of Cyprus.” I wish someone could explain what “justice for all animals of Cyprus” would actually involve and once we know, how would it be enforced?

The self-righteous head of the animal party, Kyriakos Kyriakou, who seems to love publicity, demanded the criminal prosecution of Pipis, while AG Giorgos Savvides stepped out to meet the protesters and reassure them that respect for animals was “something we are very sensitive about,” and that complaints about animal abuse “will be investigated immediately and effectively.”

It would appear the dream of “justice for all animals of Cyprus” will soon become a reality and, hopefully Pipis will be behind bars, because someone must pay for Berton.

 

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