Grit and flair

At last count, the population of Venezuela was 32,157,182. I’ve taken this from a site that claims to have ‘live’ statistics, as bespectacled men roam South American hospitals impatiently tapping pens against clipboards to the sound of perineal tearing.

That’s a lot of people. Think of the huge range of talents there must be. Massive potential for growth and betterment. Imagine what a country that size could achieve if it made the most of its latent expertise.

Today, Nicolas Maduro has declared he’s the only one out of the lot of them with the stature and smarts to lead his country beyond its next election. As a result, he’s banned opposition parties from standing. All of them. Anyone who’s not him.

He’s a man in power. And if you think we’re giving that up any time soon you’ve a rude one coming.

I don’t really care about Venezuela. Never been there, no plans to go there, don’t know any Venezuelans. Nothing against the place, but since Hugo Chavez popped his clogs the extraordinary balls he slowly lowered onto the face of worldwide opprobrium, ostensibly for the good of his fellow citizens, have been replaced by a callous form of fatigued catastrophe. Venezuela is now a hope-free land of starvation, atrophy and riots. Maduro is Anthony Eden to Chavez’s Churchill, Johnson to Chavez’s Lincoln, Farron to Chavez’s Clegg.

And that makes him a fine example of a man’s ability to believe his own press. Nothing better demonstrates the farce of men in power than a little chap with an ill-advised moustache declaring he’s the best a country can have, and will have until he decides otherwise. As he looks out over streets of Caracas littered with rubber bullets fired at poor people in defence of his own policies, Maduro honestly believes he is the right man to lead his country back to the light. It’s not difficult to picture him gazing at himself in the mirror with pride, medals he’s awarded himself pinned to his chest, stroking his moustache and quietly intoning: “I am Maduro. I am Venezuela.”

You wonder how they get away with it, until you see the assembly of arseholes surrounding them. Not one of these leaders doesn’t have a collection of bastards hovering around them hoovering up every morsel of the big man’s nonsense like Mao’s milk. From disciples to henchmen, the people staring resolutely forward on the podium as the leader gives his latest three-hour, finger-in-the-air tirade to the state TV he’s recently taken control of – they’re all thinking one thing: “That’s me one day.”

It would be remiss not to mention Emmerson Mnangagwa at this point. Emmerson Mnangagwa. So that’s done.

The world is stuffed with, or fucked by if you’d prefer, men who refuse to piss off when their use-by date zooms into view. Assuming Putin wins his next ‘election’ he will have been in power for a quarter of a century when his term is theoretically up. His buddy Lukashenko in Belarus has been there even longer and is the only president that country has ever had. Hun Sen of Cambodia has been at it since 1985 and recently changed the constitution to give him the power to unilaterally dissolve opposition parties. Nobody now expects Xi Jinping to do one in 2023 and what’s the worst that can happen there?

And Africa is obviously packed with these pillocks РBiya of Cameroon, Museveni of Uganda, Deby of Chad and many, many more have altered constitutions to stay beyond a term originally limited precisely to stop bollocks like this. To be fair to Jos̩ Eduardo dos Santos of Angola, he did recently step down of his own free will. After 38 years.

It’s men, obviously. Men in power believe they’ve got there through a combination of grit and flair that no other politician before or since could hope to emulate. Men have an innate ability to see beyond our manifest limitations and picture a future of full coffers both national and personal – that bit’s important – and wailing citizens at a state funeral many, many years hence. They could always embalm me, squeeze a few more years out of it, for the good of the people. How’s that cryogenics coming along by the way?

But that’s just tradition. Don’t get the impression I’m one of those men currently lauding women’s glass-ceiling vandalism and flagellating my gender in a vain attempt to secure a low-level admin role in the new world order. If women want power they can have it, but they’ll have to become better acquainted with both the bare facts of human nature and the imprisonment of recalcitrants.

If they do manage to force men from palaces and thrones across the world, I expect women think they’ll be different. They’ll protect freedom of expression through soft power and calm progress, spreading representative democracy about the planet harmoniously. They’ll stick rigidly to two-term presidencies and at no point will any woman think to herself “oh we can’t let her take charge, she’d be useless…perhaps I’d better stay on”.

Hahahahahahahahahahaha. Go with Grace.

It puts Britain’s problems into perspective. We have a weak government led by a dreadful posse of berks, but with typical resignation they will at some point move to the mincing machine in an orderly fashion. And much as it’s nigh-on impossible to picture a world not pwned on a daily basis by Donald Trump, when his eight years are up he’ll be 78, and if he makes moves to stay longer, few alive would blame the then 54-year-old Melania for whipping out the garrotte we all know she carries up her sleeve.

But I’m not sure how long we in the west will get away with it. Men or women will see their rule as an increasingly long-term endeavour because as the world’s resources dwindle it’ll be the only sure-fire way to ensure our genes survive the cataclysm. The next American president to serve more than eight years will be the iron bar that breaks humanity’s back. And given the 2017 influence we seem to be showering on the man like pants hurled at a crooner, by 2032 who’ll be able to resist a third term for President Zuckerberg?

Disgusting and Sad! as it is, Maduro is far from the first and if he’s the last I’ll eat all the bowler hats in Bolivia. It turns out whenever you get to the top you were the right man for the job all along, if only these idiot voters had realised it sooner. Our only hope is to elect someone who can see this ludicrous game for what it is. Someone who’s willing to call these power-crazed despots out, before they’re allowed to set up their families to rule forever and turn this place into a World of Windsors. A real man of the people.

I reckon I can get it sorted in one term. Two max.

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