Friday, July 07, 2006


Is it the hot weather? World leaders have been kissing around lately like there's no tomorrow. Putin had to explain his behaviour in an interview staged by BBC and A huge amount of people who sent in questions to be asked of The Czar and who voted for their favourite questions, preferred to know why he kissed a little boy to the tummy rather than engage in any boring poli-talk about Chechnya or Iraq etc. They got an answer: he just wanted to caress him like a kitten. Sweet...

The art of kissing babies is important for politicians, it shows that they are not cold technocrats but warm, loving human beings. GWB seems to master this part of politics equally well as all other domains of political life.

You could argue that Prezza doesn't really qualify as a "world leader" anymore, since he has been stripped of most of his powers. Even as a high-salaried and fancy-titled serial government committee chairman, he seems to explode a political mine on every step he takes. Not a timebomb, nor a dead man walking, but something like a cluster bomb rigged with an egg-timer. He made kissing-gestures to the photographers upon his return from the latest scandalous trip to visit Mr. Anschutz's ranch in the US. "Prescott kiss" still has another meaning, though...

I actually feel sorry for the guy. He is a talented politician, and recreates English language every time he uses it (this is not necessarily a good thing, but admirable nevertheless). And he's been bullied. It seems to me that the biggest sin in his trip to play cowboys and indians wasn't the fact that he went to visit the guy who's applied for one of the few super casino licenses that the government is about to deal out, but the fact that it wasn't a one way trip.

The press keeps hitting him, just to see him stand up again and take another blow. It's no longer about making a point or initiating change: he will kiss his political career goodbye by the next election. It's just to have a go at the easy target, in a rather cowardly fashion. The fuss is made about relatively small things. There'd be more important topics to discuss, but perhaps it's the summer heat melting all the journalists' brains as well.

(Pics: RTR, BBC/AFP, Guardian)

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