UK Election: Venal Sticks His Oar In

2 Jun

Controversial election observer Lord Venal is back in the UK to monitor next week’s General Election.

With his good friend Theresa Maybot nosediving in the opinion polls, Venal singled out London’s Evening Standard for criticism.

“This left-wing rag is showing unprecedented bias against the Supreme Leader. Its polls are fake news designed to tarnish the image of our great leader at this crucial time in Albion’s history,” he said, referring to the newspaper that is edited by former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gideon Osborne – a sworn enemy from within the Tory party ranks of the Maybot.

“My own polling shows the Maybot on 83%, the loony lefties on 5% and the Lib Dems and Greens on 2% with the other parties accounting for the rest of the votes.”

As a staunch Tory, Venal was strictly on message when he parroted: “We need to stand united; Brexit means Brexit. Only strong and stable government can deliver a stable and strong government.”

Venal recently courted yet more controversy when he urged the UK to follow Central Asia’s lead and send the undeserving poor and public sector workers to the fields to harvest strawberries to make up for an expected fall in cheap labour following Brexit.

“Teachers get six weeks summer holiday – who else gets this much time off? We should tear them away from their Guardians and put these lazy layabouts to work in the fields of Albion; at a stroke this would slash immigration by thousands,” he told anyone who would listen whilst holding court in his local boozer, pint in one hand, Daily Mail in the other.

The good Lord is hoping to profit big time from Brexit. He has been in Central Asia drumming up business for the independent UK, offering shortbread for Tico Tuk Tuks. He recently removed his Uz Daewoo Tico conversion plant from Tyneside to Cyprus to continue benefitting from EU subsidies after Britain’s pullout from the bloc.

Ashgabat Blues Over Dictatorland

7 Apr

We have received the following missive from an acquaintance of Lord Venal, who recently had cause to be in the Turkmen capital Ashgabat.

Somewhat disappointed by the closing of all nightclubs at an unearthly early hour, he was gratified to receive a personal invitation from President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to drop by at one of his elegant palaces. “After a few drinks, His Excellency pulled out his guitar and treated me and the young ladies present to some of his favourite songs, all written by himself! Knowing I’m from distant Albion, we then settled down to watch the latest BBC production, Dictatorland, which His Excellency enjoyed, but only up to a point. Knowing that a friend from my (rather minor) public school works in the upper echelons of the BBC, he immediately dashed off a letter for me to pass on, which I reproduce below.”

To Director of BBC

London

England

Dear esteemed Sir!

I watched your fine show Dictatorland (thanks to excellent Hola!!) which show success in fellow region leaders in important task keeping order and maintaining popular support and stability in country Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Belarus. You know these leaders follow me in my example how to keep good order on streets, even if in some way they act very primitive, like dictator of tinpot. We here in Turkmenistan famous not needing to shoot people on street like you showed in Kazakhstan, or beating people. We keep order by kindness and goodness of all police officers and lofty wisdom of president (myself).

So why then BBC not ask to come to Turkmenistan? We do not understand this incomprehensible decision. You only need to address yourself to me I arrange everything for you. See nice things, meet nice people. I let you interview me (but note you don’t ask questions, just stand up and write down everything I say in little notebook). You make good programme very popular around world and give glory to my country.

I look forward I hear from you with offer of coming to Turkmenistan.

Gurbanguly

(President)

A Capital New Idea for Uzbekistan?

1 Apr

Following his visit to Kazakhstan’s glitzy capital Astana last week, Uzbek president Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Sheva to his mates, has decided that he wants a bling-bling capital for himself and has set his sights on moving Uzbekistan’s capital from Tashkent to Uchkuduk, in the centre of the country.

Uchkuduk:  set to change from this…                                      … to this?

Uzbekistan’s rubber stamp parliament is set to give its approval to the move in a special session called for today. Moving the capital is being seen as a further consolidation of Sheva’s power – he has certainly been ringing the changes since his predecessor, Islam ‘Butch’ Karimov, died last year.

Uchkuduk, founded in 1958 as a Soviet ‘secret city,’ is in an ideal location for the capital as it is in the dead centre of Uzbekistan. It is at the heart of gold and uranium mining in the country and can be reached, with some difficulty, from all the main towns and cities.

President Mirziyoyev first heard about Uchkuduk at young pioneers’ camp in the 1980s via Yalla’s smash hit ‘Uchkuduk’. The president craves a Trump Tower as a centrepiece of the ambitious new capital and is keen on getting Mr Trump’s money men in the Kremlin on the case when Sheva and his boys visit Moscow later this year. Russian PM, Jimmy Bear, always on the lookout for a canny investment, is sure to be one of the first in line with a sackful of freshly laundered cash.

 

 

Fathers and Daughters

23 Mar

Ivanka Trump’s recent move into an office in the West Wing, despite her earlier protestations that she would not be taking a role in Daddy’s administration, has brought to mind another high-profile presidential daughter of recent times, Uzbekistan’s Gulnara Karimova.

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Fathers and Daughters: Islam Karimov, Donald Trump, Gulnara Karimova and Ivanka Trump (photo borrowed from a tweet via @AmbKennedy_ret)

In American politics, there is little precedent for a president’s daughter taking on an advisory position in the White House. Maybe it is fitting to look at the rise and subsequent fate of the daughter of Uzbekistan’s late president Islam Karimov.

Gulnara Karimova, also known as GooGoosha, was once a high-flyer in Uzbekistan, dabbling in telecoms, show-business, high fashion, charity and construction – some even spoke of her as being next-in-line to the throne, but she suffered a spectacular fall from grace in March 2014 when she was placed under house arrest in Tashkent following a huge corruption scandal. Little has been heard of her since.

Keeping this in mind, Ivanka had better make sure she doesn’t get the wrong side of Daddy Trump, who is said to model himself on Karimov, the strongman president who ruled Uzbekistan for 25 years until his demise in September 2016.

Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” is said to be modelled on Karimov’s “O’zbekiston kelajagi buyuk davlat” (Uzbekistan, the state with a great future).

These two cantankerous old guys both share a hatred of the free press, are prone to making bizarre off the cuff remarks, bear grudges indefinitely and are fiercely opposed to what they see as Islamic extremism.

Ivanka should be mindful of GooGoosha’s fate, or else she may find herself locked up in a shed in the White House grounds.

Kazakhstan’s Recycled Art

17 Mar

Kazakh artist, Saule Suleimenova, has found a novel way of dealing with some of the masses of plastic bags that litter Kazakhstan – by recycling them into artworks.

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Saule Suleimenova’s ‘Civil Registration Office’ – note the shadowy police figures lurking in the background

Saule Suleimenova’s latest exhibition – called “… Somewhere in the Great Steppe”- features a series of paintings made entirely from discarded plastic items such as carrier bags and tablecloths – the style is known as cellophane painting. To see  how the bags are recycled into paintings, check out this video.

 

The exhibition opens with images from the steppe across the four seasons and then travels into the city, taking in village life along the way. The collection is part of her ongoing projects I’m Kazakh and Aruakhs (Spirits of Ancestors), which combines  archive images of Kazakhs against a backdrop of present-day scenes.

The themes in this exhibition are bang up to date with a triptych called ‘Civil Registration Office’ which depicts the chaos in registration centres at the start of this year when Kazakhstan introduced new laws to track the movements of its populace and assert its control over this formerly nomadic people.

The exhibition is open daily from 10.00-19.00 in Almaty’s Aurora Space, which is located by the Abay Opera and Ballet Theatre,  on the corner of Baiseitov and Zhambyl Street, but you’ll have to hurry if you want to catch it as it closes on 23 March.

 

Lord Venal’s “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” Tour

15 Mar

Kazakhstan’s flag carrier appears to be in the initial stages of a new tour for the ambitious international tourist, scheduled to debut in 2018: The 10 Great Capitals of Great Men tour. The plans were found in a clutch of papers Lord Venal inexplicably found in his briefcase after a rather jolly evening in an Astana nightclub where – as well as some rather charming ladies – a party for senior airline staff was underway.

The proposed tour would start with a champagne and mare’s milk breakfast in the Kazakh capital Nazarbayev before boarding for the Azerbaijani capital Aliyev. (One document said the first stop could be either the Uzbek capital Mirziyoyev or the Tajik capital Rahmon, but both were scratched out on the copy Lord Venal found.) After visits to the Heydar Aliyev Centre, a tour of the nightclubs and overnight in the Presidential Hotel, it’s on to the Russian capital Putin. After an exclusive visit to the president’s country villa at Novo-Ogaryovo and a tour of the Kremlin, the luxury flight then whisks you to Erdogan, the Turkish capital. After a fruitjuice reception at the new hilltop presidential complex, tourists will lay a wreath at the Ataturk memorial before sightseeing.

The documents found by Lord Venal reveal planning has not yet been completed for the next leg of the worldwide tour. Assad, the Syrian capital, has been resolutely crossed out, while possible stops in the Jordanian capital Abdullah and the Egyptian capital El-Sisi have questions marks by them. Several possible African capitals similarly have question marks by them (two in the cases of Obiang in Equatorial Guinea and Mugabe in Zimbabwe).

The final destination though has already been fixed: the US capital Trump. A visit to the White House is already in the programme, with guests staying in the nearby Trump International Hotel. The trip of a lifetime climaxes with a reception in Trump Tower in New York. [Editor’s note: While we’re in the USA, wasn’t it George Washington that kicked off all this capital-naming frenzy?]

Lord Venal has already volunteered for the first such trip, offering to live Tweet the unforgettable journey to his many fans around the world, and giving the trip the cachet it will need to attract the highest calibre of participants. The airline already appears to have lined up an array of guest speakers for each capital to provide a unique insight into how the personalities of the great leaders have shaped the physical, social and intellectual environment of these key world capitals. Renowned British statesman Jonathan Aitken has apparently signed up to present the genius of Kazakhstan’s great leader. Retired US statesman Michael Flynn is under consideration for the Russian part of the tour. Other names seem yet to be determined.

The airline is to be congratulated on this innovative new plan. Lord Venal cannot wait for the initial tour and will, over the coming months, be actively seeking potential tourists for this life-changing experience on every visit he makes to any nightclub anywhere in the world.

Kazakhstan’s Newest Brown-Noser

8 Mar

To mark International Women’s Day, Kazakhstan Majlis member Baktygul Khamenova has been inducted into the Loyal and Ancient Order of the Brown Nose for once again raising the topic that refuses to die – the renaming of Kazakhstan’s capital.

Khamenova took the renaming frenzy up to another level on 3 March when she proposed renaming Astana airport to Nazarbayev, after Kazakhstan’s first president.

The board of the Loyal and Ancient Order of the Brown Nose declared Khamenova the first female inductee from Kazakhstan on 8 March. There already many male toadies from Kazakhstan who are members of the Order.

Back in November 2016, the Nur Otan MP suggested that Kazakhstan’s capital take the name Yelbasi, Leader of the Nation, in recognition of President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s long service to the state – he has been the country’s only leader since it gained independence from the Soviet yoke in 1991.

For her persistence in keeping this issue on the agenda, in this time of economic concern and dire financial crisis, Ms Khamenova is to be commended. We can think of no-one more suitable to be elevated to the honourable Order of the Brown Nose.