Late the other night I encountered Mugabe and his rather large cavalcade on the Airport Road. I had just arrived, and he was leaving for that UN thing. The friend who had picked me up immediately pulled over because if you don’t you’re likely to get a pummeling. One of Mugabe’s outriders used his loudspeaker to tell us to switch our lights off, which we did and the dark night got even darker. My friend’s car is really, really tiny so we rocked from side to side a bit as the cavalcade sped by. Imagine some Avis car hire tourists coming across that lot as soon as they arrived in Harare.
Anyway, cavalcades got me thinking about something I read recently in The Spectator magazine. In a column entitled I always cheer up Down Under by Stanley Johnson he discusses the recent Apec (Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation) meeting. Apparently there’s a TV show in Australia called The Chaser’s War on Everything and they played a huge prank during the Apec talks. Here’s a small excerpt
They organised a fake cavalcade of limousines, complete with outriders and Canadian maple-leaf flags fluttering from the bonnets of the vehicles, the show’s mischievous presenters managed to breach successive levels of security to deposit an Osama bin Laden lookalike within yards of President Bush’s hotel.
Mugabe will be quite pleased I think to hear of the potential demise of John Howard who seems to be losing popularity both within his own party as well as with the majority of Australians. Apparently Howard’s main political opponent, the younger and more modern Kevin Rudd, wowed China’s President Hu by welcoming him with a long speech in Mandarin. Although, according to The Spectator
Some linguistic experts pointed out that when Rudd proclaimed he wanted to ‘develop the closest possible links’, he actually used the Mandarin to ‘achieve simultaneous orgasms’, but, if that was so, President Hu seemed totally unfazed.