chrisdolley (chrisdolley) wrote,

Blair, Turkmenbashi and Legacy

As Tony Blair wanders his final months in search of a legacy one wonders if anyone showed him a file on Saparmurat Niyazov, the President of Turkmenistan who died yesterday.

When it came to organising legacies this man had few equals.

First, he changed his name to Turkmenbashi (Leader of all Turkmen) and to make sure the name stuck he renamed the capital city, several schools, an airport, a meteorite and even a month - Turkmenbashi.

Not to mention a planet in the Taurus constellation, a crater on the moon, a melon and a mountain peak.

Proving that once you start it's difficult to stop, he then renamed April after his mother (who luckily wasn't called May) and September after a book he'd written (equally luckily not called Oktober)

Really getting into the swing of the renaming kick, he then decided bread would taste far nicer if it was named after his mother. Imagine, if you can, the scene at Turkmenbashi's family gatherings when siblings were asked 'do you want jam on your mother or do you just want her lightly buttered?'

He then started a building program. First up was a useful 22-mile long concrete staircase up a mountain. Which, as I'm sure you were wondering, would become the venue of the annual 'Walk of Health' - an event where the Great Father would escort his government and thousands of civil servants to the foot of the stair case ... and then take a helicopter up to the top to greet them all several hours later with a handshake and an oxygen tent.

Statues were also very popular. Several - all of them portraying Turkmenbashi - were built throughout Turkmenistan. One was placed in the middle of a desert - don't ask - and one huge one - 120 foot high, gold plated and rotating so that it always faced the sun (there was a curfew at night so no one found out how it fared during the darker hours) was erected in the capital.

He then banned ballet, opera, circus and lip-synch singing. And beards and gold teeth. Made all doctors swear an oath to him instead of the Hippocratic one and introduced a nine hour long addition to the standard driving test - a written test to ascertain how well they knew the Turkmenbashi's book on morality (the one not called Oktober)

But he did solve the Turkmenistan pension crisis. How, I hear a Scottish voice at the back ask? Well, you shouldn't really try this at home but he did it by renaming (it really is a panacea) and extending the official classification of adolescence to the age of 25, introducing a new 'youthful' band for the 26-37 year-olds and pushing the retirement age back to 85. Not surprisingly very few Turkmen qualified for the new pension.

And if anyone thinks I've made any of the above up - Google Turkmenbashi and prepare to be amazed.

So, expect an announcement next year that Big Daddy may be quitting 10 Cherie Street sometime around the 25th of Tony.

Tags: blair, humor, humour, legacy, politics, turkmenbashi

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