The men on top

Garry Kasparov, the former chess world champion, was at the safari camp last week. What a bore he was! Couldn’t stop talking about how President Pootikins was destroying democracy in Russia. Eventually, a guest from the north of England said:

“If he’s that sodding bad, how come you’re not in Siberia with a chessboard wedged between your arse cheeks?”

That shut Kasparov up, the big-nosed upstart.

One thing I’ve noticed about human politicians is that the worst ones are adored by the masses. German maidens fainted in the presence of Hunky Hitler, who drove the goose-stepping hordes into a frenzy of hero-worship. Comrade Stalin’s death was mourned by toiling peasants, browbeaten workers and quite a few he sent to the gulag. Chairman Mao was a living god who inspired nubile young women to fight for the privilege of squirming beneath his sweaty blubber. Humans love a ruthless strongman who doesn’t take crap and makes the trains run on time.

I instinctively sympathise with leaders who have to endure the endless moaning of their people. I’m used to getting nagged by my females so I know how they feel. It’s lonely at the top. You rack your brains for new ways of keeping the mob entertained. You hire chimpanzees to teach the infants how to crack nuts. You organise raiding parties to chase marauding baboons up the trees. And what thanks do you get? The ungrateful swine complain about wasting resources and needlessly antagonising baboons – the same baboons who would shit all over them if they ever got the chance.

At least we gorillas don’t have to worry about sex scandals though. The last one I remember involved that blind British minister who managed to find his way into the knickers of an American journalist, possibly without the aid of his guide dog. His comeuppance arrived when the woman fell pregnant and he arrogantly claimed to be the father. It turned out that he wasn’t. Far from paddling up a private channel in the Americas Cup, his sperm had been swimming in a crowded field in the US Open. What an extraordinary ass the poor fellow made of himself!

A leader who fools around in office should behave like Matti Vanhanen, the prime minister of Finland, who dated a single mother after his divorce. Not content with having her kebabs skewered by the head chef, this shameless hussy wrote a kiss-and-tell memoir after the affair had ended. She spared no detail, describing the prime minister’s preferred mating positions along with the yodels he emitted at the finale. Yet Mr Vanhanen didn’t deny a single word or attempt to discredit the woman. A dignified silence was his only reaction when the snivelling dogs of the media tried to embarrass him. As a result of his manly discretion, 9596 Finnish women have volunteered to bear his child with no strings attached. In my view he should oblige at least 1542 of them.

Politics is unfortunately a dirty game. The sad fact is that we primates behave badly in a crowd, snarling and grimacing and yelling offensive chants. Anyone with the job of pleasing the multitude is bound to dirty his hands. The good leader is one who realises that he is engaged in a form of crowd control. Provide them with decent facilities and let them have their fun – but if they start getting rowdy, don’t hesitate to send in the riot squad to hit them where it hurts.

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