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July 28, 2009


Cian O'Connor

I thought this piece by Slavoj Zizek in the LRB:
was kind of interesting on that. The future is Berlusconi/Putin/French tosser - but just touched up in different ways to fit each country's culture. I guess Boris Johnson is the most obvious example of this, but Cameron also fits the mould. And for all his obvious faults, at least Brown is a real politician, rather than a fucking celebrity.

Martin Wisse

Your links are exactly the wrong way around.


Weirdly enough I was musing on Boris and Sarko earlier - both have recently turned up blind drunk at public engagements without the slightest doubt being cast on their suitability for the role. On the other hand, 'everyone' knows Ken Livingstone is a drunken communist, Brown is mentally ill, etc., etc. I expect other country's right wing arseholes have similarly valuable smears to funnel to their opponents via their media outlets - what's happened in London is a Triumph of the Commentariat, really.

Actually, wasn't Sarko paralytic because he'd been meeting Putin? Somehow I expect Vlad to be able to hold his booze better than the others...


Actually, wasn't Sarko paralytic because he'd been meeting Putin? Somehow I expect Vlad to be able to hold his booze better than the others...

The only time I've had a meeting with a Russian (he was over here on a British Council knowledge transfer deal), he opened proceedings by getting out a half-litre bottle of vodka with a foil cap - at 11.30 in the morning. (We said we were driving. We had to explain what we meant by that, but eventually he gave us the vodka to take home.) Anecdotal accounts suggest this is pretty standard for business meetings - where we have someone bring in a trolley with thermos jugs and biscuits under plastic, they attack the vodka.

And if that's the baseline, I think we can assume that a meeting with Putin is really boozy.


Putin doesn't drink. He's famous for it.


My Mum claims the most drunk she's ever seen my Dad in 41 years of marriage is when, as a young lawyer in Birmingham in the early 70s, he had a meeting with British Leyland management in Longbridge, returning home much later in a taxi and falling out of it onto the pavement. This may well have had direct consequences for the quality of BL management and thus the decline of the great British car industry in the subsequent decades.

There's also the story of two really eminent judges being found completely ratarsed in an upturned car in a ditch by Plod - this being the days before drink driving really got cracked down on there was a nod and wink given. We really are living in a much more Puritan age now.


Chinese negotiating sessions are notoriously boozy, especially oop north.

A friend once bought a couple of bottles of baiju for me so we could have a real Beijing style sit down session on my birthday. I matched him go for go, but you know sometimes when you wake up next day and it's not just a hangover, you're thinking 'oh fuck, I've really poisoned myself. I've broken something internal.' It was exactly like that.


That was my introduction to Murphy's stout, of all things. I felt a bit rough first thing the next day, but managed to pull myself together and get on with things - right up to about 11.00, when I had to go and lie down in a darkened room. I'm sure it was just (or mostly) the volume of alcohol, but I've avoided Murphy's ever since to be on the safe side.

What's baiju? Google is unusually unhelpful.


Sorry , that should have been baijiu. Basically, sorghum vodka:


As I dimly recall, I think we were drinking fen jiu, which is comparatively easygoing compared to stuff like Erguotou, which actually does double as lighter fuel on construction sites in China.

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