Flat Earth: Drinking for the sake of the party
Sunday 27 February 1994
The union of politics and booze has a venerable history that goes back to the misty antecedents of the modern Russian state a thousand years ago. Its founder, Grand Prince Vladimir, ruler of Kiev and by all accounts a genial old buffer who converted Russia to Christianity, gave alcohol the stamp of official approval. 'Russia's joy,' he said, 'is drinking.'
With Vlad's advice as its campaign slogan, the Beer Drinkers' Party expects to sign up 100,000 members by the start of the summer, when Russians are most thirsty. To widen the party's appeal, Mr Shestakov has formed a political alliance with the Pelmeni Lovers' Party - named after the ravioli-style snack they gobble when they imbibe - and with the Association of Dissatisfied Women, which has no complaints about drunken husbands - its cause is to fight high prices.
TOE-HOLD ON HISTORY
A hospital identification tag and a hank of hair sold for dollars 8,800 ( pounds 6,000) at an auction in New York last week. We were told it set some sort of record, but no one seemed to know what for. The successful bidder said he was 'not into the morbidity of the whole thing. I just look at this as an investment.' The toe-tag and lock of hair were used to identify the corpse of Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin of President Kennedy.
PEKING TUNES OUT
Ballroom dancing, to China's Communist Party, is like sexual scandal to Britain's Conservatives - you cannot comprehend one without the other. Mao Tse-tung was at it every Saturday night, soft-shoeing his way from the caves of Yenan to the pavilions of the Forbidden City. Deng Xiaoping, on the other hand, played bridge, which may explain how he survived while others were wrong- footed in the Great Helmsman's reels.
Now the Peking apparatchiks, forever killjoys, are attempting to end it all. Last week an edict listing new 'don'ts' for party cadres included dance parties. It was part of the latest anti-corruption drive. 'Lavish' dances will be off, but the occasional tea-dance may be permitted as long as the sound is turned down.
GREEK TO US
There comes a time when you have to admire the tenacity of Greek politicians and, against our better judgement, we have grown fond of the way they anger the rest of Europe with their highly strung chauvinism. Their latest provocation, on Friday, was to declare Turkey's national day on 19 May a day of mourning for the 'genocide' of Greeks on the shore of the Black Sea in 1919.
- 1 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 2 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- 5 Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: 'These are completely fake' say singer's representatives
A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Israel to appropriate 400 hectares in West Bank for ‘state use’
Kate Upton nude pictures leak: Model's representatives 'looking into' authenticity of naked images
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: SQL Technical ...
£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...
£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...