27 June 2019
Have you seen..?
By Neil Tidmarsh
Readers are urged to search their garages, garden sheds, outbuildings, spare rooms, cars, cupboards, uncovered wells, attics, basements, caves and mineshafts for the following items which were reported missing this week:
News from Turkey – a Mr Recip Erdogan of Ankara has lost Istanbul. Mr Erdogan is apparently very fond of Istanbul and would dearly like it back again. They were inseparable for twenty-five years and its disappearance has left him heartbroken. It seems that he actually misplaced it three months ago, but at the time he refused to believe it had gone missing. All efforts to put his hands on it since then have failed, however, and this week he had no choice but to face up to the bitter truth. A certain Mr Ekrem Imamoglu is implicated in its disappearance; rumour has it that he knows where it is and may even have taken it while Mr Erdogan was busy quarrelling with his American and European neighbours, sacking many of his employees and making a mess of his finances.
(2) Oregon’s Republican senators.
All eleven of Oregon’s Republican state senators went missing last week on the eve of the vote on a Democrat-supported climate change bill, which Republicans claim will hit rural communities hard by driving up fuel prices. Democrats have a majority in the thirty-seat state senate, with eighteen senators; but two-thirds of the senate must be present for a vote to be valid, so a quorum is not possible without at least two of the Republican senators. State troopers are searching for them. The Capitol building in Salem was closed down last Saturday. The eleven missing senators haven’t been seen for six days. Particular concern is growing for one of them, Tim Knopp, who is known to have disappeared with only one spare pair of socks.
(3) The two-state solution.
A headline in The Times today declared “Two-state solution for Israel conflict is lost, says Kushner”. Rather careless of the White House to lose such a valuable and important commodity. But, to be fair, this particular concept – Palestine as an independent state alongside an Israel accepted by the Arabs – has always been as elusive as the Holy Grail. Many people have been looking for it for a long time and it has always remained beyond their grasp, just round the corner, out of sight. Can you lose something which has never been found in the first place? Mr Jared Kushner’s alternative peace plan – the “Peace to Prosperity Workshop” unveiled this week in Bahrain – is to give the Palestinians so much money ($28 billion) that they’ll be too busy buying and selling stuff to remember anything about their lost Holy Grail.
(4) The Hong Kong issue.
China declared that “the Hong Kong issue” will be missing from this week’s G20 summit which starts this Friday in Osaka. What an admission! So Beijing is as careless as Washington – the one losing “the Hong Kong issue” and the other losing “the two-state solution”! US secretary of state Mike Pompeo offered to help Chinese officials to look for it at the summit, but for some reason they declined the offer. It’s thought that the meeting’s chairman, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, will not make the same offer even though he knows where to find it.
(5) $60,000 and a popular uprising.
As much as $60,000 has gone missing from the funds donated to the coffers of Venezuela’s opposition by sympathetic governments around the world. It’s alleged that the lost tens of thousands of dollars, intended to help soldiers who have defected from the Maduro regime, were last seen disappearing into nightclubs and parties attended by two opposition aides in Bogota, Columbia. Also revealed this week were the reasons why a number of Maduro’s high-ranking officials who were expected to abandon him and join opposition leader and interim president Juan Guaidó in a popular uprising last month, went missing on the day, causing Guidó to lose the bid: Supreme Court judges were allegedly demanding tens of millions of dollars to defect; one of them allegedly wanted to be interim president himself; and a defence minister was allegedly too busy watching the latest Avengers movie.
(6) The monsoon.
India is suffering from an unprecedented drought and heatwave as the annual monsoon has gone missing. In some areas, hundreds of people have died, hotels and restaurants have closed and the rural population is abandoning farms and migrating to the cities. The monsoon is supposed to arrive May/June, but there’s little sign of it yet. Claims by the residents of Lincolnshire in England that it’s been found in their backyard were greeted with wry, dry, superior laughter from India.
Meanwhile, in the UK, effective government has gone missing. It hasn’t been seen for the last three years. And developments this week suggest that there’s little chance of it turning up any time soon.