Commentary on Political Economy

Monday, 28 March 2022

 MACRON SPEAKS TO PUTIN ON A FAULTY KREMLIN TELEPHONE LINE 

Phone Conversation between Emmanuel Macron (France) and Putin:


Hello, Vlad…you’re there?…Ah, what?…No, no, Vlad, don’t get upset…I didn’t mean “are you there” as in “haven’t your people thrown you out or worse…”. I assure you I was merely checking if you had been connected…yeah…yes…oh, don’t take any notice what Biden says…you know he always talks out of his behind, don’t quote me on that…you’re not recording this conversation, are you? Well, with the KGB or what you call it now, one never knows…Yes, what? You want an invite to Versailles? Might be difficult to arrange, no flights allowed out of Russia…I could come to the Kremlin at short notice, though…what’s that? Why not! … What do you mean the rental…you did what? You rented it out to Chairman Xi! You needed the hard currency!? You can’t be serious!…Yeah I know you seized all the Audemars Piguet watches off the Swiss, nice move that, but…no, no please, don’t touch the Gucci, my friends at Louis Vuitton own that now…strip out the Prada stores instead…Silvio objects? Who’s Silv…ah! Berlusconi! You owe him money, too? …mmm…that explains his reticence about the invasion, I mean, the war…no…the special operation… [to be continued]

Looking ahead…are you coming to the G20?…oh, Widodo hasn’t sent an invite yet…yeah, I’ll see what I can do…can’t promise anything, though…a palace for accommodation? No, it’s Indonesia, Vlad, it’s not the Loire valley! They don’t have palaces there…But I’ve got something that might do…there’s a nice little villa in Koh Samui…yeah I saw it on the telly the other day…this Warnie fella, an Aussie cricket star…you saw that, too? Too small? Look, be reasonable…we’re this far from bloody Morrison…yeah the Aussie bloke…calling the whole thing off if you attend…he’s even pissing in Biden’s ear now…yeah the submarine deal…Vlad, there’s no need for that…I’ve been mocked enough at home and I haven’t heard the last of it yet…what with an election coming up in May…you know, I always show you respect, even when people go around brandishing “butcher” insults, so forgive me if I don’t take kindly to your mockery…let’s cut to the chase, now…pardon? …No, Vlad, listen, you’re getting a touch paranoid here…”cut to the chase” is an English expression, nothing to do with butchery…Look, you don’t have to face electorates, but I do…I need a big peace breakthrough deal for Ukraine…no…no…I think a Nobel Peace Prize nomination for you is out of the question…we’ll have to do somersaults to spare you an indictment at The Hague for war crim…sorry, yes, for the “special operation”…

Alright, Vlad…let’s turn to possible peace negotiations…it seems to me your stance on Donbass…ah?…jeez, calm down, Vlad, please…I never called you “dumb ass”! I was referring to Donbass, the Ukraine region you invad…er…the special op…damn it…ok., tell you what, let’s discuss Crimea first…what?…Heavens above, Vlad! Will you please calm…down!…I never said “crimes”! I was referring to Crimea! The peninsula on the Black Sea where you built your billion-dollar palace…fake news? Spread by Navalny? Yeah, alright, I believe you, it’s not yours…but that gives me an idea: you could sell the property to ERDOGAN, the Turkish Sultan, I mean, President…I hear he’s getting bored with that ugly palace he built in Taksim Square in Istanbul…he might be interested, you know, they’re the kind of deals that Sultans and Czars used to do in the past…noooh…you’re…huh…you’re too kind, Vlad…I assure you I have no intention to crown myself Emperor like Napoleon…what’s this you say…Napoleon was short…yeah Corsican, you know…well, don’t get offensive, now…are you calling me “shortie”?…Look, you’re out of line here…there’s absolutely no need to bring my wife’s age into this…she has nothing to do with it…could I remind you that your ballerina girlfriend is still in Switzerland and…yes, I have my reliable sources…I could get some of my agents to…no, of course, I’m not threatening, but you’re getting too personal here…listen, it’s not my fault if your phone line is faulty, that’s how you stuffed up the war…invas…operation…you keep communicating on analogue lines…and you’re losing generals faster than Berlusconi changes girlfriends…of course, I get jilted…don’t think I don’t know about your escapades in Sardinia, Bunga Bunga and all…Oh, I’m glad you agree we should turn to serious peace negotiations…Angela? …Merkel? That’s out of the question…I know you like her, but she can’t serve as a mediator…for one, she hasn’t been seen in weeks…since you…er…invited yourself into Ukraine…besides, Germans are having second thoughts about her stewardship and her legacy…the Nord Stream and so forth…I know you like her, Vlad…yes, she has a good heart, but having her as a mediator is a nonstarter…Schroeder!?…Vlad, please get real…we’re wasting valuable time…how do I know about the valuables?…you haven’t been corrupting even Schroeder…have you?…


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