Watching the chaos unfolding in Iran, CF feels sure that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in dire need of some friendly advice. After all, its all gone wrong for the poor chap. Nobody seems to want him to be President. Infuriating, especially after his helpers sat up all night filling in those voting forms.
Well, Mahmoud, CF has some advice for you. We're used to these temporary glitches here in Great Britain, and we've got a whole raft of measures to circumvent the tiresome nonsense.
So, Mahmoud, here's what you need to do, in easy step-by-step form. You might want to print this out and pin in on the wall of your bunker.
- Firstly, don't worry about the tens of thousands of people protesting in the streets. They can be safely ignored. After all, they've had a chance to vote haven't they? And they'll probably get another one, one day. In the meantime, just pull the curtains, turn up the music and press on. Nobody ever got anywhere listening to public opinion.
- Secondly, you need some good people around you now. Go through your address book - all the people you remember were helpful. Don't worry if they've disgraced themselves in the past - bring 'em back. If they’re not actually in prison, invite ‘em over. Remember, you don't care what the public think, and it'll be nice to have the old team together.
- And Mahmoud, instead of arresting members of the press, get them on side. Offer them a job. Actually, better still, not actual journalists: get hold of people who really want to be journalists, but just don't have the talent. Use some of the money you raise in taxes to pay them a huge salary to work for you, and you alone. But don't worry about having them talk up you and your policies - just let them concentrate on smearing your opposition. They don't have to waste time digging for dirt - encourage them to make something up. Perhaps they could invent some stories about the mental health of someone’s wife? A word of warning; once these "spinners" are on board, keep well away from them as they weave their dirty lies: you don't want people saying you condoned this sort of disgusting behaviour, do you?
- And back to that that team-building - get as many people as you can close to you. Don't waste your time on elected colleagues - they've got their own agenda, and their own constituents to answer to. No, pick people who are famous, and preferably popular with the public - why not get some people off the telly?
- Mahmoud, you must make sure that you and your colleagues never appear on a radio or a television programme without heaping abuse on Mir Hossein Mousavi and his party. Repeat whenever you can that, in the unlikely event of him getting power, he will have all nurses, firemen and .. oh, something else people like .. cartoon monkeys .. sacked immediately. Then shot. Then deported. Keep saying this, over and over: people might start to believe you.
- Think of a catchy nickname for Mousavi, something you and your acolytes can really pound into the collective consciousness. How about "Mr Boombastic"? No, better, how about "Mr 10%"? When people ask you why, say its because - as soon as he gets power, Mousavi is going to kill 10% of the kittens in the country. That's him - Mr 10%. Point out that if you stay in power, kittens will be increased in real terms, year on year. Don't worry if that's not strictly true. Just keep saying it.
- At the same time as the above, be sure to repeatedly state that Mir Hossein Mousavi, should he gain power, will do absolutely nothing. His party are the "do nothing party". Why? Because they will do nothing. Nothing at all.
- If any of the above begins to look like its not working, why not mix things up a bit: change all the responsibilities of your acolytes. Sack a few, promote a few. Say you're going to sack some, then don't. Promise some you'll promote them, then don't. The ensuing rows, briefings and counter-briefings will completely fill the press, and will totally distract everyone from the real problems. By the time the dust has settled on your reshuffle, everyone will have completely forgotten what they were cross with you about.
There, that's no so hard, is it? Any questions? No? Well, if anything crops up, just call the House of Lords, here in the UK, and ask for Lord Mandelson.