Sunday, 25 September 2016

“Never was so much effort required to deal with someone so useless.”

The following is the unedited version of an exposé currently featured in the 20th revised edition of Malleus Maleficus'  [title withheld]. If you wish to report intrusiveness, racism or inaccuracies, please email  To make a formal complaint under IPSO rules please contact IPSO directly at .  

In a famous phrase, “Never was so much effort required to deal with someone so useless.” Take the Ivory Coast’s Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro. Also known as “the basilica in the bush,” it is decorated with 36 massive stained-glass windows, hand-made in Bordeaux, France. Some sort of delusory monument  to an equally delusory divinity in a country with an annual per capita income of $650. Costing some $ 500m and taller than St. Peter’s in Rome, it stands towering above a pastoral  sprawl of grazing cattle and ramshackle buildings. The word hypocrisy is quite inadequate... (see Matthew 15:7-9). Cast in antique grandeur like a Homeric celebration of human idiocy stands another towering tribute: Senegal’s African Renaissance Monument. Taller than the Statue of Liberty,  this is  meant to celebrate the emancipation of the continent from those who actually conceived and erected it. Talk about myths taking the place of facts. 
Capable of endless self-deception it is, hence,  one of the towering lessons of history that the intellectual parity and mental emancipation of almost all native African governments is not an established fact, but a matter for continuing strife and confusion.  Indeed, while the US president cancelled plans for Nasa to send humans to the moon, citing cost and danger, his Sudanese equivalent, Omar Hassan al-Bashir was fine-tuning his plans for  an African Space Agency. Few could doubt the urgency. Or take Julius Malema, leader of South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), who demanded that all whites must learn to speak an African language. Asked why he was speaking in English he memorably replied that he had “no time for racist questions”. So my own question is, why did Nigeria's Muhammadu Buhari's "war against indiscipline" - which consists in a good thrashing for citizens being late for work or failing to form an orderly queue at a bus-stop - attract some 170,000 volunteer enforcers? To which the only correct answer is: they joined the thugs to avoid being beaten up!

Clearly, a festering fury is heartfelt. A hatred of the hand that feeds you. But while Russia sends 60 to 100 tons of (Mammoth)  ivory[1] every year to China and Vietnam,  Uhuru Kenyatta, the president of Kenya resolved  to  reduce 105 tons of elephant ivory and 1.35 tons of rhino horn to a remnant  of smouldering ashes. As you might expect,  the cost of idiocy virtually doubled.  So did the price of ivory! It would be laughable, if it were not so calamitous, that Western inspired African philanthropists should have been incapable of anticipating that the second of these events would be the consequence of the first. If only because of the law of unintended consequences. For the ever-increasing price of ivory is a powerful witness to market forces operating efficiently. Never before in the history of human idiocy have high-minded individuals gone to so much trouble and lost so much money to do something so unintentionally counterproductive. Which takes us back to Idi Amin, alleged to have eaten a large
number of people, including the Anglican Archbishop of Uganda.[2] Cooking a pig’s head is culinarily simple, but there’s not much you can do to improve on a badly brined and underhung Bishop. No hard feelings, Your Excellency, but there appears to have been no specific legislation in Uganda governing the act of cannibalism. In fact, Idi Amin was  probably the most universally maligned chef in Africa and, uncharacteristically for
a chef and an African, also the last King of Scotland. Which is not  bad for a man whose cooking we hate. But then,           Africans don’t lack culinary confidence, they just lack finesse, according to AA Gill of The Sunday Times: “Black-eyed peas, Bishop and rice, that’s a combination made in heaven.” The answer to African cannibalism, the well-known restaurant critic   purportedly claimed, was all in the perception. “It’s the rest of us that need to shape up and not look at them as cannibals. This is a very positive and inspiring attitude. Just stop seeing the problem as a problem. God is hidden in the list of ingredients.”

 Proof that there's a merciful God in heaven...! 

[1] Scientists estimate that 150m dead mammoths lie beneath the tundra.
[2] Janani Jakaliya Luwum was the archbishop of the Church of Uganda from 1974 to 1977 and one of the most influential leaders of the modern church in Africa.

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