3 January 2012

Putin speechwriting competition result: nepotism rules, OK...

The 'Prose for Putin Christmas speech writing competition' was launched on 15 December (HERE) and invited contestants to 'write a short speech outlining Mr Putin's message to supporters and/or opponents for 2o12.'

I suppose there was something inevitable about the fact that it would take a fluent Russian speaker to catch the language and mood of Mr Putin with the precision achieved by David Atkinson (@dsa99uk), winner of the first prize.

Nepotism?
The fact that he also happens to be my big brother (and knows where I live) is surely an added bonus, implying as it does that a degree of corruption may have influenced the judge's decision - with the possibility of more corruption to come: as the lucky winner already has signed copies of Lend Me Your Ears (both in English and Russian), he may be disappointed if he thinks he's going to get yet another free copy...

Runner-up
Winner of the second prize, Daniel Sandberg need have no fears about getting his copy of Speech-making and Presentation Made Easy. Nor was his footnote - 'If my English is not always up to scratch, the reason is that I am Norwegian' - in the least bit necessary.


FIRST PRIZE: David Atkinson
People who describe my party as the 'party of thieves and crooks' should go f**k a sheep and use one of their stupid white ribbons as a condom.

For Hillary Clinton, before she gets in too deep, I’ve just two words. She should listen, and stop paying prostitutes to parade round Moscow wearing white ribbons that look like condoms.

The words for Hillary are ‘Monica Lewinsky’.

I have an agreement with Prokhorov, who is standing against me as President, same as I told Khodokovsky, keep out of politics and keep out of f***ing jail.

That Islamist arselicker of a French journalist who asked me about innocent Chechens getting killed should remember what happens to journalists in our modern Russia. If he comes to Moscow we’ll have him circumcised and when he’s under the knife castrate him as well.

And while we are on the subject, if anyone else says I’ve had plastic surgery, I’ll send the boys round and rearrange their faces for them.

I’ve got some words for the citizens of Londongrad, who thought they were clever voting for the Rotten Apple Party. I know how to stuff ballot boxes better than you. You won’t be coming home to Mother Russia while I am in charge, unless you want nailing to the wall of a Chechen shithouse.

As for that corrupt former Lada salesman, who can’t decide whether he lives in SW3 or Tel Aviv - He calls himself an oligarch with only a couple of billion left - Why is he suing Roman in London? I’ll tell you why. It’s because he knows he’d lose in Moscow.

Come on home Boris. There’s a room waiting for you at the Moscow Lubyanka. Then you can join that son of a Boris (Khodorkovsky) in the Novy Gulag.

Just remember Rotten Apple voters of London, I know where you f***ing live.



SECOND PRIZE: Daniel Sandberg
Citizens of Russia,

On the eve of a new year, we like to reflect on events which have passed. And we ask ourselves what is to come. Paradoxically, looking back in time often helps us to see the future in a clearer light. This year, we marked the 20th anniversary of the demise of the Soviet Union. I once called the breakup of the Union the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the last century. I stand by those words. With the end of the Soviet Union came a period of instability which had agonising effects on Russia. It severely hurt our economy, our security, and our international reputation. Yeltsin’s breakneck economic policies enriched a few, but shattered the lives of ordinary citizens who lost their life savings. Many of those who benefited the most now sit in prison or abroad in their multi-million ruble mansions, criticising us who stayed behind to clear the rubble after Yeltsin’s failed attempts to govern our country. Civil wars threatened to unravel Chechnya and former countries of the Soviet Union. Our armed forces were thrown into disarray. Internationally, Russia became an object of ridicule, a drifting ship with a drunk captain at the steering wheel. And so came a unipolar world, a world where one Western country thought it could decide what was right and wrong, and intervened as it liked. A world where other countries seemed to be more concerned about our internal affairs than their own. When I became president – twelve years ago to the day – I decided that I would right these wrongs.

I promised to rebuild our economy. Today, it is as strong as ever. We have been able to protect our economy from the economic crisis. Our neighbours envy us our economic growth. Every day, we replenish our stabilisation fund, so that we will not have to relive the economic disaster of the 1990s.

I promised to restore peace. The transformation of Grozny into a thriving capital speaks for itself. We have helped our friends and partners in South Ossetia and Abkhazia secure their independence. Our fighters and strategic bombers are again flying above and along our territory. Our brave sailors are protecting Russian merchant ships against pirate attacks in the Indian ocean. And our peacekeepers have calmed tensions in many parts of the world.

I promised to restore Russia’s reputation. Over the past years, I have attended countless meetings in the UN, in the OSSE, in the NATO-Russia Council. And I can tell you: nobody ridicules Russia anymore. We are again a respected international player. We again live in a multipolar world. We can again be proud of being Russian.

Fellow citizens,

If the demise of the Soviet Union has taught us one lesson, it is this: uncontrolled change leads to chaos. Of course, the thought of change can be refreshing. Who does not like to see change from time to time? But change brings uncertainty. Uncertainty carries risk. And when risk materialises, the impact can be devastating.

Why do I say this? I have, of course, taken note of the demonstrations in Moscow, St. Petersburg and a few other places. I know that many of you do not identify with the protesters, who only make up a small percentage of our population. But I also know that some of you do. I am your prime minister, and I take you seriously. I have to admit that I struggle to understand the protests. When I listen to the allegations, they describe a reality which I do not recognise. When I read the slogans, I cannot see any solutions being offered. When I watch the demonstrators, I fail to see any leaders. Still, we have noted your grievances. President Medvedev has ordered an investigation into concrete complaints of election fraud. I have proposed that regional governors again be elected by the people. We have announced plans to make it easier to establish political parties and to register as a presidential candidate. And I have decided to renew my political team. Some of you may say that this is not enough. I agree. It is not sufficient. We face serious challenges: A declining population. An economy which needs modernisation. An army which must be further professionalised. These are daunting obstacles, but they can be overcome. What is needed is stability, firmness and – most of all – an experienced leader. That is why I have announced my candidacy for President in March 2012. Where others offer division, I offer you unity. Where others offer promises, if offer you results. Where others offer you uncertainty, I offer you a future.

Fellow citizens,

Twenty years ago, it was not clear which way Russia would take. After a period of aimless change and confusion under Yeltsin, we managed to restore Russia to its former greatness. It has been an honour to serve as your prime minister during the past four years. It will be an even greater honour to serve again as your President. Whether you are a citizen of Kaliningrad or Vladivostok, whether your home is in Murmansk or Irkutsk, I want you to know that I shall work tirelessly for you, for your family, for your future. We are united by the love of our history, our traditions and our culture. Together, we can achieve things our ancestors could only dream of.

I wish you a happy new year.

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