Why BoJo would rule OK in Cyprus

3 mins read

While Boris Johnson was in denial that he could hang on to being Prime Minister as his government abandoned ship, it was confirmed Cyprus Presidential elections would be on 5 February.

There was little interest in the date among Cypriots as the choice on offer to be their next leader was varying shades of grey.

Although Boris lost his job after being caught out for being a serial liar and an egotistical Brexit cowboy who couldn’t get the job done, at least he challenged the orthodoxy.

It took some time for the establishment to cotton on that he was all bluff and bluster, but he did win them a landslide election.

He cheated his way through Brexit and past an ineffectual Labour party, but his core was integrity-light and honesty-free.

BoJo exhibited all the traits of a typical Cypriot politician without the media-friendly banter and shape-shifting policy mantra.

The Tories could no longer stomach their PM in the kind of mutiny that would be unthinkable closer to home.

Even though Cyprus has a presidential system where parties can’t get rid of presidents, it is unimaginable that the ‘crony culture’ would devour one of their own.

In local politics, everything is swept under the rug, assisted by a pliable media who have no interest in asking the hard questions or uncovering sleaze.

This is why Cypriot politicians acquiesce in an accountability vacuum while spinning as many half-truths or baby lies they can peddle without scrutiny.

If they make a mistake, they can rest assured that the media hound dogs will not be after their blood until the kill is complete.

A mild apology may be the best to be expected – something Boris failed to offer – but certainly no resignation.

He belittled the rising rebellion within his party to his continued leadership, sarcastically dismissing his fellow Conservatives to herd mentality.

Boris unashamedly gave a roll call of achievements such as Brexit, beating the pandemic and garnering support for Ukraine.

You can’t fault him for the latter, but many would argue that Brexit was botched, and the post-EU path down the yellow brick road has proved a dead end.

More scrutiny on how the UK tackled the pandemic will find many mistakes, but the country’s vaccine rollout was commendable.

So, Bojo praised himself on a magnificent tenure and got to stay at Number 10 while the Tories played out a leadership contest over the next few months.

Teflon President

Similarly, the outgoing President Anastasiades will give himself a generous pat on the back for making us richer, happier and healthy.

His time in the hot seat was never in doubt despite the administration mired in persistent corruption allegations and plummeting public trust.

He will be remembered as the Teflon President where no matter how much stink his administration generated – the tolerance bar was extremely bar.

Anastasiades is already preparing excuses for why the Cyprus problem is now buried under a glacier of mistrust.

Many fear the island’s division is deeper and more fractured than ever since the 1974 invasion.

There have been no meaningful negotiations for five years with no clear road map to start talks about talks.

It is an impasse than emboldens Turkey’s belligerence and the Turkish Cypriot hardliners to emphasise our irreconcilable differences.

Turkish nationalists now peddle the argument that there is no such thing as Cypriot – only Greeks and Turks who are different and require two states.

Every excuse is being found for there not to be Cyprus talks as hate poisons the ground.

President Anastasiades says he will do everything he can to resume peace talks if there is a willingness on the other side.

He knows full well the game is up; Cyprus reunification is sinking into the “what could have been” memory jar.

The mood music has changed beyond recognition; only the loud thump of disagreement can be heard.

Nobody is coming over the hill to save Cyprus; the UN can’t even appoint an envoy because the landscape is littered with booby traps.

Apathy has replaced hope – the only thing left is for both sides to blame the UN to divert from their failings.

It’s become the new Blue Beret blame game.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged Cypriot leaders to encourage more direct contact and cooperation between the divided communities as the climate of brinkmanship worsens.

Cultivating an atmosphere conducive to reconciliation will not happen; everybody understands this but pretends otherwise in public.

The writing is on the wall, but like Boris, we choose to ignore it until the roof falls in.