At their annual gathering, leaders from countries such as Uzbekistan, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Zimbabwe and Kazakhstan all spoke of the difficulties they’d had in rigging elections so that they could continue to oppress their ‘electorate’, and how the British had now shown them a much simpler way.
‘How nice it must be to have your people so compliant that they actually vote to have their rights quashed,’ said tyrannical Uzbek President, Islam Karimov, ‘I had to spend millions of my people’s money on corruptly controlling the media, the judiciary, the executive and the law enforcement to allow me to continue my programme of oppression, larceny and self-enrichment.’
‘Have you seen the price of hired goons these days? It’s ruinous!’ lamented Robert Mugabe at the 5th Annual Despots Symposium in Baku, while Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, President of Turkmenistan, expressed surprise at the declared level of the vote that the Conservatives secured. ‘Long ago we did away with ballot stuffers, it was too much effort. Now we just pick a number in the high-80s or 90s and add a credibility-lending nought-point-something to the end of it. I can’t believe David Cameron only went for 36.9%. He’s got all the right numbers, but in the wrong order. And yet this allows him to do what I’ve spent so much time and energy driving towards? Life as a despot must be so much easier if idiots help you along.’
Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan meanwhile suggested that he may be able to pursue his programmes of oppression at far lower cost in light of what happened in the UK. ‘Maybe free elections are cheaper than press-ganging people in to vote – we’ll be looking into that. That would mean even more cash for enormous portraits of me and gold palaces to constantly remind my people who’s in charge, and lots left over for shopping trips in Milan, or Paris, or anywhere in the world. Perhaps we need to change, to modernise, to follow the model set by the ‘Mother of Parliaments’. Makes you think, doesn’t it?’