Dictator Bling 106

Formula 1 is gearing up for a new season. I confess it is one of the very few sports I do not enjoy watching. It seems in so many ways to epitomise the worst excesses of consumption and be associated with the most tasteless displays of wealth and empty-headed celebrity culture. It is just sleazy.

I suppose it is not therefore surprising that possession of a Formula 1 Grand Prix has become de rigeur for every dictator who wants to be socially accepted among the other superyachts. Formula 1 started a new Grand Prix in Bahrain a couple of years ago, where the majority population suffers dreadful suppression, torture and population. This includes the torture of sportsmen, so that even a body as corrupt as FIFA drew the line at the possibility of a Bahraini Prince as President.

In a desperate attempt to find a way to reach still lower, Formula 1 is this year adding the harsh dictatorship of Azerbaijan to its schedule. Azerbaijan has an appalling human rights record and beyond doubt it is getting worse every year. Furthermore, like many economies based almost entirely on oil wealth, it is feeling the pinch at the moment and the consequences of budget cutbacks are falling entirely on the ordinary people, while the lifestyles of their super-rich rulers are immune.

President Aliev has wasted billions on “prestige” projects. Hosting the Eurovision song contest, the European Games and now a Formula 1 Grand Prix. But ordinary people are struggling to get by on incomes which were already at third world standards and whose value has fallen still further with the collapse of the manat. None of which matters to the empty-headed bling merchants of Formula 1.

We should not seek to prevent Formula 1 going to the dictators. We should rather ban it from the democracies.

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

106 thoughts on “Dictator Bling

1 2 3
  • Kempe

    Azerbaijan got to host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012 because they won in 2011. That’s how it works.

    Agree about F1, it’s been deadly dull for years.

  • craig Post author


    Yes, but they won it because the crazy dictator threw huge amounts of cash at their entry – orchestration, choreography etc all done by top international professionals. It stopped being a song contest a long while ago.

  • Pan

    I’m told sugar in the tank works well.

    @deepgreenpuddock – Lighten up dude! (Only kidding – I’m right there with you, actually).

  • Pan

    Strangely, the words “Aliev” and “manat” combined, produce the anagram “Vile Ataman”

  • nevermind, mental health is a burning issue

    Sadly I have no link for this headline suggestion for after the ref.in June.

    Britain under fire for refusing to take in refugees they created.

    We have not spoken much about the plight of these people, some reluctance at all levels, including here, whilst children are getting pneumonia in Igomeni.

    20% of refuges come from Afghanistan, many are from Iraq and Syria, but there are also Libyan refugees. So what about those bombers with no hearts, who don’t give a damn about their very own disabled and mentally ill people.

    After the pro EU vote the UK will have to open its borders and take their fare share of refugees in, so BEST START PLANNING FOR IT NOW YOU INCONSIDERATE Government.

    And no more of these Heidrich solutions for people who can’t help themselves.

  • Mark Golding

    tasteless displays of wealth and empty-headed celebrity culture. It is just sleazy.

    Psychic Bobby Potter OBE done well selling meat and providing animal transport to the British army. Lakeside Country Club, the home of British darts is the pride of owner Potter. The adjacent(and haunted) Wharfenden lake is tragic and massive and while judging a retriever working test in nearby woods a training ‘dummy’ was launched and unfortunately fell in the lake on Potter’s estate.

    I later walked round to Potter’s mansion, through the gates, up the drive and rang the bell. A young lady lent out the window of an upstairs room and I gently tattled out a request to retrieve the floating dummy with my trusty lab, Sally.

    She hissed unexpectedly, “No! fuck off – dogs are not allowed in here, and Bob’s in bed.”

    I left with both tails between our legs.

  • Republicofscotland

    Ah yes F1, a sport for mega rich wee boys who never grew up.

    Regarding the Bahrain Grand Prix, if you get tired of watching egotistical drivers push themselves to the edge, you can head towards the pro-democracy demonstrators, who are regulary beaten tear gassed and shot with shotguns, supplied by our friends at Westminster, what a lovely bunch.

  • Republicofscotland

    Re my last comment.

    Exports, published in the third quarter of last year, (2011) gave the green light to British arms manufacturers to sell a number of crowd control products to the Bahrain government, including CS hand grenades, demolition charges, smoke canisters and thunderflashes.

    Such was the intensity of the campaign against the democratic protesters in Bahrain, in 2011, that then Foreign Secretary William Hague, issued a warning to Brits, not to travel to the tiny gulf state at all.

  • Republicofscotland

    And there’s more…oh yes.

    Such was the satisfaction felt, by His Majesty Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa- the King of Bahrain, over the weapons sold to him by those wonderful chaps at Westminster. That the then Defence Secretary Liam Fox had his travel expenses to and from Bahrain paid for by the king.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Motorcycle racing was always far more interesting. Even watching Cricket beats Formula 1.

    Since I resigned (well banned), the Telegraph have apparently decided to ban everyone.


    “The Telegraph has suspended the facility for readers to comment on stories and features “until further notice” as part of a review of the way the newspaper engages with its audience.”

    Dictator Bling?


  • Pan

    @RoS – I recently read “The Shadow World – Inside the Global Arms Trade” by Andrew Feinstein.

    What you’re talking about is simply ‘business as usual’.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    Would you please use quotation marks and indicate sources when you lift stuff from elsewhere and publish it here?

    You are not fooling anyone when you pretend they’re your own words.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “We have not spoken much about the plight of these people, some reluctance at all levels, including here, whilst children are getting pneumonia in Igomeni.”

    Is it not an offence – or at the very least offensive – if parents knowingly or unknowingly put their children in physical danger?

    This applies both to maritime transport and what happens on terra firma.

  • Republicofscotland

    Habb, instead of berating my comments, that have obviously got your cackles up, I see why.

    Try and at least make your first comment on topic, then you can divert as usual.


    Re your “suspect” I’m sure a magical passport of sorts will pop up somewhere connecting all the dots together, and allow Hollande a victory speech.

    Oh la la mon cheri. ?

  • Republicofscotland

    “@RoS – I recently read “The Shadow World – Inside the Global Arms Trade” by Andrew Feinstein.

    What you’re talking about is simply ‘business as usual’.”


    Yes Pan, I totally agree with you on that, Westminster is forever in a arms race, to sell as much as possible, to as many countries as possible. Regardless of who runs country dictators most welcome.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    You started posting a little later than usual today. Did you have to stay behind to supervise an activity or perhaps take detention?

  • fwl

    Mr Murray, you have gone too far. If you don’t get F1 watch Rush, which is essentially a posh version of The Rack Pack.

    F1 may be dull to watch as are many sports, but that is because you should be doing them not watching. Racing is where its at but if people want to pay to watch let them because its v expensive. If dictators are so silly as to think they gain respect or credence by paying the extravagant hosting fees let them. F1 does progress motor science.

    Ban F1? Retract or I cancel my subscription.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    My older brother was just so fit, and so good looking all his life. I never imagined that I would go to his funeral, and to be honest, his death made me extremely upset for 3 months…

    I thought well shit – its going to be my turn next…

    He should be 72 now – still fit as a fiddle with his wife, children & great grandchildren

    He did everything right and he’s dead.

    He didn’t even get old enough to claim his Pension

    This is for My Ex, My Wife & My “Sis”


    You younger ones can change the law back, after we are all dead.

    Love & Peace,

    Grandad Tony xx

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    “Re your “suspect” I’m sure a magical passport of sorts will pop up somewhere connecting all the dots together, and allow Hollande a victory speech.”

    You’ve probably seen some TV or video coverage by now, RoS. So what do you think – actors or holograms?

  • Tony_0pmoc

    When I was a kid, I actually played for my home team – in The B-Team (I was crap but I tried)

    Now 55 years later – I am Playing For The “A” Team.

    Well – We Must Be The Best

    We are Still Here.

    We are Older Than You.


  • Tony_0pmoc

    (I get my Pension on Time at the Age of 65)

    All The Girls have got to wait another 6 years…

    I might be dead by then…what are they going to live on?

    Can you see it from the grandmother’s point of view


  • paul

    Driving around in a loop is the apotheosis our ambitions, faster,louder peacocking on a payment plan.

  • Alcyone (Simple: Truth, Goodness, Beauty)

    Node @11.34

    Good one thank you. Had a good laugh and shared it with some friends.

    Very apt for some of the conversations that take place on this board.

1 2 3

Comments are closed.