Belated “Happy Birthday, Mr Life-President…”

The world is full of concerned citizens doing their bit to make it a better place – for every 100 abusers there has to be at least one idealist beavering away to make a difference. But I think that we can do more. By now we have most of issues covered – everything from dolphins to fake-hormone secreting plastics has an awareness group, and it’s starting to have a beneficial effect. So now we can focus on finding new solutions to some of Earth’s more ubiquitous problems – here’s one off the top of my head:

1. Retirement Camp for clingy tyrants

This would help us to deal with a very old problem in a very new way. The incredibly long and dreary mess that has been the ‘reign’ of Robert Mugabe has shown the world that sanctions, cold shoulders, finger-wagging and general disapproval doesn’t have an ounce of effect on ageing dictators who refuse to step down. Truth is, they apparently don’t know what else to do with themselves, and twenty years or so of getting your own way with guns doesn’t make them reasonable when it comes time to hand over the keys to the kingdom.

Obviously someone has to help these fearful old horrors to understand that there’s more to retirement than forced exile in some icy European city, and that they can actually step down into a full and honourable life. A few of those gushy American summer camps that lie fallow through winter could be adapted for this purpose – all we need is some very patient psychiatrists, a truckload of effective psych meds, a team of cheerful occupational therapists and extremely high walls:

“Welcome, Mr Gbagbo – you’ll be bunking here with Mr Mugabe. Remember, gentlemen, tai chi will commence on the roof at 6pm, followed by ballroom dancing at 8. Thank you for staying at Camp Give Your People a Massive Break – we mean to give you a very good time.”


Originally posted as “Go on, you know you want to..” January 14, 2012 on LetterDash


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