I was excited by the title, but after the teaser and first three paragraphs, I had to stop reading.
He is the omnipotent ruler of Kazakhstan. She is the woman tipped to succeed him. But a bitter and bizarre power struggle involving allegations of kidnapping has thrown the family – and the country – into turmoil. By Anne Penketh
The characters in this family feud come straight out of central casting. Top billing goes to the Soviet-era President of Kazakhstan, who last week gave himself the right to run for office as many times as he likes. His eldest daughter, an opera singing mezzo soprano, who has been tipped to succeed her father in a post-communist dynasty, has a secondary role.
And then, of course, there is the ineffable Borat, the creation of the comic Sacha Baron Cohen who put the oil-rich central Asian state on the map by inventing the oafish, satirical character famed for such outrageous declarations as “throw the Jew down the well”.
Borat actually has a walk-on part in this drama. But this is no soap opera. President Nursultan Nazarbayev has been accused of overseeing one of the most nepotistic, ruthless and corrupt regimes in central Asia.
Alright, girlfriend needs to breathe, deeply. Having no idea who Anne Penketh is, I’m going to assume she’s like Maureen Dowd, in that she prefers florid and overly-affected prose over anything approaching clarity or wit (a quick Google yielded unflattering results). What exactly does “one of the most… corrupt regimes in Central Asia” even mean? There are only five (or six) regimes. Obviously more corrupt and horrid than Kazakhstan are Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, with Kyrgyzstan getting extra points for its rolling political crises. While the recently de-Russified Rahmon hasn’t made Tajikistan a target of international opprobrium, he certainly hasn’t earned many brownie points from the World Bank’s anti-corruption squads.
In fact, I’d make the case that, even though Kazakhstan is absolutely corrupt, nepotistic, and ruthless, it is actually the least of these in the region. And WTF with mentioning Borat? Is the case against Aliyev borne from Nazarbayev’s scorned ego? And “omnipotent” = LOL. Please.
After reading such crap, I don’t care if the rest of Ms. Penketh hyperventilation says anything useful. I cannot read it.