Where is the popular vote totally disregarded, either in referendums, plebiscites or expressions of opinion in a tele-voting exercise? Why, in Europe of course, where not only can a song with clear political overtones win a competition whose rules expressly prohibit this but also, one which allows Australia to compete. Eurovision joins Nobel in the land of the a$$imilated
Australia, after all, is many people's favorite European country, what with its aborigines, kangaroos, tropics and koalas, all so European they allow the country to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest. Australia or Austria? No, no, Australia. Strange, isn't it, since the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest rules as per the Eurovision dot TV site state that, and I quote: "A maximum of 46 Active EBU Members shall be allowed to participate".
Cool, so let us go to the list of Active European Broadcasting Union members, and check out... under the letter A...Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus...no hang on that is already B. OK let's scroll down to the end and see if there is an addendum. Hmmm, no there isn't. OK fine so they let Australia in. I mean, next year a Tuvan Throat Ballad from Mongolia might be the winner of the popular vote but then again the national juries, whoever they are, will override it and declare that the real winner is a new NATO member or a member having issues with Russia after an illegal Fascist coup was staged by foreign parties, ousting the democratically elected President, calling for the death of Russians and Jews, because the country has massive supplies of easily-accessible shale gas, so much that the son of the vice-president of a powerful country is the advisor to the Ukrainian Gas Lobby.
But wait, Australia is an "Associate" Member. Because it pays. So Australia can compete as an Associate Member because it pays and exclude another European member. And probably because it votes against Russia. However, the rules clearly state "Active Members" and not "Associate Members" and anyway thank God Australia didn't win otherwise countries like Ukraine would have to ask Germany for a loan to catch the flight all the way down under, or else they could also just steal some Russian gas, as usual.
So like the Nobel Peace Prize, the Eurovision Song Contest has been assimilated into the Great Mainstream Liars using each and every channel of public opinion to whitewash public opinion, through pictures copied and pasted from decades before and other theatres of war and entitled "Syria 2015", through the zapping of images and films from the Net, such as NATO aircraft strafing Iraqi cereals fields in the 1990s (ask RAI Uno)...wow that might merit another massive cyber-attack against this column... through the manipulation of fear through the propagation of lies.
Come to think of it, Europe today and its puppet-master across the Pond make Goebbels and co. seem like a gaggle of grandmothers on a Sunday picnic outing.
Now, let us move on to the song that won, Ukraine's "1944" performed by Jamala. A good-looking girl, a sound performance, professional, heart-felt, she certainly put her soul into it. However, there was another song that the popular vote preferred, and the song that won the popular tele-vote was Russia's Sergey Lazarev, with "You are the only one". Now let's see. Under Eurovision rules, and again I quote, "No lyrics, speeches, gestures of a political or similar nature shall be permitted during the Eurovision Song Contest".
It is there, in black and white, in the rules. So let us see the lyrics of Jamala's song. Let's see if it starts with a love ballad about an unrequited love, or a complicated tryst, or a love triangle in which she was left on the shore while her lover sailed away across the seas with a half-naked mermaid. Or these days, hey-hey, nudge-nudge, it might be more "in" for him to sail away with a "seaboy". Here we are. Hmmm, it kicks off with these words:
"When strangers are coming...
They come to your house,
They kill you all
We're not guilty
OK so is that the Ukrainian version of "Roses are red, violets are blue, when that is said, I love you"? Just imagine you invite Jamala to your Aunty Maud's tea party and she spits out that venom with her eyes flashing and her fists clenched. Poor Aunty Maud would have a fit...or kittens. Wow... but hey it isn't political, no really, Eurovision says so!
So there we have it. If those lyrics are not political, I am a Mongolian herdsman and next year I shall be present with my version of the Tuvan Throat Ballad. Now watch this space as Ukraine declares it wants to hold the Eurovision in Crimea and sets the cat among the pigeons.
Sour grapes maybe because I wanted Russia to win...? Let me share something with my readers. In fact I couldn't give a flying toss who won. All the songs are based around those same boring four chords which are considered a "Eurovision type of song". If you are thinking of competing with a rock opera song entitled "I wanna screw the *** off Mary Ann", forget it. After all I have been involved in no less than four Eurovision songs that reached the finals in the 1980s and 1990s, apart from numerous others that did not; I wrote the English version of the lyrics - not the translation, the original song - among the fifty-odd singles and three albums I wrote/published and I can share that before the whole things starts, before the first performance on stage, we knew who was going to win and it was not always through merit. Abba was, others were, but certainly not all. It is all about the publishing companies doing deals behind the scenes, and this time around, in the current disgusting western-orchestrated international climate, Jamala is considered as more "ko$her" than Sergey Lazarev.
Today Russia is not playing on a level playing field with everyone else because Russia is a threat to the neo-conservative neo-imperialist plan to go globe-trotting and steal resources, as I have been warning since 1991. Many were those who derided me as some kind of eccentric or snorted sneeringly, writing me off as just another nutcase. Nowadays people are seeing that I was right all along. Russia's athletes are excluded because a handful of them were caught doping, as if this means they are all guilty, and as if western athletes do not take performance-enhancing drugs. And now this decision allowing a political song to win and overturning the popular vote.
As an ex-athlete myself, with Olympic qualifying times (10,000 metres) and as someone who practices sport regularly, I am a believer in fair play and good sportsmanship, which runs by congratulating the winner and thanking them for the experience of performing together, whether you win or lose. Thank you Jamala, and congratulations. But either you play under the same rules as everyone else, or forgive me, I cannot respect the decision by Eurovision and although you are good looking and perform well, you are a political pawn in their game.
At this very moment, almost 400,000 people agree with me, as per the petition flying around the internet, passing the 350,000 mark which requests Eurovision to review the decision.
Does anyone else feel disgusted at the way the world is turning out? The place makes me sick.
*Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked as a correspondent, journalist, deputy editor, editor, chief editor, director, project manager, executive director, partner and owner of printed and online daily, weekly, monthly and yearly publications, TV stations and media groups printed, aired and distributed in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe Isles; the Russian Foreign Ministry publication Dialog and the Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Publications. He has spent the last two decades in humanitarian projects, connecting communities, working to document and catalog disappearing languages, cultures, traditions, working to network with the LGBT communities helping to set up shelters for abused or frightened victims and as Media Partner with UN Women, working to foster the UN Women project to fight against gender violence and to strive for an end to sexism, racism and homophobia. A Vegan, he is also a Media Partner of Humane Society International, fighting for animal rights. He is Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru.