Anonymous, ISIS duke it out in Greek Sunday spectacular


Hackers’ collective Anonymous and apocalyptic Islamic death cult ISIS are vying for responsibility for the software glitch that caused the postponement of today’s leadership elections by Greek opposition party Nea Demokratia.

Earlier this week, Anonymous, the “hacktivist” group known for their cyber-attacks on political targets, Youtube messages in broken voice-synthesised English, and fondness for the Hollywood-inspired Guy Fawkes mask, declared war on ISIS in reprisal for the the November 13 terrorist attacks on Paris. An Anonymous cyber-attack earlier this week is claimed to have taken down thousands of ISIS Twitter accounts and compromised the terror organisation’s 24-hour help desk, leaving thousands of jihadis at a loss with urgent queries as to whether to “cut the red or the green cable” or “is it halal to use Miss Piggy as a Twitter avatar if she is wearing a hijab”.

It is believed that the two global disruptors agreed to duke it out in a bloodless battle in cyberspace today, choosing as their target a noted fortress of internet security, the online voting system chosen in a one-bid process by Nea Demokratia to elect its next leader. The ND leadership election is also thought to have been chosen for its momentous importance, as the vote will determine which of the four hapless candidates will be the one to finally put the once venerable centre-right party out of its misery. While security forces and media were focussing on a well-placed rumours by Anonymous of imminent physical attacks by ISIS on world waffle capital Brussels and that bastion of Western values, the WWE championship in Atlanta, the real battle was going on in cyberspace.

As the news was announced in Athens, Babis and his group of track-suited pundits assembling for their regular Sunday brainstorming session over a frappé and the sports papers, let out a collective sigh and expressed their regret that the otherwise rich Greek language lacks the equivalent of “couldn’t organise a p*ss-up in a brewery”. They then proceeded to dissect the real controversy: last night’s cancellation of the Panathinaikos-Olympiakos football derby in a storm of flares, teargas and flying stadium fittings; before moving on to a game of “how many bank shares do you give me for this half-eaten sandwich?”

Anonymous, ISIS duke it out in Greek Sunday spectacular

 The Suitors of the Opposition


Having snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in last month’s Greek national elections, the interim leader of conservative opposition party Nea Demokratia eventually did the decent thing and resigned, paving the way for a leadership election. Most commentators would agree that the centre-right party, which just celebrated its 41st anniversary and was until recently one of two major parties to take turns at governing Greece in the post-junta era, is suffering a crisis of identity. A lot therefore rides on their next choice of leader

Below is a brief guide to the four leadership candidates who cleared the nomination hurdle by obtaining 50 signatures each from the party’s Political Committee, in order of nomination. The final vote, at a date yet to be determined, will be decided by the party membership nationwide. Not much has been discussed about policy this far, so let’s read the runes…

Kyriakos Mitsotakis (male, 47). First to declare, we have profiled him elsewhere as a poster boy for Greece’s dynastic politics – with all the baggage that entails. Hence, his opponents refer to him as a “political test tube baby”. For the same reason, he prefers to be known as “just Kyriakos” (his twitter campaign uses the hashtag #metonKyriako, “with Kyriakos”). He is campaigning on a modernising platform. His surname is not his only handicap. When ND was last in government only a year ago, he held the politically “courageous” (as Sir Humphrey would put it) post of Minster of Administrative Reform, aka. Minister for Sacking Civil Servants. As a former McKinsey consultant he brought impeccable credentials to the tasks of “rationalising” and “rightsizing”, but politically these will not be vote-winners.

Apostolos Tzitzikostas (male, 37 going on 60). Like Kyriakos, but with less dynastic baggage (his father was a ND MP and minister under the elder Karamanlis, noted for his royalist tendencies). On paper, Tzitzikostas is pretty close to an identikit sketch of the dream opposition leader, that mythical creature often referred to as the “anti-Tsipras”: young, (mostly) self-made, internationalist, with cross-party support and hands-on business experience. He is US-educated, interned with a moderate Republican Congressman (whose only controversial moment was defending Scientology against alleged discrimination), before returning to Greece to start a modern dairy company. He is very active in civil society (from the Red Cross to neoliberal think-tanks) and a fan of technology, going so far as to suggest that the ND leadership election should be an electronic vote – controversial given  the carefully cultivated technophobia among the Greek political class. He became nationally known in 2013 when he invited the local neo-Nazi Golden Dawn representatives to stand alongside other elected party officials in the 28th October parade in Thessaloniki, a decision he justified on the grounds that they were legitimately elected. Beyond that, he has two serious handicaps in the leadership race: fist, he is not currently a Member of Parliament, as he is serving as Governor of Central Macedonia, a post for which he ran as an independent; second, most of his ties are in the north of Greece. Down in the capital, where the nation’s demographic and political centre of gravity lies, δεν τον ξέρει ούτε η μάνα του (even his mother hasn’t heard of him, as they say in my village). Your mum on the other hand would love it if you brought him to dinner, which makes him, er, not terribly exciting.

Vangelis Meimarakis (male, 61). The accidental leader who got a taste for power mainly as a result of wildly inaccurate opinion polls in the lead-up to September’s elections. We have profiled him extensively elsewhwere. One for the old guard, the only genuine fossil candidate guaranteed to awaken the ghosts of ND past. Doesn’t “do” social media, and if he uses email one imagines he dictates it to his secretary. On the plus side, no embarrassing historical tweets. On the minus side, need I say more?

Adonis Georgiadis (male, 42). Comedy mid-20th century populist dictator, also profiled previously as a prime example of “infomercial politics“. Self-made (“self-made what?” it would be fair to ask). His life is an open Twitter feed: however, anyone wishing to mine for reactionary gems will have to wade through terabytes of saccharine over-sharing with his adoring and equally ambitious reality TV star wife @ManolidouE. Submitted his leadership application 7 minutes late after a farcical race against the clock and the highway code (he bragged about running red lights) that may or may not have been a stunt for the cameras (in his mind, Bruce Willis, in everyone else’s, the late Greek physical comedian Thanasis Veggos). His application was waved through anyway. Significant “Corbyn risk”: the grandees who nominated him out of a sense of “fair play” may end up with more than they bargained for. Would he make the trains run on time? Not on current evidence.

Who didn’t run?

Kyriakos’s big sister Dora Bakoyianni, or her son Kostas Bakoyiannis (too late, too soon, respectively?); Adonis’s former LAOS stablemate Makis Voridis (who knows what skeletons are in his closet from his time as a pro-junta youth leader to deter him?); former high-ranking minister Nikos Dendias (a charisma-free zone, but one of the most staunch opponents of Golden Dawn, very capable and principled by all accounts); Tzitzikostas’s predecessor in Central Macedonia, convicted serial fraudster Panagiotis Psomiadis (enough said).

Image: Stills from the 1962 Greek comedy “Οι Γαμπροί της Ευτυχίας” (The Suitors of Eutychia) in which the protagonist jumps through hoops to find a husband for his spinster sister Eutychia (whose name translates as Joy). Eutychia ends us marrying her childhood sweetheart. Let’s hope this story has a different ending.

 The Suitors of the Opposition

BREAKING NEWS: ND fired by top campaign advisor


To:         Evangelos Meimarakis

From:     James Carville (J.C.)

Date:     01 September 2015

Re:        Campaign advisory contract – cancellation

Call me a stuffed armadillo! Loulis just explained to me about tonight’s little ‘welcome home’ rally at yer old HQ. Are you smokin’ Bayou Baccie? Seriously!! You are SHOWING A FILM celebrating all yer OLD DINOSAURS, and inviting two of the MOST TOXIC POLITICIANS YOUR PARTY HAS EVER FIELDED to be the GUESTS OF HONOR???!!!??!!!??!!?

You done gone and give me one MASSIVE WEDGIE. I been happier to find a fist-sized toe-biter in my café au lait, mon frère! Now I don’t like to swear, but y’all are DUMBER THAN A TUB FULL OF TADPOLES. Dang! What did I tell y’all about NEW FACES, NEW BLOOD, NEW IDEAS??? BURY the past and MOVE ON because all these old gator turds are VOTER POISON!!!!! But DO YOU LISTEN??? HELL NO!

SO WHAT DO YOU DO but GO THROW A BIG FRIGGIN’ PARTY and invite the WHOLE WORLD to see what a bunch of DUMBASSES Y’ALL ARE!!!!

I SWEAR I could git Netanyahu elected Prime Minister IN THE WEST BANK easier than I can git you to do just ONE DANG SMART THANG in this crisis of yours!!!! What you expect me to do?? PISS IN THE WIND AND CALL IT CONFETTI???

So I GIVE UP. QUIT. RESIGN. Going H-O-M-E. Loulis is packing my duffel and hailing a cab downstairs. Four connecting flights and I’m sleeping in my own bunk by Thursday.

Here’s one last beignet to stick up yer Baton Rouge: yer country is more SCREWED UP than a polecat in a paper mill. People are gonna REMEMBER NAMES AND FACES, and they’ll remember a few decades down the road who shirked the call and who STEPPED UP. It’s up to YOU amigos. But hey, it’s your couche couche. Laissez les bon temps rouler.

Image: from (in case you can’t read the watermark)

BREAKING NEWS: ND fired by top campaign advisor