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Today's quote:

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The king rat is leaving the sinking ship


So Sepp Blatter. the 79-year-old Swiss FIFA president for 17 years who had only been 're-elected' on Friday, has resigned. It's certainly a stunning capitulation to critics as a mounting corruption scandal engulfs world football's governing body.

However, as The Onion reports, "FIFA officials assured the public Friday that the ongoing U.S. Department of Justice investigation will in no way affect the 2022 Qatar slush fund. 'While our organization takes these allegations very seriously, we can guarantee with total confidence that the charges will not hinder or restrict the 2022 slush fund in Qatar', said FIFA president Sepp Blatter, adding that the unreported personal expenditures and under-the-table government kickbacks will take place at multiple venues throughout the Middle Eastern country as scheduled. 'Regardless of this ongoing probe, our officials are committed to accepting bribes in exchange for FIFA media and marketing rights, redirecting construction funds to personal expense accounts, and offering lavish gifts to Qatari political ministers in order to sidestep government regulations exactly as originally planned. These accusations of wrongdoing will not be a distraction as we prepare for what we all hope will be the greatest FIFA slush fund yet.' Blatter added that the indictments will also have no effect on the 2018 slush fund in Russia, noting that the country’s framework for corruption is already firmly in place"

Qatar, whose only national sport is flaunting their wealth, is currently spending some US$200 billion - that's 'illion' with a 'b' in front! - on infrastructure to stage the 2022 World Cup. Far be it from me to suggest that they may have spent a few millions of those many billions on bribes to get the games. However, if they were found to have done so, they'd be hard pressed to find another use for all those stadiums (or stadia, take your pick) although public stonings and beheadings spring to mind.

As for understanding Blatter's machinations, you have to read one of my favourite little books, Machiavelli's The Prince (strange! his successor is a Prince ☺). Here are a few Machiavellian quotes (which sound even better in Schwyzerdütsch):

“Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.”

“…he who seeks to deceive will always find someone who will allow himself to be deceived.”

“The vulgar crowd always is taken by appearances, and the world consists chiefly of the vulgar.”

“If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.”

“It is safer to be feared than loved”

“For, in truth, there is no sure way of holding other than by destroying”

“Men are so simple, and governed so absolutely by their present needs, that he who wishes to deceive will never fail in finding willing dupes.”

“Verträge bricht man um des Nutzens willen.”