Gunboat Dipperlomacy
The Collected Bulletins Of President Idi Amin by Alan Coren ( May 9, 1973)

NATCHERLY you all bin wonderin where I bin dis past week, everyone rushin' out to git de famous Punch of May Two an' flickin' through de pages, ain't nothin' but de usual run of ole cobblers, Where de Idi Amin spot? cry de world, an' a lot o' newsagents endin' up on their knees lookin for teef all over Platform Nine.

No doubt consid'able nummers o' imperialist trash takin' dis as a sign dat Idi Amin got de skids under him an' de victim of a coo, an' waitin' fo' a new man to appear down de Kampala Wimpey an' tellin' de foreign press conference "Yassum, we done got rid o' dat uppity nigger, hush mah mouf, jus' put yo' boot on dis step, bwana, I givin' de best shine east o' de Congo," only dat ain't de way it is. Fact is, I bin gittin' de Ugandan Navy in shape, and it bin takin' up a lot o' time, wot wid havin' a hole in it, also de parrot bein' delivered untrained, all it do is stand on de shoulder wid its mouf shut and leave droppin's on de new epaulettes.

Many o' you no doubt seen where I bin havin' talks wid de French, also de Russians, wid a view to settin' up a Navy; main problem is we ain't got no sea, an' short o' takin' de fleet through Tanzania on de bus there ain't no way at present o' gittin' it into de Indian Ocean, which is where you want to be if you gonna start sendin' gunboats an' conquerin' stuff. So we startin' in a small way, puttin' a fleet on Lake Victoria; gonna sink a few duck, torpedo de odd hippo, an' soon as we got de ole eye in, we gonna declare war on de US Navy or sim'lar. Dis mean that either they gonna have to back down, in which case we gits de lot, includin' Las Vegas, Miami, an' de Playmate o' De Year, or they gonna have to come to Lake Victoria an' take us on. Now, a lotta people wot ain't boned up on de naval strategy, such as Mr Midshipman Easy an' Swallows 'n'Amazons etcetera, gonna say "Hum! Washington puttin' in a couple o' missile ships an' a aircraft carrier, where you gittin' off wid a converted paddleboat from de Regents Park kids' pool an' de Seckertary o' State fo' Defence standin' up de sharp end wid his uncle's shotgun?" What they ain't realisin' is America gonna have to bring its air-craft carrier in by air an' build it on de beach. Soon as we see 'em unpackin' de pigskin suitcases, we gonna pedal up like lightnin' an' let go wid bofe barrels. Dis gonna give us a aircraft carrier, also a lotta fust-class luggage. I gittin' sick o' arrivin' in foreign capitals wid de spare underwear in a brown carrier-bag wid Cohen's (Smoked Salmon) Ltd. On de side, people think I a pickled herring salesman instead of a famous international dipperlomatic giant.

An' once you got a aircraft carrier, you really somebody. You got status. People gittin' off de pavement when you walkin' by, people gittin' up fo' you on de tram, you ain't walkin' naked into de conference chambers o' de world, people sayin' "See dat gennelman wid de black eyepatch an' de wooden leg under his arm an' de Bumper Boy's Telescope wot foldin' out in four sections an' de new frog flippers, dat Ammiral o' De Fleet Idi Amin Ph.D., Esq., an' soon as he finish negotiatin' dis new loan, he goin' out after de well-known Moby Dennis again."

Wid a bit o' luck, I could be de nex' Robert Newton.

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