ORDER! Ordeeerrrr! Order in the court, I say! That’s Prince Grigory Potemkin on the right (full name Grigory Aleksandrovich Potemkin-Tavricheski, 1739-1791) who was a Russian military leader, shed builder, statesman, nobleman, and food eating favourite of Catherine the Great. He was also reasonably liked by Kathryn the Not-So-Great, Gertrude the Smelly, Karl the Belligerent, and Margaret the Thatcher. Now there’s something quite noble and thrilling about past political figures, such as William Pitt the Younger, old Kings such as Henry VIII, Richard III (who was recently found under a car park), Winston Churchill, Bo Derek, and Maggy Thatcher (not related to Margaret of Thatcher). So, why aren’t our (in England, anyway) current political hoo-has up to these historical standards? Tony Blerghh, the very grey John Major, Bo Derek, and sir Dave Cameron. Granted Boris Johnson is good fun (much like a “balloon”, as Eddie Izzard pointed out), and… that other bloke. You know the one. But, sadly, a lot of people will find politics to be dreadfully full.
Grigory Potemkin, then, stands as a figurehead of yesteryear’s politicians. Potemkin was so influential in Russia his name was used in the famous 1905 film. Yes, so “they’ve” also made a film about Margaret Thatcher but, you know, we don’t need to point out the difference. Potemkin apparently “exuded menace and welcome”, which we should imagine involved something like shaking your hand and then kneeing you in the testicles. Critics observed him to have issues such as; “”laziness, corruption, debauchery, indecision, extravagance, falsification, military incompetence and disinformation on a vast scale.” Fans stressed his “”intelligence, force of personality, spectacular vision, courage, generosity and great achievements”. He also lost his left eye at some point. Cool, eh? Who was the last one eyed politician you can remember? Exactly. So all hail, Grigory, and your strange moment in history.