Friday 5 June 2009

All Hail, Emperor Guano!

Referring back to an earlier post, Brit (of Think Of England fame) suggests we start calling Brown 'Emperor Guano'. This may be strangely apt... Consider, if you will, the fate of the tiny South Pacific island of Nauru, and ponder the parallels. This dot in the ocean grew rich on guano - very rich indeed, to the point where Nauru was for a while the richest sovereign state in the world, in terms of per-capita income. Phosphate mining they call it, but make no mistake, that phosphate originally came out of seabirds' bottoms. Nauru had grown rich on birdshit. It would not take a genius to suspect that some kind of bubble was being blown up here, and that when the guano ran out, the economy of Nauru would crash and burn. And so it proved. When those phosphate-rich deposits had been mined out - with massive environmental degradation along the way - Nauru's economy collapsed. In the 1990s, the island tried to earn some kind of living as a tax haven and money laundry, but that didn't work out. Now Nauru is dependent on Australia and, in return for aid, has been obliged to house an offshore detention centre for asylum seekers...
So - all hail, Emperor Guano! You have ruled us well.


  1. A sad story. I visited Nauru once, in 1972. We were loading a few thousand tons of said birdcrap. Those coral seas and the far Pacific! I was in Conrad heaven although even then the golf course was down to about two holes.

    I don't know about anyone else, but I simply can't take any more of the Westminster show. A national humiliation. I suppose this is what Broon is counting on, though. Head down, snort on and sheer boredom will mean he'll still be staggering about in the ring long after the matadors, the crowd and even the band have clocked off and gone in search of a life.

  2. Nauru also has the highest incedence of obesity in the world (80%) and the higest level of type 2 diabetes (40%)

    They lost a good portion of their trust fund backing the biggest west end disaster of all time -
    Leonardo The Musical

  3. Good one, worm. I think Nauru may also have held the record for the most vehicles per stretch of road as there was only one and that got shorter every year ...

  4. Cheer up everyone! There's a terrific harvest of blackly humourous invective being brought in from the broad plains of the web. Written in the face of adversity, it's an example of British pluck at its best. We should all feel very proud.

    And just as Macmillan takes inadvertent credit for the satire boom, so Brown needs to be recognised as the source of a lot of excellent lampoonery.

    In this vein, did the Nauruvians (sp?) have any ritual to celebrate the end of a successful guano harvest? The burning of a wicker guillemot, perhaps? An example we might do well to follow. Plenty of candidates to be ensconced.

  5. thats a good point gaw - considering they are sitting on the biggest stinking pile of fertilizer known to mankind, is there any evidence to suggest that they ever partake in fertility festivals?

    Imagine the size of their roses.

  6. Two-hole golf - Leonardo the Musical - a wicker guillemot - love it... Keep 'em coming! Wonder if Malty's been to Nauru...?

  7. Great Nauru knowledge, all.

    Some other random titbits:

    - unemployment is 90% and 95% of those employed are employed by the Government
    - the population suffers from an unusually high level of renal failure
    - there are 7 Aussie rules football teams in the national league, and all games are played at the only stadium
    - the President of Nauru won three silver weightlifting medals in the 62kg class at 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester
    - the detention centre is now closed.

  8. Closest I ever got was Salford, the Lowry centre seemed to built from pigeon droppings.

    Blimey, Caroline Flint's just dumped some droppings on Sauron.

    Hell hath no fury........