Did you hear the one about the Georgian and the dwarf? *

These are tough times if you are the leader of the successor organisation to the Communist party of the Soviet Union. Power resides elsewhere, your five year plans are somewhat limited in scope by the advancing age of your party membership, you find you can’t have a decent purge, and even the consolations of the Lubyanka are off limits.

What is to be done?

Well, Communist Party of the Russian Federation boss Gennady Zyuganov has shown that he is fit to be compared to any previous member of the vanguard by releasing a book of Jokes in time for April fools day.

Zyuganov, (who famously accused Boris Yeltsin of rigging the 1996 election) showed his funny side at a news conference on Thursday, letting loose rib-ticklers such as this:

A Kremlin flunky brings good news and bad news about the results to a nervous Yeltsin. Yeltsin sinks a glass of vodka, swallows a tranquilliser and asks for the bad news. The aide replies, ‘Zyuganov got 62 per cent’. When a trembling Yeltsin asks for the good news, his assistant responds, ‘You won. You got 75 per cent’.”

Meanwhile in a parallel universe, Socialist-realist statues of Bernard Manning are being erected all over Manchester….

Any suggestions of other politicians who should consider stand-up comedy as a career are welcome (I can just see Mugabe wowing an audience with his Dame Edna routine, can’t you?)

Anybody been taken in by a good April Fool joke this morning by any chance?


Gene adds: The Washington Post has an account of radio April Fool’s Day hoaxes. Among the more hilarious: An Oregon radio station announced that a local dam had burst and a Boston station announced that the mayor had died in a car crash. Some members of his family believed the story. Har har.