Putin to battle Snowden for Nobel Peace Prize
Whistleblower versus Vlad the Sabre-rattler
The Norwegian Nobel Committee met yesterday for a first shufti at the record 278 candidates for the award. Since the committee never reveals the luminaries on the list, any names which pop up in the press are a result of "either sheer guesswork or information put out by the person or persons behind the nomination".
In which case, we speculate that Bashar al-Assad put Putin's name forward, for the latter's intervention in Syria, although Russia's recent sabre-rattling in Ukraine and Crimea might have the Nobel chaps reaching for their dictionaries to check the exact meaning of "peace".
The Norwegian Nobel Institute's director, Geir Lundestad, noted: "Part of the purpose of the committee's first meeting is to take into account recent events, and committee members try to anticipate what could be the potential developments in political hotspots."
Snowden was probably nominated by Julian Assange, who may himself be under consideration for his tireless work in uncovering the truth about what US diplomats said about European politicians' personal hygiene and other such earth-shattering revelations.
Also reportedly up for the trophy are Pope Francis and Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban for having the temerity to suggest girls too might benefit from an education.
The Nobel Committee will now whittle the initial nominees down to a shortlist for further processing by "adviser review", before making its decision in October.
Previous laureates include Nelson Mandela (1993), The 14th Dalai Lama (1989) and Barack Obama (2009).
Obama's win raised a few eyebrows at the time, not because he isn't undoubtedly a really nice chap and all that, but because he arguably hadn't actually done anything to merit the honour, apart from provoking a worldwide "yes we cangasm". ®