Beware naked prime ministers and state-sponsored sex parties

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A word of warning to members of the Czech government as their country takes over the presidency of the Council of the EU: For goodness’ sake, don’t get your genitalia out!

That might sound obvious, but the Czechs have form. They also held the rotating EU presidency in the first half of 2009 and there was something of a distraction caused by then-Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek, who was photographed naked and in, er, a state of arousal next to a swimming pool owned by … go on, have a guess which leader’s pool it was.

If you guessed Silvio Berlusconi (and if you didn’t, why not?), then congratulations.

The Italian prime minister at the time had obtained an injunction to prevent hundreds of photographs of private parties at his Sardinian villa from appearing in Italian media. But Spain’s El País went ahead and published five images dating from May 2008, which it released on the eve of the 2009 European Parliament elections.

Although the paper pixelated the faces of the partygoers, eagle-eyed Czechs were able to identify Topolánek via another part of his body — no, not that part, but his arm, on which he wore a white wristband given to him by George W Bush.

Despite the massive embarrassment — of being friends with Berlusconi and Bush! — the Czech politician admitted that he was indeed the naked man pictured standing beside an unidentified woman on a sun-lounger and blamed it on, you guessed it, those pesky socialists.

But if the lesson from Topolánek’s case is to keep your pants on, then it’s not being heeded by the British government, which is now the part-owner a company that organizes sex parties.

Killing Kittens took out a loan from the Future Fund — a government scheme set up by U.K. Chancellor Rishi Sunak — to help it stay in business as the pandemic took its toll and sex parties were prohibited (as were all parties, unless you were a member of the British government, in which case they were seemingly obligatory).

Future Fund loans contain a clause that converts them into equity at a later stage, which is what has just happened to Killing Kittens, so the government now has a stake in a company that, according to its website, hosts “hedonistic events” that are “the ultimate adult playgrounds” and creates “unforgettable nights of excitement and exploration for all.” Could be worse, they could actually kill kittens.

Rumors that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson left the NATO summit in Madrid early to check in on his new purchase were unconfirmed at the time of going to press.


“This year’s version of that traditional G7 game, ‘spin the British prime minister,’ proved a roaring success.”

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Paul Dallison is POLITICO‘s slot news editor.