If you are going to be a hypocrite, it's best to be so spectacularly hypocritical that you momentarily deprive your audience of the oxygen that would permit them to process the sheer absurdity of what you have just said. It works every time. Just ask the Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the proud recipient of quite probably the last Muammar al-Gaddafi International prize for human rights.
Erdoğan has spent much of this week in Germany – if you believe his version of events – imparting well-meant advice to the locals. From the German perspective, Erdoğan did a Gaddafi by effectively accusing the Germans of being racists bent on repressing the country's 3 million Turks by forcing them to speak German and preventing them from practising their religion. "No one may ignore the rights of minorities … Nobody will be able to tear us away from our culture," Erdoğan told a gathering of 11,000 Turkish emigrés in Dusseldorf. "Our children must learn German, but they must learn Turkish first," he boomed, unwittingly lending support to Angela Merkel's highly dubious assertion that multiculturalism had "utterly failed" in Germany because immigrants refused to learn the language.