Tina Turner is the latest pop star to announce she wants to carry that snazzy red passport with the embossed crosses on it.
Last year, British crooner James Blunt, who lives in the Alps, said he wanted CH citizenship. Now Tina Turner, a resident of Küsnacht near Zürich since 1995, is on track to get her Swiss citizenship approved.
Why do these two musicians want citizenship in this little landlocked country with four languages, dozens of cheeses and way too many mountains?
Blunt, who owns a chalet and new restaurant in the alpine resort town of Verbier, says it's because he loves to ski. Turner's publicists say she feels special affection for Chocolateland. But really, are we supposed to buy this from the woman who sang "What's love got to do with it?" Neither Turner's nor Blunt's stated reasons sound very convincing to me.
I think I know the real reason, and it has nothing to do with the money the two millionaires will save in income taxes. (Don't forget that French intellectual Gerard Depardieu recently chose Russia over Switzerland to escape such governmental intrusion.)
The real reason is that these two musicians see how utterly pathetic the Swiss entries for the Eurovision Song Contest have been (this year, it's a Salvation Army band), and they think they'd be shoe-in winners.
Maybe Tina and James could perform a duet of "(Limmat) River Deep, (Perre Avoi) Mountain High."
You may recall that last year, another American girl announced her desire to become a Swiss citizen, only to retract her wish the next day: Michele Bachmann, the failed conservative Republican presidential candidate, would have had automatic citizenship thanks to her Swiss-American husband, but she decided that a Swiss passport would taint her patriotism when someone informed her that here, "socialism" is not a dirty word. Whew! Close call for Switzerland.
We'll happily take Tina.