Month: August 2018

USA Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico: The USA Domestic disaster no one wants to talk about. Today we learned officially what was already widely known – that the death toll on Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria (followed by Hurricane Irma) was more than 1400 people, not the 64 people its government originally estimated. There will be some discussion about …

Argentina

Argentina votes against legalising abortion It’s not for this blog to comment on the rights and wrongs of abortion, but the vote in Argentina rejected legalised abortion as expected (38 senators against, 31 for)  even though the text was approved by the Senate last week and Congress have already passed it – (make sense? not …

China

China’s Two Baby Policy is announced through new Piglet Stamps but Pooh is banned.   So fragile is Xi- Jinping and so afraid of the cartoon character Winnie the Pooh, that he has banned the new Disney film, Christopher Robin. Who would have thought that ‘a bear of very little brain’ could pose such a …

Venezuela

Nicolas Maduro is a terrible leader of a terrible regime, but assassination is never a good idea. There was allegedly an assassination attempt on Maduro yesterday and, at first glance, you might wish it had been successful – after all he leads a regime which would rather see its people go hungry and its HIV …

Venezuela, Zimbabwe, UK, China

  “People were so ridiculous with their illusions…thinking their own lies opaque while everybody else’s were transparent.” George Eliot, Middlemarch We all tend to think we can lie and obscure our real motivations without other people seeing through us, while, at the same time, equally believing that we can see through their deceits and agendas …

Turkey

No Pride in Turkey (or about 45% of the rest of the world) Stonewall’s decision to have its Pride T-shirts printed in Turkey – where the Gay Pride march is banned and marchers are met with rubber bullets and tear gas – seems odd, but no odder perhaps, than asking a bakery run by evangelical …

Zimbabwe

Don’t bother waiting for the results of the Zimbabwe election…democracy lost. What are the essential ingredients of democratic process? Truthful election campaigns, followed by… Free and fair elections, followed by Respectful silence while the results are being counted, leading to… Undisputed election results, and… Peaceful transfers of power, giving rise to new governments which enjoy… Full terms in parliament, …

Saudi Arabia

Neom. Saudi Arabia’s new Utopian City. If you want to consider a completely new life in a new land, then Saudi Arabia claims to be building it for you in Neom,  (literally ‘new’ with ‘m’, the beginning of the Arabic word for ‘future’). A £380 billion mega city 20 times the size of London which …