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 …

Zimbabwe

Is Zimbabwe’s election really a new start? What makes this election extraordinary is principally that Robert Mugabe isn’t standing and won’t win it. Also, that although Chamisa has complained about long queues at polling stations, the 75% turnout, openly held rival candidate rallies  and lack of systematic violence suggests that this poll is as close …

Cambodia

Cambodian Prime Minister, Hun Sen wins a landslide election victory. Many congratulations to Hun Sen, the Cambodian Prime Minister who has already been in power for 33 years but is so popular with his electorate that his party has just won another thumping great majority with a massive turnout of 82 per cent. How does …

Pakistan

Imran Khan, Pakistan, Democracy Pakistan is celebrating its 2nd ever peaceful transfer of power through an election – or it will be, if everything stays on track after Imran Khan’s general election victory. The dweller’s guide certainly doesn’t want to cast any shadow over this achievement, but we have to be very careful before we …

South Sudan

South Sudan power sharing More good news from Africa this week as South Sudan’s warring (mainly Dinka and Nuer) factions sign a power sharing agreement to end the 5 year civil war that has made the world’s newest country also its poorest. President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar – who had been allies …