False Freedom and Food

Two items of news hit me this morning. First, giant headlines everywhere you look or listen; 'Egypt Revolution Frees Citizens'. Then a tiny piece tucked away almost out of sight; 'Wheat Crop Fails in China'. Haven't the media got this the wrong way around? I asked myself.

Don't want to be the spectre at the feast but does anybody inside or outside of Egypt really feel that Hosni Mabarak's retirement is going to change anything for or about the people there? Hate to say it but sometimes a dictator - even one as unbelievably corrupt as Mr Mabarak - is the best of all the bad solutions. A fresh set of hands on the national treasury is surely going to be as grasping as the last pair. Especially, I would suggest, if the new set is attached to bodies in uniform. Corruption is endemic not just in Egypt but most of this world over. As they say these days, 'Get used to it!' (Hateful as is that prospect)

A serious shortage of the staple foodstuff in a country as populous and as powerful as China - now that is very, very disturbing. I am not going even to speculate about this one. Most people know well my views on people numbers and our planet's ability, medium term, to feed and water us all. Economics pale into insignificance alongside this. Even if China does now vitually own the almighty dollar.

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