The northern Brazilian city of Boa Vista must have the cleanest car windscreens in the entire country. This is because on almost every street corner, at every junction, and around every roundabout, there is a Venezuelan, or four, offering their services. Their partners and children sheltering from the sun in some nearby shade.
Whether they were teachers, builders, doctors, carpenters, chefs, farmers, bankers, or shop assistants previously, they are now self-employed car washers and roadside salespeople. Cardboard signs serve the dual purpose of promoting their work and potential, whilst also providing some cover from the intense heat which accompanies their daily 12-hour shifts.
Continue reading “Venezuela’s Exodus”
In February 2017, I had the privilege of being able to visit Lhasa, the capital of Tibet – or the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, as the Chinese have called it.
At an altitude of approximately 3,500 metres, it is one of the highest cities in the world, and takes some getting used to upon arrival. At it’s summit, the imposing, but elegant Potala Palace, which is situated in the centre of the city, stands over 4km above sea level, and is one of the highest points that I have ever been on foot. The monasteries and temples dotted among the hills that surround the city give the opportunity to go even higher.
Continue reading “The View From The Roof Of The World: Observations From Five Days In Chinese Occupied Tibet”
Karl Marx believed that capitalism contained the seeds of its own destruction, and whilst we are yet to see whether this is true or not, it is clear that our rigid political ideologies are certainly the cause of their own downfall.
Despite its best efforts, Communism was unable to stem the rising tide of wealth, innovation, and change. Through its State-driven process, and its endless five-year plans, it attempted to plot a path with no clue as to what may be around the next corner. Capitalism survived, and thrived, because of its ability to adapt.
Charles Darwin recognised this phenomenon biologically in the natural world with animals having to adapt (evolve) in order to maintain their existence on the planet. (Note that these adaptations were random and were not driven by the animals themselves).
Politically, we must learn this biological lesson. If you stay still, you fall behind, and eventually cease to exist.
Continue reading “Evolve or Die: Which Political Ideology Can Bring Us The Future?”
When you are walking in the wrong direction, the smart thing to do would be to stop, evaluate where you are heading, and change course if necessary.
To continue walking in the wrong direction is not progress, but idiocy.
For almost half a century we have confused the two, purposefully striding down a street that leads to a destination nobody wants to reach.
Continue reading “40 Years of Failure”
What do Jose Mourinho, ancient artefacts, and tourism have in common?
At first glance, not much, but on investigation we find that they all play a role in the continuous, if somewhat confused, campaign of propaganda by the Syrian regime leader Bashar al-Assad.
A story that emerged recently, that immediately jumped out at me as somewhat strange, was the news that Jose Mourinho – of Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, and Real Madrid fame – had been targeted as the next manager for the Syrian football team.
Not one to shy away from controversy, Mourinho was said to be “honoured” at the approach, but ultimately rejected the job offer.
And whilst the audacious bid to land the “special one” came as a shock, in reality, we should not be too surprised when we see this move in the wider context of Assad’s propaganda machine.
Continue reading “Assad’s Propaganda: Summer, Palmyra, and Mourinho”