TROTTINGS = Trip Jottings

The Fox Trots: Travel Stories from The Fox.


Cry For Freedom

I cry. I have lost my long-time ‘hero’ countries.


Broadly, I have liked and admired what the UK and the US stood for, how they went about business, and that they tried to do good for others not just themselves.


I don’t think I was hagiographic – condemning, as most sensible people must – the ridiculous gun regime in the US, for instance. (Including the fact that “it’s in the Constitution” is an argument for keeping it. The clause was needed on the Wild West; it is not needed now.)


I even defended (and still defend) the US decision to go fight Saddam Hussein. The west threatened him with invasion, and then hesitated. If the US had not gone in, today Hussein would be ruling most of the Arabian peninsula.


Back to today’s realities.


Today, I can no longer support my two ‘hero’ countries. They have become Little Englanders, believing that they alone are important and, more worryingly, right and righteous.


And they don’t like foreigners. Theresa May: “If you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what the very word ‘citizenship’ means.” Donald Trump: well, nearly everything.


For sure, the UK and the US can lock themselves in and do everything themselves. It will cost more to buy a 100%-American iPhone, but obviously it can be done. (However, not only will non-American iPhones be cheaper, but possibly better. Because they can make enhancement choices based on what is better; American iPhones will have to choose America first.)


So now my heroes have gone, who is riding to the rescue?


France. Would that it could. It has an admirable socialist culture in its heart, but cannot realise that socialist economics cannot earn enough to pay for that culture. (Socialism as an economic policy does not work.)


Other big Europeans, such as Italy and Spain, are too troubled or politically insignificant (in world terms) to lead.


In the past, perhaps Netherlands, but it is torn at present with a Trump-like political challenge. Perhaps Austria, which has just dumped a potential Trump. Perhaps the Nordics. Although all these are too small to lead.


Then there are three countries that are ruled by Trump clones. Kaczynski in Poland, Putin in Russia, Erdogan in Turkey.


Outside Europe? Perhaps Australia, Canada, although at present politically insignificant (in world terms).


The only countries in Asia big enough to lead are China, India, Japan, Korea. Of course, China wants the honour, but with its Google-banning, wet-drone-stealing, illegal island-building, no way. India has too much domestic work to finish, including a sensitive moslem matter. Japan is parochial and frightened of the world. Korea perhaps, but it is presently in political turmoil.


I can see only one then – Germany. It is more socialist than I would like, but it has shown societal bravery (its refugee problem), willingness to help others (generally not militarily, mainly because many would worry about that), is culturally competent, creative, and liberal, has better bistros than France, and much else.


Meanwhile I’ll go to sleep, and hope this is just a nasty dream.



The Fox

Remember, I’m an intellectual in the parallel world.