Skip to main content
Out of Texas and Into Africa

I have just been listening to a speech of quite nauseating hypocrisy from George W. Bush at the start of his visit to Senegal. This was from the President of a country, which not so long ago saw 10% of the black population of a small Texan town jailed on the word of a single corrupt police officer, a case that was drawn to the attention of one Governor George Bush, who did, absolutely nothing and allowed the innocent languish in jail, until, I’m pleased to say that they were all released this year when all the convictions were overturned thanks to the efforts of civil rights activists.

Two things really irk me about the Bush speech. Firstly, the staged apologism at the site of one of Africa’s ancient slave markets and secondly, the hypocrisy, as many of Africa’s poverty problems stem directly from American and European protectionism.

Let’s not forget that like it or not, Africa was a willing partner in the Slave trade and in some parts of the continent it continues today, despite all efforts to stamp it out. This doesn’t mitigate the extent of the crime against millions of innocent victims over three hundred years but the slavers depended on staging points in West Africa and Zanzibar, which I once visited, because they couldn’t venture inland, threatened by disease and malaria. Subsequently, millions of Africans were delivered to the slave auctions by corrupt local rulers, who grew very rich as a result.

Whole societies were wiped out by the demands of the trade and Africa was almost depopulated as a consequence of greed on the part of white man and black man alike. There must come a time however, when we move forward and stop apologising for the crimes of the past as if we were uniquely respopnsible. The Arabs don't even bother and for several hundred years before the slave trade in America started, the trade via Oman flourished.

Africa must be allowed to stand on its own feet and accept responsibility for itself and be given the opportunity to compete in the first world market that is closed to it or in other words protecting American and European farmers at the expense of African children. Competition however is meaningless unless the endemic corruption of African leaders is stamped out. Mugabe wouldn’t be tolerated anywhere else but political correctness prevails and we are prepared to sacrifice a once prosperous country like Zimbabwe because we fear the accusations of colonialism.

Bush will come and go, he’ll attract votes at home and Africa will continue to suffer because no western nation really wants to become involved in a continent which offers no solutions and only poverty, misery, ethnic warfare and corruption to show for thirty years of aid and good intentions. Africa, I suspect, has too little no oil and too many problems to really attract the interest of Mr Bush and if the political stability of both Sao Tome and Nigeria, which both happen to sit on large oil-fields wasn't an issue, I wonder if he would be there at all?.


Popular posts from this blog

Mainframe to Mobile

Not one of us has a clue what the world will look like in five years’ time, yet we are all preparing for that future – As  computing power has become embedded in everything from our cars and our telephones to our financial markets, technological complexity has eclipsed our ability to comprehend it’s bigger picture impact on the shape of tomorrow.

Our intuition has been formed by a set of experiences and ideas about how things worked during a time when changes were incremental and somewhat predictable. In March 1953. there were only 53 kilobytes of high-speed RAM on the entire planet.

Today, more than 80 per cent of the value of FTSE 500* firms is ‘now dark matter’: the intangible secret recipe of success; the physical stuff companies own and their wages bill accounts for less than 20 per cent: a reversal of the pattern that once prevailed in the 1970s. Very soon, Everything at scale in this world will be managed by algorithms and data and there’s a need for effective platforms for ma…
A Christmas Tale

It’s pitch blackness in places along the sea wall this evening and I'm momentarily startled by a small dog with orange flashing yuletide antlers along the way. I’m the only person crazy enough to be running and I know the route well enough to negotiate it in the dark, part of my Christmas exercise regime and a good way of relieving stress.

Why stress you might ask. After all, it is Christmas Day.

True but I’ve just spent over two hours assembling the giant Playmobil ‘Pony Farm’ set when most other fathers should be asleep in front of the television.

I was warned that the Playmobil ‘Pirate Ship’ had driven some fathers to drink or suicide and now I understand why. If your eyesight isn’t perfect or if you’ve had a few drinks with your Christmas lunch then it’s a challenge best left until Boxing day but not an option if you happen to have a nine year old daughter who wants it ready to take horses by tea time.

Perhaps I should stick to technology but then, the instruc…

An Ockham of Gatwick

The 13th century theologian and philosopher, William of Ockham, who once lived in his small Surrey village, not so very far from what is today, the wide concrete expanse of Gatwick airport is a frequently referenced source of intellectual reason. His contribution to modern culture was Ockham’s Razor, which cautions us when problem solving, that “The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is most likely to be correct;” sound advice which constantly proves to be true.

A week further-on since Britain’s second busiest airport was bought to a complete standstill by two or perhaps two hundred different drone sightings, it is perhaps time to revisit William of Ockham’s maxim, rather than be led astray by an increasingly bizarre narrative, one which has led Surrey police up several blind alleys with little or nothing in the way of measurable results.

 Exploring the possibilities with a little help in reasoning from our medieval friar, we appear to have a choice of two different account…