Now is the time of year when MPs take their extended summer breaks and when, traditionally, the major source of news shuts down. Newspapers usually fill up their pages with silly stories because there are no serious ones. And canny public relations people use it as an opportunity to get big coverage out of little stories. But this year it is different, there is almost too much news and big stories that should be getting coverage just aren’t.
The Arab Spring rumbles on. Egypt is a bit fractious as they adapt to new freedoms. Libya is slowly reaching a solution. Assad is steadily losing control over Syria. Bahrain is pretending to have reconciliation talks, but on their terms whilst continuing to smite opposition and punish doctors for doing their jobs. The dictators in these regimes can continue to behave badly to try and hold on to power but they will ultimately fail. The vacuum created by the fall of the Ottoman empire at the end of WW1 was filled by strong men. Now we are seeing the final solution to that seismic event, even the house of Saud will have to radically reform or, eventually, fall.
The world is very finely balanced right on the edge of financial disaster. Greece does not have the ability to pay back the huge amount of money it has borrowed and spent on the good life, nor does it want to or does it see the reason why it should when there are rich Northern neighbours who can easily foot the bill. Meanwhile Greece continues to borrow and spend with no sign of the real reforms that are needed just to balance the books. Ireland and Portugal are not far behind followed by Italy, Spain and Belgium. And to make things worse the politicians of the rich North are weak, so unable to implement the radical fixes that are needed.
The European financial mess is bad, but the American financial mess is much worse, currently evolving into a disaster at the hands of a very weak president. American government debt and their ongoing deficit are the elephant in the room. If the dollar were not the world’s reserve currency this gross financial mismanagement would have hit a brick wall years ago. Shipping airplanes full of palleted dollar notes to Iraq and Afghanistan, only for the locals to misappropriate it to buy like crazy in the Dubai property bubble is just one small example of American ineptitude and profligacy. Now the whole government system is about to grind to a halt because of a silly squabble between the two parties that could put the US government into default. Right now America desperately needs a leader. Someone who will take the axe to government spending and who will grasp the nettle of raising taxes, there is no alternative.
In the Horn of Africa there is a drought. This happens there from time to time. However the humans who live there do not prepare for this by controlling their numbers and storing reserves. Instead the average woman has eight children. So periodic disasters are inevitable. Throwing food at the problem just makes matters even worse as the population continues to explode. Once again political nettles abound that nobody is prepared to grasp.
In Britain we have the police corruption scandal. Last night on the television it was reported that just one newspaper was spending several million pounds a year on sourcing stories from corrupt policemen. And that if a celebrity reported a crime to the police a reporter would usually get there first. The Guardian and the BBC are trying to make this story run and run because it suits their agendas. The tabloids are trying to bury the story because they know that they are all guilty. And the British public lost interest a long time ago.
Add to the above another popular musician joining the 27 club and a deranged nutter running amok in Norway and we have news overload, the exact opposite of what normally happens in silly season. And in a couple of weeks the soccer season stars, whereupon the press will have something serious to write about.