Whilst the worlds political news is thin, I'll take a view or two on some other stuff that's caught my eye.
Having just read of riots breaking out in Chemnitz following the murder of a white German by - allegedly - a Syrian and an Iraqi immigrant, it strikes me that global tolerance of different peoples who hold different views, have different cultural and religious practices and norms has some distinct limits. This is not to say that immigration into an alien culture cannot work on some levels - for it obviously does - but it is a concern that not all immigrants to whichever country they settle in adapt in a universally acceptable way. The problem is no doubt exacerbated when the migrant movements are in the tens of thousands rather than a modest trickle, a dynamic that overwhelms some communities and the abilities of the 'host' nation to process them all satisfactorily. I don't pretend to know the answer to this dilemma when the numbers of migrants from seemingly every corner of the globe are choosing to move elsewhere - either legally or illegally. The bottom line is that there have to be limits to absorbing alien cultures in droves and the Chemnitz story is just the tip of the iceberg in this extraordinary, new'ish passion for changing the country of your birth to an allegedly more prosperous one somewhere else. Whether we like it or not and whether political correctness dictates the manner in which we are supposed to behave in migrant situations, the reality is that excessive immigration creates a destabilising effect amongst the individual communities where they gather and social cohesion starts to suffer. Add to this the shortages of resource - schools, hospitals, jobs, etc - and friction emerges very quickly between the indigenous population and the new arrivals. This then continues to a political and economic level which demands that the authorities 'choose' a side to support. We've seen evidence of German and French towns,for example, rejecting more immigrants in order to prevent the dilution of local ways of life that many communities would like to preserve and elsewhere we've seen the authorities having to side with the immigrant position because of political and social pressures to conform to a formulaic interpretation of diversity, inclusiveness and 'correct' behaviour. Whatever the rights and wrongs of that are, it will divide us all progressively as the indigenous feel marginalised by the newcomers. It's a thorny issue coupled with all manner of moral undertones - but one thing must surely be becoming evident. There are limits to what any country can and should absorb from elsewhere. As a human species we may all be made from the same template but we are all still quite protective of what we see as our own and....we are not yet evolved sufficiently to be smart enough to reconcile this problem.
I'm intrigued by a BBC report that suggests that big storage warehouses are becoming the new infrastructure of our retail purchasing habits. They are popping up everywhere and I often wonder what it is that requires some vast aircraft hangar space to stack up. They're almost mushroom like in the speed with which a patch of concrete is transformed into a giant slab-sided structure with few windows, some innocuous name emblazened across them, fleets of HGV's worming in and out and only a handful of employees. Is this the shape of things now ? Are we so tuned into on-line shopping that our cultural identity is now shaped by warehouses rather than the beautiful creations of past generations (I'm discounting the horrible ones for the purposes of my argument !) and are we wishing to be so reliant on a technology that some Russian hacker could turn-off on a whim if he chose ? We need balance, proportionality and a semblance of pride in our surroundings. I, for one, don't wish to live amongst a warehouse jungle with competing HGV's trafficking in and out at all hours to deliver us countless things that we surely do not need.
On a final note, I see Mrs May is off to Africa. Could this be a blessing in disguise, I wonder ? Maybe she'll stay there - her brand of governance is sure to receive a hearty welcome there leaving us to get on with Brexit in a more purposeful way ! I'm salivating at the prospect now...but I suppose the taxpayer has paid for a return ticket !