“The signs on your future horizon are not very positive”


* ‘If the recent past is any indication, you could say that it’s bonnet blanc, blanc bonnet’

By TP Saran

As usual at this time of the year, TP Saran took the opportunity to probe the views of Uncle Klaus during his annual visit to us. Contrary to his previous observations, it appeared to us that there was some pessimism in his assessment of the state of the world, perhaps because of the difficulties that people are facing as a result of the war in Ukraine which has no doubt cast not only a long but a global shadow, with impacts that are likely to last much beyond the war – IF it’s over someday!! A persona who is normally very cheerful and chirpy seems to have lost some of his bounding enthusiasm this time round. We should take note…

* Welcome to the pleasant and warm sunshine again Uncle. I’m sure you’re happy to be here.

You bet! You guys are really lucky down here, all these years I have been coming there has never been any extreme of weather Maybe I am the lucky one!

* Anything special about this place that brings you here time and again, Uncle? There must be no compulsion, I’d think…

Well, I have to visit all the countries where Christmas is celebrated, and yours is part of my itinerary so I have to make a hop to see the smiling faces, the children who are impatiently awaiting my arrival, and to take a dip in your warm waters. But don’t let this out will you, that Santa is swimming in your turquoise waters, the guys up there will be J!

* That’s what we hear all the time – the sun and the sea, especially the people, friendly and always welcoming.

Yep, that’s right. These assets no doubt make it a special place, though how long they will last I do not know – but you could perhaps be more welcoming among yourselves too think! Because the times are difficult and I believe quite a good number of your countrymen are finding it hard to make a living, and the stress may well have an impact at some stage.

* It’s all due to this ongoing and unnecessary war in Ukraine just after the pandemic and with no end in sight…

That’s right, I am for peace, always, but do you think those hotheads and their collaborators care a damn? After all, haven’t you heard the expression ‘war economy’? War means manufacturing and selling arms, means arms dealers and brokers, commissions and what have you. So how to do you think that it will end any time soon? Peace is the greatest enemy of war warmongers.

* The poorer countries are already doing badly, Uncle, but even Europe and the UK are going through hard times with gas and oil from Russia turned off. We thought they would have been better sheltered from such hardships…

Well, really, I heard it’s mainly the UK which ‘went Brexit’! Other European countries I understand are fairly well stocked – because despite all the noise they have been making they are still buying substantially from Russia through transshipments and other camouflaging devices.

* But do you see any improvement in the situation coming? Look through your crystal ball and give us some hope about the war ending…

I truly wish I could. I am not a Russian Orthodox like Putin so I can’t talk to him. The only person who can do so with some moral authority is Modi, and just a few days ago he did so, urging diplomacy and dialogue as the more lasting mechanisms to resolve the issues between the two enemy cousins. But who will bell the cat? Putin? Zelensky? See what I mean?

Just a couple of days ago Zellensky was physically present in the US Congress asking for more military aid. So you can see which way the winds are blowing, and who are rubbing their hands in glee!

* Sad to say, Uncle, there really is no end to man’s folly!

I guess you could say that again my friend. Why do you think Einstein initiated the petition against nuclear weapons signed by several concerned scientists and that was sent to the US President? But who listened? On the contrary the superpowers went on building up their nuclear arsenals. No doubt these have played the role of nuclear deterrence and not been used again, but what about the other powers that have acquired them? Some are rogue states under the control of dictators with their finger on the trigger or under army rather than civilian control. Yes, you’re right there is no end to man’s folly.

* You see man’s greed – another form of folly — at work with regard to climate change. In the meantime it’s warming up the atmosphere…

By now we all know that and only too well given the bizarre patterns of weather and the natural catastrophes which have occurred in all the continents, not to speak of the rapidly melting ice caps in the Arctic and Antarctic. Massive rains in the desert in Oman and in the Valley of Death in the US – du jamais vu! So we may well be in for worse still, and our activities are pushing us all further and further in that direction. Read More… Become a Subscriber

Mauritius Times ePaper Friday 23 December 2022

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