I spelt Meryl Streep as Merrill. Sorry Meryl but it’s our Merrill’s name so it just automatically came out that way. Going back to the Oriental sweatshops I see yet another Chinese shop selling cheap goods has opened in Xania. They really are taking over. Another mistake I made was to write that tea and scones in Harare cost the equivalent of £6 – it should have been more than £60. My maths ain’t so hot. 800SAR even divided by ten comes to 80, not 8. Also I am informed Mugabe is once again threatening white farmers, the few who are left, with the possibility that they are going to lose their farms, when the ones already taken over by his cronies (without compensation but with quite a lot of violence) are lying idle so that those who used to have work on the farms are now unemployed and maize has to be imported from South Africa at considerable cost. And the IMF is thinking of giving this man another huge handout? And the EU is thinking of lifting sanctions? Are they crazy or what? The only thing I can see that is going to get rid of this appalling dictator is old age and, as he is already in his eighties, let’s hope it will be very soon. The world will be a cleaner place. But which of his cronies will take over and will he be any better? Many many years ago a writer by the name of Alan Paton wrote a book titled “Cry The Beloved Country” about South Africa. The title could very well apply to Zimbabwe today. I think I wrote once before that the Lasker family, mother and two sons, Ron and Peter, who was at school with me, were emigrating from SA to what was then Rhodesia and I remember Peter saying “That is the country of the future”. Tell that to the whites and the Matabele, those not of Mugabe’s tribe. If Peter is still alive I wonder what his thoughts would be now in his country of the future. Just as a sideline, my mother taught Alan Paton when he was a schoolboy.
Pre-election fever hits Greece. There are enormous open air rallies with lots of flag waving, blue for New Democracy, green for Pasok (the socialist opposition) and indoor meetings in halls that must hold thousands, and they are packed. When last I wonder was there this type of phenomenon seen in the UK before a general election? Karamanlis has called the election despite New Democracy being behind in the polls but poor George Papandreou; I have the impression that he is a very nice man but, in politics, being nice is not good enough. He might be descendant from a famous Greek political figure but that is not enough either. When Karamanlis addresses the faithful he is full of fire. When George does the same he is unfortunately too serious and too dull. However, if New Democracy loses, he will be the n ext prime minister of Greece and jolly good luck to him trying to solve seemingly intractable problems.