CHINA

As is usually the case, my morning trawl through the newspapers was a depressing exercise. One item did catch my eye though.

It seems that the deputy leader of China is on a visit to Britain at the moment and there was our lugubrious Chancellor of the Exchequer (he rather reminds me of Eyore in Winnie the Pooh but is not so cheery!) hotly demanding that economic ties with China should be strengthened. In another piece there were pictures of that overweight and pompous pratwinkle the Duke of York entertaining the Chinaman at his royal residency.

Why the fawning over this deputy to one of the world’s worst and most destructive dictators? With all the fuss about global warming, carbon footprints and associated nonsense, does nobody blame China for most of the world’s ailments? I certainly do. Rhinos, elephants, lions, tigers and pangolins are all on the verge of extinction and the products associated with their slaughter are ending up in China or neighbouring states. Timber is being harvested in vast amounts wherever forests remain and again, it ends up in China. There is a sudden demand for donkey pelts in China so African donkeys are being slaughtered indiscriminately and nobody says a ruddy word.

Markets throughout Africa are flooded with cheap Chinese imports, putting local manufacturers out of business and putting more families on the breadline. African governments are granted concessions by China and in return are forced to hand over chunks of their own assets to the Chinese. There is even talk at the moment of building golf courses in some of Zimbabwe’s beautiful national parks so that Chinese businessmen can play in wild surroundings. Let’s hope that idea doesn’t come to fruition although I fear it probably will. Let one Chinaman hacking his way around such a course be eaten by lions and you can bet your life there will be a wholesale culling of the big cats.

If just one – surely that is not too much to ask – British politician would suggest standing up to China, he or she would have my instant and whole-hearted support, but not one of them will.

So the fawning will go on, wildlife and rural people will continue to suffer and I will be kept in a permanent state of apoplectic frustration.

Was it the American Comedian of long ago, Shelley Berman who said at the end of his monologue, ‘Life gets tasteless, don’t it?’

I wonder what he would have made of this lot.

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