There is a game show on British television which having started in Holland must exist in some form or other in additional countries, called "Deal ... Or No Deal". It's a game of chance where you hope to walk away with more money through your own luck rather than skill, than you are being offered from time to time by a faceless banker. Sounds a bit like real banking at present!!
There's no real point to that story other than that it provided the thought behind my Blog title today. For those of you who know I have not been active of late, I was thinking to myself ... in the time I have been away what's changed in our world? And the answer, as it seems to be in many "soaps" is lots on the face of it but precious little in reality, or if I were really showing off I could have called the piece "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose", in other words "The more it changes, the more it's the same thing".
The Middle East in general, Syria in particular, is not in the news quite as often as previously so you might expect all has quietened down. If you do, you would be wrong. Assad still believes he will come out of his war unscathed. Heaven help us if he does, but at this moment in time even if he were to lose there is no great certainty that peace would follow, as there are too many factions installed in Syria. Remember too that Syria is a "new country" relatively speaking. Under Turkish rule from the early 16th Century it came under the French in the early 20th Century becoming a military republic in 1963.
The region is probably also going to be heading back into the newspapers once the Iranian elections start to grab some attention and then there is Egypt which, for my money, has always been a major key to Middle Eastern stability. It's simmering like a pressure cooker. Tunisia, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan - the list of potential trouble spots continue. And Israel, currently more hawk than dove, (more war than peace), cannot be left out of any solution. So, lots going on even if it's not much in the headlines, but not a lot has changed.
Europe looks decidedly uneasy. You have a comedian in Italy capturing a large share of the vote in the last general election, on a platform of getting out of any previous agreements made with the EU that would continue the austerity measure which, in my view, sadly must continue - although not in a solely cut, cut, cut environment. You must have growth too. And Mr. Berlusconi, who seems to be desperately seeking election to avoid being tried on sex-related and corruption charges, is obviously in some Italian minds a "credible" leader. Either that or they just want to see what the hell happens next.
Mr. Hollande, the French President would appear to be seriously out of his depth with the country getting into deeper and deeper trouble, and even Mrs. Merkel with the immense job she has done in holding it all together in Europe is going to face something of a backlash in her own country. So, even if much has been happening, has anything changed? Not really.
Oh wait, there is of course a significant change ahead in Vatican City following the resignation of the Pope. A brave move, in my view - but what hasn't changed, disappointingly, is the number of churchmen in high places who have been admitting to past indiscretions of a sexual nature. And just because these people have been falling on their crucifixes does that mean the younger generation of priests have not been doing the same sort of thing? This appears to have been a plague, passed from one generation to another.
And that little island off the coast of mainland Europe is also struggling. I actually think many of the measures being taken by Mr Cameron's government have a semblance of sense in them, but if the old adage which says it is "going to get worse before it gets better" is true, then the Conservative party is going to be voted out of office before it does get better and Britain will be plunged into financial chaos by a new populist administration with all the hand-outs and borrowings. Maybe Scotland DOES have the right idea with wanting independence! (Please don't take that last comment seriously).
It seems to me that the problem with politics, politicians and national economies is that everything ends up in a compromise. Can we not at least for a short period of history (during my lifetime would be nice), put the best people into those important jobs that affect the countries in which they live, irrespective of their "party" lines? Which might take me neatly into the USA (doing better, I think), Latin America, Africa and then Asia, but at the risk of writing too much in one go, that will be for Part 2 very soon.