Every now and again, writers need to review what they have written to see if it still makes sense (or ever did).  What better time to do that than in the first post of a brand-New Year?

1. 危機 – Crisis

In our post on Christmas Eve, we wrote about how COVID is changing working lives – forever.  We compared this change to the changes that took place after the Black Death in Europe.  Because at least one-third of the population of Europe died, the UK’s barons and landlords had not enough workers on their fields.  They therefore had to start paying wages to attract workers.  This led to the end of the feudal system, we suggested.

It turns out that we, and many others, are only partly right.

In a recent article in Aeon, John Rapley, a political economist at the University of Cambridge, writes:

So, thanks John, for clarifying that.  Even the Black Death had its Brexit aspects.

This ‘correction’ has led us to wonder what else we might have got wrong – or right – in the blog over the couple of years since it began.   

2. Democracy

In The Quiet Americans (July 2020), we wrote about the USA’s deeply held belief that its democracy and values were right for all nations of the world. We wrote:

Now, this seems to have changed somewhat.

An article in the Times on New year’s Day (2022) talks about the serious possibility of another US civil war.  Barbara Walter, an expert on international security at the University of California, San Diego is quoted:


Barton Gellman writes:

Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images
Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images

The Brookings Institution, a non-profit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Warns:

US democracy, it seems, is not what it used to be just 18 months ago.

3. The ‘wrong’ flag

Flags have an emotive value far beyond their design and purpose. 

Above is a US protestor with a Confederate flag being arrested by a US policeman.

AP: Kin Cheung
AP: Kin Cheung

Above is the Chinese flag being defaced by students in the 2019 Hong Kong riots.  All the protestors were sure they were right.  All had the support of a crowd.  All broke the laws of their land and deserved their punishment.

End of story, right?  Not so…

In The Great Game, (May 2020) we observed trends in the way in which the west and China dealt with each other.   In this, and in several posts last year, we discussed a major inconsistency in western media.  In The Other Side of the Story , we reviewed a book by respected Hong Kong journalist, Nury Vittachi.  In it, Nury shows conclusively how the 2019 riots in Hong Kong were funded and promoted by agencies of the US government.  Long before Nury’s book came out, the Chinese and Hong Kong Governments had repeatedly condemned the USA for this interference.  At the time this claim was ridiculed in western media. Yet, even though the story is now known to be true, no corrections have appeared in the west.

In Don’t read the News, we gave more evidence of how the western media allows itself to be used by western governments to further their geo-political agendas.  We said:

In these views, it seems, we have been fair and correct.

4. The UK

Finally, in this review, we looked at a document produced by the English House of Lords about the UK’s policy towards China. We quoted from the report:

© Reuters
© Reuters

In fact, trade between China and the UK is healthy.  The UK government is providing incentives to make it easier for exporters to send goods to China.  The USA’s number one trading partner is, once again, China.  As of August 2021, the USA is importing an impressive 42% of all its imports from China.

Pragmatism at least, is alive and well.  The western media has affected citizens’ opinions but not their common-sense.   Thus, whatever their views may be, nations will continue to buy from and sell to each other.  It would be nice to think that everything else is just ‘noise’.

5. Conclusion

We have written about many subjects over the last two years.  In an early post in December 2019 we set out our beliefs for The Reasonable Man:

Our self-assessed report card on the last two years might read:

What do you think?

Worked on the article: