I'm not sure where this quote originated, but I will forever associate it with Dame Julie Andrews' character in the movie The Sound of Music, and it aptly describes the situation in which I found myself, a situation which ended this morning when W1302 landed in Lagos.
My decision to leave the UK three years ahead of the schedule I had planned was necessitated by the current recession, a situation which I strongly feel would get a lot worse than it currently is. I had flirted with the idea of making the job since October of last year, but the little comforts that one would have to give up kept me undecided. That was until the wildcat strikes of last month.
Don't get me wrong, I cannot, and do not blame British workers for feeling like their under siege, especially given their government's duplicity in the current financial crisis, the emergence of stories such as Fred Goodwin's money pot, and worse from my perspective as a someone foreign to the UK, the seeming willingness of both the current government and the opposition to play on the (real and imagined) spectre of the foreign worker. The report by the idiots at the Daily Telegraph which was published yesterday only serves to buttress my point. Two points that were scariest to me, first, I predicted events such as these (but in more apocalyptic terms) a few months ago, and also the fact that forget The Guardian, The Independent, The Times, tabloids like The Telegraph and The Sun command a much larger followership in the UK. And their tone is becoming increasingly xenophobic, and naturally as the recession/depression gets worse, voices of reason such as Mark Pack will be lost in the storm.
Time to move back home, but to what?
My current frustration at the moment is that what passes for broadband internet where I am putting up is creeping. Very annoying!
Since I got into the house at 0658 WAT this morning, they have been running the generator. Power according to everyone has gone from bad to worse.
I took a tour of the Lagos Central Business District with my cousin today, and I must say that I am impressed with the continuity from the administration of Bola Tinubu to that of Tunde Fashola. In my opinion that has been one of the problems of governance in Nigeria. The predecessor is doing something, and a new man comes and repeals everything, then starts new stuff, which in its turn gets repealed, and so on...
More depressing is the fact that two years after he repealed almost everything that Obasanjo did, current president Yar'Adua is actually embarking on those same projects! Fuel subsidies are going to be removed in order to allow market forces determine the price of petrol for the average Nigerian, government is going to stop funding the refineries (a fancy way of saying they are going to be privatised). What makes this one particularly annoying is that given the current global crisis, the government would be hard pressed to sell them off at the same price at which they were sold previously. Ergo, we are going to make an even bigger loss than what was earlier alleged! Remember that we were talking about this same issue in 2004. That means that in terms of self sufficiency in fuel production, Nigeria has lost 5 years and loads of cash!
Another volte face by this administration is the recent approval of $5.3 billion to try and tackle the power problem. Pardon my cynicism, but I can hear the bottles of champagne being uncorked and the university girls being invited to dine with the big boys. Yes, we need to sort out the power problem, but how come no one is asking what the hell happened to the previous $16 billion? It has been swept under the carpet?
And this government still talks about the rule of law...