In 1955, I stood in St Giles and cheered on Hastings Banda. Down with colonialism! Up with independence for black Africa! In 1956, I stood in St Giles and excoriated Anthony Eden for invading Suez.
Later, I followed Mau Mau in Kenya and thought: nasty. During the Wilson administration, Ian Smith declared UDI in Rhodesia, and I thought, yes, maybe he's got a point.
Now, before you fall asleep from boredom at this trawl through dead matter, let me pose a question: What happened to change my Weltanschauung so completely?
Today I articulated my feelings to my neighbour, a Zimbabwean exile. It seems to me that every country, whatever its colour, political complexion or system of government, needs a stable infrastructure if [a] it is to prosper [b] its citizens are going to have a reasonable life.
So, it doesn't matter if Angola is Marxist or Zimbabwe is effectively a dictatorship or Tanzania is a confused socialist backwater. What matters is that they don't have a stable infrastructre which allows normal commercial and social transactions to take place safely.
And now, because you and I are both terminally bored by these meanderings, I will post a picture of something to aid your digestion and your sleep. I love my teddy bear.