Saturday 13 January 2018

The secret of being a bitch is telling the truth in the nastiest possible way


“The Democrats, the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.” Steve Bannon 

President Trump, in a private conversation with congressmen, is said to have used an ugly word, 's-hole', to describe Haiti and African countries. 

A British diplomat seconded to the UN called Rupert Colville has denounced this as racist, which is piffle. 

The word the President should have used is hell-hole. No-one can doubt that Haiti and some countries in Africa are in a hellish state.  This is why their inhabitants want to leave. 

Donald Trump sees himself as a dealmaker in the mould of L.B.J. but politics, as Michael Wolff points out in his book, is now a zero sum game. The Democrats didn't want a deal, but to make political capital.

The best comment I have seen on the brouhaha is this:

Retweeted Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter):
Well, @realDonaldTrump, you offered to work with Dick Durbin and the Dems and they screwed you. No shock there.

I am sure it will win rather than lose the President support at home.

One Sawsan Chebli, an Arab-German Berlin state legislator, is alarmed by anti-Semitism among new immigrants and has suggested that they be required to visit Nazi concentration camps. The World Jewish Congress agrees. But wouldn't it also be a good idea for Europe to stop taking in migrants from what Mr. Trump says are hell-hole countries, or words to that effect?

Younger readers think, for reasons that I very easily understand, that Donald Trump is cartoonishly evil. I didn't think Margaret Thatcher was a bad person and I was always a Tory in a philosophical sense, but in my twenties I swallowed the line from the BBC that she did not care about the poor.

This is the left's spiel. Please don't take it seriously. They used always to say that the right was class prejudiced, uncaring and oppressing the working class. Now they are rather less concerned about the working class (whom they have done for) and more concerned about racism, homophobia and the rest. But they always say that the right is uncaring and cruel, whatever the facts.

Look at things objectively and remember that received opinion is almost always wrong. Never more so than with that very odd and in many ways repellent figure, Donald Trump.

I have just read Michael Wolff's astonishingly effective character assassination of President Trump. There were some things that he stretched but did he, like Huck Finn, mostly tell the truth?

It is a bundle of unsourced assertions based largely on the testimony of the late Roger Ailes, who somewhat conveniently is not here to comment, and the unwisely outspoken Steve Bannon who only denied that he said Donald Trump Junior's speaking to a Russian lawyer about Hillary Clinton, without informing the American authorities, was 'treasonable'. Which of course it wasn't.

Mr Bannon, in many ways, is the hero of the book and he was cast into outer darkness by President Trump because of it.

Is it true that neither Donald Trump nor his entourage expected or wanted to win? This is the damning allegation, that makes the American electorate look like fools.

No evidence is adduced. No-one is quoted as saying so. Michael Wolff himself says that Steve Bannon was always certain that Trump would win. 

Be sure that Kellyanne Conway and Ivanka Trump didn't share this with the author.

The man from Cambridge Analytica told Megyn Kelly shortly after the election that by the Saturday before the election he was certain Trump would win because of his campaign's use of data analytics. The Trump team knew this and came in to his office for reassurance.

Outrageously, Michael Wolff doesn't refer to this.

So, this is clever polemic and courtiers' gossip, with at least rather a large number of mistakes and ommissions. 

The author has a long history of being economical with the actualité. Michelle Cottle noted in a 2004 article in The New Republic,
Much to the annoyance of Wolff’s critics, the scenes in his columns aren’t recreated so much as created—springing from Wolff’s imagination rather than from actual knowledge of events. Even Wolff acknowledges that conventional reporting isn’t his bag. Rather, he absorbs the atmosphere and gossip swirling around him at cocktail parties, on the street, and especially during those long lunches at Michael’s.

On the other hand, there is clearly a fair amount of truth in the book. As a beautiful woman once told me, the secret of being a bitch is telling the truth in the nastiest possible way. Michael Wolffe is nothing if not a complete bitch.

I am sure the White House was utterly disorganised until General Kelly became Chief of Staff. It can only be much better now, I hope. 

I am sure that Steve Bannon is a hustler. It seems he hasn't made a fortune, despite the press stories he presumably inspired. He is nevertheless a force of nature who perhaps, as he maintains, won the election for Donald Trump.

Obviously, 'Jarvanka', Ivanka Trump and her smooth husband, are lightweights and Democrat lightweights at that - not Republicans and still less American nationalists. They should not have political jobs or influence.

I think that Donald Trump is a monstrous and absurd person, quite unprepared for the presidency, not very truthful or very moral, but then we all knew that all along, including the people who voted for him and still support him. 

Let's see if he has any substance and can make something of his presidency or if by failing he strengthens the forces of liberalism. 

The always cogent David Goldman (Spengler in Asia Times) has written an interesting riposte to Michael Wolff.


  1. "Younger readers think, for reasons that I very easily understand, that Donald Trump is cartoonishly evil."

    Thats a strange assumption to make. Generation Z are widely regarded to be more right leaning than any generation since the silent generation. If they are the type who thinks Trump is cartoonishly evil I doubt they'd be reading your blog to begin with.

    1. It is too early to know but there are plenty of signs that the young are more progressive than ever. Most British people regard Trump with abhorrence and I suppose I get some British readers. Romanians mostly feel the same though with a certain number of exceptions.

    2. I don't think you can say that. British people who don't regard Trump with abhorrence have virtually no voice in the mainstream media which is wall to wall anti Trump. The purpose of propaganda is not so much to convince you what you think but to change what you think your neighbour is thinking. In any case, a young person under 40 who hates Trump isn't going to be reading your blog so you are addressing a group of people that doesn't exist.

    3. It is too early to know but there are plenty of signs that the young are more progressive than ever.

      Agreed. The idea that Generation Z is conservative seems to be pure wishful thinking.

      They might be right-wing, but that's not the same thing. Progressive right-wingers (or right-liberals) are the greatest single menace that our civilisation faces. They combine all the awfulness of the right with all the insanity of the cultural left.

    4. I think compared with Milennials, Gen X, and boomers are more red-pilled. They the first generation raised entirely online. They don't watch TV so compared with all previous generations they are are exposed to much more unfiltered information. At the moment they are witnessing a ferocious attack on free speech and the Truth by the Left. They listen to their blue-pilled Millenial teachers spout PC crap while they can easily find counter-arguments online.

    5. I think that screenshot on Vox's blog looks fake tbh. There is still is a lot of good signs that Generation Z is more resistant to brainwashing than milennials.

    6. They don't watch TV so compared with all previous generations they are are exposed to much more unfiltered information.

      That's a dubious claim. There might be unfiltered information on the internet but most people don't know it's there and don't care. What most people are getting on the internet is incredibly filtered.

      Back in the 1960s they had unfiltered information too. They had these things called books. You could find out all sorts of stuff.

      But Generation Z Will Save Us is an article of faith on the alt-right. Everyone has their delusions, including alt-righters.

    7. Books are great but they're not really unfilitered. First you have to get a publisher to agree to publish what you've written. Think of how much difficulty even Peter Hitchens and Roger Scruton had getting some of their books published, never mind a nationalist or Alt Right book. Look in any Waterstones Politics section and the number of conservative books you can count on one hand. Obviously in 60s there was far less censorship than today but there was even by this time there was censorship of right wing books. You might get published by a small publisher but it would be more difficult for people to find out about your book, so the book would not be widely read. Information was much less accessible. What might have taken someone many years to find out in the 1960s can be achieved in a few minutes or hours today.

  2. If there are no shithole countries, why are, according to the UN, 60 million Africans, Arabs, Afghans etc on their way to Europe???
    George A.

  3. I prefer the term "Third World Toilet."

  4. I am beginning to think that Trump is engaged in counter conditioning. Desensitizing the public to the trigger words they have recently been conditioned to respond to. However, it is true that the news media is very forgiving when certain people stretch the truth. In Barack Obama's biography, "Dreams of My Father" he asserted that his grandfather, a cook for the British Army, was actually a captured Mau Mau who was whipped daily by the British. In a similar vein, his stepfather, Soewarno Martodihardj, was an Indonesian freedom fighter killed by the repressive Dutch. Both stories were false. But for those seeking accuracy the Guardian admonishes,"The most limited way to read the book is to comb it for its direct referents to reality."

  5. He also like to call the Saudis 'desert niggers'
    Bibi told me.

    1. Sorry! Not the Saudis... the Arabs in general.

    2. Actually, it was his son... right outside that club in Floreasca... where the hookers are cheaper than drinks...

  6. Haiti is the oldest black run state in the world. They ejected the French in 1803 so they've had no white man to "oppress" them for 215 years. If the equalist leftoids and race-blind cuckservatives were correct then the skyline of Port au Prince should look like Hong Kong by now. Instead, its mountains of garbage.

    The British writer Sir Spenser St. John wrote of Haiti in "Hayti, the Black Republic" (1884):

    “The vexed question as to the position held by the negroes in the great scheme of nature was continually brought before us whilst I lived in Hayti, and I could not but regret to find that the greater my experience the less I thought of the capacity of the negro to hold an independent position.

    As long as he is influenced by contact with the white man, as in the southern portion of the United States, he gets on very well. But place him free from all such influence, as in Hayti, and he shows no signs of improvement; on the contrary, he is gradually retrograding to the African tribal customs, and without exterior pressure will fall into the state of the inhabitants on the Congo.”

    “I now agree with those who deny that the negro could ever originate a civilisation, and that with the best type of educations he remains an inferior type of man. He has as yet shown himself totally unfitted for self-government, and incapable as a people to make any progress whatever. To judge the negroes fairly, one must live a considerable time in their midst, and not be led away by the theory that all races are capable of equal advance in civilisation"

    Similarly, Hesketh Pritchard was the first European to travel across the interior of Haiti since the French defeat in 1803. He wrote in "Hayti: Where Black rules White" published in 1900:

    “To-day in Haiti we come to the real crux of the question. At the end of a hundred years of trial, how does the black man govern himself? What progress has he made? Absolutely none.
    Can the negro rule himself? Is he congenitally capable? …
    Up to date he has certainly not succeeded in giving any proof of capability, has not indeed come within measurable distance of success. I think we may go a full step beyond the non-proven. We may sat that, taken en masse at any rate, he has shown no signs whatsoever which could fairly entitle him to the benefit of the doubt that has so long hung about that question.
    He has had his opportunity. The opportunity has lasted for a hundred years in a splendid land which he found ready prepared for him. Yet to-day we find him with a Government which, save in the single point of force majeure, has degenerated into a farce; and as for the country itself, houses and plantations have disappeared, and where clearings once were there is now impenetrable forest. Certainly he has existed through one hundred years of internecine strife, but he has never for six consecutive months governed himself in any accepted sense of the word. To-day, and as matters stand, he certainly cannot rule himself.”

    1. It's remarkable how men used to write when England was still a free country. Not everything they wrote might have been true but you could publish your brutally honest opinion without being censored or to have to self-censor. And the reader could read something knowing that was your honest opinion and come to his own conclusion. That period started to come to an end in around the late 1920s and was gone by the post-war period.

  7. A London public toilet has said that it is "offended" by President Trump's remarks comparing Haiti to a shithole.

    "At least I still have running water!"

    The shithole said in a statement.

  8. First of all, there's no actual recording of his having said this in the first place so were starting an argument with a false premise. It is just something from an anonymous source. Second of all, I question the ethics of anyone going to the press with something discussed privately, off the record. Third of all, some places are definitely hell holes, Romania being borderline such a place, so calling it as it is, shouldn't offend anyone. If anything, it should be a wake up call for the people there to do something about it.

    1. All you said is obviously true. The Democrats are playing politics of course. Trump wanted a deal. I wonder if he cares much about immigration and I wonder if any more illegals get deported under him than Obama.

    2. Cut the man some slack, will ya... He's busy draining the shithole he lives in... By the way, do you remember him calling the White House a 'dump'?

    3. Dang me if this ain't ma homeboy 'Archie, Hail Trumpf, Munro' who ' has been settled in Romania for longer than he would like,' ... ever so subtle, dropping his snot in the conversation... Hey, yo mama's such a borderline slut, she gives out frequent rider miles.

  9. My knowledge of Haiti derives from Graham Greene's novel, 'The Comedians' and Hesketh Prichard's 'Where Black Rules White: A Journey Across and About Hayti' written in 1899. And I read both ages ago. But I assume the reason the Dominican Republic flourishes and Haiti which shares the same island does not is because the white elite were driven out of Haiti 200 years ago and people who ruled using voodoo replaced them. In Dominican Republic the white elite remains to this day including landowners and priests.

    I had a book about the revolution and Toussaint L'Ouverture but never read it. I think it was written by a communist in any case.

    1. Is the plight of those poor buggers in 'shit-hole' countries giving
      you, guys, a hard-on or something?
      Imagine you taking a few boatloads of dumb ass Germans, French and
      Italians to a deserted tropical island, put them to work, beat them
      up, fuck them up for a few hundred years...
      Do you really think, at the end of it, you gonna end up with the Swiss
      Confederation? Do you?

    2. Slavery was abolished in Haiti in the early 19th C when the Europeans were massacred and expelled. Also Haiti is not a desert Island. It was the richest colony in the Caribbean and the sugar capital of the world. Today Haitians can't even grow their own sugar; they have to import it from the U.S.

      "Fuck them up" Haiti has received billions of dollars in foreign aid. Its geographical location is actually even more ideal since the Panama canal was built

      "Do you really think, at the end of it, you gonna end up with the Swiss
      Confederation? Do you?"

      Actually yes, pretty much. It Haiti were entirely populated by descendents of Germans, French and Italians it would be a first world country now. Definitely it would.

    3. Haiti’s enduring poverty is in considerable measure a function of the efforts of France, the United States and other world powers of the 19th and early 20th century to block the Caribbean country’s development as an independent nation.

      That included the 150 million franc reparation demand France, Haiti’s former colonial master, imposed on it at gunpoint in 1825 as punishment for the country’s successful independence rebellion and overthrow of slavery. Haiti didn’t finish paying off the debt until 1947.

    4. After independence the lighter skinned blacks lorded it over the darker ones.

    5. 'Made in the USA Shithole'

    6.'s a dog-eat-dog world.

    7. If English convicts turned the desolate, remote, barren island of Australia into a civilized country, I don't see why European settlers couldn't have turned a fertile, tropical island (ok, half-island) with ideal weather and close to important shipping lanes into a jewel. Culture (rather than skin color) matters.

    8. The tropics were usually considered too hot for white men to settle there comfortably.

    9. I've never heard that theory (especially since in tropical areas not too far from the coast, it doesn't tend to get too hot - it's just comfortable). There were plenty of white settlers in the Spanish and Portuguese possessions around the world, many of these places tropical.

    10. In your opinion this:

      Many convicts were transported for petty crimes, while a significant number were political prisoners. More serious crimes, such as rape and murder, were punishable by death, and therefore not transportable offences. Once emancipated, most ex-convicts stayed in Australia and joined the free settlers, with some rising to prominent positions in Australian society.

      Is the same as this:

      France fought so hard to keep the colony because it was basically the Saudi Arabia of coffee and sugar at the time, providing the majority of both commodities consumed in Europe. The money it generated fueled the entire French empire. But it was made with blood. The slave regime necessary to produce those crops was so deadly that 1 in 10 enslaved Africans kidnapped and brought to the island died each year. As historian Laurent Dubois has noted, the French decided that it was cheaper to bring in new slaves than to keep the ones they had alive.

    11. I think the main reason Haiti is a shithouse is that it's full of Haitians.

      But whatever the reason, the fact remains that Haiti is a shithouse country. We can debate the reasons for it being a shithouse, but the fact of its being a shithouse is beyond debate.

    12. To offset the income that would be lost by French settlers and slave
      owners, France demanded that the newly independent state pay
      compensation amounting to 150 million gold francs. After a new deal
      was struck in 1838, Haiti agreed to pay France 90 million gold francs
      (the equivalent of €17 billion today). It was not until 1952 that
      Haiti made the final payment on what became known as its "independence

      ..Haiti population was back then about 500,000. That's 34,000 euro
      per person. Probably half of them if not more ,children. Double that.
      Blacks. Dirt poor. And they paid. Meanwhile...

      Germany’s resurgence has only been possible through waiving extensive
      debt payments and stopping reparations to its World War II victims… In
      the 20th century, Germany started two world wars, the second of which
      was conducted as a war of annihilation and extermination, and
      subsequently its enemies waived its reparations payments completely or
      to a considerable extent.

      See the difference? I doubt it...
      Well, don't really care about you folks being racist... that's your
      cross to bear (a burden or trial one must put up with, as in
      Alzheimer's) ... but you are so damn stupid... it boggles the mind...

    13. Haiti is a shithole because of the Haitians, not because of the French or Americans. The Haitians didn’t want to maintain the sugar plantations after the Europeans left which could have helped pay off their debt much quicker. Thats because sugarcane cultivation is difficult and hard work so they opted for the easy life: distilling sugarcane into rum for their own use and cutting down logwood and harvesting wild coffee beans for export. Until of course they cut all the trees down! The government also banned whites from owning property so all the foreign money went into Cuba.

      And 1947 was a long time ago. What have they been doing since they paid off that debt? America is not the reason why Haiti is one of the rape and machete murder capitals of the world. Bad government and bad genes are why Haiti is a shithole. Without U.S. intervention Haiti would be even worse off.

      Trump was entirely correct to call it a shithole. In fact, it was a more accurate description of the place than even he realised. Port au Prince is a LITERAL shithole.

      "Port-au-Prince, Haiti, is one of the largest cities in the world without a central sewage system. Most of the more than 3 million residents use outhouses and rely on workers with some of the worst jobs in the world, hauling away human excrement by hand one bucket at a time. The men are called bayakou, and they work in the dark by candlelight. Rebecca Hersher spent a night with a group of them."

    14. Dr Goebbels, is that you?.. How's the weather down there?... Too hot? Must be the Global Worming... Same here... I see you got broadband... Just for work ? Bummer! ... just trolling, comments and shit... got it! What? Better than Haiti? All white and brother Adolf in charge?... Blacks are pissing on you from above? No, I won't tell anybody... You bet... You have to go back to the keyboard... OK, see you around at P.V.E . place...
      Sieg Heil!

    15. You're a moron, Toma.

    16. You welcome! Glad it hurts.

  10. What is more racist, using that word or after 8 years since the earthquake not having helped the Haitians sufficiently to make a return home palatable? Obama and HRC did nothing!

  11. I am waiting with much concern for the reversal of the collective mind from overall shaming and blaming the successful for the failures of the weak and unsuccessful. I know it will not be a pleasant time; it will be murderous, cruel, vicious. The more we play the blaming game, the more the reaction to it will be tragic, the more these poor countries will fall into the abyss, as they'll take no effort to pull themselves up.
    It may come from the next successful crowd (the Chinese ) who are completely immune to the notion of blame. What times these S-holes countries will endure under the Pax Chinesa!

  12. When we first caught wind of President Trump’s “sh*thole” comment, we were outraged. We thought he was talking about our hometown.
    A family friend came to Baltimore for a visit last week:

    'I couldn’t believe it. You roll up your windows and lock the doors. And drive as fast as you can. There’s just block after block of boarded-up houses and padlocked stores. It doesn’t look as though anyone lives there. I don’t see how anyone could live there.
    We were, of course, relieved when we realized that our president was referring to foreign sh*tholes… not those in the USA.'

    But that’s the problem with sh*tholes: They’re all over the place.

    And they don’t stay put. Ireland was a sh*thole for about 400 years, after Oliver Cromwell’s army laid waste to the country.
    It was considered such a woebegone, poor, benighted backwater – and the “wild Irish” so disagreeable – that efforts were made to keep them from immigrating to the U.S.
    Now, Ireland is not so bad.

    More here:

    1. You don't see any similarities between Baltimore and Haiti, or you choose not to see them?

    2. 'You don't see...'

      That they are both Uncle Sam's liabilities?

    3. Hmm yes what do Baltimorons have in common with Haitians? That's a difficult one. A liking for fried chicken perhaps?

    4. So bloody lame!
      What do Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen have in common punk? A love for rice pilaf, perhaps? Or anarchy and cholera?

  13. The ancient Britons and the English were once barbarians as were the Dacians.

  14. I have always found that I relate to and understand nineteenth century writers much better than contemporary ones. They have better first principles than modern writers and more common sense. They usually wrote better too.

    But the opinions of Hesketh Pritchard and Sir Spencer St John that Anonymous quoted above, based on their travels to Haiti, about the inability of black men ruling themselves to be civilised, while understandable comments by visitors on late 19th century Haiti, are at odds with the advances being made in Africa nowadays. See this article today by Daniel Hannan:

    I am sure that the contribution of white colonialists and investors was and is very important in Haiti, Africa etc. The history of Liberia is a very unhappy one. Ethiopia is a country ruled by the Semitic Amharic speaking Ethiopians, who are very different from black Africans, but there most of the best roads and buildings were at least until recently the work of the Italians in their five years of occupation. Conversely a very murderous Western legacy in Africa was communism, cheered by trendy leftists of the type who admire Castro.

    1. Can you copy and paste the article here? Can't speak for anyone else but I can't see what Hannan has written. Apparently his argument is so strong that he's asking me for money to read it. Maybe it is a really good article but from what I know of Hannan's writing on the EU (when he is quoted on Richard North's blog) his arguments usually seem very ignorant and facile so I'd rather not risk my money.

    2. Why don't you invent a false name since you don't want to give your real one?
      You can find on Google much information about recent spectacular economic growth in Africa. Hannon, no doubt rightly, attributes this to free trade and free market economics and blames European tariff barriers for impeding Africa development. The legacy of colonialism and help by developed countries is also of great importance, in my opinion.

    3. "Africa’s largely unremarked and unreported transformation has been brought about through free trade. As previously closed economies have joined the global market system, poverty has fallen, literacy has risen and people have started demanding greater rights.

      Africa stood aside from much of the global enrichment of the late 20th century, locked instead into socialism that its post-colonial leaders had learned at Western universities – often the London School of Economics. It was Africa’s misfortune to win independence at precisely the moment when the worst ideas in economics – import substitution, nationalisation, price and wage controls – were in fashion.

      Decades of overseas aid made no difference, but a few years of economic liberalisation have unleashed a technological revolution. Many Africans are going straight from bricks of banknotes to phone-based payment systems without the intervening stage of bank accounts.

      “Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice,” wrote Adam Smith in 1755. In Africa, we see his dictum being realised every day."

    4. Funny how the comments section under Hannan's piece appears to be screened by Major Gowen.

    5. Last night around 8:30 PM, I've read all the comments, over 160,
      under Hannan's op-ed: none was supportive of his point of view... most
      reminding me the good old Major... From the entire pile a I've jotted down just this little note from some lady:

      'I have recently discovered a very disturbing fact, psychopaths blame their victims for what the psychopaths did to them. I kid you not.'

      That's it!
      I have an idea about what's going on in black Africa (momentous is the word), I like Hannan, but the article was weak...
      it seems written on his knee on post- it notes, in a cab. It did't convince anybody...
      I've seen it, but I would have not read it if you didn't mention it...

      Since the paywall, I use my limited access only for Moore and Tebbit.

    6. '...about the inability of black men ruling themselves, to be civilised...'

      That was the very reason they crucified Haiti... to make that point!

    7. I suddenly made a guess and guessed right. You mean the Major in Fawlty Towers. No-one knew his surname.

      Yes, Charles Moore is great and Lord Tebbit too. I quoted the kernel of the article by Hannan on Africa. Why don't you agree with him on free trade and capitalism raising African living standards?

    8. Psychopaths think their victims want to be victims. What has this to do with the price of eggs [an English idiom meaning what has this to do with anything?]?

    9. That lady comment, I guess, was referring to those who posted stuff along the line: Africa. I've been there. Bunch of black folks up to no good. Shithole. She was answering to somebody... I didn't write down...
      I said the piece was week because, reading the comments, you see that he didn't convince anybody.
      I think the main engine of progress in Africa now is Chinese money: free trade indeed... with Asia...

    10. Capitalism is the reason Communist China has so much money, of course. Chinese investment is not the only reason for African economic growth but you make a good point. It might be the main one. I really have no idea.

      But all this is beside the point. My point was that black Africa seems to be becoming a much more civilised place than it was.

    11. In the past two decades, China has catapulted from being a relatively small investor in the continent to becoming Africa’s largest economic partner. And since the turn of the millennium, Africa–China trade has been growing at approximately 20 percent per year. Foreign direct investment has grown even faster over the past decade, with a breakneck annual growth rate of 40 percent. Yet even this number understates the true picture: we found that China’s financial flows to Africa are around 15 percent larger than official figures when nontraditional flows are included. China is also a large and fast-growing source of aid and the largest source of construction financing; these contributions have supported many of Africa’s most ambitious infrastructure developments in recent years.

      Chinese firms operate across many sectors of the African economy. Nearly a third are involved in manufacturing, a quarter in services, and around a fifth each in trade and in construction and real estate. In manufacturing, we estimate that 12 percent of Africa’s industrial production—valued at some $500 billion a year in total—is already handled by Chinese firms. In infrastructure, Chinese firms’ dominance is even more pronounced, and they claim nearly 50 percent of Africa’s internationally contracted construction market.

      Around 90 percent of these firms are privately owned—calling into question the notion of a monolithic, state-coordinated investment drive by “China, Inc.” Although state-owned enterprises tend to be bigger, particularly in specific sectors such as energy and infrastructure, the sheer number of private Chinese firms working toward their own profit motives suggests that Chinese investment in Africa is a more market-driven phenomenon than is commonly understood.

      The Chinese firms we talked to are mostly profitable. Nearly one-third reported 2015 profit margins of more than 20 percent. They are also agile and quick to adapt to new opportunities. Except in a few countries such as Ethiopia, they are primarily focused on serving the needs of Africa’s fast-growing markets rather than on exports. An overwhelming 74 percent said they feel optimistic about the future. Reflecting this, most Chinese firms have made investments that represent a long-term commitment to Africa rather than trading or contracting activities.

      At the Chinese companies we talked to, 89 percent of employees were African, adding up to nearly 300,000 jobs for African workers. Scaled up across all 10,000 Chinese firms in Africa, this suggests that Chinese-owned business employ several million Africans. Moreover, nearly two-thirds of Chinese employers provided some kind of skills training. In companies engaged in construction and manufacturing, where skilled labor is a necessity, half offer apprenticeship training.

      Half of Chinese firms had introduced a new product or service to the local market, and one-third had introduced a new technology. In some cases, Chinese firms had lowered prices for existing products and services by as much as 40 percent through improved technology and efficiencies of scale. African government officials overseeing infrastructure development for their countries cited Chinese firms’ efficient cost structures and speedy delivery as major value adds.

    12. China's investment in Africa is mich criticised but it seems to me a great thing, comparable with Marshall Aid.

    13. Better than that:

      "Behind these macro numbers are thousands of previously uncounted Chinese firms operating across Africa. In the eight African countries on which we focused, the number of Chinese-owned firms we identified was between two and nine times the number registered by China’s Ministry of Commerce, until now the largest database of Chinese firms in Africa. Extrapolated across the continent, our findings suggest there are more than 10,000 Chinese-owned firms operating in Africa today."
      (The fact that) ...Around 90 percent of these firms are privately owned... suggests that Chinese investment in Africa is a more market-driven phenomenon than is commonly understood.

    14. Here, the full report (PDF-3MB):

      Dance of the lions
      and dragons
      JUNE 2017, 84 pages
      How are Africa and China engaging, and how will
      the partnership evolve?

    15. By the way I usually love the comments on Telegraph articles but the ones on The Spectator are more intelligent.

  15. Wall Street Journal:
    As the Trump administration aims to curb immigration, one of Latin America’s richest and safest countries has opened its doors to some of the region’s poorest migrants in record numbers. Tens of thousands of Venezuelans have fled their crime-ridden country in recent years for Chile, which has a history of receiving Bolivian, Peruvian and Colombian migrants.
    But the most dramatic surge has come from Haiti. Last year, almost 105,000 Haitians entered Chile, compared with about 49,000 in 2016 and just a handful a decade ago, according to federal police that oversee border crossings.

    1. You're talking about the smartest people in South America.

    2. According to the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom (of the Heritage Foundation, Fraser Institute and WSJ), Chile's economy is the 7th freest.[33] Chile is ranked 1st out of 29 countries in the Americas and has been a regional leader for over a decade.
      Friedman stated that “The real miracle in Chile was not that those economic reforms worked so well, but because that’s what Adam Smith said they would do. Chile is by all odds the best economic success story in Latin America today.

    3. Yes we know this. Pinochet for all his crimes was the saviour of his country. Did you have a point in regard to Chile taking large numbers of Haitians? I wonder if this is a wise thing to do.

    4. These are the numbers:

      Between 2005 and 2016 in Chile Definitive Permanences (PD) were granted to 323,325 people, where the community that received the most permits was Peruvian, with 123,401, equivalent to 38% of the people. In a second order of prevalence are Bolivia, with 13.5%, and Colombia, with 13% of the permits.

      As for the delivery of visas, between 2010 and 2016, visas were granted to a total of 612,474 foreigners in Chile, with an average increase of 13.4%.

      The report considers, for the first time, the recent migration, characterized by those people who enter the country with the benefit of tourism and then apply for a visa for the first time, taking the period between 2015 and 2016. In this way, it is observed that it is registered a total of 273,257 people requesting visas. This represents an increase of 50% between one year and another, reaching 163,936 people in 2016.
      The complete information can be found at the following link on our website:

      Along with this information, the 2015 Yearbook and the databases of granting visas and granting permanent stays updated to the year 2016 are also available on the page.

      According to Población Migrante en Chile, roughly translated as “immigration yearbook,” published by the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Peruvians still comprise the largest immigration group, making up 27.5%/21.2% of total initial visa applications approved/applied for in 2016. They are followed by Colombians (17.8%/17.7%).
      The Colombian case is interesting since I would say, along with many others, that Colombia may be the second most desirable place to go to in Latin America, neck-and-neck with Panama. Yet the “market” indicates that large numbers of Colombians would rather live in Chile, a figure which has continued to increase dramatically in recent years—even surpassing Bolivian immigrants—implying that Chile is a far more attractive place. Bolivia comes next (17.1%/13.3%), which, along with Peru, has easy connectivity with the far north of Chile.
      They are followed by Haitians (5.8%/16.0%), Venezuelans (5.7%/14.7%), Argentines (4.8%/3.7%), many from the latter two countries being professionals, then Ecuador (3.1%/3.0%), Spain (2.6%/1.4%), the U.S.A. (2.5%/1.4%) and Brazil (1.7%/1.2%).

      Note the figures (percentages) represent requests for initial, temporary visas. The country rankings are somewhat similar when considering applications for permanent residency, with Bolivians leapfrogging Colombians, and Haitians falling below everyone (2.0%, just ahead of Brazil), followed by strong rises in applications made by Argentines, Spaniards and Ecuadorans. The U.S.A. dropping out of the top ten at that stage (reflecting that most Americans in Chile come for short-term assignments with their firms then go back), being eclipsed by other nations, even the Chinese (2.3%) which are on the rise at this stage—along with people from the Dominican Republic.

      From 2015 to 2016, the number of Colombians applying for visas increased by 40.7% (28,361), Haitians by a whopping 419.0% (35,277), and Venezuelans by a remarkable 323.7% (30,751).

      Although the lion’s share of immigrants are workers in their 20s, 30s and 40s, they are not entirely uneducated. In fact, the Chilean government states that the average education level of an immigrant is higher than that of a Chilean citizen—a fact which bodes well for Chile’s economic future.
      There is no institutionalized welfare state in Chile, so these people come to work.

    5. Also, NET MIGRATION RATE from The World Factbook:

      Chile 0.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)

      Compared to:

      Germany 1.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
      United Kingdom 2.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
      United States 3.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
      Australia 5.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
      Canada 5.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)

      See where the problem might be?
      By the way, WSJ, Guardian and DW, all published coordinated hit pieces of the 'Stick it to The Man' type... I would ignore...

    6. So you meant it is clever of Chile to admit over 100,000 Haitians last year.

    7. I don't think they did...

      '...almost 105,000 Haitians entered Chile'

      WSJ is quoting here the federal police... they are probably tourists... granting permanent stays
      or even temporary ones is a totally different story... .
      '...applications approved/applied for in 2016:
      Haitians (5.8%/16.0%)' See? approval is not automatic... And remember: no state welfare..

    8. The WSJ meant migrants. WSJ has a paywall but someone on Twitter has commented on the article on Twitter thus:

      I wouldn't say that Chile is welcoming Haitians, they just taking advantage of an outdated immigration law and the new right-wing government is likely to change that. (Maybe you mention this on your reporting but you know...the paywall)


    10. " WSJ meant migrants'

      Again... 'arrivals' is not 'migrants'... Some of them will apply for
      temporary or permanent visas and a few lucky ones will get it... I'd wait for the numbers from the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    11. Yes.

      They remind me of the large number of Soviet tourists who descended on Romania in December 1989.

    12. ...wish they were Haitians... easier to spot...

  16. Donald Trump was attacked and ridiculed for drawing attention to lawlessness in Sweden but he was right.

  17. Africa is very far from civilised. Hannan has probably spent a couple of nights in a Hilton hotel somewhere and concluded that the whole continent is an OK place. Yet there are countless stories of African craziness that are so commonplace that they don't even get reported in the Western media. I'm talking amputating limbs and eating them for magical cures, and designated ‘hyena' men that have sex with all the girls in a village when they hit 12.

    Hannan's free market religion stops him from seeing the bigger picture. Richard Lynn found that the two most important things that determine the Wealth of Nations is Economic freedom and IQ. For GNP per capita the correlation is 0.656 for economic freedom and 0.645 for IQ so they are both almost equally important. So its not surprising Africa has become wealthier following market liberalisation. We would expect to see that. It doesn't mean they will ever attain First world status. They don't have enough of the other ingredient: IQ which is 60-80% hereditary. The IQ deficit will always stop them from reaching the same level of development as Europe no matter how much market liberalisation they have.

    1. If you wish others to engage with you it's best to give a name.

    2. Why don't you remove the Anonymous option?

    3. Sir Paul, boss man, this guy have a point...
      Also... It's high time you retire this thread before the Hitlerjunge puppies
      get too excited and start climbing on our legs again ...
      Now, let's have some fun...
      'You see Captain, we are not all barbarians...'

    4. Very funny. I never watched them, to use the cliche, back in the day. So you know my name - do we know each other?

    5. I think I can only remove the anonymous option if I require people to comment using OpenID or to register - I prefer to encourage comment even though some comments are unpleasant.

    6. If somebody is too lazy or afraid to register and too stupid to choose a pseudonym what is his opinion worth to you? To us?
      ' So you know my name'
      ...Just an educated guess...
      ' we know each other?'
      No, we don't.

    7. Do you have an OpenID or know what OpenID even means? I could alternatively restrict comments to people with a Google account.

    8. '...restrict comments to people with a Google account'

      That might do the trick...

    9. I imagine many of the regulars don't have Google accounts.

    10. Anyway anonomous comments are fine but people who comment and expect a reply should first get a name.

    11. '...should first get a name...'
      Or a number...

    12. Toma isn't your full name though so you are as good as anonymous.

      Also, I think more important than the identity of the commentator is the content of the comment. I think when people such as Ms Potty Mouth resort to scatological insults when they lose an argument it tends to lower the quality of the threads. Also, you should be required to write in full sentences instead of putting .... between every couple of words.

    13. Well argued, mouse!
      But there is something humiliating about getting in arguments with 'Anonymous.

      I am prudish on this blog but clearly not prudish enough - partly because I don't like to throw away comments. I am not sure which were the scatological ones or who the lady in question is but from now on, please no four letter words. I especially dislike the s word.

    14. @A nonny mouse

      The problem with so many people 'signing' Anonymous instead of using,
      say... a pseudonym is that it makes too hard, if not impossible,
      following an argument on a thread. That's all...
      ' Also, you should be required...'
      Well... Our gentle host doesn't seem to be bothered by my not writing
      'in full sentences. '
      Are you a frustrated elementary school teacher or something? I hate to
      do this...
      but you may need to paste 'the spoken voice in written form' in your
      favorite search engine, when you have a chance... and consider giving me a... a... a brake?