Politics is a visceral business; the most important political matters are usually decided on no more solid basis than people’s gut feelings.

Alienated people make for excellent terrorists; but they also make for fine soldiers and policemen too. I hope it is understood, I am not suggesting there are major distinctions between those three; because that would be absurd.

The role of the national leader is dictated by the nature and character of the nation’s politics; he or she carries out no more tasks than the people’s level of political development or the maturity of their institutions allow.

A couple of months ago, prostitutes in the Kenyan town of Nakuru took to the streets to demand, not better rates – that would be absurd as they earn more than most Kenyans, but legal recognition for their profession.

The past few days have seen serious disturbances in remote parts of Gondar and in areas of Oromia proximate to the nation’s capital, an event which gave some the opportunity to gloat, “Look where ethnic federalism gets us!”