THE DEATH OF TRUTH by Michiko Kakutani is just out and I think everyone should read it – it’s an analysis of the culture of lies in the service of government which has rushed up on us since the black year of 2016. Of course this culture is nothing new; but it’s the first time most of us have had direct experience of it, and perhaps the first time that such a culture has been seriously able to affect the entire world.

I’m pleased to see that Kakutani borrows her title from Goya, because I used THE SLEEP OF REASON as my title for my novel about the Nazis. My publisher made me change it since he didn’t think it was ‘approachable’ enough, so it became INTO DARKNESS. But at least even then I was able to nod to Hannah Arendt.

As I’m here, I must tell you that I’ve just read an article in LE CANARD about Eritrea’s leader, Isaias Afwerki, in charge for the last 25 years and as brutal a dictator as Kim Jong-Un, if not actually worse. Ethiopia’s GDP has soared to double figures and hence the peace agreement with Eritrea – Ethiopia needs access to the sea in order to trade more easily and Eritrea has a wrecked economy. Afwerki has now started a charm offensive, notably in the USA, promoting Eritrea and going so far as to suggest it as a tourist resort.

Do read about him since no doubt he’s seen DOTTIE as a golden opportunity. I wonder if DOTTIE will go and visit him. If there were any money in it, of course we’d all be beating a path to his door – and the dear old UK will need all the markets it can get after 29 March. Perhaps the Three Brexiteers are already dabbling there.


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