I've been lying abed suffering from man flu over the chrimbo break and have had time for reflection. What I've reflected on is this: Is the ability to think and communicate in English what leads to countries/places being civilised? I don't think it is particularly contentious to say that the most civilized countries in the world are those that speak English. UK, Australia, Canada, NZ USA. Other places around the world that are civilized or have pockets of civilization are those where English is widely spoken and used in business and admin and where people think in English. Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Singapore. India and South Africa have pockets of civilization is it a coincidence that these are also the parts that think and speak in English. Yes I know that some of the higher functioning North European languages also foster civilization, Dutch, Nordic etc, but its notable that most speakers of those languages are capable of speaking and thinking in English. This is not about intelligence, or the colour of skin, it is about thinking. English is a good medium for thought. Mugabe is clearly intelligent (or cunning) but it is quite clear from the way he expresses himself in English that he cannot 'think straight'. His native language of Shona is OK for squatting about and discussing goats and hunting, but its not the language of thought. Closer to home we have the French. They do display some civilized characteristic, but one suspects its more from what they see of their neighbours - monkey see, monkey do. We can explore the way their language impedes them from thinking straight. In English we say 'the national flag' the French say 'le drapeau national'. The English speaker on hearing 'national' thinks of his country and on 'Flag' thinks of the Union Flag or as appropriate. Because of the order of language the Frenchman hears 'drapeau' and mentally hoists a white flag before he is able to colour it in. Thus the national proclivity to surrender. Clearly there are pockets within the English speaking countries that are not civilized. If you examine those areas you will find that the inhabitants cannot function in English sometimes because they are immigrants but more often because they are ill educated chavscum and are incapable of functioning in English or anything else. Their conversation is a series of grunts which have very little higher thought behind it. So why should this be? As I said above it has nothing to do with intelligence or skin colour but because English is the best medium for thought, the more of those thinkers you gather in one place the more likely you are to get civilisation. Of course all this could be Bollo@x and the workings of a feverish mind - but each time I look for flaws in my argument I can't find them. PS I'm a porridge wog - civilization did not come to Scotland until after we mastered English - Now we speak it better that the English!