Predicting the course of world events is a thankless task, but I would like to make a note of the fact that the US military has increased its presence in West Africa by building and opening its own air base in Niger. Twenty percent of the facility will be exclusive to US forces, believed to number in the hundreds, and an unknown number of US aircraft.

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, CIA-linked kill squads operated by the government are running amok across the country, targeting for assassination a significant number of young people, most of whom have nothing to do with any threatened insurgency. The standard procedure for summary executions is a bullet to the left eye.

Needless to say, this is no reference to these hearts and minds ops in the mainstream western press , but we can be confident that nothing is going to get any better in Afghanistan, or Iraq, for many years to come. Now that US attention has strayed to West Africa will certainly undermine the security situation in the region in the short to medium term, and set up more delicate states as fall guys when the time comes for the US to move on, suddenly, to fresher fields. Anyone with mining or other interests in western Africa should be duly alarmed.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has taken a leaf or two out of the Trump playbook by picking out the names of bad boys among the super rich, among them Monaco resident Jim Ratcliffe, and lambasting them at some length for their success. Bearing in mind that the popular vote for Brexit was a howl of rage from the poorer sections of UK society, it would be premature to rule out a socialist victory in the British general election on December 12, if Corbyn can stay on message. Populism does not have to be confined to right of centre forces, and if things work out for this unreconstructed communist the UK is in for a major shock. Time will tell, and very soon.