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I felt a want to read again Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’, but no bookshop here in Phnom Penh stocked it. Before checking in for bed, I paused to read a note on my neighbour’s door:

‘Anyone want to book swap? I have Brave New World. Knock if you’re interested.’

which of course I was, so I did.

Paul, my neighbour, a painter/decorator from the UK, assessed Huxley’s world as being wholly reasonable, and perhaps even beyond that. “There were no wars, people seemed happy, it looked alright to me.”

Discovered in further conversation, these are some of Paul’s thoughts on our world, and hence perhaps an explanation for his favour towards Huxley’s:

1 – The Euro will soon crash. Once one Euro country goes bankrupt, the rest will soon follow. People will throw notes around like peanuts.

2 – The UK will backtrack to a dismal standard of living, a trait which can already be seen in today’s swelling homeless population.

3 – Although currently providing powerhouses for the wealth of the West, China, India and Russia will soon be crowned as world dominators. They will, among other actions, try Bush and Blair for war crimes.

4 – A conspiracy theory – To fight this impending doom, Western leaders instigated a financial crash. The effect, hopefully, will be to spur citizens into productive action, and potentially violent action too.

5 – As a result of the above issues, we will soon enter into WWIII.

As with many such theories, although easily ridiculed as scaremongering, they begin to settle slowly in the mind. But mine is tired, overheated and battered by man-flu, so I shall curl up in my nice cosy bed instead.

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