For all our problems, we are in a far better position than most

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson - Credit: PA

Highlighting the needy, with Anthony Bernard.

Exmouth Community Food Larder manager Anthony Bernard.

Exmouth Community Food Larder manager Anthony Bernard. - Credit: Picture: Simon Horn.

In a messed up world, we are actually doing all right.

In Europe, France has elected a parliamentary assembly which does not support their president.

Germany depends on Russian gas, which will ruin their industrial strength unless they toady up to Putin, while Italian politics and are in total freefall. 

The United States is mightily divided between supporters of democracy and NATO versus gun laws and Donald Trump's hopes of getting back to selfishly 'making America great again', which would neither be good for America nor the rest of the world. 

China's projected growth is now zero following Covid-19 problems, while they threaten or support the world depending on your point of view. Prices and costs are going up everywhere in the world.

Inflation rate comparisons between countries are deceptive - if last year was low, the increase is exaggerated.

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In the UK - certainly in England - it is natural for us to challenge any authority; we none of us instinctively do what we are told unless we see it makes sense. 

Our constitution, or lack thereof, enables our Prime Minister to be changed very quickly. Law courts, the police and military swear allegiance to The Crown, not the politicians.

The importance of the demise of Boris is how it was effected quickly and peaceably! His failure to manage events in No10 brought him down; we now have two candidates with experience in major departments and the Cabinet, so we can hope that government will be properly managed.

Exploring behaviour in the other great democracies can encourage us that we are much better organised than most, though surely not perfect nor to everyone's preferences!

An A to Z of world problems makes depressing reading, but confirms that East Devon is doing better than most.

The internet, with input from the UN and key international charities, provides details from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, with Haiti, Myanmar and Russia in between.

Afghanistan has a major drought on top of its political problems. Bangladesh has dreadful floods, washing away crops as well as houses and people.

Cambodia is struggling to cultivate sufficient rice sustainably. In Ethiopia, there is drought and desperate need for food and drinking water. Haiti suffered a huge earthquake, followed by a hurricane so that drinking water, shelter and food support are all needed.

Myanmar (Burma as was) continues under an oppressive military dictatorship - what to say about Russia? In both countries the ordinary people have their struggle to survive compounded by grief over lost loved ones and lost freedoms.

Sri Lanka is in absolute turmoil, its wealth purloined by corrupt politicians who have fled, leaving it impoverished without its usual tourist traffic.

Ukraine is already well known to us, with a people ever more resolved to throw the Russians out. Russian attacks do not make them back down, but seem to harden their resolve and our support.

This column is not so much information as a check list of trouble spots for comparison that we are doing better than most. 

We do have some people in need, but the food bank and others are helping them, and, most important, we have sufficient goodwill that all these charities are currently well supported with volunteers, supplies and cash.

There may be other parts of our country where neediness exceeds resources.

As the world crisis gets worse, we may be called upon to help further afield - for a start, Cornwall may feel the pinch once its tourists go home.