I love talking to children. They are so unaffected and they can tell you so much more about a society, and in a much more nuanced way, than famous politicians, experts, journalists, and the like. They are even better than taxi drivers who tend to provide such a deconstruction of the social and political life of their country that sometimes I want to say to them - please, take me back to the airport!
If you thought the Suez crisis of 1956 was a long way away, consider that there were joint Russia-China-Iran naval exercises this year, the collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1989 could be considered just a pause and the West versus the world's murkier and more dictatorial states is still a conflict in progress.
The two men couldn't have been more different. One was born in a magnificent palace, the other in a humble farmhouse. One had been in politics for 40 years, the other was a relative newcomer. One was lauded as his country's greatest Prime Minister. The other was derided as an accidental President...
By the end of the Cold War, the West has gotten to know a voice of sanity from Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, or "Gorby" as West Germans tenderly called. He was a smart politician, a politician indeed rather than a supreme ruler of the second most powerful superpower equipped with the deadliest weapons of mass destruction.
Twenty-five years ago, on 9 November 1989, I was on shift at The World Tonight as a newly-arrived presenter. It was the night the Berlin Wall was breached and history was made. I don't need to try to remember what I felt that night because I kept a recording of the programme. So here's what I said at 10pm on the night the Cold War finally ended.
Geopolitical fall out emanating from the crash of flight MH17 is yet to be fully realised. A definitive truth of the circumstances surrounding what transpired has not been fully consolidated. In such situations the dark arts of assessment and guesswork are at the forefront of all deliberations surrounding the deaths of nearly 300 people.