We are currently living through an apparent contradiction. On the face of it public opinion has never been stronger. Information moves at a startling pace, interacting with and increasingly being defined by the users who consume it. Yet at the same time we have rarely seen, since the collapse of communism, European democracy as weak as it is now. How to explain this?
From Aung San Suu Ky's Myanmar to the United States Tea Party, from Occupy Wall Street, St Paul's, the world to the Arab Spring, from Scotland (population 5.2 million) to Catalonia (population 7.4 Million), from Germany to Holland to France to Greece to Ireland to Portugal to Spain, men and women are demanding more say in how they are governed.
Having recently come back from a few days in Tunisia, meeting with the President, members of the major political parties and the youth who were so courageously at the forefront of the movement to topple the dictatorial regime of Ben Ali - it is clear that the eyes of the world are firmly fixed on Tunisia's journey to democracy.
If our President is to be believed, then Sierra Leone is booming. Supported by Tony Blair and international lobbyists, he has taken this message around the world. But good PR is no substitute for the truth. When Colonel Gaddafi gifted honorary membership of the Sierra Leonean parliament, there is so clearly much that is rotten.
Four years ago today, gunmen under orders from Burma's dictatorship came to a house in Thailand in broad daylight and shot dead a man as he sat on his veranda. The man who was assassinated was the General Secretary of the Karen National Union (KNU), Padoh Mahn Sha Lah Phan, one of the most prominent spokesmen for Burma's ethnic nationalities.