In Europe, the power of democracy is such that whenever there is a good idea, the lunatic fringe which regardless is always plus/minus 10 per cent of the population, does all it can to obstruct, delay or halt the aforementioned good ideas.
Take, for example, trying to build a new airport runway to encourage economic survival, the lunatics argue it will be harder to sleep if they live close to it and the ornithologists argue that the local lesser speckled pink nosed Siberian pigeon may lose its habitat with airport expansion. Why did they buy a house near an airport in the first place? Plans for new hotels can be challenged by those whose view it might spoil the view or the noise by increased traffic might (or might not create) might be annoying. This is the power of democracy. In the worst case scenario for the 10 per cent, they can halt the implementation process for a decade or two.
Compare that to places such as the UAE or China where, put quite simply, they see a good idea and get on with it. Little or no time is allowed for the lunatics to congregate and challenge the ideas and indeed, they probably get little thrift if they did try and halt progress. Perhaps that’s why the likes of the UAE, China and other countries are steaming ahead with economic prosperity and will no doubt soon leave the once powerful might of Europe trailing in their wake. Perhaps another means of describing this is common sense evolution.
Just as an indication of the how things change one only needs to look at the likes of Dubai or Qatar to see how rapidly they appeared on the world stage: from nothing to first division players complete with infrastructure in a matter of years. China is on the same league and appreciating the fact that it needs to run and keep running forward, no sooner has Beijing opened a super new airport terminal on an airport that can handle around 80 million passengers a year, than it announces it is starting to build a new airport that will operate in addition to and not instead of the existing one. The new facility is to have nine runways (including one for military purposes only) and will handle an extra 130 million passengers a year; that means around 200 million people flying in and out of Beijing annually. Think then of the commercial influence that will have. Oh yes, one final thing, all this will become reality in 2017! In Europe in the same time the idea is still mid way through the discussion phase.
(Photo: Griszka Niewiadomski/sxc.hu)