Is Sudan a better country to live in than Somalia?
Do refugees travel between the two countries (probably via Ethiopia) and which is the better place to live?
How would Somalia score on a human rights questionnaire? Compared with say North Korea. I think of the official line from the worker’s paradise about homosexual rights: “There is no homosexuality in the Republic of Korea, it is a bourgeois disease.”
How obstructive are Somali warlords of international trade compared with say, the EU’s regulatory of tariff restrictions on agriculture? Is it easier and cheaper for a Kenyan farmer to sell food to Somalia than to Sudan or Spain?
I also note that multiple currencies are operating in Somalia, with US dollars, private currencies and old banknotes being exchanged in markets. Are Somalis really so much more intelligent than Europeans who had to be protected from currency choice?
The BBC reporter makes the mistake of comparing Somalia today with Holland Park in London today (except that some types of crime are probably more frequent in Holland Park). He is appalled that guns are for sale and that the entry fees finance qat instead of state schools and state hospitals. I think it is much more interesting to compare Somalia today with neighbouring countries today. On the face of it anarchy seems a lot like Robert A Heinlein’s depiction in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Ken Macleod’s The Star Fraction and The Stone Canal. Despite my quibbles with the BBC on this issue, full marks for going to Somalia eyes wide open, if not quite minds wide open.