Observations of an Expat: Letter to Santa

December 22, 2017 Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

Wasi Daniju photo



Tom Arms


To start with I would like a new pair of cufflinks (nothing too flashy), a kindle, a good thriller read and the time to read it. Then there a few other items which I don’t usually place on my Christmas list.

For a start, do you think you could work on some magic dust. I know you know how to make it. It’s magic dust that makes your reindeer fly.

So could you just make some dust to scatter while flying around through the night sky which would restore a veneer of civilisation to the world. Something that would remove the perpetual scowls and angry body language of presidents—and lots of lots of other people. Something that makes them at least look as if they are searching for a solution rather than a fight.

By the way, do you ever take back presents? You know, if the boy or girl has misused them or doesn’t play properly? If so, would you please collect all the megaphones that you handed out to politicians a couple of Christmases ago. Oh, and while you are it, could you remove the cotton from their ears.

At the moment opposing politicians spend too much time shouting at each other through giant bullhorns while the cotton wool—plus their uncivilised behaviour—prevents them from listening and discussing.

Do you by any chance own a giant pin? If so, I would be really grateful if you add that to the list. I would love to travel around the world bursting the filtered information bubbles into which so many have retreated. Perhaps I can hang onto the runners of your sleigh and gleefully pop, pop, pop away as you fly through the night on Christmas Eve.


The Internet is a wonderful thing. It has grown to such an extent that I am able to my job better and better. And I love my job. But too many use it to reinforce their hates and prejudices rather than looking for information that leads to consensual solutions. You are in the spreading goodwill and cheer business, maybe you can do something about it.

There are more related items on my list. I want the millions, perhaps billions of people who have been blinded by populism, post-truth and alternative facts to have their sight and reason restored.

I want people to see a world based on careful study of ALL the elements that make it up and make decisions based on that study. I do not want to see a world where decisions are based on what people want to believe and choose the facts that support those beliefs and dismiss the ones that don’t and then throw in a dose of hate.

Do you think that you could do something so that the conduct of world affairs was based more on mutual back-scratching than back-stabbing?

Finally, do you think you can do something to persuade people to accept that we all share the same planet and all have a mutual interest in its survival and prosperity? I know you are not a North Pole First kind a guy. When you are flying high in the night sky national borders are invisible and walls shrink almost into insignificance.

Unfortunately only astronauts have been able to share your unique perspective, and they remain in an extreme minority.

Well Santa, that is my list, I know you have competing requests. Donald Trump wants building blocks for his wall. Vladimir Putin wants a new super computer for his cyber warfare campaign, Theresa May wants Brexit to go away and leave her alone. President Xi Jinping wants everyone to shut up and do what he thinks is best. A tired and frustrated Angela Merkel is probably asking if you can organise her retirement party.

So, I will tell you what, you don’t have to actually deliver my list. Just think about it. That would at least be an improvement.

Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Mrs Claus. The elves and all of the reindeer,


Tom Arms


PS. I have been a good boy, so please don’t forget the cufflinks.





Tom Arms is the editor of LookAheadnews.comSign up now for the weekly diary of world news events.


LookAhead Radio World Report for week commencing 25 December 2017:



Tom Arms

I am a journalist, entrepreneur and historian with extensive experience in print, web and broadcast journalism. I started as a diplomatic correspondent, wrote several books (The Falklands Crisis, World Elections On File and the Encyclopedia of the Cold War), and then in 1987 started my own business (Future Events News Service, www.fensinformation.com) which over 25 years established itself as the world and UK media’s diary. Our strapline was: “We set the world’s news agenda.” I sold FENS in December 2012 but retained the exclusive broadcast rights to all of FENS data. To exploit these rights I set up LookAhead TV which produces unique programmes which “Broadcasts Tomorrow Today” so that viewers can “Plan to Participate.” LookAhead has appeared regularly on Vox Africa, Radio Tatras International, The Conversation and Voice of Africa Radio.

In addition to being a syndicated broadcaster and columnist on global affairs, Tom is also available for speaking engagements and can be contacted on TwitterLinkedin and email[email protected].

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