The 27 January 2007 issue of New Scientist reports that in 1795 in County Wicklow in Ireland, a local teacher found gold in the local river.For six glorious weeks the locals panned for gold, recovering 80 kilograms.Then the usual happened, the Kildare militia seized the workings on behalf ofthe British government. Seems the gold ran out shortly thereafter and nobody has ever found the source, kind of classic justice for the crown, although before the gold ran out King George III had the biggest nugget made into a snuff box.At least the Americans had had the common sense to take their independence six years earlier.

Seems like nothing changes.I quote from a recent news release:

On December 7, the Zimbabwean government evicted African Consolidated Resources (ACR) from Marange after thousands of illegal diggers descended on the area and started digging following the diamond find. The area has now been cordoned off and handed to the state-run Zimbabwe Mining Development Corp.

No doubt the “illegal” diggers were Matabele, and now the Shona aristocrats have control. Note the complete parallel between the “illegal” Irish and the British aristocrats.

Mugabe has an even better precedent for taking over the diamond fields in Zimbabwe.The British take-over of Kimberley is a shining example of how to take what you and your fellow aristocrats want.Having taken over the diamond fields, the British moved on to take over the gold fields of the Witwatersrand.History repeating itself: class interest first old man—stiff upper lip and let the sun crisp the lower classes—they were born to handle discomfort. The only thing that has changed is the century and the tribal names.

Meanwhile we will have to wait another hundred years or so for the rule of law to descend on southern Africa. Hope you have the patience for long-term investments. Sad to thinks all our efforts will take so long to bring the “Big-Man” and his fellow aristocrats under control.