The way back

IT is very obvious that Bahrain is losing the PR argument even with the current level of spending on PR.

I agree with the Catholic/Protestant comparison and even today in West Scotland and Northern Ireland the depth of feeling is as bad as it has ever been. You only have to go to Rangers/Celtic match to more clearly understand the divide. Solving the Shia issue in Bahrain with the GCC super glued together as a Sunni entity is going to be a difficult one. The British government recognised a long time ago the fact that Northern Ireland was never going to be an economic powerhouse and as such it was going to be a financial black hole for the London exchequer. Today 62 per cent of those in employment in Northern Ireland are employed by the UK government.

Bahrain also needs financial support and the relocation of government offices and bureaucracies in order to create employment. As a result of events over the last two years we have temporarily lost the leading position as a financial hub. In the short term this can only be replaced by jobs that GCC governments wish to create.

There are a number of solutions that will take the sting out of the present situation but unfortunately this will not resolve the bad feeling that exists and has recently worsened within the two religious communities. Recognising they will never be bed partners is a key fundamental in order to move forward. Wasting money trying to convince everyone we are one and the same is never going to get us anywhere.

Finally, we are seeing everywhere there is high youth unemployment there is increasing unrest.

In Spain where youth unemployment is around 50pc we are seeing major protests. In Italy 13pc of the young are emigrating annually. These are the best brains in Italy who in most cases never come back.

In the Middle East since the Arab Spring started the exodus of young talent has accelerated leaving the region ever more dependent upon expatriate hires to fill the knowledge gap.

As you can see here in Bahrain the young with little to offer are the individuals you see out on the streets battling with the police. Not very dissimilar to what you see on the streets of Belfast. Anyone with half a brain and an education has moved to where they can truly advantage themselves and their families.


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