I often wonder whether Nostradamus got his visions of the apocalypse wrong. He predicted the end would begin when “the pig man cometh”, and okay, some I know match the description — but surely there was an error in transcription there? Let’s face it, parchment and ink were messy, and Nostradamus usually delirious. I think he wrote “the big man cometh”, both in the sense of the African big man, and the global big man. If so, all those currently making world politics their personal play pit — or sandpit — fit the prophecy. However, nowhere does Nostradamus write “the big man cometh, yet woe betide the world when he begets little ones”. Did he overlook that? At first, the world wasn’t too bothered by the offspring of the great. Then politicians started keeping power in the family, so, if Dad messed something up, Junior could have another stab to mess it up properly. George Bush Sr left Iraq as unfinished business, for example. It was left to George W, certain of weapons of mass destruc...

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