In a welcome break from the rather violent local political scene, my attention shifted this week to the US, where a billionaire died who had run for president and had spoken of the "giant sucking sound" of jobs being lost to Mexico. No, not Donald Trump; Ross Perot, who died on Tuesday aged 89. If you are a born-free, you are forgiven if his name doesn't ring a bell, because Perot's dalliance with politics took place in 1992 when he ran as a third-party candidate for president against George Bush snr and Bill Clinton.

During the race, he referred to the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) as the instrument that would cripple the US economy by shifting jobs to Mexico. Such sentiments would form part of the Trump campaign later on. But it is in his role as a pioneer of the information age that Perot's story intersects with Trump's. Having left IBM to found Electronic Data Systems, Perot laid the blueprint for today's global information economy and in the process made him...

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