While the people of North Korea are starved of resources Kim Jong-un is able to find what he needs to fund nuclear arms development and to keep a smartly dressed army goosestepping to his tune.
In Venezuela, a county rich in natural resources, hospitals have little medicine, poor equipment, unpaid doctors and people die for want of simple care provision. Yet the president, Nicolas Maduro, still manages to find the funds to keep an army equipped and at the ready.
It seems unlikely the people of either country are in need of defending themselves against impending invasion. The primary purpose these armies serve is to keep their leaders safely in office.
Tin pot dictatorships and threadbare democracies, don't you just love 'em! We are so lucky to be living in a mature democracy where our precious national resources are invested solely for the good of the people.
But hold on. What's that going on there? Is that Theresa May giving over a billion pounds to the DUP, that party of reality deniers, to spend as they see fit in Northern Ireland? Had the government got it's sums wrong before and inadvertently shortchanged the good people of Northern Ireland? No, apparently Theresa and her party felt it was OK to divert public funds away from the rest of the British Isles just in order that she could stay in office and get her policies through the House of Commons regardless of what others think of them.
What criticism there has been of this has concentrated on how the government is now in the pocket of the DUP, and therefore cannot act as fair broker in its dealings with Sinn Fein in respect of the Northern Irish Assembly. It seems everyone just acknowledges that in the real world of politics deals have to be done if progress is to be made. So rather than having to rely on one's policies being reasonable and acceptable to a majority of people, it is better to do deal deals that mean you don't have to listen too carefully to dissonant voices. This I guess is an opinion shared by Kim and Nicolas: you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. Admittedly things are a bit different in North Korea, where failure to scratch the leader's back will almost certainly result in a knife in your own, but the whiff of injustice remains.
I would have thought that public money should only be spent in the public's interest. The primary motivation for most leaders is that provided by the value of power: which relates to a need for status and influence. This is not always how it is realised in the minds of the power driven however. As far as they are concerned they always act in the best interests of others, and when others disagree it's largely because they don't know what's good for them. As with parents and children this means there has to be a differentiation between reward and responsibility, and when there is a danger that order might break down one has to be strong in meting out discipline. For Theresa, and for other politicians who have done similar things, giving the DUP a billion is the equivalent of raiding the kid's store of sweets at the end of a trying day: "one just has to do what one has to do, and in the end everyone will benefit because what's best for me is ultimately best for everyone."
It's not of course.