Last week I spent a few days in New York to visit a small exhibition. The city that never sleeps, already a hive of activity, was extra busy as it was playing host to a United Nations General Assembly. Visiting dignitaries clogged the streets with their cavalcades while New York City traffic cops waited for last minute instructions on which roads to close at any given time – traffic was chaos. Throughout the week delegates gave their views on a number of subjects, Iran, Iraq, the African continent, Asia, and all the time the streets of New York were overflowing with large vehicles with blackened windows. The place was also crawling with security service personnel from countries all over the world. At one point while I waited in a hotel lobby for friends, no less than eight dark-suited men sporting trendy covert earpieces and regulation dark glasses, appeared from nowhere to shadow an African gentleman, who emerged from a lift already crammed full of minders. As they slowly fell into line around him, each solemnly said ‘Good Morning Sir’, with a reverence that appeared well beyond necessity. Here was yet another politician living in a complete cocoon, where yes men cow-tow and the world outside is glimpsed through burly shoulders and darkened windows. How difficult it must be to debate the state of the world, when for security reasons, you can no longer be part of it.