Our Man in Iraq is how this column is grandiosely titled, although if you’ve read it before you would agree that ‘That Dick in Kurdistan’ is more accurate.

And while I‚Äôd love to be bringing you great tidings from the Iraqi part of the Kurdish areas (KRI) of the Middle East, this month I‚Äôve got another slice of shit pie for you, so put on your bib, open wide and be thankful that democracy in the UK is more palatable than it is here, a semi-autonomous region often lauded for ‚Äúdemocracy‚Äù, ‚Äúprogressive attitudes‚Äù and ‚Äúfreedom‚Äù. Because, no matter how much I love the people, the politicians in charge don‚Äôt respond well to protest. As I write, three weeks before publication, demonstrations have been taking place in the east of the KRI, where teachers and other public sector workers have been protesting the fact that they‚Äôve not been paid for months. Coupled with resentment towards the ruling KDP (out of favour in towns and cities in the east) and their President who has been ruling without mandate since his term expired in August it was always going to be quite a forthright protest. Slogan shouting turned to tyre burning turned to rock throwing which led to disproportionate response from security and in three days, five are dead. There will be no investigation, no one will be held to account and protest will be violently shut down with tear gas, water cannon and live rounds. All this amidst a war with lunatic jihadists, Kurdish peace marches turning into massacres in Turkey and Russia bringing their noise…. Still, I‚Äôm walking the hour to and from work now that the weather is cooler, so there‚Äôs that. Small mercies.