Having retired years ago after 52 years in the sugar industry, including working closely with governments and regional institutions along the way, if there is one thing I have learned it is the extreme frailty of all grand plans.

In my experience, master blueprints have a terrible track record. For one thing, any plan known to man as soon as it is finished immediately begins to be overtaken by the dynamic of events. And the longer a plan looks into the future, the less likely it is to have any relevance to how things actually turn out. The poet Goethe sums it up when he dismisses all such academic exercises in his wonderful words celebrating the unexpected: “Grey, grey, my friend, is all your theory but green the golden tree of life.”

In every case the infinite fallibility of human beings means that any long-term plan begins to go haywire in its execution as soon as it is promulgated. At the heart of all strategies is that fatal flaw…..