Sunday, February 5, 2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Politics Of West Africa


Our next discussion meeting to be addressed by Samuel Ohene is on "The Politics of West Africa" as advertised in the right hand column of this blog. If anyone would first like to get up to speed on some of the recent events in West Africa, then just click into these links on (a) the severe food shortage in the area , (b) protests in Senegal and (c) the reaction to bomb attacks in Nigeria . It is also possible to find profiles on most of the countries on the map. Here is one on Ghana. To find further profiles go to the BBC News Page and in the space on the right hand side where it says "Search BBC News" type in the name of the country which interests you and add the word "profile". Here is the case for Liberia . But no-one needs to do homework before attending, Samuel will raise various key issues.

Friday, February 3, 2012

"Keep Clear of the Eurosceptics" by Jon Williams

Here is an interesting article from the online Morning Star dated 30th Jan - I was a little surprised to see Natascha Engel our local Labour MP described as a Eurosceptic! The article describes the launch of "People's Pledge" an organisation seeking a referendum as to whether the United Kingdom should remain in the European Community. It is supported by prominent Eurosceptics such as Daniel Hannan MEP and Zac Goldsmith MP.

Gordon Brown is still an underrated PM - during his leadership a way through the 2008 Credit Crunch was found. His article here has more substance and sound reasoning than some of the People's Pledge members (who are listed here in Wikipedia). Why are Pro Euro members of this group giving Little Englanders more exposure than is necessary? A bit like Labour's current predicament at the moment - the message they give is confusing and not precise. Do they want us to be in our out of the European Union? Some of members are anti-European, whilst others claim they are European Union supporters but only see a referendum as some sort of democratic device. What other referendums do they want - whether we should stay in the United Nations, keep the Act of Union, continue with a Monarchy, remove the remaining elements of the Welfare State, re-nationalise industries etc? Why go for a referendum on anything from the past, unless you wish to wipe it out?

The Morning Star report states that -

"The cross-party People's Pledge movement revealed plans to hold referendums in 11 parliamentary constituencies this year - followed by up to 100 more in 2013.

Prominent Eurosceptic Labour MP Natascha Engel chaired the launch event.

She was flanked by fervent anti-EU Tory MP Douglas Carswell, and Labour MP Keith Vaz, who is a strong supporter of EU membership.

They voiced their passionate belief that the British people must have the right to decide on the nation's future relationship with the EU - either in or out."

As Gordon Brown points out "... British politicians are now unable to argue for anything that has the adjective "European" in front of it, and because we are now glorying in isolation, we have abdicated our natural role in Europe and today there are far too few voices arguing for a common globally oriented European Union growth strategy and against protectionism and insularity."

Jon Williams