Quote of the week
'..The friends we have lost do not repose under the ground...they are buried deep in our hearts. It has been thus ordained that they may always accompany us...'- Alexandre Dumas - Diaspora

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Bangldeshi British poetry evening 4 Sep17

This evening (4 September 2017) was spent at Poetry Society’s Poetry Cafe listening to contemporary Bengali-British poets. Thy were diverse from lyric to reflective to didactic. Those whose poetry seared the heart most were the women – reflecting attempts to negotiate the problematic through tenderness and intimacy only to have it thrown back in their face or torn from their heart…Salam Jones writes: ’So I promised my mother I would take care of her girls The day she died,…

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WSJ and Charlottesville: Parsing the text

(Image courtesy of NBC News)   One of the enduring issues that arise when African Americans speak to a dominant media forum about race is a failure to ‘parse the script’. They come to a debate with their own version of the meaning of words and events and this is futile. While emphasizing their own views creates solidarity with a group and confirms them in their own world view it achieves absolutely nothing in a debate which rapidly becomes…

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Deaton & Case – ‘sea of despair’ revisited

Like a well worn script when we look back at the report of Deaton & Case we can see  precisely how it was strategized. A widespread opiod epidemic  is deflected from major US corporations  onto  the effect of equal opportunity and African Americans. Lets have poor Whites and poor Blacks have a fight. Our attention is turned away from the role of the pharmaceutical industry and medical profession to the effects of equal opportunity legislation.  In this case it…

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Grenfell Tower follow up: Prof Imafidon speaks out

Prof Chris Imafidon’s home was in the shadow of Grenfell Towers so he experienced the events as they say ‘close to home’. A close friend of his died in  the fire. He believes the total number of fatalities (rumours on the ground suggest about 500) is being suppressed explicitly to prevent rioting. However I would suggest that this wording as used by senior civil servants and confirmed by David Lammy MP is code for something more brutal. Prof Imafidon…

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Steven Reiner & Anne Kruger: Fake News- SHAME ON YOU!

Steven Reiner and Anne Kruger, professor of Journalism at Stonybrook University School of Journalism, and Anne Kruger, lecturer Journalism and Media Studies Centre, University of Hong Kong have with others produced an online course on News Literacy They have focussed on the importance of news literacy and the critical role of journalists in respect to the importance of verification. However there is no sense of self awareness. There is no understanding of how the established news media has already…

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Grenfell Tower 14 June 2017 – in memoriam

I went earlier today (25 June 2017) to visit Grenfell Tower site. This is far more chilling in reality than in the photographs. It has the impact of a large concrete grave. Even today that smell and sense of death lingers. I wandered over to the local Methodist Church where the flowers and tokens of remembrance are emotionally powerful. I was in Lagos when it started and felt a sense of horror. I had been in the past chair…

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new 21st Century Silk road

On the evening of Thursday 22 June 2017 I went to White & Case in London for a presentation on the New Silk Road, formally known as Belt & Road Initiative     (joining together 2 announcements in 2013 of i) a Silk Road Economic Belt, and ii) 21st Century Maritime Silk Road – Note 1). This is a project to link China through Asia (India and SE Asia) to Middle East/ Europe and Africa. While it is a…

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Otto Warmbier & Philando Castile: look in the mirror – it is calling.

Who are Otto Warmbier and Philando Castile? They are both US citizens and they are both dead. One had a trial and confessed to the charges the other had no trial and was executed. The police man who executed Castile was cleared at trial. The Washington Post called one trial ‘a sham’ even though the defendant confessed but not the other where no crime or offence was committed. In one case the State Attorney says we must ‘accept the…

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UK Terrorism Alert!!

As we come up to the General election in the UK it is crucially important that we identify some key issues. Theresa May has said that we are fighting for our values and she mentioned democracy and pluralism as key values. But she did not mention freedom of speech. History shows us that we loose our freedoms one at a time if we are not careful and that those who do not care for these values will seek to…

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1917 & Africa

  It seems as if  no one in Africa recognises the importance of 1917 for the history of Africa. Without 1917 the fate of Africa in the 20th Century would have been much different. Europe and America had imposed an arms embargo against Africa and the new automated weapons had allowed swift suppression of African liberties. 1917 saw the breakdown of that embargo and the possibility of struggles for independence. Many African historians have been unable to understand the…

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