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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Shami Chakrabarti & On Women

Went to a Prospect Book Club Event (Monday 19 Feb 18) –  Shami Chakrabarti was speaking about her  views on feminism et al  as part of her book launch of her book ‘On Women’. I have always found Chakrabarti to be a earnest and well meaning lady. She runs on her judgement and sense of fairness  rather than any deep analytic thought. In many ways she arrives at admirable positions: that the rights of women should not be seen…

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Angus Deaton on US poverty – E pur si muove!

It is certainly welcome news to be able to write a positive follow up. Without mentioning either Adam Smith or neo-classical economics by name, Deaton  has put a huge dagger into their backs in an op-ed article in New York Times (Note 1).  He categorically states ‘…it is time to stop thinking that only non-Americans are truly poor.’ Trickle down and work incentives simply do not prevent extreme poverty and if they do not prevent it in US they…

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Ferrari Exhibition – Design Museum, London

Off to Ferrari Exhibition with my son at the Design Museum (3 Feb 18)  … This is a rather stunning exhibition which traces the history of Enzo Ferrari’s life and works with exhibits from many different periods. Its  a pity that the history provided is  so strongly ‘purified’ as the omitted incidents (Note 1)  would have added flesh to the legend. For example, not a word is mention about how Mussolini forced the company to produce machine parts during…

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‘The Economist’ – purveyors of Fake News and false information.

What can one say? The Economist is a major journal that has been going since 1843 and has this to say about itself: ‘A recent editor, Rupert Pennant-Rea, once described The Economist as “a Friday viewspaper, where the readers, with higher than average incomes, better than average minds but with less than average time, can test their opinions against ours. We try to tell the world about the world, to persuade the expert and reach the amateur, with an…

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Trump, New York Times & Dean Baquet – the missing interview

A well known rule that most journalists seek to comply with  is that the journalist should not become the story or part of the story. However should there not sometimes in exceptional circumstances be an exception? I am thinking of Trump comments about ‘s****hole countries’ and the implication that people from such countries including Haiti have nothing to offer US. As some will know Dean Baquet, executive editor of the New York Times, is of Haitian parentage. Would it…

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Scott Adams, CNN and apologies for racism

There has been quite a bit of fallout from Trump’s recent remarks referring to Haiti and African  countries as ‘s****holes’. (Note 3 Trump’s ‘shithole’ comment is his new rock bottom – CNNPolitics) Recently Scott Adams was on CNN today, 13 Jan 2018, explaining that Trump is unlikely to be a racist because years ago on a TV show  he said he would choose Oprah as VP if he ever ran for President. This is a silent and deadly distortion…

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Prince Harry to marry a girl of African ancestry – so what?

  Prince Harry falls in love with a person of African ancestry – so what? Prince Harry is to marry Meghan Markle and many people think it marks some kind of breakthrough or major step for the British Royal Family.  There was even an article in This Day, Lagos, suggesting that Meghan would represent a major step for the British Royal Family. Actually the British Royal Family has plenty of African blood from many generations. However to focus on…

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Tim Ogunlesi’s wedding 29-30 Sep17

My good friend Folabi Ogunlesi was holding the wedding of his son Tim in London with his brother Bayo Ogunlesi as guest of honour. (Note 1)Tim is a wonderful young man and the wedding was an exhilirating affair. I have not before  seen a bride actually jumping for joy… and well she might! Weddings for Nigerians are special occasions but here we had a Nigerian- Scottish affair. The ‘Engagement’ , held at the magnificent  Dutch Hall, Austin Friars in…

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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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