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First Tuesday current affairs discussion - Tuesday 7 March 7:00pm start

Tuesday 7th Mar: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion

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First Tuesday Current Affairs Forum
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News Reviews from 2012

The Middle East Quartet dining over Palestine

Israel, Palestine and the Middle East

by Simon Belt

 

The United Nations General Assemby upgraded Palestine's status to be a non-member observer state from its previous non-member observer entity status, a cause for joy this week by my friends who have supported the rights of Palestinians to have their own state for as long as I've known. After all, Palestine has been a territory that has been ruled over by just about everybody except themselves.

 

Is it really a great victory for the beleagured Palestinian people, a moment progressive minded people have long been campaigning for, a cause for Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to celebrate?

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News Reviews from 2012

The Olympic Rings 2012

The Olympic Dream

by Alexander Beaumont

 

A day after the buzz of self-congratulation that followed the Olympics' opening ceremony had died down, Andrew Gilligan, The Telegraph's blogger on all things London, broke the moratorium on politicised responses to the event with the headline: LONDON 2012: HOW THE OLYMPICS SUCKERED THE LEFT. The two weeks of games that followed the opening ceremony would, he wrote, be "the most Right-wing major event in Britain's modern history [...] Billions of pounds are taken from poor and middle-income taxpayers and service users to build temples to a corporate and sporting elite. Democratic, grassroots sport is stripped of money to fund the most rarefied sport imaginable. The police and the state are turned into the enforcement arm of Coca-Cola..."

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News Reviews from 2012

Resolving Zimbabwe's Problems

Zimbabwe: a problem for Britain to solve?

by Georgina Kirk

 

The country now known as Zimbabwe was once a proud, prosperous, peaceful nation, where different tribes and races rubbed along in relative harmony and where, with insufficient business to warrant more, Parliament sat for a total of three months a year. 

 

These days, Zimbabwe is a catastrophe of corruption, incompetence, violence, repression and poverty. Since there is a case for saying Britain is largely responsible for bringing about both the above situations, does it follow that Britain has a moral obligation to help Zimbabwe out of its current dire state?

 

Having sold the Rhodesians down the Zambezi, do we owe it to the Zimbabweans to atone for our mistakes? Or, after the mess we made of it all, should we butt out and let the Zimbabweans solve their own problems in their own way?

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News Reviews from 2012

Rio+20 and Democracy

Rio+20 – The privatisation of democracy

by Craig Thomas


Rio de Janeiro is where the United Nations Earth Summit was born and appropriately in 2012 it has returned to its birthplace to die. Participating governments, overwhelmed by economic fear and corporate lobbying, were powerless to act. In their place, privately run, democratically unaccountable corporations and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) dominated the global stage. What happens next is open to question, but here's my take on it.

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News Reviews from 2012

The Queen's Jubilee handshake with Martin McGuinness

Martin McGuinness' Jubilee handshake

A Meaningless Gesture?

by Denis Joe

 

Well now we're respected in society

We don't worry about the things that we used to be
[Rolling Stones – Respectable]

 

It won’t have escaped anybody’s attention but 2012 is the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen. In that time she will shake the hands of tens of thousands of people, but no handshake will create as much interest as the 3 second connection with ex-IRA chief Martin McGuiness.

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