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First Tuesday current affairs discussion - Tuesday 5 September 7:00pm start

Tuesday 5th September: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion

Discussing Militarising the Far East and a second topic

First Tuesday Current Affairs Forum
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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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News Reviews from 2012

Welfare State: are we too dependent?

The Welfare State: does it develop dependency?

by David Wenham


The road to hell they say is paved with good intentions. State welfare was introduced to help prevent starvation, disease and misery within the poor of the land. It has worked very well, but perhaps too well. We should be proud of the way we look after the vulnerable in this country. There are many cases where our fellow citizens would be in misery if we did not help them and I am very happy to help them through paying my taxes.

 

But we now have a situation where it is preferable for a significant minority to live on welfare than to work. Welfare has not just eased the lot of the poor and unfortunate but has created a welfare class who have characteristics detrimental to themselves and to society as a whole. Not only that, it has created a schism between those who give and those who receive.

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