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First Tuesday current affairs discussion - Tuesday 8 January 7:00pm start

Tuesday 8th January: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion

We'll discuss the stories breaking in 2019, introduced by Simon Belt

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First Tuesday Current Affairs Forum
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News Reviews from 2012

Lord Leveson reports on a free press

Press Freedom and Leveson

by Denis Joe

 

With the publication of ‘An inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press’ [The Leveson Report] last Thursday, the apparent unanimity that appeared to be maintained throughout the 16 month inquiry seems to have evaporated.

 

There are splits within the coalition over the recommendation of the report for statutory regulation, especially the proposal to allow the quango OFCOM to act as a ‘backstop regulator’ with powers to punish newspapers who refuse to join a proposed regulatory body.

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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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