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   2017 REPORTS


 
BREXIT BRITAIN;   TURKMENISTAN: SCRAPING DEMOCRACY'S BARREL;   EGYPT AFTER THE ARAB SPRING

 

BREXIT BRITAIN: DIVIDED, DEADLOCKED AND DISCONNECTED

Last addressed by us in July, it is incontestable that this drama has rolled on without future options becoming any more clear. Prime Minister May made a long heralded speech, symbolically for Europe, in Florence Italy , that purportedly sought ‘to go official’ on the proposal of a transitional period of (effective) continuing UK membership in the EU, (this, to avoid the trauma for UK businesses of too abrupt a separation, following the already known date of departure in 2019). Although that seems simply sensible, it is notable that the most extreme UK ‘Brexiters’- not numerous but noisy,- thought that this was some kind of betrayal, since they have become addicted to the concept of ‘the cliff edge’, over which the UK is set to plunge, deal or no deal with the EU, on 30th March 2019. 

The lemmings, it seems, are becoming impatient! 

These are the same people who think that once out of the EU, the UK will become infinitely richer via some mysterious osmosis, for which they offer no evidence. There are however those in the governing party who accept the fact of leaving yet only with considerable trepidation. The Conservative’s position on quitting the EU, as a party, is less than rock-solid 

The Conservative government however are clearly conflicted over their future leadership, since Mrs May’s indifferent showing in the recent general election. That all adds to the uncertainty which is dominating the UK’s body politic. 

In Florence, whilst showing more amicability than previously at Lancaster House , she failed to address the three initial ‘blocking’ questions to be resolved, before EU negotiators will start on the critical questions of future trading . These are:- 'Money settlements - other than for the new proposals re transition;’ ‘the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland’s frontiers on their island;' It also did not touch on ‘the future rights’ of UK and EU citizens resident in the other’s territory. 

Mrs May, although delivering her speech in Italy, gave the impression (apart from taking just two questions from European journos , all the others chosen were from UK newsmen), of primarily speaking to her ‘home audience’ in advance of her Party’s annual conference on 1st to 4th October, gathering in Manchester, as we speak. 
Peter Crisell now summarises and updates everything of significance.

GO TO: BREXIT BRITAIN

* * *

Scraping Democracy's Barrel

NewNations last month – (September issue), looked admiringly at the Scandinavian nations that lead the world in democracy. By way of a dramatic contrast this month, we present Turkmenistan: Scraping Democracy’s Barrel, again through Sara Bielecki, who showed us Scandinavia in its democratic glory, measured in World Audit’s league tables: using the criteria of Human Rights, Civil Rights, Freedom of the Press; and (absence of) Corruption. 

It is generally acknowledged, that the communists certainly knew how to build a police state. Lowest ranking of all the now independent former soviet states –an achievement in itself- this one shares 151st ranking in our Democracy tables, just below North Korea (154th).  

GO TO: TURKMENISTAN: SCRAPING DEMOCRACY'S BARREL

* * *

Egypt: Still a Necessary Ally in the Middle East

Alessandro Bruno this month reviews Egypt: The title of this piece is also his conclusion. With all the upheavals of the middle east we hear little of this, the largest Arab nation, the one with the oldest civilisation; the most powerful Arab state militarily and an unquestioned ‘great power’ at least in terms of the mid-east, when certain arriviste Arab powers were still living in tents in the desert . Once the ‘agenda-setter’ for the region, but now? At the outset of the ‘Arab Awakening,’ Egypt dominated the news, with Tahrir Square becoming a workshop for democracy, yet it all ended in tears. Bruno takes a fresh look at where this has left Egypt; and where it fits together in the mid-east power struggles that are so obviously uncompleted.

GO TO: EGYPT

Clive Lindley - Publisher/Editor


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