BREXIT TURNS NASTY
Clashes between French and English fishermen took place this week. The incident was over fishing for scallops just off the north coast of France.
But Brexit was blamed. It’s as if the old animosities and rivalries are resurfacing with the coming of Brexit. March 29th is D-Day when Britain departs from the EU.
Mrs. May, the British Prime Minister, was in Africa this week, on a three day tour to prepare for a trade deal with three of Africa’s biggest economies. South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya were all British territories not so long ago. Britain is looking to Commonwealth countries as well as the US to replace the European trade when it exits the European Union.
It should be noted that all three countries are very corrupt, a factor that adds considerable challenge to business in the private sector.
I’m currently reading “a novel of Africa,” The Old Order and the New by Wilfred Fowler (1963), who worked for the British Colonial Service in Nigeria, during the period immediately prior to independence in 1960. He shows quite clearly that from the day a date was chosen for independence, corruption became a major problem in the country. Politicians saw that, with the British gone, there were great opportunities to make lots of money without actually doing any work!
Germany’s Angela Merkel was also in Africa this week. In West Africa, to be precise, visiting Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria. All three countries are a major source of migrants to Germany and other nations of the EU. Mrs. Merkel wants to try and cut the numbers moving to Europe through increased business and investment.
Note the following from Germanforeignpolicy.com:
“ In opinion polls, nearly half of the Senegalese, and around three-fourths of the Ghanaian and Nigerian respondents, signaled their wish to leave their country, because of dire poverty and a dramatically high youth unemployment rate.”
At least one report on TV news described the two women visiting Africa as a new “Scramble for Africa,” a term often used to describe European colonization and rivalry in Africa towards the end of the nineteenth century. It’s not just the UK and Germany that are fighting for business in Africa – China is their biggest rival on the continent. They have to move fast to thwart China taking over the continent, which is Europe’s backyard.
TRIBALISM MAJOR CAUSE OF CRIME IN UK
A Sky News investigation of crime in London and other major UK cities has revealed that over half of all the violent crime is committed by young, black males. A lot of it is gang rivalry.
I find this very interesting.
A major problem in Africa is tribalism, which goes back centuries. People identify with their tribe first and foremost. This now seems to be the case in the United Kingdom.
The problem hasn’t been solved in Africa. It won’t be solved in the UK, either, no matter how much money the government spends on social programs.
London and other major cities have seen a dramatic increase in violent crime in recent years.
POPULIST GAINS PREDICTED IN SWEDISH IDENTITY CRISIS From the Brussels Briefing, Financial Times, Richard Milne, 8/31.
“Sweden, long known as a bastion of political stability, is gearing up for a step into the unknown. Elections on September 9 have sparked a fierce debate about the future of the country with Swedes appearing as divided as many Europeans, leading many to fear messy and lengthy talks to form a government . . .
“The current centre-left government is widely thought to be the weakest in decades with the Social Democrats set to post their worst score in more than a century. But the centre-right opposition seem incapable of capitalising on that. Instead, the main winners next weekend are set to be the populist, anti-immigration Sweden Democrats who could come in second place with about 20 per cent of the vote.”
HUNGARY AND ITALY ATTACK MACRON OVER MIGRANTS From Brietbart, 8/31
“Conservative Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and populist Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini have attacked globalist French President Emmanuel Macron as “the leader of pro-migration parties in Europe today.”
“At a joint press conference in Milan, Italy, on Tuesday, the two pro-sovereignty politicians singled out former Socialist party member Macron as their political enemy when they announced they are forming an anti-mass migration front ahead of European Parliament elections to challenge his vision for the European Union.
“He leads the European force that backs migration, he’s the leader of those parties who back migration to Europe, and on the other side there’s us who want to stop illegal migration,” said Prime Minister Orbán, according to Politico.”
——————————————————————————-ANTI-IMMIGRANT PROTESTS ROCK GERMAN CITY
The German city of Chemnitz has been seeing anti-immigrant protests all week, following the murder of a local man by two men, one from Syria and one from Iraq.
“The demonstrations, which turned violent at times, have shocked the country and are the latest manifestation of the divisions caused by the influx of close to two million asylum seekers since 2015.” (WSJ, 8/31).
“On Monday, a demonstration registered by a local anti-immigration group drew around 6,000 protesters, some performing the banned Nazi salute.”
DAY OUT WITH THOMAS
I’ve spent all week listening to songs from Thomas and Friends.
For those with no children or grandchildren, Thomas is one of the most successful children’s TV programs ever. The series is based on books written by an Anglican vicar, the Reverend W. Audrey, who died over twenty years ago.
Last Sunday, I took our 6-year-old grandson for a “Day Out with Thomas” at Crossroads Village in Flint, Michigan. They have four of these days each year. This was the last one, though our grandson remains unconvinced and keeps asking me to take him back there. I keep telling him that Thomas is hibernating through the winter (he has far more sense than people!) and we can go back and see him next summer. Tell that to your six year old!
During our five-hour visit, Thomas songs were playing constantly. They have stayed in my head since then.
When I looked at Wikipedia’s write-up of the author and books, I was surprised to see that Thomas owes his origin to measles. When the author’s son, Christopher, was sick with measles, his father told him stories of Thomas and his friends. This was in 1943. It wasn’t long before his wife suggested he publish his stories. The first book came out in 1946. The first TV series did not begin until 1984.
Thomas isn’t the only train our grandson Aubren has been on. In six months, I’ve been able to take him on Amtrak to Battle Creek; a small railway in Coldwater, Michigan; the Pere Marquette (Polar Express); and Thomas. Next year, I will have to top that – perhaps a journey on the Orient Express?
This has helped him greatly in his knowledge of geography – this morning he was playing with his train set and I heard him saying: “Thomas lives in Flint, but he has to go to Chicago!” He’s also been telling his teachers everything he knows about trains. He was able to have his picture taken on Sunday with a rather portly Sir Topham Hatt; and with Bob the Builder, who was also appearing.
I take seriously the scriptural admonition to “train up a child”! (Proverbs 22:6)