World watch – Wednesday

Tuesday GMT


There’s a lot of things happening of interest around the world, from the Brexit split between the United Kingdom and the European Union to Donald Trump’s young presidency in the United States, from the civil war in Syria and the associated surrounding Middle East mess, to growing tensions around North Korea and China.


    • Missy

       /  July 5, 2017

      Two points on that Pete.

      1. The referendum is in October, lots can change.
      2. They have to vote for independence, it will be interesting if they do.

      oh, and a further two points:

      1. Madrid has not sanctioned this vote, if they try to become independent it will get very messy and very nasty – on the plus side it would distract Madrid from Gibraltar!
      2. It would prompt another messy problem for the EU.

    • And this plus the Basque issue are reasons Spain has never supported an independent Scotland in the EU..

      Its interesting to see these secession movements growing and being more vocal – oddly enough the EU umbrella makes them seem easier to sell. What is one more “country” inside the EU but a another small voting bloc for Eurocrats to manipulate and tax?

  1. Gezza

     /  July 5, 2017

    Theresa May ‘delaying report on funding of extremism’

    Publication of report, which reportedly focuses on Saudi Arabia, has been delayed by the PM, British media says.

    • Missy

       /  July 5, 2017

      This old chestnut…

      this came out during the election campaign, it was first raised by Labour, and very much picked up and run with by The Guardian.

      Note the two publications that are mentioned in that report are the Independent (which isn’t) and the Guardian, both have a political agenda against the Government.

      • Gezza

         /  July 5, 2017

        It is wrong? I posted it as an adjunct to the story on Qatar. Saudi is definitely implicated in funding terrorists (& the spread of Wahhabist Islam) – what it falslely accuses Qatar of.

        • Missy

           /  July 5, 2017

          It isn’t completely wrong, but isn’t correct either.

          My understanding is that the Government never gave a timetable – or guarantee – that the report would be released publicly. So there is no ‘delay’ to the release, just the Government not releasing it.

          The opposition parties however, have managed to spin it as a ‘delay’ and the report being ‘suppressed’, and nothing official has made the link with Saudi Arabia, that – again – was opposition spin. The fact that anything about this came up about a week before the election with the spin of delays and suppression shows that this is just more about those that are using it for political purposes.

          I am not saying that what they say about the report is not true – I don’t know, and I am not saying that the report should not be released, just that there is only one spin on it is being reported. The opposition are using it to try and undermine, and eventually topple, Theresa May.

  2. Gezza

     /  July 5, 2017

    German FM: Qatar’s sovereignty must be respected

    Sigmar Gabriel says Doha showed restraint in responding to Gulf blockade, urges neighbours to respond in similar spirit.

  3. sorethumb

     /  July 5, 2017

    From Peter Hitchen’s blog
    I should have been thrilled by the maiden voyage of the new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. I grew up among warships and naval bases and normally love such things. But I wasn’t. Partly it was the fact that, gigantic as she is, she has all the grace and style of a floating hypermarket, or a seaborne car park. When did we forget how to make ships look beautiful?

    But much more important was the knowledge that this painfully expensive leviathan is worse than useless. We madly got rid of our Harriers, the only aircraft we had that could have flown from her decks.

    An aircraft carrier which has no planes is a metaphor for uselessness, like a pub with no beer, or a car with no wheels. But that is not the most miserable thing about this event.
    “Our leaders bray like foghorns at miniature tyrants with whom we have little or nothing to do, such as Libya’s Gaddafi and Syria’s Assad. Sometimes they even bomb them.

    But when faced with a real despot, who has the power to hurt us, they cringe and, well, kowtow. It is 20 years since China promised us it would maintain the freedoms we left behind in Hong Kong. But China is not keeping its side of the bargain. Freedom of the press, the independence of the courts and the liberty of the education system are constantly being squeezed by Peking’s stooges.”

    And as has been pointed out multiculturalism [many foriegners with rights to this land -gifted by National, Labour and Green Party] means divided loyalties.
    Baizuo aint sweeping China

    Nature abors a vacuum. In the end we may have a military/business/ethnic combo incharge (like Thailand).

  4. On a more amusing note, the BBC reported this morning that that jumped-up little twerp Juncker, the President of the European Commission, was miffed when he strutted into the Parliament to show off his importance and discovered that of the 751 taxpayer-spongeing parasites that normally turn up now and again to collect their obscene salaries only 30 had bothered to show for him.

    “People can’t be bothered to turn up,” a British MEP told the BBC. “Some have started their seven weeks of paid holiday already.” Presumably the 30 had missed their trains and needed somewhere to wait. Given what to expect from Juncker I’m surprised they didn’t just have coffee in the station and hang the expense to the taxpayer.

    Juncker ranted at the near-empty chamber: “I will never again attend a meeting of this kind!” and petulantly whinged that it would have been full for Merkel or Macron. The meeting was to discuss the “fiasco” of the migrant policy and call for “an honest debate on Europe’s values”. And almost no-one turned up. Well, well. Was it Elon Musk who said that 80% of success came from ‘turning up’?

    It is not really amusing, is it? This over-paid, self-aggrandising clown and his self-anointed comrades rule – with zero accountability – every tiny corner and crevice of the lives of 500 million people. Behind a smokescreen of patronising half-truths and outright lies, they are constructing – albeit incompetently – a dictatorial superstate whose military and economic power will dwarf all others. And its values can be summed up by its Court of ‘Justice’ decree in 2001 ruling that EU law forbids criticism of the EU or any of its “leading figures”.

    I have to say, having escaped that gathering pall of darkness, that I don’t find too much to grumble about with NZ politics.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  July 5, 2017

      Welcome to civilisation, Sailor.

      • Thank you Alan. I have been here ten years now, am a naturalised citizen, and regret not for one moment the decision to leave the UK. My children are fully-fledged Kiwis and I think it is one of the best things I have ever done for them. Even should Brexit not be overturned I look at my dear old ‘alma mater’ now and despair at the explosive migrant mess that the authorities are too slow to address, and the accompanying destruction of free speech that they are too quick to legitimise.

        A ruling famously established in English case law in 1999 by Lord Sedley states that freedom of speech cannot be limited to the inoffensive but extended also to “the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome, and the provocative”.

        Yet a Muslim Police Chief Inspector in Manchester recently said: “Freedom of speech does not mean freedom of offending culture, religion or tradition”. Well Muslim Police Inspector, according to Lord Sedley that is exactly what it means, and it is extremely worrying that such a senior Police Officer should claim the opposite. But then those of us who have researched know that the loyalty of a Muslim is always solely to Islam.

        The slightest criticism of that Islam is now sufficient to get you the dreaded 0300 knock on the door by men-in-black, regardless of Lord Sedley’s case law. A man on a remote island off Scotland got this: “Police Scotland will not tolerate any form of activity which could provoke offensive comments on social media”. And Europe is no better – an old lady in Germany was recently arrested merely for ‘liking’ a Facebook post.

        I hope this lovely country never falls into the trap of viewing inoffensiveness as something to strive for. It is not hard to see the sleazy underlying reason for the encouragement of such by certain groups, nor why they so aggressively stamp on another’s irritating, contentious, eccentric, heretical, unwelcome, or provocative free speech.

        • sorethumb

           /  July 5, 2017

          You should have come earlier Sailor

    • sorethumb

       /  July 5, 2017

      How sovereign are we?
      “I’d like New Zealanders to feel (after my time as Prime Minister) they have become more confident outward looking nation; more multicultural.”
      John Key to John Campbell
      And you can’t criticise that policy either, thanks to an elite consensus.