World watch – Saturday

Friday GMT


For posting on events, news, opinions and anything of interest from around the world.

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  1. Patzcuaro

     /  7th April 2018

    From the horses mouth.

    “On Thursday, Shell issued a statement about the newly released report.

    “The Shell Group’s position on climate change has been a matter of public record for decades. We strongly support the Paris Agreement and the need for society to transition to a lower carbon future, while also extending the economic and social benefits of energy to everyone,” the company said.

    “Successfully navigating this dual challenge requires sound government policy and cultural change to drive low-carbon choices for businesses and consumers. It requires cooperation between all segments of society.””

  2. Missy

     /  7th April 2018

    There has been a lot of talk in the media over the last week or so about the rise in violent crime in London. For the month of March London had a higher murder rate than New York City, something that has never happened previously.

    As of this morning 55 people had been murdered in London for this year alone, mostly stabbings, but a few gunshot victims, and last night alone 8 people were stabbed (all have so far survived their injuries).

    The debate has centred around three main things: 1. the causes, 2. the communities that these crimes are happening in (predominantly black communities), and 3. the lack of action from the Mayor.

    The Mayor has been heavily criticised this week, initially due to his invisibility for the beginning of the week when he wasn’t fronting up to media, and was relatively silent on twitter (for him anyway). When the Mayor finally fronted to the media he was very quick to blame the central Government despite policing being a predominantly devolved issue and him having overall responsibility for the allocation of budget and priorities for the police. He – and his supporters – claimed that he had less officers and money to work with, and whilst there is some truth in that there were cuts from 2008 to today, the budget – and number of officers – has increased in the last 4-5 years. The rate of violent crime in London was allegedly at its lowest ever when Boris Johnson left office (I am going on reports as I have not actually seen the statistics), with many on social media crediting him and his predecessor Ken Livingstone for bringing down crime levels, since then however the rate of violent crime has steadily increased. Two of the Mayor’s policies that have come under the most criticism are his focus on online hate crime (apparently 900 officers have been put into a task force to deal with online hate crime in London), and his pledge during the Mayoral campaign to completely stamp out the stop and search by police (this was reversed by the Mayor in January when he increased S&S in response to the rising rate of knife crime). Whilst I agree to an extent that funding, lower police numbers, and a reduction in neighbourhood policing would have had some impact on the increase in crime, I do not believe that it is the sole reason. The Mayor has failed in taking a true leadership role with this issue and his failure to come up with some strong strategies and long term actions have not helped.

    The communities where the majority of these crimes are happening are predominantly poorer communities of ethnic minorities, mainly those of Afro Caribbean heritage. This week on talk back radio there has been a lot of discussion around the rising violent crime rate and many people from these communities calling in with their views. The people from within the communities seem to have two views of this issue, the first is that the crime rate is as a result of a lack of a functioning family unit and strong male role models for young boys. Essentially many of the perpetrators are from one parent families who look for male role models outside the family and tend to find them in gangs. The second view is that it is all the fault of the Government and austerity as well as inherent racism within Britain, and that because they are poor and black they feel they have no choice but to turn to gangs and become violent.

    The discussion on the communities feeds into the discussion around the causes of the upsurge in violent crime, though it does seem to be that most agree that the violence is mainly due to drug gangs. One MP went a step further and said it was a result of Eastern European Drug gangs, mainly Albanians, who were grooming the kids and then putting them in a position where they will eventually commit these crimes.

    I don’t know enough about the communities in question to be able to discuss fully what the root causes may be, or how their culture and family situations may impact their decisions, but it has been enlightening to listen to those from the communities and realise that despite them acknowledging the issues they don’t all agree on either the causes or the solutions.


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