Monday 25 June 2012

Life During Wartime : Kwei Quartey on West Africa`s Role in World War Two

Time for a bit more history.

Over at Foreign Policy in Focus, columnist Kwei Quartey has penned a useful article on West Africa`s role in the Allied war effort during World War Two. His artticle can be found here ;

Kwei Quartey - How West Africa Helped Win World War Two - , 6 June 2012

I`d like to address this subject in a little more detail at some point, so it`s something I may return to in future.

For the moment I`d just like to mention that there was no conscription in the Commonwealth
during World War Two, so the Empire/Commonwealth forces were all volunteers.

The other thing I`d like to mention is that the Commonwealth War Graves Commission exists to "commemorate the 1,700,000 men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the two world wars". It maintains cemteries, memorials and burial plots and provides various services such as a register of Commonwealth war dead so that graves or names on memorials can be located.

To find out more, visit this site ; .

Friday 22 June 2012

Global Ban on Asbestos

Three years ago my oldest friend died from the effects of having worked with asbestos in his youth.

For that reason, I like to promote awareness of the dangers of asbestos and in particular to give a plug to the UK`s annual Action Mesothelioma Day, which takes place this year on 6 July 2012.

The theme of the day this year is to call for a global ban on asbestos.

I have posted various items relating to issues around asbestos at and over a period of time, including a number of fairly recent items.

Anything anyone can do to promote awareness of this cause, perhaps by the use of blogs and social networking sites, would be very much appreciated.

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Imminent Earth Summit Inspires Publication

Staying with the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (`Rio+20`), IRIN* has produced a new publication, Living With Climate Change, which will be available to participants at Rio+20 or can be downloaded from their site.

For more information/links etc , see the unsigned article `GLOBAL : New IRIN Publication to Mark Rio+20`, posted 13 June 2012 at .

*IRIN is an online "humanitarian news and analysis" service provided by the UN Office for the Co-Ordination of Humanitarian Affairs. They make the usual stipulation that views expressed by contributors to the new publication are not necessarily those of the UN, which is also true of their site itself.

Monday 18 June 2012

Earth Summit Anticipated

I briefly looked at the forthcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development (sometimes referred to as `R+20`) some time ago (Earth Summit Blues, this blog, 17 Feb 2012).

As the Conference is about to commence, it`s worth revisiting the subject.

Checking the usual sources, I find that on Friday, the European and ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) nations held a joint ministerial conference and issued a statement calling on participating nations to deal with "new and emerging challenges".

Peter Richards of the Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency reported that they urged  the international community "to help developing countries deal with the impact of climate change and other environmental issues as well as achieve sustainable development goals."

To learn more, see Mr Richard`s article Europe and Former Colonies Urge Action at Rio+20, 16 Jun 2012 at .

Thursday 14 June 2012

Hoonaloon Books Online News

Just a quick note to let visitors to this blog know that the Hoonaloon Books Newsletter for this month is online now and can be found at .

We carry a varied batch of fiction and non-fiction, with avariety of political, philosophical and religious viewpoints catered for. Not to mention the humorous, the quirky and the downright odd !

Have a dabble amongst our listings and see what you can find !

Sunday 10 June 2012

Quotation Station ; Addams and Goethe - Two Views on Patriotism

Unless our conception of patriotism is progressive, it cannot hope to embody the real affection and the real interest of the nation.

Jane Addams

There is no such thing as a patriotic art or a patriotic science. Both art and science belong, like every higher good, to all the world and can be fostered only by the free flow of mutual influence among all contemporaries, with constant regard for all we have and know of the past.


In the interest of variety, I`ve gone for a different approach to Quotation Station this time, with differing views on patriotism from Civil Rights pioneer Jane Addams and German writer Goethe.

Clearly Addams, a noted social reformer and internationalist, has no problems reconciling patriotism with progressivism whereas Goethe appears to see them as mutually exclusive.

It may be that the two meant very different things when they spoke of `patriotism`, with Addams perhaps envisaging something rather more outgoing than the insular nationalism that Goethe appears to decry.

For myself, I see no inherent contradiction between  patriotism, progressivism and internationalism, and I can raise a glass to "the free flow of mutual influence among all contemporaries, with constant regard for all we have and know of the past."

But what do I know ? Form your own opinion.