So what does the name tee2i mean?

Well it's shorthand for the independence index. This blog takes independence seriously. There's no problem, in principle, with a country being part of a confederation or partnership, the UK is part of NATO. But the EU is a failing confederation and our independence is threatened by continued membership. But there's more to politics than the EU. Neither is politics all about leaning left or rightward on any issue, it's far more subtle than that. It's all down to the quality of life so let's aim high. It's our right to do so.

Help or trade?

A brother 's advice

Moeletsi MbekiMoeletsi Mbeki On Independence, African and Asian colonies faced two challenges, namely creating domestic political stability and transforming their economies from the production of raw materials to industrial production. Most of Asia achieved this but Africa did not. In sub- Saharan Africa average per capita income is now lower than it was at the end of the 1960s. Competition for economic resources exacerbated ethnic and religious tensions, which had been partly created by the arbitrary drawing of boundaries by the European colonial powers. As a result, most African wars in the past 50 years have been internal ones. Economic growth depends on a strong private sector but African entrepreneurs are prevented from creating wealth by the political élites that control the state. These élites use state controlled marketing boards and taxation to divert agricultural savings, as well as the vast amounts borrowed and given by developed countries, into their own bank accounts and to strengthen their repressive states.

The mother test

Britain awake

mother asleepmother asleep It is often said, and here we go again that, 'a week is a long time in politics'. True, and we now wish we had placed a bet on the timing of a general election. For as those who set themselves up as being 'in the know' propelled each other forward from speculation to certainty, we had our doubts. We had no proof from polling, no reports from think tanks, but it did seem to us to be reckless and out of character for our new PM Gordon Brown to risk so soon the position he has waited for all these years. Also it is a long time, in real time as well as political, since the season of party conferences. Test yourself,can you remember the venue for this year's Liberal Democrat conference?

Eat this burger!

Archived Stop Press article

remember this?remember this?Abattoirs. 30 years ago there were 2,500 abattoirs operating in the UK. There are now less than 300. EU directives introduced in 1990s imposed prohibitively expensive structural and procedural changes, added to this greater inspection was required making some smaller abattoirs non-viable as costs increased by up to 500%. Thus, local authority meat inspectors, many with immense experience in the field and the ability to link with other related problems such as environmental pollution, were discarded and replaced by vets, many foreign with poor language skills, to comply with the regulations. Only the big abattoirs producing meat for export were given huge grants to comply with the new laws. Mr. Gummer,the man who tried to feed his daughter a burger (she refused) to prove that we were safe from BSE, was the man in charge.

Serious and seriouser

Archived Stop Press article

This one?This one?We have already written about Boris Johnson and his bid to become the Mayor of London, see the article of the same name in the home section, with the sub-title,The race is on. Well, he is now the official Conservative Party candidate. David Cameron, oops sorry, Dave Cameron has been heaping praise on Boris, the man he has sacked in the past, so it would seem that all is well. Some say womaniser Boris, and make up their minds thus, but has this trait damaged the career of David Blunkett and countless others? Some say barking Boris, and suggest he is mad, and this is all down to his celebrity status and his appearances on the TV show 'Have I got news for you'. But this is the very same programme that gave an opportunity to the late Bill Deedes to show off his humourous side, and was he called barking due to an ability to make people laugh? It would seem that Boris is making waves, proof here came in an interview on the BBC Radio 4 'Today' programme. Jim Naughtie was the interviewer and 'had a go' in the typical style of the so-called serious interview. This is the style beloved of the Beeb intelligensia, the hectoring on steriods approach, sounding like or this one?or this one?two dogs in a park : Boris the big blonde labrador and Naughtie the scotty terrier yapping at his heels but unable to reach higher. Woof woof, dull or what?

Let them eat cake

Archived Stop Press article

Total protestTotal protestPresident Sarkozy has called for French businesses including Total Oil to freeze investments in Burma. Total is helping prop up the dictatorship in Burma and one of the fuses for the recent demonstrations was the junta's doubling of the price of oil and diesel. Hence, such sanctions could help frighten the generals. EU sanctions have been in place since 1996. However, there were two important exemptions.
The first was the joint development of a gas field by Total and Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise(MOGE). Many other businesses have been involved in the notorious Yetagun and Yanada pipelines which follow the same route from the Andaman sea across Burma to Thailand. Most have now left in the face of President Clinton's imposition of US sanctions in 1997, the UK government's urging Premier Oil (UK) to pull out of the Yetugan venture and general condemnation of systematic human rights' abuses such as: rape, killings, forced child labour, forced resettlement Aung San Suu KyiAung San Suu Kyiand environmental despoilation in one of the largest rainforest tracts left in mainland SouthEast Asia. Unocal (USA), now part of Chevron, has, at long last, settled two lawsuits out of court when the US Appeals court claimed that Unocal and Total had been aiding and abetting these abuses.

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