Archive | January 10th, 2016

Patronage, clientelism and economic insecurity in Uganda

NOVANEWS

Vick Lukwago Ssali

Conversations with Ugandans reveal that people at the grassroots see ethnic federalism as one possible way of restoring and guaranteeing both socio-political accountability and economic security in a system that relies too much on increasingly narrow ethnic and political clientelistic networks.

INTRODUCTION

Semi-authoritarian regimes tend to resort to a selective use of military power and patronage to establish their relationships with the masses. Because of the democratic tendencies of such regimes, they relate to the people using methods that are not outright coercive, but which are dictated by patronage. Patronage here refers to the asymmetric relationship between regimes and political parties in power, described as patrons, and group and individual political actors described as clients. Political patrons and clients get involved in an explicit or implicit quid pro quo exchange of goods and services for political support. Clientelism and patronage thus emerge, both ideologically and practically, as two complementary terms.

PATRONAGE AND CLIENTELISM IN UGANDA

In Uganda, the 1986 revolution that brought the incumbent Yoweri Museveni and the National Resistance Movement to power had promised so much regarding security, individual freedoms, equality and sustainable development across the ethnic and political divide. After almost three decades in power, the goal of remaining in power even longer has superseded all these concerns. The central government and all its arms of power are firmly under the control of the President and his ruling party. This situation has systematically created “vertical linkages of dependency and patronage” (Tripp, 2010:125) where financial and developmental resources mainly go to family members, friends and companies proxy to the system. This “state-based clientelism”, Tripp argues, “has been one of the main obstacles to democratization, especially when it has favored certain groups over others, permeated the military, and become the main source of power” (Tripp 2010:128).

Sasaoka and Nyang’oro also observe that the Museveni regime had from its initial years sought to broaden its political base “by extending patronage to, or sharing rent with,” as many groups and individuals in the country as are comfortable with the arrangement (2013: 139). “Since 2000,” they observe further, “the NRM government has dramatically increased the number of districts to enhance the NRM’s patronage networks” (2013: 143). Mwenda on his part observes that in the latter years of his almost three decades in power, President Museveni has resorted to the use of force and intimidation, on the one hand, and to the manipulation of patronage – much of it funded from abroad – on the other. As a result, Mwenda argues, Museveni has managed to strengthen the presidency and personalize the state through the control of arms and money: “The arms belong to the military and security services, which the regime deploys selectively to suppress dissent. The money sluices through a massive patronage machine that Museveni uses to recruit support, reward loyalty, and buy off actual and potential opponents.” (Mwenda, 2007: 28).

CLIENTELISM AND PATRONAGE IN THE REST OF AFRICA

On the wider African scene too, as Thomson observes, “clientelism has permeated African societies from top to bottom. It is not just a case of presidential monarchs exchanging patronage for support among their immediate lieutenants within the heart of the state. There is a whole chain of patron-client networks that spread out from this point” (2010:121). In neighboring Rwanda, for example, state patronage is one of the major post-conflict social exclusion problems. “In the circumstances in which the political arena has been dominated by the RPF, the Tutsi have had greater chances to be the beneficiaries of state service provision, including opportunities for education and employment in the sector, because of their patronage network with political leaders” (Takeuchi, 2013: 56).

In Kenya, as Kimenyi (2013) observes, patronage systems were created both by Presidents Kenyatta and Moi. By these they “were able to discriminate in favor of members of their communities for government appointments, contracts, land and the concentration of public services” (Kimenyi, 2013:164).

In Cote d’Ivoire, President Houphouet-Boigny ran a patronage system that depended on the benefit of a robust economy from independence in 1960 to his death in 1993. The system left many deep divisions between benefitting and vulnerable communities. It eventually collapsed, as Langer (2013) observes, after being undermined by the lack of further resources to service it. Daniel Posner’s detailed research on ‘Ethnicity and Ethnic Politics in Zambia’ establishes the relevance of ethnicity in post-independence Zambia by showing that ethnic group memberships underlie people’s perceptions of how patronage resources are distributed by those who enjoy access to them. The survey evidence confirms further that “almost half of Zambians think that the President’s region of the country gets more than its share of development resources” (2005:96).

In Zimbabwe, as Moyo (2015) argues, it was the patronage (White Settler) land tenure system that kept white rule in place until 1980. (1) Of recent, the remaking of ZANU(PF) powers, after what had seemed in 2008 to be an “irreversible decline”, is attributed by Zimbabwean experts to the development and maintenance of an economy of patronage (Alexander and McGregor, 2013).

The example of pre-independence Zimbabwe, just like that of white settlers in Kenya, can point to the fact that the British colonizers distributed land and other incentives based on who was loyal and supportive of their policies. This, as Mbabazi and Jun Yu (2015) argue, was clearly a patronage strategy that later became evident in post-independence politics and administration. The British are known, for example, to have admired Buganda kingdom’s well-defined political hierarchy of chiefs and followers. They went on to use the Baganda to spread their influence to the whole of the country now called Uganda. In return “the kingdom received big chunks of land, and its officials were given permission to collect taxes on behalf of the colonial government” (Mbabazi & Jun Yu, 2015:58).

The debate for a federal scheme under which autonomous, self-governing regions would have equal status was, under the circumstances, very much alive among most African pro-independence movements. At the end of the day, however, most independent African states inherited a strongly centralized apparatus at territorial level. A few countries nevertheless defied this post-independence unitary trend. They did so for various reasons including anxiety about their political status in post-colonial Africa. Nigeria is recognized as the longest enduring post-colonial federation in Africa. Africa’s largest and longest experiment has experienced periods of decline coinciding with military dictatorships. It has nevertheless managed to use federal institutions to manage cultural-territorial pluralism and conflict. The biggest challenge to the system, which is also an epitome of post-independence Nigerian history, is aptly summed up by Suberu as “the near absolute dependence of all governments in the federation on centrally collected oil revenues”… and “the proliferation of inefficient and corrupt federal subunits” (Suberu, 2006:77).

Elsewhere in the Horn of Africa, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) transformed Ethiopia from a centralized state to a new structure as a multicultural federation based on ethno-national representation. There have been setbacks to genuine multi-party democracy since the 1994 ratification of the federal constitution. Nevertheless the country has taken giant steps from the images of chronic famine that defined it in the 1980s to some enviable developmental achievements. Failures in Ethiopia’s ethnic federalism regarding the process of institutionalization and in the solving of some ethnic problems may be because, as Kymlicka argues, it “has not always been the outcome of peaceful democratic mobilization, but rather has been imposed from above and / or captured by local elites who do not present the interests of the wider group.” (Kymlicka, 2006:58). This therefore underlines the relevance of the current inquiry into grassroots perceptions on the road Uganda should take moving forward.

The South African model of federalism, which was embedded in the new post-apartheid constitution, was on its part the result of remarkably detailed and inclusive negotiations that were carried out with an acute awareness of the injustices of the country’s non-democratic past. It gave the Rainbow Nation’s nine provinces considerable powers, and this was vital to ensure the acceptance of a section of minority Afrikaner opposition and Inkatha. Today it is “widely regarded as the most progressive constitution in the world, with a Bill of Rights second to none.” (2)

All in all, a federal solution has been sought in many places in Sub-Saharan Africa with the aim of achieving ethnic autonomy and equality while maintaining the unity of the state. Since the patron, in the clientelist system provides selective access to goods and opportunities, there is the inherent danger of breeding economic, and ultimately social horizontal inequalities. In Africa, where politics often revolves around ethnic cleavages, the patron/client system has more than often tended to result in ethnic tensions, political instability, and even civil wars. The cases of Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, and Rwanda, cited above, not to mention DRC Congo, Burundi, Sudan/Southern Sudan, and Uganda itself, have all had their share of violence.

The issue at hand is the fears and concerns of people at the grassroots level of the political spectrum in Uganda for their economic security in a system that selectively favors certain groups and individuals over others. These fears are partly reflected in the grassroots views from my conversations with selected samples of ordinary people in at least ten different tribal areas of Uganda. My research sought to establish the grassroots perceptions of ethnicity and federalism in Uganda. Federalism is seen in this research as recognition of Uganda’s indigenous peoples and their indigenous systems of governance. Here is what some of my respondents said:

A 60-year-old male peasant in the Bugishu area of Eastern Uganda expressed desire for a role in leadership of the traditional paramount chief in mobilizing the people to realize the full potential of their local endowments, and in the distribution of resources: “If the Umukuuka (traditional ruler of the Bagishu) were given more power, he could bring the services and employment to his people without political wrangles and intervention. Politicians don’t seem to be carrying our voices. They have too much pressure from elections.”

A 22-year old female university student from the same region, Bugishu, echoed similar sentiments: “Economically, there would be mobilization and explanation of policies. For example, now there is the case of BCU (Bugishu Cooperative Union). It is not clear who is killing it. It is possible politicians who do not have Bugishu at heart are killing it.”

A 51-year-old retrenched civil servant in Teso reflected the sentiments of many grassroots folks that local economic affairs are in the hands of the wrong people: “I think if carefully scrutinized Federo (local Ugandan term for federalism) is the solution. It will enable the base people control of local resources. It will help fight corruption. It will ensure a fair distribution of resources. There is a lot of confusion now. Sometimes money and resources are sent where nobody knows what to do. The people who know what to do don’t get the money.”

A 20-year-old female Mukiga student (from Kigezi area) echoed similar sentiments: “Like in this kind of government, if they bring a Muganda (a person from Buganda) administrator here, if we have a contract he will go and bring another Muganda to take it. But if it is our Mukiga (a person from Kigezi area), let’s say, he can employ fellow Bakiga (plural for Mukiga) and mind about the district because he can be from that particular district and knows the challenges.

So did a 32-year-old male Musoga businessman (from Busoga): “I support it (federalism) because if there were a project, I could get a tender and money stays here in Busoga and help us develop.”

A detailed but succinct summary of the above sentiments was from a 52-year, self-employed male Muganda: “Federo would be best for Uganda because people can pull together and use the resources that are common to them honestly and responsibly. Federalism is the way for Africa, not Pan-Africanism, let alone unitarianism. These are but superficial. People can have better respect and understanding of people within the same ethnic boundaries. It is feasible economically and politically because of the common resources. In 10-20 years, we are going there because unitarianism has failed: 100 years of unitary colonialism failed; 20 years of northern rule failed; 30 years of western rule have failed.”

CONCLUSION: TOWARDS ETHNIC FEDERALISM

These conversations revealed that there are people at the grassroots that see ethnic federalism as one possible way of restoring and guaranteeing both socio-political accountability and economic security in a system that relies too much on increasingly narrow ethnic and political clientelistic networks. Political competition in Uganda today revolves around both political parties and ethnic cleavages. It can be argued in conclusion that the patronage machine that sustains the ruling NRM party is as strong a potential cause of resentment and violence as is the perception that resource allocation is biased towards certain regions and individuals. A consideration of patronage and clientelism in Uganda, and elsewhere in Africa, therefore, is a consideration of the possible undesirable effects of both political and economic insecurity.

* Vick Lukwago Ssali is based at the Department of English Language and Cultures, Aichi Gakuin University, Japan.

END NOTES

(1) Sam Moyo, lecture notes: “Agrarian Transformation in Contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Zimbabwe”. Graduate School of Global Studies, Doshisha University, Japan, 2015/03/20.
(2) See SouthAfrica.info, a website managed by Brand South Africa (Brand SA), a public-private partnership established in 2002 to create a positive, unified brand image for South Africa – one that instils pride, promotes tourism and investment, and supports new enterprise and job creation.

SELECTED SOURCES

Alexander, J. & JoAnn McGregor (2013) Introduction: Politics, Patronage and Violence in Zimbabwe, Journal of Southern African Studies, 39:4, 749-763, DOI:10,1080/0357070.2013.862100

Annan, Koffi. 2001. Foreword to Rob McRae and Don Hubert (eds.) Human Security and the New Diplomacy, Montreal, McGill-Queens’ University Press.

Gomez, Oscar. A. & Des Gasper, Human Security: A thematic Guidance Note for Regional and National Human development Report Teams (Dec. 2014)

Kimenyi, Mwangi, S. “The Politics of Identity, Horizontal Inequalities and Conflict in Kenya, In (Y. Mine, F. Stewart, S. Fukuda-Parr and T. Mkandairwe, eds.) Preventing Violent Conflict in Africa, pp. 153-175. Palgrave, Macmillan.

Kymlicka, W., ‘Emerging Western Models of Multinational Federalism: Are they relevant for Africa?’. In David Turton (ed) Ethnic federalism: The Ethiopian experience in comparative perspective, (Addis Ababa, Addis Ababa University Press, 2006).

Langer, A. “Horizontal Inequalities, Ethnic Politics and Violent Conflict: The Contrasting Experiences of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, In (Y. Mine, F. Stewart, S. Fukuda-Parr and T. Mkandairwe, eds.) Preventing Violent Conflict in Africa, pp. 66-91. Palgrave, Macmillan.

Mbabazi, G. & Pyeong, Jun Yu. (2015). Patronage- Driven Corruption Undermining the Fight Against Poverty in Uganda,” African Social Science Review: Vol. 7: No. 1, Article 4.
Meredith, Martin. 2005. The State of Africa. London: Simon & Schuster.

Mwenda, Andrew. 2007. “Personalizing Power in Uganda”, Journal of Democracy, Vol. 18 No. 3 (23-37).

Nyang’oro, E. and Y. Sasaoka. 2013. “Is Ethnic Autonomy Compatible with a Unitary State? The Case of Uganda and Tanzania”. In (Y. Mine, F. Stewart, S. Fukuda-Parr and T. Mkandairwe, eds.) Preventing Violent Conflict in Africa, pp. 126-150. Palgrave, Macmillan.

Posner, Daniel, N. 2005. Institutions and Ethnic Politics in Africa. New York, Cambridge University Press.

Stewart, Frances. (ed.). 2008. Horizontal Inequalities and Conflict: Understanding Group Violence in Multi-ethnic Societies, London, Palgrave Macmillan.

Suberu, R. (2006). Federalism and the Management of Ethnic Conflict: the Nigerian Experience. in David Turton (ed) Ethnic federalism: The Ethiopian experience in comparative perspective, Oxford: James Currey, Athens: Ohio University Press and Addis Ababa: Addis Ababa University Press.

Takeuchi, Shinichi, 2013. “Twin Countries with contrasting Institutions: Post-conflict State Building in Rwanda and Burundi”. In (Y. Mine, F. Stewart, S. Fukuda-Parr and T. Mkandairwe, eds.) Preventing Violent Conflict in Africa, pp. 40-65. Palgrave, Macmillan.

Thomson, Alex, 2010. An Introduction to African Politics. London, Routledge.

Tripp, A. Mari. 2010. Museveni’s Uganda: Paradoxes of Power in a Hybrid Regime, London, Lynne Rienner Publishers.

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Paris climate terror could endure for generations

NOVANEWS

Image result for Paris climate terror CARTOON

Patrick Bond

Paris witnessed both explicit terrorism by religious extremists on November 13 and, a month later, implicit terrorism by carbon addicts negotiating a world treaty that guarantees catastrophic climate change. The first incident left more than 130 people dead in just one evening’s mayhem; the second lasted a fortnight but over the next century can be expected to kill hundreds of millions, especially in Africa.

But because the latest version of the annual United Nations climate talks has three kinds of spin-doctors, the extent of damage may not be well understood. The 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) generated reactions ranging from smug denialism to righteous fury. The first reaction is ‘from above’ (the Establishment) and is self-satisfied; the second is from the middle (‘Climate Action’) and is semi-satisfied; the third, from below (‘Climate Justice’), is justifiably outraged.

Guzzling French champagne, the Establishment quickly proclaimed, in essence, “The Paris climate glass is nearly full – so why not get drunk on planet-saving rhetoric?” The New York Times reported with a straight face, “President Obama said the historic agreement is a tribute to American climate change leadership” (and in a criminally-negligent way, this is not untrue).

Since 2009, US State Department chief negotiator Todd Stern successfully drove the negotiations away from four essential principles: ensuring emissions-cut commitments would be sufficient to halt runaway climate change; making the cuts legally binding with accountability mechanisms; distributing the burden of cuts fairly based on responsibility for causing the crisis; and making financial transfers to repair weather-related loss and damage following directly from that historic liability. Washington elites always prefer ‘market mechanisms’ like carbon trading instead of paying their climate debt even though the US national carbon market fatally crashed in 2010.

In part because the Durban COP17 in 2011 provided lubrication and – with South Africa’s blessing – empowered Stern to wreck the idea of Common But Differentiated Responsibility while giving “a Viagra shot to flailing carbon markets” (as a male Bank of America official cheerfully celebrated), Paris witnessed the demise of these essential principles. And again, “South Africa played a key role negotiating on behalf of the developing countries of the world,” according to Pretoria’s environment minister Edna Molewa, who proclaimed from Paris “an ambitious, fair and effective legally-binding outcome.”

Arrogant fibbery. The collective Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) – i.e. voluntary cuts – will put the temperature rise at above 3 degrees. From coal-based South Africa, the word ambitious loses meaning given Molewa’s weak INDCs – ranked by ClimateActionTracker as amongst the world’s most “inadequate” – and given that South Africa hosts the world’s two largest coal-fired power stations now under construction, with no objection by Molewa. She regularly approves increased (highly-subsidized) coal burning and exports, vast fracking, offshore-oil drilling, exemptions from pollution regulation, emissions-intensive corporate farming and fast-worsening suburban sprawl.

A second narrative comes from large NGOs that mobilized over the past six months to provide mild-mannered pressure points on negotiators. Their line is, essentially, “The Paris glass is partly full – so sip up and enjoy!”

This line derives not merely from the predictable back-slapping associated with petit-bourgeois vanity, gazing upwards to power for validation, such as one finds at the Worldwide Fund for Nature and Climate Action Network, what with their corporate sponsorships. All of us reading this are often tempted in this direction, aren’t we, because such unnatural twisting of the neck is a permanent occupational hazard in this line of work.

And such opportunism was to be expected from Paris, especially after Avaaz and Greenpeace endorsed G7 leadership posturing in June, when at their meeting in Germany the Establishment made a meaningless commitment to a decarbonized economy – in the year 2100, at least fifty years too late.

Perhaps worse than their upward gaze, though, the lead NGOs suffered a hyper-reaction to the 2009 Copenhagen Syndrome. Having hyped the COP15 Establishment negotiators as “Seal the Deal!” planet-saviours, NGOs mourned the devastating Copenhagen Accord signed in secret by leaders from Washington, Brasilia, Beijing, New Delhi and Pretoria. This was soon followed by a collapse of climate consciousness and mobilization. Such alienation is often attributed to activist heart-break: a roller-coaster of raised NGO expectations and plummeting Establishment performance.

Possessing only an incremental theory of social change, NGOs toasting the Paris deal now feel the need to confirm that they did as best they could, and that they have grounds to continue along the same lines in future. To be sure, insider-oriented persuasion tactics pursued by the 42-million member clicktivist group Avaaz are certainly impressive in their breadth and scope. Yet for Avaaz, “most importantly, [the Paris deal] sends a clear message to investors everywhere: sinking money into fossil fuels is a dead bet. Renewables are the profit centre. Technology to bring us to 100% clean energy is the money-maker of the future.”

Once again, Avaaz validates the COP process, the Establishment’s negotiators and the overall incentive structure of capitalism that are the proximate causes of the crisis.

The third narrative is actually the most realistic: “The Paris glass is full of toxic fairy dust – don’t dare even sniff!” The traditional Climate Justice (CJ) stance is to delegitimize the Establishment and return the focus of activism to grassroots sites of struggle, in future radically changing the balance of forces locally, nationally and then globally. But until that change in power is achieved, the UNFCCC COPs are just Conferences of Polluters.

The landless movement Via Campesina was clearest: “There is nothing binding for states, national contributions lead us towards a global warming of over 3°C and multinationals are the main beneficiaries. It was essentially a media circus.”

Asad Rehman coordinates climate advocacy at the world’s leading North-South CJ organization, Friends of the Earth International: “The reviews [of whether INDCs are adhered to and then need strengthening] are too weak and too late. The political number mentioned for finance has no bearing on the scale of need. It’s empty. The iceberg has struck, the ship is going down and the band is still playing to warm applause.”

And not forgetting the voice of climate science, putting it most bluntly, James Hansen called Paris, simply, “bullshit.”

Where does that leave us? If the glass-half-full NGOs get serious – and I hope to be pleasantly surprised in 2016 – then the only way forward is for them to apply their substantial influence on behalf of solidarity with those CJ activists making a real difference, at the base.

Close to my own home, the weeks before COP21 witnessed potential victories in two major struggles: opposition to corporate coal mining – led mainly by women peasants, campaigners and lawyers – in rural Zululand, bordering the historic iMfolozi wilderness reserve (where the world’s largest white rhino population is threatened by poachers); and South Durban residents fighting the massive expansion of Africa’s largest port-petrochemical complex. In both attacks, the climate-defence weapon was part of the activists’ arsenal.

But it is only when these campaigns have conclusively done the work COP negotiators and NGO cheerleaders just shirked – leaving fossil fuels in the ground and pointing the way to a just, post-carbon society – that we can raise our glasses and toast humanity, with integrity. Until then, pimps for the Paris Conference of Polluters should be told to sober up and halt what will soon be understood as their fatal attack on Mother Earth.

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‘Male-dominant migrant wave threatens Europe’s gender equality’

NOVANEWS
© Yara Nardi
© Yara Nardi / Reuters
As European nations continue to accept thousands of refugees, officials are failing to consider that most young adults entering are males, a fact that could have a huge impact on gender equality, says Valerie Hudson, professor at Texas A&M University.

Critics of Europe’s loose and liberal policy towards refugees flooding its shores were galvanized by the harrowing news out of Cologne, Germany on New Year’s Eve.

According to an internal report by Germany’s state police, the Bundespolizei, obtained by DER SPIEGEL, it was written by an official that “[W]omen, accompanied or not, literally ran a ‘gauntlet’ through masses of heavily intoxicated men that words cannot describe.”

RT spoke with Professor Valerie Hudson on a subject that European leaders are apparently ignoring as they continue to open the door to thousands of migrants from North Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East with little or no concern for the sex-ratio makeup of the arrivals.

RT:  The majority of migrants arriving in Europe are young unmarried males. How could that affect the overall social and cultural landscape on the continent?

Valerie Hudson: Over two-thirds of the migrants in this wave are male. As far as Sweden is concerned, I put to one side adult males because one never knows if adult males may be bringing a family subsequently. I looked primarily at older teens – 16-17 years old – and what I found is that most of these are unaccompanied and over 90 percent are male and that means a significant alteration in the sex ratios for Sweden for that age group. My calculations show that there are now approximately 125 boys aged 16-17 for every 100 girls aged 16-17 in Sweden. That is highly abnormal. It is significantly more abnormal than China, whose sex ratio for this age group – due to the problems of the one-child policy – is only 117 boys for every 100 girls aged 16-17.

RT:  Norway has a government-run program teaching migrants how to treat women. Meanwhile in Germany, we now have the Cologne mayor calling on women to alter their behavior around men. Which is the way to go?

VH: That’s an excellent question. What boggles my mind is that no one in Europe has been asking this question. I’ve been studying societies with abnormal sex ratios favoring males for over 20 years… and I can tell you on the basis of my research that societies with highly masculinized sex ratios, that is, with far more men than women in the young adult age group, are unstable. They have higher rates of violent crime, property crime, crimes against women. Women’s freedom to move about in an unconstrained manner is curtailed and there is also a very high demand for prostitution and trafficked women to fill that need, that demand. And so I think someone should be asking whether the alteration in the sex ratio for Europe is not a tragic loss for the women of Europe, for ideals of gender equality in Europe and so forth.

RT:  One attacker in Cologne was quoted as saying that “they should be treated kindly as Merkel has invited them”. Could it be that migrants indeed have a sense of entitlement when coming to Europe?

VH: There are two issues here, and they’re separate issues. One is the question of assimilation, the idea that many of the migrants are coming from cultures in which women are perhaps not viewed as the equals of men, and standards of modesty, standards of male-female interaction in public spaces is vastly different. So yes, anything that one can do to ease assimilation would be helpful.

But there’s a second problem, and it’s the second problem that I’ve been dealing with, which is: It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about migrants from Afghanistan or Greek Orthodox migrants or Hindu migrants. When you get masculinized sex ratios – even if it has nothing to do with migration, like we see in India – you’re going to get these same problems of crime and instability and curtailment of movement for women. So it’s not simply an assimilation issue; it’s also a sex-ratio issue. Canada for one has taken a different approach to migration… it will not allow in unaccompanied males unless they are of a particularly vulnerable group, like gay men. They are refusing to allow these alterations in their sex ratio to take place, and I think it behooves European countries to think about similar measures.

Women in Europe fought not for decades but centuries to create the kind of culture where gender equality could flourish.

RT:  Could there be any backlash from local politicians pushing citizens to change their ways for accommodating migrants?

VH: Well, there ought to be backlash to this. The rest of the world looks to North and Northwestern Europe as the shining example of how a society can achieve gender equality. On any measure of women’s rights or gender equality, nations like Sweden and Norway are at the top of the heap. What a tragic loss it would be not just for those countries, but for the world. For those nations to now say their women: ‘You know, maybe you should stay home on nights of public festivals; maybe you should dress differently.’

Women in Europe fought not for decades but centuries to create the kind of culture where gender equality could flourish. Sweden prides itself on having a feminist foreign policy; Sweden prides itself on having a complete abolitionist approach to prostitution. These are countries that have embraced feminism. So to now turn around and say ‘You know women, maybe you should alter your behavior,’ isn’t that a stunning loss for these nations?

The state has an absolute obligation to its citizens to attempt to preserve that normal balanced sex ratio.

What has been missing in this debate is that a normal balanced sex ratio is a very precious thing. It is a public good. And the state government has an absolute obligation to its citizens to attempt to preserve that normal balanced sex ratio. So to the extent that they have neglected this issue, that it has not even made it onto their radar screen, is actually an indictment of the leadership.

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Nazi regime Demolish Mosque in Negev

NOVANEWS

Israeli Forces Demolish Mosque in Negev

Nazi military, on Wednesday, demolished a mosque in the Palestinian Bedouin village of Rakhama in the Negev, Talal Abu Arar, a Palestinian member of the Nazi Knesset, or parliament, stated.

Abu Arar said he attempted to prevent the demolition, but had been unable to convince the Nazi occupation. “(They) do not spare any effort in exerting pressure on the Arab population of the Negev in their attempt to empty the land of Arabs and to displace them,” he said.

“The demolition of the mosque today, and mosque demolitions in the Negev in general, is a declaration of war on Islam, in line with the religious war Nazi regime has been igniting in the region,” Abu Arar said.

The Palestinian MK slammed Nazi regime for not providing “any services to Palestinians in unrecognized villages.” Despite collecting taxes from Palestinians, he said that “Israeli occupation demolish their homes and close the doors of livelihoods in their faces.”

Rakhama is one of around 40 Bedouin villages in the Negev that Nazi regime refuses to recognize — together holding nearly 90,000 people.

Nazi occupation last month demolished structures in the Bedouin village of al-Araqib, also in the Negev, for the 92nd time.

Nazi policy regarding Palestinian Bedouins — who live under the constant threat of displacement — has been slammed by Human Rights Watch in the past as completely disregarding international law, which forbids discriminatory evictions.

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Nazi Forces Shoot Palestinian Child In The Head

NOVANEWS

Israeli Forces Shoot Palestinian Child In The Head In Jerusalem

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan (Silwanic) has reported Wednesday that a Palestinian child suffered a serious head injury, after Nazi soldiers shot him in the head, in the al-‘Eesawiyya town, in occupied Jerusalem.

Mohammad Abu al-Hummus, member of the Follow-up Committee in al-‘Eesawiyya, said the child, Ahmad Tawfiq Abu al-Hummus, 12 years of age, was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the head, and was moved to the Hadassah medical center in Jerusalem.

Due to the serious nature of his head injury, the doctors instantly moved the wounded child to surgery.

Abu al-Hummus said dozens of Nazi soldiers invaded the town and fired rubber-coated steel bullets, gas bombs and live rounds; many Palestinians suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation.

He also stated that all stores in the town had to shut down after the army invaded it, and the resulting clashes.

It is worth mentioning that Nazi soldiers also detained Mohammad Abu al-Hummus, temporarily confiscated his mobile phone, and deleted all videos and pictures he took documenting the invasion.

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Nazi undercover soldiers kill Milhem

NOVANEWS

Israeli undercover soldiers kill Milhem

Nazi undercover soldiers killed Nashaat Milhem, who launched the Tel Aviv shooting attack a week ago, in a mosque in Wadi Ara in 1948 occupied Palestine on Friday evening.

Two Zionist were killed and ten others were wounded, four of them in serious condition, in the shooting attack in Tel Aviv on the first day of 2016.

Nazi security apparatuses asked the Palestinian Authority to help in finding the attacker after he succeeded in fleeing the scene of the attack unharmed.

A statement for the Nazi police said that soldiers of the Yamam unit ‘clashed’ with Milhem and killed him in the area near to Um el-Faham town.

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