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Francis Sealey
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Francis Sealey
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» General Discussion  - 
 
Great Britain ranks fourth in the world amongst the most war mongering countries! The Institute for Economics and Peace has analysed 162 countries on its Global Peace Index. Exactly half and including Japan – were rated as having no involvement in external conflict. By doing this they have been able to work out the worst war mongering countries in then world.

Britain come fourth in the list of the worst war mongering countries globally only by Rwanda, the United States and Uganda.

Japan is ranked as the eighth-most peaceful country in the world, second only to New Zealand in the Asia-Pacific region. But Japan is close to passing a new law that would allow it to engage in international conflict for the first time since the Second World War, prompting widespread protests against militarisation.

This has been met with massive demonstrations in Japan proud of their pacifist tradition since the Second World War.

Of course we have had massive demonstrations in the UK as well notably the 2 million who took to the streets in opposition to the invasion of Iraq but the Tony Blair Government went on regardless.

It has to be the concern of all of us that we rank number four in the premier league of warring countries – not as good reputation to have and one that will harm us in the long run both with our internal security and also how we are respected across the globe.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/the-nine-most-warmongering-countries-in-the-world-revealed-10478988.html
Japan is close to passing a new law that would allow it to engage in international conflict for the first time since the Second World War, prompting widespread protests against militarisation.
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Francis Sealey
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» General Discussion  - 
 
More than 300,000 migrants have risked their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe so far this year, according to the UN. This compares with 219,000 for the whole of 2014.

The loss of lives in the Mediterranean and the grim discovery of more than 70 bodies crammed inside a truck that was abandoned near the Austrian border with Hungary.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced plans to convene a special meeting on September 30, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, to discuss global concerns about migration.

"This is a human tragedy that requires a determined collective political response. It is a crisis of solidarity, not a crisis of numbers,"

Ban praised leaders and communities who were taking action to cope with the flow of migrants, but added: "Much more is required."

"I appeal to all governments involved to provide comprehensive responses, expand safe and legal channels of migration and act with humanity,
compassion and in accordance with their international obligations," he said.

The Dublin Regulation places responsibility for examining an asylum seeker's claim with the first EU country that the migrant reached. This places a heavy burden on countries like Greece and Italy as well as Hungary and indeed German itself.

Frontex who is carrying out most of the recue missions said in August it had not received enough pledges of assets from EU states to help Greece and Hungary with the current influx of migrants.

Italy abandoned its Mare Nostrum search-and-rescue mission last year after some EU members - including the UK - said they could not afford to fund it. The decision was widely criticised by rights groups.

What Ban Ki-moon and others are calling for is a more co-ordinated European response as this is a global crisis and a “beggar my neighbour” approach is the last thing that is needed. More than ever Europe must work together on this

It is worth checking the video on the page below on the Dublin Regulation.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24583286
What are the current pressures on Europe from non-EU migrants fleeing war and poverty? The BBC explains.
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Francis Sealey
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» GN21 Meetups & Webinars  - 
 
The Independent carries a story today about the dangers that TTIP has for national governments, accountability and democracy itself.
 
In October GlobalNet21 will be holding a meeting in the House of Commons on the TTIP agreement between the EU and the US that could adversely effect our public services, our food quality, our privacy and our democracy. This will be hosted by Geraint Davies MP. The article tells us that,
 
“The European Commission has been accused of a cover-up after refusing to release details of talks between its officials and the tobacco industry during negotiations over the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) treaty.
 
Critics of the trade talks, which centre on reducing the regulatory barriers to international trade for big business, said the documents back up fears that TTIP will allow tobacco giants to take legal action against the UK and other European governments who attempt to tighten smoking legislation.
 
The Corporate Europe Observatory had argued for full disclosure of the documents citing the EU’s freedom of information law and the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The latter’s guidelines oblige governments to limit interactions with the tobacco industry to a minimum and to ensure full transparency of those interactions that occur.”
 
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/ttip-controversy-the-european-commission-and-big-tobacco-accused-of-coverup-after-heavily-redacted-documents-released-10473601.html
The European Commission has been accused of a cover-up after refusing to release details of talks between its officials and the tobacco industry during negotiations over the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) treaty.
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Francis Sealey's profile photoCraig Nicol's profile photo
 
 You can find out more about the House of Commons meeting where Sam Lowe from The Friends of the Earth will also be speaking at http://www.meetup.com/GlobalNet21/events/224091886/
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Francis Sealey
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» General Discussion  - 
 
As our world has got ever smaller and interconnected and multi national corporations have operated across national borders transferring capital at will, then there is emerging a worldwide counter culture whereby citizens are organising in a multi national way to restore accountability and democracy
 
In Europe one such organisation is European Alternatives that seeks to address a ‘democratic deficit’ which currently exists at all levels of European society – regional, national and European. It seeks to stimulate new forms and avenues of democratic engagement. They argue that,
 
“the most urgent political, cultural and social questions can no longer be understood or dealt with at the national level alone, and that new forms of transnational collectivity must be fostered to restore to citizens democratic control over their future.”
 
They seek to empower individuals, civil society and social movements to act in a coordinated way throughout and beyond Europe to imagine, demand, and enact alternatives and influence decision-making.
 
Movements of this kind are growing and are not only a countervailing force to huge bureaucracies like the European Union but also to the resurgent nationalism also seen in many European nation states especially at times of turmoil and economic austerity.
 
http://www.euroalter.com/
close; Who we are · Our organisation · Mission & Values · Strategy · Governance & Participation · Board of Trustees · Advisory Board · Our People · Our Logo · Our Funders · Our Network · Partners · Local Groups · Individual Members · Jobs & Internships · Contact us · Testimonials ...
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Francis Sealey

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Reading the novel “The Circle” then you are taken into a digital “Brave New World” that might have even shocked the author Aldous Huxley. It is a book about how a fictional digital company takes over everything including our personal lives and our government. It is also able to take over elections and thus have the potential to shape their outcome.
 
So when we read that Google may be able to shape the American Elections in 2016 then we see this digital nightmare for democracy is only just around the corner.
 
Research conducted by Ronald E. Robertson of the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology suggests that Google, Inc., has amassed far more power to control elections—indeed, to control a wide variety of opinions and beliefs—than any company in history has ever had. Google’s search algorithm can easily shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20 percent or more—up to 80 percent in some demographic groups—with virtually no one knowing they are being manipulated.
 
Given that many elections are won by small margins, this gives Google the power, right now, to flip upwards of 25 per cent of the national elections worldwide.
 
It is worthwhile reading this article and thinking how possible the scenario might be where elections are programmes through search engines that know everything about us. If this is the case then how can we protect our privacy and our democracy from such intrusion? Are we really drifting into the brave new world of the digital age?
 
http://www.politico.eu/article/google-2016-election-us-candidates-search/
Google has the ability to drive millions of votes to a candidate with no one the wiser.
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Thanks Ian an interesting post. And yes we have no idea what they do or what strategy they or other social network platforms have.
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Francis Sealey

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European nations seen as best prepared to care for ageing populations though the UK lags behind and is in 11th place on the league table. Norway comes out as top of the league.
 
This is going to be an increasingly important problem as all countries face an ageing population in the coming years and many countries seem unprepared. Scandinavia whose demography indicated early a growing aged population seems to have taken the most effective steps to tackle this situation. Others have seemed to leave it to market forces.
 
http://positivenews.org.uk/2014/wellbeing/16692/norway-country-elderly-report/
European nations seen as best prepared to care for ageing populations
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Francis Sealey
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» General Discussion  - 
 
For those still doubtful about climate change then the prediction about this year’s temperature should come as a wake up call. It is not the increase in warming on the land that has been critical (and in some cases we have had a bad Summer) but the increase in temperatures on the Ocean.
Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Norwich has claimed - “It’s going to be so far ahead of the other record year that it’s going to be beyond the error range.
What’s important is not so much the land but the ocean data. The oceans have really picked up in the last 12 months or so,” Professor Jones said. In addition to the temperature increase attributed to the burning of fossil fuels, scientists are also recording a strengthening of El Niño, the current in the Pacific Ocean that causes sea-surface temperatures to rise.”
The prediction that 2015 will be the hottest year on record “by a mile”, with the increase in worldwide average temperatures dramatically undermines the idea that global warming has stopped – as some climate-change sceptics claim.
It is rare for climate experts to make such a bold prediction so soon in the year, but they believe that a surge in ocean temperatures in particular now makes it almost inevitable that 2015 will turn out to be the hottest year globally since instruments were first used to gather readings more than 130 years ago.
Many people accept climate change but not the seriousness of it and it is about awakening us to the urgency of the problem that is now vitally important.
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/climate-change-2015-will-be-the-hottest-year-on-record-by-a-mile-experts-say-10477138.html?origin=internalSearch
Climate scientists are predicting that 2015 will be the hottest year on record “by a mile”, with the increase in worldwide average temperatures dramatically undermining the idea that global warming has stopped – as some climate-change sceptics claim.
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Francis Sealey
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» General Discussion  - 
 
The debate around the role and power of civil society within the UK, Europe and the globe is a vital one for the health of any society. Two views are beginning to emerge around this and it would be interesting to see what you think about this important debate.
 
The Civil Society Movement has just been set up and on its Website it states
 
"Civil society is under threat around the world. Centralised states and concentrated markets are corroding civil society and contracting the space available for it. Voluntary and relational components of social life are being colonised by both corporations and governments. “
 
“In developed countries, many not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) have been turned into service delivery instruments for the state. In developing countries, a large proportion of NFPs have become instruments for delivery of foreign aid. In both settings, NFPs have become increasingly corporatised and detached from their founding purpose and culture.”{
 
Yet in his book “Blessed Unrest” the author Paul Hawkins gives a much more optimistic picture and is s a manifesto of hope for the 21st century grounded squarely in the hearts of engaged people around the planet. The book is about the many non-profit groups and community organizations, dedicated to many different causes, which Hawken calls the “environmental and social justice movement”.[3] Hawken explains that this is a diverse movement with no charismatic leader. The movement follows no unifying ideology, and is not recognized by politicians, the public and the media.
 
Hawken implies that the movement represents one of the biggest revolutions in history and probably in the last two decades has built up to perhaps two million organizations strong — and is a sign of life and a new awakening in civil society.
 
Where do we all stand in this debate?
 
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/05/books/review/Sullivan-t.html
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Iulian Dumitraşcu's profile photo
 
Hello!
What is the address of this site?
According to my information, both statements reflect reality.
I want to do what others have attempted: find and unite these good doers.
I want to create means for that: Web applications that help people find the right people, and communicate and collaborate better with them over the Internet. I also want to create an encyclopedia that should improve education globally and create a basis for a better understanding among nations. Do you find it helpful if we understand better the history and behavior of humans?
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Francis Sealey
owner

» General Discussion  - 
 
The stock market in China is still unstable and many wonder if it is merely a bubble or something more fundamental that will impact gravely on the world economy. The crash of the stock market in China has parallels to the crash in 1929 on Wall Street some observers are suggesting. And this could impact on us across Europe and the rest of the world. This according Jeremy Walker of the Telegraph is the big financial crisis of the present day and one that puts the Greek crisis into perspective and one that will affect Europe perhaps more profoundly than the crisis over the Euro.

His article was written in July of this year but very pertinent given the Chinese stock market crash that we are seeing at the present time. It is worth considering his arguments. He points out,

“The parallels with 1929 are, on the face of it, uncanny. After more than a decade of frantic growth, extraordinary wealth creation and excess, both economies – America in 1929 and China today – are at roughly similar stages of economic development. Both these booms, moreover, are in part explained by extremely rapid credit growth.”

“As noted by JK Galbraith in his classic account, The Great Crash 1929, even as late as 1927 it was possible to argue that American stocks represented fair value.

It was only in the final year that the “escape into make-believe” happened in earnest, when the stock market rose by nearly 50pc. This applies to the Shanghai Composite, too. Stripping out the lowly-rated banking sector, valuations for just about everything else have rocketed, making those that ruled on Wall Street in the run-up to October 24, 1929, look relatively modest. Nor do the similarities end there. As in 1920s America, China’s stock market boom has ridden in tandem with an equally speculative real estate bubble. “

“The macro-economic backdrop is also surprisingly similar. Then, as now in China, rural workers had emigrated to the cities in vast numbers in the hope of finding a more prosperous life in fast-growing industrial sectors. In 1920s America, virtually all these sectors – from steel to automobiles and the new technologies of radio and consumer durables – grew like Topsy, inspiring households to invest in them and chase the apparently bountiful profits they were generating.

A similar explosion in industrial activity has taken place in China, only more so. China has packed more development into a few short decades than any country in recorded history before, creating a worldwide glut in industrial capacity that even global demand, let alone domestic Chinese demand, is struggling to accommodate. “

Whether the crash will be as serious as 1929 remains to be seen because as Jeremy Warner states in his article states we have learnt a lot since 1929 but whether what we have learnt will help is the critical question. Warner argues that there is “very little evidence for China’s technocratic elite having things under control.”

The next few months could be an interesting time as we adjust to this new situation and what responses can be made.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/china-business/11725236/The-really-worrying-financial-crisis-is-happening-in-China-not-Greece.html
China looks like it is heading for its version of the 1929 stock market crash
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Francis Sealey
owner

» General Discussion  - 
 
Reading the novel “The Circle” then you are taken into a digital “Brave New World” that might have even shocked the author Aldous Huxley. It is a book about how a fictional digital company takes over everything including our personal lives and our government. It is also able to take over elections and thus have the potential to shape their outcome.
 
So when we read that Google may be able to shape the American Elections in 2016 then we see this digital nightmare for democracy is only just around the corner.
 
Research conducted by Ronald E. Robertson of the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology suggests that Google, Inc., has amassed far more power to control elections—indeed, to control a wide variety of opinions and beliefs—than any company in history has ever had. Google’s search algorithm can easily shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20 percent or more—up to 80 percent in some demographic groups—with virtually no one knowing they are being manipulated.
 
Given that many elections are won by small margins, this gives Google the power, right now, to flip upwards of 25 per cent of the national elections worldwide.
 
It is worthwhile reading this article and thinking how possible the scenario might be where elections are programmes through search engines that know everything about us. If this is the case then how can we protect our privacy and our democracy from such intrusion? Are we really drifting into the brave new world of the digital age?
 
http://www.politico.eu/article/google-2016-election-us-candidates-search/
Google has the ability to drive millions of votes to a candidate with no one the wiser.
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Francis Sealey's profile photoAlex M's profile photoMarty Demichele's profile photoMichael Ehline's profile photo
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Thanks Chris and hope you join up to the group on meetup as iyt always gives you the latest information on our events. http://www.meetup.com/GlobalNet21/
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Francis Sealey
owner

» General Discussion  - 
 
European nations seen as best prepared to care for ageing populations though the UK lags behind and is in 11th place on the league table. Norway comes out as top of the league.
 
This is going to be an increasingly important problem as all countries face an ageing population in the coming years and many countries seem unprepared. Scandinavia whose demography indicated early a growing aged population seems to have taken the most effective steps to tackle this situation. Others have seemed to leave it to market forces.
 
http://positivenews.org.uk/2014/wellbeing/16692/norway-country-elderly-report/
European nations seen as best prepared to care for ageing populations
1
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Francis Sealey
owner

» General Discussion  - 
 
The Department for Work and Pensions has admitted making up comments from supposed, "benefit claimants" that appeared in a leaflet about sanctions. The quotes were made up and the photos came from stock characters. They were unreal.

In March this year Parliament's Work and Pensions Select Committee said there was evidence that sanctions were geared towards punishing people for being unemployed and might not actually help them find work.

The MPs said there was evidence that the benefit cuts for unemployed people caused more problems than they solved and might be "purely punitive".

This has caused outrage and there is now a petition calling for the resignation of the Secretary for Sate Iain Duncan Smith.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “The case studies were used for illustrative purposes to help people understand how the benefit system works. They’re based on conversations our staff have had with claimants. They have now been removed to avoid confusion.”

I think that is Civil Servant double speak for saying “we got it wrong folks!” When Governments of all colours produce dodgy documents and fabricated leaflets then it is little wonder that there is a disconnection between people and politicians. It should always be the job of politicians to put this right and not defend it.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/iain-duncan-smith-faces-calls-to-quit-over-fake-quotes-scandal-10466068.html
Iain Duncan Smith is facing calls to quit over his department's admission that it fabricated quotes to promote its benefit sanctions regime.
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GlobalNet21 Public Square of Debate
Introduction

I am the co-founder of GlobalNet21, which was set up to discuss some of the great issues of our millennium and bring back the hope that we can do something about it. We have taken the idea of citizen discussion and tried to develop it by using social network sites as a way of getting more citizen involvement and introducing another audience to the issues of the 21st century. We have held many meetings (some in the House of Commons) on a wide variety of issues affecting us in the century.

In our work it is clear that there are many people and groups who are hidden or who have voices that are unheard. In the past year we have worked hard to give a platform to some of these groups and particularly the homeless, the disabled and those who have been exploited and trafficked. We have also linked them with decision makers to create better understanding and to encourage positive action.

In creating this virtual “public square” GlobalNet21 has emerged now as a vast social networking system that brings new audiences together to discuss and seek solutions for critical issues of the day – issues that divide and threaten the stability of our society and our planet. We are now one of the biggest groups on the meetup site with over 3400 members as well as a large group on linkedin and other sites including Facebook and Twitter. We have enjoyed success in achieving our original aim and now regularly hold well-attended meetings with diverse groups of people from across the political, economic and religious spectrum. With the use of webinars and podcasts our discussions have also now gone global.

GlobalNet21 is a group for those who believe that we need to develop a new form of humanism that includes people of all religions and none but who embrace humanistic values as the basis of their actions. These are values of global compassion, personal self-discovery, shared development, planetary concern and a love of community.

You can find out more about us at our GlobalNet21 meetup site athttp://www.meetup.com/21stCenturyNetwork/

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