Ageing in Africa : it would be a fine thing.

Topicality
Just recently, UN News told the world that a large number of communities across Africa (and indeed elsewhere) were “facing catastrophic levels of acute hunger”. In real-time fact, some 34 million people were starving. By the Spring of 2021, the FAO was categorizing some 34 African states as requiring “external assistance for food”. The reason behind such dire straits was multiple : armed violence provoking mass movement of refugees, troubled harvests, volatility of staple prices, floods and locusts, droughts   -  the mix of human agency and bad luck cursing already malnourished economies and severely limited welfare-ism. Meanwhile, even before coronavirus struck, official figures (such as there are) were confirming a sad truth : millions of Africans are not going to see out their fifties. Life expectancy in, say, the Central…
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Can the European Union help us to age well now?

Can the European Union help us to age well now?

Topicality
From issue to major issue, many in the UK will still look to the institutions of the EU for counsel and leadership amid these twisted times. The sadness is therefore the greater that all the talent in the EC should produce this Green Paper on the subject of ageing  -  subtitled Fostering Solidarity and Responsibility Between Generations. For the piece is as trite as it is evasive. Mutatis mutandis and with little content that is really new, it could have been written in the late 20th century. Now one appreciates that the EC has limited powers of execution here and depends, whatever the virtues of its analysis, on the responsiveness and goodwill of Member States. But even then the grim absence of any political bite   -  the non-attack on the …
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A word for the couple in Room C19

A word for the couple in Room C19

Topicality
Years from now, a comprehensive history of the global coronavirus epidemic will still not have been written. It will be forever so. For the story is just too complex, engaging so many lives and livelihoods, inviting so much new medicine and science… that nobody will be able to pack everything into one book or TV documentary or whatever a podcast has become by 2030. We can be certain, however, that there will be those ready to throw a retrospective shawl over the virus years : it will indeed be argued that those years proved just how legitimized had become the dismissive contempt of broader society, most emphatically in the Western world, for elderly people. (more…)
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Sitting on the rocking horse does not make it Pegasus

Sitting on the rocking horse does not make it Pegasus

Scholarship, Topicality
First of all, it is morally inadmissible for anyone   -  whatever the politics or the agendas  -  to describe the Coronavirus crisis as “an opportunity”. After some 40,000 citizens have died in France alone, it is abusive to suggest that C-19 and all its consequences have somehow shown us a better way to live, to develop our civics, to organize human movement, to run our cities. One can but hope that Carlos Moreno has the decency to wince out loud whenever he re-reads his words on that subject here. C19 is not a social science laboratory; it has been a hell for millions. There are other problems. CM abominates the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the likes of Rassemblement National. Good for him. Yes, he elevates social diversity but, since he wants…
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