Thursday, August 10, 2006

A snatched chance to blog, terror and current reading

Finally, a snatched chance to blog in between what have been a very hectic few days. I arrived in canada and plunged straight into work. Hectic days, but very interesting. On the plane I read Marie Fatayi-Williams' tribute to her son, For the Love of Anthony and at many points found myself close to tears, I think the girl in the next seat must have noticed and so asked to see what I was reading. It's not fantastic writing, but in some ways, it is the homespun heartfelt nature of it that is it's greatest strength. In the book, she is particularly critical of the UK Police and the Government in their dealings with the families of the deceased and queried whether the government was doing enough to prevent a recurrence. By the way, fellow Nigerian blogger Molara Wood is quoted in the book, even if incorrectly she is referred to as Molara Woods.

This morning, I wake up to the news that the UK is at high alert following a discovered terrorist plot to blow up planes to the UK. To think that only yesterday I was strolling through Heathrow, dashing to reach the baggage drop off before it closed. I had already checked in online- but one of the problems with checking in online, is that it induces a sense of complacency- I found myself dashing to get to the airport on time, having dilly-dallied on a number of issues. At this time, the details of the suspected plot are unclear but if it is true that there were British Asian Muslims behind the plot, then I can't help but reflect on how they might be making things more difficult for the people whose cause they claim to be espousing. Only last week, the most senior Muslim police officer in the UK police said that the way in which the police were implementing anti-terror laws risked alienating young British Muslims. His comments provoked a flurry of debate, with some arguing that the police were only doing what they had to do, and if anyone was "collateral damage", then tough. If these allegations turn out to be true, then it will appear as if these hardliners have been vindicated....

Joe Lieberman has lost the Democratic nomination for the US Senate after receiving the "kiss of death" from George Bush. Apparently at the last state of the union address, as Dubya made his way out of the congress, he planted a kiss on Liebermann's cheek. Liebermann has paid dearly for "sleeping with the enemy" as Democratic activists upset by his closeness to Dubya's policies,especially his support for the Iraq war helped ensure that he was not renominated for the seat that he has held in the Senate for many years. It is suggested that he might run as an independent. Is the Democratic lion finally waking up from its slumber?

I'm currently reading Claire Tiffany's Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living which was nominated for the Orange Prize but lost to On Beauty. It's a gem of a book, the simple humour-inflected anguage evoking a different time and place is completely charming. Highly recommended!

Finally I note that Chimamanda Adichie's new book Half of a Yellow Sun is to be launched in London next Wednesday. I wish I could be there, but will be stuck here in Canada....

3 comments:

MW said...

Naijaman,

It's news to me, to know I'm quoted in the said book, by Mrs Fatayi Williams. It's the first confirmation in fact, that she was aware of the piece I wrote in the first place, since I've never had any direct contact with her or her foundation.

I have been somewhat baffled, that when the book was released, her publishers arranged interviews with the major media here for Anthony's mother. People like me are conveniently forgotten. Moreover, I approached the publishers for a review copy, in order to review for the Nigerian presses. I have been met with silence.

This is what happens when one operates in this environment, especially when you're a member of the 'ethnic press'. It happens, even when the subject matter is of great importance to one's constituency.

Thanks anyway,
MW

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Nkem said...

You'll be in Canada. I'll be down the road at Aldwych, but at work - even more annoying. Yup, Heathrow came to a standstill. Plus ca change. Enjoy the land of the maple leaf.