U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is in Oman today and this morning she spoke to civil leaders at a Town Hall meeting in Muscat.
She said that women can be a major power in the Middle East peace process as well as urging regional leaders to encourage and embrace the rising expectations and aspirations of Oman’s rapidly rising youth population.
The Secretary of State went on to cite the example of women in Northern Ireland taking the initiative to meet and be instrumental in the resolution of the “troubles”. She suggested that Arab and Israeli women could provide a similar peace impetus.
“Women played a major role in pushing the politicians to find some solutions,” she said. “It was very clear that there just couldn’t be a divide when people on both sides were suffering in the same way.”
However, she did stress that such an initiative would be long and difficult.
She said that if Arab nations were to succeed in the 21st century they should embrace the aspirations of women and youth.
Tomorrow, Ms Clinton visits Qatar on before returning to Washington.
Treasury Select Committee Muppets
Yesterday’s “grilling”of Barclays boss Bob Diamond was embarrassing to watch. In the real world people such as the members of the Treasury Select Committee would never be around the same table as Mr Diamond because in commerce, they would not be good enough. The quality of question was appalling and the committee members all showed that what was more on their mind that anything else was the fact that Bob Diamond had a far more successful career that they – and they didn’t like it.
The question from John Mann, Labour MP for Bassetlaw ” Why is it easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven?” produced a bemused silence from everyone, especially the smiling Bob Diamond who is used to a slightly more focused line of questioning. “I’m stuck on that one,” he replied.
The rest of us were just plain embarrassed, especially when the Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, Andrew Tyrie ( Conservative member for Chichester) added helpfully: “People have been stuck on that for 2,000 years.”
At that point, Bob Diamond must have been imagining that someone had slipped Mescalin into his Highland Spring.
We really must look at recruiting Members of Parliament who are not quite as thick and not so intimidated by someone who earns in a year what they would earn in 10 lifetimes.
What happened to the Politics of Envy? Still there, it seems.
Eric Illsley MP
The good news for the self-confessed “tealeaf” MP is that he can remain an MP and draw his salary for 11 months, even when banged-up. Work that system, Eric!
An MP’s salary is a lot of snout.
How many MPs are still thinking “There, but for the Grace of God……”
The celebrities and opportunist politicians are but a distant memory. A year on and Haiti looks more-or-less the same as it did an hour after the earthquake, except that over 1 million people are living in tents and thousands are dying of cholera or malnutrition (that’s a nice word for starvation).
The £5 billion pledged has not materialised and you cannot feed and clothe people on promises.
Let’s not beat around the bush. Since Cuba has matured from dangerous Commie State to Interesting Tourist Spot, Haiti is no longer of any strategic importance. Its agricultural economy does not produce enough to feed its population. It populated by poor black people.
Remember Hurricane Katrina in 2005? Which group was left to fend for itself for just that little bit too long? Who suffered the most because of the American Government’s intransigence. Yes. Poor black people.
Imagine if there had been a hurricane or earthquake in Miami a year ago. By now even the golf courses would have been rebuilt.
We should all be ashamed of ourselves.