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Friday, February 16, 2018

CANCER, HUMILITY AND FINANCE



Author: Prince Foday

Cancer is a relevant health problem in the world and is becoming of immense concern to our society. Before addressing the reasons for financing cancer, it is significant to have knowledge about cancer. The emergence of cancer had attracted contributions on its meaning from various clerics and cancer institutions. The National Cancer Institute defines cancer as “a name given to a collection of related diseases and that in all types of cancer some of the body cells begins to divide without stopping and spreading into surrounding tissues”. Cancer Research UK viewed cancer as “a situation where abnormal cells divide in an uncontrolled way and that some cancers may spread into other tissues”. Macmillan Cancer Support provided their own take on cancer as “something that starts in our cells (cells being tiny building blocks that make up the organs and tissues of our body) and that sometimes the cells goes wrong and become abnormal and forms itself into lump called tumour”.  Battison, T. (2002) suggest cancer to be something that covers various types of malignant tumour and not just a single-handed disease. He further emphasised that there are over more than two hundred types of cancer and each of them have their unique signs and features based on the types of cancer, which he mentioned that there are three types and they are: Carinoma, Sarcoma and Lymphoma. Carcinoma, as he insists, crops up in the tissues that are developed from the cells and generates into many compositions in the adult in places such as the lungs, stomach, intestines, mouth, glands that make secretions, the lining of the throat, prostrate, pancreas and salivary glands. Sarcoma, as he indicates, is like a form of tumour that originates from the middle layer of the embryo and this forms into fat, fibrous tissue, muscles and bones. Lymphoma, as he suggests, is a form of tumour that grows in the lymphoid tissue in the body and this is found in the bone marrow, the spleen and the lymph glands where the blood cells are established and leukaemia will form if the malignant process entails the blood-erupting tissues in the bone marrow. The questions that may be asked and desires answers are: why finance cancer? What are the advantages and disadvantages to this?  Cancer being a serious health problem clearly justifies the need to spend money on it for preventive and curative reasons. Arlen Specter proposed by ranking heart disease as the prime killer followed by cancer and that the dreadful issue about the two diseases are that they can be healed and that this can only be possible if enough funds are available. Specter’s suggestion sends the signal about the importance of finance to the cure of cancer. The fact he expressed is that cancer can be cured if and only if the needed finance is available and this triggers the need for financing cancer.  However, there are pros and cons  to financing cancer, something that is an inevitable phenomenon for any health problem. 


Why Finance Cancer?


In addressing the issue of the need for financing cancer, we need to consider money that needs to be spent on health promotion to prevent the cancer from source, research that needs to be conducted to cure the cancer and the issue of ensuring a healthy population for the purpose of their contributions to the economy.

Health promotion on cancer requires money, as there is need to use the different channels of communication to get the message to those that are in potential risk. The sensitisation on cancer using the print media, radio and television is not free but a fee is levied based on the space required. Cancer awareness is ongoing and this involves finance to get the message to the target group. Battison, T. (2002) hinted that there are many known facts and great deal of fiction about what causes cancer and most people will know a little of both. Most families have experienced cancer so it is not a surprise that people have gathered information along the way, picked up from word of mouth, the television and magazines.  Battison’s statement clearly tells us about the importance of cancer sensitization and such health promotion is ideal in eliminating any false story that may emerge about cancer. 

Research is the prime to our society, so researching on cancer can unveil much information on cancer and can further help in finding the cure to cancer. Research involves finance and it needs both capital (space and equipments needed) and recurrent expenditure (salary and other administrative expenses). The findings and recommendations from cancer research are very important to our society and this will create a leeway for curative measures. Scotting, P. (2010) propounded that since the 1990s, however, the number of deaths from cancer has begun to drop significantly. Research has at last begun to have an impact on many cancers, and because of our interest in cancer, we have learnt a huge amount about how cells and the body normally work. This understanding promises to have even greater impact on our ability to combat cancer over the next ten to twenty years. Scotting’s statement pinpoints on the relevance of cancer research and how this is helping to reduce the rate of the cancer disease. Cancer research requires huge amount of money but the impact of the research in preventing and curing cancer is what really matters. The benefit that our human society derives from research findings far outweigh whatever money that is spent on cancer. Humanity and humility are important ingredients to a better society, so money spent on research is important to get those affected and those who may be potentially affected by cancer back on their feet to carry on their daily lives, and this in effect will have a ripple-effect on the economy.

Economic growth can be achieved through a healthy population or cancer free population. Where the population is healthy they will be able and fit for work and the services provided will boost the economy. The contributions to the economy from a cancer free working population will help government raise finance to meet its expenditure, hence, another reason why cancer should be financed. Sachs, J. (2002) suggested that disease stricken countries are to large extent vulnerable to the social problems of economic malaise, internal conflicts and displaced populace. Professor Sachs’s argument hits the nail in the right hole on the relationship between health and economic growth. Health and economic growth are directly related. Spending on health will have a positive effect on the economy. When the working population of a country is healthy, they can contribute a great deal to the economy. The ultimate result to this is a rise in the gross domestic product (income from consumers and both private and public investments) from one year to the other. Spending on health is the right thing for a nation to do so as to avoid the collapse of the economy. A healthy population can promote sustainable circular flow of income between households and firms. Households will be fit or healthy to provide services to earn income and the income earned will be spent on goods and services produced by firms.

Although financing cancer is the appropriate thing for any nation to do, there are pros and cons  to it.

Pros and Cons 

Health promotion on cancer can make people to be aware and alerted about cancer and this can generate the needed caution for people to avoid it. People will take up precautionary measures to avoid potential cancer. The cure from cancer derived from research can help save cancer patients and put their lives back to normal or give them the needed relief from the trauma and frustrations from cancer. Those that recover from cancer can be able and fit to work and this will make them provide services to raise revenue to meet their domestic expenses and save to meet unexpected situations or unforeseen contingencies.

Health promotion may sometimes be misleading and this will make the target group to take up the wrong information. Battison, T. (2002) presented that unfortunately not all information passed around is entirely accurate and the myths that circulate can result in people believing wrongly about the causes and control of the disease. This may cause people to suffer unnecessary guilt and anxiety as to whether or not they caused their own cancer and about how the cause of the sickness will run. For example, it is commonly supposed that having cancer implies lingering and painful death, which is not true. The statement from Battison implies how the wrong awareness about cancer can lead people to imbibe fictitious information on cancer. Having the wrong information that cancer will lead to death will put the target group into immense fear that will be difficult to heal.   The experimental treatment may cause harm, say; the use of X-ray to diagnose cancer will generate radioactive radiation which can be dangerous to the patient. The trauma and frustrations from cancer can breed a psychological torture which cannot be easy to heal. Batttison further expressed that diagnose of cancer can invariably trigger strong emotions, leaving everyone involved feeling scared and confused. Initial reactions may vary, but most people express shock and disbelief and often ask the same questions over and over again: What did I do wrong? What can I do about this dreadful thing that is happening to me? Battison’s statement touches on what exactly our society feels about cancer. Any victim of cancer is bound to have that fear and mental torture and some may not even cope with it. The stigma attached to the dreadful disease will live any to embrace the fear that accompanies it and lives the one having the disease to a perpetual psychological torture.  It can cost money and time for the patient, as the patient needs to make ongoing visits to the hospital and this involves money and time.


Conclusion

Based on the discussions above, one would conclude that it is a great thing to do to finance cancer. If anyone could argue this, then it is like prioritising money than human health. We human beings are valued more than money. The brain behind the creation of money to solve the problems associated with barter system (exchange of good for good) emanated out of sound health, hence, the need to spend money on health and cancer being one of the health problems. The brain can only function well when one is healthy. We can only think and act effectively when we are healthy. There are three important phases to cancer and they are: Awareness Phase, research phase and rehabilitation Phase. These phases require finance. The awareness phase is the sensitisation stage and this stage needs oral, written and visual medium to get the message to the target group. There is the demand for using newspapers, magazines, journals, radio, billboards and so forth and all these sensitisation outlets require money. Research on cancer desires huge amount of money and the gains from it outweighs the money spent on it.  Those with cancer require rehabilitation due to the ongoing fear, trauma and psychological torture that are linked with the victim. Finance is needed to cure those with cancer and give hope to those affected and this demands professionalism or the ideal institution to deliver that. No matter what arguments that may emerge to counter the need for financing cancer, human lives are paramount and health is wealth. This is because a healthy population can build on the wealth of the nation. We are all human beings and that humility and finance provided for those affected by cancer are important ingredients in creating an impact on their lives. Every little financial contribution can be of great help in striving  towards a cancer free society.


References:

Amstrong, S. (2014), P53: The Gene that cracked the Cancer Code, ISBN (Paper Back): 978-1-4729-1052-3
Scotting, P. (2010), Cancer, A Beginners Guide, ISBN: 978-1-85168-755-8
Bor, R., Eriksen, C.and Stapelkamp, C. (2010) Coping with the Psychological Effects of Cancer, ISBN: 978-1-84709-097-3
Priestman, T. (2008) Reducing Your Risk of Cancer, what you need to know, London, Sheldon Press, ISBN: 978-1-84709-021-8
Shah, P. (2012) Testicular Cancer, The Essential Guide, London, Needs2Know, ISBN: 978-1-86144-265-9
Priestman, T. (2006) Coping with Breast Cancer, London, Sheldon Press, ISBN: 0-85969-968-4
Battison, T. (2002) Caring for Someone with Cancer, ISBN: 0-86242-382-1
Tumors, B., Stork-Vance, V.and Dubay, M. (2004) 100 Questions & Answers About Brain Tumors, ISBN: 0-7637-2308-8
Smith, T. (2010) Coping Successfully with Prostate Cancer, ISBN; 978-1-84709-104-8
Brown, Z.K., Freeman, H.P.and Platt, E. (2007) 100 Questions & Answers About Breast Cancer (Second Edition), London, Jones & Barlett Publishers Internation
Brainquote.com
Sachs, J. (2002) Macroeconomics and Health: investing in health for economic development, the Courier, the magazine of ACP-EU development cooperation March-April 2002, page 6, No 191, ISSN 1606-2000

Author:

Prince Foday
London, United Kingdom













Thursday, May 18, 2017

PARENTS' EQUAL RESPONSIBILITIES TO THE CHILD: A Voluntary Clearing of the Social Rumble


Author: Prince Foday
A household is comprised of mother, father and the child. The child is at the center of the household, hence, the mother and father should have equal responsibilities to the child. Responsibilities in actual fact are financial and non-financial and in most cases the non-financial aspect of the responsibilities are ignored.   The child should be a great figure and their greatness, concern and responsibilities need to be upheld by households and other stakeholders. The parents’ equal responsibilities to the child are ideal in maintaining the lattice structure holding the household together. The parents brought the child to this world, so the equal attachment of both parents to the child is a great thing to maintain. In most cases, one or both parents do allow their dominant self-interest attribute to lead to a fragile family bond and this is not helpful to the child. Both the parents have to eliminate the overriding self-absorption and take up shared responsibilities to the child. The concept of shared responsibility may be alien to some societies but experience had shown that such hypothesis is sure to pass the litmus test of ensuring a peaceful society. The truth is both parents may not have the same income flow and in eliminate vulnerablech varying income situation there is the need to consider the non-financial contributions that are neglected my most families and stakeholders. Most researchers are finding it challenging to attach value to the non-financial contributions of both parents. However, an estimated value can be the way forward in determining the non-financial contributions and bridging the gap of short-sightedness.  

The child lives in a society, for which, both parents are part of and at the pivotal point of making the child maintain the link with their society. Parents have equal responsibilities to enable their child to maintain healthy relationship with society. The child can maintain healthy relationship with society if both parents imbibe good manners in their child. Parents have equal responsibilities to be role model to the child. The parents should show good values and respond to the ethics of society and guiding the child towards that path should be equally shared by both. Such shared responsibility to the child is a way of averting potential anti-social behaviour or the odds that weigh’s against society.

In the household, there is that domestic environment that involves making sure the child has a roof over her or his head, putting food on the table for the child, ensuring that the child is clean and wearing ironed and cleaned cloths, taking the child to school, guiding the child for school work and others not mentioned. Parents should have equal responsibility in maintaining a well-balanced domestic environment for the child.

There is a circular flow of income between households and businesses. The circular flow entails the household spending their income on goods and services produced by businesses. Households are meant to purchase the goods and services and businesses producing those goods and services have to use the income from households to buy inputs for production in order to maintain the circular flow of income. Both parents, as part of the household, should have shared and equal responsibility to buy those goods and services needed by the child. The child needs shelter, food, clothing and other miscellaneous items. These items involve money or finance to buy. Both parents should have the shared responsibility to finance the purchase of those items that are part of the child’s well-being.

Maintaining the child’s spiritual well-being has an important role in the life of the child. Both parents have equal responsibility for the child’s spiritual well-being. The parents have shared responsibility in ensuring that their child knows that God exist, know about the scriptures from God and encourage the child to practice what is enshrined in the scriptures. The child should be made aware of the different religious denominations, the need to be tolerant and take up the mantle of peace. The parents have shared and equal responsibility for developing the spiritual well-being of their child, as the response to that will heal any potential deviation from God’s spiritual expectations of mankind. The child is part of mankind and the parents have shared and equal responsibility to teach and enable the child to live to the expectations of God’s scriptures.

The child has emotional attachment to the parents. Parents are required to be sensitive to such emotional attachment and ensure that the child is not deprived of it. The presence of the parents (both father and mother) is a source of peace for the child. Both parents are looked at as two poles maintaining the child shield or protection. The absence of one of the parents in the life of the child creates an incomplete situation and a source of doubt in the mind of the child. Both parents are obliged to maintain the child’s protection and should not create the scenario of a broken family.

The assumption of equal responsibility by parents to their child is the way forward in maintaining the stability of the child. The shared and equal satisfaction of the above issues raised are sure ways of keeping a strong family bond and contributing to the expectations of society. Both mother and father are important elements in bringing up  the child, so shared and equal responsibilities to the child’s sound frame of mind is what the parents are required to act on. The equality in dispensing those responsibilities to the child is what the parents should have to solidly maintain. Divorces and separations are never the right options for the parents as this will wholesomely affect the child. Both parents have to work as a strong and unwavering team in ensuring a thriving relationship and a sound household environment. Other stakeholders (relatives, friends, government and so forth) linked to the family have to provide the needed support and environment for the sustainability of the bond, as a deviation from the expected will create an unstable scenario for the child and a recipe for social unrest. It is not the right thing for other stakeholders to play the evils game, as this will surely bounce back. Supporting the family to be in the position to take up shared responsibilities to the child and building the enabling environment for an unshakeable parental team are the path way to a peaceful society.  

Author:

Prince Foday
Reporter, Human Rights



Thursday, January 26, 2017

STARS

Author: Princess Phebean Foday
Up the sky, stars so bright
Shinning like a diamond but cannot be sold
Wish to touch it but finding it impossible.

Nature so natural and beyond human creation
It brightens the way for us, something worthy to appreciate
So far to reach.....finding it impossible to catch.

Come down oh stars how I wish to touch and kiss you
For the glitter and shinny look of you I so like

Come down oh stars let me use you like a touch light to brighten my way when walking in the dark.

Author:

Princess Phebean Foday
Primary Pupil
London, United Kingdom


Managing Editor's Comment: The Author is my daughter. She got a star on this poem in her class.


Monday, July 18, 2016

TRIBUTES TO AN ALUMNI MEMBER AND BROTHER, MUSA SANDY

Deceased: Musa Sandy
The information about the death of Musa met me as a surprise. As he is my friend on Facebook, I saw snap information about the death of someone and it happened at a time I was having a brief rush through the newsfeed on my Facebook page. I thought at that time Musa himself was posting information about the death of someone. Since I was in a rush and could not concentrate much on the content of the message, I clicked like and wrote a message of condolence. Then came hours later when I received a message from my younger sister, Theresa, who is so close to Musa and the family, texting me on Whatsapp that Musa Sandy is dead. The message sent a shock wave through my spine and made me put aside what I was focusing on that day. I even told my sister about an unclear message I saw on my newsfeed on Facebook on Musa’s timeline and we further had sister-brother deliberations on the issue of death. At the end of our conversation, I then reflected on a young and healthy looking Musa I met one year ago with his mum in a burial ceremony in a hall around Brixton. Before the end of the burial ceremony, we came out together and later his mum joined us and we even had discussions on family issues. At the end of the discussions, he entered his car and drove home with his mum. As everyone is busy in Great Britain, we hardly meet and in total had actually seen him twice in London; the other was in our alumni association fundraising event around Waterloo Station, London.

The news of Musa’s death made me learn that amid the fact we all busy out of Sierra Leone there is the need for relatives and friends to be in touch with each other, as life is short and one never knows when a relative or friend will leave planet earth. It is observed that there is a high degree of association among relatives and friends in the home country or even when outside the home country in other developing nations compared to developed nations like Great Britain. The case study of such strong association was evident during my days in the Gambia. I realised that relatives and friends had more time for each other. As a former Chairman of Sierra Leone Nationals’ Union for Bundung, Serrekunda, The Gambia, we had monthly meetings, ensured ongoing visits in the homes of Sierra Leoneans, created avenues for solving conflicts and even went beyond visiting Sierra Leoneans in remote parts of the Gambia. We definitely need mutual concern and care for each other and that is all we need to make our world a better place. We need not allow the fluid nature of our world to influence negative behaviour or make us absorb the culture of neglecting each other. Psalm 133 says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”  Indeed, unity and mutual love and concern are all we need to break the York that is keeping us apart from each other. Yes, we may have domestic and external pressures around us but there is the need to squeeze in the time for each other.

I knew Musa in Government Secondary School, Kenema.  We were in the boarding home and he was my junior and a classmate to my first cousin. As seniority and discipline are upheld in the school and boarding home, we were in different circles but united as a family based on the school. I later realised we hail from the same Chiefdom in Sierra Leone and even have a family lineage. He was meant to know me due to my popularity in the school and this was based on the formation of Poor Boys Association (an association meant to raise money for vulnerable colleagues), the humour and the fact that I was embracing everyone regardless of your background and even the bad boys in the school including me were my closest friends. After leaving Government Secondary School Kenema (Kay School or College of the East) for Christ the King College Bo, we lost from each other. As the saying goes that the world is a global village, I accidently saw him in the Gambia. The meet happened just outside the senior school where I was teaching in Banjul, the Gambia. He was in a taxi chartered by him and spotted me and told the driver to stop. He advanced towards me and gave me the “British hug”, as he was from London. I was surprised to see him after a long time. He called me PBA (that is poor boys association, a nickname colleagues call me sometimes when they see me). We chatted for a while and even told me he is looking for his uncle, Sidie Tarawally. I directed him to his uncle and before leaving he gave me £10 (ten pounds).  Such warm reception made me learn one thing that “it is nice to be nice”. If I was bad with him in school, I would not have received such warm welcome and financial gesture from him.  Musa is an exemplary human being and the kind of being worthy for planet earth. His charm, warmth and philanthropist attributes are great to emulate. I never saw him in trouble in school and he was receptive and respectful to everyone. He is a man that can meet you in trouble and stand by you and realised that when I was indirectly held by the neck after our alumni event by a friend. Musa intervened to rescue me out of the awful scenario. I saw him as someone who kept strictly to family traditions and never allowed borrowed culture to sway him totally. 

The deceased, Musa Sandy, is mummy’s boy and observed strong and unwavering bond between them. Mums are great and never replaceable and it is all because they know the suffering they go through from conceiving us up to the point of delivery and to the point of maturity. Even with maturity, they will continue to monitor us and show unrelenting care and concern. This is what exactly Musa’s mum had been doing and this can be substantiated by her ongoing presence and support for Musa and his nucleus family in London. Very recently, as a showcase of appreciation, Musa organised a 70th birthday celebration for his mum, Musu Sandy, and this came as a surprise to her. He did not tell the mum about the birthday bash and only took her to the hall on the day of the event. Please watch the video coverage of the celebration for your digest. 







A view of the video coverage will clearly tell you the excitement and appreciation of a great mother. The birthday celebration was done couple of months ago before his death and leaves us to ponder whether it was a goodbye. However, regardless of whatever we may perceive about the celebration, no amount of money, gifts and whatsoever will compensate our mums for their invaluable roles in our lives. Anyone in this world can throw trash on us and our mums will always be there to dust that trash from us and make us feel valued and give us hope that someone cares.

Musa was a member of our alumni association, which is Kenema Old Students Association (KOSA).  This association has a Whatsapp group where we deliberate on school matters and in general socio-political matters. The information about his death triggered tributes from members of the group that were his classmates and a former senior in the school who took Musa as his personally assistant in the boarding home.

Momoh Turay (Alias bbc, Musa’s former classmate):

The late Musa was one of those guys we had at kay school that were warm in spirit, charming in his smiles ; never saw him frown at friends and in any gathering;  never raised his voice to attract attention, intimidate or frighten; I can’t remember him engaging in any of the pranks some of us did in classroom, dormitories and outside school campus. Close associate always praise him for his generosity and kind heart. This was demonstrated by his sharing of meagre resources-garri, kpokie and others. Surely, Musa is one man that left his footprints in the sands of time. He may not have been the smartest, brightest, richest, most powerful but Musa (named after one of the most powerful prophets in Islam-English and biblical translation of Mose) left a legacy we all need to learn from due to his humility, determination, compassion, friendliness, kindness and above all the fear of God. May his soul rest in perfect peace!

Abubakarr Kamara  (Alias Justice,  former senior and  someone who Musa was personal assistant to )

Losing a friend like Musa Sandy is hard to believe and is one of the most painful experiences one can endure in life......Everybody at some point has lost a friend, a brother, etc., and it is hard for us to accept that a person we shared moments with and trusted with so many things, is no longer in our life.....Shall I ask through our able Chairman of Kenema Old Students’ Association to observe in reminiscent in this forum till the end of this week....Therefore, no political postings nor any statement or text....but only text on our late brother’s death, Musa Sandy.  Either the Best or Nothing! 

Musa left this world with a wife (Mrs Kadie Sandy) and two children (Martin Sandy and Nyakeh Sandy). My sympathy goes to the mum, wife, children and the entire family. The death of Musa came as a shock to all of us and something difficult for us all to cope with. God giveth and taketh and only He has an explanation to such disheartening situation. The truth is Musa belongs to a biological, institutional, national, continental and global family, so it is a big loss to all the stratum of families that he is attached to. However, the reality is that the mother, wife, children and other members of the biological family are the ones that bear and live with the greatest brunt. For every Sierra Leonean that dies overseas, there is a negative effect on the net income from abroad, hence, the national income, and not to mention the contributions that the deceased had been making to the host nation and the global society. We need to be realistic about this and embrace and value ourselves and ensure that we maintain healthy and mutual relationships among ourselves. We are in this world like a candle in the wind that is meant to end at any time, so we need to watch each other’s back and build the mutual peaceful environment for each other. Death is our inevitable end and death we all going to face and it is uncertain as to when we might fall within the red zone of death. I have to end this piece by dedicating this Sunnah from the Quran to the Mother, wife, children and other relative to the late Musa Sandy, “Verily to Allah! Belongs what He took and to Him belongs what He gave, and everything with Him has an appointed time..” Then, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) ordered the relatives to be patient and hope for Allah’s Reward”. “May Allah magnify the reward of relatives, make better their solace and forgive the deceased. “ (Source: Fortress of the Muslim, Invocations from the Quran Sunnah, Deposition Number: 19641/2004).

Contributors:

Theresa Boima, United Kingdom
Abubakarr Kamara, United Kingdom
Momoh Turay, United Kingdom


Compiled By: Prince Foday, United Kingdom

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

THE REFERENDUM ON BREXIT AND BREMAIN IN EUROPE UNION

Author: Prince Foday







  









The referendum on Brexit and Bremain in the European Union is near the corner and scheduled for June 23, 2016. Politics in Britain had been meddling around the need for the referendum and it is great that the issue that was hanging around is now coming to fruition. This is what democracy is about and we need to applaud the politics in the Great Britain for that. The voice and decisions of the people in modern politics is what matters and the incoming referendum is a clear showcase of Britain being an epitome of modern politics. Politics is all about putting the people first rather than a self-centred or autocratic style of politics that isolates the people in national decision making process. Whether Britain is going to stay or not in Europe that will be determined by the peoples’ vote in the incoming referendum.  The people are prepared to vote and whatever the outcome shall be they will live with it. The same scenario applies to individuals and households when making decisions. Individuals and households make decisions that they get wrong or right. The truth is, there is no need to cry over spilt meal when the decision is proved wrong, as there are provisions for reviewing decisions to meet dynamic changes. Decisions are associated with potential shocks and it is a great thing to do to cope with those shocks and have a positive outlook about it. The Brexit and Bremain arguments are pouring in ahead of the referendum to convince voters to vote for either side. However, one could observe the uncertainty about which side will win. We might wake up the next day after counting the ballot box to see a Brexit win or loss. Whatever the result may be is the decision of the people and it is incumbent on all to live with the decision and any accompany shocks from it. It is Britain that decided to join the European Union and it is the same Britain that will decide to leave or stay. The questions that desire answers are, why was the European Union created? When was the European Union formed? Which countries are in the European Union? What is the purpose of the European Union? What are the Gross Domestic Product and population of the European Union? The fact that the Britain is part of the Commonwealth and European Union (EU) and the fact that there are EU funded projects in most of the Commonwealth nations makes the Commonwealth concern about his brother's  referendum on exiting or remaining in the EU.

Understanding the Crux of the European Union
The EU was created after the Second World War and it was meant to build unity between France and Germany. This unity in effect laid the foundation stone for the EU. The union itself originated from the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC), which was established in 1951 and 1958 respectively. The membership of the community includes Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, France, Italy, Britain, Netherlands, Greece, Luxembourg, Spain and Portugal. Eighteen African countries were associate members.  It is from the ECSC and EEC that many other European Communities sprang and this further led to the now formed European Union. The EU was formed through the Maastricht Treaty in 1993 followed by the latest major constitutional amendment from the Treaty of Lisbon that came into force in 2009. The main aims of the European Economic Community are to reduce tariffs (tariff being the duty or tax imposed on the export or import of goods) so as to bring about free trade between member states, to unify the tariffs of member states so that there would be a common tariff between EEC members, to create the free mobility of goods, labour (services), capital and entrepreneur among member states. The European Union is an eco-political union that consist of twenty eight countries and they  are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Each of the countries is independent but has an agreement to trade between them.  The European Economic Area entails European Union countries but countries like Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are allowed only to be part of the EU single market. Switzerland is not part of the European Economic Area (ECA) but allowed to be part of the single market, meaning nationals of Switzerland have equal rights to live and work in the United Kingdom.  The European Union has a Gross Domestic Product at market price of $18.51 trillion (World Bank Statistics, 2014) and population of 508.5 million (World Bank Statistics, 2014).


The Paradox of Brexit and Bremain

On Britain's contribution to the EU budget, Bremain argues that Britain pays the EU £ 340 a year per household relative to an estimated £ 3, 000 yearly benefits from EU membership and that, in or out, payment is needed to access the single market whereas the Brexit school of thought argues that Britain can stop sending £350 million, equivalent to half England's school budget, to Brussels every week, and that the money can be spent on scientific research and new industries. The Bremain argument on immigration is that leaving Europe does not mean reduced immigration and that countries that trade with EU from outside have higher rates of immigration, including from EU Countries, than Britain whilst the Brexit school argues that Britain change the expensive and out-of control system that offers an open door to the EU and blocks non-EU Immigrants who could contribute to UK.  In the case of Foreign influence, Bremain argues that at international summits Britain is represented twice by the foreign secretary and the EU high representative and co-operation has helped fight Ebola and piracy in Africa on the other hand Brexit view on foreign influence is that Britain has little influence within the EU and that from outside it can retake seats on international institutions and be of stronger influence for free trade and co-operation. In the case of regulation, the Bremain strongly argues that most EU regulation collapses and that 28 national standards into to one European standard, reducing red tape and benefiting business, and that remaining in can fight for better regulation whereas the Brexit lot argues that leaving will return control over areas like employment, law, health and safety measures that a recent business for Britain could find business favoured. On the issue of trade, Bremain argues that Britain avoids exporter tariffs and red tape, important as 45% of British exports go to the EU, and that with Britain's membership in EU, Britain can obtain better trade terms because of the size of EU whereas Brexit argument is that Britain will negotiate a new EU relationship without being bound by EU law and that it can secure trade deals with other important countries such as China, India and America.

(Source: The Economist)


Britain and the Commonwealth, Will the Centre Hold Again after the Referendum?

Britain has a relationship with other commonwealth nations, and so, the Brexit and Bremain referendum should be by implication a concern. There is a connected relationship between Commonwealth and European Union, as Britain is part of the Commonwealth. This can be explained from the principle of transitivity, which says that if A equal to B and B equal to C, therefore, A equal to C. The principle of transitivity clearly shows that if Britain is part of the European Union and Britain is part of the Commonwealth, hence, Commonwealth is part of the European Union. The Commonwealth has a blood relationship with Europe through Britain's relationship with the Commonwealth. Commonwealth is an association of fifty three independent nations, all but one being former British colony, and its membership spans from Africa, Asia, Caribbean and Americas, and Europe. The association is formed with the aim of promoting peace, democracy and development. Britain had been in strong relationship with the Commonwealth but the strength of the relationship shifted to the European Union, leaving the Commonwealth being a white elephant. Whether the results after the June 23 referendum will be in favour of either Brexit or Bremain, the question is, will Britain renew the strong relationship it had formerly established with the Commonwealth? The information gathered from the global baobab tree shows that there are two schools of thought to it. One of the schools of thought says that the Brexit win will renew the strong relationship Britain had with the Commonwealth. The other school of thought is with the conviction that the centre will never hold and that the white elephant relationship will still thrive on. The truth is, Britain's polygamous relationship with the Commonwealth and European Union is not responsive of what is enshrined in the scriptures, which says that, “if you are married to two or more wives, you need to ensure that all the wives are given equal treatment”. Britain seems to be running away from the relationships it had entered into with the Commonwealth and now it wants to runway from the European Union. There is a gain saying that, “if you fight and run away you will be forced to fight another day”. Britain has an unfinished job with the Commonwealth and European and abandoning those jobs will lead to a chaotic situation that will have a ripple-effect on their nation. The Commonwealth, for which, Britain is the lead member of the association is not working to expectations and the state of affairs in those Commonwealth nations will truly justify that. The very peace, democracy and development as the basis of the formation of the Commonwealth have yielded minimal result and Britain needs to take the Commonwealth seriously to reasonably achieve those objectives. Commonwealth nations have a role to play in Britain's stability and tackling the chronic problems in those nations will avoid the existing and potential spill-over effects on Britain. Britain can stop increasing migration from those Commonwealth countries by holding their governance properly accountable to their people and enabling them to create the inertia for their people to stay. The governance in those impoverished Commonwealth nations are inappropriately honouring their pledge of maintaining peace, democracy and development to their countries, hence, Britain is bearing the brunt of their inefficiencies. If there is a leak on a tap, you need to tackle the problem from the source. The issue of increasing migration from the impoverish Commonwealth nations are as a result of social, political and economic instability fuelled by the bad governance in those countries. Britain can effectively deal with the problems of immigration, terrorism or security problems by renewing its strong relationship with the Commonwealth and ensuring that those issues having a spread-effect on them are solved from the source. The terrorist attack on British citizens in Tunisia is a manifestation of the need for Britain to take the lead in solving the alarming insecurity problems in Commonwealth countries and around the world so as to ensure the safety of British nationals or tourists travelling around the Commonwealth and the globe. Holding the governance in the impoverish Commonwealth nations truly accountable is a way of mitigating the immigration pressure and other domestic pressure on the Great Britain. A bird eye view of those deprived Commonwealth nations will show that they are rich in resources in relation to their population but the immense greed, weak transparency and accountability and the empire of dictatorship had made the performance indicator for peace, democracy and development out of the feasible region. There are Commonwealth and European Union funded projects in those ruined Commonwealth nations but it seem those projects are not providing positive outcomes, as a large proportion of those funds are not spent on the target projects but distribute between private pockets and administration. Britain has to be cognisance of this and turn the table to the direction of true transparency and accountability for the Commonwealth projects. Leaving the state of affairs to continue as it is will make Britain and the Commonwealth to continue facing the burning problems inherent in their nations. We need serious of purpose in achieving peace, true democracy and development.

The Brexit and Bremain Analytics

The arguments on Brexit and Bremain had been around immigration, trade, foreign influence, budget and regulation. We all have the rights to our opinions and such discussions are good for promoting effective democracy. We are all winners in our own views and it is a way of pursuing mutual understanding for the common good. The various schools of thoughts on the Brexit and Bremain have been keenly looked at and feel that there is need for an independent evaluation of the points raised by both sides. Britain is surely better to stay in the European Union than to leave. The simple point is, “no one nation is an island or can survive alone”. Nations need each other in the area of trade, benefits from immigration and the influence nations will have on each other and benefits from regulations. It is better for Britain to stay in the European Union and be part of the solutions to the problems than exiting. In a marriage, you sign before God and man that “for better and for worst”, so Britain needs to stay in Europe for better and for worst. Britain has to remain in the Europe Union but within the context of helping in the reformation process. The free movement of people as the basis of the European Union is what is making the people of other European Union member nations coming to Britain and making British people to move to other European member nations for the sake of tourism or selling their services. If Britain exits the European Union, a serious dust will be raised that will take long time to settle. Britain leaving will lead to huge unemployment problems and domestic pressure. The question that desires answer is, what preparation has Britain made to absorb those British people who are going to lose their jobs out of Britain when they come back home? The returnee mess will be long to clear, so, Britain has to be ready to clear the mess when the referendum turns in favour of Brexit. Trade among European Union member nations allows free movement of goods and services. Trade paves the way for British goods and services to be sold in other European member nations and this is great for the national income through the net income from other European Union member countries. It is obvious that the net effect of the income raised by Britain from trade in other European member nations in relation to trade by other European Union member nations in Britain will inevitably be positive, making trade by Britain in other European Union member nations fit for purpose. Britain's presence in foreign decision making is very necessary, as it is better to be part of the change than abandoning the influence on change. Britain being part of the Europe Union will help in solving security and other social problems, economic and political problems at home and abroad. Britain's foreign influence is good for its domestic stability and the stability of other European Union member states. For the case of its contributions to the EU budget, the benefits derived from the contributions outweigh the expenses on the EU budget. There are EU sponsored projects in Britain and the expenses on those projects are far more than what Britain is contributing to the European Union budget. The direct beneficiaries of the EU sponsor projects are individuals,  private and public investments, so Britain's contribution to the EU budget is something that the British nations are directly benefiting from or is a form of investment by Britain, for which, they benefit the more. Regulations or controls are necessary ingredients for any union. Export of goods regulation by the European Union is meant to control goods exported within and outside European Union member states. Where there are no regulations, members countries will export goods at their own peril, hence, attracting a cheaper price for their goods. With regulation on the amount to be exported, a higher price will be attracted. This is the reason why there is “buffer stock system” to control the export of goods. Buffer stock system is where goods are stored in the warehouse when prices are low in the world market to create artificial shortage in order to sell at the time when the goods can attract higher prices in the world market. Britain being in the European Union can help to regulate the exportation of their goods, tariffs and other tools of regulations. The Laws in Brussels are within the global context and standardised for the general good of the European member nations. Britain leaving Europe will never make much difference to the laws Britain will end up adopting.

Conclusion

On account of the above, it is relevant for Britain to stay in the European Union. The European Union, like any marriage or relationship, is a necessary evil. The referendum is close and Britain has to be careful when voting on 23rd June 2016. The statistics for the polls are coming up but what really matters is the outcome of the referendum this coming Thursday. There is uncertainty about the two sides of the coin, which is Brexit and Bremain, so Britain has to be prepared for the sucker punch. We live in a global world where a single nation can never succeed alone in dealing with its social, economic and political problems. No one nation can handle its domestic problems alone, so there is  the desire to be in strong relationship with other neighbours and being in it together to solve the common problems. Being part of an international economic organisation can pull resources, talents, transferred skills and otherwise. The days of Narcissism are over and the modern world is about cohesiveness and eliminating the very issues that were setting us backwards. Britain needs to remain in the European Union and remain for good. The European Union needs Britain and Britain needs the European Union. It is better for Britain to stay and fight for the issues surrounding their grievances than abandon an unsolved problem which may hunt the nation back. What I will suggest Britain to do is remain and reform the issues on immigration and other issues that form their grievances. Immigration is a global problem and none of the immigrants are happy to live their countries, due to the strong lineage the immigrants have with family and friends in their countries of birth. The immigrants are living because of the awful state of affairs in their countries ignited by weak governance. People are migrating because of social, economic and political inequalities and problems. The European Union is divided into rich and poor nations and Britain being in the European Union can assist in closing the poverty gap and stabilise the pressure on the rich side of the brotherhood. Apart from Europe, Britain is urged to strongly embrace the Commonwealth and help in cementing the cracks in it. The Commonwealth has rich and poor sides of the brotherhood, so Britain needs to take the lead in closing the poverty gap and shape the Commonwealth towards the path of sustainable peace, standardised and acceptable democracy and a development that is spread in both the rural and urban sectors of each Commonwealth nations. I have to rest my case now and hope it will be properly digested and acted on for this is the only non-financial contribution the author can give the Great Britain, the European Union and the global world. We need world peace and this will only come with collective actions at micro and macro levels.

Author:

Prince Foday
Reporter, Human Right







 















 

  






 

 







  




 

 












Monday, March 21, 2016

HOME AND AWAY: The Cabinet Reshuffle in Sierra Leone

Network for the Welfare of Sierra Leoneans Overseas

The news on the recent cabinet reshuffle by President Ernest Bai Koroma sparked the eagerness to know who are on the list. When I browsed through the list I saw names that were removed from cabinet due to gross misconduct brought back in the cabinet. The decision by the President made me wonder whether he is a man of principle or just someone who is bound for Hague for constitutional abuse letting go of people in the same basket of misconduct. In my opinion, the President’s reshuffle would have included him. True leadership goes with the bold step of resigning when you feel your promises are not delivered, but, is President Koroma in for such unique leadership? No, as he is busy building an empire of dictatorship and a world best leadership scenario, something not reflective of the claims his political stalwarts are making.

On a positive note, I have to commend the President and the All Peoples’ Congress Party (APC) for giving political opportunities to the young. The recent appointment of comrades Momoh Vandi (MOV) and Nannette Thomas is worthy of praise. When I look at the Cabinet as a whole, I can see young breeds like Shekito Tarawally, Arrow Bockarie, Ismail Koroma (Molante) and others not mentioned. The APC party scores a high mark on political appointments of the young compared to Sierra Leone Peoples’ Party whose appointments are mainly full of the ageing and people with Doctorate degrees who cannot even deliver if you give them a chicken to breed.

Cabinet reshuffles are an inevitable part of any political system but what actually matters is the effect of such reshuffle on the people. Looking at Sierra Leone, cabinet reshuffles has never yielded ongoing positive results, instead, the performance indicators of the line ministries continue to be in the red. Sometimes one would want to wonder whether the nation is really getting true value from the operations of the line ministries based on the huge amount spent on maintaining the ministries. A benefit-cost analysis of the entire operations of the line ministries will clearly show that the nation is running at a cost or loss. This can be justified by the negative impact of the operations of the line ministries on the people. Sierra Leoneans, in general, are suffering except for few. The ratio of poor and rich in Sierra Leone is 95%:5% and this clearly justifies that the nation is in a horrible state of affairs that requires a total overhaul.

The hard truth here is that there are good Sierra Leoneans ready to fix the problem but cannot survive in the midst of those with a seasoned level of corruption. I know the young in the APC cabinet would want to turn things around but this will never be possible where the crux of the core in the party are buried in chronic greed.

We are still watching the world best with the conviction that he would come to the realisation to fix the nation’s ailing problems, something he can do if he wants to do, particularly for a country where the wealth hugely outweighs the population. President koroma is digging the way to The Hague and we the concern Sierra Leoneans are preparing the legal papers to prosecute him when he leaves power. God forgives, and so, we will forgive him if he improves the situation at home.

President Koroma, Sierra Leone is your country and your country of birth and all Sierra Leoneans are part of your national family, apart from your biological family. Treat them like your family and give them their due. The national cake belongs to all of us, so a fair share or reasonable distribution is all your national family needs. You have the right to reshuffle your cabinet but it is your obligation to empower them to dispense their duties in the line ministries to the desired expectations. Our people are starving, a large proportion of them are jobless and homeless and the provision of the entire social capital (like electricity, pipe borne water, and so forth) continues to be a huge variance between the expected and actual. We need true leadership from you and looking forward to seeing the difference you would make from now to the end of your term in 2018 and hoping that this term cannot be extended by you.

Long live Sierra Leone and God bless those politicians and all those meaning good for our beloved country.

Prince Foday
Founder, Network for the Welfare of Sierra Leoneans Overseas