Wednesday, 30 January 2008


Dear Ayoub

Sir, there is something bothering me whenever I buy a news paper every day. It’s the carnage that is persistently going on in nearby Kenya . People are dying and I have a feeling that the numbers reported by the press is just a tip of the iceberg. I saw a picture in the New Vision the other day of a young man with an arrow stuck in the side of his head. I felt like it was stuck in mine. The burning down of a church with refuge seekers in it reminds me of the 1994 Rwanda genocide.

The point is, can’t any thing be done to stop this madness because it’s assuming catastrophic proportions. Can’t someone stop it before we call it genocide? Above all, when the dust finally settles some day, posterity will blame us for standing and gazing while all this was going on. Where is the international community? I now look at every one outside Kenya as powerless. To say the least am ashamed uncle.

I appreciate your efforts in informed on the Kenya issue through your blog. The truth and reconciliation committee will have a lot to do when all has been said and done.

Yours Sincerely,

M Farouk
Bin Ebrahim Muhongya

Monday, 28 January 2008

kenya fundraising

The day Kenyans in The Diaspora prayed and fundraised for the needy in Kenya

Tunawataarifu ndugu, jamaa, marafiki na watanzania wote kuhusu kumuaga ndugu yetu mpendwa Renatus Kabakaki kesho tarehe 29/01/2008, kuanzia saa 12:00 jioni, mpaka saa 2:00 usiku.Tendo la kumuaga litafanyikia katika anuani ifuatayo:

T. Crib & Sons

Funeral Directors

Victoria House,

10 Woolwich Manor Way,



E6 5PA. Tel: 0207-476-1855 By bus 101 and 474 from East Ham and 262 from stratfordBy DLR from Canning Town to Becton station which is opposite the address above, near ASDA




Familia ya Mzee D.Kabakaki wanasikitika kutangaza kifo cha mtoto wao mpendwa Renatus Kabakaki aliyafariki ghafla akiwa na umri wa miaka 30, hapa London tarehe 23/01/08. Wazazi wa marehemu wanaishi Bukoba - Tanzania, wanawaomba watanzania kushirikiana nao katika mchango wa kufanikisha kusafirisha mwili wa marehemu kuelekea nyumbani Bukoba wiki hii. Hivyo tunawaomba watanzania wote wanaoweza kujitolea mchango wowote wawasiliane na watu wafuatao:

Mr. Desi Kabakaki 07956-398-957

Mr. Alphonce Maduhu 07958-370-015

Ms. Patricia Visram 07830-358-179

Miss. Jessica Maduhu 07767-877-930

Iwapo mtu atapenda kuja nyumbani kwao na marehemu kushirikia nasi, anakaribishwa. Address ni 302 Strone Road,Manor Park,London,E12 6TP.Tel:0208-4718-840 By bus 101,474,25 and 86The nearest station by tube; District line (East Ham)The nearest station by British rail; (Manor Park) Ahsanteni kwa ushirikiano wenu na Mungu awabariki.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

kenya break through?

Koffi olomide - Loi
One of my favourites!!...koffi kofi olomide Ndombolo Soukous Congo Congolese Loi Lingala
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From: tutulu
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Related Video
Breakthrough in Kenya? CNN

NAIROBI, Kenya - Kenya's president and his chief rival held talks Thursday for the first time since last month's disputed election, under international pressure to find a way to share power. But the president angered the opposition by insisting his position as head of state was not negotiable.
President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga met for about an hour in the presence of former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who succeeded where other mediators failed in getting the men to sit down together. Since the Dec. 27 vote, at least 685 people have been killed in riots and ethnic fighting and some 255,000 people have been forced from their homes.

Johnson's 'piccaninnies' apologyOwen Bowcott and Sam JonesWednesday January 23, 2008

The Guardian
Boris Johnson has apologised for referring to black people as "piccaninnies" and talking about "watermelon smiles".
During a debate for the London mayoral contest on Monday, the Conservative candidate said he was "sad" that people had been offended but insisted the words had been taken out of context.
In a column published in the Daily Telegraph six years ago, Johnson mocked Tony Blair's globetrotting: "What a relief it must be for Blair to get out of England. It is said that the Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving piccaninnies," he wrote. It also mentioned "watermelon smiles".
At the debate, sponsored by the Evening Standard, Michael Eboda, former editor of New Nation, said that some of Johnson's writings had been offensive. "These things are an extremely big obstacle to being able to work with what is 12% of London's population," he said. Johnson responded: "I feel sad that people have been offended by those words and I apologise for them."
Lord Ouseley - the former chair of the Commission for Racial Equality, who recently wrote to the Tory leader, David Cameron, expressing concern about Johnson, said: "I personally recognise that you have to move on, but there are other people who he will have to convince."

The Police in Kenya have the Right to protect themselves and the lives of other kenyans and their property against threats of danger and harm
The kenya President H.E Mwai Kibaki being sworn in

The Britain Zimbabwe Society has opened a petition to the Prime Minister which you can see on the Number 10 website at the following

address: invite you to please sign the petition and forward this message on to encourage others to do so.Thank you,Margaret LingBritain Zimbabwe Society petition reads:We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to continue to allow unsuccessful asylum seekers from Zimbabwe to remain in the UK, and to continue the suspension of forced removals to Zimbabwe. Mr Brown, we have noted your concern for the population of Zimbabwe, and your wish to send unmistakable signals of this concern to the Zimbabwean government. So we are disturbed by the recent determination of the UK Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, in the case of HS, that unsuccessful Zimbabwean asylum seekers may safely be deported back home. It would be ironic if the first unmistakable signal from your Government were to be the resumption of forced deportations. These were suspended in January 2002, and human rights in Zimbabwe have not improved since then. The AIT's determination is permissive but not mandatory. There is no legal or other compulsion on your Government. We ask that the current suspension on forced removal to Zimbabwe remains in place. This would be more consistent with your public position on Zimbabwe. We also ask that the Zimbabweans involved be freed from detention and harassment and that they be enabled both to support themselves and to take part in the debate about the future of their country. They should be allowed to seek employment and so relieved from destitution. In this way Britain would give Zimbabwe a real example of how to implement human rights.

Margaret Ling, Information OfficerBritain Zimbabwe Society

25 Endymion Road, London N4 1EE

Tel +44 (0)20 8348 8463

Women’s Leadership Scholarship
We are writing to you to inform you and your organization about a funding opportunity for women pursuing non-doctoral level graduate education.
The Women’s Leadership Scholarship (WLS) (formerly the Native Leadership Scholarship) program creates educational opportunities for women activists, grassroots leaders, and organizers from the Global South and/or from indigenous groups. WLS invests in women's leadership by supporting non-doctoral graduate education in human rights, sustainable development, and public health in many places around the world.
Pre-applications for the 2008-09 academic year will be available on our website on January 1, 2008. For more information please visit Please distribute this message widely. Information about WLS is available in Spanish and French on our website.
WLS has been granting scholarships since 2001. Our alumni are working around the world to improve the welfare of their communities. Prior to 2006, WLS granted scholarships to both women and men that included a limited number of awards for doctoral level education. Starting in 2006, WLS will only award scholarships to women pursuing non-doctoral level graduate education.

WLS supports study, research, and leadership training, to assist women in their pursuit of solutions to the critical social, environmental, health and economic problems facing their countries and communities. By granting scholarships to remarkable women who demonstrate effective leadership, innovative solutions, and commitment to their communities, WLS helps develop and advance local expertise and community-based, culturally appropriate solutions. WLS endorses non-traditional leaders who use imaginative methodologies and model change. Academic study, research and leadership training should be based on the scholarship recipient's present or prior experience working with her community.

Course of Study
Scholarship recipients enroll in programs of study that cover a range of human rights and development issues at the non-doctoral graduate level including gender, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, child exploitation, human trafficking, infant and maternal mortality, conflict resolution, environmental justice, global fair trade, agro-ecology, and sustainable development. WLS is secular and does not support programs of study that promote specific religious beliefs.
Scholarships The WLS Selection Committee awards four to eight scholarships, up to US$25,000 per academic year, for a maximum of two years. The awards help the recipients meet the costs of tuition, fees, books, educational supplies, housing, maintenance, and travel to and from the home country and the educational institution. WLS awards are paid directly to the institution in a student's account. For foreign women intending to study at U.S. universities, WLS funding for expenses other than tuition and books is subject to a 14% U.S. tax.
Location of Study
Candidates may use WLS funding for non-doctoral graduate study at accredited institutions worldwide. The WLS is committed to promoting the strengthening of research and of institutions of higher learning in the Global South. As such, WLS encourages students to study in their home country or region provided that the educational institution is accredited for higher education.

Eligibility Requirements
Eligible candidates include women leaders from the Global South and/or from indigenous groups who also meet all the following criteria:

1. They are committed to grassroots organizing and the needs of their communities.
2. They have proof of a bachelor's or a higher degree.
3. They have at least three years of work experience dealing with critical human rights concerns, or other social, educational, or health conditions negatively affecting their communities.
4. They have been accepted into a non-doctoral graduate program at an accredited university for full-time study/research related to their work experience in human rights, sustainable development, and/or public health.
5. They can show evidence of financial need for educational support.
6. They intend to return to their home countries to work, utilizing training and research acquired in the study program.

WLS pre-applications for the 2008-2009 academic year will be available Jan. 1 through March 14, 2008 on our website or by request from After the pre-application period ends, all candidates will be notified about their application status. Incomplete pre-applications will not be considered for review. Unsolicited additional documents provided by the pre-applicant will not be reviewed. Only a small group of candidates will be invi

The Home Office has published a: 'Statistical Bulletin - Crime in England and Wales: Quarterly Update to September 2007'.Download the bulletin at: (pdf file, 144kb)

IRR training workshop on how to work with the media
29 February 2008

How can community organisations working with refugees, asylum seekers, Muslims and other demonised groups make the best use of newspapers and broadcasters which are often hostile or indifferent to Black and Minority Ethnic concerns?
What can be learnt from earlier struggles against media racism? This one-day course on working with the media will teach skills such as compiling press releases, handling interviews and developing a campaign strategy. The course is free to community groups but registration is required.
11am-4pm, Friday 29 February 2008
Institute of Race Relations,

2-6 Leeke Street, London WC1X 9HS
Facilitated by Arun Kundnani

Dealing with racist incidents conference
6 March 2008
To empower schools and Children and Young People's Services to address and deal with racist incidents and enable pupils to challenge racism.
Thursday 6 March 2008, 9-4pm
University of Leicester
David Moore (HMI) - The effect of racist incidents on education
Chris Gaine (Professor of Social Policy, University of Chichester) - Racist incidents in largely white schools
Stella Dadzie (Consultant for DCFS) - Trial & Error: learning about racism through citizenship education

Waajiriwa Wa Bot
Ndani ya Mtungi wa BOT walio qualify kuajiriwa kwa sifa na vigezo vinavyotambulika na BOT ni pamoja na hawa wafuatao:- . 1.Pamella Lowassa

2.Filbert Frederick Sumaye

3.Zalia Kawawa

4.Harieth Lumbanga

5.Salama Ally Mwinyi

6.Rachael Muganda

7.Sylvia Omari Mahita

8.Justina James Mungai

9.Kenneth John Nchimbi

9.Blassia Blassius William Mkapa

10.Violeth Phillemon Luhanjo

11.Liku Irene Katte Kamba

12.Thomas Mongella

13.Allen Shibuda

14.Jabir Abdallah Kigoda

Hii ndio success team, hapa nani atamuwajibisha Dalali alas Balali? Je KAPUKU MWENDE(a.k.a KAYUMBA) ATAAJIRIWA KWELI HAPO?

[Originated from: Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 07:25:24 -0800From: rashidmwilima@yahoo.comSubject: Fwd: Watoto wa.....]

PRESS RELEASE Global Women's Strike Contact: Sara Callaway 020 7482 2496

International concern grows for disappeared Haitian human rights defender, Lovinsky Pierre Antoine
Acclaimed actress Vanessa Redgrave joins a growing list of prominent people worldwide who have expressed concerned with the safe return of Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine, the missing human rights activist kidnapped in Haiti on 12 August 2007 after meeting with a visiting US human rights delegation.
Others include: actors Danny Glover, Martin Sheen and Andrew Lincoln (�This Life�), playwright John Arden, poets Benjamin Zephaniah and Linton Kwesi Johnson, writer George Lamming, Claudette Werleigh (secretary of Pax Christi International and former Prime Minister of Haiti), Tony Benn, Bruce Kent (Pax Christi International), Canon Nicholas Sagovsky, journalist Andrew Gilligan, Madaraka Nyerere (son of Julius Nyerere, Tanzania�s former President),
Michelle Pierre-Antoine, Mr Pierre-Antoine's wife, his sons, family members and colleagues, and concerned people and organisations around the world, are increasing pressure for his immediate safe return.
Amnesty International has issued an urgent report about the safety of Lovinksy as well as his close colleague, Wilson Mésilien. Mr Mésilien, who has been co-ordinating Fondasyon Trant Septanm (30 September Foundation) in Mr Pierre-Antoine�s absence, has been forced underground after receiving death threats and narrowly escaping abduction. There is increasing concern that members of that organisation are being targeted.
The petition for Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine has gathered nearly 1,800 signatures that include many prominent people. To sign visit:

Prayers and services for Mr Pierre-Antoine continue to be held in UK churches. MP John McDonnell's Early Day Motion for his release is circulating in Parliament. Fasts and Vigils have taken place in Guyana outside the headquarters of CARICOM (the Caribbean Community Secretariat), and weekly outside the Brazilian embassies in Barcelona and London. Vigils in Los Angeles and San Francisco have also appealed to the Brazilian authorities as Brazil heads the UN forces in Haiti which are responsible for law and order.
Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine is important to people everywhere who care about Haiti and who acknowledge our enormous debt to the Haitian people. Their 1804 revolution overthrew the most powerful empire of the time, the first victory in the struggle to end slavery in the Americas. This strengthened everyone resisting exploitation and injustice. Haiti directly aided South American liberator Simon Bolivar. Yet this enormous contribution to human liberation is hardly credited.
Selma James, co-ordinator the Global Women�s Strike, widow and close colleague of CLR James, will be speaking in London at a conference marking the 70th anniversary of The Black Jacobins, James�s classic study of the Haitian Revolution. Ms James who has been taking part in the weekly Fast & Vigil commented: �We have an obligation to Lovinsky. We can't just stand by. We have to ask the Commissioner for Human Rights and Forced Disappearances of the United Nations to take action. What is Brazil, which heads the UN forces in Haiti, doing? What is the United States doing? It has enormous power. It was quick to go in and force President Aristide�s government out. Let us ask them what they are doing now to find Lovinsky with the great resources that they have always had at their disposal. We must leave no stone unturned.
The Vigil in London is at 5-6pm in front of the Brazilian Embassy,
32 Green Street, W1K 7AT (Nearest Tube: Marble Arch)
Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine is the founder of Fondasyon Trant Septanm, which advocates for victims of the 1991 and 2004 coups d'états against Jean-Bertrand Aristide; and co-founder of Fondasyon Kore Timoun Yo for street children in Port-au- Prince, and FAM, a centre for teenage mothers. The Fondasyon was named after the date of the military coup, 30 September 1991 during which President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted. At least 3,000 persons were killed during the military regime between 1991 -1994. Ever since its creation in 1996, the Fondasyon members carry out weekly human rights vigils in central Port-au-Prince and several other Haitian towns to press for an end to impunity for past abuses and reparation for victims of the 1991-1994 military coup and for the victims of the transitional government of 2004-2006. The Vigil has now been devoted to Lovinsky�s safe return. The Fondasyon also campaigns for the total abolition of the Haitian army through reforming the Constitution by gathering signatures via a photo-exhibition of victims of past human rights abuses.
Further details from: Global Women's StrikeCrossroads Women's Centre, 230a Kentish Town Rd, London NW5 2AB Tel: 020 7482 2496

Dear all,
I am neither deeply religious nor Kenyan but I have experienced the closest thing to a religious moment, other than my own family experiences, when in that beautiful country so feel that it can do no harm to pass the message below around. It has reached me via two different friends in Kenya under the banner that Kenya needs all the help it can get at the moment!
One thing I do believe is that ordinary people of all tribes and skin colours do not want the current situation to continue a moment longer.
Best wishes,
(John Bowden – Gumtree 4x4).

"If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, and turn away from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, I will forgive them and will HEAL THEIR LAND." ( 2 Chronicles 7:14 ).
On January 25th 2008 , we are asking Every Kenyan, Every Friend of Kenyans, Everywhere to take time to make a concerted prayer for Kenya .
We want EVERY Kenyan and Every Friend of Kenyans in EVERY CONTINENT on the face of the earth to be praying together on this one day on behalf of our country.
How to participate: ·

Spread the word: send this message to Every Kenyan and Every Friend of Kenyans all over the world that you know, Everywhere – txt, SMS, e-mail, phone call ·

On January 25th, make a point of setting aside time to pray for Kenya , it does not have to be a long time but it must be a deliberate effort to pray for specific things about Kenya ·

You can pray individually, or get together with a friend or friends, workmates, someone on the street, your priest, pastor, congregation, youth group

What to pray for: - PEACE, PEACE, PEACE - Whatever else you feel in your heart to pray for concerning Kenya
'Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; when there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.' St Francis 1915

Thursday, 24 January 2008


(courtesy : issa michuzi)

While the two leaders of kenya are contempleting on what to do, this kid needs a life and a future. At the moment he is picking maize under a WFP Truck

The day The president of Kenya H.E Mwai Kibaki attended the Opening of Parliament

swaziland foreign minister
Uganda foreign minister Hon Sam Kutesa

An Image of Nagaland
A photographic exhibition by
Pól Ó Géibheannaigh

17 January – 22 March 2008

The photographs included in this exhibition were taken in and around Kohima the capital of Nagaland in north-eastern India in December, 2000. They show the participation of tribes of Nagaland in the first Hornbill Festival celebrating the sacred bird of the Naga peoples, an annual festival that now takes place between the 1st & 5th of December every year. All of the Naga tribes unite to celebrate the occasion.The Festival is named after the Hornbill bird which is a part of Naga identity that shows up in the folklore of most of the state’s tribes which is deeply embedded in their cultural history. The imagery, the costume, the enactment of totemic dance is all a part of an ancient ritual, but the circumstances in which these photographs were taken were far removed from a simple anthropological recording of a people’s past. These pictures celebrate a sense of identity which marks a period of optimism in north-eastern India after the difficult period of Naga history.

The state of Nagaland boasts 16 major tribes; a number of these are presented here. The names of the tribes are not a typical recitation of Indian ethnic groups - Angami, Ao, Chakhesang , Chang, Khiamniungan, Kachari, Konyak, Kukis, Lothas, Phom, Pochury, Rengma, Sumi, Sangtam, Yimchungru, and the Zeliang.
In 1947, two-thirds of the land of the Nagas was apportioned to the Indian Federal Union and the rest of their territory fell within the borders of Burma/Myanmar. In the years following 1947, a sense of Naga nationalism arose with the generation of A.Z.Phizo, one of the nationalist leaders who emerged in the period of Indo-Naga war, even down to very recent times a troubled relationship has persisted between New Delhi and the Naga people.
When these photographs were taken in 2000 a ceasefire had just been arranged between the Indian government and the National Nagaland Socialist Council, the Issak-Muviah (NSCN-IM). The Nagas were able, almost for the first time since the establishment of the Indian Federal Union, to celebrate their culture. It is in this atmosphere that they celebrated in 2000 the Hornbill festival.
For the photographer, to be at Kohima at the cessation of hostilities, as a guest of the Ao tribe of the Naga, was an honour. Pól travelled amongst the various tribes and regions and captured these and other images of Nagaland.

OPEN: Tuesday – Saturday 10.30 – 17.00

T. 020 7898 4046 (recorded information)WC1H 0XG
F. 020 7898 4259
E. further details of the exhibition and events please visit

The Britain – Tanzania Society and The Centre of African Studies, University of London
in Association with the Royal African Society

Wednesday 30th January 2008
6.45 -9.00pm
Khalili Lecture Theatre
SOAS Russell Square


6.45pm Introduction by Stephen O’Brien M.P.
Chairman of All Party Parliamentry Committee on Malaria and
Shadow Minister of Health

7.15pm An overview current knowledge by Dr Chris Curtis
Emeritus Professor of Medical Entomology London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

8 pm Panel discussion. The above speakers will be joined by Dr Chris Drakeley of LSHTM

9 pm Vote of thanks by Trevor Jaggar Chairman of BTS {UK Chapter] and Close

A message from Jim Murphy, Labour's Minister for Europe regarding the EU Treaty.
"With the Second Reading of the European Union (Amendment) Bill in the Commons on January 21st, we're entering a period of detailed discussion in Parliament of the Lisbon Treaty.
"The Treaty marks the settlement of the institutional debate inside the EU and ensures that the enlarged Union of 27 can continue to function and to make decisions.
"The Treaty is about more than just institutional reform.
"Well respected NGOs and British businesses are championing the Treaty for the real gains it delivers: on speeding up international aid (Oxfam and Save the Children); on tackling climate change (the Green Alliance); on enshrining for the first time the rights of children (NSPCC and Barnardos) and; on liberalising energy markets (Centrica). With over 3 million British jobs at stake, it never ceases to amaze me how ready the Tories are to put their own party paranoia about Europe ahead of the national interest.
"I'd welcome your views on the important issues for you in all of this."
You can add your views and pose questions to the Minister for Europe in the discussion below. Jim Murphy will then respond to a selection of your comments in a video for the Party's YouTube channel, labour:vision.

Flint welcomes record employment growth
Caroline Flint MP, Labour’s Employment Minister, has welcomed figures showing record employment growth.
In the last three months 175,000 more people have found a job, with the number of people in work reaching a record 29.36 million.
The number of people claiming unemployment benefit fell for the 15th consecutive month to 807,700 – the lowest it has been for over 30 years.
Caroline Flint said: "I'm pleased to see these figures showing growth in employment for both younger and older workers alike - with 60,000 more 16-24 year olds and 95,000 more people over 50 in work than in the last quarter. With record numbers of vacancies in the economy the opportunities exist for people to make the most of their skills and talents.
"These are another set of positive figures on the labour market. But we are determined to do more through our comprehensive welfare reform programme and the roll out of local employment partnerships to help ensure everyone gets the chance they deserve."
Unemployment in Britain remains historically low, down 13,000 on the quarter and 29,000 on the year.

Ndugu wapendwa,
I would like to inform you that Alfred Luhanga is expected to receive Holy Confirmation on 27th January 2008 at St Paul’s Church, Diamond Way, Deptford, London SE8 3DS. From 10.00 am. The mass will be followed by Lunch reception' with the Bishop of Woolwich, in the Crypt. After Lunch reception there will be a small party at a hall to be confirmed shortly. You are all invited.


Kagame gives job to Blair
Monitor Reporter
RWANDA has confirmed that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has taken on the job of adviser to President Kagame’s government.
The Rwandan daily The New Times, on Monday quoted Dr David Himbara, the head of the Strategy and Policy Unit in the Office of the President, as saying Mr Blair is expected to visit Kigali some time next month to start his services.
"He, [ Blair] met with President Paul Kagame where he expressed interest. Shortly after that, I met him to comprehensively brief him on the situation in our country," Mr Himbara is quoted as saying.
Dr Himbara said he believed that it was a golden chance for the Rwandan government to work with Mr Blair because of his global influence.
Mr Blair's roles include that of a special envoy to the Middle East 'Group of Four' to resolve the Israel/Palestine conflict. The Guardian, a British newspaper reported late last week that Mr Blair had dispatched three ex-Downing Street staff to begin discussions with President Kagame on an unpaid advisory post.
According to The Guardian the team he has sent includes Ms Liz Lloyd, former deputy chief of staff and a specialist on African affairs at No. 10, former private secretary, Ms Kate Gross and Mr David Easton, a former McKinsey's consultant.
Mr Blair, who gave up power last year, has been impressed by the way Rwanda has transformed itself since the 1994 genocide and believes he can raise funds to help Kigali.
Rwanda has the second highest growth rate in Africa. Half of the government's budget is based on overseas aid and more than 50 per cent of the aid is attributed to the British Department for International Development (DFID).
Mr Blair will therefore be seeking to raise funds for his future consultancy. The government of Rwanda has already set up a programme with the British government to pinpoint bottlenecks to growth, including the lack of export growth and building a credible private sector.
Mr Blair's role also comes in handy as Rwanda is already classified by the UN as a heavily-indebted state, with 50 per cent of her population living under poverty.
Since leaving office, Mr Blair has often said he is ashamed at the world's neglect of Rwanda, a country that suffered a ruthless civil war.

Museveni, Kibaki and foreign affairs minister Moses Wetungula after meeting at State House Nairobi

President Yoweri Museveni yesterday held talks with his Kenyan counterpart Mwai Kibaki in a bid to defuse a political stalemate between the government and the opposition following the disputed presidential elections. He was also scheduled to meet opposition leader Raila Odinga, who claims Kibaki stole the December 27 vote. Museveni, who was received at Kenyatta International Airport by Kibaki and his Vice-President, had a two-hour meeting at State House Nairobi immediately after his arrival, said the presidential Press Secretary, Tamale Mirundi. Kibaki updated Museveni on “developments in the country and steps his government has taken to normalise the situation and restore peace in some parts of the country that had experienced some violence,” Kibaki’s office said in a statement. He also briefed Museveni on “steps so far taken to open political dialogue and ensure national reconciliation.” Museveni, on a two-day visit to Kenya, arrived in Nairobi in his capacity as the chairman of the East African Community. Ugandan officials said the President was concerned about the “billions of shillings” lost each day due to the delays in trade caused by the violence. In the first 10 days of 2008, Uganda lost sh1b a day in tax revenues and another sh1b a day in export revenues, mainly from coffee, tea and tobacco. Uganda relies heavily on the Kenyan port of Mombasa for imports and exports. Kibaki “outlined measures so far taken to resume operations along the critical Northern Corridor transit route,” the statement added. Museveni was among the first leaders to recognise Kibaki’s legitimacy after the controversial poll. Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was also expected to arrive in Nairobi last night to try and launch talks between the two rivals. The Kenyan government, however, rejected the term “mediation” in relation to his mission, insisting there was no crisis. Former African presidents, African Union chief John Kufuor as well as Washington’s top diplomat Jendayi Frazer have failed to end the crisis. Over 700 people have been killed and 250,000 displaced by post-electoral clashes. At least 63 people have been killed since Wednesday, when the opposition called for a three-day demonstration, prompting police to crack down on protesters, mainly in the Nairobi shanty towns and western Kenya. ODM chairman Anyang’ Nyong’o said the party was filing a complaint with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, charging Kibaki, his cabinet, and police commanders over killings of protesters. “The charges are crimes against humanity,” he said. Kenyan police again fired teargas in the capital yesterday, this time to disperse Kibaki’s supporters. Riot police scattered about 100 government supporters who had been chanting “Lead on, Kibaki!” in central Nairobi, sending businesspeople scurrying for cover. Police forced the protesters into shops and nearby alleys. “The opposition has to recognise Kibaki is president,” trader Julius Kuria said in the panicked crowd. Workers hung out of nearby windows after a teargas canister landed in their office. In a new sign of damage to east Africa’s strongest economy, Kenya’s shilling neared a 14-month low versus the dollar and Kenya Airways said it had seen an 18% drop in passengers from Europe since the crisis began. The government has taken out full-page adverts in newspapers, accusing Western powers, the international media and rights groups of fanning unrest by questioning the election result. US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger dismissed the adverts as “scurrilous propaganda”. The opposition has called for more protests from tomorrow.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Dr Mohan Kaul


Board Of Management
Mr Jacques Lamarre, Chairman
Dr Mohan Kaul, Chief Executive
Mr Rahul Bajaj
Mr James Bolger
The Rt. Hon. The Earl Cairns
Mr Pascal Dozie
Mr Louis Farrugia
Tan Sri Dato' Mohd Hassan Marican
Mr Reginald Mengi
Mr Lakshmi Mittal
Timothy Ong Teck Mong
Mr Hugh Morgan
Mr Bryan Sanderson
Mr Cyril Ramaphosa
Mr Naseem Saigol

Dr Mohan Kaul at BEN TV studios in london

Forthcoming Conferences

Global Business Leaders Forum 2008 18th - 19th February, 2008 Mumbai, India

West Africa Investment Forum 2008 26th - 28th February, 2008 Abuja, Nigeria

Cameroon Investment Forum 2008 15th - 17th April, 2008 Yaoundé, Cameroon

Dr mohan speaking to diplomats

photos: Ayoub mzee
The AU’s Peace and Security Council has been meeting in Addis Ababa today [18th Jan] to consider the Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the Situation in Somalia. In July last year, the Council voted to extend the mandate of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) for six months. It is now recommending that AMISOM’s mandate should be extended by another six months at the AU Summit to be held in Addis Ababa, at the end of this month. The Report, which covers events of the last six months, welcomes the TFG moves towards reconciliation and the insistence of Prime Minister Nur Hassan ‘Adde’ that this would be at the core of his activities. The Report notes that newly trained and equipped Somali troops deployed in Mogadishu are having a positive effect on security. Indeed there have been almost daily improvements in the security situation recently in Mogadishu, though one result is that Al-Shabaab forces have been leaving the capital and attempting to spread their activities into previously peaceful regions outside the capital. The Report also draws attention to the increase in piracy and the continuing need for humanitarian assistance. The Report details the lack of progress in strengthening AMISOM. The financial and logistical support mobilized so far falls far short of requirements. Two battalions have been pledged by Burundi. One of them is expected to arrive in Mogadishu shortly; logistical assistance for the second battalion is still being organized. Details of deployment of the contingents pledged by Ghana (350) and Nigeria (850) are still under discussion. A UN team has been holding consultations with the AU over possible support for AMISOM. The Report, which identifies the TFG as the best chance in years to move towards peace and security in Somalia, also criticizes both Somalis and the international community for their failure to take advantage of the window of opportunity opened as a result of the Ethiopian intervention in December 2006. The Report recognizes that there has been progress towards peace and reconciliation but it identifies a number of specific problems: the earlier lack of harmony within the TFG; the failure to provide full deployment of AMISOM; and the lack of support from the wider international community. It also pinpoints the lack of regional cohesion, though it does not mention Eritrea by name nor mention Eritrea’s open efforts to undermine the TFG or its flaunting of AU policy and aims although these were mentioned in the subsequent discussions. The Report recommends all these factors should be addressed urgently. It also suggests the UN arms embargo should be reviewed to help the TFG build up its security forces, and that the Security Council should take the measures it declared in Resolution 1772, (2007) against those who threaten or use force against the Transitional Government Institutions or AMISOM. Humanitarian assistance should be stepped up and the UN Security Council should urgently authorize the deployment of a UN force to take over from AMISOM. One issue that was agreed by the Council in the subsequent debate was concern over the growing proliferation of initiatives over the peace process in Somalia. It was agreed that this needed to stop. The anchor of any peace process must be the Prime Minister, and the President, of the TFG. The responsibility of others is to help.

Meanwhile, Somalia’s new government convened in Baidoa for the first time last Sunday after Parliament had approved the new cabinet appointed by Prime Minister Nur Hassan ‘Adde’. It has 18 ministers, and five deputy ministers, down from 31 ministers in the previous government, half of them from outside Parliament. The formation of a new government has been widely welcomed. Britain’s Minister for Africa, Lord Malloch-Brown, called it a positive step which would allow the Transitional Government to turn its attention to advancing the political process in Somalia. The statement said that Britain now looked forward to the rapid and full implementation of last August’s National Reconciliation Congress, leading to a Constitutional process and meaningful fully inclusive political dialogue. Prime Minister Nur Hassan made it clear immediately after his appointment that he believed in the need for reconciliation and for talks with opposition. Clan elders in Mogadishu have welcomed his statements and emphasized that they recognize his authority. The UN Special Envoy to Somalia, Mr. Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah said this week that there were “almost daily telephone contacts” between government and members of the opposition. He said that he believed it would be useful for preliminary discussions between small groups to discuss ways to advance reconciliation. Sheikh Sharif Sheik Ahmed, the chairman of the opposition Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia, set up under Eritrean auspices last year, and based in Asmara, continues to insist that he does not recognize the TFG and dismissed claims that the Prime Minister had contacted opposition members in Eritrea. Mr. Ould-Abdullah recently visited Asmara where he talked to Somali opposition leaders as well as Eritrean officials, even though he had to wait three days before he was able to meet any Somalis.

• The Government of Ethiopia has reiterated its dismissal of the controversial ‘virtual’ demarcation of the Ethiopia-Eritrea border. This idea was first announced by the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission in November 2006 which said this would come into operation at the end of November last year, failing any other progress in implementing demarcation on the ground. When the Commission dissolved itself on December 1st, it left behind its ‘virtual’ demarcation, a paper demarcation with no legal force or effect, contrary to international law and practice, and in violation of the object and purpose of the Algiers Agreements, and of the mandate of the Commission itself. In a statement yesterday, a Foreign Ministry spokesman described ‘virtual’ demarcation as a legal nonsense. It is neither valid nor acceptable in international law. Border demarcation requires lines drawn on the ground and pillars posted as the mandate of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission prescribes. Ethiopia made these points clear to the Commission when it first produced the concept in November 2006. Ethiopia has repeatedly made clear its full acceptance of the Delimitation Decisions of 13 April 2002 as binding on both sides. It is equally clear that it cannot accept the Commission’s Statement of 27 November 2006 as equally binding.

The Foreign Ministry’s statement came after Eritrea said it had accepted the ‘virtual’ demarcation of the border as announced by the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission at the end of November. A statement published in an Eritrean government newspaper on Wednesday says that “after five years of revolving around the basic problem, the matter has finally been resolved through a virtual demarcation of the border”. The statement said Eritrea would pursue legal measures to evict Ethiopian soldiers from territory awarded to Eritrea under the 2002 Delimitation Decisions, but that if these “do not result in the appropriate outcome then the Eritrean people have other internationally approved choices”. The statement did not specify what these might be. In a letter to the President of the Security Council on January 15, President Issayas said that “the matter has now come to conclusion. The boundary is demarcated. In the event UNMEE has now been left, after five and half years, with no option other than ‘maintaining occupation’. My Government accordingly urges the Security Council to compel the evacuation of the army and institutions of the Ethiopian regime that are occupying our sovereign territories to prevent other unnecessary developments.” Again, he did not elaborate.

In light of these implied threats, many on the Security Council believe it would be appropriate for the UN Security Council to extend the mandate of the UN Mission to Eritrea and Ethiopia (UNMEE) for a further period. UNMEE’s current mandate runs out at the end of the month. UNMEE monitors the Temporary Security Zone set up to divide the two armies at the end of the war which began in May 1998 when Eritrea invaded Ethiopia. In the last three years, UNMEE’s operations have been seriously compromised by restrictions imposed by the Eritrean government. Eritrea has similarly violated the Algiers Agreements, which ended the war in December 2000, by the continuous dispatch of substantial military forces into the demilitarized Temporary Security Zone over the last couple of years. As noted, Ethiopia has consistently made clear its full acceptance of the Delimitation Decisions of April 2002 and its complete commitment to the demarcation of the border according to international norms and practices. Demarcation, however, cannot proceed while Eritrea fails to accept its obligations and restore the full integrity of the Algiers Agreements, and refuses to hold any dialogue over the exact placement of pillars and boundary markers. Ethiopia notified Eritrea last year of the legal and political options it has, should Eritrea continue to violate the integrity of the Algiers Agreements.

Meanwhile, the Eritrean government organized a demonstration on Wednesday outside the offices of the British Prime Minister, at 10 Downing Street. Despite claims by the organizers that demonstrators were from all over the Horn, most were Eritreans, though they did include representatives of several Eritrean-supported Ethiopian opposition groups, including the Ogaden National Liberation Front and the Oromo Liberation Front, both now based in Asmara. The demonstrators demanded that the US and UK governments stop co-operating with the Government of Ethiopia, a somewhat surprising demand since Eritrea supports, arms, and finances a dozen or so opposition movements from Ethiopia, as well as others from Sudan, Somalia and Djibouti, all involved in armed struggle or terrorist activity. While demonstrators claimed they had some 600 on the demonstration, British police counted the number as just over 100. The Eritrean government now appears to be shifting a significant part of its anti-Ethiopian efforts into media activity and the organizing of similar demonstrations in Europe and the United States.

Suite 501, International House, 223 Regent Street, London, W1B 2QD
Africans for Labour will host its Dinner and Dance
at the Holiday Inn Hotel, Coran Street, Bloomsbury WC1N 1HF
on Thursday 21st February 2008
from 7pm – til late

Fundraising raffle in aid of the GLA Election.
Guest of Honour: Harriet Harman QC MP
Guest of Honour: Ken Livingstone Mayor of London
and other Labour Assembly Members

Tickets £50 per person to include 3 course sit down meal, wine and dancing.
Email for more info or Cllr Julius Nkafu on 07951 898 773 or Cllr Dora Dixon-Fyle on 07939 537 642
Send cheques payable to Africans for Labour
to Suite 501, International House, 223 Regent Street, London, W1B 2QD

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

'Sistas Doing it for Liverpool'
On March 7th 2008 The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall will host the country's largest festival for Sisters, celebrating International Women's Month.

Now in its 12th year 'In Celebration of My Sisters' (ICOMS) will visit Liverpool for the first time as part of the City's European Capital of Culture celebrations. The new look variety stage show will showcase top UK Female Artists including some of Liverpool's Top Performers.

The expected full-house audience will be treated to the best in RnB, Jazz and Reggae by the legendary 'Queens of Lovers Rock' Janet Kay and Carroll Thompson, saxophonist Yolanda Brown along with Liverpool's own Jennifer John and the One Voice Merseyside Choir. Top class comedy will be provided by the acclaimed Felicity Ethnic and Donna Spence while local poet Ann Lopez will perform her unique style of scintillating poetry and Vivian Benoni will woo the audience with her award winning dance routines.

This star-studded show of song, dance, and comedy is being promoted by TWT Productions, Chart 2 Success and Fortis Marketing Ltd.
Tony Fairweather, Managing Director of TWT Productions and founder of ICOMS said, "It's a great honour for us to bring the show to the European Capital of Culture, Liverpool. It is our intention that the show will become a fixture in Liverpool's annual calendar of events. I have no doubt that this dream will become a reality because of the strong working relationship that we have developed with Chart 2 Success and their team in Liverpool.
Michelle Charters, owner of Chart 2 Success, a specialist event management company said, "This event will offer a fine blend of top level female performers from London, the Capital City, and Liverpool, the European Capital of Culture. I am confident that this will be a great event for the city as well as for the promotion of International Women's Month 2008".
The event will be compered by Lynsey France, formerly of MTV fame. Tickets prices range from £20 for Box seats to £15 and £10 for other seating areas. Doors open at 7pm, show starts at 7.30pm.
Tickets can be purchased from the Royal Philharmonic Hall Box office
0151 709 3789 or by visiting
For more information contact Sonia O'Rourke, Fortis Marketing Ltd on
0151 707 6550 or email

Vancouver rapper looks to his African roots
By Tara Henley
When people think of Africa, they often think about poverty, hunger, and the HIV epidemic. But suffering is only half the story. What most people don't know about Africa is that there is a generation of youth coming up that's highly talented, creative, and motivated. All across the continent, this generation is channelling its energy and desire for change into hip-hop culture. It's not just a time of suffering in Africa, it's also a time of profound hope.
Vancouver rapper Babaluku has witnessed this movement firsthand. Babaluku, aka Mr. Africa, was born in the city of Kampala, Uganda, and immigrated to Ontario when he was 12 years old. His rhymes speak to the experience of being caught between two different cultures””what it felt like to be a young African growing up in small-town Canada. As a show of solidarity with his homeland, Babaluku raps in his mother tongue, Luganda. He is one of the pioneers of Luga Flow Flavor, a musical blend of African rhythms, soul, and hip-hop.
After years of longing to return to his country, Babaluku went back to Uganda last summer with his business partner””documentary filmmaker Aaron Elton””to investigate the hip-hop scene. The five-month trip was life-changing for him.
“I got off the plane and the smell of Africa hit me,” he recounts over coffee on Granville Street. “It was an emotional time. In that moment, I felt like I let so much go””stuff that I was holding on to. I was back home.
“My mission in Africa was to check out the state of hip-hop,” he continues. “But when we got there, my vision got bigger.”
Unlike in other countries such as Tanzania and Kenya, hip-hop culture was still in its infancy in Uganda. Babaluku found that few artists were reaching out to youth who were eager to learn more about the art form, so he and Elton started organizing free concerts in the slums. With the help of local hip-hop star Krazy Native and his organization, the Ugandan Hip-Hop Foundation, they were able to put on numerous shows all over the city.
“We did one concert in the hospital for the HIV kids,” Babaluku remembers. “When they called us to perform, they told us they wanted songs that would not remind the kids of their condition. But the reality is that these kids knew they had HIV.”
One of Babaluku's fellow rappers insisted on performing a track that he wrote about his mother, who died of AIDS.
“And while he was performing it,” he recalls, “the organizers got mad. But the funny thing was that in the middle of them rebuking us, all these kids were getting up and pulling a thousand shillings out of their pockets and taking it to him. When I was watching that, I was like, 'Do you think you can hide the fact from this kid? Look at him. He is taking the thousand shillings he has to say thanks for singing about my condition.' ”
Babaluku also hit the studio while he was in Kampala with his crew Bataka Squad””which includes Krazy Native and a female MC named Tshila. (Some tracks are streamed on Babaluku's MySpace page: www
“Twakubye”, an upbeat dance joint that features Tanzanian MC Rah P, is a standout. The cut addresses those who doubt the power of Ugandan hip-hop, and highlights Babaluku's smooth, double-time flow against a backdrop of percussive beats.
“We, Bataka Squad, have really ventured out,” he says of the recordings. “To take the form of hip-hop and shape it for Uganda, so that our people will be able to relate to it.”
Tshila, for instance, has been working on merging traditional tribal music with hip-hop. “She went around the villages scouting for local instrumentalists and she's blending that with hip-hop in her own language,” Baba?luku explains. “At the same time, she's playing acoustic and singing soul. The blend is crazy. It's something that Uganda has never heard.”
In both recording and performing, Babaluku's main goal has been to help Ugandan hip-hop find its own unique voice. “I used to write rhymes in English, but the day that I started to write in my own language, everything started turning around mentally,” he offers. “Now I could reach that kid in the village. He could know what I was talking about.”
“Every stage I hit in Uganda, I never used English,” the rapper adds. “A lot of people went back from Sweden, from California, and they're all rhyming like Jay-Z, all speaking English. When I hit the stage, my spirit would not let me speak English because I'm in Africa. I was chanting Luganda.
“I wanted to help build these kids self-esteem, to let them know that you can do hip-hop in your own language. You can reach out to your people. You've got to get out of this whole New York state of mind.”
From these experiences, the Bavu?buka Foundation was born (www Babaluku and Elton launched the nonprofit to create opportunities for young people in Africa to express themselves. They hope to build a community centre and a youth camp in Kampala. The pair plans to return to Uganda this fall, bringing members of the North American hip-hop community with them.
“For me, as an African that has grown up in Canada, I take what I have learned here and share it with those kids in Uganda,” Babaluku says. “I'm starting to network with a lot of African youth on this side of the world. I'm like, 'Yo, what do you do? Academics? Music? Whatever your gift is could change someone's life back home.' ”


TABLES: Group A: Ghana, Morocco, Guinea, Namibia. Group B: Nigeria, Cote D’ivoire, Mali, Benin. Group C: Egypt, Cameroon, Zambia, Sudan. Group D: Tunisia, Senegal, South Africa, Angola. FIXTURES: 20 January 2007: Ghana vs. Guinea. 21 January 2007: Nambia vs. Morocco/ Nigeria vs. Côte d'Ivoire/ Mali vs. Benin. 22 January 2007: Egypt vs. Cameroon/ Sudan vs. Zambia. 23 January 2007: South Africa vs. Angola/ Tunisia vs. Senegal. 24 January 2007: Ghana vs. Namibia/ Guinea vs. Morocco. 25 January 2007: Côte d'Ivoire vs. Benin/ Nigeria vs. Mali. 26 January 2007: Cameroon vs. Zambia/ Egypt vs. Sudan. 27 January 2007: Senegal vs. Angola/ Tunisia vs. South Africa. 28 January 2007: Ghana vs. Morocco/ Guinea vs. Namibia. Matches will continue until the Final on February 10, 2008 in Accra stadium.

Monday, 21 January 2008

new labour for Britain

Leta Kipande yako!
Archbishop desmond Tutu with Raila Odinga -Kenya

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith’s speech to the first International Conference on Radicalisation and Political Violence
Our Shared Values – A Shared Responsibility
17 January 2007

I am delighted to be here to speak to you today, and to mark the launch of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence.
There are few areas of domestic or international public policy where the case for exploration and enquiry is more pressing, where the need for understanding and debate is more urgent.
I applaud you on this important initiative, and wish you every success.
Today I want to give you my perspective on these pressing and urgent issues:
• The causes and the effects of violent extremism;
• How it comes to take hold in people’s lives;
• The damage it can do to individuals, communities, and wider society; and
• How that damage can be prevented and communities supported in rooting out its influence.
The counter terrorist strategy for which I am responsible – known as CONTEST – has four main components:
• Pursuing terrorists and disrupting the immediate threats we face;
• Protecting our infrastructure and our borders;
• Preparing for any incident which may occur; and
• Preventing radicalisation in the cause of violent extremism.
I have no doubt that it is the last of these – stopping people becoming or supporting terrorists – that is the major long-term challenge we face.
The relentless process of persuasion and propaganda, of assertion and insinuation, that can lead ultimately to engagement or support for violent extremism – this poses particular questions and requires a rounded, comprehensive response.
Last year, we established the Office of Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT) in the Home Office to co-ordinate the development and delivery of CONTEST. An early priority has been to focus on the need to review and enhance our PREVENT work.
Central government departments, enforcement agencies, local authorities, institutions and community groups have all been involved in this process. And the wealth of expertise they bring to it is injecting new energy into our efforts, and helping us to build new thinking on old.
These efforts will be the main focus of my remarks today. But before turning to them, I think it is important to first give you a sense of the threat we face.
The threat
Last June, in my first few days as Home Secretary, the attempted attacks in London and Glasgow showed clearly the intent of those who want to mount indiscriminate attacks on public places.
As we have seen all too clearly, attacks can happen without warning, and with the aim of causing multiple fatalities.
Our current threat level is ‘severe’, which means that we believe an attack is highly likely.
Jonathan Evans, the Director General of the Security Service, recently estimated that there are some 2000 people in the UK who pose a threat to our security. In 2006, the number was roughly 1600.
The increase is partly because our coverage of the extremist networks is now more thorough. But we also have to accept that more people are showing sympathy with the cause of violent extremism.
Secretary Chertoff’s comments this week on the rise of what he calls “homegrown terrorism” in Europe are a timely reminder that this radicalisation, wherever it occurs, is an issue of international concern.
Last year, 42 people were convicted for terrorist offences, relating to 16 different operations. Half of these people pleaded guilty.
These figures show that the threat is real and serious. Among those convicted last year were the 5 young men sentenced to between 35 and 40 years each as a result of Operation Crevice.
Their plan was to detonate a device in London in 2004. But we should remember that they were not only prepared to make a conventional explosive device but also talked about obtaining a radiological device – a dirty bomb.
And material recovered after Operation Rhyme, the al Qaeda conspiracy to attack London, again in 2004, also included instructions on how to make a dirty bomb and projections of its destructive effects.At the moment there are 5 major terrorism trials in court here. These include the trials of 6 individuals charged in relation to the alleged plot to kidnap and kill a British soldier, and the trial of five individuals charged following an operation against an alleged terrorist facilitation network in this country.
Since becoming Home Secretary, I have made it my business to understand the basis for our threat assessments. In countering terrorism – just as much as in tackling crime and in strengthening our borders – I do not take my responsibilities lightly.
The gravity and the extent of this criminal terrorist activity are now all too clear to me.
And it is equally clear to me that to tackle it we all need to keep clear heads.
The threat is real. The threat is live. But we must keep it firmly in perspective.
It comes from a very small minority of people – and the great majority of us, who share common values and principles, find the murder of innocent people abhorrent.
This is vital when we come to consider how best to respond to the threat we face.
Terrorism is a crime that does not discriminate. The ‘small minority’ threatens the safety and security of all communities in Britain, irrespective of politics, faith, or ethnic background.
And we are not unique in this – the same is true elsewhere. Indeed, despite its rhetoric to the contrary, al Qaeda itself pursues a global strategy of killing Muslims.
Terrorism can affect us all, wherever and whoever we are.
And let me be clear – such terrorist outrages are crimes, first and foremost. First and foremost, terrorists are criminals.
As so many Muslims in the UK and across the world have pointed out, there is nothing Islamic about the wish to terrorise, nothing Islamic about plotting murder, pain and grief. Indeed, if anything, these actions are ‘anti-Islamic’.
Our response to the threat
My duty as Home Secretary is to protect the security of our citizens and the freedoms they enjoy.
The purpose of terrorism is to use indiscriminate killing to dictate the way we think and act, both as individuals and as governments.
But it is a weakness of terrorism as a tactic that the way we respond determines the impact that it will have.
Whether terrorists ultimately succeed or not is up to us, not up to them.
We should not forget that we operate from a position of strength – for these values are shared by the overwhelming majority of people living in Britain.
In Britain our response to preventing terrorism should therefore preserve both our security and the values on which our society depends.
And in this country we will uphold our common values by pursuing terrorists as criminals through our criminal justice system. They will get the justice that they deny to others.
To support the work of criminal investigations and the due process of our judicial system, we need to ensure that the police and security agencies have the powers they need to deal with the threat we face.
Countering terrorism and violent extremism is one of the most important and urgent priorities for the police service.
That’s why we are providing record levels of funding for counter terrorism policing.
And to ensure we have the powers, as well as the resources, that we need to mount an effective response to the threat we face, we will introduce the Counter Terrorism Bill shortly.
From the first, my approach to this Bill has emphasised the importance of consulting and listening to the voices of all who have an interest in our proposals.
There is consensus on a number of the measures we want to bring forward:
• The gathering and sharing of information about terrorist suspects;
• The greater use of post-charge questioning of suspects;
• Tougher sentencing for offences with a terrorist connection; and
• The seizure and forfeiture of terrorist cash, property and other assets.
We have also amended our proposals for pre-charge detention to reflect the views we have received. And in bringing forward these proposals, we have made clear that we are doing so on a precautionary basis, with strict limits imposed that mean they could only be used for a temporary period in exceptional circumstances.
But an effective response to terrorism can never solely depend on the state and law enforcement.
It also depends on us – on the active commitment of individuals and communities to certain rights and responsibilities, to shared values which apply irrespective of religion or culture.
These rights include the right to life, and to liberty. The right to freedom of speech and expression, and to freedom of religion. The right to live the lives we wish, subject only to our law.
The rights we claim for ourselves need to be matched by the responsibilities we owe others – to our fellow citizens, to a common good. Together, these rights and responsibilities are the foundation for citizenship.
As the Prime Minister said in his speech on liberty in October, in developing our work against terrorism we must “bring people together, mark out the common good, and energise the will and resources of all.”
The way we respond to terrorism must reinforce our shared values – because it is on these values that our security ultimately rests.
Because our work to reduce the threat here depends on individuals and communities, we will seek the widest possible consent for, and understanding of, our strategy.
Success requires consensus as much as executive or law enforcement powers – and that in turn requires openness and consultation.
We want to hear views and engage in debate. We published last year our strategy for countering terrorism and are continuing to evolve it in the light of experience. The Prime Minister intends to present the National Security Strategy to Parliament shortly.
What does this mean in practice?
I have talked about the threat we face and about principles which must inform and guide our response. I now want to focus in particular on counter radicalisation.
Study of experiences in this country and elsewhere has told us a lot about why people are drawn into the world of violent extremism, either as actors or supporters.
Our best estimate is that in this country, as in others, violent extremism is caused by a combination of interlocking reasons:
• By an ideology, by which I mean both a misinterpretation of religion and a view of contemporary politics and history;
• By ideologues and propagandists for this cause, very often taking advantage of the open institutions in this country;
• By vulnerability in young people, of a kind that I recognise from other contexts;
• By communities which are sometimes poorly equipped to challenge violent extremism; and
• By grievances, some genuine and some perceived, and some of course directed very specifically against government.
Our strategy to deal with radicalisation to violent extremism must therefore focus on each of these factors.
We need to challenge the ideology of violent extremism, that misreading of Islam and view of history and contemporary politics which justifies terrorism. The ‘we’ in that sentence means not only civic society in Britain, but states and communities overseas.
Government can facilitate, but it should be cautious about the degree of expertise it can bring to bear on matters of religion and about the extent to which it should seek to lead or to guide. And we need to be very clear about parameters.
I do not wish to discourage dissent or seek political conformity. I will not dictate how people should practise their religion or express their lawful opinions.
But I will never accept any argument which seeks to legitimise and sanction mass murder.
We have made progress:
• We have backed leading Muslim scholars and opinion formers here to talk about extremist ideology at roadshows across the country. Some sixty thousand people have attended to date, and an associated website gets fifty thousand hits each month.
• We want to see more Islamic studies here, perhaps a further centre of excellence.
• We are supporting a programme of overseas visits by British Muslim opinion formers to Muslim majority countries, and establishing links with prominent institutes overseas to better understand the teaching they can provide.
• We are encouraging much more interaction between opinion formers here and in Muslim majority countries to correct misunderstandings about Islam in the UK.
But we must take action not only against the ideology, but also against those who promote it.
We have legislated to enable us to do so – and we are now systematically disrupting the small group of key propagandists for terrorism in this country.
The use of intelligence to identify and go after the individuals concerned will become an ever more important priority for policing and the security services.
We also need to sensitise those working in the institutions – including in prisons and educational establishments – where propagandists are and have been active.
With the Ministry of Justice and the Prisons Service we have set up an important programme to understand and address radicalisation in our prisons system.
I know that this is a problem in many countries, and we have learned much from experiences elsewhere. I want to highlight the very valuable contribution made to this programme here by the Prisons Chaplaincy, imams and others, who have vital role to play in challenging anti-Islamic views and behaviours. In tandem, there have also been initiatives to raise awareness and understanding among Prisons Service staff.
Education has a key positive role to play in countering violent extremism – not only through the teaching of particular subjects like citizenship and religion, but also through the shared values embodied by the method of teaching.
My colleagues John Denham and Bill Rammell have started a debate on how we maintain academic freedom whilst ensuring that extremists can never stifle debate or impose their views. They will shortly be providing guidance to Higher and Further Education establishments to help promote shared values, increase community cohesion and prevent violent extremism.
As a Government, we have no wish to constrain the space for enquiry. But we want active debate and challenge, not a monologue imposed by ill-disguised force, and we must be ready to take action against propagandists who incite violence.
Schools can also make a crucial contribution to building resilience and supporting young people who may be exposed to extremist influences.
Countering violent extremism features in The Children’s Plan recently issued by the Department for Children, Schools and Families. We are engaging directly with head teachers to talk about what further support they need, and to ensure that schools are involved in local partnership work, including with the police.
As you have been discussing at the conference, the internet is a key tool for the propagandists for violent extremism.
Let me be clear. The internet is not a no-go area for Government.
We are already working closely with the communications industry to take action against paedophiles, and together we have improved the way that instances of possible abuse can be reported by internet users.
If we are ready and willing to take action to stop the grooming of vulnerable young on social networking sites, then I believe we should also take action against those who groom vulnerable people for the purposes of violent extremism.
In the next few weeks, I will be talking to industry, and critically those in the community, about how best to do this – and how best to identify material that is drawing vulnerable young people into violent extremism. Where there is illegal material on the net, I want it removed.
Our strategy also needs to find ways of directly supporting vulnerable people – by intervening with individuals when families, communities and networks are concerned about their behaviour.
We want to know what advice to provide to a parent concerned about the behaviour of a son or daughter, drifting into a network which sanctions violent extremism – and we want to know how best to provide it.
In this context, we need to think about the most effective response – more about rehabilitation, where that will work, and less about the criminal justice system.
Support to vulnerable individuals is best provided by communities. I commend the lead that a number of mosques have provided, not only in developing material which refutes a misreading of Islam but also in providing a space in which that material can be put to best use.
There are things government can do to help:
• We are supporting work with young offenders vulnerable to radicalisation;
• We can help create linkages between those working on rehabilitation programmes overseas and those wishing to do so here; and
• We can support the police and others as they work with ‘at risk’ individuals.
Building resilient communities is the next key part of any strategy to counter radicalisation.
The people who really understand the challenge of confronting violent extremism in our towns and cities are the people who live and work there.
Muslim communities have been more at risk from the propagandists of violent extremism than anyone else. So there is a particular and compelling role for Muslim organisations, institutions and civic society to challenge what I have described today as anti-Islamic activity.
Of course, these organisations have every right to expect respect and recognition from others for what they have already achieved, and I pay tribute to the work being done in our communities, by our communities, for our communities – often without a fanfare of publicity but with quiet determination, and great conviction.
There is a very large range of activity underway already. Hazel Blears and her department have funded the development of more than 200 wide-ranging and ambitious projects.
Over the next three years, we will be working with local authorities and local communities to bring about a step change in this work.
Many projects are focused on women and on young people, with others designed to support citizenship education and volunteering in the Muslim community. There are also a number of community-led programmes for faith leaders and for faith organisations, for imams and for mosque schools.
Policing has a key role to play in supporting resilient communities. But I want to emphasise that policing is vital to all aspects of the counter radicalisation strategy I have described today – challenging the language of violent extremism; disrupting propagandists for terrorism; better protecting vulnerable institutions; and supporting individuals vulnerable to recruitment. Counter terrorist policing is not just about the sharp end – the disruption of those who seek to attack us – crucial though that is.
It must also be about stopping people becoming or supporting terrorists. We cannot, after all, simply arrest our way out of this problem.Developing a Prevent policing plan is one of the most important and urgent initiatives now underway, led by the Association of Chief Police Officers.
The plan will build on other initiatives successfully developed by the police in recent years – neighbourhood policing, support programmes for drugs offenders, outreach to improve community cohesion, local multi agency partnerships to deal with a range of criminal activity.
The Prevent policing plan will make use of these experiences and reflect this expertise. But it will deliver something that is recognisably new.I want to end my remarks on our strategy by talking about how we address grievances which some people hold in this country and which may encourage them to sympathise with the propagandists of violence.
These grievances may be about our foreign policy, or what is perceived to be our foreign policy.
They may derive from the experience or the perception of socio-economic disadvantage.
Or they may be based on perceptions or misperceptions of police and law enforcement activity.
No grievance can justify terrorism. But where grievances are legitimately expressed, we are of course prepared to debate them.
Terrorism must not drown dialogue. And where grievances are not only legitimately expressed but well founded, we must be prepared to respond.
That a cause has been misappropriated by violent extremism does not make it a wrong one.
Rather, putting a grievance beyond the reach of a democratic solution, beyond the understanding of state and society, is a goal of those who wish to harm us. We should do them no favours.
Concluding remarks
As I have explored today, the framework for action we are developing is designed to offer comprehensive engagement with the threat Britain faces from violent extremism.
We have built a wide range of partners to deliver the framework, some of whom are new to the issue. The challenge is considerable, and cannot be met by a narrowly defined or narrowly delivered response.
We are working at home and overseas, at national and local levels. We are talking to local authorities and to regional government.
We are considering carefully how the policing of counter terrorism needs to develop to take account of counter radicalisation, and the extra resources that may be required for this purpose.
And we are listening to you, academics and experts from around the world.
I finish where I began. It is certainly a key role of government to protect people’s security. And it is also certain that government cannot do so on its own.
That is the basis of our strategy – a strategy that is perhaps unequalled in the world today for its breadth of partnership and scale of ambition.
To succeed against terrorism and violent extremism in this country, we will depend not on force, but on force of argument. Not on authoritarianism, but on the authority that derives from shared values, shared rights, and shared responsibilities.
Thank you.

Timetable announced for border protection and immigration reform
Labour’s Immigration Minister, Liam Byrne, has set out a challenging timetable to secure the largest shake-up to Britain’s border security and immigration system for 40 years.
After the successful rollout of global fingerprint checks for visa applicants – three months ahead of schedule and millions under budget – the Border and Immigration Agency will now set about a ten-point plan to secure Britain’s borders.
The milestones set out by Liam Byrne are: within 15 days to check fingerprints before a visa is issued anywhere in the world; within 60 days to introduce on the spot fines for employers who don't make the right right-to-work checks; within 80 days to begin the introduction of a new points system for managing migration; and within 100 days to introduce a single border force and police-like powers for frontline staff.
The BIA will also aim to confirm the number of foreign national prisoners deported in 2008 will exceed 2007 within 180 days; within 200 days to activate powers to automatically deport foreign national prisoners; within 300 days to expand detention capacity; within 330 days to begin issuing compulsory ID cards for those foreign nationals who want to stay and by Christmas to begin counting foreign nationals in and out of the country and to introduce compulsory watch-list checks for high risk journeys before they land.
Finally, within 360 days to make and enforce 60 per cent of asylum decisions within six months, with alternatives to detention for children.
Liam Byrne said: "The public wants stronger borders. They want us to shut down the causes of illegal immigration and hold newcomers to account, deporting rule breakers where necessary. They also want a compassionate system, which makes and enforces decisions fast when we have obligations to honour - and lets those we need contribute to Britain as long as they speak English, pay tax and obey the law.
"My goal therefore in 2008 is as ambitious as it is urgent. There are four themes to our work: protection, prevention, accountability and compassion. By Christmas the system will look and feel different. Every month the public will be able to see us not talking about change but delivering on our ten point plan for change. The public is right to demand a new system. We have listened. And we will act."
The Immigration Minister also confirmed that the BIA had exceeded the Prime Minister’s target of removing or deporting more than 4,000 foreign national prisoners by the end of 2007.

George Osborne: Brown has failed to prepare Britain for tough times
In a speech to the London School of Economics, the Shadow Chancellor, George Osborne said:"It is a pleasure to be here at this event organised by the London School of Economics and the British Chambers of Commerce.I'd like to thank Howard Davies, the Director of the LSE, and David Frost, the Chairman of the BCC, for inviting me here to speak to you today. The British economy faces its most testing time for a generation. My argument today is a simple one. Britain's economy is not prepared for the difficult times that lie ahead. The past fifteen years of global growth provided the perfect opportunity to prepare our economy for the twenty first century. Two billion people - a third of the world's population - have joined the global economy in countries like China and India. The result has been a huge expansion in global supply, and so strong downward pressure across developed economies on prices, inflation and interest rates.Around the world, countries like Ireland and Australia shrewdly took advantage of these huge opportunities. They reformed their economies, made themselves more competitive, and strengthened their public finances. Both of these countries, for example, now have a "future fund" of assets built to provide security against future shocks and liabilities. Their public finances are well placed. Their competitiveness has risen. Their institutions are stronger.Our competitors used the fat years to prepare for the lean years. Britain did not.Failure to prepareIndeed I would argue that we are the least prepared major economy in the developed world to cope with the current financial turbulence. Our financial reputation has been badly damaged by the only run on a retail bank in the world.Our double deficits - external and fiscal - are worse than any other European economy. Taken together, they are worse than the United States. And our economy is increasingly inflexible, with falling competitiveness thanks to higher taxes, more regulation and failing public services. The consequence is that respected economic forecasters are predicting that this year we will experience the sharpest economic slowdown of all the G7 countries.As Alan Greenspan, who now advises our Prime Minister, says, the UK economy is "more exposed" than the United States to financial instability.The OECD states that the difficulties are "going to be larger in the UK than elsewhere".And the World Economic Forum highlights the UK as particularly "vulnerable".The IFS have pointed out we are particularly vulnerable to a downturn in the financial sector.Morgan Stanley say that the UK is more exposed than most. Goldman Sachs, the Treasury's advisers, say "the UK is slowing more than the rest of Europe"The view of international experts is clear. Britain is not prepared if rainy days lie ahead. And the blame lies squarely and fairly with Gordon Brown. His eleven budgets have left us with the worst public finances in Europe.The system of financial oversight he personally insisted on left Britain as the only country facing a run on the bank.His taxes and regulations have left the British economy more inflexible and less competitive.Gordon Brown likes to quote the Bible. But he obviously doesn't know about the story in Genesis of the Pharaoh who was warned to use the seven fat years to prepare for the seven lean years - and did.Well our Prime Minister was also warned in the fat years to prepare for the lean years - but he set nothing aside. Now most say the lean years are here, the cupboard is bare and Britain is vulnerable. We've got used over the last decade to Gordon Brown boasting about his reputation for economic competence. But his actions betray him. It is his economic incompetence and fiscal incontinence that have left Britain more exposed than any other developed economy to the current crisis. Of course, the Prime Minister wrings his hands and says that this crisis didn't start here. We've got used to him taking all the credit when times are good and passing off all the blame when things turn bad.His mantra, repeated in every interview, is that Britain's troubles are all down to problems in the US sub-prime markets.But he should know that external economic shocks - so-called exogenous shocks - are inevitable. From the oil shock in 1973, to the bursting of the dot-com bubble, they have always happened and always will. The challenge for a government is to make sure the British economy is well prepared to withstand these inevitable shocks. That's what putting economic stability first means.Let's be clear: the trigger may have been pulled by American sub-prime lenders - but the gun was loaded at home.The Credit CrunchWhat do current events teach us about how we need to prepare?The credit crunch began as a liquidity problem in the world's intensely interconnected international money markets.The crunch came as US mortgage banks found that rising interest rates meant many vulnerable borrowers could not afford to service their credit - and so defaulted.In the past, this may have caused a problem in the US banking sector, as in the mid-1980s, when a similar crisis hit Savings and Loans.But not today. The hugely sophisticated and international financial markets packaged up millions of mortgages, and sold the debt on. The innovation was hailed as an efficient way of managing risk.The problem was that when the loans went bad, no-one knew who was ultimately responsible for the debts. So far, of the estimated $300 billion losses, only $100 billion have been publicly identified. Banks still don't know the extent of other banks bad debts. It is this uncertainty that is at the heart of the crisis.No longer able to trust one another's solvency, highly geared banks stopped lending to each other.What looked like lack of liquidity has become a lack of credit, resulting from a lack of trust. As Paul Krugman said: "pervasive loss of trust" was "like sand thrown in the gears of the financial system". The result is that the credit crunch has posed three clear challenges to all advanced economies, including Britain's.The first challenge has been the immediate institutional one. Have the different institutions that oversee financial services in different countries been able to cope with the lack of liquidity and lack of credit?The answer is 'yes' - except in Britain. Only in Britain has there been a run on a bank.The second challenge is the medium-term fiscal one. Are governments in the developed world in a sufficiently strong fiscal position to withstand a slowdown and the pressure that puts on government revenues? The answer is, in most cases, yes. Most countries have used recent economic growth to build up surpluses or at least reduce deficits. But not Britain - we have the largest budget deficit in Europe.The third challenge is the long-term economic one. Are the developed economies of the world sufficiently flexible to recover quickly if there is a serious down-turn?The answer is that many countries have used recent years to free up the supply side, reduce corporate taxes and make their economies more flexible and more competitive. Britain has instead become less flexible and less competitive. And only the British Government is contemplating a major tax increase on business and enterprise as its response to a potential slow-down - which is economic madness. So faced with these three challenges - institutional, fiscal and economic - the British government has failed.Let me set out now what their response should have been - and what our response will be when a Conservative Government is elected.In the short term, our institutional arrangements need reform. It goes without saying that the Northern Rock crisis needs resolving now - indeed should have been brought to a resolution back in September. But we also need to improve dramatically the supervision of liquidity and make the Bank of England stronger and more independent by, among other things, giving it the power to rescue future Northern Rocks.In the medium term we need to sort out our public finances. And we must reform the failed fiscal rules so that never again do we borrow in a boom and leave our economy so exposed to a downturn.And in the long term Britain needs a new supply side revolution, that brings greater flexibility and more competitive tax rates to our economy, because flexible economies are more stable economies. Let me take each in turn.Weak institutional set-upIn the short term, the Northern Rock debacle has exposed the flaws in the institutional arrangements introduced by Gordon Brown to govern financial crises.As the Director General of the CBI put it: "this was the first big test of the so-called tripartite arrangement … designed to be the bedrock on which to build stability across our financial system. For whatever reason, this tripartite system has failed to deliver the goods."Visiting China with David Cameron before Christmas, and meeting leading financial institutions there, I was repeatedly told that while they once had seen the British regulatory regime as a goal to aim for, after the past six months they now see it as a set of lessons that they must learn.No wonder when banks like Goldman Sachs tell their clients that: "the "Northern Rock" factor has badly dented the UK's reputation for being the world's pre-eminent financial centre"The key problem was that when things went wrong, no-one was clear who was in charge. The FSA was supposed to be in charge of the liquidity of individual institutions while the Bank was in charge of the liquidity of the system.Indeed the Chancellor himself implicitly admits that his predecessor's regime failed. That's why he announced a series of changes to the press last week. He said that he would set up a new "COBRA" committee so everyone knew who was in charge. COBRA. It sounds impressive. It conjures up images of a West Wing style war room.Well it's not. Not many people know, but COBRA stands for Cabinet Office Briefing Room A. It's just a room. I've been in it many times. It's a bit bigger than Cabinet Office Briefing Room B.The Chancellor could have called a committee meeting with the Bank and the FSA at any time - in the Cabinet Office or anywhere else. He could call one today.It does not solve the problem of a lack of leadership.It is clear that much more far reaching reform is needed. So let me today set out some of the institutional reforms that we need to introduce to give Britain a twenty first century financial infrastructure.We clearly need to reform's deposit insurance. Four months ago I wrote to the Chancellor offering the co-operation of the Opposition in doing this - although I have yet to have a reply. Following the run on Northern Rock, the first £35,000 of savings are protected. I think it is sensible to raise that so that we protect at least the first £50,000 of savings - that would cover 95% of all deposits and is equivalent to the $100,000 that is protected in the United States.Alistair Darling needs to make clear what level of deposit insurance he supports - is it the £100,000 he talked about in his interview to the Times newspaper in September?We also need to reform the way the Bank and the FSA supervise the liquidity of individual institutions. There was a clear failure to do this with Northern Rock. And we need to create a new power for the authorities to take control of a bank on the brink of crisis. Intervention could be triggered by breaches of either solvency or liquidity rules. And it would be the logical consequence when the Bank of England chooses to act as lender of last resort, so that taxpayers' interests are safeguarded. Crucially, they must have the freedom to act without pressure from shareholders, to safeguard the interests of creditors, including the taxpayer. This bank rescue power should set out, clearly and in advance, how all parties - shareholders, savers, and other creditors - will be treated.It would be a form of administration with the goal of a private sector solution - a work-out not a run-off. And the power must allow the authorities to free up the deposits of retail customers, as part of a reform of deposit insurance. I proposed this bank rescue power in an article in the Financial Times before Christmas. I am glad that last week in an interview with the same paper the Chancellor agreed with me.But we disagree about who should exercise this power. The Chancellor says it should sit with the Financial Services Authority. I personally believe it is part of the role of a strong and independent Bank of England. There are a number of reasons why. For a start a rescue implies that the principal regulator - the FSA - has probably failed in its prudential supervision. And at a practical level, the Bank is close to the money markets through its day to day provision of liquidity. The FSA has no such daily interaction with the markets. What's more, monetary policy and banking are inextricably linked. That is obvious at moment when you consider that the monetary conditions facing businesses have tightened, because of the credit problems in the banking sector, even though monetary policy has officially loosened. After all, it is banks that create money. M0, the money printed in banknotes by, or held in account at, the Bank of England, is just three per cent of broad money stock. The health of the banking sector has a direct impact on monetary conditions.You cannot separate monetary policy and banking. You cannot keep the Bank of England out of the banking system.The Chancellor's decision to sideline the Bank of England in favour of the FSA fits in with a recent pattern. Whether it is the Treasury's private briefings against Threadneedle Street or the Prime Minister very public dithering over the reappointment of Mervyn King, the Government is undermining the strong and independent Bank of England which the country needs. At a time of great uncertainty in financial markets, this is one bit of uncertainty we could all do with out.So the short term challenge the Government can address is the need to reform our financial oversight institutions, increase deposit insurance and give new powers that reinforce the independence of the Bank of England instead of undermining it. Public FinancesIn the medium term, we must restore the health of the public finances.For in a downturn, tax revenues usually fall and the rate of government spending goes up as welfare costs rise. These so-called automatic stabilisers help to smooth demand in the economy. But the process works in reverse, so revenues automatically rise when the economy is growing above trend.Economic stability demands that you save in the good times so that government can afford to help recovery in the bad times. And after fifteen years of global growth, our public finances should be in a healthy state. Most other countries finances are.But instead both the OECD and the European Commission estimate that we have the largest structural budget deficit in Europe, a deficit that is more the twice the size of the EU average.In boom years, when it would have been prudent to save, this Prime Minister borrowed.In fact over the last five years, he has borrowed over £100 billion more than he originally planned. That's more than we spent on the entire NHS last year.And despite the Government's recent promises of tighter spending controls, despite the months of uncertainty over the economic outlook, borrowing still continues to rise.In March 2006 Gordon Brown said he would borrow £30 billion this financial year. Over the last twenty months that estimate has risen steadily. First it was increased to £34 billion and then £38 billion and now the Institute of Fiscal Studies predicts that borrowing could be £42 billion. And for the coming year the OECD is forecasting that borrowing could reach almost £50 billion.The truth is that, thanks to Gordon Brown's economic incompetence, Britain has run out of money.This is the real reason why, for example, the government is seeking to put some breaks on public sector pay after years of huge increases. Of course, pay restraint is necessary.However, the Prime Minister said in his press conference at the beginning of this week "the single purpose of this [restraint] is keeping inflation under control." Prime Minister, that is either wilfully misleading or woefully ignorant.It harks back to the failed logic of the pay policies of the 1970s. Of course controlling inflation is crucial for maintaining economic stability. And I note that inflation is higher now than when Gordon Brown entered the Treasury. But the contribution of the pay rounds of the 20% of the workforce who are in the public sector is tiny compared to energy and food prices, or the rising costs of imports from China, or the impact of a falling pound.Yesterday Capital Economic argued that the inflationary risk "is fairly limited. They conclude: "the truth is that [the Government] simply does not have the money to give away."So let's try and get some economic literacy into the debate. The reason why Gordon Brown is giving public servants pay rises below the cost of living is because he hasn't got any money spare despite fifteen years of growth.So with little room for manoeuvre, with no money put aside for a rainy day, what is the solution?Well as the old adage goes: the time to fix the roof is when the sun's shining.Savage spending cuts now to deal with the budget deficit would not make economic sense.It's too late to make sure that the public finances are properly prepared for this coming downturn - and Gordon Brown must face the consequences for that failure. In the medium term, we can all now see the benefits of our policy of sharing the proceeds of growth so that government spending will grow more slowly than the economy over an economic cycle.By spending within our means - after a decade of doing the opposite - the public finances will in time be returned to health as government revenues grow more quickly than government spending.We must also ensure that the economic incompetence of a Chancellor never again leaves the British economy in such a vulnerable position. Never again should we be able to borrow in the boom.Of course, the situation we find ourselves in is exactly the fiscal rules trumpeted by Gordon Brown when he was doing my job were meant to prevent. They have clearly failed.We have already seen that when the golden rule started to bite, the then Chancellor was able to move both the start and end dates of the economic cycle in order to buy more room for manoeuvre. It was like making the defendant the judge and jury in their own trial. As a result the fiscal rules have failed to ensure prudent fiscal management.Gordon Brown said last weekend that serious academics support his use of the golden rule. In fact, the exact opposite is true. No serious economic commentator now uses them as an indicator of the health of the public finances.That is why I have pledged that we will hand the dating of the economic cycle and the verification of fiscal rules to an independent body - so that credibility is restored.Chancellors will no longer be judge and jury of the very rules that are meant to constrain them. It is a key part, along with and independent Bank and independent statistics, of the triple lock on economic stability that David Cameron and I set out more than two years ago.For by restoring trust in the fiscal framework we will ensure that never again will a Chancellor be able to borrow in a boom and leave our economy so exposed to a downturn. Supply sideNot only must we prepare the economy with immediate reform of our banking institutions and restore the health of the public finances over the medium term, but we also need to make the long term changes that will make our economy stronger, more flexible and more competitive.A competitive economy is far better prepared to weather a storm than an inflexible and uncompetitive one.Alan Greenspan puts it: "if we cannot forecast these bubbles or these expansions or even a standard old-fashioned recession, which we can't, it is important that we have a flexible system so that it absorbs the adjustment."Over the last decade the evidence of our increasing inflexibility has been overwhelming.Gordon Brown's employment legislation; his £56 billion of additional regulations; his failure to provide the skills and supply the infrastructure we need have each in turn made Britain's economy less flexible. That's before the effects of Alistair Darling's proposed tax rise on entrepreneurs.And the result?Our productivity growth- what Gordon Brown rightly called the "fundamental yardstick" of economic performance - has fallen while in the US it has almost doubled.Take home pay is down, real living standards have fallen, the tax burden is up, and business investment is down. We have fallen down every league table of competitivenessWhile a benign global economy shielded Britain from the malign influence of the Brown Treasury, like rocks under a falling tide, the problems are now emerging all too clearly.In the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher's programme of deregulation and business tax reductions freed Britain to compete. She liberated the supply side and let demand follow.We have been living off the benefits of that revolution. But a supply side revolution is not just a one-off that happened twenty years ago. To compete in the new global economy, we need constant reform to attract business from abroad and help domestic companies to grow.Recent visits to Eastern Europe, Ireland, India and China have reinforced my belief that we need a second supply side revolution to once again catch up, build the environment for enterprise, and become the best place to do business in the world.We have put forward a radical programme of school and welfare reform, because improving skills and ending dependency are crucial economic tasks in the modern world. The report of our Economic Policy group last year set out proposals for far-reaching deregulation.The independent Tax Reform Commission I established showed how we can simplify our business taxes, and we are working with PWC and Grant Thornton on how we achieve that.These are the long term reforms to our economy that we will make and I will want to be judged on. My ambition is nothing less than to make Britain the most competitive major economy in the world so that the benefits of globalisation are felt by every citizen, and we see living standards in our country rise not fall.That, in the end, is the best defence against adversity and instability.ConclusionTwo years ago David Cameron and I put economic stability right at the core of conservative economic policy, above all else. There were some who attacked us for it. I believe that recent events have totally vindicated our decision to put stability first.But stability means more than reciting a mantra. It means a financial oversight regime that works. It means a strong and independent Bank of England. It means not borrowing in a boom. It means long term reforms to make our economy competitive. It means using the fat years to prepare for the lean years.Gordon Brown has failed to prepare. That is economic incompetence. And now we must face the consequences