GEO-POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS - 1- East Molesey - a group meeting fortnightly on Tuesdays 2.30 – 4 p.m. to improve understanding of global events and geo-politics outside the UK, discussing news/events from the media about countries other than the UK and USA. Active participation is desirable.
GEO-POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS - 2- East Molesey - every other Friday, 10.00 to 12:00
The focus of the two groups is “What is happening in the world outside mainstream UK and US politics”.
It is said that travel is the best form of education and I have been lucky to travel widely. This has developed my interest and curiosity about other countries. After retiring from full time work, I decided to set up a group to promote and encourage a wider look at what is going on in the world and why it is happening. After all, are we all not prisoners of our geography and of our history?
94% of the world population (some 7 billion people) live outside the UK and USA. Naturally our news media concentrates on the UK events, but we have, in my opinion, an over-exposure of news stories about the USA. We know more about gun laws in the USA or Obama-care than we know about, say, healthcare in any European country. We know more about US elections and constitution than we know about that of any European country or even the workings of EU. Maybe this bias has contributed to our lack of enthusiasm or understanding for Europe and the EU project? Maybe it is simply (and cheaper) as US news does not need translating?
We live in interesting times. We have on-going topics such as the impact of the rise of China, the aggression of Russia, turmoil in parts of the Middle East, migration, climate change and even western liberal democracy and the institutions established after WW2 are under threat. There is also humour out there if you look for it! I know we have our challenges in the UK, but if you look around, all countries are faced with their own major issues! So, we are not alone, it is just their problems are different!
As to format of the meetings, I facilitate, with no agenda. The aim is for members to talk about events, ideas or places which have interested them and which they have researched, and then for us to then discuss these. On a weekly basis I email a variety of articles from the news I think may be of interest, although there is no obligation to read or use these.
There is within the Elmbridge U3A Geopolitics groups a pool of enormous knowledge and experience. Everyone in the groups benefits from this and I hope that this encourages us all to look at the wider world.
Finally, a big thank you to all the group members for making the group so interesting and stimulating.