Meetings: 1st Wednesday 10.00am
Where: URC Ground floor meeting room, Elm Lane, Havant PO9 1PP
Contact: Martin Owen by telephone on 023 9247 7196 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Because of Covid 19 the Current Affairs Group has now moved to the virtual world. Our first ‘Zoom’ meeting was on Wednesday 7th October followed by the latest on November 4th where we discussed:
Could the latest Covid Lockdown have been avoided?
Would negative interest rates be a good or bad thing?
Will the Brexit trade talks fail, or will we end up with a last-minute fudge?
Free meals for starving children. Parent's or the government's responsibility?
USA election. Canvassing tactics. The result. The implications for the UK.
The Immigrant boat invasion. What can or should be done?
There are members without the facilities to Zoom. Some are wary of downloading new software/apps from the web whilst others are concerned about the loss of emotion and personality on screen. Post Covid we expect to return to conventional face to face meetings where we meet the first Wednesday of the month at 10 o’clock in the URC cafe for pre-meeting coffee and biscuits before adjourning to one of the meeting rooms. Following a lively debate, we depart at 12 o’clock when we leave in good spirits having got a few things off our chest but realising that there are many wrongs in the world which we cannot influence or change but hopefully can better understand.
We are a mixed sample from the Havant U3A coming from diverse backgrounds bringing our individual and lifetimes experience from the worlds of local government, education, travel, several branches of engineering and most importantly we enjoy discussing current affairs in a friendly environment. There are usually 10 to 12 members so typically there would be over 500 years of knowledge and experience applied to the problems of the day. At times tongue in cheek when the politics seem to get in the way of common sense.
Reflecting on past years what do we have to show for all our deliberations? A few examples (not always unanimous). Hinkley Point nuclear power station should not go ahead since the design is unproven and the costs prohibitive and likely to grow. More, smaller Thorium reactors should be considered. HS2 another enormously expensive grandiose project offering limited benefits. It is almost certain to be late and overspent. Better to spend the money on improving the existing track and infrastructure to increase capacity. London Airport Expansion prevarication. We wanted to see a decision asap. (Perhaps with hindsight, further delay gives an opportunity to review the effect of Covid 19 and the ramifications of mass air travel). Either way at least complete whatever is agreed. The NHS needs reform with strong inspired leadership to increase efficiency (Again Covid 19 has shown very clearly where the strengths are and where more finance may be necessary). It was agreed the local house building programme should be accompanied by a sufficient increase in services and infrastructure. Nationally care should be taken to add affordable housing in areas of second homes etc.
As the older generation some of us are familiar with social media, some less so, but it has a great impact on our young people. It is now a major part of all areas of communication and it is an area we undoubtedly will return to.
New members are always welcome, please let Martin know if you would like to join a meeting.