29 July 2013

Ukraine & Europe - The Final Decision - November 2013

Chatam House (The independent Think Tank) in the UK has just released a report on the Ukraine and EU situation regarding the potential Association Agreement.

For a state that has defined itself as European since obtaining independence,
Ukraine has had an unusually frustrating relationship with the EU. At the root
of this frustration lies a cognitive dissonance that has never been fully
overcome. To the most principled Ukrainian proponents of EU integration,
Europe (and hence the EU) is an ethno-cultural, Greco-Roman and Christian
civilization – and Ukraine is organically a part of this, despite its Soviet past,
its self-aggrandizing political class and its decidedly uncivic state. To the
more opportunistic and ‘pragmatic’ part of the spectrum, the EU is a source of
wealth and markets. To almost everyone, the EU is also a geopolitical project
offering, for good or ill, an escape from the country’s historical dependency
upon Russia. In this conversation, far less attention is paid to the way the EU
actually perceives itself: as an increasingly multi-cultural entity defined by
values, standards and the harmonization of institutions. The technocratic
biases of EU elites and the dry nature of the integration process do not assist
clarity in this regard. Nor do real divisions within the EU-28 about Ukraine’s
significance and potential.

Download the full report here:

21 July 2013

Health is the most important thing in your life

Its an old adage but true, without good health what is the point of anything else in your life.
Only yesterday the public discovered after the death of the famous British comedy actor Mel Smith that he was addicted to Nurofen Plus tablets and taking around 50 per day. Plus he had Gout which spread from his feet to his wrists and caused excruciating pain. He died of a heart attack at the young age of 60.
Although he was a very rich man he could not buy good health.

During the past few months I have experienced very bad health. With two problems connected to the heart and lungs (Pulminary Embolism) and a cancer scare which was later to be diagnosed as a virus infection. But one thing for sure. During this time of ill health I was not capable of performing the 'normal' functions of everyday life and it seriously effected my business activities. But thanks to God life is getting back to normal now.