Sunday, February 28, 2010

This week

It has been quite busy since I last posted, and there is still plenty of homework to do for next week.

Monday, some of us met a delegation of Somali Ministers. I asked them whether their 'government controlled more than 20% of the territory of south and central Somalia, ie excluding Somaliland and Puntland, and they just waffled. Similarly, I got no answer to the question of whether they would recognise Somaliland as an independent state.

A Reuters report today says that

'The insurgents [al-Shabaab]control most of the south of the drought-ravaged country, where fighting between the rebels and government troops, has worsened one of the world's most acute humanitarian crisis'.

Al-Shabaab has ordered the World Food Programme to leave the country, but WFP says it will carry on as long as its safe for their staff to remain.

Tuesday I attended a seminar by former President Musharraf of Pakistan. He said he was actively considering a return to politics, and I think many people in Pakistan would welcome him with open arms.

Wednesday morning, my EU Subcommittee met to consider a first draft of the report on our current inquiry, into the protection of Europe against large scale cyber attacks. What will the Tories, who are veering towards an anti-European stance, say about collective action of this kind? In the afternoon, a meeting to plan our tactics for Report stage of the Equality Bill, which begins on Tuesday.

This evening I went to a dinner in Tooting for our prospective LibDem Parliamentary candidate, Nasser Butt. Its an interesting challenge, with the Labour majority down from 17,000 to 5,000 at the 2005 election, when our campaign wasn't very strong. Nasser has proved himself as an activist in previous elections, and should do very wellhere.

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