About Me

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I never wanted to be a fitter and I didn’t even know what a fitter was or did, until it was too late. The story of how I came to be one can be seen on my website: www.calvertonfitter.com After 45 years in industry working on such diverse things as aeroplanes and textile machinery I thought it would be a good idea to start a blog and to share some of the things that I've seen and done. Some of the posts are funny and some are sad. Some are political and some are about racism. Hopefully you will find them all interesting, and even entertaining!

My Favourite Posts

Some of MY favourite posts include: The Congo, Deltic (3 posts), On the Buses, The Bus Drivers Story, Classical Music and Sherry, Working in Karachi 1988, Going to Karachi 1988 (hilarious), Broken Mug, Tilbury (4 posts).

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

The Congo

I was very deflated to see the latest problem developing in the DRCongo with the invasion of Tutsi forces from Rwanda. Many people of course will dismiss it as just another demonstration of incompetent Africans mismanaging their affairs. Flippancy and cynicism towards most political problems is widespread so its not surprising that it should manifest itself towards the complex issues effecting Africa.
I recently read Tim Butchers book ‘Blood River’ which describes his recent journey down the River Congo. As the Africa correspondent for the Daily Telegraph he was emulating the journey of H. M. Stanley (Dr Livingstone I presume) who was also a Telegraph reporter at the time.
Tim did his homework and the book is full of the history of the area from the good, bad and ugly of the Belgium era to the modern problems of Rwanda and how they have impacted on the Congo. The area is rich in mineral wealth but the lack of an infrastructure, a corrupt military, civil service and political structure propped up by foreign companies and governments ensure that the area is a honey pot for others to dip their sticky fingers in.
No, I don’t know a solution to the problems other than to paint with a broad brush a scenario where the countries wealth is used for the benefit of the areas people. This in turn implies secure borders, the end of corruption and the sovereignty of the Congo.
This sounds like I’m actually proposing a solution but Tim’s book shows that that these proposals probably represent a challenge that no country or group of countries, given a commitment which they currently don’t have, could resolve in the short term. So the sooner the commitment and effort are made the better.

I've just reread this and decided I'm glad I'm not a politition.

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