Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Egypt's shame---who is silent over this attack on freedom of the press? Is there a 'bigger target?'

The people of Egypt poured into eh streets during the Egyptian Spring, their hearts full of hope for a better future, one in which they could express themselves and be free from state sponsored tyranny. We saw the demise of the Mubarak regime, then this was followed by an elected Government, comprised mainly of the Muslim Brotherhood. It seemed that this Government was going down the same road as its predecessor, so the people came out onto the streets again, only this time the army intervened and it looked for a while that stability and at least a 'nod' towards freedom was going to be achieved.
Alas, this did not happen and now we have the spectre of a Government at war with its people and basic human rights being consigned to the rubbish bins of lost dreams. We also see an attack on the freedom of journalists to report the news, and their subsequent arrest and court appearances. Of course such practices are not limited to Egypt. One only has to look at Turkey to see the same actions, on  the part of the state.
The Aljazeera journalists who have been sentenced to a seven year prison term under the pretext that they were supporting the Muslim Brotherhood is shear rubbish and that the Government is 'leaving it to the judiciary,' only exemplifies the fact that the judiciary has got things very wrong.
The USA suspended military aid for a while but then we hear that they have released the half billion dollars while at the same time, criticising Egypt for its actions. Other western countries and some Asian, have made their positions clear. What is not so obvious are the voices of discontent from other major nations, including most of Africa, China and of course Russia, because they too have policies that detract from the freedom of the press.
The UN has been critical of Egypt as has the EU, but not the afore mentioned countries. OK, we can see the reason for that---they do not allow or value freedom of the press, but the family of nations who do---should unite and pressure Egypt and hold back on giving aid: humanitarian, military or any form of cultural exchange, until Egypt releases the journalists. It would be na├»ve of me to assume that Egypt will make any real changes to improving the freedom of reporting the news, but at least we can influence the fate of the 'three.'
To be consistent, we need to extend sanctions on all countries who flout that most basic of freedoms relating to the press, but that is not going to happen because economic concerns overrule human rights in the bigger picture.
In writing this blog I am acutely aware of the double standards re the issues I have raised. Basic human rights are trodden on in most of the world and little is done to bring that to an end.
THUS---this is a very strange blog in that the writer is almost saying that he is uncomfortable with his stance---Egypt is an easy target because that country has little influence on the world economy, apart from its strategic position in the Middle-East.
Let therefore the anger that is being fired at Egypt, take a wider target and let the fight for freedom of the right to report the news be expanded along with the far bigger issues of poverty and----get the picture? There are many battles to be won, so we find targets that are more accessible and easier to hit! Egypt---you are the target of choice at the moment.

Become a follower.

Follow your dreams, follow a recipe and many other forms of 'following' are possible. Become a follower of my blogs and you will get an automatic notification when I post a blog. You already know the many issues I write about and that is not about to stop. I need followers in order to take on the big 'boys and girls' in the world of writing and publishing. Sure, this is also all about getting my books 'out there.' I amke no apology for that stance, because if I did, it would be tantamount to shooting myslef in the fott--SO   you know what to do----become a follower and boost my posts and help me to actually make some sales. Things are happening for me and I am happpy to share my journey in the 'school of hard knocks' re the self-publishing experiment.

Self-publishing--a tale of the 'F's'

Anyone who has ever self-published a book would know that the process is one fraught with the ‘F’ words: namely feeling ‘fascinated and frustrated.’ No doubt a few other F words would have been uttered too from time to time, unless one has a hold on permanent sanity!
I have found that I have learned a great deal in the last four years, from that time when I first looked over the entrance to the Manukau harbour and out of the blue decided to write a book, a fictional account of the events surrounding the wrecking of the Orpheus, in 1863. That book was written; indeed it began a few days later. It became a massive book and I have still to do the final ‘bits’ to enable me to publish it, but it keeps getting out back.
‘Fascinating’ as that process has been, something always comes up to prevent me from jumping off the deep end and spending huge amounts of money to get the book ‘right.’ There is the second ‘F.’ I have been constantly ‘Frustrated’ buy the effort involved, the expense, the mistakes, the stupidity and naivety involved when one tries to do it on your own. So many factors intervened to stop me from getting my current books out there. There were issues with the agents I used at the beginning to help me get published. I won’t go into those now, but they were costly for little or no return.
It was only when I made contact with ‘professionals,’ that things began to change. It is paramount that you bring aboard a ‘good’ editor, a book designer and go the extra mile to have a creative cover along with many proofreading stages. There is nothing worse than thinking you have got the book ‘just right,’ only to find yet another plethora of errors, some only tiny ones, but they all add up to the overall enjoyment on the part of the reader. One also needs a publicist and a person who does digital stuff and now I have all of those people. They are all excel in their particular area of expertise.
That has been done now for ROSKILL, but not for the other two books, so they will go back to the ‘drawing board,’ if I decide that I want to sink yet more money into the project. That is debatable for me at this stage.
Now, looking back, it feels like something is about to happen. Roskill is on Amazon and is available as a hard-copy version or as a download onto Kindle or other reading AP. Indeed of you buy the hard-copy, you get a free download. I shall keep pushing the book and will attend various functions to help get it out there. Hopefully having the publicist on board will help to move things too.
Are you considering self-publishing? You may have much more success than me, because you do the homework first. It will cost money and unless you are one of the lucky few who manage to get a publishing ‘house’ on board, then be prepared for a long journey. I do wish you all the success in your venture.