January 08, 2020
As a passionate and committed non-candidate for the Labour party leadership, I have received many calls for support from those putting themselves forward. I want to wait till I have heard from the members of Newcastle Central constituency Labour party at our meeting this Friday to make any decision, but after several conversations and the first leadership hustings I am beginning to form a clearer picture of what I believe the Labour party needs to look for over the next three months.
Labour Only Wins When We’re United. Here’s What We Need From The Next Leader
Our leaders need to be unifiers. Our party has not been well-served by well meaning people whose instinct has been to either withhold support from leadership they personally might not have chosen, or to seek to drive from the party voices they might not agree with. Our party has always included those to the left and right of each other, and we have always sought to represent the working people of our country in all of our vast diversity. But we only win when we are unified as a party – and we need leadership that can make that unity real.Related... Keir Starmer Surges Into First Place On MPs' Nominations For Labour Leadership Long Bailey Struggles To Convince MPs At First Hustings Our leadership needs to reflect the diversity of our party and our country.  Frankly it’s embarrassing that the Tories have had two women leaders and the Labour party has had none. I will vote for the best candidates regardless, but I will also enthusiastically support BAME and women candidates that are suited on substance to be our party’s leaders.
Our leaders need to support structural economic change. We have a profoundly unequal society – where wealth, power, and opportunity are concentrated by class, race and geography.  We need a fairer tax system and improved investment in education and skills, but taxes and training alone will not fix what is wrong. We need leadership that is committed to changing patterns of capital investment and increasing worker bargaining power. As automation pushes out the routine and mundane, the true means of production are the creativity and skills of working people, they need to have power over these as wealth creators in their own right, not the beneficiaries of Whitehall largesse. Our leaders and the team they put together need to be rooted in our communities, their experiences and their values.Our leaders need to support an economic strategy that helps British business succeed, one that is forward looking to enable it to be more innovative and more productive. As a practical matter this means both a commitment to economic integration with Europe and a Green Industrial Revolution. Unfortunately, in the last election generalised rhetoric around nationalisation and “taking on the bosses” overwhelmed sensible policy goals that would have benefited business such as universal broadband access and increased R&D spend. So we need leaders who understand British business as a partner and as a key beneficiary of Labour policies.    
Our leaders and the team they put together need to be rooted in our communities, their experiences and their values. We should be proud of our 2019 manifesto in its comprehensiveness and eagerness for large scale change. But too often it was more of an expression of the idealism of its drafters than the experiences, priorities and values of working people as a whole. This problem was compounded by a campaign that seemed unable to bring the party clearly in line with the values of those whose trust we sought – whether by acting decisively to deal with anti-Semitism or by clearly supporting important British (and Northern) institutions such as the armed forces.
Finally, it is not essential but it would be helpful if our leaders had a sense of humour. We don’t want a stand up comedian or negative or demeaning sniping, but the ability to make people laugh positively can get you a much-needed hearing at a time when politicians are often distrusted by default. 
My criteria may not be everyone’s and they certainly do not reflect a particular “wing” of the party. But they are, I believe, absolutely necessary if Labour is to win back the voters we lost in the North East and be seen by voters generally as a credible governing party, one capable of winning the trust of the British people and the honour and challenge of Government.
Chi Onwurah is Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central.Related... Keir Starmer Surges Into First Place On MPs' Nominations For Labour Leadership Jeremy Corbyn Was '10 Out Of 10' As Labour Leader, Says Rebecca Long Bailey Long Bailey Struggles To Convince MPs At First Hustings Where Is Boris Johnson? Running The Country Like He Ran London
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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