First cheque to Emmaus Cambridge

cheque giving to emmausI was delighted yesterday to hand over a cheque for £250 to an Emmaus companion in Cambridge.  The money was raised from this years entries to our short story competition (and also by the art competition arranged by Cambridge International Arts).

I always enjoy spending time at Emmaus – this time I was not buying furniture, but talking to Diane Docherty over a cup of tea about how the social enterprise works.  We very much look forward to the launch of our book of short stories at the site in October, and writing more cheques for our charity of the year!


Mission Accomplished! Iraqi Media at the House of Commons

Haider Al Safi
photo by Lily al Tai

Yesterday we were delighted to help author Dr Haider Al Safi celebrate the completion of his PhD and the publishing of “Iraqi Media: From Sadam’s Propaganda to American State-Building”.  Askance chose the 1st May to coincide with the tenth anniversary of Bush’s famous “mission accomplished” speech delivered on a US war ship to a mass of cheering American troops.  At the book launch a former Iraqi Ambassador called the US invasion a tsunami that did nothing to “build” Iraq.  Another Iraqi gave a first hand account of how the Pentagon squandered millions with ill-thought-out and dubious media contracts.  We learned that even a decade later, as Iraq’s current sectarian crisis impacts media channels – for Iraqi media – it is far from “mission accomplished”.

Yesterday on Twitter @LOLGOP tweeted: They should unveil George W. Bush’s Library 8 years before it’s done. #MissionAccomplished.  To which @hazzardeuce replied: They should tell people there are books, but after searching, there won’t be any. Askance likes the book analogy very much, but unlike Bush, we feel genuine in our claim (in so far as publishing the work and organising a great event) that it really was Mission Accomplished.

Askance would like to thank everyone that attended – in particular those that travelled from far, and those who contributed to the discussions by sharing their first hand experience.  A special thank you to Lord Ahmed and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Conflict Issues for supporting the event at the Houses of Parliament and to DJ Wiseman for his hours of painstaking proof-reading and editing – without him it wouldn’t have happened.

Askance blogging

This space is for writers who want to share their words on the Askance platform.  We are interested in relevant art and book reviews, and articles about publishing and writing.  We cannot make payment for anything written, but we can share it with a wide network.  Articles not much longer than 500 words are better.  Images are good too (we especially like black and white ones).  Please submit full proof-read articles to Askance for consideration.

We are specifically seeking reviews for the Cambridge wide “Text & Context” exhibition taking place in October 2012.  Please visit the website at for more information.