Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections (and THAT referendum)

Archive for the category “Citizenship”

Boris’s Dictionary: Brefugee

Every prospective emperor, has to give the appearance of having “the common touch”. In view of the restricted background of our likely new emperor, I offer him a dictionary in the hope that studying it will help him understand the people he wishes to rule.

Brefugee (1) noun:

British economic migrants sheltering from the folly of Brexit in the EU.We used to be called Brexpats but now Brefugees is more appropriate

Read more…
Advertisements

D Day: “Don’t Call Me a Hero”

Watching the commemorations of D-Day, 75 years ago, I am struck by the numbers of veterans who say “Don’t Call Me A Hero”; those that died are the real heros.” With the deepest respect, I beg to differ.

Read more…

Will Democracy ever work for me?

Yes, I mean me personally. I got the vote in the mid 1970’s and democracy has never worked for me (talking UK). My vote has never made a difference and I have always been told that I must accept the “democratic will of the people”.

So I have, over and over and over again. Read more…

Post “The Day” Reflections

Ok, I think it’s a disaster and I am livid at what I see as the way both campaigns – but particularly Leave’s – were run. (Remain was inept, but Leave at times seemed deliberately devious.) If I had been active in the campaign I would also be feeling sore.
But the deed is done and we have to accept the result even if we can’t respect it. But there are a number of issues that bear closer examination.

Read more…

Laziness and Populism

There is a strand in British politics – probably much approved of by the Pub Landlord – that says that by resorting to simplistic slogans, that have just a germ of truth to them, you can attract much approval and support.

Our Prime Minster seems to be especially good at this; I hope it is a character flaw rather than as a result of his expensive education.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Cameron said the push on language was “about building a more integrated, cohesive, one nation country where there’s genuine opportunity for people”.

He also said that while he accepted there was no “causal connection” between poor English and extremism, a better grasp would make communities “more resilient” to threats of radicalisation from so-called Islamic State – or Daesh.

“If you’re not able to speak English, you’re not able to integrate, you may find, therefore, that you have challenges understanding what your identity is and you could be more susceptible to the extremist message that comes from Daesh,” he said.

Lady Warsi – who was the first female Muslim cabinet minister – welcomed the new money for language teaching, but said: “This lazy and misguided linking, and what I saw once again as stereotyping of British Muslim communities, I felt took away from what was a positive announcement.”
BBC News Website, 18 January 2016 : David Cameron’s Muslim women policy ‘lazy and misguided’

We need to be more (academically) critical of some of these pronouncements. Read more…

England’s Confused Nationalism (1. Sport and Athems)

During the Summer of 2014 Democratic Audit ran a series of posts about the (English) National Anthem in response to Roy Hodgson’s call for England players to sing the National Anthem at the World Cup (An Association Football Championship, m’lud).

The issue of course is that the Anthem in question is “God Save the Queen” – one of the hardest working Anthems in the songbook as it fills the following roles:

  • National Anthem for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Salute for the Head of State of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (and other Realms)
  • Default Anthem for some (not all) England sporting teams (most notably the Association Football and Rugby Union Teams)

I have always found this odd, reflecting the confused national identity of England and indeed the United Kingdom. Given that the Scots (or more accurately, those in Scotland) have had a thorough examination of their national identity, perhaps England may reflect on its sporting identity as a preliminary warm-up to a more thorough review.

In the new year (2016) Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins intends to bring his English National Anthem Bill to Parliament on 13 January.

Read more…

Donald J Trump is unhinged

Republican presidential rival Lindsey Graham, said: “What has been in the past absurd and hateful has turned dangerous. .. Donald Trump today took xenophobia and religious bigotry to a new level.” …

Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said Trump’s proposed ban [on Muslims entering the US] would apply to “everybody”, including Muslims seeking immigration visas as well as tourists seeking to enter the country. Another Trump staffer confirmed that the ban would also apply to American Muslims who were currently overseas – presumably including members of the military and diplomatic service.
The Guardian 8 December 2015 : Donald Trump: ban all Muslims entering US

What has provoked this – as if this “man” works on reason? Read more…

Agnostics, Atheists and Republicans in Parliament and at Church for National Commemorations

We used to discriminate heavily against non-Anglicans. We have changed the rules about requiring people to swear Oaths (before God) before gaining Probate, giving Evidence in Court, or taking a seat in the Houses of Parliament.

The playing (and singing) of the National Anthem at the end of a Cinema Screening or Theatrical Performance has almost totally dropped out of practice. Most of us still stand for the national anthem – but do not sing it.

Except in church where it normally sung.

So what happens if you are agnostic (or even atheist) and believe that our head of state should be elected – and you are elected to the sort of office where you are expected to attend national commemorations that have a religious element – lead by the established Church of England? (A possible problem for other Faiths as well?) Read more…

Volunteers – In a Pickle

The Conservatives’ latest whimper from their Big Society study group – or what ever it is that thinks up these ideas – would be worrying if it was not so contradictory.

Under the Conservatives’ volunteering plans, a new law would be passed requiring public sector employers and companies with more than 250 employees to give staff up to three days a year to do voluntary work.

Employers would cover the cost.
BBC News Website 10 April 2015 : Election 2015: Cameron pledges ‘paid volunteering leave’

This is deeply “unconservative” and rather undermines the idea of people “giving their time to good causes”. Read more…

Surveying Muslims – so what

The survey published by the BBC today (25 February 2015) about “Muslim attitudes” should be unremarkable and yet the coverage (for instance the Today programme on Radio 4) seems to want to portray the results as alarmist.

So what are some of the headlines of the survey? Read more…

Post Navigation