Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Archive for the category “Human Rights”

Theresa’s Dictionary: Brexit

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

Brexit

Read more…

Advertisements

Gideon, I’m so proud of you

UK Chancellor George Osborne has been praised by Chinese state media for focusing on business ahead of human rights during his visit to Xinjiang.

The Global Times said he was “the first Western official in recent years who focused on business potential rather than raising a magnifying glass to the ‘human rights issue'”.

Mr Osborne has spent the past five days in China to boost trade links.

He has said he raised human rights privately during his visit.
BBC News Website 25 September 2015 : Osborne praised for ‘not stressing human rights’ in China

I mean money trumps everything, doesn’t it? Read more…

Mindsets: Borders

Everyone seems to be talking about “the migrant crisis” with consecutive “special” programmes tonight on BBC1 (Desperate Journeys: Europe’s Migrant Crisis) and on ITV1 (Breaking into Britain: Tonight). A picture of a dead Syrian child being recovered from the beaches of Turkey seem to have brought about a reverse of Cameron policy (not sure if Osborne has U-turned as well).

We seem to lack a coherent approach to a number of mixed issues;

Globally:

  • the crises in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and people fleeing for their lives;
  • poverty in parts of the world leading people to migrate for a better life;
  • people smugglers;

Parochially:

  • a chaotic approach to planning public services in the UK;
  • a toxic relationship between the current British Government and Europe;
  • (very parochially) fear of UKIP undermining Conservative support.

One of the issue is that in respect of “borders” there are multiple mindsets. Read more…

Migrant Miopia; Cuts and Fences

… the Home Office said support could end for failed asylum-seekers, to discourage illegal migration.

Bolstered security measures planned for around the French end of the Channel Tunnel, which include more CCTV surveillance, French police reinforcements and extra fencing, were agreed in a phone call between Prime Minister David Cameron and President Francois Hollande on Friday.
BBC News Website 2 August 2015 : Calais migrant crisis: UK and France urge EU action

And Cameron really thinks that a poor potential economic migrant in Sudan or a terrified potential asylum seeker in Syria will really be “discouraged” by such steps? Read more…

EFF: Censoring the Web Isn’t the Solution to Terrorism or Counterfeiting. It’s the Problem.

From Electronic Frontier Foundation 25 November 2014 Jeremy Malcolm (© Creative Commons Attribution License)

In politics, as with Internet memes, ideas don’t spread because they are good—they spread because they are good at spreading. One of the most virulent ideas in Internet regulation in recent years has been the idea that if a social problem manifests on the Web, the best thing that you can do to address that problem is to censor the Web.

It’s an attractive idea because if you don’t think too hard, it appears to be a political no-brainer. It allows governments to avoid addressing the underlying social problem—a long and costly process—and instead simply pass the buck to Internet providers, who can quickly make whatever content has raised rankles “go away.” Problem solved! Except, of course, that it isn’t.

Read more…

I’m thinking what he’s thinking!

Today I find myself agreeing with Lord Howard – the former Conservative Leader, Michael Howard – possibly best remembered for his election slogan “Are you thinking what we are thinking?” – which was met with a resounding “No”.

He has shot back at the mayor of Calais – who has been complaining about the lack of action by the UK to stem the numbers of migrants loitering around that town waiting for a chance to sneak into the UK.

For someone who dislikes the whole tone of the Conservatives’ attitude to foreigners, finding myself agreeing with a politician whose politics are drier than Tio Pepe, is a little disconcerting. Read more…

Anachronisms – windmills for political bigots

something or someone that is not in its correct historical or chronological time, especially a thing or person that belongs to an earlier time
Dictionary.com : Anachronism

If you hear a politician saying “it’s anachronism – it should be abolished”, beware the political zealot. Read more…

Values Outfoxed by practicalities

In choosing a week to bury excruciating news, the Liberal Democrats have excelled at an ugly art. Westminster slumbers in recess, voters are on holiday or reeling from the latest horrors of Isis – and Nick Clegg tersely announces Lord Rennard has been reinstated as a party member, all disciplinary action miraculously evaporated.
The Guardian 21 August 2014 : Lord Rennard’s return to the Lib Dem fold caps a sorry saga of mistakes

It’s a typical bind that a party like the Lib Dems would get caught up in. In holding them up for criticism and ridicule, a part of me feels sorry for the injured little critters.

Read more…

Respect!

Foreign Office minister Baroness Warsi has resigned from the government, saying its policy on the crisis in Gaza is “morally indefensible”.
BBC 5 August 2014 : Baroness Warsi quits as Foreign Office minister over Gaza

Respect! Read more…

Globalisation and insecurity

Recent events have highlighted what a connected world we live in. Current orthodoxy seems to be to accept free trade and globalisation either as a force that cannot be resisted or as a “good thing”. Dissident views seem to be isolationist.

Whilst I see some interconnection as a good and useful thing, too much connectedness can hamper us – as we see in European nations’ reluctance to take action against Russia in protest against the situation in Ukraine. Most European nations seem to be convinced that Russia’s soviet ambitions are behind the Ukrainian unrest (and the “apparent” shooting down of the Malaysian Airliner). However they also know where their energy supplies come from. So they are rendered supine – huffing and puffing but not doing a lot.

We need to be more discerning about our alliances and who we associate with and who we do business with. Globalisation can lead to insecurity at the national level as well as at the individual level. Read more…

Post Navigation