Outside the marginals

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

Archive for the tag “borders”

Identity post Brexit

The recent vote to leave the EU has had me pondering my identity and how this may guide me in the next few, possibly turbulent, years.

The late Charles Kennedy, used to say

he was “a Highlander, a Scot, a Briton and a European”, in that order.
West Highland Free Press, 5 June 2015 | “The brightest and the best of men”

Following that model I should be “a Southerner, English, British and European”, in that order; but I don’t feel I am. Read more…

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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…

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…

Scottish Independence

From “south of the border” (just) this issue seems to be becoming a bit of a mess. I don’t have a vote (despite Scottish roots) and do not envy those who do. The line between agreed facts and asserted aspirations seems to be very blurred. Perhaps this is inevitable as this is not an agreed “divorce” (c.f. the Velvet Divorce of the Czech Republic and Slovakia).

The vote is to leave the UK – “to be independent”, if the vote was that the UK be split, that would be different, but then everyone within the UK should have a vote.

There are implications – whatever the question – for the rest of the UK. Read more…

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