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We need a new human right – to protect our freedom to live without threat from the skies

January 3, 2019

https://theconversation.com/amp/we-need-a-new-human-right-to-protect-our-freedom-to-live-without-threat-from-the-skies-104495

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Grexit: every man for themselves.

June 17, 2015
Best of a bad bunch?

Best of a bad bunch?

Britain is now stepping up its preparations for ‘Grexit’ following a stark warning from the Bank of Greece.
(or pretending it hasn’t been doing this for years anyway…)
The Athens stock market has stooped to its lowest since before September 2012 and Alexis Tsipras is looking weaker than ever. You gotta admire a man who fights for something he believes in.

What happens now?

There are 2 main options being touted around by various economists, politicians and the regular man propping up the bar.

Grexit becomes a reality. Already described as something which would make Greece in to a poor country of the European South the future is looking bleak.

Negotiations.  Because we haven’t had enough…

The serious economic risks that now face the European Union are enormous and the exit of Greece should not be taken lightly. Its the first crack in the framework that highlights so many of the problems that years of hard work have been trying to cover.
The people – what do they do? Although the rest of the European Union will be hit financially, no-one will feel the affects of an exit more than the Greek people. When do things improve for them?

Whatever happens, there is no doubt it will be bad. The best of a bad bunch perhaps?

As stressed by the Chancellor of Austria, Werner Faymann solidarity is important. He also added, “I stand on the side of the Greek people who in this difficult position are being proposed more things detrimental to society.”

I also stand on the side of the Greek people. How can we expect people to make decisions which only make things worse and worse for their country?

Whatever decision is made one thing is certain – the EU is not ready for this.

Read more at:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/47701782.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

All’s fair in love and the EU

May 28, 2015

Headlines across England today all ring true with the same raging warnings – ‘THE UK WILL LEAVE THE EU IF IT DOES NOT GET ITS OWN WAY’.

The relationship has gotten to this. Numerous supporters of a newly single UK are telling the public not to be scared of ‘Brexit’. Will the UK emerge without needing a re-bound relationship, several tubs of ice cream and severe counselling? Time will tell…
Lets be Frank (whoever he even was anyway) it is a good thing that David Cameron is making the effort to visit other European Leaders and trying to negotiate a deal for a country he supposedly loves. But he is just pushing the other side away?

The changes he wants to include are – stopping EU migrants claiming in-work benefits for 4 years, get the UK can opt out from an ever closer union and stopping more changes to the single market for countries outside of the euro zone. Not to mention allowing countries to group together to stop legislative proposals. A far stretch from just asking for the toilet seat to be put down…

Wanting change is good. Starting a conversation is good. But last time I checked no-one ever got anything that wanted by demanding change with a threat to leave. Desperation has never been attractive. 

I disagree with leaving the EU. I disagree with having this referendum so early. But I really disagree to being made to feel ashamed of my country. This insistence of acting like a child and demanding whatever ‘we’ want will not work. And then what? We sleepwalk out of the EU…?

Maybe the UK would emerge; glowing, a new lease of life, completely independent and loving single life. But the alternative? – the lives of millions are jeopardized over pride and pigheadedness? No thank you matey.

Being in Austria over the elections and now is a relief and a frustration. I read the news and despair. What on earth is happening and why do people think it is acceptable? No Human Rights Act, Snoopers Charter, Right to Buy (don’t even get me started) AND the referendum on Europe. I have clearly missed the memo that said UK citizens are no longer allowed civil liberties.

I urge everyone in the UK to not only look at the direction we are being taken in. But look at the manner in which our representatives are attempting to do it.

Even if there are no winners and losers in a break-up; its clear that the UK is the cause.

Not quite a book review – more a passing thought.

October 1, 2014

Andrew Marr: Head of State.

My love of Andrew Marr combined with my love of both reading and politics – what could go wrong?

With a book opening held at Downing Street and every Journalist and Politician waiting to see how they will be described – was it ever going to meet expectations? Firstly, I must say that despite the bad reviews of this book I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Since I picked it up I’ve raced through it, only stopping briefly to contemplate whether it is realistic or who the characters were based on. After finishing the book this morning and having some time to reflect this is the conclusion I have come to…

The characters are wonderfully colourful, dark, unrealistic and strangely lifelike all in one. The descriptions of the Whitehall circus and the focus on getting and securing power (at all costs) are entirely believable. On one hand it makes you dislike the politics of the UK but at the same time it draws you towards the cloak and dagger atmosphere which oozes out of Westminster.

I won’t spoil the plot for anyone if they are going to read it but I will say this (slight spoiler alert)- I did not see the first death coming! It was doing very brilliantly and the chapters immediately following it transferred the book very quickly into a page turner. The story was good. However towards the end, it felt like it was dragging. There was no big bang. No grand finale. The UK had left the EU and things didn’t seem to be going so well. Although a great amount of emphasis was put on there being a new beginning. The characters seemed largely at a lose end and by the final pages the book seemed to have lost its spark.

Side note time: A nice treat in the book were these quaint little illustrations –

booh photo 2

boook photo

I would recommend the book to other people but only to other people with a grand love of politics. As you turn each page it’s clear that Mr Marr had more fun writing it than the majority of people will reading it. But, get immersed in the politics, revel in the historical references and allow yourself to laugh at the subtle, but clever wittiness and ‘Head of State’ will carry you along with a relative ease and wanting to stand out.

Flags. Tea. Immigrants. Let the Magna Carta celebrations begin…

June 17, 2014

Who What is the Magna Carta good for?

Yesterday marked a year until the 800th year anniversary of this “great document”.  So with 364 days to go until this grand show of British Values, British principles, British cakes and most probably an abundance of British flags, David Cameron and other figures of ‘Britishness‘ have decided the Magna Carta should be celebrated as the “foundations of laws and principles”.

DC plans to have all children and clearly most importantly – Immigrants, learning about the Magna Carta as a way of tracing back British social, economic and political values. Our liberal values which stem from this document should be celebrated. But all our other liberal achievements (that were actually mostly drafted by Conservatives) such as the ECHR should probably be put in a cupboard somewhere and not mentioned….who would want a modern more recent affirmation of values?…oh I forgot – these aren’t British, they are European. I forget these are different things. Silly me. 

My favourite quote about this whole issue is – “back then plebs had the same Human Rights as a parsnip”.  And this should be remembered. The Magna Carta wasn’t made for ordinary folk; it was a way of King John putting legal constraints on wealthy landowners. King v Very rich people. That sums up the whole thing really. The legal significance might be important but unless you are a legal academic or a student being made to listen to droning on about the laws of the 13th Century, why should you care?

The answer is, you shouldn’t. Politicians just want another British thing to celebrate. But is the problem really that Britain isn’t British enough?

The Great British Bake Off, The Great British Menu, the Great British Sewing Bee, Downton Abbey even!…The 2012 Olympics, the Commonwealth Games, flags on cushions, posters, mugs and tea becoming a new quirky thing young people use to make them seem quintessentially British but somehow edgy…We are British. You couldn’t get more Britishness into one decade if we put all bull dogs into one Union Jack covered house and only fed them tea, digestives and scones and taught them to do Queen impressions…

As someone interested in law I want to see the value of celebrating the Magna Carta. But I can’t. It’s hype to distract from illiberal policies and opinions. We should teach children about modern-day laws, the ECHR, the HRA, International Laws that are there to protect freedom and give people rights. We should teach about politics not Britishness.  I don’t know what being British means, I don’t know how to tell if someone is or is not British. But I do know that within 364 days there will be so much flag twirling and cucumber sandwich eating, the Great British public will show how British they are and this is important because this. is. SPARTA. Great Britain. The nation of British people, British values and most importantly – this is a darn good excuse to bring Immigrants up again…I’ll call UKIP right away.

China’s ban on games consoles

January 28, 2013

Until I read this article on the guardian website (Article) I had no idea that games consoles such as the Xbox, Playstation and the Wii are banned in China.
Online gaming and gaming on phones is permitted.

Initially I found this difficult to believe but then I thought…is that a good idea? The amount of time I used to spend on my Xbox when I could have been doing something more useful is crazy; what makes it worse it that I then used to spend another hour reading articles and blogs about the game I had just been playing.

If China lifted this ban the shares of Microsoft (Xbox), Sony (Playstation) and Nintendo
(Wii) would soar, I think I might even decide to invest!

So is a ban on games consoles pragmatic and there to encourage children to study or is it simply a controlling policy there to oppress people? (I feel the word ‘oppress’ in relation to a games console exaggerates the point massively but its just after lunch and I am sleepy and can’t think of another word.)

Lord Neuberger and the LETR

November 20, 2012

Lord Neuberger and the LETR.

This a really good up to date article on responses to the LETR.
Worth a read!