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September 2022

Independence activist

Meet Kelly Given, the Scottish independence campaigner from Make Me Prime Minister

A SCOTTISH independence An activist on a new Channel 4 political show said she wanted to give the movement the mainstream spotlight it doesn’t get on a regular basis.

Kelly given25, will appear for the first time on Make Me Prime Minister on Tuesday night as she competes against 11 other candidates to see who has what it takes to be Britain’s next head of government.

The group – which will face the judgment of Alastair Campbell and Baroness Sayeeda Warsi – will be slowly whittled down over the next six weeks in a series of apprentice-style challenges, involving policy making and launching, debates and public speaking.

How Given got involved

An independence campaigner since the age of 16, Given – who has worked for MSPs and MPs and for the Scottish Government – was approached by a casting director in April who had discovered her work as a board member. administration of SNPYSI’s youth wing, social media content and online campaign for the Yes movement.

READ MORE: Keir Starmer promises Great British Energy Company if Labor beats Tories in next election

The irony of appearing on a show about becoming an alternative prime minister when you support Scottish independence didn’t escape Given, but she said she saw it as a chance to promote a case positive of self-determination via a mainstream broadcaster.

“It crossed my mind [the irony] and I address it on the show,” she said.

“Bringing independence to the mainstream”

Given continued: “But for me it was about bringing independence to a mainstream platform like Channel 4 because we’ve never really settled there, and the fact that I’ve had that opportunity as someone who is a strong supporter of independence was brilliant. .

READ MORE: SNP Releases Written Arguments in Supreme Court Indyref2 Case

“I had the opportunity to talk about it [independence] in a bit of depth so hopefully that does the editing.

“I spoke a lot about the different reasons why I support independence and what it would look like. For me it was about giving independence to this platform and showcasing the positive case on Channel 4 where it is very rarely mentioned.

Given, who works as equality, diversity and inclusion manager for NHS Lothian, said she wanted to make the case that independence makes democratic sense – since Scotland has no not voted for one Conservative government since the 1950s – and how it would help Scotland realize its full potential.

The National: Photography: Gordon TerrisPhoto: Gordon Terris (Image: Photography: Gordon Terris)

But as well as lashing out as the impassioned Yesser on Channel 4 in prime time, Given said she likes to dabble in politics.

And she warned viewers to expect some fire between her and the other contestants as the series progresses.

“I am a lover of radical politics”

When asked what kind of politics she could be expected to talk about, she replied, “I’m a lover of radical politics and you’ll see that on the show.

“I’m the one with the big, massive ideas that everyone tells me to chill on.

“I’m a big fan of nationalization, nationalization of energy companies, of rail service. I am a big proponent of bringing utilities back into public ownership.

The National: Photography: Gordon TerrisPhoto: Gordon Terris (Image: Photography: Gordon Terris)

“I like big politics, things that are going to bring about change. We’re stuck in a rut in Britain right now where politics are terrible and nothing the government comes up with is actually helping people. We we need decisive action and that’s what I’m on this show, and I’m challenged a lot.

“There were definitely times when I found it very intense. I faced other candidates on some occasions, there was certainly tension.

“You can expect a lot of fire.”

Two former prime ministers, Tony Blair and David Cameron, both appear in the six-part series to offer personal advice as the candidates aim to show they have the charisma, vision and political savvy to lead.

“I enjoyed every minute”

How Given will fare in the coming weeks remains to be seen, but she knows the experience has rekindled her love for politics, which she lost at one point amid an autism diagnosis ago. a few years.

And she has even revealed that she may be considering getting into frontline politics in the coming years.

READ MORE: Call for Scottish entry as Glasgow shortlisted to host Eurovision 2023

She added: “I really enjoyed every minute.

“I always wanted to be in westminster When I was young. I however lost my passion for it when I was about 21 years old. I had had a bad political experience and hadn’t yet been diagnosed with autism, so I was a little upset myself, and I feel like that reignited my passion for frontline politics.

“I think I deterred myself because you never see young women with autism in politics, but the show made me realize I could do it.

“I plan to present myself as a deputy candidate in the next elections.”

The show will air on Channel 4 every Tuesday evening at 9.15pm.

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Self government

Ukraine: Local Self-Government Forum in Lviv

The Ukrainian authorities remain committed to the principles of good democratic governance and continue their efforts to strengthen local self-government in accordance with the European Charter of Local Self-Government. How can this process be ensured while full-fledged Russian aggression continues? It is one of the main titles of the 9th Local Self-Government Forum in Lviv (Ukraine), which takes place on September 21-22, 2022in a hybrid format.

The main thematic sessions of the Forum are designed to identify the best solutions to the following questions:

  • What is the optimal distribution of local powers and responsibilities in the context of war?
  • How to preserve local finances and economic sustainability?
  • How to coordinate energy security measures at municipal level?
  • What is needed for the recovery of local communities and what can local authorities do to support internally displaced persons (IDPs) and facilitate their integration?
  • Metropolitan governance: is it relevant?
  • Civil service at local level: how to improve the existing legal framework and harmonize local and central services?

The Forum brought together 150 local authorities in person, as well as many online participants. The Center of Expertise for Good Governance of the Council of Europe is a partner of the event through its Program “Strengthening decentralization and public administration reform in Ukraine”.

To watch the forum live stream, please follow the links:

Welcoming the participants, Steen NØRLOV, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine and Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe for the co-ordination of its co-operation programmes, positively assessed the progress of the reform of the decentralization in Ukraine which was evolving successfully before Russia’s aggression. The decentralization reform had been so successful that it was not even among the reforms still needed to join the European Union, but it needs to be finalized. He reassured the audience of the strong and continued support of the Council of Europe to Ukraine, and spoke about the preparation of a new framework document for the next four years on “Resilience, recovery and reconstruction”.

Council of Europe experts Markiyan DACYSHYN and Myroslav KOSHELIUK will moderate the debates on metropolitan governance and social cohesion. They will present the Council of Europe’s recommendations to Ukraine on these issues and its continued targeted support through policy and legal advice, as well as a grant program responding to current challenges.

To answer these and other questions and in response to a request from the Parliamentary Specialized Committee on Local Self-Government, the Council of Europe’s Center of Expertise for Good Governance has prepared the Policy Opinion on the roadmap for the revival of local autonomy Consequences of the war (CEGG/PAD(2022)3 of June 30, 2022).

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Home rule

House Democrats push for bill to dramatically expand domestic rule in DC

Congressional Democrats are pushing legislation that would dramatically expand “home rule” in DC, untying the city’s government from federal oversight of its criminal and legislative processes.

The House Oversight Committee on Tuesday proposed legislation that would eliminate a congressional review period for legislation passed by the DC Council.

The legislation would also grant the district exclusive authority to prosecute crimes under city law and grant clemency for those crimes. As it stands, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia serves as both the local and federal prosecutor.

“The committee’s passage of the District of Columbia Autonomy Extension Act is an important step toward giving DC the autonomy it deserves and preventing DC from being crippled by the federal government,” said Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York and chair of the Oversight Committee.

Allowing Republican lawmakers to second guess local actions is a sore point for the Democratic-controlled city, which says it should have the final say on its own affairs.

For years, city Democrats have argued with national Republicans over local rules on issues like marijuana and school choice.

Representative Jody Hice of Georgia has led Republicans in opposing the autonomy bill, saying the district has gone too far with COVID-19 restrictions and can’t handle rising crime.

“At a time of increasing violent crime in the District, we should not be eroding the law in DC any further,” Mr. Hice said.

City officials are seeking DC statehood as a way to shake off congressional oversight. But they have also pushed for more limited measures, such as greater autonomy or a voting seat in the House.

DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat who is a nonvoting House member, sponsored the new bill. She said it would be the biggest expansion of DC’s autonomy in nearly 50 years.

The bill is expected to receive support from the Democratic-controlled House, but will face GOP filibuster in the Senate.

The House previously passed legislation that would give DC statehood or allow the mayor to activate the National Guard, as governors do, but neither bill passed the equally divided Senate.

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Sovereignty

Local autonomy | Dialogue | thenews.com.pk

If Pakistan wants an effective governance system based on the public interest, the top priority must be a strong system of independent and integrated local governments.

Many countries around the world are currently trying to make governance more efficient through the decentralization of political, administrative and financial powers. In this context, local governments have priority in matters of governance.

Important political actors in Pakistan have been reluctant to learn from best practices around the world or from our own past mistakes. Instead, we keep repeating the same mistakes. There is also great resistance to the idea of ​​a decentralization system, despite the 18th amendment to the constitution which laid the foundation for a more decentralized system of governance.

Admittedly, there have been several attempts to reform the local government system. There has been a concerted effort to take significant powers away from provincial governments and hand them over to local governments. The constitution was amended to ensure that empowered local governments at the expense of provincial governments had the support of the federal government. However, provincial governments have resisted and currently control most of the functions that were once sought to be delegated to the local level.

Elections to the local government institution were not held regularly. Even when the election was imposed on the executive by the higher judiciary, local government institutions struggled to exercise legislative autonomy and control funds. Several institutions initially created at the local level ended up under the control of provincial governments.

Unfortunately, the political class is not ready to abandon traditional ideas of governance or relinquish control of resources to allow meaningful restructuring of the local government system. No wonder there is a lot of dissatisfaction and criticism of governance across the country. The ruling elite might wish Pakistan well, but its lack of commitment to an autonomous system of local governments is a huge obstacle. This equates to mistrust and dissociation with people at the grassroots level.

A serious dialogue is needed in the context of the local government system in Pakistan between the different parties. Since the governance system is currently suffering from extraordinary problems, extraordinary remedies are needed. I propose that we agree on the following basic principles:

Firstly, Article 140 of the constitution should be amended to introduce a provision that local governments will be required to hold local elections within 120 days of the expiry of their term or its premature termination. If a provincial government fails to organize local elections within the time allowed, it should be penalized by imposing a reduction in the resources made available to it as part of the decision of the finance commission. The local level must be assured of having sufficient resources to be controlled by it.

The political class is not ready to abandon its traditional ideas of governance and control of resources to ensure a desirable restructuring of the local government system.

Second, the federal government must not abandon local governments to provincial governments even though local government is a provincial subject. The Federation must ensure that local elections are held on time and that the system is not paralyzed.

Third, to ensure continuity, consistency and accountability at the local government level, the federation should monitor the performance of provincial governments by allowing the formation of a provincial system under articles 140, 7 and 32 of the constitution . If the performance is not satisfactory, the Federation must take the appropriate corrective measures. The mandate of federal, provincial and local governments should be the same. It may be four or five years. Elections at the three levels must take place simultaneously at 120-day intervals.

Fourth, provincial governments should not be allowed to deprive local governments of their control over appropriate resources and monopolize development budgets. The distribution of the development budget should in principle be linked to the local government system.

Fifth, the local government system should have a clear formula for allocating resources from provinces to districts. A clear and transparent allocation of resources should be linked to population, geography and deprivation. The provincial government should be required to spend 30% of its development budget through local governments.

Sixth, the country should have a clear policy on local government elections. All elections must take place directly, including elections for reserved seats. Elections should be held on a party basis.

Seventh, women’s representation should be ensured through direct election at 33%. Political parties should be required to issue at least 5 percent of tickets for general seats to women.

Eighth, provincial finance commissions should be strengthened and able to play an effective role in making the system accountable at the provincial level.

Ninth, the provincial government must not form an alternative system in the province to replace or supersede elected local governments. They should not create any authority or corporation to control local government functions.

Tenth, the big city system at the provincial level should be different from other cities. The governance of large cities requires greater autonomy and greater accountability.

Eleventh, provincial governments should refrain from forming too many political and administrative structures. In principle, below the district council, there should be trade union councils and their presidents should be members of the district council.

Twelfth, as many citizens as possible should be involved in the system to ensure adequate citizen participation in decision-making.

Thirteenth, constituency boundaries must be permanent for at least ten years. Frequent demarcations attract the charge of gerrymandering.

Fourteenth, the administrative framework of local governments should be determined and permanently attached to the system.

Fifteenth, elected representatives of the people should have more authority in local governments than civil servants. The police should be placed under the control of local governments or a community policing system should be introduced.


The author is a political analyst and ED Institute for Democratic Education & Advocacy.

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