home rule

Home rule

Commission members learn about the self-governance process

The Princeton Home Rule Charter Commission hosted a civics lesson session with City Attorney David Overcash who outlined each section of a home rule charter to members.

The commission was due to discuss the first three sections of a draft charter at its meeting on Wednesday, February 16, but postponed discussions until the next meeting due to Overcash’s detailed presentation. Commissioners also received the 2010 copy of a Texas Municipal League handbook to provide them with useful data throughout the process.

Overcash said his role is primarily advisory to the commission and he will advise them and answer any questions along the way, but he does not have the final say on what happens in the draft charter that will be presented to voters. He added that the city charter will always be subject to any state or federal law in the event of a conflict between them and a provision of the charter.

Any provision to the contrary would also be inapplicable, leaving the charter without bite on certain articles. Charters also provide a very general structure for city government, but generally become cumbersome if there are too many powers listed, Overcash said.

“Most charters, almost all of them, are written very broadly, giving as much discretion as they can to councils so that they can exercise the most local self-government powers,” Overcash said. “It’s rather than wielding as much power as the Texas Legislature allows, which is the general approach to law we’re taking right now.”

For the full story, see the February 24 issue of the Princeton Herald.

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Home rule

Homelessness and the abrogation of autonomy in the nation’s capital

David W. Marshall

Washington, DC is unique in many ways. With the distinction of being the nation’s capital, it functions as both a city and a state. In terms of population, the District of Columbia is larger than the states of Wyoming and Vermont. It has a budget larger than 12 states, pays more federal taxes than 21 states, pays more federal taxes per capita than any state, has a gross domestic product larger than 17 states, has a rating of triple-A bond and is currently running a budget surplus rather than a deficit.

But it’s a city, not a state. Therefore, it is the only city in America where Congress directly oversees the city’s budget and laws through constitutional authority. For years, Congress operated as the only legislative body where the city’s residents had no elected representation. A limited form of self-government was granted when Congress passed the Home Rule Act of 1973, signed into law by then-President Richard Nixon. It allowed DC residents the right to elect their own mayor, council, and nonvoting member of Congress. Washington DC is the only jurisdiction that does not have the power to appoint its own judges. While DC voters don’t have a federal representative on the ballot, the outcome of the 2022 midterm elections could have significant implications for the city’s autonomy, not to mention its quest for federal status. ‘State.

As House Republicans point to the growing number of homicides and homelessness in the capital, as well as the mayor’s COVID-19 policies, some within the ranks of the GOP have expressed a desire to take greater control of the city. Currently, some members of the House would go so far as to see the Home Rule Act of 1973 eliminated if the Republicans succeed in taking control of Congress. Rep. Andrew S. Clyde (R-Ga.), a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which oversees DC affairs, is drafting legislation to return sole control of the city to Congress by repealing the law. Washington DC is a city no different from other urban communities that are experiencing similar increases in crime and homelessness; Republicans who use this to justify reducing DC’s self-government know this.

We see high-cost cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco grappling with this same humanitarian nightmare — it’s not just a DC problem. The political motivations of the GOPs are clear, with DC being a strongly Democratic city, but politically, how will Republicans at the federal level address the growing growth of homelessness and its root causes? The affordable housing shortage is a national crisis that should be addressed as such by federal officials of both political parties. There is no reasonable way to solve the complex homelessness crisis across America without adequately addressing housing shortages and poverty.

Bernie Sanders recently delivered a speech in the Senate suggesting a “unanimous resolution commending the billionaire class” for amassing more wealth during the pandemic even as remaining American citizens have suffered economic losses. This position is not new for him. By now, some people may have fallen deaf to his message, but the senator’s consistent point is not just about economic disparities, but a divide in humanity. His speech illustrates a growing gap in humanity towards others.

There is a gap between how much we care about the less fortunate and how much we don’t, as a society. For many people, homelessness is only a problem because it’s visible and makes them feel uncomfortable – and we know how much being “uncomfortable” can be triggering for some – as they are forced to face this “horror” every day. We have a viable option in Build Back Better (BBB) ​​legislation that includes historic investments in affordable housing.

It represents a critical step in addressing the multi-partisan issue surrounding homeless encampments that we see nationwide. Given that a bill is in place to address the root causes, how can someone in good conscience say they are sincerely concerned about chronic homelessness and yet reject the BBB? Yes, it’s a heavy toll, but not compared to years of doing nothing, spending millions on temporary repairs, having no safe streets or parks, and adopting bad policies out of desperation, not to mention the human toll and suffering.

There are other underlying causes of homelessness that proponents of “law and order” need to consider. Many people who commit criminal offenses do so to survive, but many also have underlying mental health and addiction issues. It is difficult for the chronically homeless to maintain stable housing due to these addictions or mental health issues. In many jurisdictions, the growing rate of homelessness is rapidly outpacing the addiction and mental health services available. And let’s not forget how the human gap is widening due to vested interests and campaign funding from donors who want to ease the requirements for affordable housing. Many real estate developers prefer to build more profitable and more expensive housing, thereby increasing their supply while reducing affordable housing options. In many cases, developers receive grants (tax incentives) with the promise of providing public benefits such as jobs, affordable housing and green space. Unfortunately, the community does not always receive the promised benefits.

The national problem of homelessness requires coordinated efforts from local lawmakers on the front lines and those crafting effective federal policies in Washington. A homeless person is unlikely to vote in November, but their fate depends on the outcome. We should keep that in mind when we all vote this year. Unfortunately, the future of DC residents also hinges on the results of home races nationwide.

David W. Marshall is the founder of the faith-based organization TRB: The Reconciled Body and the author of the book God Bless Our Divided America. He can be contacted at

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Home rule

Republicans seek to strip the District of Columbia of autonomy

Georgia Republican Rep. Andrew Clyde, a member of the House Oversight Committee, leads a GOP contingent seeking to repeal the District of Columbia Home Rule Act.

Clyde and others have criticized Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration, saying crime, homelessness and open drug use are out of control in the nation’s capital.

GOP lawmakers also cited Mayor Bowser’s indoor vaccination mandate, which she has since rescinded.

“While I’m glad our intention to repeal the DC Autonomy Act has been heard loud and clear, the issues facing our nation’s capital extend far beyond medical tyranny,” said Rep. Clyde.

“Make no mistake, this was not an empty threat; legislation comes to restore the constitutional duty of Congress’s Article I, Section 8 “to exercise exclusive law in all cases, upon this district” and to properly administer the affairs of DC.

“In the near future, we will liberate Washington D.C. from the failed experiment of so-called ‘Home Rule’, and we will return our nation’s capital to the American people after the Democrats’ nearly 50-year reign of terror and the leadership failure,” Rep. Clyde continued.

But longtime Democratic District of Columbia congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton condemned Rep. Clyde’s attack.

“Rep. Clyde literally wants the feds to take over running DC as a colony,” Rep. Norton said.

“He wants to remove the limited self-government that DC’s approximately 700,000 residents, the majority of whom are minorities, have had for the past 50 years and give absolute power over DC to Congress and, presumably, the appointed trustees. Congress or the President. ”

Representative Norton continued:

“At a time when we are experiencing unprecedented success on our DC State Bill, we will keep moving forward, not backtracking. We will defeat his anti-democratic efforts.

President Richard Nixon signed into law the Home Rule Act, and the measure gives DC an elected chief executive (mayor) and a legislature (Council).

Rep. Norton pointed out that in signing the Home Rule declaration, Nixon wrote, “One of the primary purposes of this administration is to place the responsibility for local functions under local control and to provide local governments with the authority and the resources they need to serve their communities effectively.

Nixon’s statement continued:

“The measure I am signing today represents an important step in achieving that goal in the City of Washington. This will give the people of the District of Columbia the right to elect their own municipal officials and to govern themselves in local affairs.

“As the Nation approaches the 200th anniversary of its founding, it is particularly fitting to assure the people who live in our capital city of the rights and privileges long enjoyed by most of their countrymen. But the measure I am signing today does more than create a mechanism for electing local elected officials. It also expands and strengthens the structure of the city’s government to enable it to more effectively meet its responsibilities.

DC remains deprived of electoral representation in Congress and complete autonomy, which Rep. Norton called undemocratic.

“Statehood is the cure,” she said.

“Congress has the constitutional authority to grant statehood to DC. DC has a population larger than two states, pays more federal taxes than 21 states, pays more federal taxes per capita than any state, has a budget larger than 12 states, has a gross domestic product greater than important than 17 states, has a triple-A bond rating and federal funds constitute a smaller percentage of its budget than the percentage of total state revenues.

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Home rule

House GOP targets DC Home Rule amid state push

The 2022 midterm elections pose a serious threat to the freedom and autonomy of Washington, DC, as House Republicans want to limit governance in the city if they win in November.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Rep. James Comer (R.Ky.), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, which has jurisdiction over the District of Columbia, have both suggested earlier this month a renewed focus on limiting the city’s ability to govern itself if it gains power.

Going even further, Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.), a member of the Oversight Committee, told the Daily Caller he was working on legislation to strip Washington entirely of its autonomy by repealing the DC Home Rule Act of 1973. The Home Rule Act allowed an elected mayor and city council to establish policy for residents of the district for the first time in city history.

“That’s nonsense,” Del said. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DD.C.) about the proposal to strip the district of self-governance. But, she added, it’s also “the kind of threat I just have to take seriously.”

The District of Columbia, home to 700,000 Americans, is not a state and, despite the Home Rule Act, is still subject to congressional interference. As the city became home to a large black population after the Civil War, Southern segregationists in Congress sought to limit the city’s autonomy while imposing Jim Crow rules on its population. This desire to crush independent city governance remains in the contemporary Republican Party.

Even if a Republican-controlled Congress approves it, a bill to eliminate the district’s self-governing statute would have to pass the Senate’s filibuster threshold, which remains intact. It would also require the president’s signature, which Joe Biden would not provide. But that it even exists suggests that many congressional Republicans are keen to expand the anti-democratic wave of restrictive election laws the party has passed in district states. And DC — a favorite punching bag of Republicans angry that the city is governed almost exclusively by Democrats — could be at the forefront of those efforts, its statelessness leaving it vulnerable to lawmakers its residents don’t. not elect.

Republicans say their desire to strip the district of its autonomy or limit its legislative powers stems from the rising homicide rate, rising homelessness and the imposition of COVID-related restrictions. 19. But homicide rates have increased in urban and rural communities across the country during the pandemic; homelessness has increased in places where housing costs have skyrocketed due to limited housing; and the district just announced the end of its mask and vaccine mandates for private companies.

But Holmes Norton, who has served as the district’s nonvoting representative in Congress since 1991, thinks Republicans have a more nefarious motive for targeting the nation’s capital.

“My only idea how something as absurd as this could turn out is that they see how close we are to the state,” she said.

Of the. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DD.C.) wears a 51st State face mask during a DC State press conference.

For the second time in 50 years, the district is making a realistic push to become the nation’s 51st state. The House passed a bill to make DC the 51st state in previous and current sessions of Congress. A companion bill in the Senate is now supported by all but four members of the Senate Democratic caucus.

DC residents broadly support the push: In 2016, 85% of voters favored a statehood referendum that would grant full representation, voting rights and self-government to the nation’s capital and people who live there. The majority of DC residents are black or Latino, and the push toward statehood, activists say, is an important aspect of broader Democratic efforts to bolster civil and voting rights in the face of Republican efforts to implement new voting restrictions and other undemocratic measures in states nationwide.

With a statehood bill ultimately set to cross the 60-vote filibuster threshold in the Senate and two Democrats opposing the rule change, support for filibuster reform systematic has become a default position among Democratic Senate candidates. This means that ending the filibuster is a matter of when, not if.

For state supporters, Republican proposals to attack the city’s autonomy are just further evidence of the need to break out of congressional tutelage and become the 51st state.

“If the GOP rolls back Home Rule, we will lose what little autonomy we currently have over core district functions: schools, safety, reproductive rights, COVID protocols, and so much more,” said organizer Jamal Holtz. principal of 51 for 51. , a pro-state group. “We cannot continue to live in fear of the whims of a white member of Congress thousands of miles away. The only remedy to protect 700,000 Washingtonians in perpetuity is to make DC the 51st state.

In a statement, Patrice Snow, director of communications for DC Vote, said: “The announcement of their anti-democratic plot also demonstrates that the movement to enfranchise the 700,000 American citizens paying taxes in Washington, DC through Statehood is vociferous, proud and effective. successfully towards his goal.

This isn’t the first time Republicans have floated the idea of ​​stripping DC of the domestic regime. In the late 1990s, House Republicans talked about doing just that after Congress imposed a financial control commission on the city to take control of its finances during Marion Barry’s second term as mayor. . Norton views the current attack on the city as “entirely different” from the 1990s proposal, as the city currently runs a budget surplus (rather than the deficit it had under Barry).

Many DC-based activists also view statehood as a matter of when, rather than if. And in response, Congressional Republicans who have failed to make legitimate counter-arguments against statehood itself are resorting to an all-out attack on the district’s residents’ ability to govern themselves.

“Their call to overturn the Home Rule Act goes beyond the typical game of using DC residents to score cheap political points at home and into a racist attack on the basic right of representation,” Snow said.

“All Americans deserve the freedom to vote, the freedom to govern themselves, and the freedom to determine their own destiny. It is only because of our lack of statehood that these representatives feel empowered to deny these freedoms and engage in the racist subjugation of American citizens.

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Self government

Reviews | Midterms Are a Dangerous Threat to DC’s Self-Government

Many “ifs” must occur before the city can be stripped of the limited self-governing authority it currently enjoys: House passage of a possible repeal measure, Senate agreement, and presidential signature. So the odds of some House GOP members achieving their goal of killing Home Rule next year are slim with the White House in Democrat hands until at least 2024.

But that’s no reason for the residents of the district to breathe sighs of relief. A Republican-controlled house means big trouble for the district regardless. Today, under the Home Rule Act, all DC council and mayoral laws are still reviewed by Congress, which retains authority over the city’s budget. Let it sink in.

Although DC’s relationship with Congress fell on notable turmoil (the near-final collapse of the city and Congress’s imposition of a Board of Financial Control come to mind), for most of the Nearly 50 years of Home Rule, DC’s elected leaders have managed to exercise their delegated powers without major congressional interference. We can expect a House of Representatives under the hammer of Republican President Kevin McCarthy (California) drive recklessly on the city. Republican Rep. Michael Cloud (Texas) of the House Oversight Committee made that clear in a comment directed to the right. daily call“Keeping the DC government in check will surely be a Republican priority…when the hammers are in our hands.”

Another Republican committee member, Georgia Rep. Andrew S. Clyde, went even further, telling the caller he was working with colleagues on a bill to repeal the 1973 Home Rule Act. . McCarthy’s office did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday on whether he, as House GOP leader, would support a repeal effort.

Having served as a senior official on the then U.S. Senate Committee on the District of Columbia when the autonomy legislation was enacted, and having witnessed and expressed his opinion on an autonomous DC while he was perched on the editorial board of the Post for decades, I can say with confidence and great fear that the prospect of today’s Republican Party holding the levers of power over the district is a nightmare.

An immediate result of the Republican takeover would be a further decrease in the DC delegate to the House. Of the. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) (or her successor) would no longer have a vote in the all-important Committee of the Whole. The city’s annual budget appropriations bill would be stolen by Republican extremists and stripped of anything objectionable. Expect carefully crafted, locally funded spending programs to be upended or outright rejected by House owners. City officials can expect summonses to House hearings for haranguing and harassment — all for the benefit and pleasure of voters in congressional districts at home. And worse.

Expressing outrage at the threat of repeal, Norton noted the temerity of House Republicans treating the district like a remote colony. The city, she said, “has a population larger than two states, pays more federal taxes than 21 states, pays more federal taxes per capita than any state, has a larger budget than 12 states, has a larger gross domestic product than 17 states, has a triple-A bond rating, and federal funds constitute a small[er] percentage of its budget than the percentage of total government revenue. Norton shouldn’t even have to resort to this argument. District residents should have the right to run their own affairs, with their own money, without Republican overseers, as local communities do nationwide.

Residents of the district, it must not happen like this, at least not without a fight.

Keeping the House out of Republican hands is as much in the interests of the district as it is of the country as a whole.

The city has a role to play in keeping Congress in safe and healthy hands.

DC residents determined to retain the limited democracy they currently enjoy should be prepared to devote their time, talents and cash to the efforts of Pelosi and the national Democratic organizations designed to secure congressional districts across the country. to representatives who understand and respect DC Home Rule and the clutches of McCarthy and his Republican cronies. The city’s political leaders should take the lead in organizing and managing the city’s campaign to stop the McCarthyites from attacking Home Rule.

It will be as crucial a DC undertaking as deciding the future direction of the city in this year’s primary and general elections. Because if the house is captured by the GOP, DC City Hall will be reduced to a punching bag, as locals watch helplessly.

The threat is so serious. It’s time for voters in the district to start acting on it.

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Home rule

DC delegate: Possible bill to repeal ‘radical’ and ‘very unexpected’ domestic rule

Delete Eleanor Holmes NortonEleanor Holmes NortonOfficials Assesses Phased Reopening of Capitol Building from Late March Capitol Marks Two Years Since COVID-19 Overnight Health Care Closed to Public – Congress to Provide COVID-19 MORE Funding (DD.C.) called a Republican’s proposal to repeal Washington’s Home Rule “radical” in an interview with The Washington Post published this week.

Some House Republicans, with the party widely expected to win back a majority after midterms, have signaled their desire to curb the city’s autonomy amid complaints about its COVID-19 policies and crime rate.

Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) said it’s “overdue for Congress to repeal the District of Columbia Home Rule Act and resume its duty,” in a recent interview with the Daily. call.

Holmes Norton, a nonvoting House delegate, said such proposals were both sweeping and “unexpected.”

“It’s something to be extremely concerned about because the district could well find itself in the minority next term,” she told the Post. “It’s very radical, and I have to say very unexpected. It will take all the energy I have to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Prior to the Home Rule Act, DC was primarily governed by Congress. The 1973 law established a municipal government with a mayor and council, giving the district autonomy with some congressional oversight.

Clyde, advocating for the repeal of the 1973 law, raised concerns about rising crime and homelessness in DC as well as the Democratic mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserDC speaker says Black Lives Matter street will be ‘tarred and feathered’ DC mayor boosts police funding in 2023 budget proposal Barr says there’s no evidence Trump was ‘legally responsible’ of the attack of January 6 MOREpandemic restrictions.

The Hill has contacted Clyde and Bowser for comment.

A coalition of Democrats is pushing the other way, proposing to give DC statehood and more autonomy, something Republicans have long opposed.

The district is deep blue — Democrats have won the last four presidential elections with 90% or more of the vote.

representing Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyMcConnell on Republicans backing Putin: ‘There are lonely voices out there’ GOP rises to challenge Ukraine to define itself Ginni Thomas’ activism raises ethical questions for justice Supreme Court MORE (R-Calif.), the House Minority Leader, has signaled his willingness to take greater control of the city — if crime “gets out of control.”

“Last week you had a shooting and a murder in Georgetown. There’s not an element of that community that people feel safe in,” he told the Vince Coglianese Show in an interview. earlier this month, also referencing the shooting of a GOP baseball. practice in 2017.

“Those are the concerns, and if it gets out of control, there needs to be greater scrutiny to keep the nation’s capital safe.”

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Home rule

Census results could affect Carbondale’s bylaws and cut budget | News

CARBONDALE (WSIL)—When a city in Illinois reaches a population of more than 25,000 people, it is automatically listed for self-government.

Autonomy, in its most basic sense, can give a municipality more local control.

“If you are a self-governing municipality, you have powers in addition to those granted to you by the state government. If you are not a self-governing community, the only powers you have are those in the state statutes in the state legislature,” City Manager Gary Williams said.

The town of Carbondale has had an inland diet since 1967, but the 2020 census determined that the town’s population no longer met the requirement.

“Now that we’ve fallen below that threshold, we’re going to be required in November to ask a question about the November election, asking our voters if they want to retain self-rule,” Williams said.

The house rule offers a few advantages.

It requires licenses and inspections for rental homes, and 70% of homes in Carbondale are rentals.

It also gives the city taxing authority.

“In Carbondale, the town has used its local authority to further fund the town government from sales taxes and use taxes, as many people come from outside of Carbondale and spend money here. , and they kept the property tax very low,” Williams said.

However, home rule allows the city to implement taxes such as a 2.5% home rule tax, motor fuel above the state maximum, and a food and beverage tax.

“Just in the original taxes and not the additional fuel tax or other taxes that we use to fund our capital improvement projects, about $8.6 million out of a $25 million budget, so about one-third of our total revenue comes from original sales tax. In contrast, we generate just over $1 million in property taxes,” Williams said.

But city officials want voters to know that self-rule is nothing new.

“In Illinois there are hundreds of self-governing communities. Most of the communities here are self-governing and they were granted self-government through a referendum. Marion is a self-governing community, Carterville, Mount Vernon, Benton, West Frankfort, Murphysboro , Du Quoin, so it’s not a unique concept in terms of running local government,” Williams said.

The vote for home rule will be on the Carbondale ballot in November.

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Home rule

Pittsburgh City Council salary increase reduced due to home charter

Pittsburgh City Council members adjusted the amount of their approved salary increase at a special meeting Saturday because the original amount conflicted with the city’s bylaws charter, Councilman Anthony Coghill said.

Coghill said the original proposal to raise council members’ salaries from $72,000 to $83,000 — a jump of more than 15% — did not comply with the city’s bylaw charter. The council members, taking advice from their lawyer and the city attorney, therefore reduced their pay increase at a special meeting on Saturday.

Council members ultimately voted to give themselves a 6.3% salary increase, bringing their annual salary to $76,544, about $4,500 more than last year.

“The way (the home rule charter) reads is that we must not get a pay raise greater than the city’s average pay raise,” Coghill said. “That’s how we arrived at that number.”

The pay increase for council members, Coghill said, is “a bit lower” than the average pay increase for city employees.

The city council deliberated on the final number in an executive session that was not open to the public on Saturday.

The initial salary increase – which would have raised council member salaries to $83,000 – was incorporated into the 2022 budget by former Mayor Bill Peduto. Coghill said he didn’t know who was responsible for making sure the pay raise was in line with the city’s charter.

Saturday marked the last day the budget was open to such changes, Coghill said, meaning the board couldn’t just wait for its next regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday to make the adjustment.

The municipal council does not often meet on Saturdays. Last year they held two weekend meetings. The first was one of two public hearings to discuss the U.S. bailout, and the second was one of many public hearings on the potential annexation of Wilkinsburg.

Council members said the process of instituting a salary increase was transparent, as the public had an opportunity to view and comment on the budget before it was passed. Board chair Theresa Kail-Smith previously said board members had never heard of the proposed pay rise.

Coghill and other board members said that without a salary increase, the position may not pay enough to attract talented people to run for office. Councilwoman Deb Gross said about half of city employees earn more than council members, according to 2020 data.

Kail-Smith, who called Saturday’s meeting, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the adjusted salary increase.

Julia Felton is editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact Julia at 724-226-7724, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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Home rule

Landmark Court Ruling Supports Miami-Dade County Self-Government Charter

The new year brought encouraging news regarding a major case involving the defense of Miami-Dade County’s Home Rule charter, which is part of the Florida Constitution.

On December 30, 2021, the Honorable William Thomas of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida granted Miami-Dade County’s motion to join the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) as an indispensable party in a lawsuit against the Greater Miami Expressway Agency (GMX) .

To put this in historical perspective, in 2019 the Florida Legislature created the Greater Miami Expressway Authority, effectively usurping MDX’s ownership interests in the five local freeways it purchased from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in 1996 for $91 million. These freeways include the 836/Dolphin Expressway, 112/Airport Expressway, 874/Don Shula Expressway, 878/Snapper Creek Expressway, and 924/Gratigny Parkway.

In response, on May 4, 2021, the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners under the leadership of President Jose “Pepe” Diaz, exercised its home rule authority and passed a county ordinance striking down certain unconstitutional sections of Florida statutes passed under the 2019 bill. The ordinance included eliminating GMX from county jurisdiction and transferring to MDX of all rights, benefits and revenues under the 1996 transfer agreement.

In his recent decision, Judge Thomas concluded that FDOT is not an indispensable party and has no remaining interest in the rights that have passed to MDX in perpetuity in exchange for payment. In addition, Judge Thomas recognizes Miami-Dade Home Rule powers that prohibit the Florida Legislature from enacting bills that apply only to Miami-Dade County, and that the county may take steps to declare any bill enacted in this manner unconstitutional and invalid.

Judge Thomas’ decision provides clarity and perspective by stating: “The rule of domicile [amendment and charter] transferred the power of the Legislature to pass local bills and special laws applicable only to Miami-Dade County, from the state to the Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners.

Judge Thomas further explained that the Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners “…has duly issued an order establishing MDX as the owner and operator of the system with all rights, benefits and revenues thereunder under the transfer agreement and abolishing GMX. This is well within the bounds of local authorities in Miami-Dade County and supports MDX’s high probability of success on the merits in the instant action.

During the 2021 vote on the county ordinance, Commissioner Joe Martinez explained that the intent of the ordinance was not just about MDX, but was to uphold the county’s right to self-government under the Constitution. from Florida. Not only did the order protect the Miami-Dade County Freeway Authority, but also major assets such as the airport and seaport that could become targets of a future takeover attempt by the ‘State.

This is not the first time a legislative attack on Home Rule has occurred. On September 4, 2002, the Florida Third District Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Miami-Dade County and struck down an unconstitutional state law intended to divert a portion of the health care surtax funds to the indigents of the Public Health Trust and Jackson Memorial Health Systems.

Judge Thomas’ recent ruling ends a three-year legal battle that has hurt the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority by preventing it from refinancing its existing debt during a period of historically low interest rates, representing a loss of approximately $175 million in interest. savings.

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Home rule

When does working from home end in the UK?

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  • When does working from home end in the UK? Now that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has outlined plans to learn to ‘live with Covid’, many are wondering if they will have to return to office soon.

    Before Omicron symptoms emerged as a new variant, many people were slowly returning to work from the office. In a sign of a slow return to some normalcy, research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggested that the seven in 10 people returning in November 2021 were relishing the chance to work somewhere different. But with a spike in cases, the government activated plan B and we went back into a kind of lockdown – with restrictions on working outside the home.

    Now lifted as part of Plan A measures, another return to the office looks promising for those looking to resume their new routine. But the rules set by the UK government don’t apply everywhere in the UK when it comes to Covid-19, so that’s what you need to know.

    When does working from home end in England?

    the work from home is now over in England, following the Prime Minister’s statement in the House of Commons on 19 January. This means that from January 20, anyone who does not want to work from home does not have to – provided their office is open.

    Mr Johnson said: ‘From now on the government is no longer asking people to work from home and people should now talk to their employers about the arrangements for returning to the office.

    As well as scrapping working from home, the Prime Minister announced that proof of double vaccination was not required to enter places of entertainment. He also confirmed that people could stop wearing face masks in many public places as all Plan B measures, put in place during Omicron’s peak in December, were coming to an end.

    “The latest data from the ONS today clearly shows infection levels are falling in England,” he said. “And while there are places where cases are likely to continue to rise, including in primary schools – our scientists believe it’s likely that the Omicron wave has now peaked nationwide. “

    When Plan B restrictions were in place, guidelines changed to encourage those who could work from home to do so again. However, many offices remained open during this time, having been closed for the previous three closures.

    When does working from home end in Scotland?

    The work from home rule is should end in early February. It is however still in place at the moment, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon suggesting Scotland will return to a “more hybrid approach” from the start of next month.

    Credit: Getty

    She said Scotland was “entering a calmer phase of the pandemic again” but there was still “significant pressure” on the health service due to the latest wave of coronavirus.

    Official guidance on the Scottish Government website reads: ‘From 17 December 2021, by law businesses, places of worship and service providers must take reasonable steps to minimize the risk of incidence and spread of the coronavirus. Supporting employees to work from home whenever possible is an important part of this. »

    When does the work from home law end in Wales?

    The work from home requirement in Wales, enacted last year, will end on January 28, 2022. Unlike other countries, Wales has enshrined its work-from-home requirement in law. From this date at the end of January, it will evolve to become an orientation.

    Although the government has stressed that this is in no way an encouragement to return to the office and that staff should not be ‘forced or pressured to return’ after this date unless necessary important business.

    Official guidelines say that from January 28, “working from home remains important but moves from law to guidance”. Also from this date in Wales:

    • Discotheques will be able to reopen
    • Covid passes will not be required for large indoor events, nightclubs, cinemas, theaters and concert halls
    • There will be no restrictions on dating
    • No table service requirements in hospitality areas, nor the need to keep a physical distance of 2 meters.

    This means that those who wish to work from a desk should be able to do so, subject to approval from their workplace.

    Although there is some skepticism that lateral flow testing could produce a false negative or positive, this is unlikely. The UK’s four nations have urged people to keep testing regularly and take their boosters to keep reducing the spread of the virus.

    When does the rule end in Northern Ireland?

    The advice in Northern Ireland is to work from home if possible.

    In November last year, Health Minister Robin Swann said he believed anyone working from home should do so again. But he acknowledged that not all employers have the means to continue this situation any longer.

    Woman working from home

    People in Northern Ireland should continue to work from home if possible, Credit: Getty

    So, although the work from home guidelines in Northern Ireland have been reiterated by the executive, it is not the law.

    However, companies must comply with a legal obligation to guarantee a social distance of 2 m in the workplace. And where this cannot be achieved, the company should help apply other mitigation measures to reduce the spread of the virus.

    Can I still work from home if I wish?

    If you want to work from home after the guidelines are lifted, you should talk to your employer.

    The Prime Minister has removed all requirements to work from home. Now employers have the power to dictate whether it is mandatory for staff to be in the office at work or whether they can work from home as they used to.

    But as the government removed restrictions, some employers have been told they need to put measures in place to protect employees. This includes requirements such as good office ventilation.

    Anyone employed for at least 26 weeks by a company also has the right to request flexible working. This may include a request to work from home. Employers are required by law to deal with such claims in a ‘reasonable’ way and if they are found not to have done so, the employee can take them to an employment tribunal.

    Such requests can of course be refused by employers, however, if there is a valid reason. For example, if there are any security risks associated with working from home.

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    Home rule

    Home Rule Blues: Residents of Large Swathes of California Lack of Access to Legal Recreational Weed | East Bay Express

    Last month the Sacramento Bee released a list of the 10 largest California cities that still ban cannabis dispensaries, although weed has been legal in the state since 2017. Pot advocates have cited the list as further evidence that cities shouldn’t be allowed to ban pot shops locally. level.

    The only Bay Area city on the list is Fremont, coming in at No. 5. With approximately 235,000 residents, Fremont is the fourth largest city in the Bay Area, nearly twice the size of Berkeley, and the 16th in California. It not only bans any type of cannabis business from setting up, but also tightly regulates home cultivation – which is state-permitted and cannot be banned outright at the city level – and requires anyone growing pot to register with the cops. .

    Other cities of Beethe list includes Fresno at No. 1; with around 525,000 residents, amidst much controversy, Fresno looks set to license now. Anaheim ranks # 4; in 2019, voters refused to allow pottery shops there. Santa Clarita ranks # 6; City council passed an “emergency ordinance” banning cannabis stores shortly after Californian voters approved cannabis for adult use in 2016.

    Critics of the bans point out – with precision – that city autonomy powers are stifling the legal weed trade statewide and leaving many consumers without access to the legal pot. This has allowed the illicit market to flourish, and illegal weeds sell overwhelmingly more than the legal pot, accounting for up to three-quarters of the market at the state level. Some observers believe this to be an even bigger problem than the high taxes levied on the legal pot trade, which make the pot much more expensive than what we can buy on the street or from our dorm buddy. .

    This can be seen as the original sin of legalization in California: proponents of Proposition 64 used home rule, a feature of the measure, as a selling point to get the proposition passed. Now that tactic is coming back to bite them. Residents of large swathes of California do not have access to legal recreational weed – medicinal pot is governed by a separate set of laws, and there are medical dispensaries in many cities that prohibit adult cannabis use. . Delivery is now legal statewide, but that doesn’t help much: many areas are too remote for delivery services, and retail cannabis relies heavily on walk-in activities.

    Of 482 California municipalities, only 174 allow cannabis businesses, and some of them nonetheless ban cannabis retail stores, licensing only manufacturers and / or distributors. The state has issued 839 retail licenses, according to the Bureau of Cannabis Control. Per capita, Oregon has more than 15 times more adult-only dispensaries than California.

    But what is the real effect of a given city banning the commercial activity of cannabis? It depends on the city. the BeeThe list shows that the largest municipalities that ban the sale of weeds are located in the Central Valley and suburban areas of Southern California. Bakersfield, as well as Kern County, ban sales to adults. Residents of Bakersfield who wish to purchase weed should drive about an hour before visiting an adult cannabis dispensary, according to data from Weedmaps.

    But while Fremont could make a big mistake with his prohibitionist attitudes, it doesn’t affect consumers that much. They live a few miles from clinics in Union City, Hayward, San Jose, and Oakland. At least as important as direct bans, cities and counties limit the number of licenses they issue and concentrate dispensaries through zoning laws.

    “Sonoma County only allows nine dispensaries in the unincorporated zone,” said Lauren Mendelsohn, a lawyer and cannabis activist, and a member of the Sonoma County Growers Alliance advisory board. While consumers who live in Santa Rosa have easy access to dispensaries in their town, there are “absolutely no cannabis dispensaries along the fairly large Sonoma Coast, or the Marin coast towards south from here, ”she noted.

    “This patchwork approach has a negative impact on patients, tourists and local economies,” Mendelsohn said. This makes it more difficult for consumers, and it “adds more vehicles on the road and emissions to the atmosphere on long journeys”.

    She added, “This is all counterproductive and contrary to the progressive philosophy of Northern California. “

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    Home rule

    HB 218 Targets Employers, May Violate Ohio Constitution, House Rule

    There was a time when Statehouse Republicans readily and often called employers in Ohio “job creators.” But HB 218, as it is now written, barely stops seeing employers as agents of the Deep State.

    Certainly Ohioans, many of them, are fed up with COVID-19 and its delta and omicron variants and everything that comes next. But, also true, vaccination is the most effective procedure to combat COVID-19. And opposing vaccination is not very consistent with a legislature that proclaims itself pro-life.

    The truly remarkable thing about the bill is what the misguided nonpartisan Legislative Services Commission, the ever-underrated bill research and drafting arm of the General Assembly, has to say about the version of HB 218 currently pending in the Senate.

    Among other potential problems, the commission’s analysis warns, the bill may violate the Ohio Constitution’s prohibition on retroactive laws; could violate home rule in the town and village – although, for 20 years, a habitual legislative abuse at the Statehouse; and can alter contracts, which would violate both the constitutions of the United States and Ohio.

    That is, passing the bill as it stands might as well be full employment law for Ohio lawyers, given the big target, federal and state, which the legislation would paint over itself. (And here you also thought the GOP was the party of tort reform – the crusade to reduce the number of lawsuits filed in Ohio, i.e., injured people in exchange for fair compensation.)

    Now the question is who will blink first: the Senate who might water down the version of the bill passed by the House (but maybe not) – or DeWine? The governor, up for re-election next year, probably doesn’t want to tick off far-right activists in Ohio Republicans, who call talk shows, never miss a primary — and have long memories.

    MEANWHILE: If nothing else, the gerrymander of the Ohio House and State Senate Districts Redistricting Commission, as well as the gerrymander of the General Assembly of (potential) congressional districts in the Ohio may also increase lawyers’ billable hours. Anti-gerrymandering plaintiffs filed three lawsuits against the new Ohio House and State Senate districts.

    The high court has scheduled oral arguments for Wednesday December 8 on the alleged pro-Republican General Assembly gerrymanders. It’s impossible to know whether the Supreme Court’s final decision — four Republicans and three Democrats — will cross or follow party lines. An idealist hopes for a multiparty decision. A realist admits he’s in Ohio.

    Thomas Suddes is an adjunct assistant professor at Ohio University. He covered the Statehouse for The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer for many years.

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    Home rule

    The best time to remove anti-Home-Rule runners in Congress for the District of Columbia is now

    Two weeks ago, the District of Columbia’s fight against marijuana regulation took a historic turn. For the first time, the DC Council held a public hearing on legislation to legalize and regulate the sale of marijuana for adult use. For seven years now, nearly 65% ​​of Washingtonians voted in favor of Initiative 71 (I-71), a campaign that led the nation to center racial justice and equity as important reasons to end the criminalization of marijuana. Under this initiative, it is legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow and share small amounts of marijuana. Despite broad support to end the local war on marijuana and urgent calls to explore what fairness and justice look like after legalization, the district has been continually blocked from taking action to move forward with regulation of marijuana use by adults.

    The blockage is due to a congressional appropriations endorsement, which prohibits the District from using its local funds to tax or regulate sales of adult-use marijuana. Every year since the passage of I-71, Congress has included that runner, known as the Harris runner, who ended the real benefits of public health and justice reform promised by the campaign.

    Over the past few years, I have worked diligently with dozens of state and local advocacy organizations to remove the rider. For the first time since the passage of I-71, we have successfully had the jumper removed from the pending versions of the DC appropriations bill for fiscal year 2022 in the House and Senate. With the DC Council hearing two weeks ago, I hope that my efforts to remove the endorsement from DC’s final appropriations bill for fiscal year 2022 will finally allow the DC Council to pass legislation legalizing the marketing of marijuana for adult use.

    The district has experienced far too many preventable public health and safety issues due to the lack of a regulated market. The hearing allowed DC council members to discuss equitable ways to address commercialization in the district, with particular attention to communities of color and low-income people who are disproportionately affected by the war on Drugs.

    DC residents want and deserve to see the benefits of a regulated adult marijuana market, such as the entry of entrepreneurs into the marijuana industry and the creation of jobs and economic development at home. district scale. The 18 states that have voted to commercialize marijuana for adult use benefit from the revenue it generates. Last year, the House demonstrated its support for economic development and restorative justice through the commercialization of marijuana at the federal level by passing the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act. Now we have the historic opportunity to follow the spirit of the DC Home Rule Act and enable the District to do the same. It is time for the District to have the full legislative capacity to carry out the will of its inhabitants.

    Congresswoman Norton has long advocated removing the appropriations endorsement that prevents the District of Columbia from spending local funds to regulate marijuana.

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    Home rule

    County commission holds committee meeting to discuss possible passage of ‘domicile rule’ – Grand Forks Herald

    The Grand Forks County Commission held an Administrative Services Committee meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 2 to discuss the potential adoption of a “house rule” charter for Grand Forks County, but at least one commissioner think now might not be the time to move.

    The discussion confirmed that the purpose of the move to self-government would be to allow for the introduction of a sales tax to create a new source of revenue for the county.

    Home Rule gives authority to counties for municipal affairs instead of state laws. It is basically a local constitution that allows a county or municipality to do anything not specifically prohibited by the state constitution. It gives counties local control to make ordinances and decisions on local needs instead of the decisions of state legislatures. Raising taxes to solve financial problems is a common reason for its implementation, which is the reason cited by county commissioners.

    Grand Forks County Administrator Tom Ford listed some “misconceptions” about the domestic diet at the meeting that the county should point out when selling the idea to citizens.

    “It was really the Achilles heel the last time the county asked people for a self-reliance charter,” Ford said. “There was a lot of misinformation and misconceptions floating around out there.”

    Ford cited a handful of myths, such as citizens losing influence in county government.

    “Nothing could be further from the truth,” Ford said. “The thing is, residents will get more local input, such as the ability of the referendum to postpone local actions, and they’ll just have a bigger voice in the process in county government.”

    Another myth he cited was that local autonomy allows local governments to pass new taxes without the consent of residents, which is also not true. It simply allows the county to offer new taxes for residents to vote on. He also said the rule of origin will not change the way property taxes are assessed, which will still rely on state law, or impact cities, townships, school districts, and other entities, due to its scope which only encompasses county government.

    The Home Rule was most recently proposed in 2008 for the same reason – to propose a sales tax to pay for the costs of a new jail, in which only 16% of residents voted to approve it.

    Commissioner David Engen said he believed the most important part of involving the public was to come before them with facts.

    “We also have to sell this thing with facts and bust the myths,” Engen said. “People I’ve spoken to in Northwood and a few other places, they really see the fairness of a sales tax instead of it all being on people who own farmland, people who own their homes in city, tenants who do not pay it and etc. I think logic is on our side, but we have to get the word out.

    The city of Grand Forks expects to generate about $10 million a year with a 1% sales tax, and a countywide sales tax would bring in even more revenue. Even a 0.5% sales tax would generate $100 million in additional revenue over the next 20 years.

    Commissioner Tom Falck said he believed the time had not yet come to propose home rule.

    “In my mind, I think we’re premature to move forward, and some of you probably won’t agree, but I think we could spend $50,000, and we can’t spend it. , in advertising, we can be anywhere we want to be to try to support this, and you’re not going to reach the majority of our voters,” Falck said. “I really think the timing is right, for the public to see how it will help them, is to continue this after the mill tax increase for the correctional facility, because every property owner in our county will receive a tax return with this increase.”

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    Home rule

    The story of over a century of Home Rule debates in Scotland

    I VERY rarely plan months in advance and often start this column on a Monday morning without a clue of what I’m about to write – no doubt many of you will have noticed. So the other day, when a piece of Facebook comedy was brought to my attention by a reader, I felt that there was more than just a kernel of story there.

    I first saw “A Warning from Ireland” on Facebook in the run-up to the 2014 referendum, but it was re-posted the other day. He states: “Between 1889 and 1914 Irish Home Rule was debated 15 times in Westminster and there were four Home Rule bills. Nothing has changed.”

    How many Scots know that between 1886 and 1900 Scottish Home Rule was debated seven times in Westminster? How many Scots know that in 1894 and 1895 the Commons voted for a Home Rule resolution but ran out of parliamentary time? How many knows that in 1913 the Scottish Federal Government Bill was introduced in the House of Commons and the proposal was supported by 204 votes to 159? Only the outbreak of World War I stopped its implementation or we could have had a decentralized Scottish legislature a century ago.

    Almost a mythology developed about how Scotland always adhered to the Incorporated Union that was inflicted on us in 1707. Yes, there was a long time, say after the Jacobite Uprising of 1745 until ‘in the 1850s, when Scotland took the building of the British Empire to heart and is doing quite well, but as I have shown in recent chronicles, the Union has not been a great success in the start.

    During the first half of the 19th century, Westminster was very happy to be decentralized in many of its functions, and the councils and boards of directors largely dealt with matters of governance, so the Scots were content to take care of business.

    With Sir Walter Scott in the foreground, however, as the turn of the 19th century wore on, many people began to worry about the loss of Scottish citizenship – and this was also not based on the class, because the workers and the middle classes worried about this cultural and political creep. intimidation.

    The National Association for the Defense of Scottish Rights was formed in 1853, but was short-lived and had little political impact. But her main complaints – that Scotland was under-represented in Parliament and that Scotland did not receive sufficient income for the huge sums it contributed to the Treasury – sparked heated debate, but it fizzled out in 1856.

    The Liberals controlled Scotland for decades, but by the 1880s the party was struggling with its Home Rule policy for Ireland, and as a result of this question a Scottish Home Rule Association was started in 1886, the same year that Keir Hardie and others started their labor movement and the following year the Scottish office was founded in support of the Home Rulers.

    It is extraordinary to remember the great debate on Scottish Home Rule in the House of Commons that took place in 1889 – the first time it was fully debated in parliament, and a rather astonishing event, frankly, which almost been forgotten.

    MP Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham said on this historic day, April 9, 1889: “In view of the great pressure that will soon be brought to bear on this House by social causes on the part of the Scottish electorate, we have not come. here with a frivolous or stupid proposition as we, for the first time, tried to lobby the Scottish Home Rule cause in the House of Commons. ”

    Dr Gavin Clark, Member of Parliament for Caithness, proposed to the House of Commons the resolution ‘that, in the opinion of this House, it is desirable that arrangements be made for the provision of the Scottish people, through their representatives in a parliament national, management and control of Scottish affairs.

    He said: “I have no desire to abrogate the Union between England and Scotland, and I think the Union has been mutually beneficial – a good thing for Scotland, but a better thing. for England.

    “I frankly admit that while my motion is primarily based on practical considerations, there is a sentimental basis for the growing Home Rule movement in Scotland. We Scots are all proud of our country and its history.

    “An attempt is made here to ignore Scottish nationality. We hear about the English government, and the minister is not called to order for expression. Well, just the other day the Secretary of War talked about the British troops he was sending to Egypt, the Scottish Borderers. ”

    So far so familiar even nowadays.

    Clark continued: ‘We have confusion, lawlessness and chaos in mixed jurisdictions in Scotland, due to the outrageous state of our Public Health Act, but the House never had time. to deal with this subject, and therefore anarchy continues. There are thousands of preventable deaths every year in Scotland due to our shameful Public Health Act.

    “Everyone, even the old Tories across the way, has to admit that change is needed. So what is the cure to be? It must, I think, take the form of a devolution.

    The word had been spoken… and it wasn’t until 1889.

    William Hunter, Liberal MP for Aberdeen North, seconded the motion, correcting the record:; but it is remarkable that since then there has been no sustained agitation in its support by public meetings or in the press.

    “Sir, having decided that Home Rule for Scotland would be good for the country, I then decided to explain my point of view to my constituency in Aberdeen. I had no idea how they would receive it, but I found out very quickly that the constituency was ahead of me, and that the mass of the people had strived for Home Rule to a point that I did not. would not have thought possible. Indeed, I think we won’t have 10 members returning to Scotland in the next general election unless they are committed to Home Rule for Scotland. ”

    Sir Hugh Shaw-Stewart, Old Etonian Conservative MP for East Renfrewshire, rose to oppose the motion:. It would be centralization in its worst form.

    He added: “I think the spirit which animates my honorable friends is embodied in the advice given by an old Scottish radical to a young man about to enter Parliament: ‘Be asking, and when you get something, be complaining that you can’t have May ‘.

    The National:

    UP raised the Grand Old Man himself, William Ewart Gladstone (above), former and future prime minister and Liberal leader: question on his merits.

    “The principles applicable to the solution of this question are, however, by no means obscure or difficult to understand. I believe that Scotland and Ireland are precisely equal before England as regards their moral and political right to assert before the Imperial Parliament any claims which they may regard as arising out of the interests and demands of these respective countries. They are precisely equal in this right, so that if I am to assume a case in which Scotland, unanimously, or by a clearly casting vote, asks the United Parliament to be treated, not only on the same principle , but like Ireland, I couldn’t deny Scotland’s title to make such a claim. Further, I am obliged to say that I have a perfectly firm belief that if such a claim were made in the manner which I have described as the clear and deliberate statement of Scottish opinion, Parliament would accede to it. ”

    What a principled debate, but the vote wasn’t close – 79 yeas, 200 nays, and that seemed like it. But as the Labor movement grew and young Liberal Scots arose, the question of Home Rule for Scotland did not go away, and it preoccupied many minds at the turn of the 20th century.

    In 1913, parliament was ready for another Scottish Home Rule debate and William Cowan, Liberal MP for Aberdeenshire Eastern, put it in place with his Scottish Government Bill.

    He said: ‘You cannot take a Scottish newspaper today with a good chance of not finding any reference to this burning issue.

    “I don’t care who is going to Scotland today, if he talks to someone, if he goes somewhere, if he consults the people, he will find out that it is the most absorbing political subject by Scotland.”

    The SNP contingent at Westminster will acknowledge their forthcoming statement: “The English members will be conspicuous by their absence, or be represented by gentlemen who, having shootouts, fisheries or deer forests in Scotland, imagine themselves to be experts in business. and insist on wasting our time and theirs by interfering in the Scottish debates.

    He concluded: “Is it any wonder that Scotland is tired and demands its own parliament? That it requires its own legislation for land, for the alcohol trade, for education, for housing, for fishing, for ecclesiastical affairs, for 101 matters of purely local interest?

    You can read both debates in Hansard. You will find many sadly familiar points.

    In the very unlikely event that Boris Johnson reads this column, I would like to end with a few words from his great hero, Sir Winston Spencer Churchill. Speaking in his then constituency of Dundee on October 9, 1913, Churchill said: “You will recall how last year I spoke at a meeting in Dundee on this subject (rule of the House). I made it clear that I was speaking for myself. I made it clear that I was not talking about the immediate future, but … raising an issue for reflection and discussion rather than quick action. I have spoken of the establishment of a federal system in the United Kingdom, in which Scotland, Ireland and Wales, and, if necessary, parts of England, could have institutions legislative and parliamentary, allowing them to develop, in their own way, their own lives according to their own ideas and needs in the same way as the great and prosperous States of the American Union and the great kingdoms and principalities and states of the Empire German.

    “I will take the risk of prophecy and tell you that the day will most certainly come – many of you will live to see it – when a federal system will be established in these islands which will give Wales and Scotland control. within the proper limits of their own Welsh and Scottish affairs.

    Of course, the real reason there will never be a Federal United Kingdom of Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland is that Scotland will first go its own way and will regain its full independence.

    Let’s face it, the majority of the British want independence from us, Wales and Northern Ireland. The lesson of history is that federalism will never be enough and that we must all go our separate ways.

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    Home rule

    The Lafayette City Council supports the Home Rule Charter Commission. What happens afterwards?

    Lafayette City Council voted 4-1 on Tuesday to convene a self-government charter commission to propose changes to consolidated local government, but that doesn’t mean it will happen.

    Council volunteer Protect the City Committee worked for months to review the structure of Lafayette’s consolidated government.

    After a long series of public meetings, this committee produced a report recommending that Lafayette city and parish councils call a charter commission to offer some level of deconsolidation to voters in an election.

    The city council welcomed the suggestion on Tuesday.

    “You may or may not agree with questions about this, but we are here to make continuous efforts to improve our city of Lafayette,” Councilwoman Liz Hebert said. “Whether you agree with everything in this (report) or completely disagree with it, you can completely agree with it.”

    A Home Rule Charter Commission would have a maximum of 18 months to develop a proposal to change Lafayette’s form of government. It would then be presented to voters in a parish-wide election.

    Councilman Andy Naquin voted alone against convening a charter commission on Tuesday, calling the measure “premature.” He attempted to postpone the vote but failed to gain the necessary support from the rest of the council to do so.

    Lafayette City Council President Liz Hebert speaks to voters during a town hall meeting on the City Protection Committee's recommendation to split the Lafayette Consolidated Government on Monday, June 14, 2021.

    Naquin sought to delay the vote until the Lafayette Parish Council’s city-parish alignment commission, which was recently created in response to the city’s protection committee, completes its six-month study on consolidated government.

    Councilor Glenn Lazard said he felt a delay was unjustified and would not change council’s support for the move.

    “If we proceed tonight or wait a month, two months, three months, I don’t think the outcome will be any different,” Lazard said.

    “That’s why I don’t see the point of delaying the inevitable.”

    Lafayette City Council members Pat Lewis of District 1 and Glenn Lazard of District 5 held a series of town hall meetings to discuss a report by the city's protection committee aimed at deconsolidating the Lafayette government.  Wednesday June 16, 2021.

    The city council vote calls for an 11-member commission, with one nomination each for five city council members and five parish council members, as well as one for mayor-president Josh Guillory.

    But the city council’s supermajority support for calling a commission, which has been spurred by calls for greater autonomy and the city’s desire to elect its own mayor, alone won’t be enough to convene. a charter commission.

    Instead, the Lafayette Parish Council must sign off on the city vote to accomplish anything. Members of the city council acknowledged that this was unlikely to happen.

    The parish’s nine-member CPA commission, which is advisory only and not a charter commission, has not yet set a date for its first meeting.

    The members of the committee are:

    • Parish Councilor Bryan Tabor (Whole Parish Council)
    • Councilor Nanette Cook (Wide Council)
    • Charles “Buddy” Schilling II (Parish Councilor Bryan Tabor)
    • Councilman Kevin Naquin (self-appointed)
    • Pastor and Business Owner Joseph Richard (Parish Councilor Josh Carlson)
    • Director of Publicity Paul Eason (Parish Councilor John Guilbeau)
    • Accountant Will Thiele (A.B. Rubin Parish Councilor)
    • Tim Breaux, Chairman of the Lafayette Republican Party (Mayor-Chairman Josh Guillory)
    • Former mayor of Scott Purvis Morrison (area mayors)

    The composition of the CPA Commission includes the most frequent negotiators on the current councils, but lacks a strong political bent, aside from Guillory’s appointment of Breaux. This suggests that anti-deconsolidation members of the parish council may not be trying to block a possible charter commission, but rather delaying current calls to convene one.

    Mayor-President Josh Guillory speaking before the removal of the Mouton statue.  After 99 years at the corner of Jefferson Street and Lee Avenue in downtown Lafayette, the statue of Confederate General Alfred Mouton is removed.  Saturday July 17, 2021.

    The commission’s six-month schedule will likely slow the convening of any charter commission long enough to avoid local ballot changes in 2023, when Guillory and the two councils are re-elected.

    But that doesn’t mean the end of the road for efforts to convene a short-term charter commission.

    Two potential leads remain.

    The first is outlined in state law, which provides residents of a local government with the ability to convene a self-government charter commission through a petition, which in Lafayette Parish must collect signatures from 10,000 registered voters.

    This would require members of a charter commission to be elected by voters before starting work on proposing changes.

    The second option would likely be an uphill battle in court that city council members said they hoped to avoid.

    Councilor Nanette Cook in a meeting on Tuesday, May 18, 2021.

    Councilwoman Nanette Cook, a supporter of the charter commission and the only city council member appointed to the parish council commission, said she hopes to make progress in finding a solution that serves the interests of the city and of the parish.

    “I believe we can work with the parish on this. I appreciate that we now have an alignment committee, and the word ‘functional consolidation’, to me, has some merit that I think we need to look at as well,” Cook said.

    “I look forward to working with them to see what we can do together to see what works best for both entities because, again, Lafayette is in the parish.”

    Follow Andrew Capps on Twitter or email [email protected]

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    ‘Inevitable’ Tory Gov will reject your Home Rule plan, says Drakeford

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    Prime Minister Mark Drakeford. Photo by Welsh Government.

    Mark Drakeford has been told it is “inevitable” that the Conservative government will reject his home rule plan.

    Plaid Cymru MS Rhys ab Owen has asked the Prime Minister to ‘consider’ what he is going to do when it ‘happens’, and Westminster is ignoring his requests.

    The Plaid member Senedd was referring to Drakeford’s recently published plan to prevent the UK from breaking up, called Reforming Our Union.

    On the Senedd floor, he suggested that “throughout the centuries” Westminster had “ignored the cries of Home Rule until it was too late and the inevitable happened – independence”.

    Rhys ab Owen said: “I don’t doubt your sincerity and the sincerity of the Attorney General at all, but your calls for autonomy will be rejected by the Westminster government, a government obsessed with centralizing powers.

    “Over the centuries and across the Continent, Westminster ignored the cries of Home Rule until it was too late and the inevitable happened – independence – the de facto position of nations in the world now independent.

    “And I echo the words of my colleague Jane Dodds that independence did not come off the ballot. Prime Minister, you know candidates within your own party who are pro-independence. ‘independence.

    “The Prime Minister will be aware, walking around Cardiff West, of houses with a YesCymru poster and a Labor poster on their window, and Jane Dodds’ comment about the interest of many young people.

    “This plan does not go far enough, Prime Minister. It should take into account welfare and also what happens when the inevitable happens and the Conservative government refuses your plan. Could you please consider this?

    “Developed further”

    The Prime Minister said: “Listen, he makes an important point about how this plan can be developed further, what could be added to it, and I look forward to hearing from him further on these things.

    “I don’t think he will advance his own cause, however, if he is not prepared to face the very direct choice that was presented to the people of Wales in May, and in my opinion, it was the clearest- put choice in the whole history of devolution.

    “As I said, I was standing in television studios, and next to me was a man who wanted to plead for the total abolition of decentralization, to abolish the whole Assembly, and he pleaded for the cause of the Welsh people.

    “On the other side of me was someone who wanted to persuade people that Wales needed to be removed from the UK completely, and he put this issue at the center of his campaign.

    “And Plaid Cymru lost ground – he didn’t gain ground, he lost ground in this election, and I don’t think I could have been any clearer, time and time again, on the shows , in leaflets, at every opportunity I had , to say that the Labor Party represented a powerful devolution in a prosperous United Kingdom.

    “And in the end, that’s where the people of Wales made their choice, and I think the people of Plaid Cymru have to be ready to – ‘Blinkers,'” Rhun ap Iorwerth said as well. in a world without blinkers, I think we have to think about that too.

    Support our nation today

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    Home Rule, and the Protestants who took up arms against it

    ‘MY husband Peter is English; he thought he had come to Queens University, Belfast, to go fishing; instead, he grabbed me. Northern Irish writer Ruth Kirby-Smith watches me through a zoom lens from her home in Leeds. We are talking about his recent publication ‘The Settlement’, a book that at that time I had not fully read. Little did I know that two days later I would swallow the final chapters, with the book’s heroine Sarah remaining indelibly etched in my mind.

    Flipping through the velvety pages (the author tells me she didn’t personally choose the lavish paper), the reader finds himself immersed in a turbulent period in Ulster’s history, albeit less so. mentioned. The year is 1914 and Ulster Unionists are reeling from a 1912 Home Rule Bill proposing to grant self-government to Ireland. Fiercely opposed to measures that would place them under the authority of a Dublin Parliament, they formed a paramilitary force – the Ulster Volunteers – to resist the movement by force of arms. A world of political turmoil unfolds, with Nationalists installing the Irish Volunteers in direct response.

    With a focus on the Protestant community and the “big house” of Lindara, the characters in “The Settlements” are all wrapped up in the Protestant political movement of the time. Ruth says that although she used names, people and places from her childhood home in the countryside south of Belfast, it’s not all based on family experiences.

    ‘Protestant but not Orange is the best way to describe my family. We loved the South, going to the ‘Free State’ – Rathmines in Dublin – on vacation; I knew more about the Easter Rising than what happened in the North. (The book contains a superb account of the Shelbourne Hotel in the aftermath of the rising.) “It was only after my father’s death that I began to research this period of history by North Ireland.”

    Now 72, Ruth is no stranger to the most recent ‘Troubles’ stating that she nearly blew herself up twice on Belfast’s Bloody Friday in 1973.

    Ruth admits that “Chapters 3 and 4 are the real story of my father; I grew up with stories of him being kidnapped and his parents coming to take him back; the letters in the book are real – I actually have them in my possession The book is peppered with a lot of characters from my past, including my grandmother who was quite stern and proper I remember the big house and afternoon tea on the horsehair dining room seats , the colonel leaning on his gardener.

    Previously working as an urban planner and entrepreneur running a successful baby bag business, Ruth wanted to be a writer. “I’ve always told stories; I knew I had to learn to write with that voice, but I could never find a story that grabbed me. I went to a creative writing course in Leeds. It wasn’t until Dad’s death that I started looking into his time. The whole anti-home rule movement got me; I knew then that I had a story to tell.

    The story grew out of a process of asking and answering questions about his ancestry. ‘My father was placed in foster care when he was 3 days old; the obvious question was why? A wealthy family, I began to ask what was going on in their lives. Dad was born in 1919, so I watched that period ten years beforehand. It was while reading about this particular period in Ulster history by Jonathan Bardon that I thought – what an incredible story! I didn’t know half of this stuff. People I knew who had studied history hadn’t even found out.

    Originally Ruth Brown, to her knowledge, her family was not present at Carson’s mass meetings or directly involved in the Larne gun-running incident so clearly described in the book, but that was the times in which they lived. Importing arms from Germany, central Ulster The Volunteers were averted by the outbreak of the First World War she so poignantly describes, the Southern Irish Volunteers fighting the same war under Redmond (and incidentally, importing weapons from similar sources into Germany).

    The 1916 Battle of the Somme, disastrous for the Ulster Volunteers, took place on July 1, at the start of the marching season. The tragedy, born in the battlefields “was mourned in the fields of Ulster during this long and sad summer. Through it all, the harvest had to be brought in and the animals fed and cared for. There was no respite for sorrow in the round of daily toil.

    As an author from a Protestant background, was it difficult to be objective? ‘No, I loved it. That’s what I wanted to do. I didn’t want to write with one voice so I chose a heroine who didn’t take sides; a free-thinking anti-homeruler. To some extent, there’s a bit of me in there. I question things and I’m very open to Ireland. I was in politics in Queens during the civil rights era; almost everyone I knew in the student body was for civil rights. I didn’t want good guys and bad guys; I wanted the main character to question everything. I did not want to promote the Protestant cause. I had to balance it.

    When Sarah’s character becomes involved in the arms trade in Larne, she only felt drawn in because everyone she loved was involved. “When they needed me, my loyalty to them was greater than my own managers. In doing so, I had betrayed myself a little. The writer uses overtly simple language, somewhat unusual for a novel; no one “shivers” or “shivers” or any of that nonsense; instead there are descriptions of a “face as long as a Lurgan spade” or, during an unwanted pregnancy, of “finding yourself in a real pucker”.

    The author credits his simple writing style to years of compiling reports, however, he realizes in this writer that perhaps his simple writing skills boil down to his “no frills” Presbyterian background. Alliteration pledge is fine to describe something like outfits at a Venetian masquerade ball, but certainly not for hard-working Protestants in Northern Ireland.

    Stating that Belfast was the industrial center of Ireland at this time with both shipbuilding and an extensive flax trade, Ruth reiterates that the main concerns of the anti-House rulers were trade; the focus of his book, Samuels’ Flax Mills, supplies the British war machine with everything from tents to bags of kit. “Now with Brexit 100 years later, it just resonates; the ‘settlement’ referred to throughout the book is about money, not religion or politics.

    “My vision for the book is that readers will learn more about Northern Ireland. An English friend who read it recently said he was intrigued, researching the story, previously unknown to them, as he read’ adding ‘Having grown up in Northern Ireland, although I kept some basics, I don’t have time for religion.’ In terms of personal exploration, the author says two major themes emerged, the first being a realization that it was probably the Protestants who armed themselves first.

    “The arms trade happened on April 24, 1914 when the UVF raised money to drop arms at Larne, the moment of real violence in the South came later during the Rising of Easter 1916; I found that surprising. My next surprise was the resonance today with all the trade issues. These were also at the forefront of the minds of most Protestants at the turn of the last century, apart from their fears of being subsumed by a dominant Catholic culture.

    The settlement is a good torn thread woven around family, love and hardship, with business, madness, murder and debt thrown into the political quagmire. “I want people to like the book; not only because of the good characters and the story, but also because of the fun of learning about a time or place they knew nothing about. I want the reader to write it down and say “it was a great story, but I also learned something”.

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    Home rule

    Ocean City is in real danger of losing its rights of autonomy to the state.

    City Council Speaker Bob Barr, right, and Council Deputy Speaker Michael DeVlieger said the legislation would rob Ocean City and other communities of the centuries-old tradition of self-governance.

    In 1917, the New Jersey Legislature saw the wisdom in passing the Home Rule Act, which allowed local governments to control their own future by granting them broad powers to enact laws and regulations that protected and promoted local interests. . The Home Rule Act is still the foundation of local self-government in New Jersey today. However, Senate Bill #S3926 and Assembly Bill #A5894 (these bills) threaten the very essence of Home Rule and place the future of our local coastal communities in the hands of a foreign entity, namely the Danish company called Orsted.

    As written, these bills take away the ability of local governments to make decisions that they believe reflect the best interests of the community and replace them with a process that favors foreign investment. It eliminates good faith negotiations as a basis for local officials to negotiate effectively with Orsted. Instead, Orsted can refuse any reasonable resolution and simply take his case to the State Utilities Board. These bills clearly put Orsted in an advantageous negotiating position at the expense of municipalities.

    The majority of Ocean City Council strongly opposes these bills because they seriously erode local government’s ability to make choices that represent what is best for their community and do not allow for good faith negotiations. with Orsted.

    In addition, these bills will force local elected officials to make decisions before disclosure of all the facts. Federally mandated environmental impact statements or assessments for the pending offshore wind project won’t be completed until the first quarter of 2023, but those bills require local governments to make decisions about the project well ahead of the publication of these important documents. This is unfair, lacks transparency and goes against good public policy.

    While the City of Ocean City Council understands the state’s desire to develop alternative energy sources to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, rushing to achieve this goal without due process, without full disclosure of the facts , without extensive public debate on the environmental impacts and circumvention of the autonomy law do not reflect a truly democratic process. All these bills accomplish is to short-circuit the ability of local officials, who know their community best, the ability to have meaningful input on issues that will significantly affect their communities for at least the next 25 coming years.

    Coastal communities, like Ocean City, have tourism-based economies that make a major contribution to state coffers. However, maintaining the prosperity of Ocean City requires protecting the natural beauty of the coast and these bills do nothing to advance this important cause and, in fact, ignore the value of the coastal environment.

    Attempts to micromanage Ocean City from Trenton in favor of foreign entities will not be tolerated. The majority of City Council strongly oppose these bills and will use every method at their disposal to defeat pending legislation, as we believe our fundamental principle of self-determination is at stake.

    Ocean City Council Chairman Bob Barr and Vice Chairman Michael DeVlieger are asking you to make your voice heard. Join us to defend our local community. Tell your legislators in Trenton to protect our wildlife, our environment and our right to self-reliance.

    Don’t let Big Government tell us what’s good for the health, safety and well-being of our community!

    Please support our regional representatives who support us. Reach out to them and tell them how you feel.


    Bob Barr

    Chair, Ocean City City Council

    Mike DeVlieger

    Vice President, Ocean City City Council

    State of New Jersey – First District Legislators

    Senator Michael Testa – Phone: 609-778-2012

    MP Antwan McClellan – Phone: 609-778-2012

    Assemblyman Erik Simonsen – Phone: 609-778-2012

    Cape May County Board of Commissioners
    Phone: 609-465-1065
    Director Jerry Thornton – Email: [email protected]

    Vice Director Leonard Desiderio – Email: [email protected]

    Commissioner E. Marie Hayes – Email: [email protected]

    Commissioner Will Morey – Email: [email protected]

    Commissioner Jeffrey Pierson – Email: [email protected]

    City of Ocean City, New Jersey – City Council

    President Robert Barr: [email protected] / 609-703-0750

    Vice President Michael DeVlieger: [email protected] / 609-231-8987

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    Home rule


    The legislative session in Tallahassee prompted various attempts to anticipate local decision-making on several fronts. With the help of the Florida League of Cities and local officials and attorneys, including Roget Bryan, those attempts were thwarted.

    Prior to a June 2 meeting at Founders Park Community Center, Scott Dudley of the Florida League of Cities presented Islamorada attorney Bryan with the “Home Rule Hero” accolade for providing analysis and contributions throughout the 2021 session on bills with ramifications for local municipalities. The Florida League of Cities formed in 1922 to shape legislation and share ideas and experiences, and more than 400 cities and towns are members today.

    Local autonomy allows a city to solve its community problems with local solutions and minimal or no interference from the state. Recipients of the Home Rule Hero award are local, elected and unelected officials.

    With constant attempts to preempt domestic rule, Dudley said the Florida League of Cities is a resource in Tallahassee for championing the ability of local governments to make decisions that reflect the opinions and needs of citizens. Contributions from lawyers, like Bryan, help the League of Cities understand the impacts of legislation on a city.

    “We can usually read the legislation and say, ‘We think that’s bad enough for cities,’ (but) we’ll appeal to city attorneys and managers,” Dudley said. “Roget is one during the legislative session when we had questions about the impact of a bill in a municipality; he intervened and let us know what the impacts would be in Islamorada.

    Bryan has assisted the Florida League of Cities with several complicated bills, including the Bert Harris Act which provides procedures and remedies for property owners whose property is excessively burdened by local government legislation. The League of Cities has opposed changes that disregard individual property rights or create one-sided lawsuits that shift financial burdens to local taxpayers.

    Dudley said Bryan was also helpful with vacation rental and home-based business issues, as well as other legislation being considered this year that “doesn’t help municipalities or citizens at all.”

    “Roget helped us break it down and helped us understand what the impacts of certain particular legislation would be where the rubber meets the road,” Dudley said. “I am honored to be here to present Roget with a Home Rule Hero certificate.”

    This is the third year in a row that Bryan has received the title of Home Rule Hero. Selected unanimously in 2013 by the Village Council to be the first in-house attorney, Bryan provides legal advice regarding the interpretation of the Village Code and Florida Statutes. He also represents the village in litigation, prepares and reviews contracts and agreements, and assists in drafting ordinances and resolutions.

    After receiving this honor, Bryan said it was a privilege to champion not only Islamorada by Florida municipalities.

    “I’m a big defender of home rule. I think it’s the most effective layer of government, it’s where the things that have the most impact on citizens matter the most and it’s where they are felt the most,” said he declared. “To be able to help protect our ability to make those decisions for ourselves is truly a privilege and an honor.”

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    Home rule

    Andrew Tickell: Home Rule in this reactionary UK would not answer our problems

    WHEN a DUP politician says “with my cold, dead hands,” you don’t expect him to wave a handful of sausages. But he stood there, Cro-Magnon, recreational naturist and East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson under a poster with the caption “Ulster is British.” Sammy doesn’t want to save Ulster from salami, but to deliver the Six Counties from the evils of Northern Ireland Protocol.

    While Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal provided for the prospect of a physical infrastructure of border posts, it instead drew an effective regulatory border along the Irish Sea. This allowed Northern Ireland to remain in the single market and exclude the rest of the UK from it. The deal included rules on importing chilled meats – including Sammy’s handful of nods – from Britain to Northern Ireland. These rules were due to come into force in the spring, but the British government has decided to give itself a little more time to meet its obligations without discussing them with its European counterparts.

    After unilaterally extending the grace period, Boris Johnson and his ministers have now decided that the “brilliant” deal they struck with the EU27 is now “excessively cumbersome”. Just as the burdensome commitments of fidelity in your wedding vows can be resolved by taking a ‘flexible and pragmatic approach’ to fidelity, Captain Impunity believes the harshness and reprimands of the EU should ease and view the protocol as guidelines rather than rules. After all, what is a little bit of a friend offense?

    And now the UK government and its struggling former Democratic Unionist Party allies are staging, seemingly without irony, the storyline of a famous episode of Yes, Minister in real time.

    According to Edwin Poots – the new DUP chief after Arlene Foster was ousted in April – the EU is trying to starve the ordinary population of Northern Ireland. “Processed meat is typical of foods that would be sold in Iceland and other stores,” he said. “It is very often the lower paid people who use these pizzas, lasagnas and various basic products. ”

    I guess that’s not quite what Gordon Brown had in mind when he talks about the Union as an instrument of social justice. The people’s banger is a deep red, despite its modest meat content, chilled or not.

    Not to be outdone, Boris Johnson’s Environment Secretary took to the airwaves to give the nation a touching speech about the condescension and culinary bigotry of our European friends and allies, protesting that he did not ” no idea “why the EU was imposing” idiosyncratic “rules on the mystery. meats crossing market borders. But the member for Camborne and Redruth had his suspicions.

    READ MORE: High cost of Brexit for Scotch whiskey companies described in Commons

    “I suspect it has to do with some sort of perception that they can’t really trust a country other than an EU country to make sausages,” George Eustice told Nick Ferrari. “I think this is nonsense. I think we have a very good sausage industry in this country, we have the highest food hygiene standards in the world ”, closing this noble address to LBC listeners with the moving finale:“ There is no problem with our sausages or even our chicken nuggets.

    Now there is a slogan to put on your tanks. The scandalized meat factories of Lincoln and Cumbria unite.

    They say that the laws are like sausages: it is better not to see them being made. This British government succeeded in combining the two unsightly exercises. But the concocted “sausage wars” are very much in keeping with the political absurdity that propelled Boris Johnson to and helps keep Boris Johnson there.

    When he was starting out as a European correspondent for the Telegraph, a young Boris Johnson specialized in serving this kind of charcuterie to the indignant gammon of the newspaper, which swallowed up any history of Eurocrat diktats worthy of employment. , published by editors cynical enough to give their readers what they wanted no matter how economical their featured correspondent’s copy was.

    EU-mandated banana smoothing, bans on the sale of cocktail shrimp crisps – these kinds of Brussels tales were not only the preserve of our future Prime Minister.

    They have been a staple of right-wing Eurosceptic media in Britain for decades, reliably generating screaming headlines stoking imaginary grievances against the bloc, skillfully repackaging deregulation, lower welfare standards and less environmental protections like worker preference, and all the rest like unofficial, foreign namby-pambyism, “elf ‘n safety”.

    READ MORE: Brexit caused UK services sector to contract by over £ 110bn

    This kind of reactionary simplicity is absolutely at the heart of this government’s emotional tone and emotional appeal. It seems appropriate that the Conservatives are now representing Hartlepool. Legend has it that locals hanged a monkey that ran aground on a wreck off the coast because they believed it was one of Napoleon’s spies.

    I’m not sure if this was one of the episodes Jacob Rees-Mogg had in mind when he spoke lyrical lyrics in the Commons last week about how we should all be proud of “our wonderful story”, but by the 18th century, the conflict between the UK and France was at least real.

    Now we just have a UK government that intermittently talks as if it wants to, and tabloids poised to sink into feverish dreams of war, gunboats and Dunkirk on the drop of a cocked hat.

    I guess this is an emotional distraction from any meaningful self-reflection on Britain’s true place in the world – the fact that Britain is now a solidly intermediate power, in decline, is consoled with nostalgia as ‘it considers the risk of a new internal fragmentation and the consequent loss of international prestige. Great Britain is not.

    When he signed the Brexit deal, Johnson said it was an opportunity to “put an end to too many years of argument and division”, “to build a strong new relationship with the EU as friends and sovereign equals “and“ to move forward as one country. ”Good luck.

    The figure of the indiscreet Brussels official – and the pantomime resistance to their decrees – is intrinsic to the Tory Eurosceptic worldview. The idea that leaving the European Union would remove such antipathies and suspicions from British politics is powerfully naive – especially when it is so clearly in the political interest of the Conservative Party to allow friction to continue.

    It is in this context that we must understand the remarkable attempts to rehabilitate the idea that the ‘house rules’ are some kind of response to Scotland’s problems, by delegating more power to Holyrood, while leaving the government British as a sort of night watch state, responsible for defense and foreign affairs.

    READ MORE: Alba MP Kenny MacAskill suggests Home Rule could heal ‘divided’ Scotland

    First, this argument comes from a place of political unreality. This British government has no interest in this kind of reform program. On the contrary, this conservative administration has shown all the desire to reduce – rather than expand – the sphere of delegated authority. But more fundamentally still, why would anyone want the UK to retain these responsibilities?

    If the sight of Boris Johnson dragging his pocket across the sands of Carbis Bay doesn’t convince you of the benefits of an independent foreign and defense policy, look at it. If the state of health services is important enough that you can delegate them, if education, justice and the environment are issues you would like to see addressed in Edinburgh rather than London, why would you want to questions about who and in what quantity do we sell bombs, against whom do we wage an aggressive war – to be determined by Her Majesty’s Government in London?

    “Sticking with Britain for the ships, the bombs and the opportunity to kill and be killed in the country’s future wars” seems to me to be one of the craziest cases for the Union yet conceived . If you are prepared to reduce the role of the British state so far, why insist on leaving these critical issues in the hands of Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab and their successors?

    Does your political experience really suggest that this is a smart plan?

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    Home rule

    Alba MP Kenny MacAskill suggests Home Rule could heal ‘divided’ Scotland

    FORMER SNP MP Kenny MacAskill has suggested Home Rule for Scotland could create a ‘constitutional stalemate’ in a ‘divided’ country.

    Alba’s representative said while he remained committed to Scottish sovereignty, “something must be done to break the impasse” of constitutional politics.

    Writing in the Scotsman, the former SNP justice secretary acknowledged the concept is not without ‘challenges’, citing his desire for the country to have power over defense and foreign policy, the removal of nuclear weapons and membership of EFTA or the EU.

    READ MORE: Alba: Neale Hanvey and Kenny MacAskill replaced in Westminster committees

    However, he added: “Having said that, we are in a constitutional stalemate in Scotland where not only is the nation deeply divided, as the polls continually show, but Scottish politics is the result.

    “Indyref2 remains the main debate but has been rejected by Westminster and postponed indefinitely by Holyrood.”

    The SNP and Greens manifestos both pledged to hold a referendum in the next parliament, although some pro-independence campaigners want the vote to take priority.

    READ MORE: Scottish election came ‘too soon for Alba’, says Kenny MacAskill

    MacAskill’s party, Alba, had called for negotiations with Westminster to begin immediately after the May election in their manifesto.

    “Something must be done to break the impasse and move the country forward because the weekly cycle of ‘we demand it’ and ‘you don’t get it’ does no one any good,” the MP wrote. . He called on people to ‘think outside the box’ in times of coronavirus.

    “It is clear that there is dissatisfaction in Scotland with the status quo and disinterest in the UK with the issues facing Scotland,” added MacAskill. “Let Scotland tackle these social and economic issues, as Jimmy Maxton passionately demanded a century ago. This would show Westminster’s willingness to take notice of Scottish democracy.

    The MP’s comments sparked a row on social media, with some independence supporters criticizing the position. MacAskill has long suggested that his former party was not pushing self-determination hard enough.

    “People who left the SNP for a party that *supposedly* would offer a bigger push for independence are now turning away from independence themselves,” WG Saraband wrote. “You just can’t make this stuff up.”

    “So much for the #Alba party which supports independence. Gordon Brown would even be proud of this position,” wrote SNP MP Chris Law.

    READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon denies £600,000 ‘disappeared’ from SNP accounts

    Others felt that it was reasonable to discuss this possibility. “He makes a good point though, and Home Rule is probably more realistic in the medium term,” one supporter wrote.

    “Read the article please, this is a guy who gives an opinion on what happens when, we ask that they refuse,” added another. “No ‘We’ve got high morals’ against a government that couldn’t spell Moral or High Ground. Just a compromise suggestion, of how it should have been two equals.

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    Home rule

    Home Rule, Contraceptive Trains, Royal Visits and Good Friday Agreements

    In a new addition to the “On The Plinth” initiative, Deputy Political Editor Elaine Loughlin, scans the archives and highlights some of the major political events that have made headlines this week in years past.

    May 19: The first meeting of the Home Government Association, which would later become the Home Rule League, was held at the Bilton Hotel in Dublin. The meeting, hosted by Isaac Butt, brought together more than 60 people from different political and religious faiths. They passed a resolution “that the real cure for Ireland’s ills is the establishment of an Irish parliament with full control over our home affairs”.


    May 25: The customs fire was carried out by the IRA in what was their largest operation during the War of Independence. Five IRA members and four civilians were killed in the shootings that took place in and around the building. The neoclassical building, inaugurated in 1791, and its administrative archives were completely destroyed.

    Fire at the Custom House, Dublin in May 1921


    May 22: The “Contraceptive Train” brings contraceptives across the border after some 40 members of the Irish Women’s Liberation Movement arrive in Connolly State in Dublin with “a horde of pills and others contraceptives, ”the Cork Examiner reported. “In Belfast, some women struggled to choose a device to test the reaction of Customs. For some, it was the first time they had seen a contraceptive.

    Women on the platform at Connolly Station, Dublin in 1971 before boarding the train from Belfast to purchase contraceptives, which were illegal in the Republic in the 1970s and 1980s. Nell McCafferty is pictured second from left, the chin partially hidden by the banner.  Image: The Irish Times
    Women on the platform at Connolly Station, Dublin in 1971 before boarding the train from Belfast to purchase contraceptives, which were illegal in the Republic in the 1970s and 1980s. Nell McCafferty is pictured second from left, the chin partially hidden by the banner. Image: The Irish Times


    May 22: The Good Friday Agreement endorsed by referendum on both sides of the border. However, a few days later, nearly 1,000 pounds of explosives were found in two cars stopped by the Garda emergency response unit outside Dundalk. Two decades on Fiachra Ó Cionnaith looked back on the key moments of the first 20 years of the peace process. You can read about the rocky road from the peace here.


    May 25:

    A headline on the front of the Examiner announced that it was “back to the drawing board” after thieves stole the plates for the new euro banknotes en route to printers. The controversial euro concept has disappeared “somewhere between Paris and Munich”, it has been reported.

    Front page of the Irish Examiner of May 23, 1998.
    Front page of the Irish Examiner of May 23, 1998.


    May 21: As part of his four-day trip to Ireland, Prince Charles visited Mullaghmore in Sligo to see the port where his godfather Lord Mountbatten was killed by the IRA in 1979. You can read about the visit there including the historic handshake with Sinn Fein frontman Gerry Adams here.

    Tuesday, May 19, 2015 .: The Prince of Wales (left) shakes hands with Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams at the National University of Ireland in Galway, Ireland.  Photo: Brian Lawless / PA Wire
    Tuesday, May 19, 2015 .: The Prince of Wales (left) shakes hands with Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams at the National University of Ireland in Galway, Ireland. Photo: Brian Lawless / PA Wire

    * “On The Plinth” coverage continues weekly in Tuesday’s Irish Examiner (in print and online). Make sure you’re up to date on major political stories as well by signing up for the On The Plinth political newsletter as well. HERE.

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    Home rule

    Tory minister rejects Drakeford call for Welsh home rule

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    Prime Minister Mark Drakeford on Pawb ai’i Farn. Photo by Michael Gove from the Policy Exchange (CC BY 2.0).

    A Tory minister has rejected Mark Drakeford’s calls for a Welsh home government.

    Cabinet Minister Michael Gove has dismissed a warning from the Prime Minister that interest in independence would only rise in Wales unless the UK government allows the country more autonomy.

    Gove told the Financial Times that other people might want to “put energy into this conversation” and added, “I’m focusing on the practice.

    He also reiterated the UK government’s determination to use the powers of the Home Market Law to bypass the Senedd.

    The Welsh government has condemned the law as a ‘takeover’ because it takes away spending powers that were previously vested in and centralizes them in Westminster. The Senedd voted overwhelmingly against, but was rejected.

    Gove’s comments follow Welsh Labor’s victory in the Senedd election, where it won 30 of 60 seats.

    His election manifesto called for the federalization of the UK, as well as the devolution of specific powers such as the police and the judiciary.

    The Tories, who ran on a platform more aligned with the UK government, won just one more constituency – while two parties vowing to get rid of the Welsh parliament failed to secure any seats.

    Gove also revealed that he said he spoke with leaders of the Welsh and Scottish governments following Thursday’s parliamentary elections.

    “Good conversations”

    He said: “I had good conversations with the leaders of the decentralized administrations.

    “Everyone was convinced that the number one priority for the whole of the UK was to rebuild better and to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic. “

    He added: “We just have to demonstrate how these institutions work for the benefit of all.

    “I prefer that we focus on people’s priorities rather than looking for new areas of abstract debate to enter into.”

    Mark Drakeford told the Financial Times that Senedd’s election result had given Wales “leeway” to reform the UK in a way that would give it “real stability”.

    “We need a Home Rule for Wales, more power, a position where decentralization cannot be held back by the whim of a prime minister.”

    He added that Johnson’s approach “added to the stress and tensions which undoubtedly weighs on the UK”.

    He cited the UK government’s Home Market Act as an example.

    “The UK government’s action to take powers away from Wales. . . is a recipe for turning the interest in independence for Wales into something more fundamental, ”he added.

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    Home rule

    Support for independence will increase unless Wales wins Home Rule, Drakeford told Johnson after big election victory

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    Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) in yesterday’s speech broadcast on BBC One. Mark Drakeford (right), Welsh government photo.

    Prime Minister Mark Drakeford called for Home Rule for Wales after securing Labor’s biggest joint victory in the Senedd election on Thursday.

    The Prime Minister said interest in independence would only increase in Wales unless the UK government allows the country more autonomy.

    The Welsh Labor election manifesto called for the federalization of the UK, as well as the devolution of specific powers such as the police and the judiciary.

    The Tories, who ran on a platform more aligned with the UK government, won just one more constituency – while two parties vowing to get rid of the Welsh parliament failed to secure any seats.

    Mark Drakeford told the Financial Times the result gave Wales “leeway” to reform the UK in a way that would give it “real stability”.

    “We need a Home Rule for Wales, more powers, a position where decentralization cannot be overruled by the whim of a prime minister,” Drakeford told the Financial Times.

    He added that Johnson’s approach “added to the stress and tensions which undoubtedly weighs on the UK”.

    He cited the UK government’s Home Market Act as an example, which the Welsh government condemned as a “takeover”.

    “The UK government’s action to take powers away from Wales. . . is a recipe for turning the interest in independence for Wales into something more fundamental, ”he added.

    “Better luck”

    Boris Johnson wrote to Mark Drakeford on Saturday, inviting him to a meeting to discuss their common challenges in tackling the Covid-19 crisis.

    The Prime Minister said he would write in similar terms to the Prime Minister of Scotland and the First and Deputy Prime Ministers of Northern Ireland.

    In the letter he said he looked forward to “working with you in the years to come in a spirit of collaboration and mutual respect to serve the people of Wales”.

    “We both share a belief in the enormous potential of our UK – both to be a force for good in the world and to be an engine of security and prosperity for its citizens here at home,” did he declare.

    “The people of the UK, and in particular the people of Wales, are best served when we work together. “

    Mark Drakeford told The Guardian he would tell the Prime Minister he needs to work with the self-governing nations, rather than trying to dictate to them.

    “This is truly a moment that the Prime Minister should seize to reestablish relations across the UK, for serious consideration of how we can create the mechanisms that will allow us to work together in the future,” said said Mark Drakeford.

    “Not an approach that thinks of flying more unions to the top of the building, but appropriate and respectful relations that recognize that sovereignty is now dispersed among four parliaments in which we choose to pool it for common ends.

    “This is the kind of UK that I think will have the best chance of surviving, because it will be a UK where people want to be here, rather than have to be.”

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    Home rule

    Environmental protection and autonomy groups call on FL governor to defend residents

    A slew of bills blocking local efforts to convert to clean energy, protect water quality and protect farmland were passed this week by the Florida legislature and await final consideration of the Governor Ron DeSantis.

    One would prevent cities in Florida that have adopted 100% clean energy goals from implementing them, instead forcing them to allow continued use of fossil fuels such as natural gas.

    Another defines natural gas as “renewable energy,” granting it some special treatment under Florida law, despite being a major contributor to greenhouse gases causing climate change. It also prevents local communities from blocking the installation of industrial scale solar farms within them.

    A third would prevent local governments from regulating gas stations or forcing them to provide charging stations for electric vehicles.

    Environmental organizations, clean energy allies and advocates of the home rule urge governor to ‘save the day’ by vetoing these and other bills approved by the Republican-controlled House and Senate that opponents qualify as anti-environmental and anti-democratic by silencing local voters.

    The GOP sponsors of the approved legislation have testified that it is in the best interest of Florida as a whole to preserve the diversity of its mix of energy sources, by excluding none.

    The Sierra Club of Florida says bills protect big business. They have gone so far as to challenge the governor: veto the 12 bills they consider to be the worst of the worst, or abandon his claim to be “an environmentalist, Republican Teddy Roosevelt.”

    “Floridians recognize the difference between talking a big talk and walking in real life. We know the difference between greenwashing and tangible protection of our environment and our people, ”Sierra Florida President Steve Wonderly said in a press release. “This is a pass / fail test for Governor DeSantis. “

    Florida conservation voters are also calling for a veto.

    “As we move to clean energy, it is essential that our elected officials adhere to principles of environmental justice such as informed consent, public participation and protection of the interests of vulnerable communities,” said the deputy director of the organization, Jonathan Webber, in a statement. who specifically urged DeSantis to veto Senate Bill 896. This bill takes precedence over autonomy when local governments do not want utility companies to build giant solar installations on farmland in their backyards.

    Residents of the small town of Archer and surrounding areas in Alachua County have opposed plans by large companies to build an industrial-scale solar farm within them. Credit: Saint-Pierre-Saint-Paul Community Council

    Senate Bill 896 exempts an Alachua County commission vote in October blocking First Solar and Duke Energy from installing a 650-acre solar farm just outside the small town of Archer that would provide electricity. energy not to Archer but to neighboring towns. Senator Gary Farmer, a Democrat from Broward, managed to get this exclusion, much to the relief of Archer residents such as Geri Crawford.

    Without the exemption Farmer got, Crawford said, she would soon have a solar farm “bigger than Central Park” right across from her house, just outside of Archer, a town of just 1,100 people. . She said she supports solar power but is opposed to local communities not having a say when an industrial-scale facility comes knocking on the door.

    “Solar is fantastic, that’s not even the problem. But you have to involve the communities that it affects, ”Crawford told the Phoenix. “It took away their voices.”

    Crawford is chairman of the Saint Peter / Saint Paul Community Council, a group of predominantly black community neighbors who have fought against large utility companies. Another solar farm proposal is already in the works for a site three miles away, Crawford said, adding that she still felt in danger due to the Florida legislature’s penchant for anticipating local wishes.

    Opponents also call on DeSantis to veto:

    / House Bill 839 which takes precedence over local regulations for gas stations and electric vehicle charging stations;

    / Senate bill 896 defining natural gas as renewable energy and prohibiting global local plans from excluding industrial power plants;

    / House Bill 1601 preventing citizens from taking legal action against the burning of sugar cane fields which makes them sick with air pollution;

    / A state preemption on local seaport regulations that invalidates referendums passed by Key West voters to restrict the size and traffic of cruise operations in the Port of Key West. The seaport provision was added to an omnibus transport bill, and

    / Bills overturning local practices of local election supervisors in the conduct of elections and increasing the threshold for voter approval of constitutional amendments.

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    Home rule

    O’Hara Council Considering Potential Changes to Home Rule Charter

    The O’Hara council is expected to discuss potential changes to the township’s self-government charter in May.

    A referendum could be placed on the November general election ballot, which would affect how vacant council seats are filled. Another referendum under consideration would repeal references to gender in the charter.

    A council workshop meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on May 4. Members could schedule a public hearing and vote to go ahead with both referendums at their May 11 voting meeting.

    Allegheny County requires ordinance approval for the question to be placed on the ballot, attorney Dan Garfinkel said.

    Specifically, if approved, a question on the fall ballot would ask voters to amend the charter to remove the political affiliation requirement for appointments to vacant council positions.

    Currently, the board must fill a vacancy with a person from the same political party as the one who resigned.

    The council has been approached by some residents who have suggested that available positions should be open to all applicants in order to appoint the most qualified person, members said.

    Councilor John Denny said he believed council was generally on board with moving forward with the changes.

    Another board member, Greg Caprara, questioned whether the rule change would disqualify voters who vote by party.

    Longtime resident Tom Portante spoke out against the change, saying it weakens voter power.

    “I think it’s wrong because voters had chosen in the primary to appoint a fellow citizen to represent that party,” Portante said. “This citizen was then duly elected by the registered voters in this district to represent them on the council.

    “When naming a successor, you must rely on the expressed wishes of the electorate to make your choice.”

    The charter amendment assumes that the judgment of six council members is superior to that of voters in a particular district, he said.

    “This is directly contrary to the principles of representative democracy,” Portante said.

    A second referendum, if approved, would change the home rule charter to be gender neutral. In this case, all references to “it” would be replaced by “the manager” or “the adviser”.

    Tawnya Panizzi is editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact Tawnya at 724-226-7726, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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    Home rule

    Brockton City Council Debates Bylaws Petition and Ward 1 Vacancy

    BROCKTON — City councilors have agreed to ask the state to avoid a special election to fill the vacant Ward 1 council seat that could cost around $30,000 and take place during the same general election season.

    But they are deeply divided on whether that seat should be filled by appointment of councilors or remain open until early next year when the newly elected Ward 1 councilor is inaugurated.

    For nearly an hour, Brockton City Council’s finance committee debated a Bylaws petition on Tuesday night that would ask the Legislature and Governor Charlie Baker to allow the city to skip the special election to occupy the Ward 1 seat required by the city. charter.

    Timothy Cruise resigned in March to become assistant city clerk for Brockton. Because Cruise’s resignation came more than six months before the end of his term, which was due to expire in January, city ordinances require the council to order a special election.

    Following:Brockton City Council seeks to avoid special election after Cruise resigns

    But councilors said they were worried about the cost of the special election, holding another election amid the COVID-19 pandemic and having it just months before the preliminary and general elections. from the city.

    Cynthia Scrivani, executive director of the Brockton Election Commission, said each special election — a preliminary election might need to be held depending on the number of candidates seeking the position — could cost around $15,250 and that doesn’t include postage, if people wanted to vote by mail during the pandemic.

    Councilors want to ask the state to skip this special election, but the point of contention is whether the petition simply asks the state to skip the election and leave the seat open, or grants the remaining councilors the option to appoint someone to fill the rest of Cruise’s term.

    In this April 9, 2015, file photo, Ward 1 Councilman Timothy Cruise addresses a crowd at Brockton's West Middle School during a casino project briefing.

    The bylaws petition, which was filed by General Councilor Moises Rodrigues and Ward 2 Councilor Thomas Monahan, was drafted to grant councilors the power to appoint a replacement.

    But after lengthy discussions on Tuesday night and a split vote, the petition was amended to simply ask that Brockton be allowed to skip the special election, but leave the seat open.

    “I don’t feel qualified as a Ward 4 Ward Councilor to appoint someone to fill Ward 1 shoes,” Ward 4 Councilor Susan Nicastro said. “I really don’t know. What I would like to see happen here, in a perfect world, is not to substitute my judgment for who should be in Ward 1 for a few months and instead I would like see us amending this bylaws petition, to let it go ahead to ask the legislature not to force us to have this special election and instead, let’s just sit down, just let this seat stay open Because we know, in real life, Ward 1 is amply represented by the four general councilors, who represent the whole city.”

    General councilor Tina Cardoso said councilors “should be very careful” not to appoint someone to the vacant position when the council decided to make an appointment in August 2019 to fill the seat left vacant by Rodrigues’ transition to the vacancy. post of acting mayor after the death. of Mayor Bill Carpenter.

    The council voted, 7 to 3, to nominate John McGarry, the former executive director of the Brockton Electoral Commission, over Ollie Spears, a community activist and former candidate for Ward 5 council.

    “I appreciate that we have four general councilors who represent the whole city, but when it came time to replace one of us, it was an easy decision to make, and we appointed someone,” Cardoso said. “So, I would look at that too.”

    But Nicastro said the board followed the charter in replacing Rodrigues because he treats general counsel positions differently.

    Brockton City Council Speaker and General Councilor Winthrop Farwell, who lives in Ward 1, called it ‘patently untrue’ that the bylaws petition seeks state approval for the council to appeal. the post. He said the councilor also represents Ward 1 in other capacities, including meetings of the zoning appeals board, zoning board, conservation commission and traffic commission.

    “I don’t think the Ward Councilor in four or three or six or five should be telling me in Ward 1, as a resident, ‘This is who I think should represent you,'” Farwell said. “Now the question of appointing someone who promises not to run again, you immediately made that person a lame duck. They don’t have to answer to anyone.”

    Rodrigues said he doesn’t think the state will give the city charter relief to simply forgo the special election, but will leave the seat open since the charter provides for the position to be filled by election.

    “I think we are playing with fire and it will cost more,” he said.

    Joan Grushkin, center, who is wearing a face mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic, hands a Brockton resident a ballot for the primary election at the Ward 6 polling station, Brookfield Elementary School, on Tuesday September 1, 2020. The City of Brockton Council is seeking to avoid a special election in 2021 as the pandemic persists to fill the vacant Ward 1 council seat.

    After much discussion, the Bylaws petition was amended with a 5-4 vote to ask the state to allow the city to skip the special election to fill the Ward 1 seat, but let the office open until the expiration of the mandate.

    Farwell, Ward 6 Councilor Jack Lally, General Councilor Rita Mendes, Nicastro and Ward 5 Councilor Jeffrey Thompson voted in favor of the amendment.

    Cardoso, Ward 3 Councilor Dennis Eaniri, Monahan and Rodrigues dissented.

    But the home rule petition could change again.

    Council counsel was unavailable to attend the meeting and several councilors asked him about the process and what was allowed.

    The amended by-laws petition, which was recommended favorably to the full council by a 6-4 vote, will be discussed next Monday and a final vote may take place. Additional changes may be made during this meeting.

    “We will vote on this amendment again and we will do so in the presence of our counsel for counsel,” Lally said. “So we can ask attorney (Shannon) Resnick what she thinks. If attorney Resnick gives information that changes the way we acted today and makes the amendment look like a bad idea, we vote against the amendment, we change the amendment, we do something different. But it’s up to us to get things done now.”

    Cody Shepard, Senior Enterprise Reporter, can be reached by email at [email protected] You can follow him on Twitter at @cshepard_ENT. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Enterprise today.

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    Home rule

    Ohio’s autonomy law is really more anti-local

    Scenario 2: You are the political leader of a town. You promise some… companies… that if they support your party, you’ll leave the cops on a leash. The problem is that the mayor is on the other side; he chooses the chief of police. The boss goes to the Statehouse and asks the General Assembly to pass a law ending or weakening the mayor’s control over his city’s police. It happened.

    This is how things could go until in 1912 voters approved the original rule amendment to the Ohio Constitution. Prior to this, the General Assembly could and did pass so-called “Ripper Bills” to let special interests trump elected towns and villages.

    Certainly, Ohio Supreme Court decisions on autonomy are all over the map, both literally and figuratively. For example, ask your mayor why he or she can’t stop the frackers from digging wells in the middle of your neighborhood. Answer: House Bill 278 of 2004, which gave the state “exclusive authority to regulate the permitting, siting, and spacing of oil and gas wells…” That is, say your city or town council is powerless against fracking. The bill was sponsored by future Senate President Thomas Niehaus, a Republican from suburban Cincinnati who is now a top lobbyist at the Statehouse. Likewise, the Statehouse fanboys of the handgun lobby have been successful in stopping cities from trying to at least contain the handgun plague in Ohio.

    The anti-local voter push never stops. Over the past week or so, members of the Ohio House and Senate have introduced other home rule rippers:

    Cities and towns (as well as counties and townships) would be prohibited from banning the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity – or from banning or regulating pipelines. Another ripper would prohibit cities and towns (as well as counties and townships) from limiting or banning natural gas service. It’s unlikely. Instead, this bill and the fossil fuel bill are Republican valentines sent to oil and gas lobbyists.

    Prohibiting cities and towns from worrying about pipeline safety is downright sinister: according to the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures, “from 2009 to 2018, the number of [pipeline] incidents, injuries sustained and annual costs associated with pipeline incidents have all increased over the annual averages from 1999 to 2008.”

    Meanwhile, “someone is killed with a gun every six hours in Ohio,” according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. If that doesn’t bother our legislature, why would the occasional pipeline fireball be?

    Thomas Suddes is an adjunct assistant professor at Ohio University. Previously, he was a veteran Statehouse reporter for The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer.

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    Home rule

    Drakeford’s Home Rule plan ‘wouldn’t solve the problem of conservative governments’, says Adam Price

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    Mark Drakeford. Photo CPMR – Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CC BY-SA 2.0) Photo by Adam Price by Plaid Cymru.

    Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price has accused the Prime Minister of ‘looking back not forward’ on the subject of Wales’ constitutional future as he was asked to support independence for Wales Wales.

    Challenging Mark Drakeford at today’s FMQs, the Plaid Cymru leader said it was independence – not Home Rule – that would solve Wales’ ‘democratic deficit’.

    Last Friday, Mark Drakeford called for “home rule” for Wales within the United Kingdom.

    But Adam Price said it would not solve the problem that Wales never voted Conservative but had a Conservative government in Westminster “two-thirds of the time”.

    He pointed to comments by Indy Wales Labor leader Bob Lloyd, who said that “for the last 100 years Wales have voted for a socialist party in national elections but have not got what he asked for”.

    Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price MS said there was no reason to think Wales’ situation would soon change without independence.

    “The prime minister describes independence as a 19th century answer to a 21st century problem, proposing instead self-rule, itself an 1880s idea,” he said.

    “The problem is that Home Rule will never solve the Welsh democratic deficit – only independence can.

    “Westminster has never seen itself as Wales’ partner in constitutional terms. Independence will ensure that all decisions relating to Wales are made in Wales and will enable Wales to become a better, fairer and more equal nation.

    “Radically redraw”

    Earlier, Mark Drakeford had described the rift over the UK as a “real and present danger and a solution is urgently needed”.

    “A sustainable and modern UK is one where our prosperity and life chances are increased by the practice of solidarity, not reduced by division and attempts to recreate a union where its component nations are expected to take the helm from the center “, he told the National.

    “Independence is a 19th century answer to a 21st century problem – it’s a slogan not a solution. It asks the people of Wales to start with a conclusion without evidence, risking the well-being of those that our party exists to support.

    “Wales’ future is best secured by a sweeping overhaul of the UK’s constitution to recognize that it is a voluntary association of four nations.

    “An association where power is dispersed, not centralized, where, as far as possible, decisions that affect people’s daily lives are taken as close as possible to people, but where there are fiscal and financial mechanisms to pool resources and share rewards.”

    Support our Nation today

    For the price of a cup of coffee one month you can help us create an independent, non-profit national information service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

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    Home rule

    Independence: family shares memories of Home Rule fights in the 1970s

    As part of a new monthly column devoted to the Yesteryear Yes movement, The National asked readers to submit photographs and memorabilia from the independence campaign that took place long before the 2014 referendum.

    We’ve found that many younger readers understand the conversation about independence through the lens of indyref, but it’s important to celebrate the people who worked decades before the vote.

    For the Yesterday We’ve also brought to light some incredible old footage of people who played key roles in the struggle for independence from politics and the media, starting last month with a popular selection of clips of Margo MacDonald’s work in the 1970s.

    For those who wish to submit their own keepsakes – whether it’s photos of people on marches, old flags, badges, T-shirts, flyers, whatever you have – there will be a link to the end of this article.

    READ MORE: The best moments of Margo MacDonald fighting for Scottish independence in the 1970s

    For today’s article, reader Stephen Malloy submitted this photo of his brother Jeff, around 10, wearing his Home Rule for Scotland t-shirt in the early 1970s.

    “My younger brother Jeff Malloy is about 10 years old in this photo. My mom, 90 and still going strong, has been a longtime SNP supporter and bought it for him,” he told The National .

    The National:

    “Sadly, we lost Jeff a few months before the 2014 referendum. He would have been devastated by Scotland’s failure to vote for Indy, but I’m sure he’s still here, somewhere, wishing and hoping for it. ‘independence.

    Stephen said his brother’s enthusiasm for independence inspired those who knew him at a time when “it was not popular opinion.”

    The reader, a decades-long supporter of independence, explained how the movement has changed in recent years.

    READ MORE: SavantaComRes Independence Survey: Support for Yes and SNP very high

    For him, the best memory of the independence movement was “the discovery of the many sources of information that the explosion of social networks has triggered”.

    “For so many years the country has been subjected to a carefully tailored and slanted media advising Scotland that we will hopelessly fail as an independent nation,” Stephen explained.

    “Suddenly we had a bunch of smart commentators, tweeters, bloggers, FaceBookers explaining, with facts, that the mainstream story of ‘too small, too poor, too stupid’ was nonsense.

    “The genie was finally out of the bottle.”

    If you would like to submit your story and photos for the next month Yesterday feature, follow this link.

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    Home rule

    SNP News: Nicola Sturgeon urged to include third ‘home rule’ option in independence vote | Politics | New

    Scottish Labor have hinted that if another independence vote takes place it should include a ‘home rule’ option that could allow Scotland to stay in the UK but have more power Politics. The concept is similar to Greenland, which obtained “home settlement” from Denmark in 1979 and was seen as a stepping stone to full independence.

    Greenland is responsible for the majority of policy areas, including police, the judiciary, aviation, border controls, and financial regulation and supervision.

    However, Denmark still retains control over monetary policy and foreign affairs, including defense.

    According to the Times, the concept was put forward by party leader Richard Leonard, who hinted that the party could support the inclusion of a third option on a ballot that would give voters the opportunity to support more than powers for Holyrood.

    Mr Leonard said: “I think there is a larger point that has come out in recent months which concerns the imbalance of power that still exists.”

    He argued that the UK was “still extremely centralized”, saying political power was concentrated “around the City of London and around Westminster and Whitehall”.

    Sir Keir Starmer is expected to give his views on Scottish independence on Friday.

    The latest poll by Ipsos Mori places Scottish Labor third in the race at Holyrood with 14 percent of constituency votes and 16 percent of regional list votes.

    This means the party is expected to lose four seats next spring on current projections.

    READ MORE: Sturgeon stroke: Sir John Curtice warns SNP independence far from certain

    He argued that there should not be another referendum on independence next year amid the country’s economic recovery from the pandemic, the rollout of vaccination and any new wave of coronavirus.

    In response, SNP Deputy Leader Keith Brown, MSP, said: “Labor has been promising Scottish autonomy for over a century.

    “Even now – facing the most extreme Conservative government in living memory, which intends to tear up the devolved regulations – they still speak the same language. “

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    Home rule

    Is it time for the county to adopt self-government?

    Graphic by Amber McAlary / News-Register

    What is the rule at home? Should Yamhill County consider a move in this direction?

    Under self-government, local government retains all powers of self-governance, except for those specifically pre-empted by state or federal law. In the absence of a ban, it empowers local jurisdictions, both city and county, to act. It is essentially a form of local control that gives citizens more leverage in government operations.

    Rick olson was elected to the Yamhill County Commissioners Council in 2016, after 36 years of public service with the Town of McMinnville. Along with the city, he served on the town planning commission, council and budget commission, then served as mayor for eight years. He has also served on the League of Oregon Cities Board of Directors, the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Yamhill County Parkway Committee. A McMinnville resident since 1957, he raised five children with his wife Candy. He worked for Oregon Mutual Insurance until his retirement in 2012.

    Historically, counties were created and maintained as simple administrative districts to perform functions and duties on behalf of the sovereign. In England it was the Crown. In America, it meant colonial governors before independence and state governments after.

    In addition to their role as agents of the state, counties are gradually taking on a secondary role as a unit of local government, providing services in response to the needs and preferences of their constituents.

    However, both as state agents and units of local government, they continued to operate under legal interpretations, limiting their powers to those expressly granted by state law. As a result, counties were unable to act in response to local needs without the express permission of the legislature.

    Efforts to free counties from state constraints date back to 1906, but were largely unsuccessful until a constitutional amendment on county autonomy was passed in 1958.

    In Oregon, 27 counties, including Yamhill, remain under traditional restrictions today. They are known as common law counties.

    The other nine – Benton, Clatsop, Hood River, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Multnomah, Washington and Umatilla – have broken the yoke to become self-governing counties. And others have considered or are currently considering such a move.

    The basic requirements of a home charger are specific to Article VI, Section 10 of the Oregon Constitution. At a minimum, he said, a county charter “must prescribe the organization of county government and must provide directly, or by its authority, for the number, election or appointment, qualifications, duration, remuneration, the powers and duties of such officers as the county deems necessary.

    The process begins with the creation of a county charter committee, either through a resolution of the Council of Commissioners or through a citizens’ petition. The petition route sets the signature requirement at 4% of the local votes cast in the last election of a governor for a four-year term.

    When the condition is met, the county council of commissioners appoints four members and the county legislative delegation appoints four more. These eight are content with a ninth.

    The law prohibits the appointment of any local county commissioner or legislator, or anyone engaged in matters “incompatible with the conscientious exercise” of the committee’s functions.

    The committee has two years to develop a charter to submit to voters. The county must provide him with free office space and either 1% per capita or $ 500 to help finance his expenses.

    The committee is authorized to conduct interviews and continue investigations. He is required to hold at least one public hearing on the document he produces for scrutiny by voters.

    The original vote on the charter and the votes on any amendment, revision or repeal must normally be submitted in a primary or biennial general election. However, under a 1977 Court of Appeal ruling (Brummel v. Clark, 31 or App 405), an amendment may be put to a vote in a special election if the county charter so permits.

    As an alternative, a county charter can be prepared and submitted directly to voters via an initiative petition.

    The charter fixes the number of auditors, their status and their remuneration. It can also decide on the number, status and salary structure of administrative officers or other officers and employees of the county.

    In addition, it serves as a vehicle for handling intergovernmental relations and operations; ordinance, initiative and referendum procedures; personnel protections and procedures; questions of budgeting, expenditure and finance; the procedures for the transition to the new charter system; and various other matters. Some self-governing counties have taken a minimalist approach and others have filled their charters with many pages of detail.

    This allows a county to structure its operation to best meet local needs and to make changes as circumstances change. They are not stuck with a fixed state mandate.

    Given this degree of latitude, a local charter would give more autonomy to the citizens of Yamhill County in deciding how Yamhill County should be governed. This would allow them to decide:

    Which officials should be appointed or elected, and which should serve on a paid or unpaid basis. How many commissioners should sit on the board of directors, whether chosen at general or by district; how they should be paid and how the board chair should be decided. What role should citizens have in the decision-making process.

    Cities in Oregon have a great deal of autonomy in terms of autonomy, and a charter would put the county on an equal footing.

    Along the way, this would allow the county to provide rural areas with services currently limited to urban areas, if voters consent – for example, establishing a lodging tax to support tourism or passing a tax measure to fund. replacement of the rural broadband Internet service bridge.

    I encourage everyone to learn more about Home Rule and what it could or would mean for Yamhill County. If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] or [email protected]

    The people, not the politicians, must decide what form of government they want, who should lead it and how it should be administered.

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    Home rule

    Book review: Scottish Home Rule, by Ben Thomson

    Scottish Home Rule, by Ben Thomson

    In 2016, when Britain voted with the smallest of margins to leave the European Union, the compromise models for our future relationship with the EU were so freely available that it seemed almost certain that one of the ‘them would prevail. The Norwegian model, the Swiss model, the Canada Plus model – all were waiting to be adapted and implemented smoothly; and there will undoubtedly be a lot of writing, over the years, about how quickly they have all been marginalized and made redundant, as we begin our painful four-year journey to the most difficult Brexit imaginable.

    When Scotland voted to reject independence in 2014, by contrast, the only compromise plan on the horizon was Gordon Brown’s now infamous Vow, a hasty offer of improved devolution published on the cover of the Daily Record a few days before the vote, then gradually abandoned, after 2016, by the three main British parties. Ben Thomson’s new book Scottish Home Rule: The Answer To Scotland’s Constitutional Question is a serious, laudable and at times elegant effort to fill this gap, with a plan that seeks to provide a middle ground in the struggle between unionism and independence. which currently divides Scotland.

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    Former Managing Director of Scottish investment bank Noble Group, Thomson has combined his career in the financial sector with decades of civic and public service activity, most notably with think tank Reform Scotland, and as former chairman from the National Galleries of Scotland. It is part of the great old liberal tradition of supporting radical constitutional reform in the UK in response to Scottish discontent; and in this book he sets out the arguments for a full-fledged self-rule settlement which, while leaving Scotland in the UK, would greatly increase Scotland’s autonomy and ensure in a new written constitution the statute of the Scottish and British governments. as joint and equal holders of sovereignty over Scotland.

    The book is divided into three main sections, beginning with a useful but incomplete brief history of the Irish and Scottish self-government movements, continuing with a full and detailed account of how a self-reliance regulation works, and ending with suggestions on how Scottish politics could be improved under such a settlement. The three principles of Home Rule, he suggests, should be subsidiarity – decision making at the lowest possible level, close to the people – as well as full fiscal responsibility and mutual respect between different levels of government, enshrined in a written constitution.

    And it is precisely this language – of reasonable agreement and mutual respect – that alerts us to why Thomson’s plan is unlikely to find substantial political support anytime soon. “All the major parties support, at a minimum, current levels of decentralization,” Thomson writes confidently, seemingly unaware that most Westminster MPs, in the post-Brexit illiberal climate of militant British nationalism, now appear to either be indifferent to it. The current decentralization agreement is openly hostile, as shown by the adoption of the recent draft law on the internal market. Under these circumstances, the political debate in Scotland has also become more polarized, with Labor and Liberal Democrats increasingly reflecting the ‘patriotic’ intransigence of the Tories, and few in Scotland now see much room for a compromise between this. dogmatic unionism and full Scottish independence.

    At this point in British and Scottish politics, Thomson’s Home Rule plan appears to be a largely outdated idea. Yet it is nonetheless true in politics that whoever drafts often ultimately wins the chance to legislate. Thomson drew up his plan, in defiance of the times; and that would be a poor observer of politics, and its occasional rapid changes, which would rule out entirely the possibility that one day the time of this book might come, and Thomson’s carefully crafted plan finds itself center stage, as exactly the compromise plan as the story of sudden and unexpected demands.

    Book Review Scottish Home Rule: The Answer to Scotland’s Constitutional Question, by Ben Thomson, Birlinn, 176pp, £ 9.99

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    Home rule

    Why Scottish Home Rule is no longer a viable alternative to independence

    The expression Home Rule is loaded with historical connotations. One instantly thinks of Ireland and Gladstone, of Charles Stewart Parnell and Kitty O’Shea, of union intransigence and the Easter Rising and everything that followed, down to the Good Friday Agreement and today’s miserable Zugzwang Brexit.

    Home Rule also plays an important role in the Scottish political imagination. While it lacks association with revolutionary violence and doomed lovers, it still holds a romantic place in the history of the nation’s struggle for self-determination.

    This is elegantly captured in a new book, Scottish Home Rule – The Answer to Scotland’s Constitutional Question, by Ben Thomson, businessman and activist (Thomson also founded Reform Scotland, the think tank I run). Thomson’s argument, as is clear from his caption, is that there is a third path between the status quo and full independence that could allow for a lasting settlement.

    Home Rule has long been the dominant preference among constitutional activists and academics. The Scottish Home Rule Association was founded in 1886 and involved both Keir Hardie and Ramsay MacDonald, as well as Robert Cunninghame Graham, who in 1934 would become the first chairman of the Scottish National Party.

    The demands and language of the association were of their time: “to maintain the integrity of the empire, to secure a Scottish legislature for purely Scottish matters, to maintain Scotland’s position in the Imperial Parliament and to foster sentiment. national ”. But its main objective, clearly stated, could easily come from the mouth of Nicola Sturgeon or perhaps even Gordon Brown: “the right of the Scottish people to manage their own affairs”, because “the Scottish people know their affairs best” . The growing momentum behind the proposal was hit in the head by World War I and the collapse of the Liberal Party.

    Over the years, the meaning of Home Rule has become rather vague, and vague and ill-defined phrases such as “devo max” and “devo plus” have done little to help. All parties have advocated some form of decentralization at some point. John Buchan, Scottish Unionist MP and author, declared in 1932 that “every Scotsman should be a Scottish nationalist”, and in 1968 Edward Heath’s Perth Declaration committed the Conservatives to a Scottish assembly. The work dominated the Constitutional Convention which ultimately led Tony Blair to create the Scottish Parliament. The SNP has its origins in the Home Rule movement and in 2014 Alex Salmond urged David Cameron to come up with this prospect as a third option on the independence referendum ballot because he doubted the separatists could win directly.

    But today, Home Rule is the Cinderella policy of the constitutional debate. Scots are faced with a binary choice between devolved parliament, perhaps with some additional powers, and independence. With polls showing Support for independence above 50 percent, Sturgeon is unlikely to emulate his predecessor by calling for a third option in a second referendum – the odds of success have shifted in favor of the SNP.

    Thomson insists, however, that we think again. An important difference between Home Rule and devolution, he argues, is that under the old sovereignty, sovereignty would be shared between London and Edinburgh. At present, Holyrood is an instrument of Westminster and sovereignty legally rests in the south. This would shift to a federal arrangement, backed by a written constitution, and “mutual respect” between parliaments. Scotland would take control of all national powers, leaving Westminster only those necessary to maintain the Union, such as monetary policy, foreign policy and defense.

    Home Rule is preferable to full independence, says Thomson, because it retains access to the UK market, where Scotland does 60% of its trade, and avoids difficult and possibly damaging decisions regarding currency, debt and the euro. This allows the Scots to retain the international influence that comes with joining the UK.

    Holyrood would be tasked with increasing whatever he spends, bringing greater budgetary discipline and seriousness, and the Barnett Formula would be replaced by a UK-wide social cohesion fund, which would redistribute resources into as needed. All of this could be a precursor to a fully federal UK.

    If this all sounds too good to be true, it probably is because it is. Thomson’s proposals pose a number of problems, one of which is that none of the major parties appear to want to adopt them. But beyond that, the cause of independence moved to territory Home Rule would not deal with.

    For example, Home Rule would not have stopped Brexit. England’s scale compared to other UK nations meant that although Scotland voted globally to stay in the EU, a slim majority south of the border for leave was sufficient for the ‘to take with. The Scottish economy and international associations would always be subject to the consequences of English decisions, whether tax policy was fully devolved or not.

    Foreign policy is another issue. The 2003 Iraq War prompted a number of Scottish leftists to support independence. Here again, Home Rule would not prevent Scotland from having to take part in unpopular conflicts.

    Further, the feeling that Boris Johnson’s government has an exaggerated view of the UK’s global importance, that its values ​​are not shared by a majority of Scots, while Northern Ireland is treated as a well movable, and that the ministers pay only lip service. consultation service, is the driving force behind the current rise in support for independence. It goes beyond domestic politics, into areas of identity, integrity and self-respect that are more difficult to capture in public policy.

    Thomson’s book is worth reading, both as a lesson in history and as a comprehensive, well-argued argument for modern Scotland to take an alternate path. But it’s ultimately difficult to avoid concluding that we are now on another track, and that Home Rule, like Parnell and Hardie, has had its day.

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    Home rule

    Home Rule for Scotland should be an option in any second referendum as well as Scottish independence and retention in the Union – Professor Ben Thomson

    Scottish independence and unionism are often represented by Saltire and Union Jack, but there is a third choice: Home Rule (Photo: Andy Buchanan / AFP via Getty Images)

    This month is the debate on the UK Internal Market Bill, last month the response to Covid; every political subject seems to be polarized here in Scotland between the perspective of unionism and the perspective of independence. It looks like you have to be on one side, that the UK has to be the sovereign state, or the other, that Scotland has to be a separate sovereign state. Yet there is an alternative, which many may see as a better solution to traditional unionism or independence where sovereignty is properly shared. This is called “Home Rule”.

    The idea of ​​Home Rule has been around since the 19th century. The Scottish Home Rule Association was formed in 1886 when Parnell was advocating for Irish Home Rule. There were numerous self-government bills for both Ireland and Scotland, including one for Scotland in 1913 which was passed by the House of Commons. However, none made it through the House of Lords despite Gladstone’s support for the Liberals and Keir Hardie for Labor.

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    Home Rule is where Scotland has full control over internal affairs, including the ability to raise the money it spends, but remains part of the UK. To achieve this, two criteria must be met. The first is that sovereignty must be shared, in other words once autonomy is enshrined in the constitution, it takes the consent of both parties to change powers. Under decentralization, powers are granted and not granted so that Westminster can unilaterally change provisions that affect the Scottish Parliament, as the current debate on proposed new legislation for the UK internal market demonstrates. The only way to enshrine shared sovereignty is through a written constitution that provides the appropriate basis for a relationship based on mutual respect between levels of government.

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    Scotland Needs Home Rule – Gordon Brown

    The second is that the burden of proof should be on the UK government to show why powers should be reserved at Westminster level. This is called the “principle of subsidiarity”. For example, why should Scotland be limited in the way it raises its taxes?

    Currently, it has the power to set income tax rates and directly receives half of the VAT. Why would he not have the ability to decide on the structure of his own taxes to cover his expenses? This is similar to the situation that exists in any of the US states or provinces of Canada where state or provincial governments have much greater control over their own tax system and can create a structure that is suitable. to their industries and to the choices of people locally. .

    Home Rule therefore goes well beyond devolution. This requires a written constitution in which national powers become the sole responsibility of the Scottish government. Thus, in addition to the current devolved areas such as health, education and policing, the Scottish government would become responsible for all social security and welfare as well as any taxes it wished to use for fund Scottish public services.

    However, it is not independence. Under Home Rule, Scotland would continue to be part of the UK and Westminster would remain responsible for a range of vital issues such as macroeconomic management, including monetary policy and currency; defense; foreign Affairs; overseas trade; and citizenship. The UK government would also be able to levy its own taxes in Scotland to cover its share of Scottish spending. It actually strengthens the UK as it then becomes clearer that on these issues the UK government is acting on behalf of all UK citizens. The UK government would act as if the US government were exercising its federal powers in areas such as defense, and there are no special rights for individual states.

    Some would say this is too good to be true – for Scotland to have full control of internal affairs, but benefit from the pound sterling as its currency, no borders and no trade restrictions with the rest of the UK – United and the influence that comes from being part of the UK when it comes to making its voice heard on global issues, whether at the United Nations or on the environment – and the rest of the UK – Uni would not accept it. However, by gaining more control over its own affairs, Scotland can create a better environment for economic success that would benefit both Scotland and the UK. Basically, Home Rule concerns the decentralization of powers where it is appropriate and not sovereignty. The UK is currently very centralized and the Home Rule model would not only be good for Scotland but also for Northern Ireland, Wales and different parts of England.

    One of the trade unionists’ arguments against Home Rule is that it is a slippery slope to independence. I wouldn’t agree, as this is more of a natural step towards federalism in the UK, where such an arrangement is enshrined across the UK in a written constitution. After all, some of the most prosperous countries in the world such as the United States, Switzerland, Canada, Germany, and Australia have a federal model.

    The upcoming Scottish elections will likely be dominated by the constitution and the call for another referendum. If there is another referendum and it is a clear choice between independence and unionism, then about 50 percent of the population will be deeply unhappy with the result. Last time around, Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon both voted in favor of a second question on an alternative to the status quo and independence that was rejected by David Cameron. Ultimately, however, it would have to be the people of Scotland who would choose our constitution and it would be a less successful choice if Home Rule was not on the ballot as the second question in a future referendum.

    Professor Ben Thomson is the author of Scottish Home Rule: The Answer to Scotland’s Constitutional Question, which goes on sale from tomorrow, published by Birlinn

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    Home rule

    Clement Attlee broke the 1945 Labor Party promise of Scottish home rule

    MARTIN Hannan’s profile of Attlee painted a fair picture of a good politician (How Far Labor Has Fallen, July 27). However, it should be remembered that Attlee did two notable disservices to the people of Scotland, in one case intentionally.

    The 1945 Labor Party manifesto included a promise of ‘Home Rule for Scotland’ – something which had passed its second reading in 1914 and was lost without trace after the First World War. When Labor won its huge victory, Attlee decided that “as we have won, Scotland does not need self-government”.

    READ MORE: 75 years since Clement Attlee as Prime Minister shows how far labor has fallen

    Since then, the Scottish people have suffered from this lack of action on ‘home rule’: the sabotage of the Scottish Assembly vote of 1979 when the people voted Yes; the distortion of the 1999 vote, for a parliament with fiscal powers; the theft by deception of 6,000 square miles of Scottish waters – complete with six oil wells and all the fishing, in a successful attempt to further deceive the Scottish people of any oil advantage – was secretly transferred to English jurisdiction. All of these, which have allowed the oppression of the Scottish people to continue and worsen to this day, could perhaps have been avoided if Attlee had honored his manifest commitment.

    Attlee’s government nationalized most major industries – coal, steel, railroads, power, etc. – of Scotland and England, for the benefit of all citizens. But when Mrs Thatcher’s government sold these things – which belonged to everyone and were paid for by everyone – she did not return Scotland’s to benefit the Scottish people, but sold them at a low price to his friends with only a loss for the most part. people (including people from England, Wales and possibly Northern Ireland).

    Attlee forgot, or ignored, that the Parliament of Westminster operates under English law and the undemocratic English version of sovereignty (it resides with “the Crown in Parliament” rather than as in Scottish law “with the people”). This means that no parliament can bind another parliament, and therefore all laws can be changed at will – even by canceling the clauses of the Treaty of Union, breaches of which should render the whole treaty invalid.

    Susan Forde

    I would urge Alyn Smith MP to consider a second career as a folklorist because he can pass off platitudes as certainties like no other national columnist can (Indy will be won on center ground with sound policies, 29 July).

    Of course, independence will only be won by bringing a broad swath of Scottish society into the center of the pitch, but any political ship must be anchored in the economic waters of either left or right analysis. Otherwise it will flounder considerably, as the SNP did in the disastrous Westminster election in 1979, as Scots were unsure what they were voting for beyond independence.

    READ MORE: Alyn Smith: Independence will be won on center ground with the right policies

    The political spin has certainly evolved over the past 40 years, but I can see a situation where, despite very optimistic polls for the SNP at the moment, its ship will run aground on the ambiguity of its policies, which Mr. Smith has the right to argue are “sane” but clearly aren’t.

    For example, he obviously sees the Social Justice Commission working in partnership with the Regressive Growth Commission, but anything the Social Justice Commission does, such as the very laudable project to look at a universal basic income, will be like trying to build a granite house on a sand foundation.

    Smith, the folklorist, would have us believe that it will take up to a decade for an independent Scotland to create its own currency. This fiscal reliance on a Tory-dominated Westminster would allow them to run wild promoting austerity, which would kill “sound” policies like a basic universal income.

    I have no doubt that he is trying to genuinely enthuse SNP members in shaping their policies, but Smith really needs to ask if his colleagues at Westminster and Holyrood will listen. In recent years, the SNP has abandoned its traditional social-democratic ethos in favor of a centre/right economics menu and a pro-NATO centre/right defense policy, with a distinct seasoning of authoritarianism. as seen in both the Gender Recognition Act and the Hate Crimes Bill. It is certainly not a political program that will appeal to the ‘middle of central Scotland’.

    Councilor Andy Doig (Independent)
    Renfrewshire Council

    YET another beautiful eagle killed on grouse moorland in Scotland. How many more will die on a grouse moor in the next five years as we wait for a ‘licensing’ system to start? Close the grouse moors now and encourage them to do something more profitable with the land, like planting trees.

    C Tainch

    IS it just me who thinks it’s ironic that the Prime Minister who has led the UK through more than 56,000 Covid deaths, many of which could have been prevented, now thinks a diet is best for our health, at the same time as it kicks out our food safety standards and importing toxic waste for the masses?

    Murray Forbes

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    Home rule

    Executive Branch | Home Rule Discourse Resurfaces in Champaign County | Columns

    Recently, discussion has resurfaced regarding whether to acquire home-rule status for Champaign County. The autonomy designation gives the county government the maximum authority to make autonomous local decisions.

    Counties without Home Rule only have the power to make decisions specifically authorized by state law; internal counties have the power to make any decision that is not specifically limited by state laws, including the most debated one – increasing tax authority.

    The Illinois Compiled Statutes 55 ILCS 5 /, also known as the Illinois County Code, describes the many powers and duties that the state legislature has delegated to the county government as well as the mechanisms available to fund these activities.

    As a unique case, Cook County is currently the only county in Illinois with self-governing authority specified in the county code. Other counties may opt for self-government through a local electoral referendum, although none have currently done so.

    Many activities carried out by county governments are mandated by the offices of county elected officials. These duties include functions such as keeping records of real estate transactions, holding local elections and establishing a county courthouse.

    The county may pursue many other activities considered optional, depending on the needs and wants of local residents, and for some of these, additional special taxes may be levied by local referendum (such as mental health council) or fees (such as animal control). It is the responsibility of the county council to approve a balanced annual budget to accomplish its tasks, whether or not the county has autonomy.

    It is unlikely that a single county could (or would) perform all the activities permitted by the County Code. If possible, another entity, including a municipality, can fulfill this role sufficiently by creating another special tax district (with the approval of the voters) or through a private company.

    In Champaign County, this includes such efforts as running a library, park, or hospital. If this is not a local priority, some permitted activities, such as a zoo, may not exist at all.

    There are many fundraising strategies available to counties to increase revenues or reduce expenses to balance their budgets. Home Rule gives county councils the ability to assess additional types of taxes and fees not specifically mentioned in the County Code as available to county governments, thereby expanding their authority.

    Resident approval for proposed future tax increases rests with voters when they decide to accept national government status, instead of individually voting on referendum questions for specific types of increases.

    As an additional consideration, the County Code requires that a county executive can veto board actions in order to balance the wider discretion of the county council in an autonomous county.

    In 2018, residents of Champaign County adopted this form of government, which creates the third branch of county government by separating the executive and legislative functions of a traditional council.

    However, like the other county in Illinois with an executive (will), residents approved this change in the structure of local government without conferring local government status.

    The basic question is to what extent the county board has autonomy to make tax decisions, and self-government is likely to be debated again whenever county budgets tighten.

    Darlene Kloeppel is Champaign County’s first executive, elected in 2018. Got a topic you’d like her to cover? She takes requests to [email protected]

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    Home rule

    Philadelphia Home Rule Charter is Good for Democracy – Drexel News Blog

    Written by Tabatha Abu El-Haj, JD, PhD, associate professor at Drexel University’s Kline School of Law. Abu El-Haj is a First Amendment scholar and writer on American democracy.

    Each era of American politics has its distinct challenges. Today, our political parties are not corrupt, they are cut off from the people they represent. Candidates and parties are too concerned with wealthy donors and unrepresentative activists, and it hasn’t just impacted policymaking from Harrisburg to Washington, DC. – but also the breadth and depth of political participation. That’s why question #2 deserves your attention in the upcoming primary in June.

    A “yes” vote for Question 2 will allow middle-class municipal workers – who are more representative and who have extensive commitments and ties to the city and its residents – to engage in organizing and grassroots political campaign. This is an important step toward grounding political parties and elected officials in the experiences of ordinary Philadelphians.

    Philadelphia’s restrictions on partisan activities by appointed officials and employees are among the strictest in the nation. Unlike in most major cities, city employees are prohibited from distributing official campaign materials or participating in call-to-vote activities organized by candidates or political parties. New York, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh, on the other hand, allow public employees and officials to volunteer directly with any partisan campaigns in their spare time as long as they do not use city resources or wear city uniforms.

    When Philadelphia decided to impose these severe restrictions on the political activities of its municipal employees nearly seventy years ago, the city was struggling to curb the corruption associated with powerful party machines. Today, the civil service system for city employment is well established. Although corruption scandals erupt from time to time, the standard of selection based on merit rather than nepotism for government jobs is entrenched.

    And yet, the Philadelphia Charter limits its nearly 30,000 employees to political participation. By prohibiting all but the most individualized forms of politics (individual expressions of opinion and isolated campaign donations), the Home Rule Charter effectively channels meaningful political activity outside of the official party and campaigns in ways that strengthen the partisan polarization that destroys our democracy. This is because city workers are authorized to undertake similar field actions sponsored by outside groups and unions.

    While this distinction may seem trivial to those focused on results, it affects how our political parties operate. Drained of volunteers and members, our political parties have become overly attentive to ideologically extreme and socio-economically unrepresentative activists and donors. The result is candidates who are often too often disconnected from the experiences of ordinary Philadelphians. Relaxing existing restrictions to allow municipal workers to engage in face-to-face politics, volunteering and voting is an important step towards rebalancing political influence.

    City employees bring several things to the table. Municipal workers are likely to have broader and more representative social networks along the axes of race, socio-economic status and age. They understand how government works and are less likely to be hyper-partisan. They thus promise to be an important source of information in an age of misinformation and an important link in strengthening the links of candidates and political parties with the life experiences of their constituents.

    It must also be said that the Philadelphia restrictions are no longer constitutionally defensible. The landscape of First Amendment doctrine has changed significantly since similar restrictions on government employees were upheld by the courts in the 1970s. Given their stringency, the city’s current regulations are vulnerable to a challenge from the First Amendment, and court-imposed reform would likely be far more brutal.

    The proposed amendment to question 2 is carefully designed to address the risk of corruption returning. The proposed repeal plays it safe. Officials and appointees would be allowed to volunteer in non-managerial roles to support a statewide and national candidate during off-duty hours and without using city resources. But existing political campaign participation rules for city offices or Philadelphia-based state offices would continue. Additionally, employees whose work is related to law enforcement, city commissioners and the ethics board will remain subject to tighter restrictions.

    City employees should be allowed to participate in peer-to-peer exchange activities organized or sponsored by a political candidate or party, rather than paying strangers to do this work. A vote in favor of Ballot Question #2 on Tuesday, June 2 is a vote to counterbalance the influence of donors — big and small — and to ground political parties and elected officials in the experiences of ordinary Americans.

    Media interested in speaking with Abu El-Haj can contact Emily Storz, Chief Information Officer at [email protected] Where 215-895-2705.

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    Home rule

    New book examines black political power in pre-home rule DC

    Photograph by Robert A. Landry.

    In his new book, Capital of Democracy: Black Political Power in Washington, DC, 1960s-1970s, Lauren Pearlman examines the unique dynamic between local and federal power in the years leading up to the Home Rule Act of 1973. It was then that activists and leaders of the city’s predominantly black population fought against strict congressional oversight and helped DC residents elect their own mayor and representatives.

    The House held DC’s first statehood hearing in 25 years last September, but the district still has a long way to go. In his book, which comes out next week, Pearlman, an assistant professor of history at the University of Florida, tells the story of DC’s struggle for democracy.

    How did someone in Florida get interested in this?

    I got a job at a civil rights law firm in DC [after college, nearly 15 years ago] and I moved to Columbia Heights on the 13th and to Harvard. And I would walk to work on 14th Street and U Street and walk by these dilapidated buildings or sites that hadn’t been rebuilt since the riots.

    And that’s when I started to look at the city, just through my walks in the neighborhoods. You know, you could start to see the first signs of gentrification in Columbia Heights, and it made me wonder, “Well, what were those riots for?” I had only a superficial understanding of what happened after Martin Luther King [Jr.] was murdered in ’68. And so the question of what catalyzed the riots and inspired them, what kind of anger was running through the city, was the question I went to college to ponder more deeply. What I learned when I started to think more deeply about this issue is that you can’t tell the story of the riots without talking about government and without talking about self-determination and autonomy, and that this issue of autonomy was under all sorts of issues of civil rights and public order and urban development and renewal throughout the 20th century.

    What was your research and writing process?

    It started in high school [in 2009] and it started with my thesis work. And what I liked about this research is that my research took me everywhere. I used the George Washington University Special Collections, which houses the unprocessed records of the First Council just in boxes. You would just empty those boxes – well you didn’t because they wouldn’t let you do that [Laughs]. I handled them with care, but they were just in disorganized boxes that hadn’t been processed yet. And then, of course, the Martin Luther King jr. library also in DC, and there is only a treasure trove of DC documents related to activists and business and real estate groups there. And then to Austin, Texas, and Anaheim, California, where I watched the Lyndon Johnson papers and Richard Nixon papers and Department of Justice files and Attorney General files and things like that, because to understand DC’s history is to understand this local/national connection, because all the politics went through the channels federal as well as through local channels.

    How would you describe the relationship at that time between the locals and the federal government?

    You know, it’s so interesting because there are tensions in certain relationships – the mayor walter washingtonis with Richard Nixon were certainly tense, but there wasn’t much that people said outright about it, partly because if you were appointed to local government your job wasn’t secure and you could be replaced, which happened to some people on the City Council. And in a sense, too, what I discovered while writing this book is that even though the Johnson administration helped advance the issue of home rule by appointing a mayor and city council in 1967, it also really started to limit the settings. what they were able to do. And so, although it is hailed as a success, it also reduces the possibilities of autonomy in the future. And even what you see with some of Marion BarryThe campaign of the late 60s and early 70s is that it’s hard to mobilize people around the issue to vote when you have bills to pay or other issues that affect your life, or that you don’t have a job or that you live in public housing. And so, there were a lot of other issues that took precedence over the right to vote in people’s lives.

    One thing that struck me about the book was that even though some black politicians and activists started to take power, there was still this struggle, even for people like Barry, who presented themselves as allies of the poorest black residents to effect change. these people.

    Yeah, it’s really interesting, and it’s part of a lot of new postings about what those who were civil rights activists are doing now are part of the political machines. And you can see that in people who study Atlanta and Detroit and different cities where black mayors are appointed and city councils, they’re becoming more representative, but the voters they’re accountable to are often left out of the decision they’re making. Part of that, I think, in DC in particular, is that the white stakeholders that wielded a lot of power were really powerful, and so you see the decisions that they’re able to make [were] really hard to argue. But also development is a problem that most people who are in desktop support. It’s rare to see a politician go against decisions that will help the city benefit, and so when you look at a lot of the construction of a convention center or the development of Pennsylvania Avenue, those are decisions that politicians blacks supported them largely because the hope was that they would bring money to the city. A lot of these decisions were made about drug policy or methadone clinics or things like that with the expectation that they would solve real problems, but then have unintended consequences, like getting more people addicted drugs or things like that. But also, protection from crime is a universal issue, so some of the city council’s and the mayor’s decisions in terms of policing are because their black middle-class constituents also wanted more policing. ‘order. Now, the effects of that were oversurveillance of low-income black residents, but on the surface the idea behind it is a universal idea of ​​protection.

    You talk about how elective office was kind of an alternative to activism and protest. Do you think it is possible to maintain a militant position in elected office?

    Well, I think there are great examples today of people doing that. But at the time, being a black politician in power, as I show in my book, was a very difficult position to achieve anyway, so your options for radical change are really just precarious positions to take, d especially since home rule became law and you had to appease such a wide range of voters. So I think it’s a challenge. I think the system was not created to help radically change the office.

    Did you learn anything that really surprised you during your research?

    Yes I did it. I had no intention of writing a book that was so much about policing and police power, police brutality, criminalization and law and order. The body of literature on what we as scholars call prison studies, understanding the laws and policies that structure mass incarceration, simply did not exist when I began to do my research. There’s a group of academics who have done a really dynamic job of interrogating the prison system, but I didn’t really know it was going to be a story about it. And then when I started to do my research, I realized that the police were everywhere and criminalization was happening everywhere, and so that really became the core of the book, is that the use of power of policing to undermine radicalism and the use of law and order to excessively punish black citizens became a huge part of the book’s focus.

    Near the end of the book, you address DC’s long fight for statehood. If this were to pass, do you think it would provide solutions to some of the issues raised in the book?

    From criminal justice issues to living wages, these are all issues Congress has stepped in on [DC’s] own government could absolutely manage. But, you know, this push for a state is so crucial. To me, it’s disappointing that the state is happening, if and I hope it is happening, in a city that’s rapidly gentrifying, and not when there was a black majority that could have brought about change in the interest of residents who needed it at the time.

    This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.


    Nathan Diller has also written for DCist, Vulture and Bustle. On Twitter, his name is @nateclaydiller.

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    Home rule

    Activists file horse racing house rule petition amid questions raised over selection committee policy changes

    Greater Barrington— A home rule petition allowing residents of Great Barrington to weigh in on the possible return of horse racing to the fairgrounds has racked up hundreds of signatures, allowing residents to weigh in on the controversial topic at a special town meeting .

    Meanwhile, allies of a member of the selection committee who first brought the horse racing domicile rule issue to the public are raising serious questions about some proposed changes to the policy of communication from council and the residents’ right to be heard during the public comment period at the selection committee. meetings.

    A photograph from the 1960s shows the horse racing meet at the Great Barrington Fairgrounds. Photo courtesy of Great Barrington Historical Society

    Citizens concerned about GB Horseracinga Facebook group formed earlier this year to share concerns about the return of horse racing to fairgrounds, announced on November 1 that he had filed the petition at the town hall with 471 signatures, far more than the 200 required, to force a special municipal assembly:

    “The next step will be to inform all UK voters of the date of the special town meeting, so that citizens can go out and formally vote on sending the Home Rule petition to the legislature to ensure that no race horses come into the UK without the approval of the local assembly. The date will be announced within the month.

    The group began circulating the petition just over two weeks ago, in part by setting up tables on Saturday mornings at the Berkshire Food Cooperative and at the Great Barrington Farmers Market. The group has researched the topic of horse racing in the state and produced a fact sheet about it. Click here to consult the file and here to see suggested “action steps” for residents of Great Barrington.

    “We are very grateful to everyone who signed and to the dozens of people who circulated the petition, demonstrating their demand for the right to vote on horse racing in Great Barrington,” said Concerned Citizens organizer Pam Youngquist at The Edge.

    The decision to start a petition came shortly after Senator Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield, state co-sponsored a bill that would have allowed Sterling Suffolk Racecourse to restart the race in Great Barrington for a few weeks in the fall, has withdrawn its sponsorship of Senate Bill 101.

    After a failed attempt in partnership with a major casino operator, Sterling Suffolk sold it now closed Thoroughbred Suffolk Downs race track in East Boston to developers in 2017 for $155 million. Track held its last races in May this year.

    Bart and Janet Elsbach in 2012, shortly after acquiring the Fairgrounds. Photo: David Scribner

    Sterling Suffolk Racecourse has entered into a lease agreement with fairground owners Bart and Janet Elsbach to bring Thoroughbred racing back to Great Barrington for 40 days during the months of September and October, with the aim to begin in 2020. The company expects to spend between $15 million and $20 million on the project.

    But to accomplish this feat, Suffolk needs a change in state law to allow it to hold races in Great Barrington while allowing it to maintain its simulcast and remote betting operations in East Boston. This is one of the reasons why law Projectwho was returned to the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional License and is still waiting at Beacon Hill even without Hinds sponsorship.

    Section 12 of the Senate bill reads: “New local approval…shall not be required for thoroughbred horse racetracks that have been licensed by the commission or by the state racing commission which preceded it for commercial racing under Chapter 128A.”

    Since Great Barrington’s permanent horse racing license was granted in 1998, the last year of horse racing in the town, a town-wide referendum would not be required for Sterling Suffolk to operate in the park exhibitions, raising concerns among city officials that Suffolk chose Great Barrington precisely because the bill, if passed, would make horse racing much harder for residents to stop. The project would require up to three special permits from the city.

    The subject generated a a slew of letters to the editor from The Edge, all opposed to horse racing and primarily on animal cruelty grounds. Here is a sample:

    Selection committee chairman Steve Bannon told The Edge that council would likely set a date for the special town meeting at its next meeting on Wednesday, November 13. The law requires the council to set a date within 45 days of receiving the petition. Voters will be asked if they wish to send the self-reliance petition to the Boston State Legislature.

    At a July 22 meeting, Great Barrington Selectboard member Leigh Davis, right, read a statement and motion to press the pause button on the horse racing bill. At left are fellow council members Bill Cooke and Kate Burke. Photo: Terry Cowgill

    Member of the selection committee Leigh Davis first raised the issue at a board meeting on July 22, shortly after learning through media reports that the city was unrepresented at a public hearing on the bills in Boston on July 1 before the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional License. After requesting in advance that the item be put on the agenda, as members of the selection committee are entitled to do, Davis raised a series of questions about the lack of local control.

    On the agenda for last night’s regular selection committee meeting was the consideration of a draft board policies and procedures. Some observers believe that a few changes have been proposed to these policies and procedures aimed at preventing Davis and other members of the selection committee from putting items on the agenda without a majority vote of the five-member council or discuss on social networks. The agenda item policy has since been removed from the draft.

    Alain Chartock. Photo courtesy WAMC

    Davis declined to comment and said she would bring it up at the next board meeting. But the Edge contributor and regional radio manager Alan Chartock defended Davis, whom he called “the hero in this story”, in his November 2 column. Indeed, Chartock questioned the motives of his fellow board members in proposing the changes.

    “It all comes down to an attempt to silence the independent voice of Leigh Davis, who got it right on the money,” Chartock wrote. “It’s a move reminiscent of something Donald Trump might do in violation of democratic principles.”

    Nothing could be further from the truth, Bannon said. The article, he said, was simply being discussed and turned out to be a “bad idea”.

    “Some people took it personally and thought he was trying to stifle debate,” Bannon said. And so the idea was scratched.

    Another element would insist that members of the selection committee “refrain from commenting outside of a board meeting on matters pending before the board or which need to be brought before the board as part of a review process. public audience. This includes comments on any form of social media…”.

    Bannon said the policy was not an attempt to stifle council members’ free speech, but rather a precaution designed to shield the city from liability. A commission member’s opinion expressed before a public hearing could be construed as actionable bias.

    On July 22, in what is sure to be the first of many sessions, the Great Barrington Selectboard and members of the public discussed Suffolk Downs’ plans to bring horse racing back to Great Barrington Fairgrounds. From left to right are City Manager Mark Pruhenski, Selection Committee Chairman Steve Bannon and Council Vice Chairman Ed Abrahams. Photo: Terry Cowgill

    Also, as is the case with email communication (Click here for a recent example in South Berkshire County), a council member’s comments on social media, if other council members read or respond to them, could be a breach of the Open Meetings Act prohibiting deliberations outside of a publicly noticed meeting, Bannon explained.

    And there is a proposed method of enforcement: “The Selection Committee shall enforce these policies and procedures…Any member who is found by the Board to have violated these policies and procedures may be removed from a committee or of another assignment by the president, and may be subject to public censure by the selection committee.

    Bannon said these two policies and their application came from Councilman David Doneski of KP Law, who advice on social media policy and the Public Meetings Act published on the cabinet’s website.

    Another proposed revision to the Selection Committee’s policies and procedures relates to what members of the public are permitted to address during public comment, known to Great Barrington Town Hall as “citizen speaking”:

    “Citizens’ speaking time shall not be used for comments or questions regarding any matter which is pending before or which is to be submitted to the Selection Committee in a public hearing.”

    Bannon again said it was a recommendation from the city attorney because such comments on a pending matter that will come before council in the form of a public hearing “could bias the committee. of selection and the candidate is not there to answer”.

    These proposed revisions will again be on the agenda for the selection committee meeting on Wednesday, November 13, which has been rescheduled for November 4. This previous meeting had to be canceled due to a power outage downtown.

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    Home rule

    Some cities in the eastern metropolitan area could lose their home taxing and regulatory powers in 2020

    BELLEVILLE – The slow but steady decline in Illinois’ population could jeopardize the self-governing status some cities in the Eastern Metropolitan area enjoy.

    Self-government grants cities broad powers of taxation and regulation, making it easier to quickly resolve local problems and finance projects and services. Status is automatically granted to any city in Illinois with a population greater than 25,000. Cities can also gain autonomy by referendum, as Fairview Heights did.

    “This gives them a wide opportunity to come up with innovative solutions without having to seek permission from the General Assembly,” said Maryam Judar, Executive Director of the Citizen Advocacy Center. “Without home rule, a municipality must work within its narrow authority. He needs the state’s permission if he seeks to work outside of this. “

    The 2020 census could reveal population counts below the magic number for some local communities, including Collinsville and East St. Louis, and others in the state, such as Freeport and Harvey.

    Flexibility and authority

    Plastic bag fee lack at Glen Carbon in April because the community did not have Home Rule status. He did not have the legal power to create a new tax.

    With autonomy, cities benefit from greater flexibility in finances as they can levy new taxes. They can also exercise power over construction, zoning, sanitation, civil unrest and many other aspects of local governance, according to Illinois Municipal League documents.

    Collinsville and East St. Louis both had populations greater than 25,000 in the 2010 census, although current census estimates Pin up Collinsville at 24 676 and East St. Louis at 26 678. But a undercount could skew East St. Louis numbers.

    Collinsville and East St. Louis city officials did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

    Cities do not automatically lose home rule when they fall below 25,000 inhabitants, but they must ask their residents to vote if they wish to remain home rule with a specific question: “Should the entity stop d to be home rule? Said Judar.

    “It’s a bit counterintuitive, because if you say ‘yes’ to the ceasefire issue, you don’t want autonomy,” she said. “If you say ‘no’ to the ceasefire issue, you want home control. “

    Residents should not take this kind of referendum lightly because of the powers it grants to a municipal government, Judar said.

    “Local government affects people more than any other form of government,” she said.

    The Edwardsville case

    This is not the first time that a community in the eastern metropolitan region has achieved autonomy and then fell below the threshold of 25,000 residents. Edwardsville got rule status at home after a special census in 2007 determined it met the threshold.

    City lawmakers were interested in getting the special status because of the authority it gave a municipality, said Gary Niebur, mayor of Edwardsville at the time.

    “It was seen as giving you more authority to run your city where you feel better for your residents,” he said.

    In 2010, Edwardsville’s official population fell below 24,293, triggering a referendum. Niebur was not worried that the measure would fail, which had happened in other communities in the state.

    “I felt good,” he says. “I felt we had proven that what we wanted to do with Home Rule was in the best interest of the whole community.”

    He adds that the city was cautious in its use of autonomy and only focused on how the authorities believed it would benefit the community. For communities in the Eastern Metropolitan region that might face a similar referendum after the 2020 census, Niebur advises thinking about how the city has used self-government.

    “Really list the things the city accomplished because it had control of the house,” he said. “A lot of these things should be positive.”

    Eric Schmid covers Metro East for St. Louis Public Radio as part of the Journalism Fellowship Program Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. Follow Eric on Twitter: @EricDSchmid

    Send your questions and comments on this article to: [email protected]

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    Home rule

    Rick Steves: Dublin landmarks recall home power struggle

    A walk through the heart of North Dublin recalls Ireland’s long struggle for independence and is a great introduction to the city’s rich history.

    A walk through the heart of North Dublin recalls Ireland’s long struggle for independence and is a great introduction to the city’s rich history. I try to take the time for this walk on each visit to reinvigorate my sense of the city as the beating heart of the ever-evolving Irish nation.

    I start at the O’Connell Bridge, which spans the River Liffey. The river has long divided the wealthy south side of the city from the north side of the working class. From this bridge, I can see modern Dublin evolving: a forest of cranes marks construction sites throughout the city.

    Leading from the bridge into the heart of North Dublin, O’Connell Street echoes history. I like to stroll along its middle tree-lined strip, which brings me closer to many Irish heroes.

    The first statue pays homage to Daniel O’Connell (1775-1847), who called on the British Parliament for Irish Catholics to have civil rights. He organized thousands of nonviolent protesters in huge “monster meetings”.

    The pedestal has many bullet holes, which remain from the Easter Rising of 1916, a week-long rebellion against British rule that was quickly crushed.

    The following statue represents William Smith O’Brien (1803-1864), the leader of the nationalist movement Young Ireland. Compared to his predecessors such as O’Connell, O’Brien was more willing to use force to achieve Irish self-determination. After a failed uprising in Tipperary, he was jailed and sentenced to death, then exiled to Australia.

    Nearby is a statue of Sir John Gray (1816 -1875), a physician and politician who wanted to abrogate the union with Great Britain. You can also thank him for bringing clean drinking water to Dublin.

    Next is James Larkin (1876-1947), the founder of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union. The strike he called in 1913 is considered the first shot in the war for independence. He stands where a union rally erupted into a riot after Larkin was arrested for attempting to deliver a speech – resulting in massive police brutality and several deaths.

    Shortly after the statue of Larkin is the General Post Office, with pillars still riddled with bullet holes. It was there that nationalist activist Patrick Pearse read the Irish Independence Proclamation in 1916, marking the start of the Easter Rising. The building became the headquarters of the rebels and the scene of a bloody five-day siege. Why fight for a post office? Because it housed the nerve center of the telegraph for the whole country. Today, a captivating exhibit brings the dramatic history of this building to life.

    A few blocks away is a statue of Father Theobald Mathew (1790-1856), a leader of the temperance movement of the 1830s. Father Mathew was responsible, according to some historians, for convincing enough Irish peasants to stay sober that O’Connell was able to organize them into a political force. But the onset of the Great Potato Famine crippled his efforts and sent thousands to their graves or on emigration ships – desperation drove Ireland back to whiskey.

    Boldly, at the top of O’Connell Street stands a monument to Charles Stewart Parnell. The monument is surrounded by the names of the four ancient provinces of Ireland and the 32 Irish counties (to the north and south, since it was erected before the Irish partition). Parnell (1846-1891) was the Member of Parliament who nearly won home rule for Ireland in the 1880s – and who served prison time for his nationalist activities. Despite his privileged birth, Parnell envisioned a modern, free and united Ireland as a secular democracy.

    The momentum seemed to be on Parnell’s side. With the British Prime Minister in favor of a similar form of home rule, it seemed Ireland was on the path to independence as a Commonwealth nation. Then a sex scandal erupted around Parnell and he was kicked out of office.

    After that, Ireland got bogged down in the conflicts of the 20th century: awkward independence with a divided island, a bloody civil war and sectarian violence in Northern Ireland in the second half of the century. But since the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, peace has finally reigned on this troubled island.

    Upstream from Parnell, Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance pays homage to the victims of the Easter Rising. This memorial marks the spot where the rebel leaders were held before being transferred to prison for their execution. The Irish flag flies above: green for Catholics, orange for Protestants and white for the hope that they can live together in peace.

    One of modern Ireland’s most touching moments occurred here in 2011, when the Queen made it the first stop on her visit to the Republic – the first for a British monarch to reign in 100 years. She laid a wreath and bowed her head out of respect for the Irish rebels who had died trying to free themselves from her kingdom. It was an extremely cathartic moment for both nations.

    Brexit brings new challenges as politicians explain what Britain’s break with the EU means for the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. While my brief Dublin walk is over, there is still a lot of history to be made on the Emerald Isle.

    Rick Steves ( writes European tourist guides and hosts tourist programs on public television and radio. Email him at [email protected] and follow his blog on Facebook.

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    Greenland Self-Government Act – Frontline

    (Law No. 473 of June 12, 2009)

    “We Margrethe the Second, by the grace of God Queen of Denmark, hereby announce that:

    The Danish Parliament has passed the following law, which We have ratified with Our assent:

    Recognizing that the people of Greenland are a people within the meaning of international law with the right to self-determination, the law is based on the desire to foster equality and mutual respect in the partnership between Denmark and Greenland. Accordingly, the law is based on an agreement between Naalakkersuisut [Greenland Government] and the Danish government as equal partners.

    1. The Greenlandic self-governing authorities exercise legislative and executive power in the areas of competence listed. The courts set up by the self-governing authorities exercise judicial power in Greenland in all areas of jurisdiction. Consequently, the legislative power belongs to Inatsisartut [Greenland Parliament]the executive power with Naalakkersuisut, and the judicial power with the courts….

    4. Naalakkersuisut and the Government may agree that areas of responsibility which relate exclusively to Greenlandic affairs and which are not mentioned in the Schedule may be assumed by the Home Rule Authorities of Greenland….

    Foreign Affairs (Chapter 4)

    11. (1) Naalakkersuisut may act in international affairs in accordance with this chapter and in agreements with the government.

    (2) The Government and Naalakkersuisut shall cooperate in international affairs in accordance with this Chapter with a view to safeguarding the interests of Greenland as well as the general interests of the Kingdom of Denmark.

    (3) The powers granted to the Naalakkersuisut in this chapter do not limit the responsibility and constitutional powers of the Danish authorities in international affairs, as matters of foreign policy and security are matters of the Kingdom.

    12. (1) Naalakkersuisut may, on behalf of the Kingdom, negotiate and conclude agreements under international law with foreign states and international organisations, including administrative agreements which relate exclusively to Greenland and relate entirely to the areas of responsibility listed.

    (2) Agreements under international law which relate exclusively to Greenland and the Faroe Islands and relate entirely to the listed areas of responsibility may, subject to a decision by the Naalakkersuisut as well as the Landsstyre of the Faroe Islands [Government of the Faroes]be negotiated and concluded jointly on behalf of the Kingdom by Naalakkersuisut and the Landsstyre of the Faroe Islands.

    (3) Agreements under international law concluded under paragraph (1) or paragraph (2) may be terminated under the same provisions.

    (4) Agreements under international law affecting defense and security policy as well as agreements under international law which are to apply in Denmark or which are negotiated within an international organization of which the Kingdom of Denmark is a member are negotiated and concluded according to the rules set out in Article 13.

    (5) Naalakkersuisut will inform the Government of the negotiations contemplated before they are initiated and of the progress of the negotiations before the agreements under international law are entered into or terminated. A more detailed framework for cooperation under this provision will be determined after negotiation between Naalakkersuisut and the government.

    (6) The international law agreements referred to in paragraph (1) are concluded on behalf of the Kingdom by Naalakkersuisut under the designation of:

    a) The Kingdom of Denmark with respect to Greenland when the agreement appears to be concluded between States.

    b) Naalakkersuisut when the agreement appears to be concluded between governments or between administrative authorities. In such case, reference is made in the preamble to the agreement to this Act as specified under subsection (8).

    (7) Agreements under international law under paragraph (2) are concluded jointly on behalf of the Kingdom by Naalakkersuisut and the Landsstyre of the Faroe Islands under the designation of the Kingdom of Denmark in respect of the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

    (8) More detailed rules for the use of the designations referred to in paragraphs (6) and (7) as well as other similar designations may be determined in accordance with paragraph (5).

    13. (1) The Government shall inform Naalakkersuisut prior to the opening of negotiations concerning agreements under international law which are of particular importance for Greenland. Subject to a request by Naalakkersuisut, an agreement may be entered into with the relevant Minister, who establishes detailed rules for cooperation under this provision, including a detailed determination of the criteria on which agreements are deemed to have a particular importance for Greenland.

    (2) In matters which exclusively concern Greenland, the Government may authorize Naalakkersuisut to conduct negotiations, with the co-operation of the Foreign Service.

    (3) Agreements in which Denmark and Greenland have jointly participated in the negotiations shall be signed by the government, to the greatest extent possible, jointly with Naalakkersuisut.

    (4) Agreements under international law which are of particular importance for Greenland must, before being concluded or denounced, be submitted to the Naalakkersuisut for observations. If the government deems it necessary to enter into the agreement without the consent of Naalakkersuisut, this shall, to the greatest extent possible, have no effect for Greenland.

    14. Where international organizations allow entities other than states and associations of states to become members on their own behalf, the government may, subject to Naalakkersuisut’s request, decide to submit or support such a request from Greenland when compatible with constitutional status. from Greenland.

    15. As requested by Naalakkersuisut, representatives of Naalakkersuisut will be appointed to the diplomatic missions of the Kingdom of Denmark to look after the interests of Greenland in areas of responsibility fully assumed by the self-governing authorities. The government may decide that the expenses for this purpose shall be borne by Naalakkersuisut.

    Dispute Resolution (Chapter 6)

    19. (1) In case of doubt between the Home Rule Authorities of Greenland and the Central Authorities of the Kingdom concerning the responsibility of the Home Rule Authorities vis-à-vis the Central Authorities, the Government or Naalakkersuisut may decide to put the question before a council composed two members appointed by the Danish government, two members appointed by Naalakkersuisut and three Supreme Court judges appointed by its president, one of whom is appointed president.

    (2) If the four members appointed by the Government and Naalakkersuisut reach an agreement, the matter is considered settled. If these four cannot reach an agreement, the matter will be decided by the three justices of the Supreme Court.

    (3) The council may decide to suspend the promulgation or the decision which has been submitted to the council until the decision of the council is taken.

    20. Greenlandic is the official language of Greenland.

    Greenland’s access to independence

    21. (1) The decision concerning the independence of Greenland shall be taken by the people of Greenland.

    (2) If a decision is taken under paragraph (1), negotiations shall be entered into between the Government and Naalakkersuisut with a view to establishing the independence of Greenland.

    (3) An agreement between Naalakkersuisut and the government regarding the introduction of independence for Greenland must be included with the consent of Inatsisartut and must be approved by referendum in Greenland. The agreement will also be concluded with the consent of the Folketing.

    (4) The independence of Greenland implies that Greenland assumes sovereignty over the territory of Greenland.

    Greenland receives an annual grant of £400 million from Denmark. Its prime minister, Kim Kielsen, ticked off US President Donald Trump (The HinduAugust 22).

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    Home rule

    Kilkenny unique Home Rule Club faces challenges on 125th anniversary

    “People have this preconceived idea that this is a closed club – a political group. That, like my youngest son says, the IRA wants you in there and it’s that terrorist thing.

    Darina O’Byrne explains the dilemma facing the Home Rule Club. She and other members of her organizing committee are seated at her front bar, a comfortable, low-ceilinged room adorned with depictions of John Redmond, the former congressman and leader of the movement.

    From distaste for politics to anhistoric assumptions, the club, which is owned by its non-profit members, faces challenges as it celebrates its 125th anniversary.

    It was created by Catholic businessmen in the city in July 1894, with the aim of “advancing Catholic and national interests”.

    One of them is that the movement that gave the club its name lost much of its power a century ago. The title of Home Rule continues to seem like a drawback to some members.

    “A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that the Home Rule Club is a political club,” says Roger O’Reilly, “but it’s not political at all”.


    Nonetheless, President John Kelly says that because of his role it is “a duty” to focus on the club’s original political goals.

    He prepared a detailed timeline tracing the incidents and legislative movements in preparation for the approval of Home Rule, before the outbreak of World War I delayed its implementation, then its overrun by the Easter Rising and independence.

    Its origins date back to the 1890s, when a bill introducing Home Rule for Ireland was introduced in the House of Commons in Westminster. It was the second time he had appeared before MPs, and the result was the same: defeat.

    This served to further intensify efforts in Ireland to achieve a parliament in Dublin. Many local organizations have been formed across the country to provide spaces for organization and networking.

    One of them was the Home Rule Club of Kilkenny. It was established by Catholic businessmen in the city in July 1894, with the aim, under the club’s original rules, to “advance Catholic and national interests and provide rational entertainment to its members.”

    The latter objective was mainly provided by a pool table.

    “Obviously at the time of independence it started to become more of a social club and that is what it is today, without any affiliation,” says O’Reilly.

    But he may have been inclined to become a social club long before that. Darina O’Byrne, who reviewed the minutes of the first meetings of 1894, says: “Even when it had a political purpose, it was only a fraction of their topic. If you look at their activities, the first meeting was devoted to billiards. [They were wondering] how they were going to light up the pool table. Would they light it on gas? That sort of thing.”

    Darina says the minutes show the focus was on education for the club, through its library and reading rooms. Excursions to parts of the country were also part of the club’s activities.

    Now located on John’s Quay on the banks of the River Nore, its remit goes far beyond Home Rule. In addition to functioning as a pub, it hosts community groups from all over the city, covering movie clubs, dance classes, and tai chi groups. It is a full-fledged community center, say members.

    For the coming year, a series of political and historic talks are underway. This July provided a glimpse of a violent confrontation in the 1830s south of Kilkenny, known locally as the Battle of Carrickshock, which saw 14 members of the Irish Police force killed by sharecroppers as they attempted to collect the tithe.

    The front bar of the Home Rule Club in Kilkenny, which is adorned with old political campaign material from the early 1900s. Today the club is not political at all, according to one of its members. Photography: Alan Betson

    Home Rule’s best-known modern supporter, former taoiseach John Bruton, surrendered last month. He became a member following his speech on John Redmond, the movement’s leading figure, who was an MP for neighboring Waterford.

    It doesn’t take much to become a member, explains Kelly: “It’s € 10 membership for the year. It basically operates on a shoestring budget.

    A bar manager is employed full-time alongside several part-time bar workers. Three years ago the bar and beer garden were renovated.

    In the generations that followed the collapse of the political movement, the building had a reputation as a “dingy” workers’ club and was a favorite haunt for snooker players.

    The premises were to be sold at the beginning of this decade, in order to cover an invoice of € 30,000. There were concerns that the club would disappear altogether.

    But, says Kelly, “word got out that he was going to disappear from the face of the earth and that led to an increase in the number of members to keep the club.”

    While many of these new members have since “melted away”, there are still around 130 people paying their annual membership fee.

    Roger O’Reilly believes the brief swell in membership was a “vote of confidence in the club” and its plans for the future.

    An artist, best known for last year’s illustrated look at Ireland’s lighthouses, O’Reilly opened the doors a decade ago to ask if they had any space he could rent as a studio.

    It’s the kind of place you walk around on your own. The minute I walked in and walked through that door someone said, ‘sit there and sing a song’

    “They had just set up the upstairs room at the club, so I ended up painting there for 10 years. Eventually, they managed to twist my arm and get me on the committee earlier this year – after only nine years.

    It has managed to be more accessible than the building’s previous function, an elite school for young women. The residents were to bring three items with them to the entrance, says O’Reilly: a pair of sheets, a change of clothes and a silver spoon.

    Other people found it more difficult to join. Nuala Culleton was introduced to the club by her husband Paddy when they were teenagers, but only Paddy was allowed to become a member.

    Culleton sought to change this when she was older: “There was a campaign for women to become members. I think it was in 1989 when they agreed to let us join them, then I was secretary five years later.

    “It wasn’t until we campaigned for us to become members that we found out that nowhere was it written that women could not become members,” she laughs.

    There was another excluded group: the Parnellites. The personal life of Irish parliamentary party leader Charles Stewart Parnell, especially his adultery and divorce proceedings, sparked a split within the party in the 1800s.

    “There were Catholic priests on the board for the early years,” says Clare Griffin, who has researched the club’s formative period.

    “Many of the members were Catholics and given that the split occurred only a few years before the club was founded, it would make sense for them to be anti-Parnellites.”

    Indeed, according to O’Byrne, the minutes of one of the first meetings showed that a man’s loyalty to the Parnellite faction was being used as a factor against his membership.

    “Ironically, even though the [pressure group] The Home Rule Government Association was formed by a Protestant lawyer, this club was a Catholic club. I think there were really all kinds of disparate groups that were looking for self-determination and scrambling to take control of their lives, ”she says.

    The next challenge for the club, she says, is to continue to attract and retain members so that they can “regenerate from the bottom up.”

    The club’s combination of hikes, meditation, and regular music nights has attracted her, and she hopes its wide offering will be more popular.

    “It’s the kind of place you walk around alone. The minute I walked in and walked through that door, someone said, ‘sit there and sing a song’.

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    Home rule

    How disgust at colonial aggression fueled Irish nationalism

    Book Title:
    The road to autonomy: anti-imperialism and the Irish national movement


    Paul A Townend

    University of Wisconsin Press

    Indicative price:
    $ 64.95

    A speech in the summer of 1877 heralded the emergence of Charles Stewart Parnell as the driving force behind Irish autonomy. But the subject of the Nationalist leader’s remarks was not his homeland – it was the British government’s attempt to take control of a distant colony in South Africa.

    “As an Irishman, coming from a country which had suffered the consequences of British interference in its affairs and the consequences of British cruelty and tyranny,” he said in a heated debate in Parliament, he “felt a particular satisfaction in thwarting and preventing the intentions of the government”.

    Parnell and his group of Irish MPs lacked the votes needed to block passage of the legislation annexing the Transvaal. But American historian Paul A. Townend sees this foray into foreign policy as a turning point in Ireland’s turbulent political history. The nationalist movement wielded a new weapon – Irish revulsion in the face of the excesses of British imperialism that were hitting close at hand. In The Road to Home Rule: Anti-Imperialism and the Irish National Movement, Townend explores how the British forays into Asia and Africa during the 1870s and 1880s galvanized public opinion in Ireland and played into the hands of those who advocate Home Rule.

    “In these formative years of the Irish national movement,” he writes, “Irish attention, even in times of deep internal crisis, was often centered on events halfway around the world in South Africa, on the Indian subcontinent or Egypt and Sudan. . “

    Townend, professor of British and Irish history at the University of North Carolina, delved into political speeches, newspaper commentary and editorial cartoons of the time to show widespread sympathy in Ireland for the victims of the assault British colonial.

    He argues that academics have tended to underestimate the importance of anti-imperial sentiment in the rise of Irish nationalism. Given the events that rocked Ireland during the period – from evictions and boycotts to the establishment of the Land League and the Phoenix Park murders – this concentration on the home front is understandable.

    But a succession of bloody skirmishes gave Irish critics and nationalist newspapers ammunition to attack the British on a second front – the sometimes disastrous expansionism and chauvinism of the Disraeli and Gladstone administrations. The Afghan and Zulu Wars of the 1870s revealed, in Townend’s words, “British aggression, greed and hypocrisy.”

    The Zulus and their leader, King Ceteweyo, have received acclaim at Land League meetings and other Irish protests. A cartoon in a nationalist newspaper showed a Zulu sending a British soldier with the caption “Serve him well”. The British have been accused of a seizure of land like the one underway in Ireland against impoverished sharecroppers. Analogies have been drawn with the killings and destruction unleashed in Ireland during the Elizabethan era.

    The Nationalists were bolstered by the defeats, which left Britain vulnerable and vowed to divert troops to the Imperial border and away from Ireland. “Every Zulu victory, every diplomatic failure, every threatened coalition of oppressed peoples presented the British power with a test which could possibly fail,” notes Townend.

    The Boers provided further inspiration. “First blood for the Boers! Was the celebratory headline in a radical Irish newspaper when the First Boer War broke out in 1880. Another editor denounced the conflict as a “vicious colonial feud, born out of greed, pursued in violation of all international rights “. The crowds that had supported the Zulus were now cheering the Boers.

    As Britain quelled Irish unrest with coercion laws and military build-up, colonial conflicts turned into proxy wars for battles the Irish were powerless to wage at home. An English writer touring remote County Donegal in the 1890s met a resident who was still jealous of the upstart Boers. “When I see what a handful of Dutch farmers have done with your great old army,” he lamented, “I’m ashamed to be an Irishman under foreign rule. “

    Irish nationalists had to settle for propaganda victories as the war of words and images intensified. The inflammatory rhetoric often bordered on treason, and outspoken Michael Davitt was arrested for vicious attacks on British military action abroad. The radical Irish world weighed in with an 1879 cartoon titled “The Bubble Empire”, with John Bull blowing a large bubble amid a swarm of bayonet-armed insects and labeled Africa, Zulu and, with considerable optimism, Ireland. “Which of them will blow it up?” Asked the caption.

    The Irish continued to gloat over the Empire’s woes in the 1880s, when British incursions into North Africa resulted in a disastrous defeat in Sudan. Crowds at nationalist rallies were now cheering for the Mahdi fighters who wiped out General Charles Gordon and his garrison in Khartoum in early 1885. The British Empire “terrorizes and threatens, plunders and persecutes,” said one nationalist leader, as he had “done” it. in our own country ”.

    Townend documents this sustained wave of anti-imperialism in great detail and over twenty editorial cartoons have been reproduced for illustration. The sheer volume of evidence can be overwhelming at times, but the author’s mastery of the material and understanding of the politics of the day make it an interesting read.

    Once joined, Irish nationalism and anti-imperialism became inseparable. The Irish bristled to be part of an empire they saw as corrupt and exploitative; the British shrank from open displays of Irish disloyalty. The defeat of the first Autonomy Bill in 1886, following the Irish Imperial reaction, only delayed the inevitable split.

    The road to Irish eventual independence, as Parnell felt and Townend convincingly argues, has passed through the quagmire of Victorian-era imperial entanglements from Britain.


    Dean Jobb, author of Empire of Deception (Algonquin Books), teaches non-fiction storytelling and journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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    Home rule

    Scotland is not so courageous in the push for autonomy

    Schemes for Scottish autonomy date back to just after Gladstone’s introduction of his Irish Home Rule Bill. Indeed, they were then part of what was called the “home rule all round”, leaving the Parliament of Westminster to deal with imperial affairs. On several occasions, Scottish Home Rule bills have almost been passed by parliament. One of them did so in 1978, but was rejected by referendum in March 1979, on condition that 40% of the electorate voted in favor.

    This story suggests that while the demand has been constant, or at least recurring, it has not been very deep or sustained very strongly. If this had been the case, it is inconceivable that home rule has not been achieved to date.

    This shows the significant difference between Scottish and Irish history. Scotland has never been conquered or colonized. He entered into a union with England by a vote of his own parliament. The Scots saw themselves as equal partners in the British Empire. In the 19th century, the Scots were not a submerged people like the Irish, Poles or Czechs. On the contrary, they felt dominant.

    This feeling faded in the 20th century. Early industrialization made Victorian Scotland confident and vibrant. As confidence faded as the old heavy industries struggled between the two world wars, the nationalism that had manifested by then was entrenched, romantic and backward-looking.

    The response to industrial decline was to hold on even more to the British state, which had the resources to alleviate its effects and facilitate the transformation into a new economy – or, indeed, as many hoped, to support declining industries.

    In addition, the experience of World War II reinforced the sense of British patriotism. It was Great Britain, not England or Scotland, that stood contra mundum. Significantly, the major air battles of 1941, although primarily fought in southern England, were unanimously referred to as the “Battle of Britain”.

    For 20 years after the war, Britishness reigned almost unchallenged, despite the apparent success of the Covenant movement of the

    1940s, which called for a vague measure of autonomy. The Labor Party was committed to socialism in one country and forgot its historic, albeit nominal, attachment to self-government.

    It was not until the Wilson years of the 1960s that the decline of British power, and the apparent failure of British governments to stem the economic decline of Scotland from the more advantaged areas of the United Kingdom, gave a new impetus to nationalism.

    It was the rise of the Scottish National Party in the feverish atmosphere of the 1970s that persuaded Labor to introduce a decentralization plan.

    From the start, this was hampered by its internal contradiction. Devolution appealed to nationalist sentiment, but its apparent aim was to strengthen the Union by creating a better government of Scotland within the framework of the United Kingdom.

    Decentralization could therefore only work if it stifled the nationalist sentiment which it also nourished, and because of which Labor had been brought back to its roots as national government.

    The condition for decentralization was that there should be a strong SNP seeking independence; the condition for the proper functioning of any deconcentration project was for the SNP to lose its support.

    Undoubtedly, the unpopularity of the Thatcher-Major government in Scotland made devolution more attractive. Although general policy was made by the Scots and administered by the Scots, it was nonetheless referred to as a ‘democratic deficit’.

    There were claims that the very real and considerable administrative devolution that had taken place should be matched by political devolution in the form of a Scottish parliament.

    After 1987, the Labor Party became involved, in part because of the natural frustration resulting from its inability to translate electoral support in Scotland into political power, and in part out of fears that in the absence of decentralization its support does seep into the SNP.

    We are therefore now on the verge of voting for a Scottish Parliament along the lines proposed in the British Government’s White Paper.

    Its areas of competence will be the parts of government already administratively devolved to the Scottish Office. If we approve it, it will also have modest taxing power and, because of its control over local governments, the power to change local government taxation.

    The modesty of the project could, one might think, recommend it. Yet although the result is likely to be a nice majority in favor, there are still some trade unionists who view the project with suspicion and dismay.

    They do this for four reasons. The first is simple. As the government presents its proposals as, in the words of Secretary of State Mr Donald Dewar, ‘a fair and just settlement for Scotland within the framework of the UK’, Labor has hailed nationalist support who see what is proposed not as a “settlement” but as a step in the process towards independence.

    Clearly the two cannot be right. Therefore, many who are happy to identify as both Scottish and British are inevitably devoskeptics.

    Second, the powers of tax variation, while modest, worry many businessmen. They fear that if Scotland becomes the most heavily taxed part of the UK, as seems likely, they will find themselves at a competitive disadvantage. Their doubts are shared by those who think this is all an expensive extravaganza that will only benefit professional politicians and create more jobs for the boys.

    Third, some of us fear that one of the consequences is the diminishing Scottish influence, which is now considerable, within the UK. A semi-detached country is unlikely to play a full role in governing the whole. Scotland may become more withdrawn and parochial, as was Northern Ireland during Stormont’s time.

    The government’s refusal to attempt any response to the West Lothian question, formulated 20 years ago by now veteran Labor MP for Linlithgow, Mr Tam Dalyell (then MP for West Lothian), who asks why Scottish MPs for Westminster should be able to vote on a range of English affairs, but English MPs should not vote on comparable Scottish affairs, is worrying. Ultimately, the only answer to this problem would be some form of federalism.

    Finally, the proposed regime will create a fundamentally irresponsible parliament because, despite the modest power of tax variation, its income will depend on Westminster. He will have the pleasure of spending money as long as he does not incur the odiousness of snatching it from the people.

    Writing recently on the problems of local government in the west of Scotland, Iain McWhiter (who favors decentralization) suggested that it was important to “restore the local tax base”.

    Part of the problem, he said, was that local councils no longer collected the money they spent. “Nothing could be better designed to undermine civic responsibility. The balance should be restored, with more taxes levied locally and less levied centrally. Councils would then be accountable to their local electorate.”

    He is absolutely right and yet we are being offered a so-called national parliament that will collect an even lower proportion of its income than the meanest and poorest local authorities currently do. Nothing, in its own words, could be better designed to undermine civic responsibility.

    And that, even if one did not see in the proposals an institutionalization of the friction between London and Edinburgh, to the probable benefit of the SNP, this would be a sufficient reason to vote “no” on September 11th.

    Allan Massie is a journalist and novelist who lives on the Scottish borders. He writes regularly for several publications, including the Scotsman and the Daily Telegraph. Her most recent novel, published last month, is Shadows of Empire.

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    Home rule

    Autonomy could have led peacefully to independence

    Home Rule, already law, could have led this part of Ireland peacefully to the same totally independent position that Canada enjoys today, if it had not been derailed by the rebellion of 1916, its consequences and the result. of the 1918 elections.

    Peaceful methods had already proved their worth. The landlord system had been overthrown. A national university had been created. The Irish language was increasingly recognized.

    More importantly, the principle of Irish legislative independence had already won the Imperial Parliament, in September 1914, with the passage and signature by the King of the Home Rule Bill.

    The point of principle was therefore already won, without striking a blow.

    It is therefore difficult to say that the outbreak of a rebellion in 1916 and a war of independence from 1919 to 1921 were – one or the other – a “last resort”, which is a essential condition for a just war.

    The only question open in 1914 was whether, or for how long, Antrim, Down, Armagh and Derry (and possibly up to Fermanagh and Tyrone who had narrow nationalist majorities) could have been excluded from autonomy. . The violence of 1916 made this problem more difficult to solve.

    I believe that the self-government would not have ended up having jurisdiction over most of these counties. But, after all the murders and deaths of the 1916-1923 period and the 1921 Treaty, the Free State did not get jurisdiction over them anyway.

    Under the autonomy formula, the excluded counties would have been under direct administration (not Stormont), which would have been better for the nationalist minority.

    The Irish parliamentary party tried unsuccessfully to solve the Ulster problem during the period 1910-1918. The men of 1916 simply ignored it.


    John Redmond Brian Murphy

    The autonomous House of Commons, which would have emerged at the end of the Great War in 1919, would have been elected with a much larger electoral list than that applied in the general election of 1910. All adult men, and all women over 30 for the first time, would have had the right to vote. It would probably have favored those who seek a greater degree of independence.

    I don’t think the UK would have denied an autonomous Ireland the powers it freely bestowed on dominions such as Canada and Australia under the Statute of Westminster of 1931. If so, the sufferings of the War of Independence were unnecessary. The proof is there.

    In the British elections of 1918, Ireland’s dominion status was not only the policy of the Irish Party, led by John Dillon, but also the policies of the Asquith Liberals and, above all, of the British Labor Party. The policy of the Liberal / Conservative coalition government of Lloyd George was autonomy.

    During the 1920s the British Labor Party came to power in Westminster and this would have been a first opportunity for the Irish Self-Government Administration in Dublin to push for, or beyond, dominion status.

    Separation policy

    Autonomy is said to have left the British forces on Irish territory. But the 1921 treaty did the same. He left the ports of Cork and Donegal to the British Army. But these ports were returned in 1938, thanks to peaceful negotiations on the eve of the Second World War. This suggests that unwanted limitations on local self-government could also have been negotiated peacefully.

    If a nation is to learn anything from history, it must consider what might have happened if different historical choices had been made.

    As a rule, compromise is good, killing is bad. Bargaining is better than coercion. The uncompromising Proclamation of 1916, with its emphasis on “dead generations” and “irrevocable rights,” took us down an unproductive path.

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    Home rule

    Today, in 1913, the third autonomy bill was passed by the House of Commons

    On January 16, 1913, the Third Reading of the Government of Ireland Bill, more commonly known as the Third Irish Home Rule Bill, was passed by the House of Commons in London.

    Two weeks later, he was to be rejected again – for the third time – by the House of Lords which aligned with the Unionists – living mainly in Ulster – and feared that the introduction of Home Rule would mean a break for the union of Ireland. and England.

    For once, this rejection in the House of Lords did not mark a return to square one for supporters of Home Rule in Ireland. Thanks to the Parliament Act of 1911, the House of Lords no longer had the power to reject a bill, but simply to delay it, which meant that Home Rule had yet to be implemented but with a little waiting.

    The Home Rule Bill was a law that would remove the governance of Ireland from England and return it to Ireland. Following the failure of a rebellion involving French assistance in 1798, the Act of Union of 1800 was implemented, essentially meaning that the Irish no longer entered into a personal union with England with the ‘Protestant ancestry ruling over the country from Dublin, they were now ruled directly from London.

    READ MORE: Irish Home Rule political cartoons acquired by Great Hunger Institute (PHOTOS).

    Attempts to abrogate this union began immediately with “The Emancipator”, Daniel O’Connell struggling to end throughout the 1840s.

    Earlier this week, we saw the anniversary of his first public speech against the Act of Union to a group of Catholics in Dublin, in which he said he would be better off going back to the days of criminal law than to spend more time in such a union with England.

    “Let every man who feels with me proclaim that if the alternative of the Union were offered to him, or of the reconstitution of the Penal Code in all its primitive horrors, he would unhesitatingly prefer the latter, as less and more than sympathizers proclaimed to the Catholic assembly of January 13, 1800, “that he would rather confide in the justice of his brothers, the Protestants of Ireland, who had already freed him, than to put his country at the feet of foreigners”.

    READ MORE: Today, in 1800, Daniel O’Connell gave his first speech opposing Union with England.

    The concept of Home Rule, however, did not gain public attention in Ireland until the 1870s, following further failed uprisings in 1803, 1848, and 1867.

    In 1870 Isaac Butt, a lawyer and former Conservative MP, founded the Irish Home Government Association. Using a cross section of progressive landowners, tenant rights activists, supporters and sympathizers of the failed Fenian uprising of 1867, Butt and the association evolved into the Home Rule League that won the alliance of many Irish MPs.

    The movement would be revitalized once again with the introduction of master organizer Charles Stewart Parnell as a leader, turning the Home Rule effort into a powerful political force from the parish level to parliament.

    By the time it was finally passed in 1913, it was the third time that a self-government bill had come before the English Parliament. The first came in 1886 under the Liberal government of Prime Minister William Gladstone with the support of Parnell and the Irish Parliamentary Party. The bill was not even passed by the House of Commons.

    The second attempt took place in 1893 with the recently deceased Parnell and although it was passed by the House of Commons, it was rejected by the House of Lords.

    It was not until 19 years later under the Liberal government of Herbert Asquith that the bill returned. During two general elections, Asquith and his party had held on to power by allying with the Irish Nationalist Party and its leader John Redmond. A condition of this alliance was to finally respect Home Rule for Ireland.

    The bill was successfully passed by both houses in early 1913 due to the reduced powers of the House of Lords.

    Unfortunately for the Home Rule party, the outbreak of World War I in 1914 sent the British government into emergency mode and the Home Rule Bill was once again put on the spot.

    With the promise of its immediate implementation at the end of the war, John Redmond gave a rousing speech to the Irish volunteers in which he encouraged them to support the British cause against Germany.

    As a largely Protestant country trying to assert its power over smaller Catholic countries, many were happy to force a fight against Germany and many even enlisted in the British Army to fight in the trenches.

    There was a minority, however, who were unhappy that the British did not respond to a request once again and felt Redmond was weak in complying with another excuse instead of implementing Home Rule in time. Among that minority were the leaders of the 1916 Uprising who were not prepared to wait any longer to regain power from Britain.

    Seeing World War I as a hardship for England and an opportunity for Ireland, they staged the Easter Rising of 1916, a failed uprising that nonetheless rekindled the flames of rebellion among the people. Irish and which is celebrated this year as one of the most important events on the road in Ireland. independence.

    The autonomy bill was never to exist.

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    Home rule

    Self-reliance for Scotland is the only way forward for the UK | Alun evans

    A A year ago today, Britain’s three main party leaders issued their famous vow, pledging to continue devolution to Scotland if a vote is not taken in the independence referendum, then just 48 time.

    Some saw this as a panic reaction. The Scottish National Party and the Yes campaign seemed to be calling all the shots. Union supporters seemed to be constantly late, playing a constant game of catching up with the moving train of independence.

    If, on September 18, 2014, some 200,000 Scottish voters had opted for a yes rather than a no, we would now be in the midst of the most complex and controversial negotiations to create the conditions for Scotland to become a state. independent nation – and to break the 300 year old Act of Union.

    Since the referendum, and despite its defeat, the SNP has continued to pull the strings. Indeed, last weekend Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the SNP would set out in its manifesto for next year’s Holyrood election the circumstances under which it might be fair to call a second referendum on independence.

    The first referendum was supposed to settle the issue for a generation. He hasn’t even done it for a year. How did we get to where we are now?

    The rise of the SNP in 80 years has been remarkable: since its foundation in 1934, through fleeting successes in by-elections, a wave in the 1970s and the frustrations of the early attempts at transfer under the Callaghan government, to the wild years of the Thatcher and Major years, and to the settlement offered by Blair in his first term – that many hoped to kill the independence movement. Then he skillfully used his power base in Holyrood to reach a point to force a referendum, almost win it and become the story of a general election in the UK.

    What, if anything, can the UK government do about this SNP-led march of history? Is a second referendum on independence, leading to a yes, inevitable?

    The SNP has overwhelmed the UK on four fronts: politics, politics, personalities and passion.

    Its political stance and strategy have always been in the context of its clear and unwavering ultimate goal of Scottish independence. Initially, his political strategy focused a lot on presenting himself as an alternative to the Tories, focusing on the wealthier parts of North East Scotland. It is not for nothing that opponents of the Nationalists have dubbed them the “Tory Tories”. But in 2015, their grassroots policies (such as free university education and higher public spending) targeted the Labor Party and the seats in the central belt.

    In turn, SNP policies and politics have been led by a remarkable trio of politicians – Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon, and John Swinney. In contrast, no major figure in Britain’s main parties has been wholeheartedly involved in Scottish politics, preferring to pursue a career in Westminster.

    Finally, the SNP showed enormous passion in presenting its case.

    What about the future? Now is the time for the UK to make a big, bold, generous and mature offer to the people of Scotland.

    This offer has to be – whatever name people choose to call it, full fiscal autonomy or devo max plus – ‘UK home rule’, to use the language of Charles Parnell and William Gladstone.

    What would it look like? This could be: the full devolution of taxes and expenditure to the Scottish Parliament and Government, with the exception of reserved areas; full responsibility for domestic politics and spending; full responsibility for energy policy and activity on and at sea; agreement on certain shared responsibilities in the United Kingdom; a framework for maintaining the UK as a constitutional monarchy; a shared economic space with a monetary policy defined by the British Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee in which the views of Scotland should be represented; defense and the overall conduct of foreign policy is handled by the UK, but in full consultation.

    But it would take three general conditions. First: economical. This arrangement would, by definition, mark the end of Barnett’s formula for public spending as applied to Scotland – requiring a new, fairer formula to be applied to Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Second: political. The granting of a much greater degree of UK independence to Scotland – self-government – should have a counterpart in terms of reduced political power for Scotland in the parliament at Westminster. The best and fairest answer to West Lothian’s question is that autonomy should coincide with a reduction in the number of Scottish MPs in exchange for autonomy. This would imply a reduction of perhaps 50% in the number of Scottish MPs.

    Third: constitutional. This issue must be resolved for a generation, not for a year or for five years. There may be something to learn from Canada’s experience with Quebec. After its second referendum in 1995 – when the separatist movement managed to achieve only 1% independence – the government reached out to Quebec and sold the benefits of staying in Canada much more forcefully. and passion, as separatist pressure has subsided. .

    Those who believe Scotland remains part of the UK must now do the same to ensure that the autonomy agreement is not immediately canceled. And so a long-term agreement has to state that it is for the long term – even if it has to be written into a new union treaty.

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    Home rule

    Consider DC’s Home Rule Before You Vote

    Introducing the redesigned DC flag with slogan: “No Taxation Without Representation”. (Rich Lipski / The Washington Post)

    Every election day counts. But for DC residents, this year’s Election Day may be more important than most. That’s because the actions of voters beyond the district are likely to be as important to the future of the city as those we ourselves launched on Tuesday.

    Opinion polls suggest the nation’s voters will give Congress a Republican Senate and a more Republican House. If this is true, it could cause problems for DC’s hopes of expanding autonomy and voting rights. The city’s quest for democratic equality and the GOP’s current grim vision of DC independence don’t go hand in hand. If the predicted Republican victory comes true, the city can expect to spend the next few years choking on the toxic brew that a GOP congress is likely to serve.

    This prospect makes this week’s commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Autonomy Act, a moment that may well represent the culmination of the city’s pressure for full self-determination.

    Sadly, city leaders took the opportunity to celebrate. the adoption of autonomy, however, was not their triumph.

    Credit for the limited measure of self-government the city now enjoys belongs to the former congressional and city leaders, most of whom are now deceased.

    No member of the current generation of elected officials played an important role in the passage of the law on autonomy. The same observation applies to most of the local crowd who toasted at the John A. Wilson Building on Tuesday night, the only possible exception being Sterling Tucker, the city’s first elected chairman and chairman of the celebration. . Tucker was a visible and vocal advocate in the years leading up to the law’s passage. But most of the local figures at the time were secondary supplicants, not power brokers. The most prominent and effective people interacting on Capitol Hill in 1973 were Del. Walter Fauntroy, mayor Walter Washington and municipal administrator Julian Dugas. I saw it all from my perch as the Director of Minority Personnel on the then-Senate District of Columbia Committee where I – though a non-Republican – worked for Republican Senator from Maryland and a member of the Classification Committee Charles McC. Mathias Jr.

    But rather than pushing for the creation of the Home Rule Act or cringe in anticipation of a Republican congressional takeover, DC voters can focus on the men and women seeking municipal office on Tuesday. These winners will become stewards of the limited power granted to the city by Congress 40 years ago. Now is not the time to bring gleeful talkative, selfish and light-hearted people into the office.

    As voters go to the polls, it is worth considering how well their elected officials have handled the powers of self-government.

    The corruption of the electoral process and the appalling financial management are two of the most distinguishing features of the past 40 years. And what has been done to political campaigns is disgusting.

    Realizing that the election for national autonomy in 1974 lacked rules governing the electoral process, Congress promulgated legislation regulate political campaigns, including financial contributions. The objective was to control “the corrosive influence of big money and the abuses rooted in the secrecy of political campaigns and the new government process” and “to provide for financial disclosure for candidates, elected officials . . . district government as a means of reducing public mistrust and improving the political process.

    I wrote these words for Mathias, who presided over a June 13, 1974 hearing on the Political Campaign Bill which was enacted a few weeks later.

    So how did it work for us? A two-year – and still ongoing – federal investigation into DC corruption. Jeffrey E. Thompson, Michael A. Brown, Vernon Hawkins. Need to say more?

    And after a long struggle for autonomy, it was almost lost when Congress removed control of the city’s finances from the mayor and council, handing a virtually insolvent DC government to a federal financial control board in 1995. – 20 years after the first elected government took office. This era of self-reliance was a monument to mismanagement, neglect, wasted money, wasted opportunities.

    Today, however, the city is no more independent from Congress than it was when President Richard Nixon signed the Home Rule Act on Christmas Eve 1973. Yes, Congress has attacked autonomy squarely. government over the past 40 years. But many of the city’s wounds were self-inflicted.

    Remember the board member who bit the tow truck driver in a fight? This resulted in the board member being convicted of assault and six months in jail in 1981 for failing to pass a court-ordered psychiatric examination, as required by his probation. And do you remember the mayor with the crack pipe, a girlfriend, and peeping authorities in a downtown hotel room? And the council members were taken to jail?

    Think about these things before you vote.

    Let’s not give Home Rule opponents more stones to throw at us.

    Learn more about the Colbert King archives.

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    Home rule

    Archive: Irish Home Rule and the Ulster Pact | North Ireland

    On September 28, 1912, 237,368 men and 234,046 women in northern Ireland and beyond signed the Covenant and the Ulster Declaration, pledging to oppose Home Rule, then debated by the British government.

    the third autonomy bill – which did not achieve full independence but transferred power from London – was fought by the Unionists, who wanted to maintain Ulster’s position within the United Kingdom.

    A document based on the 17th century Scottish National Pact was written to serve as a solemn oath.

    Manchester Guardian, September 20, 1912: click to read full article.

    He bound those who had signed it to

    supporting each other to defend, for ourselves and for our children, our cherished position of equal citizenship in the UK, and using whatever means may be deemed necessary to defeat the current plot to create an autonomous Parliament in Ireland.

    A separate statement was drafted by the Ulster Women Unionist’s Council in which women are committed to “Let us join the men of Ulster in their uncompromising opposition to the autonomy bill. “

    Ulster Declaration for Women, Manchester Guardian September 11, 1912
    Manchester Guardian, September 11, 1912: click to read full.

    September 28 was declared Ulster Day, and meetings were held across the region to mobilize support. On the same day, many Protestant churches organized special services and many factories in Belfast closed to allow workers to join the crowds at Town Hall; Sir Edward Carson was the first to sign. The women signed the Declaration near Ulster Hall.

    Copies of the document were signed at over 500 locations across Ulster and further afield in England and Manchester over the following weeks.

    Ulster Pact in Manchester, Guardian October 7, 1912
    Manchester Guardian, October 7, 1912: click to read full article.

    Some saw in the Home Rule bill the ignorance of English politicians and party politics. A letter to the Guardian claimed that “to the average Englishman Ireland means a troublesome island somewhere in the Atlantic, where the natives run half-naked over blossoming shillelagh bogs while behind them hides a mysterious known conspirator under the name of “the priest” … ”

    The author suggested that a bill should be drafted by businessmen of all stripes, making it “satisfactory to everyone in Ireland except a few Orangemen and Molly Maguires. ‘

    Letter on the Ulster Alliance, Manchester Guardian October 26, 1912
    Manchester Guardian, October 26, 1912: click to read full.

    The legality of the Covenant has also been called into question and criminal proceedings have been brought against several signatories.

    Ulster Covenant criminal case, Manchester GUardian October 4, 1912
    Manchester Guardian, October 4, 1912

    The Autonomy Bill was adopted by the Commons, but was defeat in the Lords in January 1913. It would have been adopted, but when World War I broke out, the matter was put on hold.

    In October 1912, while the bill was still hotly debated in parliament, the Guardian correspondent in Belfast suggested that, faced with lower than expected turnout, Unionist leaders were forcing “non-voters” to sign.

    He also wrote that “those who put their names on the Covenant on ‘Ulster-day’ are the culmination of militant unionism.” In this he was prophetic; the unionists selected 100,000 men from among those who signed the pact to be trained in the use of firearms as the first force of ulster volunteers.

    Ulster Pact, Manchester Guardian October 18, 1912
    Manchester Guardian, October 18, 1912: click to read full articles.

    Learn more about the Ulster Covenant, search for documents and view original signatures on the Northern Ireland Public Archives Office website, which digitized both the Covenant and the Declaration.

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    Home rule

    Ex-treasurer suggests SNP ‘go for Home Rule’

    Ian Blackford in 1997. Photo: TSPL

    As the SNP tries to recover from the devastating blow of losing last week’s independence referendum, its former treasurer Ian Blackford has called on the party to set out a new political stance acknowledging the independence issue is settled for the moment.

    With the constitutional position taken by the SNP sure to be a key issue as the party’s leadership moves from Alex Salmond to Nicola Sturgeon, Blackford has tried to reignite a fresh debate.

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    His comments came as Scotland published an article on Sunday by influential SNP MSP Marco Biagi, who admitted it was ‘inconceivable’ that his party could stand in next year’s general election with a manifesto containing a promise of a referendum on independence.

    Blackford, a former Deutsche Bank chief executive, said now was the time to reframe the constitutional debate by fighting for Home Rule – a settlement that would delegate all domestic politics to Holyrood, just defence, foreign affairs and the international relations being reserved for Westminster.

    Blackford said: “This is the kind of debate we need to have. We need to go beyond the garish headlines. Because that’s how you make people’s lives better, that’s the problem, whether it’s in a decentralized or independent structure.

    “I would always say independence is what we need, but what we have to recognize is that we got a vote on Thursday and that door has closed, at least for now.

    “We have to get through the next 18 months and I think we have to participate in Scotland’s body politic. Voters expect us to do that. They have made it very clear that they want change in Scotland.

    Blackford said the SNP should participate in discussions about the options for constitutional change put forward by Westminster parties.

    “We do this by saying that we know people voted for change and that we believe that in order to come up with something that makes sense, makes sense and is fair to the rest of the UK, as part of this process we should call to full Home Rule for Scotland – anything that can be considered domestic business. The logic of doing this is that then you don’t have an unbalanced UK, because Scotland is then responsible for all its domestic activities and pays Westminster to be part of the Union.

    Blackford said that position would allow the SNP to run on a ticket in 2015 that would appeal to the 45% of the electorate who voted Yes and the proportion of No voters who rejected independence based on more powers. future.

    He added: “None of this will be enacted into law before the UK general election, so it allows the SNP to stand on a ticket for the Westminster election where you call on people to lend their vote to the SNP so directs that we obtain the most powerful powers possible.

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    Home rule

    Irish Home Rule political cartoons acquired by the Great Hunger Institute (PHOTOS)

    The Great Hunger Institute of Ireland at Quinnipiac University has acquired a collection of 29 Irish political cartoons from the 1885-1914 “Home Rule” period, when Irish nationalists fought for independence from Great Britain.

    Gerard Morgan, from County Mayo, donated the cartoons. He has written several books on 19th century Irish history, including “Sending out Ireland’s Poor” and “Mayo: A County History”.

    “For historians [the cartoons] are a great resource, but also for students of visual culture because they are beautiful and very powerful images ”, founding director Christine Kinealy said in a press release.

    The Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac is a scientific resource for the study of Great Hunger, promoting research and fostering understanding of Ireland’s greatest tragedy through lectures, lectures, artifacts and courses.

    “These paintings are a unique resource that can be used to better understand this period in Ireland,” said Kinealy.

    “The cartoons seem particularly relevant this week in the run-up to the Scottish referendum, and some of the old arguments against Irish independence play out in the context of Scotland.”

    The images originally appeared in St. Stephen’s Review, a weekly political magazine published in London that opposed Irish independence (depicted in the cartoons).

    The cartoons opposed to Home Rule are the work of English cartoonist and satirist William Mencham, who used the pseudonym “Tom Merry”.

    The cartoons sympathetic to Home Rule, which appeared in the Freeman Weekly, are by Walter Charles Mills, born in County Tipperary in 1853. He often built his images around the characters of Erin, the beautiful woman symbol of Ireland , and Pat, the decent and reliable Irish farmer.

    “The Ugly Boy and His New Clothes” – November 26, 1887.

    The painting depicts William O’Brien, a nationalist journalist who represented Ireland in the British Parliament, as a naughty child. When he was arrested and jailed in 1887 for organizing a “rent strike” in County Cork, which was part of a larger agitation for land reforms, he refused to wear a prisoner’s uniform. His supporters smuggled a Blarney tweed suit into prison – a suit O’Brien later liked to wear in the British House of Commons.

    ‘The Modern Perseus’ – March 16, 1889.

    The painting borrows from Greek mythology, Perseus being a dashing hero who saves Andromeda from a sea monster. In the context of the Home Rule debate, the beautiful woman personifies Ireland, while the “unacceptable” side of Ireland is portrayed as a monster that can only be controlled through the use of “coercion”. These unattractive stereotypes of Irish nationalists were rife.

    ‘Through the Green Glass’ – July 13, 1889.

    The painting depicts William Gladstone reading a newspaper article titled “The Irish Question”. Gladstone literally reads the newspaper through green glasses – symbolizing his sympathy for Ireland. At this point, Gladstone was almost 80 years old, but still politically active. In 1892 he became British Prime Minister for the fourth time, and one of his electoral promises was that he would give Home Rule to Ireland. When Gladstone died in 1898, Irish Home Rule was more elusive than ever.

    “The duty of the hour” – March 4, 1911.

    This painting was donated with the “Weekly Freeman”, who supported Irish Self-Government (Home Rule). The beautiful female figure ‘Erin’ is used to personify Ireland and its struggles for independence. The National Fund referred to was founded to support the parliamentary campaign to win Home Rule and to counter “the powerful and unnatural combination of factionalism and unionism that is opposed to us”. The building in the background symbolizes the old Houses of Parliament in Dublin, which had been sold to the Bank of Ireland in 1800 when the Irish Parliament was abolished. The caption says, ERIN – “Everything is going well in Westminster, and your job, Pat, is to make the party there even better. That is why the War Chest is the duty of the moment.

    “Wait a little Ulster” – March 2, 1912.

    This cartoon was distributed with the “Weekly Freeman”, a Dublin-based newspaper which supported Irish independence. The cartoon provides an unsympathetic take on the people of Ulster’s opposition to Irish independence. The man in the middle, Augustine Birrell, was an English-born politician based in Dublin Castle. He is portrayed as a man of reason, who tries to reassure the people of Ulster that Home Rule will not threaten their civil and religious freedoms. Pat – the voice of nationalist Ireland – remains skeptical of the motivations of those who opposed Home Rule.

    Quinnipiac University is a private, coeducational, non-sectarian institution located 90 minutes northeast of New York City and two hours from Boston. The political cartoons are on display in the Lender Family Special Collections Room at the Arnold Bernhard Library.

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    It’s time to celebrate Home Rule and recognize all that has been achieved without violence

    On this day, 100 years ago, the Home Rule Act was signed into law by British King George V. Its application was suspended for the duration of the war in Europe. It was agreed that an Amending Act providing for Ulster would be enacted before it came into force. Based on this, John Redmond, the leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party, called on Irish people to enlist for service in the war.

    he enactment of Home Rule was seen at the time as a triumph for Redmond and his party, who had campaigned for 40 years to achieve it.

    It never came into force. In the general election of December 1918, Sinn Fein won a clear majority of Irish seats, rejected the Home Rule Act and upheld the declaration of an Irish Republic of 1916 on all the islands. The British government rejected this statement and refused to recognize Sinn Fein. A savage guerrilla war ensued.

    The British then replaced the Home Rule Act with the Government of Ireland Act, which created two parliaments, one for the six northern counties and another for the 26 counties of Southern Ireland. This was unacceptable to Sinn Fein.

    In order to end armed hostilities, the British government agreed with Sinn Fein representatives in December 1921 that Southern Ireland would become the Irish Free State and enjoy greater independence than under the Home Rule Act, but would remain in the Empire. .

    Assuming that greater autonomy had been achieved, the founders of the Free State and their successors treated the Home Rule Act as a non-event. The refusal of the current government to mark its centenary goes in this direction. This is to underestimate the importance of the autonomy law. Although it never came into force, it had a lasting effect on shaping British opinion.

    Prior to its enactment, the Conservative Party was totally opposed to self-government for any part of Ireland, and the Liberal Party was lukewarm in its support. After that, all British parties supported some measure of home rule for this part of Ireland.

    This provided the platform for those who negotiated the treaty settlement in 1921. British opinion was crucial then, as it has been in recent decades in relation to the North. In 1921 he was unwilling to concede Sinn Fein’s demands for an all-Ireland republic and as a result this did not happen.

    It may be true, as Ronan Fanning has argued, that the British government under Lloyd George would not have granted the measure of independence it did in 1921 had it not been for the armed action of the IRA. But the fact that they were willing to do so also reflected the reality that it was not seen in Britain as so different from the Home Rule they accepted in 1914.

    On this basis, the heirs of the Irish Revolution, who formed Irish governments after independence, could have celebrated the Home Rule Act as a contribution to what was achieved through armed struggle.

    The fact that they never felt capable of doing so may reflect fears that celebrating the Home Rule Act would lend credence to the idea that it would have served Irish nationalists better to have accepted it and worked rather than resorting to violence. To have followed the constitutional route would have avoided the corrosive bitterness left by the violence between 1916 and 1923, when the Irish killed their compatriots.

    The violence of those years also led British governments to give Ulster trade unionists carte blanche in policing and discrimination.

    We need to face more honestly the high price paid for the violence from which this state was born. A good start would be to stop devaluing the progress made by Nationalist Ireland without resorting to violence, one of which was the Home Rule Act of 1914.

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    Irish Home Rule and the Scottish Referendum 1914-2014

    This is the centenary year of the enactment of the Third Self-Government Bill, as well (of course) as the year of the Scottish Independence Referendum. Yet the centenary conversation in Ireland and the somewhat more vigorous debate over Scottish independence have been conducted – for the most part – quite separately.

    While it would be wrong to push the analogies too far, there are some striking similarities – and some differences – between the Home Rule debate of 1912-14 and the current Scottish independence debate. These similarities (and even distinctions) might well give the protagonists of Scotland’s ‘Yes’ and ‘Better Together’ camps food for thought – and indeed, there is evidence that Gordon Brown and Alex Salmond ruminated as a result.

    A critical difference between Ireland in 1914 and Scotland in 2014 is that of militancy – Ireland on the eve of World War I being an armed camp comprising the Ulster movements and Irish volunteers, opponents and supporters of Home Rule, as well as the British Army. . The Scottish political debate has not been militarized and there is no indication that it will become so (the Scottish National Liberation Army, for example, has never posed a significant threat). Modern Scottish nationalism has developed as an entirely constitutional and peaceful phenomenon.

    Of course, mainstream Scottish nationalism only recently emerged, through the successive Holyrood elections, as a majority phenomenon. But he never had to rise to the challenge (taken up by Irish nationalism a century ago) of dismissing a majority of elected officials, while encountering long resistance in London.

    One aspect of the Irish experience in 1914 was that a heavy constitutional debate, heightened political expectations, and the delay or disappointment of those expectations (with Unionist resistance and the onset of the war), combined to create a chemistry very volatile policy. The hardening of expectations for change across Scotland in 2014 means that national aspirations (as well as social and economic) may need to be addressed swiftly and sensitively, regardless of the outcome of the referendum.

    Sir Edward Carson, leader of the Irish Unionist Party, inspecting members of the Ulster Volunteer Force. The UVF was founded in 1913 by the Ulster Unionist Council to resist the implementation of Home Rule. Q 81759 Imperial War Museums. IWM Non-Commercial License via Wikimedia Commons.

    A critical dimension of this activism in 1914 was the uncompromising support given to the Unionist paramilitary Ulster by the British Conservative leaders – this in part a symptom of the deep divisions in British and Irish politics and society precipitated by the Home Rule debate. . Strikingly, both the Home Rule issue in 1914 and the referendum in 2014 each attracted an unusually wide range of declarations of allegiance from a complex array of interest groups and individuals. In 1914 there was a high level of ‘celebrity’ endorsement and intervention against Home Rule: by taking only literary figures, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle became a Home Ruler, while Rudyard Kipling was a strong unionist. In 2014, Irvine Welsh declared himself in favor of independence, while JK Rowling is against. Ian Rankin provides a case study of the complexity (and depth) of the division: He’s agnostic on the matter, but it’s clear his characters would have strong opinions. Thus, Inspector Rebus joins the trade unionists of 2014 (although actor Ken Stott, the most recent of TV Rebuses, would be in the “yes” camp).

    The analogies between Home Rule and the Scottish independence debate, however, go far beyond the “A” list. The substantial strength and defiance of Home Rule sentiment produced a striking intellectual movement both before and in 1914, just as the strength of the Scottish independence movement produced a similar movement a century later.

    In 1912-1914, the constitutional deadlock on Home Rule actually helped spur support for (then called) “federalism” among part of the Unionist elite, including even Edward Carson. In terms of the (almost) equal forces fighting for Scottish independence, Gordon Brown has now embraced the idea of ​​a federal UK; and he was joined or preceded by others, including (for example) the Scottish Conservative journalist, David Torrance. The discussion of a possible English parliament was featured prominently in 1911-1914 and again in 2014. Both in 1914 and 2014, it appears that the still-malleable UK constitutional form is once again in transition – but because trade unionists now don’t change less than nationalists.

    And indeed, some Scottish nationalists have adopted at least some of the symbols of the British connection. John Redmond, the leader of Home Rule, emphasized the monarchy and empire in his view of Irish autonomy during the Home Rule era, partly out of personal conviction and partly in terms of subversion of the unionist arguments. In the same vein, Alex Salmond (despite a strong tradition of Republican sentiment within the SNP), adopted “the union of crowns” as the SNP’s strategy and has referred in recent years with deference to the queen (“d ‘Scotland’), and its central place in an independent nation.

    Here, as elsewhere, Ireland’s century-old Home Rule debate evokes the current situation in Scotland. Indeed, here as elsewhere, Ireland’s broader experience of the Union coincides with that of the Scots.

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    what Home Rule could not have achieved

    It is true that the Easter Rising should have been unnecessary, but that the Easter Rising was the only way for the Irish people to gain independence is sadly also true. The reason is that the British had no intention at the time or for the foreseeable future to grant Ireland full independence.

    John Bruton is touting the passage of the Home Rule Bill this week as if it would have granted Ireland some form of Dominion status. The real facts are that the Autonomy Bill would have given Ireland the kind of status Wales now enjoys and far less than Scotland already achieved 100 years later.

    Home Rule would have left all the central powers of any state under the control of Westminster, including foreign affairs and the right to have our own army.

    The British establishment’s entrenched resistance to democracy, self-determination and the rights of small nations to determine their own destiny became evident after the end of World War I, which we are told was fought for this same right.

    His reaction to the 1918 general election in Ireland, when the majority of the people elected by the people democratically established their own parliament, the Dáil Éireann, was to immediately ban the Dáil.

    That 1916 was fought to establish the right of this country to choose its own democratic form of government, without external control, is clear from the proclamation of 1916, which speaks of “the establishment of a permanent, representative national government. of the whole people. of Ireland and elected by the votes of all its men and women ”.

    One-off event

    It is also important to place the Uprising in the context of its time, when war was rampant across Europe and beyond and where many Irish people were said to face fighting for Ireland at home. or on the slaughter fields of mainland Europe.

    Bruton refers to the “successful path of nonviolent parliamentary Home Rule” as opposed to the “path of physical violence, initiated by the IRB and the Citizen Army during Easter week 1916”.

    The price to pay for following the limited option of Home Rule was that the Irish would have been forced to wage all subsequent Imperial wars on behalf of Britain. The fact that John Redmond believed this is clear from his call to Woodenbridge for Volunteers to enlist and the involvement of his family members and supporters in WWI.

    That many more Irish died in this Imperial War than in 1916 and the War of Independence combined is a fact. That recruiting for the British Army in Ireland dried up after the uprising is also a fact, saving many lives. Without the Uprising’s success in awakening the Irish people, it is likely that Britain would have succeeded in enforcing conscription in 1918, causing many more needless Irish deaths.

    Full independence has enabled Ireland, in the meantime, to engage in international affairs and to lend its efforts at the international level to the maintenance of peace under the banner of the United Nations. It has kept us away from the wars of power in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, to name a few. In addition, the countless lives saved in WWII by Irish independence should not be overlooked.

    Politicians often use historical events for current purposes. For this reason, I think it is important that all Irish people understand the ideals and motivations of the 1916 uprising and its leaders so that we continue to preserve the sovereign independence of this state in its relations with other nations. More importantly, we must jealously guard ourselves against anything that would engage us in the geopolitical conflicts of the great powers in circumstances where such engagement is beyond our control. Ireland’s role should be that of a beacon of peace and reconciliation in the world.

    Different view

    We have seen this happen gradually over the past few years. I wonder if those like John Bruton really think this is the best fate for this nation.

    Éamon Ó Cuív is a Fianna Fáil TD

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    Independence: An Argument for Home Rule by Alasdair Gray; My Scotland, Our Britain: A Future Worth Sharing by Gordon Brown – review | Political books

    Owhen a polemic claiming the independence of Scotland receives the title Independence, but the subtitle An argument for Home Rule, be prepared for some confusion. Momentarily, the cover of Alasdair Gray’s book gives the impression that he could defend both sides in the upcoming referendum.

    Self-government for Scotland – within the UK – is what the Scottish Labor and Liberal parties have intermittently advocated since the late 19th century; it has already been partly achieved by devolution, and it is a constitutional process that Gordon Brown says should continue if Scotland returns a ‘no’ vote in September.

    Autonomy in this sense, however, is not what Gray means; it signifies separation from the United Kingdom. He has a utopian vision of how (in the words of his more cohesive 1992 book on the subject) “the Scots should rule Scotland”, entirely disentangled from England. He imagines an independent nation in the sepia image of his own childhood, in a retro-futuristic landscape reminiscent of the beginnings of the British welfare state. It’s state-owned Scotland, minus the anti-Scottish BBC; a Scotland free of NATO and nuclear weapons and aggression; a neutral, fabienne-socialist Scotland, like an incredibly benevolent Switzerland, but without the banks.

    Gray recounts it all in a pamphlet full of cod history, doggerel poetry, whimsical tangents, the bitter settlement of personal squabbles and the repeat of the Scottish Socialist Party’s defunct “Calton Hill” manifesto for a “Scottish Commonwealth”. .

    A book that should have been a major cultural asset for the “yes” campaign does it no favors. It is, frankly, mortifying to compare such an incoherent mess with Gordon Brown’s powerful collection of arguments. My Scotland, our Britain.

    Nonetheless, there remain illuminating parallels between these two Scottish originals. Although on opposite sides, Brown and Gray agree on the central pillars of Scottish culture: the egalitarian ethic of the Presbyterian kirk, the distinctive institutions of Scottish law, and the ambitious traditions of Scottish education. They also agree that the Scottish National Party government’s recent policies at Holyrood have in fact undermined these institutions and values ​​- through over-centralisation, attacks on the legal system and the dumbing down of education.

    Despite his overt support for the “yes” campaign, Gray rages against recent attempts by Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill to remove the principle of corroboration from Scottish law (thus bringing it closer to English), and he can’t help but express fears about bureaucracy. authoritarianism within the SNP. Gray may dream of independence, but he dreads reality, perhaps aware that his polymathic Scottish traditionalism finds little echo among contemporary nationalists.

    But there the parallels end. Gordon Brown does not seem to suffer from such internal contradictions or uncertainties. In My Scotland, our Britain, he summons against separatism an almost overwhelming legion of economic data, historical evidence, political rhetoric, philosophical argument and personal experience. In the interconnected world of globalization, he derides nationalism as a 19th century answer to a 21st century problem.

    Brown gets rid of the heavy economic artillery: why would the SNP want a monetary union in sterling while renouncing any Scottish influence on economic decision-making in the UK? How can you rely on North Sea oil, when it produced 4.5 million barrels a day in 1999, but only 1.4 million in 2013? According to him, the loss of trade within a UK-wide integrated economy would mean that independent Scotland’s exports to the enduring UK would be 83% lower after 30 years (and exports from rest of the UK to Scotland 77%) lower than if Scotland were to remain part of the UK.

    Brown’s statistical arguments are relentless, inflexible and exhaustive: a taste, one presumes, of what it might have been like to try to disagree with him at the Treasury. Yet it is not finance that drives his book. Although few paid much attention to his speech on “British values” when he was in government, it was the central theme of his political life. Although he refuses to toe directly with the Better Together campaign or any party line, his absence and presence have been enduring features of the referendum debate.

    At the heart of his understanding of British values ​​is a startlingly beautiful notion of fusion: the Scottish principles of solidarity, civil society and “democratic intellect” have, through union, intertwined with the English values ​​of freedom, of tolerance and pragmatism. He calls Britain an alliance rather than a contract.

    Before the union, he argues, there was a greater division between highlands and lowlands in Scotland – or between Jacobites and Covenanters – than there was between Scotland and England. England. The stories and myths of a unified Scottish nation were created and promoted by people like Walter Scott precisely to ensure that Scotland remained in the union as an independent, unsubordinated partner. A cohesive Scottish identity was forged not against the union, but through it.

    Brown provides an interesting modern parallel to this process: how the legendary strength of Scottish unions came from their merger with British unions. Although a book about nationalism and the constitution, Brown sees the British state as the means by which Labor politics can survive: in the desire to tackle poverty and inequality, and in the hope that a civil society can continue to thrive in a global context. economy.

    Such policies are ultimately not so far removed from Gray’s nostalgic welfare statism – but Brown’s vision is broader and his argument is deeper. It is by far the most serious and important work on Scottish and British identity to emerge from the referendum debate. It should be required reading for anyone genuinely considering the arguments before September 18, or what to do with the UK constitution afterwards.

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    1912: Home rule and resistance in Ulster

    When the Third Home Rule Bill was introduced in the Commons 100 years ago, in April 1912, it seemed a triumphant vindication of the tradition of parliamentary constitutional nationalism. Parliamentary arithmetic gave Home Rulers the whiplash on Asquith’s Liberal government – ​​the prize, Home Rule.

    “If I may say it respectfully, I personally thank God for having lived to this day,” John Redmond, leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party, told fellow MPs. Within reach, the dream. . .

    But on the streets of Belfast and Dublin, another story was being written that would overshadow democratic politics at its moment of supposed triumph. Carson joined Ulster; he marched, protested, took solemn oaths of defiance and finally armed himself to the teeth.

    And in the founding of the Ulster Volunteers, nationalists would see an excuse and legitimization – though little doubt they would have done so anyway – for their own army, the Irish Volunteers.

    In the Commons, the debate would become mere numbers, an echo, of the new forces on the ground in Ireland. The king got confused. The army mutinies. The bill would eventually pass, but its implementation would be suspended due to the World War and an uprising that would change the whole picture. Home Rule would come, but, ironically, only in part of Ulster; independence, to the rest of the country.

    The drama of the Home Rule Bill was to be an extraordinary curtain raiser for a decade that changed the face of modern Ireland, ushering in new forces on the stage of Irish history, a new caste of characters, villains and hero, while eclipsing the former with all the tragic finality of the Greek drama.

    This supplement, with recent coverage in The Irish Times of the Titanic centenary, is an attempt to capture the context and magnitude of this drama, and its many conflicting tales, a pivotal moment in our collective history. These are the first of many decade-long reports to be collated on a planned website, “Century”, with contributions from many other groups, official and unofficial, North and South, to the national commemorations.

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    The Third Home Rule Bill is 100 years old today. What did it do?

    A SMALL NUMBER of events are being held across Ireland today to mark the centenary of the Third Home Rule Bill – legislation considered by many to be essentially the first piece of legislation that ultimately created the Irish state that we know today.

    But what was this bill – and why is it considered so important? Let’s try to explain the story behind it all.

    We should start with the basics.

    In 1800 the Parliament of Ireland (as it was then called) and the Parliament of Great Britain passed the Act of Union, legislation which merged the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland into the UK.

    The countries had (partially) shared a head of state since 1541 – when Henry VIII quashed Silken Thomas’ rebellion and elevated Ireland from a lordship to a kingdom, and proclaimed himself King of Ireland.

    If at first you don’t succeed…

    The Act of Union, which came into force in 1801, remained in force throughout the 19th century, despite a number of Irish nationalist movements – Charles Stewart Parnell having succeeded in convincing the Prime Minister of the time, William Gladstone of the Liberal Party, to introduce a bill. which would have undone most of the Act of Union, recreating a Kingdom of Ireland with its own parliament (albeit with limited power) – a concept called “Home Rule”.

    Despite Gladstone’s pleas – culminating in a now famous three-hour speech in the House of Commons – this Home Rule Bill was defeated by 341 votes to 311 in June 1886, largely thanks to the rebellion of 93 backbench liberals who opposed the bill because Gladstone had drafted it in secret and without their input.

    Wounded by rebellion by his MPs, Gladstone called a general election later that month and lost power. He returned in 1892 and gave it another chance – but again decided to draft his bill in secret, even excluding his own ministerial cabinet and cabinet from any input.

    Despite this, the bill was approved by the House of Commons in September 1893, but it was already considered damaged goods. Gladstone’s secret redaction had led to a catastrophic financial mistake, massively underestimating the amount of money Ireland should contribute to the UK budget, while tensions between the Tories and the Parnellite nationalist wing of the Irish Parliamentary Party led to regular fights on the benches of the opposition.

    When the Bill was then sent to the House of Lords, the Conservative majority – being staunch supporters of Unionism – were in no mood to be open-minded. The Lords overruled the bill by a vote of 419 to 41 and the motion was again defeated.

    Changing at home…

    In the meantime, although nationalist sentiments remained high in Ireland, British politics underwent greater changes. A dispute arose in 1909 when the Liberals – back in power – pushed a budget through the House of Commons but blocked by the House of Lords (which, due to its composition, had a firm Tory majority), a move seen as a break with precedent.

    Two general elections were held in 1910 in an effort to allow the public to decide whether the Liberals or Conservatives should win, each with inconclusive results. In the end, the only way for the Liberals to retain power was to strike a deal with the Irish Parliamentary Party, trading the support of the 74 IPP MPs for another attempt to introduce Home Rule.

    What followed was a fundamental change in the British political system: knowing that the only way to break the Conservative majority in the Lords was to flood it with new Liberal life members, the Liberals secured the support of King George V to appoint hundreds of new peers. and secure their majority.

    The Tories backed down – happier to retain their majority in a weakened House of Lords than to relinquish their stranglehold on power – and the Liberals pushed through new laws that meant the House of Lords could no longer veto legislation, but only to delay it. The Lords could now only vote against legislation twice: if the Commons approved it three times, it would be sent directly to the King for enactment.

    This done, Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith introduced the Third Home Rule Bill in the House of Commons on April 11, 1912 (100 years ago today). This Bill created a bicameral Parliament, with a 164-member House of Commons and a 40-member Senate, and also allowed Ireland to continue to elect MPs for Westminster (although the size of Irish constituencies would become much larger, which means fewer deputies).

    Although the Lords continued to oppose it – and with significant opposition from Ulster-based Unionists, who feared becoming a powerless minority in a country ruled by Dublin and not the more industrial Belfast – the Commons successfully passed the bill three times.

    …and abroad

    There was only one problem: by the time he was adopted a third time and could be sent to the king, a bigger problem loomed on the horizon: the United Kingdom was now part of the Great War.

    Assuming the war would be brief, Asquith rushed through a new suspensive law which put the provisions of the Home Rule Bill and another law, giving Wales an independent church, on hold until the end of the war. .

    The legislation was then overtaken by events. The Great War continued and nationalism was instead expressed through the Easter Rising of 1916. Britain then chose to try to implement Home Rule immediately, but agreed not to. do so unless an agreement is reached on Ulster’s status within the new jurisdiction.

    As World War I continued in 1917 and 1918, Britain found itself short of manpower and attempted to tie Home Rule to compulsory conscription – something rejected by all parties nationalists – and when the United States joined the war, avoiding the crisis, the conflict quickly ended. .

    A blank page

    But with the Liberals now in power for more than eight years and having delayed the election until the end of the war, a general election was called. The Irish Parliamentary Party lost nearly all of its seats to Éamon de Valera’s young Sinn Féin, whose members boycotted Westminster and formed their own revolutionary assembly. This assembly became the first Dáil and declared an independent country called the Republic of Ireland, a decision which led to the Irish War of Independence.

    In 1920 the Third Home Rule Bill (now known as the Government of Ireland Act 1914) was replaced by a Fourth Home Rule Act which divided Ireland into two jurisdictions, the Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland.

    Elections were held to the parliaments of both countries, but Sinn Féín de De Valera rejected Britain’s right to pass laws for the Republic of Ireland. Sinn Féin fielded candidates for the new elections, but these candidates instead formed the Second Dáil.

    Eventually a truce was reached during the War of Independence and the second Dáil sent a team led by Michael Collins to negotiate what became known as the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which the Dáil ratified by 64 votes to 57.

    The result was the creation of an Irish Free State of 26 counties – which slowly ruled out the king’s role and eventually became the modern Republic of Ireland we know today – and the Irish Civil War, fought between supporters and opponents of the treaty.

    Read: French anthem composer and creator honored at Glasnevin

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