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Home rule

Trade unionists miss an open objective by refusing the referendum on autonomy

“Obviously there is a red line, which is that we want the Union to stay united. That is very important. But otherwise I am open-minded about how we present positive arguments for the Union.

So said Sir Keir Starmer, Britain’s Labor leader, when he visited Scotland last week. It’s not a particularly new sentiment and has in fact been official Labor policy ever since Sir Keir became leader and asked former Prime Minister Gordon Brown to review UK structures and recommend a lasting solution.

The consequences, however, are widespread and could very well prove to be the central determinant of whether or not the United Kingdom remains united.

There’s good reason to believe Sir Keir will match his words with action. Labor has a history of leading people on constitutional change, rather than being led by them, the most obvious example of which is the creation of devolved parliaments and assemblies in the late 1990s.

READ MORE: Carrie Johnson? An £840 wallpaper snob or the power behind Johnson’s throne?

A fortnight ago in these pages I wrote that Labor was the true party of the Union and evidently rather upset many of my former colleagues in the Conservative offices of the Scottish Parliament. I made this point because shouting ‘no to indyref 2’ and waving union flags may be enough to carry the Tories through an election campaign, but it’s not a strategy to mend ties that unite the Union.

The Union is not in trouble because people are magnetically attracted to independence. The Union is in trouble because too few people think it works for them.

Labor seems to have understood this and exhibits the opposite trait to that of the Conservatives. They don’t have the absolutist rhetoric to gain center stage in an election campaign, but they are working on a long-term solution.

All that said, Sir Keir has to be careful not to back into a corner. On the same visit where he promised this quick and decisive handing over of more power, Sir Keir said: “We need change without a referendum”. It is a mistake.

I fully understand the reluctance towards another independence referendum from those on the Unionist side of the fence. They are scarred by what happened in 2014. They worry about the effect on society, which was unmistakably divided and not yet fully healed.

They worry about the effect on the economy – political uncertainty is bad for investing and bad for business. Above all, they are petrified at the thought of losing, after what they considered an unexpected near miss eight years ago.

By ruling out a referendum and simply enacting an overt commitment, Sir Keir (and Mr Brown, who I suspect very significantly influence this aspect of strategy) could quell the constitutional unrest in Scotland. He could push the pro-British polls up a bit and the pro-independence polls down a bit. And it could avoid another referendum on independence. At least for a moment.

READ MORE: Brain or empty head? What Choosing a Specialized Subject Says About You

However, assuming Labor wants to close the veil on this issue, lock it up and throw away the key, it is very unlikely to achieve that goal without a second independence referendum.

There is something purgative about not being involved in party politics, or even the overly emotional environment of constitutional politics. It offers a clarity that I often find lacking among those in the bubble.

It is now clear to most people that Scotland has long-term structural problems in its economy, in the way it provides public services, in its transport infrastructure, etc. And it’s also clear to me that we can’t get into these issues, or even talk about them, until we stop talking about the constitution.

And, in the final analysis, there is simply too much of the population that will need an answer to this question by way of a referendum rather than by way of overt commitment in a general election.

The question is, how should it be done? The answer lies in a multi-option referendum. Besides being, obviously, the only way to empower those who believe in independence, those who believe in the status quo, and those who believe in self-reliance (or whatever we want to call the ” devo max” previously named option) a voice, it is also the structure that is most likely to produce the kind of clear and unambiguous result that would throw away the key, one way or another.

The logical structure, which was ‘played out’ by former Reform Scotland chairman Ben Thomson, would be to have two questions rather than one.

The first question would be something like: “Do you support further constitutional changes or do you wish to maintain the current provisions?”

A majority in favor of maintaining the current provisions would render the second question irrelevant, just as a vote against devolution in 1997 would have rendered the outcome of the tax variation powers question irrelevant in this referendum.

However, a majority in favor of a new constitutional change would mean that the outcome of the second question (on which people would be entitled to vote even if they voted against a new change in the first question) would be decisive. The second question would be something like ‘Do you favor independence or self-government’, with the definition of ‘self-government’ presumably set by the Labor government before the referendum.

The separatists, they gave a strong signal last week on what could be the result of such a referendum. When Chris Hanlon, the senior SNP politician, suggested something similar to this option, he was publicly and brutally trampled on by a number of SNP figures.

Why? Because they expect, as I do, that the autonomy option will win a referendum relatively comfortably and effectively end the prospect of independence.

It’s curious, isn’t it, that the thing nationalists are afraid of – autonomy in a referendum – is at the same time something the Unionist community seems so reluctant to do.

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. It would not be the first time that trade unionists had missed an open constitutional goal.

Andy Maciver is Director of Message Matters

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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

    Commuters return to offices as ‘work from home’ rule ends in England

    Workers returned to work on Thursday after England’s work-from-home guidelines were lifted as Plan B measures are phased out.

    An increase in road congestion was recorded in Manchester and London and public transport was busier than usual.

    Meanwhile, Clive Watson, chief executive of City Pub Group, welcomed the return of workers to towns and cities. The company, which runs around 50 pubs, mostly in London and the south of England, said January had a slow month following Omicron’s caution, but pointed to a “significant increase in trading” over the of the last 10 days.

    Mr Watson said: “We obviously haven’t started the year where we would have hoped a month earlier, but we’ve seen some positive signs over the past week or two.

    “We are extremely positive about the removal of Plan B restrictions and in particular the change around working from home.

    “The return of the office workers will be a much needed boost and gives us a lot of encouragement.”

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    Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs in the Commons on Wednesday that work-from-home guidelines would be dropped immediately and rules on face coverings in classrooms would also be scrapped in England from Thursday January 20.

    Other measures, including the requirement to wear face masks on public transport and in shops, will end next Thursday (January 27).

    The legal requirement for people with coronavirus to self-isolate may also expire when the regulations expire on March 24, and that date could be brought forward.

    Location-based technology company TomTom said levels of road congestion – which represent the proportion of extra time needed for journeys compared to free-flow conditions – were 72% in London and 63% in Manchester at 8 a.m. morning Thursday.

    This is up from 66% in London and 56% in Manchester a week earlier.

    But some cities have seen a reduction or no significant change in traffic.

    They include Birmingham (from 57% last week to 55% Thursday), Brighton (from 60% to 50%), Hull (unchanged at 55%), Leeds (from 48% to 44%), Leicester (from 57% to 58%) and Liverpool (from 52% to 54%).

    Rob Pitcher, chief executive of Revolution Bars Group, the Manchester-based company behind Cuba’s Revolution and Revolucion brands, welcomed the end of Plan B measures and called for more support for the hospitality sector hard hit.

    He said: “Yesterday’s news about the removal of work from home and the rollback of all other restrictions is welcome for our business and will go a long way towards restoring consumer confidence.

    “It is imperative that in the future there are no more restrictions as we all learn to live alongside Covid-19.

    “We continue to urge the government to support the recovery of the hospitality industry by leaving VAT at 12.5% ​​and maintaining the relief of activity rates in line with current support levels.

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    Home rule

    England’s work-from-home rule scrapped, PM confirms

    Plan B measures to tackle the spread of Covid-19 must be dropped across England, the Prime Minister has announced.

    Boris Johnson told MPs in the House of Commons that more than 90 per cent of over-60s across the UK have now received booster shots to protect them, and scientists believe the Omicron wave has peaked .

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    He said the government had taken a “different path” for much of Europe and that “the data shows that, time and time again, this government has made the toughest right decisions”.

    People will no longer be told to work from home and, from Thursday next week, when the Plan B measures expire, mandatory Covid certification will end, Mr Johnson said.

    The government will also no longer mandate the wearing of face masks from next Thursday and they will be removed from classrooms from this Thursday.

    The news comes as Covid infection levels drop in most parts of the UK for the first time since early December.

    The timetable

    Immediately, from January 19: Work-from-home guidelines where possible have been lifted, which could benefit inner-city businesses.

    From January 20: Face coverings will no longer be advised for staff and students in classrooms.

    From January 27: The Department of Education will remove national guidelines on the use of face coverings in common areas of schools. Masks could still be needed in the event of an outbreak, but only if Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi approves a request.

    Nightclubs and other venues will no longer require a Covid pass to enter, although some may continue to request one on a voluntary basis.

    Face coverings will no longer be required by law in any setting, although guidance suggests that masks should still be considered in enclosed and crowded spaces.

    March 24: The legal obligation to self-isolate if you have Covid-19 should expire. The Prime Minister hopes to advance the date if the data allow it.

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    Home rule

    Scottish Home Rule or ‘Devo Max’ is as relevant as the Schleswig-Holstein issue in the independence debate – Kenny MacAskill MP

    But while it scorched Twitter and provoked heated demands and equally strenuous denials, it remained an esoteric debate.

    It’s not on the agenda, and with another Indy referendum, it’s just not going to happen anytime soon. Nor was it discussed or even brought up in Westminster or the main halls of power. It is a debate without substance.

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    Although not “as dead as a dodo”, it has as much relevance as the proverbial Schleswig-Holstein question. The Conservative government is simply not interested.

    They will no more listen to Nicola Sturgeon’s pleas for a “gold-plated” referendum than they are to the cries of lesser mortals to make it a multi-option referendum.

    The coronavirus still dominates and it’s “the economy, stupid” that will dominate now and for some time to come. Talking about a referendum will remain just that, because the focus and the agenda will be on unemployment and the cost of living.

    Requests for a referendum will be rejected and discussions on its formulation will not even be taken into account.

    Because a new expression has entered the political lexicon and has far more resonance in Westminster than Devo Max ever had. His “muscular unionism” which roughly translates to “take what you get Jock”, otherwise “know your place in Scotland”.

    House rule is off the table, says Kenny MacAskill (Photo: Chris Ware/Keystone Features/Getty Images)

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    SNP figures reject calls for devo-max option on Scottish independence ballot…

    This is reflected in almost every recent action by the Conservative government. There is no discussion or even debate. This applies not only to the rejection of any idea of ​​increased decentralization, but also to the application of the current constitutional regulation. The Home Market Act is imposed, Scotland sidelined and Westminster dominating.

    Welcome to the new era of decentralization. Back to the useless of 2014. That was then, what is now. There was no multiple-option referendum at the time, as Cameron, in his ultimately cost-dear Brexit arrogance, assumed he would comfortably win it and ruled it out.

    There will be no referendum, but even if there was, it would have to be clarified what Devo Max is. Yet since 2014, if not before “the wish”, it remains what an individual thinks.

    To vote for it in the abstract would be absurd and, before or after, there would undoubtedly have to be a commission, taking an eternity to discuss, even less to deliver.

    If there was a will to go in that direction, then it would be obvious now. Devolution would evolve and powers would be granted gradually.

    The arrival of Wales on the constitutional scene, through the enigmatic but very effective Prime Minister Mark Drakeford, surely gave impetus to this. But no relaxation of the muscles of the Union, quite the contrary.

    This is why if Scotland wants to advance the constitutional debate, it will have to do so itself, and not hand over powers and a timetable to Westminster, as is the current position of the Scottish government. It is action that is needed, not esoteric debate.

    Kenny MacAskill is Alba Party MP for East Lothian

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    WATCH: Holness slaps Maroon self-government demands

    In a rather angry and loud tone, Prime Minister Andrew Holness asserted that there is no other independent state in Jamaica other than the Jamaican government which was duly elected by the people to govern the country.

    Responding to a question from a media representative at a Sunday morning press conference convened by his office to deal primarily with security issues, the Prime Minister practically touched on the issue of possible Maroon autonomy which has crept into the national debate over time. , especially since last year.

    “Jamaica is a unitary sovereign state. There is no sovereign authority in Jamaica other than the Jamaican government. I want it to be absolutely clear! Any ! Holness thundered when asked if there is a conflict in a stated government position not to engage with or fund any initiative of a group that claims self-government status.

    The question also cited that the Accompong Maroon had received permission from at least one Jamaican agency to hold a major event in the community recently, apparently at odds with the government’s position on the matter.

    Holness’ response came after the leader of the maroons of Accompong, Chief Richard Currie, began and continues to peddle the argument that Accompong is sovereign territory and its inhabitants are collectively a sovereign people.

    In addition, Currie argued that the lands of the wider Cockpit Country were also part of their “sovereign territory”.

    But on Sunday, Holness made it clear that none of those talks about another sovereign homeland in Jamaica would be tolerated.

    “…Under my direction, not an inch of Jamaica will be under any other sovereign authority,” he said with an even deeper voice.

    A recent report indicated that Jamaican government ministries, departments and agencies have been urged not to engage with or fund secessionist maroons who claim Jamaican state sovereignty. The report cites a leaked Cabinet Office document.

    “There shall be no endorsement or acquiescence to any language or suggestion regarding Indigenous sovereignty or rights, and no funds shall be made available to any person or entity claiming it,” the document said. , as it was broadcast in the media. report.

    Responding to whether the government would reconsider its position, Holness became even more enraged by the speech, which he described as tantamount to the Jamaican state funding a group of people claiming to be part of another sovereign state in Jamaica.

    “What you’re asking is that the Jamaican government fund (or) take taxpayers’ money and fund another government (inside Jamaica).

    “It’s not another government that says it’s a local government, (formerly) a parish council, that falls under our constitution,” Holness explained.

    ” Are you crazy ? Truly ? Do you know what you are asking? asked an annoyed Holness in reference to the reporter who asked the question.

    In an even more angry tone and language, Holness took what appeared to be a jab at the media house representative over the issue of funding another group of people who claim to be sovereigns.

    “That’s how guerrilla wars happen and states fall apart! Wake up Jamaica! Don’t court madness and trouble! Wake up!

    “People have died because of this, and you expect me to be here as Prime Minister and fund activities that could lead to the collapse of our state? Ever!” Holness said.

    A celebratory event in the town of Accompong, St Elizabeth, organized by the Maroons, on Thursday night resulted in a shootout in which one man died and five other people, including two boys, were injured.

    Reports suggested that police had issued a warning that Maroon celebrations should not take place as they violated the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA).

    However, event organizers went ahead with Currie saying the event was a celebration of spiritual and traditional Maroon rituals.

    Additionally, the media report mentioned above cited that the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) authorized the declaration of the event, at the request of the Minister of Culture, Olivia Grange. .

    However, it is understood that ODPEN’s endorsement of the event may not have been communicated to the police.

    Maroons and the government have been at odds of late over the so-called recognition of the former’s alleged sovereignty, particularly over Cockpit Country, where a bauxite company recently won permission to mine a defined section of these lands. .

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    Self government

    “Populist” promises: why cities need more autonomy

    A few days ago, a researcher friend based in Chandigarh asked if there was a provision in the Local Bodies Acts to ensure that election candidates, candidates and parties, make achievable promises. And if they were to promise something beyond the scope and capacity of the municipality, can they be sued. How I wished we could apply such a law to our Prime Minister’s promise of Rs 15 lakh to every Indian’s bank account. Indeed, candidates should only promise what they can deliver.

    The researcher friend echoed a former mayor of Chandigarh, who lost in the municipal elections recently held in the Union Territory. The mayor was likely referring to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) promising to replicate its “Delhi model” in Chandigarh. The AAP became the largest party, overtaking the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the polls for the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. Not only did some of the former BJP mayors lose despite the party’s high decibel campaign, but its defeat was more brutal since the UT is under Center control and its MP is also from the BJP.

    The main promises of the AAP were to provide 20,000 liters of free water to all households every month, to clean the garbage from the Dadumajra landfill, to install CCTV cameras and to make wifi accessible throughout the city. These poll promises necessitate a debate on issues of urban governance.

    The demands and slogans of the Chandigarh municipal elections, such as free water, free electricity and social housing, resonate and reinforce the concept of “democratization of surplus”. BR Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian constitution, spoke of “one person, one vote”. It should also mean “one man, one economic unit”, but these slogans are becoming more relevant due to widespread and vast inequality.

    Cities have become centers of capital accumulation through expropriation, especially over the past four decades. Twin processes were at work. First, the state, which provided essential services to citizens, passed this agenda on to private capital. Services such as water supply, education, health care and even housing are now areas of expansion for private capital. According to one estimate, real estate is the primary driver of capital accumulation in some cities.

    The other reason people have lost their ability to acquire or hold assets is the nature of capitalist production in cities. According to one estimate, most workers – nearly 94 percent – are engaged in the informal sector. This has drastically reduced the bargaining power of workers in the cities.

    The city itself has become a center of capitalist accumulation. As several urban planners have pointed out, cities are the centers of surplus production and should therefore be seen as factories. The democratization of the surplus in these urban centers and the slogans related to this idea, such as free water and electricity, more health centers, are neither gifts nor populist ideas but linked to the class demand of the workers .

    Even in Chandigarh, the middle class elite still voted for the BJP, while the poorer and marginalized sections voted for the AAP and Congress.

    Such democratization of surplus in cities is taking place in different parts of the world.

    In many cities, remunicipalisation is being implemented in service delivery. For example, in Barcelona, ​​progressive groups raised the slogan “Win ​​Barcelona” and, after winning the elections, worked to democratize the urban commons, especially in the digital realm. Similarly, in Montreal, there has been an attempt to shift the city’s mobility from elevated privately driven vehicles serving the interests of oil and automobile capital to mass transit.

    Next comes the question of the role of local self-government. After more than a quarter century of the 74th amendment to the constitution, functions, officials and finances have not been transferred to local governments across the country except Kerala.

    The universally transferred function is that of a garbage collector. We will even soon have the registration of births and deaths transmitted to the central government. The cities are more like annexes of the State or the Center. The demand for municipal cadres corresponding to the services of state cadres has not been implemented anywhere.

    Cities are to be governed by the principle of democratic decentralization envisioned in the 74th Amendment. Urban planning, apart from other functions, must be conveyed to the city council, preparing plans through meetings of neighborhood committees and community participation. However, the reality is that citizens are removed from the decision-making process.

    Third, the debate over candidate and political party pledges and their feasibility – pledges are made to break the inertia of the existing delivery system and according to the class of people a political party represents.

    Architect Charles Correa, chairman of the first urban commission formed in 1986, felt that urban governance in India was in desperate need of accountability. He said that more and more cities around the world are run by political leaders directly elected by the people of that city. So they defend the interests of citizens, otherwise they will not be re-elected. Unfortunately, in India, we find that cities are run by Chief Ministers of State who are not elected by the citizens of the city and therefore completely unaware of the demands and demands of the city.

    Therefore, accountability in elections should not just be limited to promises made in elections, but should be drawn into a broader canvas of ‘autonomy’ in cities. This should be done by ensuring not only wider participation of people, but by democratizing the whole process.

    (The author is a former Deputy Mayor of Shimla)

    Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of DH.

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    NTI’s push for Inuit self-government is ‘the right thing’, says Idlout

    Nunavut MP says she and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh ‘support’ recently passed resolution

    Nunavut MP Lori Idlout said she supports the resolution passed this week by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. to continue talks with Ottawa to achieve Inuit self-government.

    “I believe NTI is doing the right thing,” Idlout said when asked Thursday what resolution NTI passed this week at its annual general meeting in Rankin Inlet.

    “It’s sad for me to say this, but I agree that the Government of Nunavut, to this day, has let the Inuit down,” said Idlout, who is also the NDP spokesperson for Crown-Indigenous relations. .

    NTI members on Tuesday passed a resolution to continue a negotiating mandate with the federal government for Inuit self-government.

    NTI President Aluki Kotierk said the Government of Nunavut has failed to meet the needs of the territory’s Inuit majority.

    “There are so many dire statistics, so many dire Inuit experiences right now,” Kotierk told Nunatsiaq News after the annual general meeting ended.

    Idlout said she agrees with Kotierk’s assertion that the GN did not do enough to support the Inuit in the land.

    “We have to see with the new Prime Minister and the cabinet that we have a sense of hope, that they will listen to the voters, that they will listen to the Inuit and make sure that they work very hard to improve their relationship with the NTI so we can see improvements for the Inuit community in Nunavut.

    Newly elected Prime Minister PJ Akeeagok told reporters on Wednesday he was looking forward to meeting with NTI officials “to really listen in terms of areas where we could collaborate.”

    Idlout said she had discussed the motion with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and fully supported the motion.

    “[He] is ready to support me and support my work with NTI because these failures have gone on for too long, ”she said. “We have seen it with the passage of Bill 25 in the Education Act and we have seen it with too many other initiatives where the Inuit are deprived of their civil rights. [and] are placed at a different level from that of French language rights.

    Kotierk said she appreciates the support of the federal NDP.

    “We look forward to working with the federal government and believe we will bring that up to our Crown Partnership process,” she said. She added that she had already had a conversation with the newly elected Premier of Nunavut, PJ Akeeagok, and that she “has no doubt” that the two will have a “positive and constructive working relationship.”

    As for what Inuit self-government wants, Kotierk said it is still a work in progress to be determined.

    “At this point everything is in the air to decide which areas we want to focus on,” she said. “The presentation we received from [NTI] The director of self-determination talked about … different models that we could look at in terms of seeking self-government. There was a discussion of how there are already models across Canada, but we could create a hybrid, ”she said.

    “The next step will be to get the negotiating mandate and then build some capacity within [NTI] to be able to consult with the Inuit of Nunavut and work with our board of directors to determine what the constitution of the arm’s length body would look like, ”said Kotierk.

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    Self government

    The Messenger – Second round of self-government elections took political polarization to a new level

    The Messenger – Second round of self-government elections took political polarization to a new level<br>

    Messenger logo

    By Malkhaz Matsaberidze

    Thursday November 11

    The second round of autonomous elections on October 30 gave the results announced by the ruling National Movement. The authorities won the expected victory everywhere except Tsalenjikha. However, according to the opposition, fair and equitable elections no longer took place in Georgia and the Georgian Dream did not win, but instead rigged the elections.

    The advantage of the Georgian dream winner in number and percentage does not seem very impressive – a few hundred or a thousand votes, which may be less than the number of canceled ballots in the respective constituency. The government and the opposition are trying to present two different images of the elections.

    According to Georgian Dream, the elections were held according to all the rules and there can be no doubt that the ruling party will win again. No election will take place in the country before 2024, the country must calm down and start to rebuild itself.

    The United National Movement and its affiliated opposition parties speak of outright electoral fraud and stolen victory. The issue of holding early parliamentary elections has not been removed from the opposition’s agenda. On the contrary, the issue of electoral administration reform has become more active and attached, as electoral commissions no longer deserve the trust of the opposition and are seen as falsifiers of election results.

    According to the opposition, it is first necessary to open the electoral lists of the enclosure and it will become clear that “electoral carousels” have been turned on behalf of many emigrants or individuals. Name many facts about voter pressure and corruption.

    Opposition members are already demanding that the government show the public Mikheil Saakashvili’s situation in any way, even by taking him to court, which the former president was not allowed to do yesterday. Some thought that after the October 30 elections, the government would take Saakashvili to hospital or send him for treatment abroad, say after President Salomé Zourabishvili’s pardon.

    But on November 3, the 34th day of Saakashvili’s hunger strike, Zourabishvili declared for the second time that she “would never forgive” Saakashvili. The statements of the leaders of the Georgian Dream do not help to calm the situation either.

    The Prime Minister announced that according to the law, “a person has the right to commit suicide”. According to Irakli Kobakhidze, Saakashvili’s hunger is a simulation. But what will happen and how will things turn out if Saakashvili’s body can no longer withstand hunger?

    Saakashvili has many supporters and sympathizers who worry about the health of the third president and resort to various forms of protest, including the start of a hunger strike.

    Saakashvili himself, despite the worsening situation, remains motivated and goal-oriented, sending messages through his teammates. According to Saakashvili, on October 30, the people won and an electoral revolution took place, and the government falsified the election results.

    There is now a post-electoral revolution in Georgia, which must determine the outcome of the electoral revolution. Saakachvili, if he manages to get out of prison, promises to “carry out early elections within 10 days”. In another letter, Saakashvili called on Georgian emigrants to return to their homeland for a day and “that day will come soon”. Such statements by the hungry president are likely to worry the authorities.

    Some opposition lawmakers are refusing to stand in the legislative elections in protest. Not all opponents will, but if 37 MPs resign, then constitutional changes will not be possible. The amendments were adopted at first reading on September 7. According to the project, the next two elections, which will be held in the proportional system, will be won by the parties which collect 2% of the vote.

    It is in the interest of the small opposition parties. According to Mikheil Saakashvili, the opposition should only leave parliament after the adoption of these changes.

    After the second round of elections, the word ?? revolution ?? is heard more and more often. According to one of the leaders of the opposition in this country, “the election has lost its meaning because its results are not written down by the voters”. According to the second leader of the opposition, if extraordinary elections are not organized by 2024, Bidzina Ivanishvili will be able to suffocate all the real opposition parties and only the puppet opposition will remain on the political scene.

    Opposition groups have called for a change of government on social media and social media, prompting SUS to announce on November 3 that it has issued public statements calling for “revolution and the violent overthrow of the government, including by violence. The statement says that a person could be jailed for 3 years because of it.

    According to the coalition, the government has announced a wave of repression, which will bring Georgia even closer to Belarus. In response, many opponents declared the need for a revolution.

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    Self government

    Local self-government elections will take place in Armenia

    The first municipal elections organized under a new local voting format will be held today in Armenia. Before June 2020,

    Photo: OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

    The first municipal elections organized under a new local voting format will be held today in Armenia.

    Before June 2020, multi-day local elections in Armenia resulted in the direct appointment of city mayors. In contrast, today’s elections will see voters elect individual candidates, who will then form city councils which will choose new mayors.

    The electoral threshold was also reduced to 4% for political parties and 6% for coalitions, against 6% and 8% respectively. Since today’s election was originally scheduled to take place on an earlier date, two more election days are scheduled for November 14 and December 5.

    In the medium and long term, expect that the change in the electoral threshold will strengthen the pluralities of parties and national minorities. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, however, has appointed acting mayors – who are also running for office – as the dates for the current municipal elections exceed the five-year term limits of incumbent mayors. As such, expect deputy mayors to have access to greater administrative resources than their opponents. With Pashinyan’s popularity continuing in rural areas, expect the acting mayors appointed by Pashinyan to receive a large chunk of the rural vote, thus consolidating the administration’s political influence in various municipalities across the country.

    Wake up smarter with a review of the stories that will make the headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.

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    Self government

    It’s time for Sabah to achieve self-government status – Jeffrey

    Jalumin Bayogoh (seated left) and Yong Teck Lee (right) watching Sabah Day. celebration via the Zoom screen.

    KOTA KINABALU: STAR President Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan has said it is time for Sabah to achieve self-government status.

    According to him, Sabah Day, when published in the Gazette, complements Malaysia’s training.

    “This will open the door to more opportunities for Sabah in the future and elevate the status of Sabah as a region which was announced by the eighth Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin in Sarawak earlier this year,” Jeffrey added in his recorded speech for the 58th Sabah. Celebration of the day broadcast online using the Zoom app.

    The Deputy Chief Minister is very optimistic that Sabah Day will be published in the Official Gazette and will become the official celebration of Sabah from next year.

    “The chief minister basically approved the publication in the Sabah Day Gazette, just like the other members of the Cabinet,” he added.

    Jeffrey also said the proposal document was being finalized and would be tabled in Cabinet for further action.

    Yesterday’s Sabah Day celebration was broadcast live hybrid from the SAPP headquarters in Likas, Kota Kinabalu.

    He had to stand virtually due to SOP compliance.

    A total of 300 participants participated in the video conference comprising leaders of SAPP, STAR and party members as well as activists from various NGOs such as Mosik, Sorak Sabah, Mondopitan, Padaras and others.

    Veteran political figure Datuk Haji Mohd Noor Mansoor called on Sabah rulers to act bolder and immediately realize the dream of publishing on Sabah Day.

    “If Sarawak can proudly celebrate July 22 every year since 2016 as Sarawak Day, why not us with Sabah Day,” he said.

    The former finance minister in the Berjaya government also called on the people of Sabah to always be united and not to follow an immature political culture.

    He also recalled that Malaysia was not formed as a new Federation until September 16, 1963, 58 years ago.

    Recalling the events of August 31, 1963, he said that Sir William Goode, Governor of North Borneo (Sabah) issued a declaration regarding Sabah Day, Sabah autonomy and Sabah independence ending rule British.

    SAPP Chairman Datuk Yong Teck Lee has high hopes and is confident that Sabah Day is published in the Official Gazette and officially celebrated by the government every August 31st will become a reality.

    Yong also expressed his enthusiasm for the positive developments among Sabah residents, legal entities and political leaders who have started to put the hashtag “Sabah Day” in the social media network.

    “Sabah Day is our common struggle, 2023 is one of the greatest challenges of celebrating the 60th Diamond Jubilee of Sabah Day. Hopefully we can celebrate it on a large scale all over Sabah, ”he added.

    Yong, who is also an appointed state assembly member, called on activists to continue their efforts to educate the community about Sabah’s history and to work hard to promote Sabah Day.

    Japiril Suhaimin, the third chairperson organizing the celebration, concluded that the celebration of Sabah Day has proven that SAPP and STAR have always been consistent in their struggle.

    He thanked all participants from all over Sabah as well as overseas Sabahans staying in the peninsula.

    He added that in addition to participating through the Zoom app, the organizers also shared it via Facebook live.

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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

    Ministers agree to bring home work back after criticism from MPs

    The debate took place in the House of Knights. Photo: Bart Maat ANP

    People are again urged to work from home, and adequate ventilation will be included in basic coronavirus rules, following Wednesday’s heated parliamentary debate on the spike in positive Covid cases.

    Working from home had been a key part of government policy to prevent the spread of the virus for more than a year, but was replaced two weeks ago with a 50% work from home requirement.

    It is the second time the government has reversed a decision since deciding to let most of the rules pass on June 26. Since then, the number of new cases has increased by 500% in one week and the “entry test” system for clubs and festivals has already been suspended.

    Prime Minister Mark Rutte said during the debate that the infection figures did not indicate a return to working from home was necessary as many infections were occurring in cafes, bars and festivals.

    However, to accommodate the wishes of MPs, Rutte said working from home would again be in the lead.


    The importance of good ventilation is also added to the three basic rules of social distancing, hand washing and testing. Several political parties had called for ventilation to be added to the list, particularly in schools and in the hotel industry.

    “We will work on it and go from there,” Rutte told MPs, adding that it is important that professionals are involved to ensure that ventilation systems do not spread the virus further.

    MPs strongly criticized the cabinet’s decision to reverse most measures and ignore recommendations made by its own health experts. But some have pointed out that parliament itself voted to approve the relaxation of the rules.

    Ministers also agreed to set aside an additional €135 million to help event organizers whose festivals have been canceled due to the decision to suspend testing for the entry scheme.

    Thank you for your donation to

    The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have donated over the past few weeks. Your financial support has helped us extend our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into evenings and weekends and ensure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial support of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate information on all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

    If you haven’t donated yet, but would like to, you can do it via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.

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    Home rule

    ‘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.

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    Home rule

    Nursing home rule requiring residents to self-isolate after discharge will be relaxed

    Care home residents will no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days after meeting people outside their homes despite the June 21 freedoms delay

    Care home isolation rules to be eased despite delayed Covid lockdown

    Rules for care home residents who must self-isolate after being visited outside their homes will be relaxed in England from June 21 as planned, the government has announced.

    The change comes despite delays in lifting other Covid restrictions on June 21.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced tonight that the easing of coronavirus restrictions will be postponed for a month.

    However, the delay will not affect care home residents who meet people outside their homes.

    A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said: ‘The requirement for residents to self-isolate for 14 days after out-of-care home visits will also be removed in most cases.

    Care home residents will be able to meet people outside their homes without needing to self-isolate


    Getty Images)

    It is not yet confirmed which cases will still require 14 days of isolation.

    However, officials have advised that nursing home residents will not need to self-isolate at all after visits outside their homes, but may need to after hospital visits.

    Care home residents had to self-isolate for 14 days after meeting outside


    Getty Images)

    More detailed guidelines are expected to be issued by the Department of Health and Social Care.

    Boris Johnson extended the lockdown beyond June 21 during a Downing Street press this evening amid spiraling coronavirus infections and hospitalizations.

    Infections rose 49% in a week, with the Delta Covid variant – first identified in India – making up the vast majority of new cases.

    Meanwhile, hospitalizations also increased by 15% in one week.

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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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    Self government

    Bougainville envisages self-government in 2022

    Bougainville President Ishmael Toroama has called for his autonomous region of Papua New Guinea to have a self-government in place by next year.

    PNG Prime Minister James Marape (right) shakes hands with Ismaël Toroama, president of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, on February 5, 2021.
    Photo: PNG MP Media

    Toroama said this was part of the message he conveyed to PNG Prime Minister James Marape during the talks last month.

    The talks were the last step in consultations between the two sides on how to proceed with the outcome of the Bougainville independence referendum, held in 2019.

    In the non-binding referendum, 97.7% of Bougainvilleas voted for PNG independence. However, the PNG parliament must ratify the result for it to enter into force.

    During the talks, Toroama told Marape and his delegation that Bougainville is expected to gain independence by 2025.

    While PNG is reluctant to commit to a timeline for independence, the Bougainville Autonomous Government is working to give momentum to preparations to prepare for independence in the region.

    In the meantime, Toroama is pushing for self-government as a practical step towards full independence.

    Toroama spent the past week in southern Bougainville to launch what the government calls the “Independence Ready Mission” for three constituencies.

    At events in Lato, Ramu and Kopi constituencies, the president presented his government’s schedule.

    President Toroama said the road would be difficult, but the results of the referendum clearly showed the desire of the people to be an independent sovereign nation.

    He called for the unity, hard work and perseverance of the people to accomplish the political destiny of Bougainville.

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    Indigenous self-government is now a reality – a reality that will test the courage and creativity of Canadian and Indigenous leaders around the world

    Bitter conflicts between Indigenous communities and governments and businesses have been part of Canada’s political landscape for decades. Since the turn of this century, many companies have first lost and then retreated in battles over mining and other resource projects. Leaders of Indigenous communities have become seasoned political warriors adept at changing Canadian public opinion. The scales seem to be tilting.

    Today we see even more complex conflicts: struggles between and within Indigenous communities. The one making the headlines this week is the battle between environmentalists and the Pacheedaht First Nation. Along with those fighting ancient logging on Vancouver Island is a coalition of First Nations and Indigenous organizations in British Columbia, as well as some of their own younger citizens. In the middle is Prime Minister John Horgan, in whose riding this battle is being fought.

    British Columbia is at the forefront of many of these sensitive disputes. A British Columbia Supreme Court ruling in 2017 approved moving Treaty 8 boundaries far to the west. Some First Nations in this disputed area were not satisfied. The court ordered BC to find a solution. All parties appear prepared to leave the matter open for the time being.

    British Columbia has also shown leadership in legislating on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the first Canadian government to do so. Partnerships between certain indigenous communities and the oil and gas sector, sometimes vigorously opposed by neighboring communities and often members of their own community, will henceforth be governed by this framework.

    As former Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson noted in his eloquent Manion Conference 2020, Canada is the only one in the world to launch this experiment with the creation of up to 600 autonomous units within a sovereign federal state.

    For many Aboriginal Canadians, the dream of self-government has been their lifelong struggle. The prospect of self-control over their health, education and economic development is an obviously powerful political vision. It is, after all, a universal ambition to be truly in control of the destiny of one’s family and community.

    Self-government is still somewhat ill-defined, but at a minimum it must mean, as Simpson puts it, “full political responsibility for many public functions, responsibility for those chosen to lead and autonomous revenue to run.” these functions ”. But, in addition to the fun of raising health and policing standards through their own governments, the new rulers will face border disputes and the need to forge new relationships with neighboring towns from the outset. first day.

    If this experience is to gain traction and deliver successful services to Indigenous Canadians, these leaders will need to find processes and agree on methods of dispute resolution. Indigenous traditions are based on long discussions of consensus building and have often resolved deep and difficult divisions. It is not certain that many non-Aboriginal partners will be so patient.

    It is not a distant prospect. Fourteen First Nations in British Columbia are in the final stages of negotiating to create the largest number of self-government agreements with that province. None of these challenges should be used to slow down or thwart this process. But its imminence is perhaps an argument for more urgent discussions involving a wide range of Canadian and Indigenous leaders.

    As Canada’s Indigenous leaders demanded a seat in the Bill of Rights negotiations and came out with the rights set out in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, this radical change in the way Canada is governed was set. Our courts have made it clear how these hard-won rights should be defined and enforced. But “self-government” has often been dismissed as a political vision for the distant future, if possible at all. It is now a reality and it will test the courage and creativity of Canadian politicians and Indigenous leaders around the world.

    The Pacheedaht have a land management agreement with the province. They are understandably unhappy with the accusation that they are poor stewards of their forests. But this battle over the majestic centuries-old Douglas firs in a remote corner of Vancouver Island are the first tremors of an upcoming political earthquake that started nearly 40 years ago.

    Robin V. Sears was an NDP strategist for 20 years and then served as a communications advisor to businesses and governments on three continents. He is a freelance columnist for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @robinvsears

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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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    Wales believes more in self-government as part of pandemic response

    This is the third part in a series of FT asking if the UK is heading for the break-up. Follow UK politics and politics with myFT be alerted when new parts are released.

    Lleucu Haf Wiliam receives a special birthday present this year: his first vote.

    On May 6, her 16th birthday, she will use it to support Welsh independence. The schoolgirl will vote in the Welsh parliamentary elections for Plaid Cymru, the party calling for Wales to leave the UK.

    Wiliam, who lives in Barry, a seaside resort in south Wales, said the UK was “London-centric”, with policies designed to help the capital. “By being able to manage our own finances and resources, we can manage things more efficiently and fairly,” she added. “Other countries are doing it. “

    Opinion polls show young people expressing support for Wales’ independence, as polls also suggest Plaid Cymru could secure a power-sharing role alongside Labor in the country’s government after the election next month. Such a result in Cardiff would increase pressure on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is preparing for the Scottish National Independence Party to win the general elections in Scotland on May 6.

    Support for Wales’ independence currently stands at 24%, according to the Financial Times poll tracker. A Savanta ComRes poll released last month found a record 35% in favor of Wales leaving the UK.

    Lleucu Haf Wiliam, 16, will vote for Plaid Cymru © Charlie Bibby / FT

    Although support for Wales’ independence is far from the majority, the coronavirus crisis appears to have given Wales a much greater belief in the virtues of self-government.

    Mark Drakeford, Premier of Wales and leader of the Welsh Labor Party, has been praised for much of his work overseeing the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This is reflected in the way Drakeford approval ratings in the polls are much higher than Johnson’s.

    This is in stark contrast to Wales’ past attitude to self-government. In a 1979 referendum, the Welsh voted four to one against creating their own legislature. In 1997, they narrowly voted for such a parliament.

    The pandemic has highlighted the sheer relevance of the decentralized administration led by Drakeford to people’s lives: it set the terms of the coronavirus restrictions, as well as provided financial support to businesses.

    And at the same time as the Welsh government has imposed itself in the pandemic, London has imposed itself in Cardiff after the UK’s total exit from the EU late last year.

    For example, the UK government withdrew from the EU’s Erasmus program allowing UK students to study at universities in the bloc without consulting Cardiff, even though education is a devolved issue. The Welsh government responded by creating its own program.

    As Wales voted 53% to 47% to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum, Johnson’s hard Brexit prompted young voters to consider their country’s independence, said Lord Peter Hain, who was instrumental in establishing the Cardiff Parliament as a member of the government of former Labor Prime Minister Tony Blair in the late 1990s.

    “Boris Johnson is acting as Prime Minister of England, not of the UK,” he added.

    Graphic showing support for Wales' independence as of March 19, 2021

    Until recently, support for the independence of Welsh was concentrated among Welsh speakers in rural West Wales.

    But the cause is becoming a young urban phenomenon. A ComRes poll last month found 45% of 16-24 year olds were in favor of independence, while a YouGov poll found support in the M4 corridor around Cardiff and Newport.

    Yes Cymru, a multi-party campaign for independence created in 2014 and which now boasts more than 18,000 members, has given new impetus to the cause.

    Mark Hooper, the organizer of Yes Cymru in Cardiff, said Wales’ union with England has failed to tackle poverty and deep inequalities in his country. The gross domestic product per person in Wales is around 75 percent of the UK average.

    He said Wales, by having its own central bank, its own currency and its trade deal with England, could “make sure the economy works for everyone”.

    Labor is hoping to counter increased support for independence by putting pressure on Johnson to give the Welsh parliament more power, while highlighting the UK’s advantages for Wales.

    Drakeford told the Financial Times that Wales could never have obtained so many Covid-19 vaccines as a small independent nation, and also wondered how the country could have its own currency, given that the border 160 miles with England was crossed by hundreds of thousands of people every day.

    Welsh Prime Minister Mark Drakeford
    Prime Minister Mark Drakeford has been praised for much of his work overseeing Wales’ response to the pandemic © Charlie Bibby / FT

    Then there is Wales’ weak fiscal position: in 2018-19, the country had a deficit of £ 13.5 billion, according to the Office for National Statistics. Wales collected £ 2,147 per capita less in taxes than the UK average and spent £ 863 more.

    Drakeford accused Johnson of ignoring the Welsh government and complained about the UK Prime Minister’s hoarding of powers repatriated from Brussels after Brexit. “He’s the best recruiting sergeant for independence they have,” Drakeford said.

    Labor has dominated Welsh politics for a century and has been in government in Cardiff continuously since the creation of the decentralized parliament in 1999. But polls suggest it could lose eight of its 29 seats out of the 60 members of parliament on May 6, which would be his lowest total on record.

    Drakeford, who has been criticized for some of his decisions during the pandemic, admitted it would be a “tough election.” “The workforce.. Had to make extraordinary decisions which had a profound impact on people’s lives,” he said.

    Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Tories could both win election seats, although Labor is expected to remain the biggest party.

    Given that Drakeford has ruled out working with the Tories in the Welsh parliament, the most likely outcome after May 6 is a coalition with Plaid Cymru, as happened once before, after the 2007 election.

    Drakeford said the previous coalition with Plaid Cymru had worked well. “The bottom line is whether there is a political platform on which we can agree,” he added.

    Cymru leader Adam Price throw
    Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price does not plebiscite the price of a power-sharing deal with Labor © Charlie Bibby / FT

    Plaid Cymru pledges to hold an independence referendum if he wins the election, but party leader Adam Price did not applaud the price of a power-sharing deal with Labor.

    “You do not conduct negotiations before negotiations,” he told FT. He would only join a government that would put Wales “on a very different path,” Price said.

    Plaid Cymru promises free school meals for all primary school children, a £ 6bn green infrastructure program including railroad electrification and financial support focused on local start-ups rather than big ones foreign investors.

    Is the UK heading for shattering?

    Ahead of the Scottish and Welsh parliamentary elections on May 6, the FT is examining whether the four nations of the UK are likely to stay together.

    Part 1: What is the economic cost of Scottish independence and can the country afford it?

    Part 2: Does Boris Johnson have a plan to save the UK from shattering?

    Part 3: What is the future form of government in Wales as interest in independence grows?

    Part 4: Is Northern Ireland on the inexorable road to a united Ireland?

    Andrew Davies, leader of the Welsh Tories, hopes to build on the Tories’ gains made in the 2019 UK general election, especially in the Brexit voting areas.

    “Wales does not need five years to discuss constitutional change,” he said. “He needs a government focused on the economy, transport and education.

    Richard Wyn Jones, director of the Welsh Governance Center at Cardiff University, said more decentralization rather than independence was ‘the sweet spot for the Welsh electorate’.

    He added that Labor was stuck in a polarized era, caught between a vibrant independence movement and a ‘recentralizing’ Conservative government in Westminster.

    But Jones said the cause for Wales’ independence would be greatly strengthened if Scotland chose to leave the UK.

    “Young people [in Wales] look at the conservative government [at Westminster] and don’t identify with him, ”he added. “It doesn’t reflect the kind of country they want to live in.”

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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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    Independence activist

    The independence activist who named the accusers of Alex Salmond on social networks is jailed

    A Scottish independence activist who named the women who testified against Alex Salmond has been jailed for six months.

    Clive Thomson, 52, has broken a strict court order barring the identification of plaintiffs who testified at the former prime minister’s trial last year.

    Edinburgh High Court learned of how Thomson, of Rosyth, Fife, twice named women on Twitter in August last year.

    Lady Dorrian – the judge who presided over the trial which resulted in Mr Salmond’s acquittal of all charges – made the order during the trial.

    Mainstream journalists working in Scottish courts do not name complainants in sexual assault cases in order to prevent complainants’ privacy being violated.

    However, the defense industry worker ignored the order and named the women on the social media network.

    The court heard he knew he wasn’t supposed to name the women, but went ahead and did it anyway.

    He believed he was immune from prosecution because he was on vacation abroad at the time of one of the offending tweets.

    The court also heard that it had also sought advice from other Twitter users on how to get around the court order.

    Defense lawyer Mark Stewart QC on Thursday urged Lady Dorrian, Lord Pentland and Lord Matthews not to send his client to jail.

    Mr Stewart said Thomson was looking after his wife who is currently protecting herself from the coronavirus pandemic. He was also the main breadwinner.

    But Lady Dorrian said what Thomson had done was so wrong that jail was the only option available to the court.

    She said: “The court took into account that this was a deliberate and planned contempt of court. This is a very serious matter. There are very good reasons why complainants in sexual offense cases enjoy anonymity. “Protection is extended by convention to complainants in all cases – not just the one that concerns us.

    “It turns out that the protection in this case was backed up by a specific court order to stress the importance and you knew that order had been made.

    “Nonetheless, you have deliberately taken up this order and posted the names of those involved, for the second time thinking that you thought you were safe from contempt of court proceedings by being abroad.

    “You had been thinking about how you were going to get by – you went so far as to ask advice about it on Twitter.

    “Obviously, you’ve decided to take a calculated risk. The reason for such protection extends beyond the complainants in this case is that the risk of the public knowing their identity can have a significant deterrent effect on others against filing complaints with public authorities.

    “This was a blatant and willful violation of the order which was likely to cause serious stress and concern to complainants and interfere with the protection afforded them by the order.

    “We have listened to the points made on your behalf this morning.

    “We are aware of the effect prison will have on your life and the lives of your family members.

    “However, for such premeditated contempt, we are convinced that there is no alternative to a custodial sentence and we therefore propose to impose a sentence of six months imprisonment from the date of ‘today.”

    Mr Salmond was cleared of 13 counts of sexual assault earlier this year. Another charge of sexual assault had already been dropped by prosecutors.

    The former prime minister proclaimed his innocence throughout the two-week trial held in March 2020.

    The women who brought the allegations against Mr Salmond included an SNP politician, a party member and several current and former Scottish government officials and officials.

    In an article posted on a fundraising website, Mr Thomson requested financial assistance for his case, saying he needed a QC and a legal team “regarding a contempt of court charge , in the Alex Salmond case “. Last month he had raised £ 275 of a £ 5,000 goal.

    During proceedings last month, Mr Stewart told the court that the first post was deleted shortly after it was posted. The second post was deleted within 24 hours of posting.

    The sentence had been postponed for the court to obtain reports on Thomson’s background.

    Mr Stewart told the virtual hearing on Thursday that his client had been suspended from working at Babcock’s in Rosyth.

    He also said that Thomson had played a key role in his family, taking care of his wife and being an important breadwinner.

    Mr Stewart also said that Thomson felt remorse for his conduct.

    He said: “As a result of the process, he fully understood both the importance of his conduct; the potential effect his conduct might have on those involved in the criminal justice process and also the seriousness of the conduct.

    Lady Dorrian interrupted Mr. Stewart’s submission at that point and asked him, “That’s what they call barring the stable door once the horse is locked.”

    Mr Stewart then referred to a report by a court appointed social worker and continued: “My lady, there has to be an element of that and I have to accept it but as far as this process goes, it has one that he has now accepted the gravity of the situation – though that doesn’t excuse him not fully appreciating the gravity of his conduct – it’s something in my opinion that he fully understands and that he fully understands what he has done.

    “He has, according to the senior social worker, someone who feels remorse and understands that it is important that these rules are in place and that these rules are followed as well.

    “Mr. Thomson appreciates and understands that police custody is a significant risk in relation to the resolution of this case.

    “He understands the nature of his offense and he understands his position in this court.

    “I would respectfully ask the court to accept that this was an act of extreme madness on the part of someone acting in a way that was not calculated but was in fact an act madness and bravado and I would ask the court to take into account his remorse, guilt and immediate recognition of his wrongdoing when considering his elimination.

    Twitter was criticized last month for failing to remove a post by an anonymous user that identified one of the women who accused Mr Salmond.

    A friend of women told the Daily Record: “Twitter is extremely irresponsible and ignores its responsibilities to uphold the law.

    “It is frankly shocking that they continue to allow trolls to name witnesses whose anonymity has been guaranteed by the courts.”

    Responding to a complaint from the woman, who said she believed her safety was in danger, Twitter said: “We are writing to inform you that after reviewing the available information, we found no violations. of our rules in the content you have posted.

    Earlier this year, blogger Craig Murray appeared in court accused of posting information that could have led readers to identify women who have testified against Mr Salmond.

    He denied the allegation. His lawyer, John Scott QC, described Murray as a “beacon of integrity”.

    The court will make its decision on whether Mr. Murray violated the contempt order in the near future.

    Earlier this month, Rape Crisis also urged Members of the Scottish Parliament not to release information that could identify the women who have testified against Mr Salmond.

    Spectator magazine also went to court to try to have the contempt order amended.

    Lady Dorrian told Thomson, who watched the virtual hearing from another location, on Thursday that she had 48 hours to get to a police station to be taken to jail.

    A spokesperson for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said: “The Crown has reviewed a number of potential cases of contempt of court arising from the prosecution of Alex Salmond.

    “Where measures were warranted, either to protect the accused’s right to a fair trial or the identity of complainants, measures were taken.

    “The decision in each case was made after applying the same professional, independent and impartial approach that the Crown takes to all of its decisions.

    “When the Crown takes formal action, it is for the court to rule whether contempt of court has occurred and to determine the appropriate response.”

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    Independence activist

    Uyghur diaspora remembers pro-independence activist Isa Yusuf Alptekin on the anniversary of his death – Radio Free Asia

    Members of the Uyghur diaspora recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the death of Isa Yusuf Alptekin, one of the ethnic group’s most prominent intellectuals and a figure who dedicated his life to Beijing’s independence in the Uyghur Autonomous Region. of Xinjiang (XUAR).

    Alptekin was born in Yengisar County (in Chinese, Yingjisha), in what was then Kashgar (Kashi) Prefecture of the Qing Dynasty, in 1901. At the end of 1949, following the Chinese Communist invasion from the Uyghur region, he left China and finally relocated to Turkey in 1954.

    In 1960, Alptekin established the East Turkestan Expatriate Society in Istanbul, using the name preferred by many Uyghurs for their homeland, and later the East Turkestan Foundation. He fought tirelessly for the freedom of his people until his death on December 17, 1995.

    During his half-century struggle for independence, Alptekin has traveled the world attending international conferences to raise awareness of the situation in XUAR, where Uyghurs are discriminated against and cannot practice their Muslim religious traditions, using their own language and preserving their culture, despite the protections of Chinese law.

    Hamuthan Göktür, who worked for Alptekin from 1965 to 1995, told RFA’s Uyghur service that the late intellectual had made a significant contribution to the recognition of the Uyghur independence movement in Turkey.

    “If you asked someone in Turkey where they heard about the East Turkestan cause, that there was a region and a country called East Turkestan, they would say Isa Yusuf Alptekin,” he said. declared.

    After being blinded in a traffic accident in 1978, Alptekin did not give up his campaign for the independence of East Turkestan. He founded a publishing center in Istanbul in 1980 and the East Turkestan Foundation in 1985.

    “The torch of independence”

    Omer Kanat, executive director of the Washington-based Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) and chairman of the Munich-based World Uyghur Congress (WUC) executive committee, worked with Alptekin for over seven years, starting in 1980.

    “Mr. Isa tirelessly waved the flag of independence, the torch of independence,” he said. “In his final days, Mr. Isa spoke of our homeland, of our nation… he wouldn’t talk about anything else. “

    In addition to publishing in newspapers and magazines, holding press conferences, giving statements to reporters, and writing letters to leaders of various countries, Alptekin has also written numerous articles and books. Many of his writings have become important sources in Uyghur studies today.

    WUC President Dolkun Isa called Alptekin “not only a politician but also an opinion writer”, noting that he had also written numerous books, several of which were published in English, Turkish, in Arabic and other languages.

    From his arrival in Turkey in 1954 until his death in 1995, Alptekin met with all Turkish presidents and prime ministers, as well as several ministers, to discuss the Uyghur issue and address the plight of Uyghur migrants in Turkey.

    “He spoke eloquently and he had a human demeanor,” said Kanat of the UHRP.

    “I was with him when he met world leaders … If you paid attention, it seemed from the words he used and the way he interacted with people that the leaders of two countries met. “

    Isa Yusuf Alptekin was buried in Topkapi Cemetery, where former Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes and former President Turgut Özal are buried. His funeral was attended by Turkish President Süleyman Demirel and several ministers, and major Turkish TV channels covered the service live. His legacy lives on through the work he did for the Uyghur community and in the many parks, streets and schools that bear his name in Turkish cities.

    Reported by Erkin Tarim for the RFA Uyghur service. Translated by Uyghur service. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.

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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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    The Eternal Dream of Self-Government

    The multiple feelings of déjà vu were surprisingly overwhelming. It happened while I was listening to the BBC about developments in Belarus, where Alexander Lukashenko is currently late. While reporting factory workers chanting ‘Go’ in the face of the struggling president who had sought to strengthen his position by speaking out in front of what he believed to be a sympathetic audience, the BBC presenter commented on how his hold on power seemed to be tenuous. It was then that the flood of memories from history, our own and beyond, came with a rush. Memories that recalled not only how such moments fervently embodied the hopes of a nation, but also the certain disappointment that awaited Belarusians.

    This is not some sort of guesswork as to how Opposition Leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya would behave if and when Lukashenko resigned. Like most reasonably well-informed people far from its immediate neighborhood, all I know about Belarus is that it has long been ruled by an “elected” strongman who has tied himself closely to Russia. With my very limited knowledge of his politics, I had never even heard of Tikhanovskaya either. The above was just a personal reflection on how often similar times of hope have been common over the past four decades or so – and how badly these usually end.

    Hope for democracy and fairness

    The first one I remember when I was 13: the independence of Rhodesia (and the gradual transition to Zimbabwe). The names that stuck in my mind were Ian Smith, the last Prime Minister of Rhodesia, Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe. Nkomo is now almost forgotten and the reason I still remember him, besides being such an imposing personality, was due to my wonder at the time before instant information on how to pronounce his last name ( it is en-Komo). However, over the next 40 years, we learned a lot about Mugabe, how he wiped out this resource-rich country before being ousted after years of discontent. Unfortunately, for a country that has suffered so much, the record of its successor has not been much better, having now spawned the human rights campaign, #ZimbabweanLivesMatter. Enough said.

    In 1979, when I was 14, we were able to witness history being made. With student unrest appearing to threaten the regime itself, King Birendra hastily announced a referendum on the Panchayat system. Political activism that had gone underground after the royal coup of 1960 has become possible again. Although having virtually no understanding of politics other than what I could absorb by listening to adult conversations conducted quietly in private circles, I did begin to attend political events in Khula Manch. I was there when BP Koirala first spoke in public after his impeachment two decades earlier and still remember the shock many onlookers felt upon first hearing the squeak that his voice had become due to. throat cancer that would eventually consume him.

    My way back from school got me to change buses in the Ratna Park area and I became Khula Manch from Bir hospital on my way to the mini-bus stop in front of the old headquarters. Nepalese electricity company. Speeches were held in the late afternoon and I stopped almost every day to listen. Over the months, I must have heard most worthy politicians (I can’t remember any “sounds”) speaking in words that we of the Panchayat generation had never heard before. Here we were piling up propaganda to get through the subject known simply as Panchayat, and there were all these legendary names calling the lie to what our textbook said. The multiparty system lost the following year in the plebiscite which is widely believed to have been rigged. We were a long way from knowing how those who thundered against an irresponsible regime were to prove such havoc when their time came.

    But there was enough time for that, a full decade. In the meantime, things have shifted here and there in favor of the popular will, notably that of Argentina in 1982, that of the Philippines in 1986, then the major dismemberment of the Soviet empire in 1989-90. We followed the precedent with our own Popular Movement of 1990 and saw the restoration of democracy after three decades. And, almost immediately, they found themselves face to face with the inexplicable reality that politicians, whether revolutionary or otherwise, invariably belies the great hopes that propel them to power. The only notable exception in recent decades may have been Nelson Mandela’s South Africa, but here, too, the downfall began soon after he left the scene.

    Only hope remains

    Despite all the repeated disappointments everywhere we look, hope is eternal as people continue to strive for the ideal of a government that listens to its citizens. The absolute certainty of better times after the current crisis is over is what drives Belarusians right now. This heightened sense of optimism is something we have been (badly) fortunate enough to experience twice in a generation: in 1990 and 2006. At least the second time around, our politicians seemed contrite and in fact promised to not to repeat their past mistakes in what they said would become a New Nepal.

    Even though they had really wanted to at the time, the feuds began soon after their return to power following a popular mobilization of a kind never seen in Nepal’s history. Instead of focusing on writing a constitution, we saw governments come and go in a repeat of the bad ’90s. It took almost a decade and a devastating earthquake for the new statute to be put in place. in place.

    The story with the majority government elected on the strength of fantastic promises of transforming the country was no different, and the results were there for all even before the last shameful months. A naked power struggle has devoured the ruling party amid a pandemic that is not only likely to devastate the economy, but also cause enormous loss of life. Yet despite all the fire and brimstone emanating from both sides, neither has come up with a game plan on how best to tackle the coronavirus threat. The last time we heard was that resolving all these months of political wrangling that ensured the lack of any political leadership in the country would take the form of a cabinet reshuffle. Talk about a wet firecracker.

    Poet Sylvia Plath wrote: “If you don’t expect anything from anyone, you are never disappointed”. This, unfortunately, cannot apply to the relationship between people and their government. Expectations are always high and politicians almost always fail to deliver them; it seems to be an unalterable truism of the human condition, no matter how many times we opt for something else. The only constant is the human desire for freedom with dignity.

    Mugabe started out as prime minister before ascending to the presidency and developing a regime that has secured his re-election time and time again. The art of winning elections is what Lukashenko also perfected. This game plan has evolved over time and is used around the world. Considering half the chances, there are many among our current generation of leaders who would have liked to have been at the helm of a similar political system. This model has also not been tried here, with the introduction of all kinds of laws that would overthrow democracy by undermining the media and civil society. Fortunately, the popular will is still strong enough in Nepal to have thwarted most of these attempts.

    That’s why I get shivers every time someone talks about the stability that an executive presidency would bring. The only solace we can have in Nepal is that we will have the pleasure of ousting the leaders by the ballot box if things do not improve between now and the elections. This is more than what can be said about the current situation in Belarus.


    What do you think?

    Dear reader, we would love to hear from you. We regularly post letters to the editor on contemporary issues or direct responses to something the Post recently published. Please send your letters to [email protected] with “Letter to the editor” in the subject line. Please include your name, location and a contact address so that one of our editors can contact you..

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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

    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

    Agreement on the Autonomy of Catalonia – Archives, 1977 | Catalonia

    The first step towards restoring the autonomy of Catalonia was taken in Madrid this weekend.

    Prime Minister Suarez reached an agreement with Mr. Josep tarradellas, President of the Generalitat – the Catalan government in exile – for a transition aimed at possible autonomy.

    The Spaniards hold a poster with the effigy of Josep Tarradellas when they welcome him on October 23, 1977 in Barcelona on his return from exile. Photograph: Stringer / AFP / Getty Images

    the Generalitat was established in 1932 shortly after the founding of the Second Spanish Republic. He died in blood after the civil war of 1939. Franco was determined to eradicate decentralization and even attempted to erase the Catalan and Basque languages. The slogan of the former dictator was: “One united Spain”.

    Mr Suarez, who is celebrating his first anniversary as prime minister this weekend, admits that some autonomy should be granted to regions like the Basque Country and Catalonia, which request it for historical and cultural reasons. The final decision on autonomy will, however, have to be taken by the newly elected parliament.

    The pact between Mr. Tarradellas, 78, and Mr. Suarez has been generally well received.

    At a press conference this weekend, however, Home Secretary Martin Villa did not respond to questions that would have clarified the deal.

    However, it seems that before the end of July a representative association will be formed in the four provinces of Catalonia. The association will be able to negotiate with the government of Madrid on the possible form that autonomy will take.

    Mr. Tarradellas returned Sunday to France where he has been living in exile since the end of the civil war. He said he would return to Barcelona when the Generalitat was restored. “I think I’ll be back shortly,” he told friends.

    But Mr. Tarradellas, an old gallant patriot, whose mandate as President of the Generalitat technically expired in 1939, does not today represent the opinion of the majority of the Catalan people. He is compared in the Spanish Sunday papers to General de Gaulle and it is a fair enough comparison.

    No one doubts his integrity or his patriotism. But, the young socialist Catalans might be a better choice to guide his compatriots along the still tortuous road to autonomy.

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    Self government

    60th Anniversary of Self-Government: Singapore’s Pre-Independence ‘National Day’

    SINGAPORE: Everyone knows that August 9 is Singapore’s national day, when the country comes together to celebrate independence. But for a few years before 1965, it took place on a different date.

    For older Singaporeans, June 3, 1959 was that day to remember. It was at this point that Singapore adopted its own constitution and became a self-governing internal state for the first time in its history (the British still had the final say on external matters, namely defense and foreign affairs. ).

    In fact, the National Archives of Singapore (NAS) recorded this momentous day as “the creation of a nation”. It is written on its website: “On June 3, 1959, the 1.6 million people in Singapore woke up to a new beginning – as people of a fully self-governing city-state under the British crown. “

    The day was also immortalized through the famous music video of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s catchy “Merdeka” call.

    Historian Albert Lau told CNA that self-government, while not yet independent, was a milestone in Singapore’s constitutional development.

    “Achieving self-government sent an important signal that Singapore still needed new momentum to achieve its goal of freeing itself from colonial rule,” said the associate professor at the National University of Singapore. .

    Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also made mention of this historic day during last year’s National Day rally, saying, “Nationally, Singapore’s politics have been fiercely opposed, on different visions of the future. of the colony. In 1959, Singapore gained internal autonomy, a big step forward. towards independence. “

    On the 60th anniversary of Singapore’s pre-independence national day, CNA looks back on some of the key events and quotes that shaped its significance.


    The general elections held in 1959 were to determine who would lead Singapore into this new period of internal autonomy, but they were also important for another reason: it was the first time that voting had been made compulsory.

    Nanyang Technological University assistant professor Ngoei Wen-Qing told CNA that this was the time when “mass politics” reached Singapore.

    According to the Chronicle of Singapore, a book published in association with the National Library Board of Singapore, 51 seats were nominated in this election, and the PAP ran against groups like the People’s Alliance of Singapore (SPA), led by Chief Minister Lim Yew Hock, the United Malaysian National Organization (UMNO) and the Workers’ Party founded by David Marshall, the Chief Prime Minister of Singapore.

    Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, in his memoir, The Singapore Story, said polls closed at 8 p.m. on May 30 and the vote count started from 9 p.m. before ending at 2:45 am the next morning.

    In the end, PAP won 43 of the 51 contested seats, while SPA won four – including Lim’s successful contest against Marshall at Cairnhill – and UMNO won three. Independent AP Rajah won the remaining seat.

    “The people’s verdict is clear and decisive. Nothing more can be added to it. It is a victory of good over evil, of the pure over the dirty, of righteousness over evil. – PAP Secretary General Lee Kuan Yew, quoted in Chronicle of Singapore.


    Immediately after the election victory, Lee and his colleagues focused on the release of eight men associated with the PAP who had been detained under the Preservation of Public Safety Act. This meant that Mr. Lee and his cabinet would not be sworn in until June 5.

    The Singapore Chronicle reports that the eight men were CV Devan Nair (Singapore’s third president), Lim Chin Siong, Fong Swee Suan, S. Woodhull, Chan Thiaw Thor, James Puthucheary, Chan Chong Kin and Chen Say James.

    They were union leaders who were among 234 people detained by the government in 1956 following the Chinese high school riots. They were finally released on June 4 – 31 months after being detained.

    In his memoir, Mr. Lee explained why the release of the Eight took precedence over the swearing in: “We had thought before the election and concluded that Lim Chin Siong and his company should be released from prison before we took office, otherwise we would lose all credibility.

    This was reiterated by Dr Ngoei: “The PAP, before the 1959 elections, pledged to have them released. And once they won this election, Lee Kuan Yew delayed taking office in order to obtain this release… so it is important for the credibility of the PAP.

    Sir William Goode, Singapore’s last governor who went on to become its first Yang di-Pertuan Negara (head of state), disagreed with the delay, especially after Lim Yew Hock resigned his post as chief minister once he found out his party had lost the election. But Mr. Lee held on.

    Sir William, however, would not wait. He published in the Gazette and brought the new constitution into effect on June 3, Lee said in his memoir.

    This is why there was a delay between the recognition of Singapore as a state with internal autonomy on June 3 and the swearing-in of its new leadership on June 5.

    Dr Ngoei said this turned out to be “good policy” on the part of PAP.

    “It was good policy that the PAP was trying to press so that it separates the release of detainees as a topical event from the constitution being enacted, and identifying the enacted constitution with the will of the people as well. than the victory of the PAP, “he explained.

    S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies principal researcher Kwa Chong Guan went further, saying that the day was one of those “turning points” that could have given Singapore’s political and historical development “quite a turning point. different “if Sir William had not done so. accede to Mr. Lee’s request.

    “I again countered that we were not to be sworn in until June 5, after Lim Chin Siong, Fong, and the other six pro-Communists were not only released but duly issued a statement publicly endorsing the non-Communist goals of the government. PAP.

    “I wanted this endorsement to have full media coverage; so we would only take office on the afternoon of June 5th so as not to compete with him for the headlines. – Mr. Lee in The History of Singapore


    The PAP formed Singapore’s first fully elected government and the nine-member Cabinet was sworn in on June 5.

    • Lee Kuan Yew, Prime Minister
    • Toh Chin Chye, Deputy Prime Minister
    • Ong Eng Guan, Minister of National Development
    • Goh Keng Swee, Minister of Finance
    • Ong Pang Boon, Minister of the Interior
    • KM Byrne, Minister of Labor and Law
    • Ahmad Ibrahim, Minister of Health
    • Yong Nyuk Lin, Minister of Education
    • S Rajaratnam, Minister of Culture

    They were sworn in at a closed-door ceremony held at Town Hall by Sir William. According to Mr Lee, Sir William arrived at the scene “nothing more formal than a light tawny suit and tie” while the Cabinet wore “white open-necked shirts and pants”.

    The swearing-in room was “bare except for a table and a few chairs” as there was no time for decorations, he added.

    In addition to an important step towards full independence, the events of June 1959 “also mark the rise of the PAP to political power in Singapore”, underlined the NUS Assoc Prof Lau.

    The celebrations for this pre-independence national day took place from 1960 to 1963, according to the National Library Board.

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    Self government

    The Indigenous Autonomy Perspective

    November 14, 2018

    Kanaky youth vote for independence in New Caledonia (Nic Maclellan)

    On November 4, the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia held a self-determination referendum, the culmination of a twenty-year transition period introduced by the Noumea OK.

    After a peaceful polling day, 56.4% of registered voters decided to stay in the French Republic, while 43.6% voted yes for independence.

    These raw figures suggest a setback for the independence coalition of New Caledonia, the Before Release national Kanak and socialist (FLNKS), who has been campaigning for independence and sovereignty since 1980s.

    In reality, the size of the yes gives the independence movement enough mandate to continue towards a new referendum in 2020. The FLNKS is encouraged by their increased support in working-class suburbs, rural areas and an unprecedented youth vote.

    Opinion polls had predicted a massive defeat for the independence movement. However, as the votes were counted, viewers could see the worry on the faces of overconfident anti-independence politicians.

    Early in the night, with the independence vote hovering between 25 and 30 percent, there was an air of triumphalism. As the night wore on and the vote for self-government increased to 30%, then 40% and beyond, the faces of anti-independence leaders deteriorated further.

    Prime Minister of France Edward Philippe made a lightning visit to New Caledonia the next day. While welcoming the decision of the islanders to stay within the French Republic, he also recognized massive support for independence among the natives Kanak people.

    20 years in the making

    New Caledonia is one of the three French dependencies of the Pacific, alongside French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna. The indigenous Melanesian population, known as the Kanak, are a minority of 39 percent in their own country, after generations of colonization and continuous migration.

    Annexed by France in 1853, the islands – located off the east coast of Australia – served first as a prison, then as a land of free colonization. The main island’s central mountain range is rich in minerals, and the country holds 25 percent of the world’s nickel reserves. The nickel boom of late 1960s, driven by the Vietnam War and the space race, saw new waves of migration from France and Wallis and Futuna.

    There were historical Kanak revolts against French colonialism, led by the chief Atai in 1878 and Chef Noël in 1917. But the modern independence movement was born from the 1970s, based on radicalized students returning from France, one Kanak cultural renaissance and the Union Caledonian change of course of the party from the demand for autonomy to independence, under the leadership of Jean-Marie Tjibaou (a charismatic leader assassinated by a comrade Kanak in 1989).

    The establishment of the FLNKS in 1984, armed clashes between separatists, the French state and Right wing settlers. This period of conflict ended with the signing of the 1988 Accord. Matignon agreements and a subsequent agreement in May 1998, known as the Noumea OK.

    The 20-year transition under the agreement saw the transfer of many powers from Paris to Noumea and the creation of new political institutions, including a multi-party government, Kanak customary senate and three provincial administrations.

    There has also been a significant economic “rebalancing” between the wealthy southern province and the rural north and outlying Loyalty Islands, where the population is predominantly. Kanak. However, New Caledonia is still sharply divided between poor and rich, with poverty marked by ethnicity and geography – rural and indigenous communities lose out on all development indicators.

    This chasm is most obvious in the capital Noumea, a city of yachts and squats. The anti-independence vote was strongest in Noumeathe southern suburbs of, where the rich own luxury apartments, boats and 4x4s, drawing massive wages subsidized by French taxpayers. On the outskirts of the capital, more than 8,000 people live in slums.

    Two worlds apart

    The independence vote of November 4 was drawn mainly from the Kanak the electorate, with a majority of non-Kanaks – European, wallisian, Tahitian or Asian heritage – vote to stay with France.

    The more populous south and the capital remain strongholds of anti-independence sentiment, while the regions where the majority of the population is Kanak showed massive support for autonomy: the North Province (75.8% Yes) and the Loyalty Islands Province (82.1%).

    On the other hand, the Southern Province, mainly no kanak the electorate, voted strongly 73.71 percent to stay with France, with just 26.29 percent of voters in the south opting for independence.

    For many months, a slow wave of popular campaigning led by the FLNKS and other separatist groups led to a mobilization on ‘D-Day’. With non-compulsory voting, thousands of Kanaks turned out, many of whom had never voted before.

    The final victory is not very comforting for the anti-independence right. Successive opinion polls had suggested that the yes would be between 27 and 35 percent. Conservative politicians had publicly threatened that a massive yes vote would pave the way for a rollback of many of the achievements made by the Kanak people since Noumea Agreement, including restrictions on the voters list for local political institutions, funding of rural provinces and land reform. The right-wing hoped that the victory would allow Paris to push for the removal of New Caledonia from the United Nations list of non-self-governing territories.

    But the result of the referendum is only one step in a longer process. The Noumea Accord provides for a second referendum in 2020 in the event of a non-vote, which can be called by a third of the members of Congress. The separatist parties currently holding 25 seats out of the 54 members of Congress, they have the figures to proceed to another referendum after the provincial elections next May.

    The day after the vote, most realized that the Kanak independence movement has a new wind in its sails. The quest for independence lives in the hearts of a new generation.

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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

    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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    Independence activist

    China opens memorial to Korean independence activist – the Diplomat

    asian life

    The memorial sparked strong protests from the Japanese government.

    A memorial hall commemorating anti-Japanese activist Ahn Jung-geun has been opened in Harbin, China, drawing praise from South Korea but criticism from Japan.

    Ahn is known to have assassinated Hirobumi Ito, the first prime minister of Japan. The hall, the first in China to honor the South Korean national hero, was built inside the VIP facilities at Harbin Station, the site where the assassination took place.

    “People have treasured Ahn’s memory for a century. Today, we are erecting a memorial to him and calling on peace-loving people around the world to unite, resist invasions and oppose war, ”said Sun Yao, vice governor of Heilongjiang, said. Xinhua.

    The South Korean Foreign Ministry praised the museum, saying it would “pave the way for genuine peace and cooperation based on correct historical knowledge.”

    The memorial has been criticized by the government of Japan, where Hirobumi Ito is considered one of the founding fathers of the country. Chief Cabinet Secretary and government spokesman Yoshihide Suga called the opening “regrettable” at a regular press conference.

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    “The Japanese opinion of Ahn Jung-geun is that he is a terrorist who has been sentenced to death for the murder of Ito Hirobumi, our first prime minister,” he said.

    Saenuri Party Secretary-General Hong Moon-jong hit back at Suga at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, saying, “If Ahn Jung-guen was a terrorist, then Japan was a terrorist state for ruthlessly invading and looting. the countries that surrounded it.

    Ahn Jung-geun is considered a national hero in South Korea for resisting Japanese influence on the peninsula in the 19th century. School children across the country learn about it in textbooks or through memorials.

    Last June, South Korean President Park Geun-hye proposed the monument during a Korea-China summit in Beijing, which led to reports in Japanese media that South Korea and China were collaborating against the Shinzo Abe administration in Tokyo.

    Japan’s relations with South Korea and China have deteriorated since the Abe administration took office in late 2012. The Japanese prime minister’s recent visit to the controversial Yasukuni shrine has sparked protests from its neighbors and even a statement from the US Embassy which said he was “disappointed.”

    The Ahn Jung-geun Museum is not the first memorial to be criticized by members of the Japanese government. Last week, a group of Japanese politicians traveled to Glendale, Calif., To protest a statue honoring Comfort Women across Asia. The delegation held up a sign reading: “Children need heart warming monuments”.

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    Home rule

    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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    Independence activist

    Independence activist returns home to Western Sahara

    Aminatou Haidar had been on a hunger strike for 32 days, but was eventually sent home after Morocco admitted her to Western Sahara.


    • Aminatou Haidar finally returns home after 32 days of hunger strike in Spain
    • Morocco allowed her to return home to Western Sahara
    • Haidar was hospitalized the day before after complaining of abdominal pain
    • Haidar still refuses to recognize Morocco’s claim to Western Sahara

    Madrid, Spain (CNN) – An award-winning independence activist returned home to Western Sahara early Friday from Spain.

    She ended a 32-day hunger strike when Morocco admitted her to disputed territory following multinational negotiations over her case.

    A Spanish government plane carrying activist Aminatou Haidar, 43, left Lanzarote airport in the Canary Islands at around 10:30 p.m. local time on Thursday for El Aaiun airport in Western Sahara. CNN’s partner channel CNN + reported.

    On his arrival, the Moroccan authorities returned his passport to him. They had taken the passport last month when they refused entry to her at the same airport when she refused to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, Lamine Baali of the separatist Polisario Front told CNN.

    “This is a victory for international law and human rights and for the cause of Western Sahara,” Haidar said in Lanzarote before boarding the plane.

    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement, saying: “I was delighted to learn of the Moroccan government’s decision to readmit Aminatou Haidar on humanitarian grounds after her month-long hunger strike in Spain.

    “This humanitarian gesture reflects the true spirit and generosity of the Moroccan government and people, and underlines the urgency of finding a permanent solution to the conflict in Western Sahara,” Clinton added.

    Spain’s Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, who met Clinton in Washington last Monday, said in Brussels on Friday that Spain had “made no concessions”.

    “We have had broad negotiations with the Moroccan authorities. And we have worked in a coordinated manner with the United States and France” to find a solution, said Moratinos.

    It is a victory for international law and human rights and for the cause of Western Sahara
    –Aminatou Haidar

    On Thursday evening, Haidar left a hospital in Lanzarote, where she had visited a few hours earlier complaining of abdominal pain, and returned to the airport, where she had conducted most of her hunger strike from 32 days. She then took the plane to her home.

    The plane took off moments after the Spanish prime minister’s office issued a statement claiming that Spain “shares the concern of the international community” over the status of the disputed territory of Western Sahara, but that pending a agreement negotiated by the United Nations, Spain “confirms that Morocco’s law applies to the territory of Western Sahara.

    Haidar had demanded that she be able to return to Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, without having to recognize Moroccan sovereignty over it.

    Baali said Morocco this time did not ask Haidar to fill out a disembarkation card upon arrival, which was a flashpoint last month, when she wrote on a disembarkation card that her nationality was Sahrawi and not Moroccan, Baali said.

    Haidar arrived at the airport on the island of Lanzarote – just off the west coast of Morocco – on November 14, shortly after the Moroccan woman refused entry at El Aaiun airport.

    She began her hunger strike on November 16, but it ended shortly after she returned home on Friday in the Hay Hazari neighborhood of El Aaiun, about a 30-minute drive from the airport. Baali said, as supporters allegedly cheered her on.

    Haidar was initially taking fluids to regain strength, Baali said, and was with her two children and other family members.

    Earlier Thursday, the European Parliament abruptly stopped before voting on the Haidar affair when German lawmaker Martin Schulz told parliament it appeared “there would be a solution today”.

    “We can help Mrs Haidar more by remaining silent rather than passing a resolution,” Schulz said, according to the parliament’s press office.

    During her hunger strike, Madrid offered her Spanish nationality or political asylum, but she refused.

    In an emailed statement to reporters, Haidar thanked Spain but said: “I have no intention of applying for Spanish, American or Italian citizenship. I live under Moroccan occupation and I defend, like the rest of the Saharawi people, for ourselves. -determination. “

    Spain officially withdrew as a decades-long colonial power in Western Sahara in early 1976, shortly after the Moroccan king led a “green march” with 350,000 Moroccan civilians in the territory to claim it. .

    A guerrilla war with the Polisario Front – a group made up mainly of Sahrawis, which promotes the independence of Western Sahara – ensued and was finally halted, after more than a decade, in 1991, thanks to a ceasefire. fire brokered by the United Nations, according to the CIA World Factbook.

    A referendum organized by the UN on the final status of the territory has been postponed several times. Morocco presented an autonomy plan to the United Nations, but the Polisario responded with an independence plan for the 405,000 inhabitants of the territory, Muslims of Arab or Berber origin.

    The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights in Washington, DC, awarded Haidar a Human Rights Fellow last year.

    Haidar was recently in New York City to receive another award, the Train Foundation Civil Courage Award for 2009, just before flying to Western Sahara and being denied entry in November, a spokesperson for the foundation, Barbara Becker.

    A senior Moroccan government official, Khalihenna Ould Errachid, told CNN + earlier in December in an interview that Haidar “has always been Moroccan”.

    “She was never part of the former Spanish Sahara”, added the Moroccan official, “and I say that Aminatou Haidar must regain her Moroccan nationality and say it clearly, and tomorrow she will be able to return, without problem” .

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