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Ghost Dog

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Canary Islands Archipelago
Home country: Spain
Member since: Wed Apr 19, 2006, 01:59 PM
Number of posts: 16,692

About Me

A Brit many years in Spain, Catalunya, Baleares, Canarias. Cooperative member. Geography. Ecology. Cartography. Software. Sound Recording. Music Production. Languages & Literature. History.

Journal Archives

Re: Environmentalism in European politics

... Why is the salience of the environment soaring? Historically, some academics have played down the effects of “real-world” events or citizens’ abilities to deduce which issues matter, instead emphasising strategic manipulation of the agenda by the media and politicians. While these certainly count, the salience of the environment, like that of most other issues, ultimately does reflect real events. Evidence of soaring temperatures is becoming the lived reality of citizens, making scientific findings on the resultant collapse of ecosystems increasingly difficult to ignore.

However, there is more to the current Green success than greater environmental concern. The geographical disparities can still be partially explained by the long-term emergence of “post-material values” in affluent western European societies in the 1970s. These saw individuals move beyond materialist, redistributive concerns to quality-of-life matters, including care for the environment.

Moreover, the breakdown of postwar western European party systems and the accompanying decline in class voting mean that we are increasingly inclined to vote according to psychological predispositions and less because of social group. Without these social anchors in place, mainstream parties have become more vulnerable to “anti-incumbency” voting and single-issue voting, primarily to new parties. Centre-right parties have had to deal with challenger, anti-immigration parties, while the centre-left has suffered at the hands of, first, anti-austerity parties and, increasingly, environmentalist parties...

... All of these challenger parties, including the Greens, have displayed a remarkably more professional appearance to voters, mirrored by far more effective internal machinery, all of which has been aided by the arrival of the internet and social media...


I thought this might be of interest here. Europe is increasingly governed by coalitions that negotiate policy.

"designed to placate a dictators ego" - ˇBingo!

In 2024 the dictator intends to either be running for and assured of a third term or to have simply decreed no further elections.

The Reconquest of (America's) Moon and the American Space Command will be part of the new Emperor's show, as will be, probably, the use of tactical nukes and compulsory citizens' digital ID by then.

I think he intends to go full-Mussolini.

The Brits are spinning narrative... Under orders?

... Lord Howell, a former Conservative cabinet minister and chairman of the Lords international relations committee, asked his government on Thursday whether it “was such a good idea to raid the Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar in the first place”. He said: “Obviously we want to stop oil getting to President Assad, although probably he can get all the oil he wants from Russia. Are we not supposed to be on the same side as the Iranians on the question of nuclear proliferation and control? Can we have a firm assurance that we did this not just at the say-so of the US?” Lady Goldie, for the government, insisted the request to intercept the ship came from the government of Gibraltar, but Foreign Office officials in the past have indicated the biggest factor in play was pressure from the US.

Speaking on the BBC, Nathalie Tocci, the special adviser to the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, put the UK decision in a wider political context. “The UK is feeling its own fragility and a fear of isolation as it tries to cut off its membership from the EU. There’s a line connecting the Iran story and the UK ambassador to the US.”

Either way, once Grace 1 had been seized, UK shipping in the Gulf was in Iranian crosshairs. By the weekend, the British government was privately advising British flagged vessels not to carry oil through the Gulf, leading to an abrupt about-turn of a BP tanker, British Heritage, heading to collect oil in Basra. By Tuesday night the British government was lifting the code alert to level 3, the highest possible, and on Wednesday the giant British Heritage was interrupted by Iranian ships.

Curiously, media briefing about British Heritage, and the intervention by HMS Montrose, which warded off the Iranian boats by aiming its guns at them, came originally from the US, and not the Ministry of Defence...


...Iran has rejected the claims. Foreign minister Javad Zarif called the British allegations “worthless” in remarks to the semi-official Fars news agency. “Apparently the British tanker has passed. What [the British] have said themselves and the claims that have been made are for creating tension and these claims have no value,” Zarif said...


Brexit is about disintegration of UK

... Polls show repeatedly how strongly Conservative members and voters prefer achieving Brexit over supporting Scotland and Northern Ireland. That upends the renewed support for the union expressed by Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt who compete to lead the party. Johnson especially alienates Scottish political activists of all hues based on his previous disregard for their interests and his evident English home counties appeal. Despite his pledges to union-proof policy for fair treatment, the deeper strain of English nationalism coming through the campaign and from future Conservative competition with Nigel Farage’s Brexit party is likely to win out.

Labour members and voters are more unionist in their solidarities. But the growing fragmentation of English politics between the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Brexit party will dampen that effect. So would any Labour search for Scottish National Party support after a general election, since the SNP would demand a second independence referendum and/or a differentiated deal allowing Scotland to remain closer to the EU.

By the same token, it would be difficult for Labour to resist supporting a second EU referendum. Were it to be held and reverse Brexit, how much would it resolve these deepening fissures in the UK’s constitutional order?

There is little sign of a will or capacity to conduct the root-and-branch reform many legal and political analysts say is needed to avoid break-up – by reforming, differentiating or federalising the UK in a more codified way. Calls for a UK-wide constitutional convention, citizens’ assembly or new foundational Act of union lack cross-party support and citizen interest, and are rejected by the dominant SNP in Scotland. The ignorance and indifference about Brexit’s consequences for the UK’s peripheries among politicians and officials in London reinforces pessimism among these analysts as to whether such reform is possible...


Proportional representation in Westminster elections would lead to much possibly healthy change...
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