I apologise, well no I don't actually, to my usual reader as I am about to get all Political.
I can imagine reader that you have just planted your forehead firmly on your desk schoolgirl stylee as I suggest this, but.....
I have had an enforced 30 years away from open and public politicking and even more so from an open allegiance and membership of the SNP. I have lot of catching up to do and sooooooooooo much to say.
Stay with me!
There will be plenty musings to follow in the run up to the General Election and next year's Holyrood elections, but a wee tale to start us off.
I live in WAK (or Toyland if you prefer) and this has been a FibDem / Conservative and Unionist marginal for all the time I have known. Liebour and the SNP have never really had a shout, such that many (including myself) voted tactically to keep the least worst option out.
Recently in the Euros and Local elections the SNP have made patient and gradual progress into a challenging position, but I am now told it's a two horse race here in #GE2015. Literature delivered by the FibDems and Tories confirm this as so and that it is the FibDems that are the inferred and 'preferred' challenger for those voting tactically.
Two observations follow on from this:
I voted partly to keep a party out of this constituency/government last time and then the turncoats entered into an unholy alliance - you can call it a coalition if you wish. I also voted partly for the individual as he was an old classmate at Varsity and thus a decent enough chap you'd have thunk. My cautionary tale for tactical voters is - you don't always get what you vote for with second choices. Stay true, whatever your leanings are.
Secondly, and much more importantly, I was sat aside a gent some maybe 10 years older than me in the local barbers this morn, when I overheard his conversation with the not overly stretched stylist regarding the forthcoming vote. He was regaling the lassie with what he appeared to suggest was an awakening to him (and may I suggest the nation) that "that Nicola Sturgeon came over really well and she seems to have some good policies." This was clearly a surprise to him and not the statement of a paid up member of the SNP, but the one next to him was fair chuffed, especially when the lassie agreed.
There is a sea change happening......
BTW - Trident renewal is an anachronistic and abhorrent aberration.
Feel free to spread the joy by joining the SNP today.
Published by Toy Town™ Times
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Yesterday (Monday 22nd April) was a significant and sad day for Burma. It provided a striking example of the growing disconnect between the reality on the ground in Burma, and the policies of the international community, including British government policy.
The day started with the BBC releasing a shocking video of the anti-Muslim attacks which took place in the Burmese town of Meiktila last month. Police stood by doing nothing as Muslims were beaten and burned, and shops and homes destroyed. You can view the video here.
Human Rights Watch then published a new report, ‘All You Can Do Is Pray’, which provided evidence of ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity against the ethnic Rohingya Muslim minority in Burma. The report included evidence of Burmese authorities involvement in crimes against humanity. You can read the report here.
Later the same day European Union Foreign Ministers met and decided to lift all sanctions against Burma except the arms embargo. This is despite multiple violations of international law still taking place, and the fact that the EU’s own benchmarks for improvements in human rights have not been met.
Our press release, which includes details on how those benchmarks have not been, met is here.
The Democratic Voice of Burma also published an article by the Director of Burma Campaign UK on how the EU is ignoring human rights, available here.
Perhaps just as bad as the lifting of sanctions was the statement from the EU, which is a significant misrepresentation of what is taking place in Burma, downplaying and ignoring problems, and talking up small positives. It’s a rose-tinted view of Burma which ignores the facts and the serious human rights abuses still taking place. You can read it here.
In an editorial, the Daily Telegraph said that it was ‘deeply embarrassing’ that British Foreign Secretary William Hague agreed to the lifting of sanctions. The Telegraph warned that the EU’s credibility is damaged by lifting sanctions despite human rights benchmarks not being met, and that the EU is now relying of the regime's goodwill to make further reforms. You can view the editorial here.
A key factor in the shameful approach by the EU is the fact that Foreign Secretary William Hague has abandoned the former policy of putting human rights first in making Burma policy. Without Britain’s strong voice for human rights within the EU, countries like Germany, which always wanted to prioritise trade, get their own way. Worse, the British government now seems to be trying to compete with Germany in downplaying human rights and promoting trade.
Sanctions are gone now, but the human rights abuses remain. Burma Campaign UK will campaign to persuade the British government to put human rights first in its Burma policy. We will be in touch with you soon with campaign actions. The people of Burma still need our support, now more than ever. We will keep campaigning for human rights for all the people of Burma.
Thank you for your support.
Burma Campaign UK
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DC at one of his private parties gave some helpful advice in return for a cool 250,000 beer tokens, "Please fill a jerry can with pasties and stamps. You don't want to take a chance on shortages." ... and look at the photo they got of him.
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