Category Archives: Equality

Immigrants get the job done: the Hamilton Report

EdinburghEye on Ko-FiThis was first posted on Facebook on 22nd March 2021, with support from my Ko-Fi network.

(James Hamilton is not an immigrant, but I regret to say I couldn’t resist the quote.)

The question for the independent investigator, QC James Hamilton, who was Director of Public Prosecutions for the Republic of Ireland (1999-2011) and in 2010, President of the International Association of Prosecutors, and who has been the independent advisor to the Scottish Government on the Ministerial Code since 2013 (first appointed by Alex Salmond, re-appointed by Nicola Sturgeon in 2015):

“When Nicola Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament she had first learned about the complaints against Alex Salmond on Monday 2nd April, when in fact she was told about them on Thursday 29th March, was she knowingly misleading Parliament?”

To knowingly mislead Parliament is a resigning offence in the Ministerial Code, though when you look at the current Cabinet Ministers and Prime Minister at Westminster, you wouldn’t think so.
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Filed under Coronavirus, Elections, Justice, Scottish Politics, Women

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

EdinburghEye on Ko-FiThis was first posted on Facebook on 16th March 2021, with support from my Ko-Fi network.

I listened to the Second Reading debate on the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill on Monday evening and tonight, and I noted that four points were consistently being made by the obedient Tory MPs:

  • Gypsy, Roma, and Irish Travellers are bad and dirty and we need legislation to take action against their habit of just parking on common ground and acting as if they had a right to be there, sometimes even when they own the land their vehicle is parked on, it’s got to be stopped.
  • Statues/memorials must be protected
  • Long sentences mean we’re doing more against crime
  • Law-abiding citizens have nothing to fear

The first element of this is the most shocking, of course: basic racism barely even masked. Please remember that any fascist government needs an internal enemy convenient for blame. Brexit will hit farmers and farming economies hard. The Bill grants the police powers to arrest, imprison, and confiscate the mobile home of someone who is, as determined by the police, parked in “illegal encampment” or engaged in anti-social behaviour, also as determined by the police. To be able to distract economically-devastated countryside communities with news that an internal enemy has been arrested, tried, fined, imprisoned, lost their home, may be very useful this year. Certainly the government thinks so, from the consistency of this message from Tory MPs standing up to declare, if anyone doubted, that they were going to vote for the bill.
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Filed under Human Rights, Justice, Police, Racism, Women

Census 2021: a legal, hateful, victory

EdinburghEye on Ko-FiThis was first posted on Facebook on 9th March 2021, with support from my Ko-Fi network.

Scotland decided to put off the Census til next year, because of coronavirus: the England & Wales Office of National Statistics decided to go ahead (as did the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency). ONS decided this year to encourage people to do the census online by preference – and to do a soft launch on 22nd February, to avoid (I would presume) the awkward situation of fifty-eight million people all trying to use the census website at the same time.

Census2021So, as you certainly know if you live in England or Wales or Northern ireland, and as you probably know if you live in Scotland, 21st March 2021 is Census Day except for Scotland.

Since about July 2019, the Christian Right have been complaining about news that the Census this year, at least in England and Wales, was going to include a question about “gender identity” and – not that this was new – have guidance that trans people should respond to the sex question according to their gender identity.
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Filed under Justice, LGBT Equality, Politics, Women

Alex Salmond: Blink

EdinburghEye on Ko-FiThis was first posted on Facebook on 27th February 2021, with support from my Ko-Fi network.

The Scottish Parliament has been in existence since 1999: Nicola Sturgeon is the present First Minister, and there are five previous First Ministers, four living, as Donald Dewar died within the first 12 months. The other four are Henry McLeish (now 72), Labour: Jim Wallace (now 66), LibDem – who was Acting First Minister on two separate occasions: Jack McConnell (now 60), Labour – and Alex Salmond (now 66), SNP. Jim Wallace and Jack McConnell accepted life peerages when they ceased to be MSPs: Henry McLeish did not, and after 2016 declared he’d support an independent Scotland if Westminster enacted Brexit against Scotland’s will.

Prior to 2010, if a First Minister – or any minister in the Scottish Government – had sexually pestered a subordinate, the Scottish Government had no policy of how to deal with this. In 2010, a policy was developed: we know that none of the women Salmond pestered made use of it – and no previous First Minister could have been affected by it.
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Filed under Police, Scottish Politics, Women

Who’s not happy Trump is gone?

EdinburghEye on Ko-FiThis was first posted on Facebook on 21st January 2021, with support from my Ko-Fi network.

In conversation with a friend on the phone the other night, I noted that even though 70 million Americans voted for Trump, this doesn’t mean he has 70 million supporters. (It’s still a dreadful number, but, even so.)

Donald Trump left the White House just after dawn yesterday for a big military send-off as he and Melanie boarded the plane for Florida (Palm Beach is likely to issue an eviction notice next month reminding the former President no one is allowed to live at his golf club – guests can stay there for a maximum of 21 days a year).

Thus the US tradition of the previous President attending the new President’s inauguration ceremony was broken. The only two Republican representatives of previous administrations to attend were Mike Pence and George W. Bush. (Barack & Michelle Obama, Bill & Hillary Clinton, and Jimmy Carter, all attended Trump’s tiny inauguration in 2016). This is the first time since 1869 a US President has refused to attend his successor’s inauguration: Andrew Johnson, who opposed giving civil rights to former slaves, stayed in the White House during Ulysses S. Grant’s inauguration ceremony (Grant was the Commanding General of the US Army 1864–1869).
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Filed under American, Human Rights, LGBT Equality, Racism, Religion, Women

The Path To The Dark Side

Things the following group of people have decided are A-OK and do not in any way merit criticism and are, in fact, “honourable and compassionate” behaviour:

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Filed under Education, Human Rights, J. K. Rowling, LGBT Equality

About the Julian Lewis fiasco: for the love of Boris Johnson

EdinburghEye on Ko-FiThis was first posted on Facebook on 19th July 2020, with support from my Ko-Fi network.

I’ve seen several people sharing an article by Nick Cohen on Boris Johnson. Nick Cohen is someone whose politics I pretty much entirely disagree with, except on Brexit.

Let me pull out this paragraph:

“Conservative politicians talk about Johnson with a venom few socialists can match. It’s not that he’s a criminal like Putin, they say. He doesn’t have the balls to be truly evil. Rather, he is a pathetically insecure narcissist who turns on you if you don’t feed his craving for applause. “He’s an abject, hectoring, incompetent show-off,” said one. “If you don’t love him or can’t fake a love for him, he will go for you.””

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Filed under Brexit, Disability, Poverty

Unnecessary Legislation: the Coronavirus Bill

EdinburghEye on Ko-FiThis was first posted on Facebook on 23rd March 2020, with support from my Ko-Fi network.

Look, imagine an afternoon when you settle down to listen to Parliamentary debate for eight hours (with breaks for tea and food and actually a glass of wine about 8pm because OMG) and it is interrupted by:

The Alex Salmond verdict (at least 8 out of the 13 jurors decided Not Guilty for most of the charges, Not Proven for the attempted rape charge, and a horde of sexist gits all over Scotland rose up to cheer, including, unfortunately, SNP MPs Angus MacNeil and Joanna Cherry).

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics have been postponed by the IOC to 2021.

Boris Johnson announced at 8:30pm that from tomorrow the UK is in lockdown.

And all the while, in the Commons, the Coronavirus Bill is passing at a gallop through the Second Reading debate, the Committee of the Full House debate, and he Third Reading vote. It’s now off to the House of Lords.
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Filed under Benefits, Brexit, Coronavirus, Employment, Poverty

Writing about coronavirus and presenteeism

The first reported case of coronavirus outside China was on 13th January. It was in Thailand, and the patient had come to Thailand from Wuhan Province, in China.

Coronavirus is a virus that originated in an animal – almost certainly one sold live to be killed at home for food – that mutated so that it didn’t just transmit animal-to-human, it could also transmit human-to-human. Its proper name is 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease: coronavirus is a name for a type of virus to which this belongs.
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Filed under Coronavirus, Poverty, Sustainable Politics

Labour Leadership Election: Transphobia

EdinburghEye on Ko-FiThis was first posted on Facebook on nth month 2020, with support from my Ko-Fi network.
Emily Thornberry is off the ballot: Labour Party members and affiliated supporters will be voting for Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy, or Keir Starmer, to be the Leader of the Opposition from April.
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