Tag Archives: Scotland

The Scottish Labor Party’s failure to enter a clear center-left with a pro-union identity helps explain its decline | Instant News

Kieran Wright shows how Scottish Workers adopted a less left-leaning justification for their stand on constitutional issues in the years after the party lost power to the Scottish National Party. As a result, the party failed to present itself as a clear center-left alternative to the SNP and downplayed the progressive case for Scotland’s remaining UK.

The results of the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections will determine whether Britain remains united for longer. If the Scottish National Party continues its success in the recent elections, the demand for a second referendum on Scottish independence is likely to increase. The recent success of the SNP is due in large part to the fact that the SNP has been more successful than the Scottish Worker in arguing that the preferred answer to the constitutional question is the best route Scotland uses to pursue a social democratic policy. Consequently, challenging this argument is essential if Labor is to reclaim a significant segment of the support that has been lost to the SNP in recent decades.

In my research, I use the language used by elected representatives in the First Ministerial Question (FMQs) session in the Scottish Parliament as an indicator of the strategic approach Labor and the SNP are pursuing, starting with the first session in 2000 and ending with the last. session before Holyrood 2016. Until 2007, the Labor Party’s strategy was to frame its stance on constitutional issues with reference to the party’s progressive identity. He argued that remaining in England was the best route to Scotland which benefited from a progressive center-left policy, and characterized independence as a distraction from the pursuit of progressive goals such as overcoming poverty. Losing power to the SNP in May 2007 appears to have prompted the Labor Party to change this strategy and increase the extent to which it questions economic viability and the desire for independence rather than the progressive credentials of those who support it.

The strategic approach adopted by Workforce can be obtained by counting the number of times certain key words appear in the written record of contributions to FMQs sessions by Labor representatives. An important part of Labor’s pre-2007 strategy to question the progressive credentials of the SNP refers to the latter being labeled ‘nationalist’ the party seems aloof. It makes a simple count of the number of times the party MSP has used the term as one way of tracking the extent to which Labor has adopted the strategy. Likewise, a search for the use of the term ‘poverty’ provides an indication of the extent to which party representatives use profanity from a center-left stance, as it is a word used disproportionately by those on the left of the political spectrum. . Meanwhile, the use of the word ‘currency’ provides an indicator of the extent to which Labor has adopted a strategy of questioning the economic viability of Scotland’s independence, the issue of which currency the newly independent Scotland will adopt is an important aspect of economic criticism of independence.

The results presented in Figure 1 clearly show the MSP of Labor using the terms ‘poverty’ and ‘nationalist’ up to and including 2007, followed by a dramatic decline after the party went into opposition. In 2011, the use of the term ‘poverty’ began to increase again, but there was no accompanying increase in the use of the term ‘nationalist’. The Labor Party does not appear to have returned to its pre-2007 strategy of trying to associate the SNP with non-progressive ideology. In contrast, the use of the term currency is increasing, indicating that the party is increasingly using strategy to criticize the SNP’s stance on economic grounds.

Picture 1: Total use of the terms ‘nationalist’, ‘currency’ and ‘poverty’ by Labor representatives during their First Ministerial Inquiry Session in Scottish Parliament 2000-2016

I argue that the increased focus on the economic case against independence has undermined Worker’s ability to present itself as a distinctly center-left party relative to the SNP. Center-left politicians tend to speak positively about their ability to deliver improvements to public services. In contrast, the center-right emphasizes financial constraints where the goal of better public services must be pursued. In focusing on the economic constraints on which independent Scotland would be forced to operate, the Scottish Workforce uses a language much redder than center-right.

The negativity of the arguments raised by the Labor Party can also be seen as undermining any attempts by the party to present itself to be at least as pro-Scotland as the SNP. In focusing on the things Scotland do not as an independent country and not to what it could have as a part of Britain, the Labor Party allowed the SNP case that independence was a more positive, pro-Scottish and progressive answer to the constitutional question to be relatively unchallenged.

There is evidence to suggest that the type of Labor Party and SNP imagery projected during the study period had an impact on public perceptions of each party’s policy identity. Poll data from the British Election Study pointing out that during the year the independence referendum took place, when Labor’s association with criticism of the idea of ​​economic independence would be so prominent, Scottish public opinion shifted from seeing Labor as the left-wing party of the main Scottish party to seeing the SNP occupy that position.

The example of splitting the former Czechoslovakia into its parts shows the potential effect of a large number of voters believing that they can only have the economic policies they want through territorial separation. In that example, Slovak voters who were hostile to free market reforms introduced after the collapse of communism felt that they could only block those reforms by breaking away from Czechoslovakia, and this happened despite their little pre-existing desire for Slovak independence. The fate of Czechoslovakia shows that a multi-national state like Britain can only survive if there is a maximum potential for all kinds of political contestation to occur within an existing constitutional framework. In the Scottish context, this means that the SNP’s strategy of characterizing social democratic goals as most attainable through an independent Scotland is not to be denied. The role of the Scottish Workers must provide that challenge. It must be argued for a positive and progressive case for the union.


Note: above refers to the author published works in Parliamentary Affairs.

About the Author

Kieran Wright is a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent.

Featured image credit: christopherhu on Flickr under a CC BY 2.0 license.

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Local travel plans are brewing for students in 2022 | Etc | Instant News

I suspect that as long as there are opportunities to explore our world, there will be people willing to go to unfamiliar places to sample the culture of other countries. Swing (on a swing) high in the Andes? Walking on the ocean floor off Belize? Hiking the Great Wall of China? Looking for Nessie on Loch Ness? Yes, please. Self-proclaimed “Travelmama” Kathryn Southwick-Hess, who has led six EF Student Travel educational trips over the past 12 years to a dozen countries with 175 students. Diane Chamberlain has joined her in bringing a comprehensive education to students who have gone on to study and work abroad, she said. The mix also includes parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, adult siblings, cousins, fellow teachers and expert teacher parents. in biology, chemistry and history. “We celebrated eighth and high school graduates on tour, as well as birthdays and even a wedding anniversary for parents who brought their entire family of three children,” recalls Southwick-Hess. , the EF Stories of Scotland tour, which was first postponed from 2020 to 2021, will now be moved to 2022 due to welfare concerns linked to the coronavirus pandemic. briefings and there is room to add travel family members, she said. Southwick-Hess has been planning the trip since 2018 and that included over her husband’s two serious illnesses. last adventure with the students. It is fitting that we visit my favorite country on earth, my “Spirit Country” of Scotland. I love middle and high school students, but COVID has led me to believe that I need to devote more time to my work in the area of ​​women’s health and public health education, ”he said. she declared. , April 20, via Zoom. Families and middle and high school teachers are encouraged to join the meeting: “We will turn Scotland into our world class! It will be an exciting tour of storytelling, bagpipes, Braveheart and Harry Potter – even a little bit of Outlander, ”she said. The group will tour the University of Glasgow, guided by a former EF traveler who is a graduate student there. The group will attempt to spot Nessie on a cruise on the famous Loch Ness and travel the Royal Mile, a succession of streets that form the main thoroughfare of Edinburgh’s Old Town in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. enrollment period and how they manage student safety. EF extended an early bird discount of $ 200 On an EF trip to Belize on the Caribbean coast in Central America, Southwick-Hess said, they came down about 30 feet to walk the ocean floor by Ambergris Caye, an island off the coast of Belize City. “We took a boat trip to the Blue Hole area for snorkeling one morning. The children were fascinated to learn about Jacques Cousteau’s work in ocean environmentalism. Another afternoon was a boat trip closer to the Caye for SeaTrek and Snuba, ”a cross between snorkeling and scuba diving. .

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Britain’s Biggest Brexit Test Possible Ability to Endure | Instant News

Photographer: Emily Macinnes / Bloomberg

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson likes big projects, but few are as attractive as a proposal for a physical connection in the Irish Sea between Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Whether a multi-billion pound pipeline dream or a sign of ambition befitting the post-Brexit era, a feasibility study is being carried out as part of the government. review on how to better tie the UK and its four constituent nations together. A more pressing concern may be whether one day the relationship can link two independent nations that are no longer part of Great Britain

As Britain marks 100 days since leaving the European Union, disputes have broken out with the continent over issues from customs checks to vaccination shots and financial services.

Domestic tensions raise the specter of a more existential conflict, however, a conflict that will determine whether Johnson’s aim to invade the world under the banner of a revived “Global Britain” is necessary. lowered to the simpler “Global England”.

Scotland will hold an election on May 6 to its parliament in Edinburgh which is voting to determine whether the country has the right to – or needs to – another vote on its constitutional future. Poll recommend The pro-independence Scottish National Party was able to grab a majority, a high standard given the proportional electoral system, and press its demands for a second referendum to secede from Britain.


Nicola Sturgeon launches the SNP election campaign in Glasgow on March 31.

Photographer: Andy Buchannan / AFP / Getty Images

In Northern Ireland, grievances are being treated over its separate treatment from mainland Britain in the Brexit deal concluded between London and Brussels, and the province’s divided past. resurfacing result of. More than 70 police officers were injured in a week of unrest by pro-British loyalists who threw petrol bombs. The polls show a remarkable shift in sentiment for a region so long dominated by its Unionist community, with the majority now saying they want a vote for reunification with the Republic of Ireland in five years.

Even in Wales, which unlike Scotland or Northern Ireland voted with Britain to support Brexit, support for independence has risen during the coronavirus pandemic. Wales is holding elections for its regional assembly on May 6 as well, and it is possible that the ruling Labor Party could share power with the nationalist Plaid Cymru party. The boxes have promise to hold a vote on Welsh independence in five years.

The breakdown of the three-century union has been the subject of speculation for decades, long before Brexit became part of everyday language. On their own, developments in each of the three countries did not necessarily mean revolutionary change, but spoke of shifting cultural identities and varying degrees of political discontent with the center of power in London.

Taken together, it’s hard to ignore the growing feeling that things will inevitably come to a head, whether to reduce unity or strengthen it, and that Brexit has lent those powers to a larger agency.

Boris Johnson Attends Voting Leave General Meeting In London

Boris Johnson speaks at the Vote Leave rally in London in June 2016. His campaign is designed as an attempt to reclaim British sovereignty.

Photographer: Carl Court / Getty Images

“But for Brexit, the unions will be relatively safe, but I’m not really sure right now,” he said Matt Qvortrup, a political science professor at Coventry University who has served as special adviser on British constitutional affairs. Change “will not be the day after tomorrow, but give 10 years.”

The challenge for Johnson, who was the driving force behind the successful campaign to get rid of the EU in what has been called an attempt to reclaim British sovereignty, is how to burn political wounds at home. The dilemma is sharpened by the fact that its Conservatives rule at Westminster, but not in Belfast, Edinburgh or Cardiff, where separate parties are in control, reflecting the different regional preferences of voters under a process known as devolution.

Read More: 100 Days of Brexit: Is It As Bad as ‘Project Fear’ Warns?

The most powerful of these delegated governments is in Scotland, where it administers most of the policy areas important to everyday life, from health and education to transportation and justice. Britain controls areas including foreign affairs, defense and macroeconomic policy.

Johnson has so far refused to give the government-run SNP the official clearance needed to make another referendum watertight, saying the 2014 vote was a once-in-a-generation event. Scotland chose 55% to 45% to remain in the UK, although at the time there was no inkling Britain would leave the EU.

John Prescott and Alistair Darling Join the Scottish Labor Battle Bus

“Yes” and “No” voters ahead of Scotland’s independence referendum in Glasgow, September 2014.

Photographer: Mark Runnacles / Getty Images

The focus now, Johnson said, was on rebuilding from a shared pandemic and that constitutional issues were an unwanted distraction. Conservative Leader Johnson in Scotland, Douglas Ross, said that “it’s a recovery or a referendum. We can’t do both. “He asked other opposition parties to cooperate in several electoral districts to stop the nationalists.

The election campaign was suspended the Friday thereafter Dead of the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip.

Another SNP landslide – the party has been in power since 2007 – will escalate the stalemate with London and, if Edinburgh raises demand, investors could be scared and the pound will take a hit. There are divisions within Johnson’s party over whether his government should continue to ignore Scotland’s calls for independence or try to buy time and offer enough money or more power in the hope that the problem will fade.

The risk is actually getting worse. And the longer this dispute drags on, the more likely it is to be resolved by demographers. Support for independence is highest among Scotland’s youth and voting age at 16.

The Scots never liked the Eton-educated Johnson, whose upper class was clumsy despite the down-to-earth fact problems of Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon.

The crux of Sturgeon’s argument for another independence vote is usually straightforward: Brexit has changed the game. Not a single district in Scotland chose to leave the EU in 2016, but it had to go along with the rest of Great Britain anyway. The years of contention leading up to Brexit on January 31, 2020, were only divisions hardening, with all delegated administrations claiming they were sidelined.


The Scottish National Monument on Calton Hill in Edinburgh on June 27, 2016, days after the Brexit referendum.

Photographer: Oli Scarf / AFP / Getty Images

Some of this anti-Brexit sentiment has been turned into support for the independence struggle. According to a strategy document groomed for the Conservatives and seen by Bloomberg in October, the worry is that there aren’t enough pro-Brexit voters to stand against them.

Emily Gray, who ran pollster Ipsos MORI in Scotland, said it was important for Brexit to be phased in increased support witnessed for independence. The result was “significant doubts in Scotland about the future of trade unions,” he said. “More than half of Scots hope England won’t be in its current form within five years.”

Johnson appears to have a strong argument for unionism in the form of successful vaccine launches in the UK to date. But Sturgeon, not Johnson, is the face of the pandemic war in Scotland, and the first minister said Johnson’s handling of Covid-19, which recorded Europe’s highest death toll, had highlighted the need for full autonomy.

The latest Ipsos MORI poll, taken between March 29 and April 4, projects the SNP will take 70 out of 129 seats in the Scottish Parliament. With the pro-independence Greens seeing a surge in support, the momentum for the referendum looks set to grow. Several other polls have indicated the SNP will fail, but none predicted a pro-union majority.

Against Brexit

There has been a gradual increase in support for Scottish independence since the 2016 EU referendum

Source: Ipsos MORI


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Prince Philip’s Death: Fifty years of royal visit to New Zealand | Instant News

He was born in Greece, attended schools in France, Germany and Scotland, trained in England and served in World War II naval theater in the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.

And, 10 times with his wife and less often alone, Prince Philip – who died Friday at age 99 – crossed many oceans to reach a collection of islands so distant from British monarchy a few kilometers further and he would find himself on his way back.

The first time, in the summer of 1953-1954, his wife Elizabeth was not only the newly crowned Queen, but also a mother of two.

Preparations, despite being offset by the Tangiwai tragedy – Prince Philip will lay wreaths at a mass funeral for victims of the Christmas Eve disaster – go far beyond digging up pregnant women.

Sheep tinged with Union Jack colors, sails erected to block tired buildings and armies of children in freshly sewn clothes were dispatched to parks, squares and train stations across the country.

The Queen and Prince Philip wave as the Royal chariot leaves Hastings in 1954.Photo / File
The Queen and Prince Philip wave as the Royal chariot leaves Hastings in 1954.Photo / File

Rotorua girl Miriama Searancke, 13, was among them, walking into Arawa Park with thousands of players and spectators in her new red boots with the Crown and the initials ER on the side.

“Everyone comes to perform for the Queen,” Searancke told the Daily Post in 2018.

“It was amazing.”

The 38-day tour takes the couple to 46 major cities and 110 events, with three-quarters of the country thought to have seen a royal surge.

Like all of the couple’s official tours over the past seven decades of marriage, Prince Philip is usually in the background.

When Pat Jamieson joined the crowd chanting “We want the Queen” outside the Revington Hotel in Greymouth, he was sure he actually took the couple to the balcony.
after – in a moment of silence – shouting “I want Duke”.

The 11-year-old had shared a moment with the empress earlier in the day after running half a mile beside their car during a street parade, she later told the NZHistory Government website.

“The Duke of Edinburgh looked across and said, ‘If you run any further, you’ll explode.'”

Masterton met the Royal couple in 1954. Image of Prince Philip at right.  Photos / Files
Masterton met the Royal couple in 1954. Image of Prince Philip at right. Photos / Files

He’s known for his long list of blunt – and often outrageous – comments.

One, drawn up in a 1954 letter to Australian politician Sir Harold Hartley and unearthed last year, paints a different picture of the Duke of Edinburgh’s thinking about New Zealand and its inhabitants than one can get from spontaneous waves or the laying of wreaths.

Māori are treated in New Zealand like “museum objects and pets”, he wrote, and the country is a “perfect welfare state” that is “excessively regulated with little room for initiative”.

However, he was impressed by the exhibits of the Māori culture museum, a special interest after reading The Coming of the Māori by Sir Peter Buck / Te Rangi Hīroa (Ngāti Mutunga).

And her people are “universally charming and overall most caring,” he wrote.

Shearer Godfrey Bowen demonstrated handheld technique for Queen and Prince Philip at Napier during the 1953/54 tour.  Photos / Files
Shearer Godfrey Bowen demonstrated handheld technique for Queen and Prince Philip at Napier during the 1953/54 tour. Photos / Files

He would return two years later – alone – to appear after the Melbourne Olympics.

A decade after their first hugely successful New Zealand tour, the royal couple sailed to the Bay of Islands on Royal Yacht Britannia on Waitangi Day 1963, visiting ports across the country, including Nelson, where the Duke – whose flagship Duke of Edinburgh rewards program helped thousands of children young people rule a precious life
skills – visit the Outward Bound School in Anakiwa.

The Queen and Duke, along with young Prince Charles and Princess Anne, returned seven years later for James Cook’s bicentennial, during which they debuted with the royal “walkabout”.

The royal couple will return to the Commonwealth Games in Christchurch four years later, three years after that to mark the Queen’s Silver Celebration – considered by some to be the closest to the joy of a quarter of a century earlier – and, in 1981, a brief visit following the Heads of the Commonwealth Government conference through the trench .

It may have been brief, but the 1981 tour left the country with captivating memories of Ginette McDonald’s Lyn of Laughter speaking directly to royals at the Royal Variety Performance.

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McDonald’s, characterized by a no-bra outfit, blue jumpsuit, and wide Kiwi accent, won over the Duke when he commented on the royals opening the memorial pool at Laughter.

“The Queen doesn’t laugh at anything,” McDonald later told New Zealand Women’s Weekly.

“Prince Philip who is engaged to me. We met them after that and he mumbled something in my ear. He said he liked the sound of the ‘piddling’ pool.”

The next most notable visit came in 1990, when New Zealand marked 150 years since the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Auckland hosted the Commonwealth Games, with the Queen, Duke and their son Prince Edward in attendance.

The Queen and Prince Philip meet members of the New Zealand Team at their headquarters in Auckland, from left, Ross Blackman, Tom Schnackenberg and Dean Barker.  Photos / Files
The Queen and Prince Philip meet members of the New Zealand Team at their headquarters in Auckland, from left, Ross Blackman, Tom Schnackenberg and Dean Barker. Photos / Files

The couple’s last visit to New Zealand was in 2002, with the only fault being related to the faulty Daimler, who suffered a flat battery.

Daimler, which is only used for visiting heads of state, has a flat battery.

As the royal couple waits on their now stationary plane bound for Australia, airport workers have the embarrassing task of pushing the incapacitated car off course.


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Football: Germany were stunned by North Macedonia in their rare World Cup qualifying home defeat | Instant News

(Reuters) – Germany suffered their first World Cup qualifying home defeat in 20 years when they were stunned 2-1 by unknown North Macedonia in Group J on Wednesday.

Football Soccer – European World Cup Qualification – Group J – Germany v North Macedonia – MSV-Arena, Duisburg, Germany – 31 March 2021 Eljif Elmas of North Macedonia celebrates scoring their second goal with team mates Pool via REUTERS / Thilo Schmuelgen

Armenia are the surprise group leaders after they scored twice in the last four minutes for a 3-2 win over Romania in Yerevan to make it three wins out of three.

The result means that coach Joachim Loew, who retired after the European Championship, will leave Germany in third place with six points, behind 65th-placed North Macedonia after they scored the winner in the 85th minute through Eljif Elmas.

Armenia’s victory was also impressive and the hosts, ranked 99 in the world, celebrated wildly in front of more than 4,000 spectators – an oddity in COVID-19 times.

They have beaten Liechtenstein and Iceland before facing a Romanian side seen as strong candidates to qualify for the play-offs behind group favorites Germany, who have not lost a World Cup qualifier at home since losing 5-1 to England in 2001.

Before the match started, the German players unfurled banners in support of human rights.

World champions France struggled to beat Bosnia 1-0 away to open a gap of four points at the top of Group D.

Antoine Griezmann scored his 35th goal for France with a header from Adrien Rabiot’s cross on the hour to give Les Bleus seven points from three games.

Italy, who failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, continued their perfect start when Stefano Sensi and Ciro Immobile’s goals in the third match saw them win 2-0 over Lithuania.

Italy are now unbeaten in 25 matches under Roberto Mancini, the second longest streak without defeat, level with Marcelo Lippi, among Italian coaches.

The Azzurri lead Switzerland, which have one game remaining, by three points in Group C.

England also maintained their perfect start in Group I although they had to wait to beat Poland, who are without the injured Robert Lewandowski, in a 2-1 home win.

Maguire found the net from a corner in the 85th minute to give England the three points as they were rewarded for their dominance.

They took the lead after 19 minutes when Harry Kane fired a shot from the penalty spot, but Jakub Moder equalized in the second half after a John Stones error.

Spain leads Group B with seven points from three games after claiming a 3-1 home win against Kosovo, which was scored in the 70th minute when goalkeeper Unai Simon lost the ball after coming out of his box and Big Halimi savagely pounced on and scored. from a distance.

Spain, however, were already 2-0 up after goals by Dani Olmo and Ferran Torres and they put the result up without a doubt when Gerard Moreno headed in the third.

In Group F, substitute Andreas Skov Olsen scored twice in a resounding second half as Denmark made three World Cup qualifying wins out of three by crushing Austria 4-0.

They lead Scotland, which beat the Faroe Islands 4-0, by four points.

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Edited by Clare Fallon


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