Electoral Reform in the UK NOW!

By Ralph Underhillelectoral-reform1

10 Days left; GE2015

UK political parties 2015

UK political parties 2015

There are just 10 days left before the 2015 UK general election.

Now is it just me or has this campaign been rather dull? Sure the excitement in 2010 was from the LibDems and we all know how toxic that turned out to be.

Things could get interesting though. With no outright majority expected (as opinion polls suggest) a coalition is on the cards but with the LibDem support  collapsing and UKIP not making the huge gains some expected this leaves the Tories and Labour in a difficult situation, especially as Labour have ruled out any dealings with the SNP.

In 2010 and 2011 there were murmurs in the media and political circles that the coalition wouldn’t last its term forcing an early reelection, which of course didn’t materialise.

Could it be different this time? Could failure by any party to form a coalition start the mechanism for a second election? And if so, how would that effect the electorate?

Progressive alliance, yes it was bound to be spoken about, the progressive alliance that Nicola Sturgeon talked about on the live TV debates. Could a second election see both the Tories and Labour face a kicking to the benefit of the smaller parties allowing for a centre-left progressive alliance?

Only time will tell but the election itself may only be the beginning, rather than the end.

European Jedi Order (EJO)

EJO SymbolThe European Jedi Order (EJO) is for all those who who want to make the world a better place by finding a balance between out spiritual and physical sides.

Mission Statement

The European Jedi Order (EJO) strives to bring together members of the Jedi Community in Europe operating as both an umbrella organisation to the many Jedi orders within its territory and as an order in its own right. We will also work with our international partners under a unified banner to ensure across the board standards. We will search for members in the Jedi community across Europe and aid them in the development of spiritual training. We will organise gatherings and events as well as train other Jedi and expand the community.

The EJO aims to create a home, both physical and spiritual for all Jedi in Europe and provide spiritual, mental and physical training to all Jedi and prospective Jedi.

Social Mission

To bring peace and balance to ourselves and others.

How to get in touch with the EJO

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Forum

English for the Turkish speaking community and all!

Firat Debrecen English screenshot

Free English, updated daily.

Great for teachers and students.

Teaching lesson plans suitable for a wide range of abilities are freely available for download.

Student lessons have some translations available.

Also Fırat is now here in English!!

Just check out Free English at Debrecen English

Learn English for free!

Hello,Reds English

A new site is providing free English lessons for both teachers and students.

A work in progress obviously but with some potential for those in the ESL/EFL world.

Go to Red’s English then click ‘Free English’.

The site is updated daily so don’t forget to go back and check for the latest offerings.

It’s not specifically for Turkish learners but there are some Turkish translations available. Lessons could be adapted for a range of nationalities, learner abilities and classroom sizes.

Plus it could make a nice additional resource when looking for lesson ideas.

Debrecen, Hungary – In Pictures

Ceylon tea at Carpe Diem Tea House on Batthyány Street

Ceylon tea at Carpe Diem Tea House on Batthyány Street

Snow falls in all its beauty

Snow falls in all its beauty

Christmas market in the city centre

Christmas market in the city centre

Christmas market in the city centre

Christmas market in the city centre

A tram passes through the Christmas market all lit up

A tram passes through the Christmas market all lit up

German style burger and hot-dog at the Christmas market

German style burger and hot-dog at the Christmas market

The Northern Great Plain, part of the Great Hungarian Plain

The Northern Great Plain, part of the Great Hungarian Plain

Nagypiac (Big Market) hosting many fresh fruit and veg stalls as well as butchers and fishmongers

Nagypiac (Big Market) hosting many fresh fruit and veg stalls as well as butchers and fishmongers

Left: Road, Middle: Cycle path, Right: Footpath

Left: Road, Middle: Cycle path, Right: Footpath

Békás-tó (Frog Lake)

Békás-tó (Frog Lake)

Nagytemplom (Great Church) The Great Calvinist Church of Debrecen

Nagytemplom (Great Church) The Great Calvinist Church of Debrecen

Nagyerdő (Big Forest)

Nagyerdő (Big Forest)

University of Debrecen (UNIDEB) main building

University of Debrecen (UNIDEB) main building

2013 Flower Festival - Held in August, annually

2013 Flower Festival – Held in August, annually

“There is not much confidence and credibility left for Turkey”

Turkish FlagTurkish President Abdullah Gul approves controversial Internet censorship law as an EU delegation to Ankara states that “There is not much confidence and credibility left for Turkey”.

Hurriyet has a piece today on the EU getting fed up with Turkey and Turkey’s attitude towards European values of freedom, freedom from censorship, freedom of information etc.

Amongst other things an EU delegation to Ankara has said (in regards to opening new chapters for Turkey’s EU accession bid)…
“That could happen in a normal-functioning negotiation process, but after witnessing the Turkish government’s move with regard to the HSYK Law, there is not much appetite left for such gestures,” the diplomat said. “There is not much confidence and credibility left for Turkey.”

The list of things that are happening and have happened in Turkey over just the last year are surely enough for any genuine appetite for Turkey to join the EU to be over.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul has now approved the controversial Internet laws that allow sites to be blocked immediately without the need for a court order that was earlier passed in parliament following a fight by MPs.

Other major factors are the new judiciary rules, limiting their power and giving more power to the government, a serious attack on democracy in the country.

These moves by the AKP government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan come after members of his government and their family members where investigated for corruption in which 4.5 million dollars where found in shoe boxes at the house of former Halkbank general manager, Halkbank is state-run.
The government responded by sacking and relocating over 5,000 police officers and investigators in a great purge.

What now does the future hold for Turkey? Will it now as many Turkish secularists think, turn towards an Islamic Republic like Iran? An alliance with Russia? Upcoming elections could be interesting but no doubt they will actually lead to another AKP victory.