Tag Archives: Labour

Turkey’s EU accession bid

Turkey EU flagTurkish newspaper, Hurriyet’s ‘Daily News’, has an article on Turkey’s European Union (EU) accession bid featuring comments from former British foreign secretary Jack Straw (labour) and Turkey’s Under-secretary of the Ministry of EU Affairs Haluk Ilıcak.

The article title is a bit misleading, as is to be expected from today’s ‘journalism’. The article implies that Turkey isn’t that interested in the EU accession bid but just wants to raise Turkey to the same level of European standards but Haluk Ilıcak says “Our aim is to achieve a smooth accession process” (to the EU).

‘Once Turkey succeeds in completing the chapters and improving itself to reach European standards, the actual accession is not that important, and could be debated’

When Turkey completes the chapters and reaches European standards?? Sounds like someone is living in a fantasy land…
Turkey, at its current rate of ‘progress’ will NEVER reach European standards, if you are going backwards you cannot reach something ahead of you!

‘Ilıcak said some of the chapters were politically blocked, but Turkish authorities were doing their bests to tackle as many chapters as possible, seeing them as steps of necessary improvement.’

Political/general blocks…

1) Cyprus, the Turkish military invaded the island and continues to hold half of the country, unrecognised internationally.
2) Adherence to democratic values.
3) Human-rights/women’s-rights record
4) Failure to recognise the Armenian genocide
5) Media censorship, especially ‘Article 301’
6) Territorial border dispute with Greece (Turkey’s inability to secure its borders.

‘Ilıcak added that accession attempts had allowed “democratic reforms to be put into place.”’

Really? Such as? Reforming policy away from democracy doesn’t count as democratic reform!

State Secretary of the Swedish Foreign Ministry, Frank Belfarge, one of the remaining guests on Ilıcak’s panel, also spoke on Turkey’s accession, saying a ‘new momentum’ was expected this year.

“A new momentum in the EU-Turkey relations could be achieved this year,” Belfarge said.

Indeed there could be provided that the protesters and demonstrators around Turkey are successful in their attempts to change Turkey into a democratic, secular state, which it isn’t currently.

Meanwhile, former British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jack Straw said that Turkey had so far had a “torturous” accession process with the European Union.

The countries of the union needed to admit that they have discriminated against Turkey when compared to the remaining accession processes, which have progressed far faster than with Turkey, Straw added, where the union gave “some countries the benefit of the doubt.”

Good use of the word ‘torturous’ Jack! Would that be torture carried out by the Turkish authorities against the Kurds/refugees/protesters etc?

Discriminated against? Oh Jackie boy, you are a twat. Turkey hasn’t been discriminated against, Turkey’s EU bid has been so slow because they discriminate, against non-religious people, because they fail continually to meet EU standards and the country isn’t secular nor a democracy!

Turkey’s attempts at improving itself and catching up with chapters were impressive, Straw added

Yes, it’s very impressive how Turkey continues to go backwards while the rest of the secular world goes forward.

Europe stands for everything that Turkey doesn’t.


Disunited Kingdom; Independence

The build up to the Scottish referendum on independence is gathering pace and although devolution has been bandied about for some time the definite referendum in Scotland has hammered home the reality, the union could be over.

According to RPS group Wales could have up to 12.8 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas which if recovered would have a significant impact on the Welsh economy.

The Guardian newspaper today ran an article on Welsh independence which could follow Scotland’s especially if the Scots vote yes in 2014.

Welsh independence has up to now never really had much enthusiasm (which was generally true of Scotland as well) however with the Labour party losing the general election in 2010 making way for a conservative/liberal democrat coalition things have changed.

Constant attacks on the vulnerable in society, the elderly, the disabled and those on low incomes by the coalition has led to a sense that the people of Scotland and Wales (who didn’t vote for either the liberal democrats or the conservatives) have a very different future in mind from that of the English electorate.

An opinion poll for the first time suggests that a majority (51%) back Scottish independence, it seems the more David Cameron tries to tell Scotland when they must have their referendum and how it must be worded the less the Scots want to do with a conservative England.

Once one goes the rest will follow… It’s possible but it doesn’t always happen and at the moment Wales needs England financially but if the gas reserved are explored then that will no longer be the case. Then there is the reality that the issue of independence is not only economically driven, national and cultural identities and the right to self-determination are key factors.

There are advantages and disadvantages to the potential break up of the union but there is a chance that a new union could be formed. A union of like minded nations heading in the same direction on a foundation of similar principals and ethics.

This could theoretically involve Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, a union of Celtic nations leaving England to continue on its own desired path of privatisation and centre-right politics and economics.

Further down the line could see Cornwall, the last bastion of Celtic culture break away from England and join this union of Celtic nations. The political party Mebyon Kernow which stands and campaigns only in Cornwall has been running since the early 50’s, has councillors and is pressing for independence.

Class War?

Last week the old class antagonisms resurfaced when the UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown suggested that the policies of conservative leader David Cameron were dreamed up on the playing fields of Eton. Mr Cameron later responded with “If they want to fight a class war, fine, go for it. It doesn’t work”.

Though the Labour party of Gordon Brown (and his predecessor Tony Blair) is far removed from its socialist origins the question of the relevance of class is still valid.

Surprisingly (to myself) the general consensus of a BBC News “Have Your Say” debate sides with “call me Dave” Cameron. Peoples train of thought tends to lean towards that it’s better to have more highly educated people in positions of power or that as long as they are competent at their job then their background is of no importance. A small minority stated that those who have only lived a privileged life will be unable to relate to real world problems that the majority of people have to go through thus if elected would put the interests of the working class at the bottom of the pile. This can be backed up by Dave’s inheritance tax plans that would favour only the top 2% of the UK as well as lowering corporation tax to 20 per cent. To cover this deficit income must be generated from somewhere and like the bank bailout no doubt it will be the working class picking up the tab.

The chances are that after the next election the UK citizens will have a chance to see first hand Tory policies in practice but this should in no way be an indication of a class effect on politics, after all neither Labour or Conservatives have the working class as their priority, maybe it’s time for a truly working class political party to come to the fore.