Tag Archives: politics

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.

“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.

EU patience with Turkey running out

Turkish corrupt flagIt often seems like the European Unions patience with Turkey will go on forever, tolerating the blatant lack of democracy, human rights abuses, the illegal occupation of Cyprus and support of Islamic dictators.

So much to the delight of many both inside and outside of Turkey the EU has finally been more direct with its criticisms of Turkey and its leader Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan due to his interference in the current high-level corruption probe griping the country.

Ankara Dec 2013

Ankara Dec 2013

Istanbul Dec 2013

Istanbul Dec 2013

Istanbul Dec 2013

Istanbul Dec 2013

“The latest developments, including the sacking of police chiefs and the instructions to police to inform authorities on investigations, raise serious concerns as regards the independence, efficiency and impartiality of the investigations and the separation of powers,” said a spokesman for Stefan Füle, the European commissioner for enlargement.

More of this from Hurriyet click here.

The Telegraph furthers this by also saying about the ongoing protests and riots on the streets of Turkey’s main cities.

From the Telegraph:

Mr Erdogan has sacked around 1000 police officers who were helping to carry out a bribery inquiry that engulfed the upper echelons of his party last week.

Other officers have now been ordered to brief government officials on the progress of the corruption probe, which critics say will allow suspects to be tipped off in advance.

While the prime minister claims that the probe is part of a politically-motivated smear campaign, the inquiry has already led to a repeat of the anti-government rallies that took place earlier in the summer.

On Monday, the European Union warned Mr Erdogan that he was in direct breach of EU rules safeguarding the independence of the judiciary, which is also a key condition for Turkey’s EU membership bid.

Turkey; Things go from bad to worse

Turkish corrupt flagFollowing on from the corruption raids yesterday that saw prominent people and family of ministers arrested the obvious corruption continues as the police chiefs (5 of them) that oversaw the raids have been fired.

Yes that’s right, corruption in Turkey was exposed and those who exposed it lost their jobs in true farcical manner.

The arrest count has since gone up with the latest reports said to be up to 84 people.

In a continuation from that story 4.5 million dollars was found in shoe boxes in the home of the arrested Halkbank manager.

Istanbul’s historical region mayor Mustafa Demir has been accused of putting money people peoples safety in allowing construction projects to go ahead and turning a blind-eye to dodgy developers in exchange for cash.

These are truly chaotic times for Turkey, the AKP, PM Erdogan and its fake democracy.

The European Union (EU) should take note of these goings on and not allow the visa free movement of Turkish citizens within its territory which is expected to happen within 3 years.
Certainly with the huge democratic deficit in Turkey their EU entry application should be put on hold indefinitely.

Turkish civil servants and sons of government ministers arrested

Turkish corrupt flagOn the 12th I wrote about corruption in Turkey and how friends and family of the government get the pick of what’s available, that’s how the system works.

Well today’s news comes as no surprise to anyone who is familiar with Turkey, 37 people have been arrested, those people include sons of government ministers and civil servants.

The arrested:
The sons of the interior minister, the economy minister and the environment and city planning minister were detained as well as civil servants from the Environment Ministry and the Economy Ministry.
Halkbank General Manager, a Turkish construction tycoon and an Azerbaijani businessman were amongst the 37 arrested.

Bribery relating to public tenders:
The suspects are accused of accepting and facilitating bribes for some projects and getting construction permits for protected areas in exchange for money.
bribery relating to public tenders.

Dangerous, over-crowded dolmuş

Dangerous, over-crowded dolmuş

Unfortunately this exposure is just a small amount in the reality of Turkish corruption which is at the top and runs right down to the bottom, from Prime Minister Erdogan using state funds to fund his families lifestyle to the dolmuş mini-buses paying off local police because they are too crowded.

Further reading:

Corruption in Turkey runs deep

No to Turkey in the EUIt’s useful to have friends (or family) in high places and that’s exactly how Turkey’s political system works.

Friends, family and political allies strategically placed in industry to help AKP and its leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan stay in power.

From the once independent Sabah newspaper that was seized and then handed over to Erdogan’s son-in-law to a financial body solely consisting of Erdoğan’s appointees that seized one of the last conglomerates which owns independent newspapers and television.

In the latest attack on democracy and blatant corruption the main opposition political party is being blocked from advertising due to being “over-critical” of the government and of course who owns the advertising companies… friends of Erdogan!

“A majority of those companies are close to the ruling Justice and Development Party [AKP]. Some of them are even conducting public relations campaigns for the AKP. Now, I’m appealing to the Supreme Election Board [YSK]. It should do its duty … Who can explain this scandal?” CHP Deputy Chair Gürsel Tekin said at a press conference Dec. 12.
For more details on this, click here.