Oxford European Association http://www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org The Oxford European Association Fri, 02 Nov 2018 12:19:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 http://www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/cropped-Logo-Asociacion-1-1-32x32.jpg Oxford European Association http://www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org 32 32 Sign and support the Oxford European Charter http://www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org/sign-support-oxford-european-charter/ http://www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org/sign-support-oxford-european-charter/#respond Thu, 01 Nov 2018 20:19:02 +0000 http://www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org/?p=13030 Sign and share the Oxford European Charter Oxford European Charter 1) We, the undersigned, are determined that Oxford should remain an international, open, and welcoming European city. 2) We believe that, irrespective of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, rights of EU27 citizens who have made their homes here should be fully maintained and, that […]

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Sign and share the Oxford European Charter

Oxford European Charter

1) We, the undersigned, are determined that Oxford should remain an binary option trading in india international, open, and welcoming European city.
2) We believe that, irrespective of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, rights of EU27 citizens who have made their homes here should be fully maintained and, that their electoral participation rights should be extended, to make our democracy more inclusive.
3) We call on the Government, Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford City Council, and all employers, institutions and authorities in the Oxford area to do all they can to respect, protect, and fulfil the rights to which EU27 citizens are entitled, and to ensure they are not discriminated against in any way.
4) In particular, we call for EU27 citizens living in Oxford, Oxfordshire, and elsewhere in the UK to have rights to:
a) Live, work, study, and retire in the UK
b) Lifelong guarantee that they can leave the UK and return thereto
c) Retain their existing right to vote in all local government elections
d) Be suitably enfranchised in national elections and referendums
e) Be able to register for settled status without onerous proof or excessive cost
f) Naturalise, should they wish to do so, at the cost of administration
5) We recognise the hugely valuable contribution that migrants, from the rest of Europe and around the world, have made to our city, and are making to the culture, prosperity and success of Oxford and the surrounding area.
6) We the undersigned support the aims and objectives of this charter. We pledge to campaign to ensure they are met in Oxford, Oxfordshire, and elsewhere in the UK.

23rd October 2018

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Helen De Cruz: A reflection on xenophobia and being the other, following the Brexit referendum. http://www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org/helen-de-cruz-reflection-xenophobia-following-brexit-referendum/ Sun, 04 Mar 2018 19:00:21 +0000 http://www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org/?p=12973 This speech was delivered at Bonn Square, Oxford on 26th February 2018, at the public event marking the visit of the Brexit Facts Bus. Dr Helen de Cruz is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Brookes University and a member of the In Limbo collective. Betrayed, disappointed, angry, sad, worried, unwanted, anxious, disillusioned. When I asked […]

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This speech was delivered at Bonn Square, Oxford on 26th February 2018, at the public event marking the visit of the Brexit Facts Bus. Dr Helen de Cruz is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Brookes University and a member of the In Limbo collective.

Betrayed, disappointed, angry, sad, worried, unwanted, anxious, disillusioned.

When I asked EU citizens in the UK how they felt – about a year after the Referendum – these were the words most people came up with.

We’ve been left In Limbo for over 600 days, 600 days in which the government called us bargaining chips and negotiating cards. Even now, uncertainty remains who will be able to qualify for settled status, and a no deal scenario is still very much a possibility, our rights can still be all up in the air.

Especially the feeling of being unwelcome also remains. For EU citizens have not forgotten the damaging and polarizing campaign that preceded the Referendum, where they were constantly portrayed as the other, the one who is not like us and not entitled to the same things are we are. Living on benefits. Stealing jobs of UK citizens (yes, both at the same time). The rhetoric remains, with May even threatening a much-needed transitional deal because she didn’t want free movement to continue for just two years more.

Prior to 2016, many EU citizens did not feel like immigrants. Like many others, I considered myself to be a citizen exercising treaty rights. Moving from Amsterdam to Oxford was to me not materially different from moving from London to Oxford would have been. I had already lived in the UK before, and in the Netherlands; I am originally from Belgium. My family is very international – my father is Malaysian, and I have uncles, aunts and cousins living in Australia, Canada, and Brazil. I am one of those much-maligned citizens of the world.

Now we can think about the causes of xenophobia that drove many Leave voters. The people who feel left behind. The tabloids with their inaccurate, hate-inciting headlines. But there is far less attention to the question of what it feels like.

It is difficult to know what racism and xenophobia are like without having experienced it for yourself. Here, the #metoo campaign is an instructive analogy. In this campaign, women shared their stories of sexual harassment and rape with others and it was found that this was a shockingly common experience for women. Many men were incredulous that it would be so widespread, in part because they had not experienced it themselves.

When you are not at the receiving end, it is easy to dismiss others’ concerns. For example, if you’re not in a wheelchair, it is easy to say that people who use wheelchairs shouldn’t be asking all these special arrangements such as parking spaces and priority access on the bus. But only once you become disabled do you see that it is no picnic. Suddenly you find yourself with a lot of unexpected obstacles and hurdles that a non-disabled person never needs to think about. Stairs, platforms, opening doors.

Similarly, it is easy looking from the outside to say: foreigners coming to this country should behave as guests, abide by our rules, and do an effort to integrate. While all these things are perfectly reasonable to ask, if you are in the situation of the foreigner asked to behave, to abide, and to integrate, you get this peculiar sense that it is never enough.

When Sadiq Khan was asked whether it felt good to come home to Pakistan he was quick to point out that home was south London mate. Clearly, the mayor of London has faced such questions before. Where home thus becomes a challenge for any of us who cannot pass as British.

When the Referendum campaign was well under way with, with alarmist headlines on the Daily Express, the Daily Mail and other newspapers on EU citizens, stealing all the jobs, doing criminal things, and swamping the country, being compared to vermin, I felt an increasing sense of dread. And of course the insecurity after the Referendum was very destabilizing. Many other EU citizens expressed similar sentiments. Being left in Limbo was a transformative experience.

Before we were at risk of it ourselves, not many of us had a clear idea of the hostile environment, deliberately created by Theresa May when she was Home Office secretary to deter further migration. You would sometimes hear stories of people living in the UK for over 30 years, having a British partner and British children, being deported to countries where they hardly lived in, such as Jamaica and Singapore. I used to think that there was something exceptional about these situations. But now that we know it can happen to us—that the Home office might make a mistake in our streamlined application—it becomes very vivid indeed. So one thing I hope we can learn from this is to stand in solidarity with other immigrants in the UK, regardless of whether they are from the EU or not.

A few days ago an old friend told me she’s leaving. She’s Spanish and is going back to Spain after 25 years of living in the UK. She found a job as a university lecturer at a Spanish university. The headlines are saying that she and others are “going home”. If you’ve lived here for over 20 years, have a British spouse, British kids, a British mortgage, British friends, a British job, you’re not going home. You’re leaving home.

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Monthly meeting – Anthony Barnett talk on Brexit http://www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org/monthly-meeting-anthony-barnett-talk-brexit/ Mon, 26 Feb 2018 10:58:10 +0000 http://www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org/?p=12968 https://youtu.be/z5eg-yL0uWI

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https://youtu.be/z5eg-yL0uWI

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Oxford European Association joins public appeal to Oxfordshire parliamentarians regarding the EU (withdrawal bill) http://www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org/oxford-european-association-joins-public-appeal-oxfordshire-parliamentarians-regarding-eu-withdrawal-bill/ Fri, 24 Nov 2017 12:52:00 +0000 http://www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org/?p=12914 ‘As Chair of the Oxford European Association, I am delighted to join the European Movement’s appeal. The OEA is proud of Oxford’s open, diverse, and tolerant character; indeed, 1 in 10 Oxford residents was born elsewhere in the EU. Just yesterday, on remembrance Sunday, we were joined by the mayor of Leiden and the deputy […]

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‘As Chair of the Oxford European Association, I am delighted to join the European Movement’s appeal.

The OEA is proud of Oxford’s open, diverse, and tolerant character; indeed, 1 in 10 Oxford residents was born elsewhere in the EU.

Just yesterday, on remembrance Sunday, we were joined by the mayor of Leiden and the deputy mayor of Bonn, our two oldest twinning links.

The OEA is vigorously campaigning for our rights as Europeans.

Oxford’s EU27 residents, their family members and the wider community are anxious to ensure that their status and rights are not adversely affected IF the UK withdraws from the EU The ongoing uncertainty absent explicit guarantees is a great cause of concern to our members if the proposed EU withdrawal Bill, unamended, fails to provide such assurance.

In fact, its explanatory notes propose to leave the government the flexibility to “modify limit or remove the rights which domestic law presently grants to EU nationals” if no reciprocal agreement is reached.

This ongoing “bargaining chips” approach, and the overt threat to existing rights, is simply unacceptable.

We therefore urge support for Amendment #131 which reads: ‘A Minister of the Crown must by regulations make provision to is binary trading legal in india maintain preserve and protect the rights of any citizen of an EU member state who was lawfully resident in the UK immediately before exit day, and in particular to continue their right to be lawfully resident in the UK’.

We also strongly support a meaningful vote before the proposed exit date, which includes the option to Remain in the EU.

Dr Ruvi Ziegler

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Monthly meeting with Keith Taylor MEP http://www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org/monthly-meeting-keith-taylor-mep/ Sat, 30 Sep 2017 15:04:18 +0000 http://www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org/?p=12893 Minutes of Oxford European Association on 19 September 2017 1. Present: 20 people, with Ruvi Ziegler in the chair. Apologies: John Tanner 2. Minutes: the minutes of 3 August are agreed. 3. Speaker: A. Keith Taylor MEP (Green) representing the South East of England since 2010, spoke about Brexit, EU citizens’ rights, and the role […]

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Minutes of Oxford European Association on 19 September 2017
1. Present: 20 people, with Ruvi Ziegler in the chair. Apologies: John Tanner
2. Minutes: the minutes of 3 August are agreed.
3. Speaker:
A. Keith Taylor MEP (Green) representing the South East of England since 2010, spoke about Brexit, EU citizens’ rights, and the role of the EU Parliament. He campaigned for remain during the referendum. In his opening speech, he mentioned in particular the importance of the EU to environmental protections and lasting peace in Europe.
He said that EU investment in South East is worth net £14 billion. Examples of EU funded work include helping 1,900 business improve performance, and 1,800 businesses to make savings in energy efficiency.

B. Moving forward Keith said there is a need for UK to work together with EU as partners. Issues such as climate change and ocean pollutions show no boundaries.
The Greens are pushing for guarantees to protect the environment; uphold the rights of EU nationals in UK; enable young people to travel freely; and protect us from potentially ‘toxic’ trade deals. The final UK/EU deal should be subject to a ratification referendum, where remaining in EU must be an option. The original referendum was supposed to be the ‘standard of democracy’, but the Repeal Bill leaves very large gaps. Repeal Bill puts at risk decades of action on the environment.
Greens pushing amendments for the need for precautionary and polluter pays principles, and special mention of Animal Sentience (Article 13 of Lisbon Treaty), which is not incorporated in the Repeal Bill. In conclusion, he said that the so-called Henry VIII bills are taking away the rights of UK Parliament and democracy.

C. In opening questions, the chair asked Keith on how he sees EU Parliament replacing UK MEP seats, and whether they should create new transnational seats to do this.
Keith says he sees his role as an intermediary between the people he represents (in South East England) and the European Parliament. He thinks that all MEPs should be doing what is best for Europe (as well), but it is better not to have transnational seats, because it becomes less clear then whom they actually represent.

D. Asked a question by the chair on the protection of UK/EU citizens’ rights, Keith said that he would argue that it is not in anyone’s interest to restrict rights and that anything other than this is incredibly short-sighted. Pressed on what role the EU Parliament can play in ensuring rights, he mentioned that the Green MEP Leader is co-chair of the EU Parliament group for the negotiations and that the October plenary sessions will address the key issues in the first stage of the negotiations, including the future relationships with Ireland/Northern Ireland.

E. Answering a question from the floor, Keith said that he didn’t think the idea of EU Associate Membership for UK citizens has traction. In reality, it is unlikely to proceed because It would need a treaty amendment agreed by all 27 EU states, subsequently ratified by national parliaments and referenda.

F. Questioned about how best to protect citizens’ freedoms, Keith said that we need to persuade people to listen to the deal and not the lies. He said the EU doesn’t want us to leave. Is remaining in the EU doable? Asked if he was seeing a shift in opinion in the South East, Keith said it depended on the area. He said that in towns such as Bognor Regis, which voted to leave, we need to ask people more about why they are unhappy and whether they see their wages going up with Brexit. Many people aren’t that interested, and made simple decisions to vote at the time on what they were reading about Europe in their newspapers (much of media has been hostile). He said that one chink of light in the wall is if Jeremy Corbyn has changed course to support staying in the single market.

G. Keith was questioned on the dangers if people across Europe don’t have something to hang their hope on in the future, and what MEPs are actually doing to get through to hearts and minds. He said so much was determined by what was happening at a
national level e.g. overcoming hostile media in UK. Asked about how to persuade the older generations (who tended to read the more hostile media, were more anti-EU, and with less stake in the future of Europe), Keith said he hoped that they would think more about their families’ futures, but clearly this hadn’t worked in the referendum, and there were still lots of disagreements across the generations within families.

H. Asked to comment on where he felt that the EU might miss the UK (with respect to the environment), Keith mentioned the UK contribution, and his role particularly in pushing for better disability access in the built environment across Europe, including train spaces and public buildings.

4. The Chair thanked Keith Taylor for an informative discussion. A video of the event will be posted on www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org. People were encouraged to join us at the next OEA pub social (date TBC) and street stall (probably 7 th October). A further speaker and talk will be arranged, and may be part of a mini conference on Brexit, with Oxford for Europe in November. Colin Gordon from Oxford for Europe provided an update on the arrangements and planned transport to the forthcoming party conference events in Brighton (24/9) and Manchester (1/10). See Facebook and Twitter for more details and updates.

Andrew Prosser, Vice Chair 20/9/17

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Oxford European Association letter local government elections OXWAB http://www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org/oxford-european-association-letter-local-government-elections-oxwab/ Tue, 22 Aug 2017 15:58:38 +0000 http://www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org/?p=12882 Electoral rights of EU27 citizens after Brexit We are writing on behalf of the Oxford European Association, established by Oxford City Council in October 2016. We are proud of Oxford’s open, diverse and tolerant character: the 2011 census revealed that 1 in 10 of Oxford’s resident population were born in the EU27. We are concerned […]

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Electoral rights of EU27 citizens after Brexit

We are writing on behalf of the Oxford European Association, established by Oxford City Council in October 2016. We are proud of Oxford’s open, diverse and tolerant character: the 2011 census revealed that 1 in 10 of Oxford’s resident population were born in the EU27.

We are concerned about the continued right of EU27 citizens in your constituency to continue to vote and to be elected in local government elections after Brexit. Could you please raise this issue in the House of Commons and with the Government?

Oxford’s EU27 residents, their family members, as well as the wider community, are anxious to ensure that their status and rights are not adversely affected by the UK’s planned withdrawal from the EU. We believe that there is a strong legal and moral case for unilateral guarantees of EU27 citizens’ rights irrespective of the outcome of negotiations with the EU27 which turns EU27 citizens into ‘bargaining chips’ (see the joint research paper co-authored by Dr. Ruvi Ziegler and Dr Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos).

We would like to draw your attention to the absence from the UK government’s proposal for EU27 citizens’ post-Brexit ‘settled’ status (set out in its 26 June 2017 policy paper) of reference to electoral rights. The ‘joint technical note on the comparison of EU-UK positions on citizens’ rights’ (published on 20 July 2017) notes that ‘the EU position does not cover UK citizens’ rights to vote and/or stand in local elections because this arises from EU citizenship rights’ whereas ‘the UK wants to protect existing rights of UK/EU citizens to vote and/or stand in local elections in their host state’.

At present, EU27 citizens residing in the UK can vote in local government elections, which include elections to Oxford City Council. This right was introduced because of the UK’s obligations under EU law. It is, however, a right which is now established in the UK’s domestic legislation, pursuant to the section 2(1)(c) of the Representation of the People Act 1983. EU27 citizens can also stand as candidates in such elections.

Notably, the same Act extended electoral rights in all UK elections (and, indeed, in the 2016 EU referendum) to Irish citizens and to qualifying commonwealth citizens (which include Maltese and Cypriots citizens) (EU24 citizens, as it were, are excluded). Hence, it is in the unilateral gift of Parliament to ensure the continued right of all EU27 citizens in the UK to vote in local government elections.

Oxford European Association

We believe that the case for maintenance of electoral rights of all EU27 citizens in the UK, irrespective of reciprocity, is particularly strong. Electoral eligibility signifies membership of the communities in which

EU27 have made their home; it demonstrates that they remain equal, in law and in fact. It enables EU27 citizens to continue to contribute to their local communities. EU27 citizens should be able to continue to participate in civic life, and voting is one of the important founding blocks of citizenship. Conversely, disenfranchising EU27 citizens would be detrimental to their standing in society, harm community relations, and send an exclusionary and unwelcoming message to EU27 citizens, who will continue to pay local and national taxes regardless of their citizenship rights.

There is strong public support for EU27 citizens’ electoral rights. Recent national survey found that 73% of British citizens would like to either protect or extend electoral rights of EU27 citizens: 48% would like to extend the electoral rights that EU27 citizens in the UK currently enjoy to include a right to vote in the General Election whereas 25% would maintain EU27 citizens’ existing right to vote in local government elections. Only 10% supported withdrawing EU27 citizens’ right to vote.

We therefore urge you and your party to promptly and unequivocally commit to maintaining the electoral rights of all EU27 citizens in the UK, irrespective of the outcome of negotiations.

We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Sincerely yours,

Dr Ruvi Ziegler – Chair

Mr Andrew Prosser – Vice-Chair

Cllr John Tanner – Secretary

 

 

 

 

 

 

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OEA & OfE Meeting with Layla Moran MP http://www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org/layla-moran-meeting-oea/ Wed, 09 Aug 2017 17:43:45 +0000 http://www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org/?p=12878 On 3 August 2017 the OEA hosted Layla Moran, the newly elected Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West & Abingdon, to speak about Brexit. Nearly 100 persons attended. Layla thanked people for their support and said she self-identified as a European. She said opinion was shifting since the Referendum because of jobs and the economy. […]

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On 3 August 2017 the OEA hosted Layla Moran, the newly elected Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West & Abingdon, to speak about Brexit. Nearly 100 persons attended. Layla thanked people for their support and said she self-identified as a European. She said opinion was shifting since the Referendum because of jobs and the economy. Layla waved a copy of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill (previously known as the Great Repeal Bill…) and said the government’s proposed ‘Henry VIII’ clauses would allow tweaking of primary legislation without parliamentary oversight. She felt remaining in the single market and the customs union were becoming bigger and bigger issues.


Layla was hopeful that in the end Parliament will want an exit from Brexit. Ruvi Ziegler, Chair of the Association, handed Layla a letter from the OEA demanding that EU27 citizens living in Britain should continue to enjoy their electoral rights in local government elections post-Brexit. The MP said she agreed with that demand, and has since submitted a Parliamentary Question to that effect to the responsible minister). Layla explained that backbench MPs had ‘soft power’ when the Government could not guarantee to get its legislation passed. Anyone in Oxford West & Abingdon who had issues with rights to stay should contact her. Layla’s exposition was followed by questions and discussion. A member of the audience displayed ‘In Limbo’, a book of Brexit testimonies from EU citizens in the UK, published this June by Elena Remig. Layla said there is a growing appetite for staying in Euratom. She said the Labour Party front bench was not planning to stay in the single market. But a majority of Labour MPs and voters wanted to remain in the single market. She said the rights of NHS staff from the EU27 were unfortunately not being guaranteed by the Conservative Government. Layla said the only way of reversing Brexit was by a change of government or a referendum; and that because Jeremy Corbyn was very likely to remain Labour leader, only a referendum would suffice.

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The left alliance in Portugal http://www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org/left-alliance-portugal/ Mon, 07 Aug 2017 20:14:41 +0000 http://www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org/?p=12875 For me as immigrant in UK is important to integrate in the British Society and also following the British Politics. Therefore I joined the Labour Party in September 2015 and two weeks ago I had the pleasure of being the main speaker at All Member Meeting of Oxford Labour Party. The executive committee of the […]

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For me as immigrant in UK is important to integrate in the British Society and also following the British Politics. Therefore I joined the Labour Party in September 2015 and two weeks ago I had the pleasure of being the main speaker at All Member Meeting of Oxford Labour Party. The executive committee of the Oxford Labour party had great curiosity about the policies developed by the Portuguese Socialist Government and with the Brexit negotiations starting they were also interested in knowing what Portugal’s position on BREXIT was. In this way, the motto I gave to my presentation was: <<GERINGONÇA” (improbable contraption): THE PORTUGUESE SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT & THE LEFT ALLIANCE >>.

I introduced my presentation by speaking about Portugal & the World, talked about Community of Portuguese Language Countries as known in English as the Lusophone Commonwealth (CPLP), pointing out that our language as English is one of our assets and made an analogy to the British Commonwealth. Many people in the World don’t have the idea that the Portuguese is the fifth native language most speaking in the world and for example in Mozambique, member of the Commonwealth, the official language is Portuguese. FOR PROMOTING PORTUGAL WE SHOULD START BY VALUING THE LUSOPHONY AND OUR LANGUAGE.

 

In the introduction I also mentioned how we were pioneers in the creation of the University of Coimbra and although not as old as Oxford University is one of the oldest still operating universities in the World. But if we were one of the pioneer countries in investment of knowledge, the truth is that we were not consistent in this investment and the second universities created in Portugal (Lisbon and Porto) were only created 621 years later, in 1911 in the First Republic. I pointed out that a relatively few years ago we were governed by a dictatorship, talked about our Democracy and our political system, our National Health Service which is inspired by the British model and when we join the EU. I shared the legacy of our Democracy and as EU member, we have moved very close to developed Europe, we have gone from less than 1% of people with a University degree in the 70s to 24% very close to the EU average (31%) and the trends in infant mortality we were able to have results at the third world level to be among the best in the World. INVEST IN HEALTH CARE, KNOWLEDGE AND IN EDUCATION WERE SUCCESSFUL FOR OUR DEMOCRACY AND WILL BE WHAT WILL GUARANTEE OUR FUTURE.

 

Then I contextualized the “Gerigonça”, about (2011-2014), talked about the “Adjustment Programme” (2011-2014) and gave one idea of the dimension of the damages from Portugal this Programme and the policies of the right wing government did. One of the topics I felt thrilled was when I spoke about the privatization of the Portuguese Energy Company (EDP), which the Portuguese State invested more than 70 years. There was/is a very profitable company and according to the National Audit Office in 2015, the annual dividends of the energy companies would yield in long term much more than its sale did. It was a crime and a contradiction of the fundamentalists of “the free market” who do not like the State “owner” of the strategy companies, but do not care to sell them to a Chinese state-owned company. Unfortunately, a crime was committed under the complicity of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The Portuguese government did not defend the interests of Portugal.  The impoverishment promised by right government was achieved and during this program about 2% of Portuguese population was lost, most of them young people who emigrated. Next I explained how the impossible happened in Portugal and the Left Alliance made the agreement that gave the possibility of the Portuguese Socialist Party forming Government. The left parties were aware the state of emergency we were in and if they were not capable to make a deal it will be in risk our Welfare State, our NHS, our Public School and our Public Social Insurance System, which would be concerned. I shared some data that demonstrate an alternative of austerity is possible and how a Government with a Keynesian approach can have better results. The “Gerigonça” have turned into a case study in France, Spain, Netherlands and in UK. The lesson learnt we could take after this Adjustment Programme is that even in difficult situations (as we were), WE HAVE KNOW HOW TO DEFEND OUR INTERESTS AND OUR FUTURE. IMPOVERISHING AND SELLING PATRIMONY IS NEVER A SOLUTION.

 

I enjoyed very much to be a speaker in the Oxford Labour Party meeting and the numbers of the questions were raised from my colleagues of the Labour Party have showed they also liked. For getting one idea how the debate was intense I share in this article some questions I remember:

1-    Are the destinies of the recent Portuguese emigration going to the Portuguese speaking countries or elsewhere?

2-    Is there internal opposition to the Left Alliance and what guarantees will it be long-lived?

3-    Are the Portuguese medias independent or are they dominating from someone else?

4-    For me the Greens and the Communist Party together is a contradiction. Could you explain me how this is possible in Portugal?

5-    There is one MP per constituency in UK, while in Portugal have 10 MPs per constituency. Do you think the proportional system makes it easier for a wide range of parties to get elected?

6-    Could you share with us an example of the Keynesian approach in Portugal and how did it influence to increase the GDP in your country?

7-    What is the relationship between the Portuguese Socialist Party and the Unions?

8-    The lessons learnt which Portugal had from Greece, how long did the Austerity Program last?

9-    How do you see the rules of the European Central Bank and how are they favourable or unfavourable to the situation in which Portugal is?

In conclusion, my experience in the Oxford Labour Party has been very enriching and has shown me that a political party has had to debate very much in order to develop NEW POLICIES.  The invitation the Oxford Labour Party gave me for speaking in the All Member Meeting about the Portuguese Government goes in that direction and how the Labour Party are interested the European Citizens issues. It was great pride that I shared the policies of the “GERIGONÇA” AND THE LEFT ALLIANCE AND HOW THEY MIGHT BE ABLE TO CONTAMINATE THE EUROPE SO AS TO STRENGTHEN THE SOLIDARITY, THE COHESIVE AND PROGRESSIVE EUROPEAN PROJECT.

TIAGO CORAIS, MEMBER OF THE OXFORD EUROPEAN ASSOCIATION WAS A SPEAKER AT THE OXFORD LABOUR PARTY

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UK GENERAL ELECTION 2017 – Tiago Corais http://www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org/uk-general-election-2017/ Sun, 11 Jun 2017 12:30:43 +0000 http://www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org/?p=12854 These elections for the House of Commons will be one of most exciting election in the British Politics history and means the victory of the MODESTY against the ARROGANCE, the IDEAS against CLICHES, the CREDIBILITY against SELF-PRAISE, the AUTHENTICITY against LIE, the DEMOCRACY against NARCISSISM. Democracy defeated the “greed” of Theresa May and the Conservatives […]

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These elections for the House of Commons will be one of most exciting election in the British Politics history and means the victory of the MODESTY against the ARROGANCE, the IDEAS against CLICHES, the CREDIBILITY against SELF-PRAISE, the AUTHENTICITY against LIE, the DEMOCRACY against NARCISSISM.

Democracy defeated the “greed” of Theresa May and the Conservatives who thought they were “owners” of the votes.

WINNERS

I heard on the radio a political analyst who said that no party won, or rather that all parties lost. I don’t agree at all with this statement, but I have no doubt the big winner is Jeremy Corbyn and despite being a Labour leader for a year and a half, 8th June was the day he really won the leadership of his party.

REASONS WHY LABOUR DID NOT GAIN

The main reason is the short campaign time, but there are some reasons that we need to meet the British society to be aware that pragmatism often works at the time of voting. Some British electorate prefers political stability, even if that means voting in the party they don’t like. The Labour, after losing the ability to elect the majority of the MPs in Scotland, for having the majority in the House Commons and having the ability to build a stability government they need to win more MPs than the best result achieved by Tony Blair. One of the lessons learned in this election is that everything is possible, but in the eyes of the citizens, either in 2015 or 2017, Labour could win with a minority, but since it could not make an alliance with other parties, didn´t give the guarantees to build the stability as British people want. In my opinion after this election this could change and if Labour does not make mistakes and if take this opportunity to increase the Labour movement it will certainly be the next party to lead the UK.

SCOTLAND

The Labour Party had already lost Scotland for a long time, but these elections showed that it is possible to binary option trade get some of the seats back from the SNP. In my opinion the Tories wan 12 new seats in Scotland, because they are a good leader with the capability to persuade the Scottish people. That is why if the Scottish Labour Party resolve the internal issue, build ideas and proposals which the Scottish people want I believe it will be able to win back a good number of “their MPs”.

NEXT STEPS FROM LABOUR

The next step is the Labour showing a strong unity, creating a cohesive and energetic team, which galvanize the British people. The second step is to work to win back some seats in Scotland. But they should still to engage the youth people in politics as Corbyn´s momentum has done. Also should not forget the Labour exists to contribute to a cohesive, fair society and in which everyone deserves to live in a dignified life. We should be ready for the new challenges but also should build a fairest society.

CONSERVATIVES AND CHAOTIC COALITION

The great defeat of these elections was Theresa May that booked this election to her leadership was strengthened for the negotiations of Brexit with her European “partners” and happened the opposite. She said in campaign that if she lost 6 MPs it would be Corbyn and a “chaotic coalition” who will lead the UK. Irony of ironies, she and the Conservatives will make a chaotic coalition with the ultraconservative party of Northern Ireland DUP and in my opinion the Tories will be contaminated by this dangerous coalition. The Conservative Party in Scotland has already threatened to split from the British Conservative Party, although it would have a close relationship with them.

In my opinion Theresa May will have the days counted as leader and we will see a reversal of the roles in the House of Common in the next times. The Tories will show disunity and everyday will be newspaper covers for the worst reasons, while Corbyn and Labour Party will be galvanized and focused on gain more credibility. Yvette Cooper who was candidate in the first Labour leadership election against Jeremy, has already admitted that she could be Corbyn’s shadow Cabinet that will lead many other MPs to do the same. I believe therefore that the Brexit negotiations with the EU will be much more difficult for the UK, the arrogance and the Hard Brexit is over, so we will have new election soon. The Labour and the other Progressive Parties have to be prepared, as we will have election to the House of Common in the next eight weeks.

POLITICS ARE SO DYNAMIC AND THEREFORE IS SO ENJOYING.

Personal Opinion: Tiago Corais

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Response to Jolyon Maugham – Colin Gordon [PART 3] http://www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org/response-jolyon-maugham-colin-gordon-part-3/ Mon, 29 May 2017 18:34:54 +0000 http://www.oxfordeuropeanassociation.org/?p=12836 I would suggest that the key problem here is not one of the Remain campaign’s mental habit of linking the question  of Brexit with ideas like nativism, populist demagogy and extreme predatory capitalism   but the entirely real, albeit contingent association of the Brexit enterprise with a range of specific and actually existing ideas, agendas and […]

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I would suggest that the key problem here is not one of the Remain campaign’s mental habit of linking the question  of Brexit with ideas like nativism, populist demagogy and extreme predatory capitalism   but the entirely real, albeit contingent association of the Brexit enterprise with a range of specific and actually existing ideas, agendas and forces, some of which are unambiguously malignant and dangerous.

 

I am also respectfully disagreeing, therefore, with some other advice Jolyon Maugham gave to his audience towards the end of his talk,   that they avoid addressing patronising and pedagogical messages to Leave voters which will merely trigger in their audience the same anti-elitist reactions which produced the Referendum vote, and to instead to adopt as their priority assignment  the task of listening.

 

Jolyon Maugham was asked a question about his image (assuming that CJEU confirms the revocability of Article 50 notification) of Brexit as a corridor with two possible doors at its end.

 

“What would be your strategy for opening up that second door? What do you think we can all do to try and get that door open?”

He replied:

“Here’s the uncomfortable truth – absolutely nothing.

 

“If anything I think it’s slightly counterproductive to be telling people that they were wrong about Brexit, I think people have to be given the space to work that out for themselves.

“I think that if people have a sense of  those in the Establishment hearing them,  they are more likely to listen to the establishment on stuff like Brexit.

“And if they have a sense that the Establishment is not hearing them because the Establishment is still telling them that Brexit is a bad idea, that is likely to be counterproductive.

“ It’s that thought anyway that lies behind another project that I’m doing called the Good Law Project.

“ I was asked this question at Henry Porter’s Convention  [on Brexit] a couple of weeks ago, how do progressive liberal voices make themselves heard, and I said they make themselves heard by listening.”

 

The  idea that the putting forward in public of  reasoned argument,  based on currently available evidence, that remaining in the EU might prove in 2019 (or sooner) decisively the better choice in the future interest of our nation would amount to an unacceptable affront to those who voted Leave  in 2016 is an idea which, quite simply, ought not to be countenanced.  This is the populist terrorism of the current regime which has effortlessly become the self-terrorisation of the political and media class: the dogma that the people cannot change its mind, that to invite it to do so is a crime of lèse-majesté against its sovereignty people, and that the indefectible immutability of “the people’s will” inescapably binds its elected representatives to commit blindly, against their own better judgement and  in the face of all evidence, to the implementation of the people’s decision in the most extreme possible interpretation given to it by executive power. Equally disastrous, I fear, is the vernacular British philosophy of the establishment at work here, which enjoins the silencing of those  critical voices whose capacity to speak and to challenge is deemed  to betray their membership of a guilty and discredited elite.

 

Notwithstanding  the considerable gratitude which due to Jolyon Maugham as a courageous public actor whose intervention through the Dublin case promised to prove of historic importance for our national future,  this particular recommendation seems to me to rely on an interesting  but invalid  model (very English,  not very democratic) of  the space of public democratic  deliberation;  it also also, regrettably, seems to endorse and reproduce a widespread but profoundly misguided, defeatist, pusillanimous attitude within sections of our “progressive liberal” culture which could be all too liable to generalise across civil society the recent and abject capitulation of Parliament before the Article 50 Bill.

 

The Referendum was lost because both party leaders entrusted with articulating the Remain case, for different reasons, betrayed and sabotaged their own cause. After the Referendum, a large section of the liberal media-academic commentariat chose to embrace one of the key narratives of the Leave campaign, by  interpreting the Referendum result as a mass popular insurrection against global and national elites, and a rejection of the claims to govern of  elite expert authorities. This in turn ties in with  the omnipresent discourse on the discredit and disgrace of politics and the political class, in which the media class – half of which is directly in the service of ensuring the political power of enormous wealth – alternates between the roles of star prosecution witness and co-defendant. We need constantly to remind ourselves, firstly that the disgrace of the political class has never been a purely spontaneous natural event like a tsunami, but that it – like popular euro-scepticism – is a product of intentional human action, of intense, sustained, concerted and organized  campaigns of paid propaganda and astroturfed populism by business and media forces operating over decades;   secondly we need to remember that the discredit of the political is in fact  never universal and unconditional, but  applies selectively to those denizens of Washington and and Westminster  who cannot be relied on to comply with the will of specific organized business interests:  for chapter and verse on this in the American case, see Jane Mayer’s book cited above.

 

For too many of the commentariat, the doctrine of compulsory post-Referendum penitent humility and silence which they enjoin on those elites of which they identify themselves ex officio as tacit or honorary members, the  trolling of expertise and the latent or overt threat that defiance of ‘the people’s will’ might provoke civil insurrection and the violent overthrow of democracy, have now become something close to  an accepted legitimation for the disqualification and invalidation  of critical speech. It is worrying when even the best and most courageous among us show signs of surrendering  to   this self-silencing ordinance in the face of the greatest act of voluntary national self-harm in living memory: silently colluding with the greatest crime of stupidity in our history rather than give offence to its victims by calling it out as such.

 

The newly elected French president Emanuel Macron promised, in his inaugural speech, using a phrase directly or indirectly borrowed from the philosopher Michel Foucault, to practice ‘the courage of truth’. We could do with a bit more of that over here too.

 

Postscript.

 

An hour after finishing this piece (and a week after the talk it responds to), I read Jolyon Maugham’s tweet and blog post  announcing his decision to withdraw the Dublin case. I have no reason to query the sober considerations which he outlines here as having led to this conclusion. There will  no doubt be  discussion about this decision, informed by relevant legal expertise. My  immediate reaction is that the goal of the Dublin case was so self-evidently reasonable and necessary that if the Dublin case has proven to be a flawed vehicle for its purpose (and as a layperson, some of its components did not strike me as self-evidently helpful and necessary), some other route to that goal must and will be found.

My other comment is that I notice that Jolyon Maugham concludes this blog with a double-edged reflection which is very similar to the specific thoughts I have been querying here:

 

“It’s now up to all of us to take our love of our country and our optimism that there is a positive way forward and channel it to protect, Brexit or no Brexit, the values we care about.”[1]

 

I have tried to explain above why this thought does not seem to me adequate to our current challenge. There is no doubt that the success of the Dublin case would have been, as Jolyon Maugham himself so well explains, helpful in stopping Brexit. Helpful, but arguably not indispensable – and in some views, not without its risks. Jolyon Maugham has been and no doubt  will remain a feisty public voice denouncing the madness of Brexit and insisting, as he has done today, surrendering   neither to the pessimism of the intellect nor to the pessimism of the will, that Brexit can still be avoided.  But it was a little concerning  to see the news of the failure of the Dublin case elided with what might sound like advice on preparing ourselves for the failure to stop Brexit.

 

Postscript, December 2017. The Dublin case was withdrawn shortly after this note was written, after  encountering prohibitive obstacles on the Irish side. Ten days ago Jolyon Maugham announced a new initiative to seek a CJEU ruling confirming the unilateral revocability of an Article 50 notification, this time via the Scots courts. We wish this venture speedy progress and success. It might still play a vital role in averting national disaster.  Jolyon Maugham has with other meanwhile taken other legal initiatives which are helping to change the landscape of Brexit: on leave.uk’s expenses, and on the 57 impact studies. He has meanwhile, fortunately not been inhibited by his advice discussed above from continuing to publicly excoriate the folly of Brexit.  The intervening period has not, however, dispelled from discussion within the Remain movement a tendency to advocate the self-censorship of its public arguments based on criteria of what is acceptable to hard pro-Leave opinion. But hard pro-Leave opinion would, of course, like ‘Remoaners’ to be silent, to cease their treasonous undermining of Brexit and fall loyally in line with unanimous national support of the great patriotic project. A time of grave national danger is not the best moment to lose the courage of one’s convictions. One does not gain the respect, or even the attention of the persuadable by diluting or stifling one’s own message – or waiting for permission to be heard.

[1]   https://waitingfortax.com/2017/05/29/sometimes-you-try-and-you-do-not-succeed/

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