Edmund Burke and the Brexit debates

The History of Parliament

For the second week in a row, parliamentary business is dominated by the government’s ‘Brexit bill’. For many, this bill rekindles the dilemma – put so famously by Edmund Burke – of what an MP should do when their opinion differs from that of their constituents; an issue discussed here by our Director, Dr Paul Seaward…

It didn’t take long for Edmund Burke to be mentioned last Tuesday during the debate on the bill to authorise the government to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and kick off the process of leaving the European Union. And it’s not surprising, because Burke’s description in his speech to the electors of Bristol in 1774 has become the classic statement of the relationship between Members of Parliament and their constituents, brought out whenever the debate on whether an MP has an obligation to directly reflect his constituents’ views is rekindled. The text…

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BBC News continues to ignore Gaza missile attacks – in English

BBC Watch

On the morning of February 6th sirens sent residents of the Hof Ashkelon district in the western Negev running for cover as a missile fired from the Gaza Strip hit Israeli territory south of Ashkelon.

Israel responded with strikes on Hamas installations in the Gaza Strip and the missile fire was later claimed by a Salafist group. Later in the day shots were fired at Israeli troops working on the fence in another area along the border with the Gaza Strip.bbc-arabic-missile-6-2

While the BBC did not produce any coverage of that missile fire in the English language, the BBC Arabic website did publish an article reporting the Israeli response.

Throughout the whole of 2016, only one of the ten barrages of missile attacks from the Gaza Strip which took place received (belated) English language coverage, while reporting in Arabic on Israeli responses to those attacks was seen in the…

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Just what are the scars of 170 years of colonialization?

The weekend newspaper here in Wellington profiled a refugee from each of the 7 countries currently subject to Donald Trump’s travel ban. Each of the 7 found paradise in New Zealand.

These 7 refugees were relatively young and grew up in a chaotic war-torn home country. They spent considerable time in refugee camps under dire conditions. All they needed to make good was to move to a free country.

An old mate of mine at University was a son of the Ukrainian war refugee. His dad was rounded up by the Nazis during the Second World War to be a factory slave. He came to Australia because that was the first country that would accept him and his Dutch wife.

My old mate’s dad did not want to go back to the Ukraine because it was now Russian rather than Polish territory. All his sons graduated in economics. His daughter is a senator. He worked in a factory in Bernie.

Through the Canberra chess club, I got to know a few Second World War refugees. They all found paradise in Australia.

People recover surprisingly quickly from setbacks if they are in a free country. The story of refugees confirms that again and again.

My great grandparents fled the Irish potato famine. I do not feel that is holding me back in the 21st century. Likewise, my dad was raised to Protestants and a Catholic- Protestant marriage was not so popular back then.

A temporary Governor: is it lawful?

croaking cassandra

And so we have confirmation that Graeme Wheeler is leaving his position as Governor when his current term expires, a couple of days after the election.  (Reserve Bank statement, and Minister of Finance statement.)

That is less newsworthy than the solution the Board and the Minister have come up with –  the appointment of current Deputy Governor (and deputy chief executive) Grant Spencer as acting Governor for six months, to allow the search and appointment process for a new permanent Governor to conclude after the election, when the shape (and policy orientation) of the new government is known.  Spencer will retire at the end of that acting period, and will not again seek permanent appointment as Governor (having sought the role unsuccessfully in 2012).

It is a pragmatic solution, and not that out of line with the one I had proposed –  that Wheeler be invited to…

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Ninth Circuit Briefing Completed Today For Ruling On Trump Appeal

JONATHAN TURLEY

200px-US-CourtOfAppeals-9thCircuit-Seal.svgdepartment-of-justice-logo1 The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will have a completed record for its review of the lower court’s stay of the Trump immigration executive order this afternoon. While much has been made of the court declined to issue an immediate stay of the lower court under the earlier emergency motion, the decision was very predictable. The Court instead ordered for an expedited response from the states of Washington and Minnesota. That argument is complete today. What remains is a relatively rare procedural process in seeking to review a temporary restraining order (TRO) before the issuance of a written opinion, let alone a permanent injunction.

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