Sunday, October 30, 2016

5+1 μύθοι από την καλύτερη χώρα του κόσμου | Θοδωρής Γεωργακόπουλος | TE...

Canada: The last liberals

Why Canada is still at ease with openness

Most people “would give anything to trade places with you,” Dwight MacAuley, the province of Manitoba’s chief of protocol, tells his audience. No one disagrees. In a packed hall in Winnipeg’s century-old train station, 86 immigrants from 31 countries are becoming citizens of what Mr MacAuley characterises as one of the “greatest, freest, richest nations that has ever existed”. Some crowned with turbans, others with hijabs, they sing “O Canada” and take the oath of citizenship in English and French. A local member of parliament, Robert-Falcon Ouellette of the Red Pheasant First Nation, drums an honour song. A Mountie in red serge stands at attention; afterwards he poses for pictures with the new Canadians.

Some 2,000 such events take place across the country every year. Fresh recruits keep coming (see chart 1). Canada admitted 321,000 immigrants in the year to June 2016, nearly 1% of its population; typically 80% of them will become citizens. It is contemplating an increase to 450,000 by 2021. A fifth of Canada’s population is foreign-born, nearly twice the share in America.

The warmth of the welcome is as striking as the scale of the intake. Immigrants are encouraged to keep their cultures. Winnipeg’s public schools have classes taught in Spanish and Ukrainian as well as French and Cree. Its Central Mosque is a few blocks down Ellice Avenue from the Hindu Society of Manitoba. The Juliana Pizza & Restaurant serves its “Greek/Jamaican food” just a bit farther on.

Canada’s openness is not new, but it is suddenly getting global attention. It is a happy contrast to what is happening in other rich countries, where anger about immigration helped bring about Britain’s vote for Brexit, Donald Trump’s nomination and the rise of populist parties across Europe. And it has an appealing new face: Justin Trudeau celebrates his first anniversary as prime minister on November 4th. Mr Trudeau comes from Canada’s establishment—he is the son of a former prime minister—but is not despised for it. A former high-school teacher and snowboarding instructor, his cheeriness played a large part in the Liberal Party’s victory over Stephen Harper, a dour Conservative who had governed Canada for almost ten years.

Dancing across the water

Where Mr Harper was liberal, for example on trade, Mr Trudeau carries on his policies. Where the Conservative clenched, the Liberal loosens. Mr Trudeau is seizing the opportunity offered by low interest rates to ramp up investment in infrastructure. He will end a visa requirement for Mexicans that Mr Harper imposed and plans to legalise recreational cannabis. Mr Harper was close to being a climate-change denier; Mr Trudeau announced in October that he would set a price on carbon emissions. A month into the job he went to Toronto Pearson International Airport to welcome some of the 32,737 Syrian refugees admitted since he took office.

Mr Trudeau’s domestic critics—so far a minority—deride him as “Prime Minister Selfie” for posing incessantly with fans and celebrities, sometimes (though not as pictured, above) with his shirt off. To European and American liberals he is a champion of embattled values and his country a haven with many charms (see chart 2). “The world needs more Canada,” said Bono, the activist and lead singer of U2, in September. When in Ottawa recently the IMF’s chief, Christine Lagarde said she hoped Canada’s pump-priming economic policies would “go viral”. Mr Trump’s “Super Tuesday” victories saw Google searches for “How to move to Canada” surge south of the border.

Canada is not exempt from stresses that are causing other rich countries to freak out. “All the pressures and anxieties that people are feeling around the world exist here,” Mr Trudeau said in a recent interview with The Economist. But Canada seems to be coping with them less hysterically. In part, this is thanks to history. After Britain wrested control of Quebec from France in 1763 its new French-speaking subjects resisted assimilation. So did Canada’s indigenous groupings: Inuit, First Nations and mixed-race Métis. Such resistance was sometimes met with oppression and cruelty, and Canada’s treatment of its indigenous peoples has been atrocious in some times and places. But as Peter Russell, a Canadian historian, argues in a forthcoming book*, their “incomplete conquests” forced Canada’s overlords into habits of accommodation that have shaped the country ever since. “Diversity is our distinctive national value,” he says.

Canada’s selective but eclectic taste in immigrants goes back a fair way, too. Clifford Sifton, the interior minister in the early 20th century, sought out farmers from Ukraine, Germany and central Europe in preference to British immigrants. His ideal was “a stalwart peasant in a sheepskin coat” with “a stout wife and a half-dozen children”. This does not mean that the country was always all-welcoming. Canada “turned away boatloads of Punjabi and Jewish refugees” in the 20th century, notes Mr Trudeau; 100 years ago Chinese immigrants had to pay a head tax. But by the middle of the century Canada was admitting non-Europeans on a large scale and in 1962 it scrapped all ethnic criteria for immigrants. Five years later it introduced its points system, which scores would-be immigrants on the basis of such criteria as skills, education, work experience and ability to speak English or French.

As with people, so with goods. Canada’s vocation for trade began in the early 17th century, when French fur traders established bases in what are now Nova Scotia and Quebec. “We have always been dependent on trade with the world,” says Mr Trudeau. “So an anti-trade argument really doesn’t get very far in Canada from the get-go.” Exports plus imports account for 65% of Canada’s GDP, more than double their share of the American economy. Nearly three-quarters of Canada’s trade is with the United States.

This habit of openness has not made Canada immune to its costs. Factory employment dropped from almost 2m in 2000 to 1.5m in 2015, with some of those jobs moving to Mexico—Canada’s partner, along with America, in the North American Free-Trade Agreement. South-western Ontario and the Niagara peninsula are as blighted by industrial decay as depressed parts of Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Nor does the national creed of tolerance carry all before it. Mr Harper flirted with Islamophobia: during the election campaign he called for women at citizenship ceremonies to unveil. Kellie Leitch, an MP who aspires to succeed him as head of the Conservative Party, wants to screen immigrants for “anti-Canadian values”. Resentment against Chinese buyers who are driving up house prices in Vancouver can be tinged with racism.

Questions of identity are particularly complex in Quebec, where the Parti Québécois has called for a ban on burqas for those seeking public services. The French-speaking province prefers “interculturalism” to Anglophone talk of “multiculturalism”, regarding its language and culture as the basis of its identity. Philippe Couillard, the province’s Liberal premier, likens that core to the trunk of a tree, from which other identities can branch off. For Anglo-Canada, dominant within Canada but overshadowed by America, cultural diversity itself is the trunk.

When we were strangers
But though there are some misgivings, some 80% of Canadians think immigrants are good for the economy, according to a recent survey by the Environics Institute, a polling firm. An ageing workforce means that belief is likely to strengthen: as Prime Minister John Diefenbaker put it in 1957, “Canada must populate or perish”. This is particularly true in the Atlantic provinces, where more Canadians die than are born and the median age exceeds that in the rest of the country by nearly five years. Nova Scotia, which received 200 refugees last year, has taken in 1,100 Syrians. Brian Doherty, himself an immigrant from Northern Ireland, hired four to work in the pubs he owns in Halifax, the province’s capital. “They are a net asset to the economy, and believe me in this part of the world we need more of them,” he says.

Two linked factors bolster this pro-immigrant feeling. One is a matter of geography. Refugees do not arrive by the hundred thousand in overloaded dinghies; impoverished children do not sneak across the southern border. Illegal immigration, which so enrages Mr Trump and his acolytes, is “hardly noticeable” in Canada, says Jack Jedwab of the Canadian Institute for Identities and Migration in Montreal.

The second is a matter of policy. Canada’s points system gives the government a way to admit only the sort of people it thinks the country needs. This ability to regulate the influx fosters public approval. Immigrants are twice as likely to have university degrees as people born in the country, notes Mr Jedwab. Refugees jump through hoops, too. The Syrians that Mr Trudeau embraced were first subjected by Canadian officials to the sort of extreme vetting that Mr Trump might approve of.

None of this guarantees success in their new home. Immigrants struggle, especially during their first years in the country, although their children do much better. They have lower incomes than natives, unless they are from Europe or English-speaking countries such as India. Employers are more likely to interview applicants with English-sounding names than foreign ones, an experiment in Toronto showed. Foreign qualifications may not be recognised. But the points system gives politicians a way at least to appear to be doing something about such problems. Mr Harper introduced an “Express Entry” system which greatly increased the number of points for people with job offers.

Another reason why Canadians are not worried about immigration is that they feel less insecure. Compared with the United States, Canada’s losers are less wretched and its winners less obnoxious. As in other rich countries, income inequality has increased since the early 1980s, but it remains considerably lower than in the United States. Poverty has fallen sharply since the mid-1990s. Low-income men—Mr Trump’s base in America—are less likely to die prematurely in Canada, which suggests they are less beaten down. In 2007 those in the bottom income quintile died 4.7 years earlier than those in the top. In the United States the gap was 12.1 years.

America spends a larger share of its GDP on social programmes than Canada does, but Canada is more generous with spending that acts as a safety net. Unemployment benefits replace a much bigger share of lost income than in America. Universal health care “makes a huge difference in creating a high level of public security”, says the trade minister, Chrystia Freeland.

Although the commodities boom, and the strong currency it brought with it, made life hard for manufacturers, it shortened the recession started by the global financial crisis. It also created lots of fairly high-paying jobs for low- and semi-skilled workers, mainly in western Canada. This kept inequality in check when it was rising elsewhere, notes France St-Hilaire of the Institute for Research on Public Policy, a think-tank. Now prices have fallen and the economy has slowed, she wonders whether inequality will creep back up.

Finding out it’s real
Even if it does, Canada’s fat cats are less reviled than those elsewhere. Its boringly profitable and well-regulated banks did not crash the financial system in 2008 and ask for bail-outs. Its conservatives have mostly been less ferocious tax-cutters and state-shrinkers than America’s Republicans, though Mr Harper was an exception. “Our one percent gets it,” says Ms Freeland, whose Rosedale-University riding (constituency) in Toronto contains one of the country’s richest neighbourhoods.

Mr Trudeau acknowledges the country’s economic anxieties—“There hasn’t been enough growth, and the growth that there has been hasn’t benefited the majority of Canadians”—but campaigned on the basis of solutions, rather than scapegoats. In government his answer has been, first of all, to redistribute income on a modest scale. He raised taxes on the top 1% of incomes to help pay for a middle-class tax cut. This year’s budget subjected a universal child benefit to means testing, diverting cash from the rich to the bottom 90%.

Mr Trudeau’s most eye-catching promise—and one which wrong-footed the New Democratic Party to his left—was to abandon Mr Harper’s goal of a balanced budget. Instead, the government plans a deficit of 1.5% of GDP this year and aims to spend C$60 billion ($45 billion) over ten years to give Canada a much-needed infrastructure upgrade. The extra spending will provide a stimulus to the sluggish economy worth 0.2% of GDP this fiscal year. As Mr Trudeau admits, his room for manoeuvre was bought by the prudence of his predecessors, who left federal debt at just 32.5% of GDP. But if wise spending increases the economy’s long-term growth, governments yet to come will have reason to thank him in their turn.

Barack Obama had similar ambitions for investment in the future; unlike him, Mr Trudeau does not have to deal with a hostile legislature. Nor does he need to shout down demagogues to promote trade deals. He fought hard to save the “comprehensive economic and trade agreement” (CETA) with the European Union, which was negotiated by Mr Harper. Canada is part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations with 11 other countries, and though Mr Trudeau has not committed to ratifying it he is thought to support it. In September he announced that Canada would explore trade talks with China.

Mr Trudeau has sought to allay scepticism about trade with what has fast become a hallmark of his government: incessant consultation. Ms Freeland boasts of holding one of the first formal dialogues by a trade minister with aboriginal communities. But there are issues ahead that consultation alone cannot solve. These include low productivity growth and an unimpressive record on innovation. Low interest rates have pushed house prices and consumer debt to alarmingly high levels. Beyond saying he will build more roads and tightening mortgage-insurance rules Mr Trudeau has so far given little clue about how he will deal with such problems.

Whatever he does he will upset people. The announcement of a national price for carbon angered some in energy-rich provinces; the approval of a liquefied-natural-gas pipeline has alarmed green voters. He faces hard bargaining with the indebted provinces over federal transfers to cover their rising health-care costs. Mr Trudeau, in other words, is about to suffer typical political wear and tear.

That will matter more to him, though, than to his country’s standing. With an admirably Canadian mix of personal modesty and national pride, Mr Trudeau credits the country’s stability not to “any particular government. It comes from Canadians themselves.” Had Mr Harper won last year Canada would have remained open to trade (though probably less keen to strike a deal with China) and welcoming to newcomers (though Mr Harper would not have let in so many Syrian refugees). Rock-star encomia would have been scarcer, but the Canadian model would have endured.

Canadians do not take their openness for granted. A serious terrorist attack on Canadian soil, or a deep recession, could yet damage the dream. The country has seen “lone wolf” assaults, including an attack on parliament in 2014, and larger plots have been uncovered. But there have been no mass killings like that at the Bataclan in Paris. “We shouldn’t have any smug sense of ‘We would never do this’,” says Jodi Giesbrecht, head of research at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg. Nor do they see it as a model for all. “What works in Canada may not work elsewhere,” cautions Michael Ignatieff, an unsuccessful Liberal candidate to be prime minister who now runs the Central European University in Budapest. “Many countries in the world are just dealt tougher hands to play.” But the sight of a continuing liberal success might make playing those tough hands just a bit easier.

Originaly posted at THE ECONOMIST

Friday, October 28, 2016

Manor Park I #visitbritain #LoveLondon

Manor park

A photo posted by Maria Dellaporta (@dellaportamaria) on

Manor Park II #visitbritain

Manor park ll

A photo posted by Maria Dellaporta (@dellaportamaria) on

Richmond #visitbritain


A photo posted by Maria Dellaporta (@dellaportamaria) on

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Social attitudes to faces

Your class determines how you look at your fellow creatures

In 2009 a team of psychologists at the University of California, Berkeley, who were studying people from different walks of life, noticed that those from the upper classes were less good than those from the lower at discerning emotions on the faces of others. This led them to speculate that such empathy weakens as you go up the social scale. The theory might be true. But a paper just published in Psychological Science, by Pia Dietze and Eric Knowles of New York University, offers an alternative hypothesis—that it is not the emotional sensitivity of patricians to plebs which is impaired, but their attention to them.

Dr Dietze and Dr Knowles began their study with an experiment that they told participants was a study of Google Glasses. They were, though, lying. The test was not of these pieces of apparatus (tiny video cameras hidden in pairs of spectacles, which let wearers take surreptitious footage of whatever they are looking at), but rather of the participants’ behaviour. The 61 volunteers were all asked to wear a Google Glass headset, walk for a block in New York and focus their attention on whatever captured their interest. Their souped-up specs then recorded everything they looked at. Afterwards, they filled out a questionnaire that asked, along with matters of age, sex and ethnicity, about their income, their level of education and the social class they believed they belonged to.

This done, the researchers handed the videos over to six “coders”—people trained to parse video recordings for teams of psychologists without knowing the purpose of an experiment. The coders were asked to identify participants’ glances at other people, and also to record the duration of each gaze.

When Dr Dietze and Dr Knowles correlated the coders’ conclusions with the data from the questionnaires, they found that the number of gazes at strangers did not vary with social class, but their duration did. Specifically, upper-middle-class and upper-class people gazed at the faces of others for a fifth of a second less than members of lower social classes.

To explore further, the two researchers set up a second experiment. In this they asked 82 volunteers to place their heads on chin rests and have their eyes monitored as they were shown a variety of street scenes from New York, San Francisco and London. This time, working-class people spent a tenth of a second longer looking at faces than did upper-middle-class people—a difference that did not apply when the same people looked at inanimate objects.

Dr Dietze and Dr Knowles then ran one more experiment. This was a version of Kim’s game, in which they presented 397 participants with an array of six randomly arranged images (one of a face and five of inanimate objects such as fruits, houseplants or musical instruments) that alternated with a second array which either had identical images to the first, but differently arranged, or had one of those images changed (and was also differently arranged). Participants had to work out which image, if any, had been substituted.

Once again, there was no difference between classes’ success in doing this when the altered image was of an object. When it was a face, though, lower-class people did better than upper-class ones.

It seems, then, that those from the lower classes really do take more notice of faces than those who inhabit the top of the heap. Why is open to speculation. Dr Dietze’s and Dr Knowles’s own view is that the upper classes pay less attention because they believe random strangers have little to offer. Perhaps one way to test that hypothesis would be to rerun their experiment at a Buckingham Palace garden party.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Europe is trying to teach its gender norms to refugees

This turns out to be more complicated than it sounds

Few men can roll a condom onto a plastic penis with a straight face, and Ali and Ahmadzai are no exceptions. The two Afghan asylum-seekers and ten other men are taking a sex-education class at the refugee centre where they live in the Flemish town of Broechem, and the giggles are flying. “In Logar, where I’m from, you don’t talk with girls,” explains Ahmadzai. If you do, the Taliban “kill you with stones”. Belgium has been a bit of a culture shock, though he still doesn’t dare talk to girls: “It is good just looking at them.”

Ever since the mass sexual assaults in Cologne last New Year’s Eve, in which groups of mainly North African men groped, robbed or raped hundreds of women, European governments have worried that the chauvinist values of some of the immigrants they are absorbing could lead to trouble. Hence the classes at Broechem, which cover sexual health and respect for women. For now, they are voluntary, but Belgium plans to make sex education mandatory for all asylum-seekers by next year, as it already is in Norway. In Germany, too, the government decided in July to shift the focus of its integration courses from language learning to cultural values, including equality of the sexes.

One priority is preventing rape. Thomas Demyttenaere of Sensoa, a Belgian organisation that is designing a course on sexually transgressive behaviour, says he has never met a refugee who said it was acceptable to force someone to have sex. But understandings of consent can differ: “In a strong patriarchal society,” be it Muslim, Christian or Hindu, men “often feel they are entitled to have aggressive behaviour towards women.” The swarming sexual attacks seen in Cologne, reminiscent of similar behaviour in north African countries, have Europeans especially worried. Linda Hagen of Hero Norway, an organisation that manages 40% of that country’s refugee centres, says one goal of sex education courses there is simply to teach refugees that if they try anything like that in Scandinavia, “they will get caught.”

At the same time, the courses may be just as necessary for the refugees’ own integration in European societies as they are to protect the women with whom they interact. Staff at the Broechem centre regularly receive complaints from local parents that asylum applicants are harassing their daughters. New female staff are also frequently hit upon. Carla Pannemans, who has been teaching sex education to refugees there for ten years, says many simply do not understand local codes of behaviour; when they try to talk to girls, “people will see it as aggressive.”

Teaching sexual norms is tricky, though, particularly when European societies do not agree on what those norms should be. In Norway, Ms Hagen’s course uses photos of pop stars to explain that styles of dress, however scanty, are expressions of individual freedom rather than signals of availability, and must be respected. At the same time, bizarrely, it coaches male refugees to protect their reputations by not seeking girls who are “easy”. Meanwhile, in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium, an information sheet used in integration classes cites “gallantry” as an ideal: men should open the door for women, carry their heavy bags and offer to help them put on their coats. Plenty of feminists, in Belgium or elsewhere in Europe, would find this patronising.

Most of the refugees who receive the classes seem to welcome them. Many have never had any formal sex education: of the 12 men in the class at Broechem, most of whom hail from African or Middle Eastern countries, only one, an Albanian refugee, said he received any form of sex education at school. Abdullah Sameer, a 21-year-old refugee from Baghdad who lives in the Broechem centre, calls the courses “perfect”. “Everybody should respect women,” he says—though he considers himself among the few enlightened men in his country. Most people, he says, “need some classes”.

It is not clear to what extent European fears of sexual assault by migrants are founded in reality. There have been no more attacks of the magnitude of those in Cologne. A report in February by Germany’s federal criminal police, the Bundeskriminalamt, showed that refugees were responsible for only 3.6% of the sexual offences in Germany in 2015. Many of the refugees are victims of rape rather than perpetrators: female refugees face sexual abuse at the hands of smugglers and even reception centre staff, according to a report by Amnesty International.

Indeed, while Europeans may feel anxious that migrants are importing Middle Eastern values, the migrants are having at least as hard a time adjusting to European ones. Mr Demyttenaere says many of the migrants he knows find Belgian sexual morals “shocking”. “On the one hand, there are adverts with half-naked women,” he says. “On the other, it is very hard to ask women out. They find this confusing.” Welcome to the West.

This article appeared in the Print Edition with the headline: Belgian girls aren’t easy


Colchester #Essex #England

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Oct 12th 1979 - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is published

The Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy is a science fiction comedy series created by Douglas Adams. Originally a radio comedy broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1978, it was later adapted to other formats, and over several years it gradually became an international multi-media phenomenon. Adaptations have included stage shows, a trilogy of five books published between 1979 and 1992, a sixth novel penned by Eoin Colfer in 2009, a 1981 TV series, a 1984 computer game and three series of three-part comic book adaptations of the first three novels published by DC comics between 1993 and 1996.

The first of the books was published on 12 October 1979. The novels are described as 'a trilogy in five parts' having been described as a trilogy on the release of the third book and then a 'trilogy in four parts' on the release of the fourth book.


Saturday, October 08, 2016

May’s revolutionary conservatism

Britain’s new prime minister signals a new, illiberal direction for the country

Mainstream politics in Britain have long held these truths to be self-evident. The left won the social battles of the past decades. The right won the economic ones. The resulting consensus combines free-market liberalism with broadly permissive cultural instincts. But on October 5th Theresa May strode up to the podium at the Conservative Party conference, awkwardly waved at the crowd, cleared her throat and unceremoniously drove a bulldozer through those assumptions.

Mrs May began with a short tribute to David Cameron. Her predecessor had presided over rising employment, improving schools and falling crime, she noted, before adding: “But now we need to change again.” And then came the tornado. Britain’s vote to leave the EU in June was about much more than Brexit. It was a “quiet revolution”, a “turning point”, a “once in a generation” revolt by millions of ignored citizens sick of immigration, sick of footloose elites, sick of the laissez-faire consensus. “A change has got to come,” she said, four times.

The nation state is back: “Time to reject the ideological templates provided by the socialist left and the libertarian right and to embrace a new centre-ground in which government steps up,” Mrs May declared. So borders will be strengthened, foreign workers kept out, patriotism respected, order and discipline imposed, belonging and rootedness enshrined. “If you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what the very word citizenship means,” she said.

On the economy, the Conservatives are moving left. Parts of Mrs May’s speech recalled Ed Miliband, Labour’s previous leader, whose market interventionism earned him an anti-business reputation. She went on, about bosses who do not look after their staff, companies that do not pay enough tax and utility firms that rip off consumers (even hinting at the sort of meddling in energy markets that won Mr Miliband particular barbs). Her government, she said, would identify the industries that are of “strategic value to our economy” and boost them “through policies on trade, tax, infrastructure, skills, training, and research and development.” At one point she even questioned the independent Bank of England’s low-interest rates.

Socially, meanwhile, Mrs May is taking her party rightward and at moments sounded more like Nigel Farage, the doyen of the populist UK Independence Party. She took aim at liberal politicians and commentators who “find your patriotism distasteful, your concerns about immigration parochial, your views about crime illiberal” and “left-wing, activist human-rights lawyers”. Companies will be made to declare how many of their staff are foreigners, to shame those who do not hire natives.

It remains to be seen precisely what will come of all this. The almost comically small-bore policies announced so far—including cadet forces in two-dozen state schools and a review of labour conditions—hardly correspond to the daring rhetoric. Every new prime minister since Thatcher has arrived in office promising to revive manufacturing, lubricate social mobility and do more for hacked-off, hard-pressed strivers. Still, the sheer intellectual swagger of its authoritarianism sets Mrs May’s speech apart. It is worrying: a systematic rejection of the way the country has been governed, for worse and mostly better, for decades. Like it or not, Britain’s strengths are its open, flexible, mostly urban service economy and its uncommonly mobile and international workforce. That fact cannot simply be wished or legislated away.

Mrs May makes it clear that liberal London should not take precedence over post-industrial areas. Yet the citizens of that great deracinated, metrosexual Babylon pay more in work taxes than do those of the next 36 cities combined. Brexit, it is true, was partly a vote against the aloofness of the capital and its arrogant captains of finance. But it was not a vote for a poorer country, higher unemployment or shabbier public services. The prime minister’s speech does not fill Bagehot with confidence about her ability, or even willingness, to find the right balance as she sets the country’s post-Brexit course.

Au revoir, laissez-faire
Yet it will resonate with the public and may propel the Tories to a landslide at the next election. Its premise—that the vote for Brexit was a revolt against globalisation—was sound. Touring pro-Leave events during the referendum campaign, Bagehot heard again and again that the cards were stacked in favour of fat cats and foreigners. One can disapprove of Mrs May’s prospectus without denying that it speaks to these concerns, and to the pathology that has emerged with each recent tale of elite complacency, corporate malfeasance and political corruption; from the MPs’ expenses scandal of 2009 to the shoddy treatment of workers at BHS, a collapsed retail giant, this spring.

So it is not enough for liberals to shake their heads at Mrs May’s populism. They have to grapple with the reasons for its appeal. Areas with fast-rising migrant populations do not receive corresponding resources fast enough. The country’s infrastructure is patchy, the health service is at breaking point and jobs are plentiful but low-paying. It is not illiberal to recognise that London and the rest of Britain can feel like different countries.

Those who resent the prime minister’s protectionist, authoritarian gloom must, then, do more than hyperventilate and pearl-clutch. They should cheer Mrs May when she gets things right; perhaps on house-building, where her government has declared war on NIMBYs who oppose new construction projects. And when they disagree, they should come up with better solutions: better ways to reform corporate governance, increase competition, improve public services and adapt the workforce to change. No one can accuse the prime minister of being vague about the course she wants Britain to take. At the very least, opponents must rise to the same standard—and offer an alternative.


Saturday, October 01, 2016

Oct 1st 1946 - The Nuremberg Trials #WWII #NurembergTrials #HumanRights

The Nuremberg trials were a series of military tribunals, held by the victorious Allied forces of World War II, most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany. The trials were held in the city of Nuremberg Bavaria, Germany, in 1945 - 46, at the Palace of Justice. The first nd best known of these trials was the Trial of the Major Was Criminals before the International Military Tribunal (IMT), which tried 25 of the most important captured leaders of the Third Reich, though several key architects of the war ((such as Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and Joseph Goebbels) had committed suicide before the trials began. 

The initial trials were held from November 20, 1945 to October 1, 1946. The second set of trials of lesser war criminals was conducted under Control Council Law No. 10 at the US Nuremberg Military Tribunals (NMT); among them included the Doctors' Trial and the Judges' Trial.

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