Anti-independence actors in Catalonia need to work together

catalan flag
Photo: Pixabay

Politics in Catalonia is difficult and divisive, with no signs of things changing soon.  At the centre of everything is the question of Catalan independence from Spain. It is being aggressively pursued by the current Catalan government and vehemently opposed by their Spanish counterparts. Continue reading Anti-independence actors in Catalonia need to work together

Liberal Democrats are the right choice for pro-Europe, progressive Britons

House of Commons

It seems clear that Liberal Democrats are now the only truly pro-European party in Britain (SNP may be too but their primary ideology is Scottish nationalism). They are therefore the obvious choice for pro-Europe, anti-Brexit progressive British voters in this electionContinue reading Liberal Democrats are the right choice for pro-Europe, progressive Britons

European Union must stand together and fight for its future

European Union is facing a number of formidable, in some cases unprecedented challenges. The ongoing global economic crisis, the influx of refugees, the emergence of extremist populists across the continent, increasingly aggressive Russia, Brexit and the arrival of Donald Trump all have to be dealt with. Such difficult times evidently call for clarity and unity, but which is certainly easier said than done.  Continue reading European Union must stand together and fight for its future

Individual membership of European political parties – small but important step?

european-political-parties-pngIt is often claimed, so much so that it has become conventional wisdom, that there is no European political identity because there is no viable European identity. European allegiances and identities are simply too fragmented apparently. If this is the case it follows that there can be no truly European politics because the conditions have not been created. In other words, the problem is that “neither a common history nor a strong future vision that can be collectively or officially recognized as the basic story of a political Europe is available or has been constructed in any European public” (Dr. C. Ritter, ECPR). This is probably true but circumstances may change – are likely to change – provided there is future vision, if the European people are given a choice and if they want such a change. At the moment things are going in the opposite direction. Cheap populists from across the political spectre have acquired influence they could have only dreamed about a few years ago, but this is hopefully an unfortunate blip in a bigger story of shared peace and prosperity that Europe and European Union in particular have, for all their imperfections, undoubtedly delivered.

Continue reading Individual membership of European political parties – small but important step?

International minimum wage; great idea with many obstacles

The division of labour and distribution of dividends in the globalised economy are clearly unjust. The challenge is to come up with an idea and a plan to rectify the problem.
Here is a very worthy proposal – “international average minimum wage backed up by enforcement mechanisms and the correct incentives”, which could produce a just global economy.
Implementation will naturally be the difficult part. If for example the European Union struggles to harmonise corporate tax, it is to be expected that introducing the international minimum wage will be vastly more difficult. It would feel wonderful to be proven wrong.
The proposal in question can be accessed below.

A proposal for transnational supply chain labour regulation


Challenges and changes in the digital age

Our societies are obviously undergoing profound changes as a result of digitalisation. Remarkably, apart from possibly the remotest parts of the globe, no one seems to have been untouched by this particular revolution.  Work, personal freedoms, social values and attitudes are under one type of ‘threat’ or another.  What will come out the other end is impossible to entirely predict, but what is certain is that we must respond.

For anyone interested in the topic, the essay entitled Social Democratic Values In The Digital Society comes highly recommended. I stress that this is a valuable read for anyone, not just those of social-democratic persuasion.

Briefly on Brexit and afterwards

Britain has voted to leave the EU and this is seemingly it. But what should come next?
The result of the referendum was tight. It is particularly unfair on the young and on those in major urban centres who have voted to remain in great majority. The young in particular have become accustomed to being part of a greater European entity with all its benefits and imperfections. The older generations were obviously more sceptical. Continue reading Briefly on Brexit and afterwards