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Marginalising Men in Scotland’s Society – Sorry Ladies the Numbers Just Don’t Stack Up in Your Favour

 

Equal Rights & Treatment Project — The IWI: International Women's Initiative

 

Social engineering

Social engineering is the control of behaviour through government legislation.

In recent years policy-makers in the Scottish Government have made claim that sex discrimination is the primary source of unfairness in the labour market and encouraged by an ever increasing range of lobbyist groups it has forced radical feminist agendas on Scottish society; eg the equal opportunities act, family friendly employment, sex discrimination and transgender recognition.

But recent research indicates that high levels of female employment, family-friendly and equal rights policies actually reduces gender equality and produces glass ceilings for women in the workforce.

The relentless pursuit of radical feminist equality, by a minority group of work centered women has backfired since its aims defy logic and reality which is that the numbers are stacked against them:

Employment Rights | ROTA - Race On The Agenda

80% of men are work-centred and will retain their dominance in the labour market, politics and other competitive activities, because they are prepared to prioritise their jobs over lifestyle choices.

In consequence they are more likely to survive, and become high achievers.

Gender equality of employment pay gap/leadership/pregnancy — Shorthand  Social

 

20% of women are work-centred and this group is still a minority, despite an influx of women into higher education and into professional and managerial occupations.

Work-centred women are focused on competitive activities in the public sphere, in careers, sport, politics, or the arts.

Family life is fitted around their work, and many of these women remain childless, even when married.

Qualifications and training are obtained as a career investment rather than as an insurance policy.

employment Law – Ascend Broking Ltd

 

60% of women are adaptive and are by far the largest group among women, and are to be found in substantial numbers in most occupations.

Their preference is to combine employment and family work without giving a fixed priority to either.  They want to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Certain occupations, such as school-teaching, are attractive because they facilitate a more even work-family balance.

The great majority of women who transfer to part-time work after they have children are adaptive women, who seek to devote as much time and effort to their family work as to their paid jobs.

In certain occupations, part-time jobs are still rare, so these women must choose other types of job, if they work at all.

For example, seasonal jobs, temporary work, or school-term-time jobs all offer a better work-family balance than the typical full-time job, especially if commuting is also involved.

When flexible jobs are not available, adaptive women may take ordinary full-time jobs, or else withdraw from paid employment temporarily.

Adaptive women are the group interested in schemes offering work-life balance and family-friendly employment benefits, and will gravitate towards careers, occupations and employers offering these advantages.

Chinese lawyers call for equal employment opportunities for HIV carriers -  CGTN

 

20% of women are family oriented and relatively invisible given the current political and media focus on working women and high achievers.

They prefer to give priority to private life and family life after they marry and are most inclined to have larger families.

They avoid paid work after marriage unless the family is experiencing financial problems.

This may be why these women remain less likely to choose vocational courses with a direct economic value, and are more likely to take courses in the arts, humanities or languages, which provide cultural capital but have lower earnings potential.

This group of workers is most likely to drop out of work centred careers relatively early in adult life.

Article compiled paraphrasing the views of: Catherine Hakim: London School of Economics

Employment Discrimination Laws in Florida - Ayo and Iken

 

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George Foulkes Makes a Sensible Proposal for Holyrood – Honestly He Does

 

Lord George Foulkes leads Age Scotland call for over-75s TV licence fee to  be scrapped altogether | Edinburgh News

 

4 Dec 2015: Baron George Foulkes of Cumnock Proposes the Establishment of an elected upper chamber for Holyrood 

The Scotland Bill is currently in committee stage in the House of Lords.

Coming in the wake of last year’s referendum, the Bill is intended to provide Scotland with a robust set of devolved powers within the United Kingdom.

To this end it includes greater fiscal powers, including borrowing and income tax variation, as well as greater discretion over spending.

These powers are welcome, and highlight the historic opportunity for reform which the Scotland Bill represents.

It is important that we recognise the rarity of this opportunity, and be as bold as possible with the reforms we propose.

The area I think is in critical need of addressing is Holyrood itself. As it stands, Scotland’s unicameral constitutional set up is inadequate.

Having only a single chamber drastically reduces the checks and balances needed in a mature democracy.

It makes the likelihood of flawed legislation being passed much greater, because it does not provide a restraint on a majority government.

The importance of this restraint has been illustrated clearly during the past weeks in Westminster over the issue of tax credits, where the House of Lords challenged the government’s planned cuts.

This was bad legislation, forced through the Commons by a Tory majority, and the Lords fulfilled their constitutional duty by forcing the Chancellor to reconsider and eventually scrap his plans.

It is this sort of check which Scotland badly needs, or else it is vulnerable to similar legislation.

That is why I am tabling an amendment to the Scotland Bill which will provide for the creation of an upper chamber at Holyrood, a Scottish Senate.

The Senate will be empowered to function much as the House of Lords does in Westminster:

* To undertake pre-legislative scrutiny.

* To consider and propose amendments to legislation agreed by the Scottish Parliament for future consideration by the Scottish Parliament before it receives Royal Assent.

* To debate and make resolutions on devolved matters.

* To set up committees with the power to call or require Scottish Ministers to give evidence on any devolved matter.

The House of Lords in Westminster does great work, but its present system of selecting peers is undemocratic and anachronistic.

A Scottish Senate, comprising of 46 Senators elected from across the regions of Scotland, will provide a democratic, legitimate and effective guarantor of good government in Scotland.

For some time now, Holyrood has suffered from an increasing lack of accountability, stemming from a lack of checks and balances built into the system, and this is made worse by one-party rule.

The Scotland Bill represents an opportunity to insert sensible structures which will guarantee Scots a legislature which not only represents them, but also protects them from misgovernment. (Labourhame.com)

George Foulkes, Baron Foulkes of Cumnock - Wikipedia

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Kirsty Blackman Speaks for the SNP – Read and Learn

 

 

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Gradualist Kirsty Blackman Interview-The Guardian

She is markedly less keen to talk about Scottish independence, the SNP’s founding principle. She says she is not in Westminster to pressure the government for a referendum.

“I don’t think most folk in their daily lives give two hoots about whether Scotland is a member of the union. The constitutional issues are not the biggest concern for an awful lot of people and, in fact, I very rarely talk about Scottish independence in the chamber.”

Comment: But differences between the Gradualists and Radicals is not new. Will the current unrest result in a repeat of the 1955 expulsions?

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An Essential Political Marriage

In the period 1930-1936 the SNP and the NPS (National Party for Scotland) campaigned separately each fighting, in vain to gain a political foothold in Scotland. But in 1938 there was an acceptance in both Parties that they would only achieve political success by joining forces. This they did under the banner of the SNP.

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Merging is not always easy

The (NPS) “Gradualists” political preference was for “Home Rule” within the Westminster system which would bring with it a devolved range of policies for Scottish politicians to enact. Over time, with the agreement of Westminster, it was expected controls would be expanded as the competence of Scottish politicians improved.

The Party established a dialogue with the Labour Party in Scotland, forming a “Scottish Convention and in 1938 the Labour Party in Scotland, presented its pre-war Scottish manifesto, claiming that their support for Home Rule was second only behind supporting the war effort against Japan, but in the 1938 British manifesto for Labour, (which had precedence over The Scottish labour Party) there was no reference to Scottish Home Rule.

SNP “Radicals” were not slow in broadcasting to Scots that the labour Party would never commit to Scottish Home Rule if there was any risk of it losing electoral support in England, through an article published in the “Scots Independent”: “Scottish Labour, Your pledges have been cast aside; the English Government formed by your Party refused facilities for the introduction of a Scots Home Rule Bill.” The “Radicals” of the SNP continued to challenge Unionist Party’s in Scotland, keeping the Party firmly in the public eye. But the continuous campaigning for independence irked the Unionists who controlled the media and through it they labelled the SNP as unpatriotic and communist.

The “Gradualist” dominated leadership of the SNP persuaded the “Radicals” to moderate their attacks on Unionist Party’s so that progressive Nationalist policies could be adopted and taken to the Scottish Electorate improving the prospects of SNP candidates at elections. The tactics were successful and although there was no political breakthrough the SNP attracted a solid base of voter support.

In 1955, after ten years without any major success the SNP was in danger of breaking apart and “Radicals” called for major policy changes including the adoption of more confrontational policies against the Westminster Government. The “Gradualist” Party leadership refused and expelled 55 “radicals”. The Party continued with its slow build to legitimacy and acceptance by the Scottish Electorate as an alternative system of governance.

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The Irish Struggle for Freedom From English Misrule – Lessons For Scotland – Abstentionism Works

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The Tortuous trail to a United Ireland

The Irish Free State, comprised of 32 counties, came into being in 1916 and seceded from the United Kingdom under the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1922. 6 counties under the control of Unionists, opted to remain with the United Kingdom.

The Irish Government introduced a republican constitution in 1937, which included a territorial claim to the 6 counties of Northern Ireland). The Oath of Allegiance to the British monarchy was abandoned and an elected President, Head of State, appointed.

In January 1939, the IRA Army Council declared war against Britain, and began a “Sabotage Campaign” a few days later. The plan involved IRA operatives based in Britain bombing British infrastructure, with a view to weakening their war effort.

But the British and Irish Governments cracked down hard on the dissidents and the campaign petered out. At the war end the severely depleted IRA membership faded into obscurity for a short period but recovered and formed a Dublin Unit which called for a ceasefire with the United Kingdom.

In 1947 a rebuilt and growing IRA held its first Army Convention since World War II and a new leadership was elected. It believed that a political organisation would be necessary to assist the progress of increasing its influence and members were instructed to join Sinn Féin. By 1950 the IRA had established complete control of the Party.

In 1949 the 26 counties formally became a republic under the terms of the Republic of Ireland Act 1948, and terminated its membership of the British Commonwealth.

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At the start of the 1950s the IRA started planning for a renewed armed campaign in the North and in the 6 counties, and in 1956 “Operation Harvest” was launched.

The border campaign, as it became known, involved various military units, “flying Columns” carrying out a range of military operations, from direct attacks on security installations to disruptive actions against infrastructure.

The Irish and United Kingdom Governments eventually curtailed IRA operations by breaking its morale through the introduction of internment without trial, first in Northern Ireland and then in the Republic of Ireland. The campaign faded and ended in February 1962.

The failure of the border campaign brought about a review of tactics between the leaders of the two distinct groups in the movement. A faction consisting of older IRA men who had served prison sentences together in the Curragh favoured traditionalism and now controlled Sinn Féin and a faction of younger, left-wing IRA members who now commanded the IRA Army Council.

It was made clear by the Army Council that Sinn Féin answered to the IRA, not the other way around. A hard-line stance that alienated the Curragh faction many of whom resigned from Sinn Féin in protest.

Sinn Fein/IRA adopted class-based political policies and rejected any action that could be seen as sectarian, including the use of IRA arms to defend one side, (the beleaguered Catholic communities of Northern Ireland) against the other.

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In the period 1962-1969 the conduct and failure of international politics throughout the World brought with it an increasing incidence of USSR confrontational challenges to the Western nations of NATO coupled with sponsored proxy wars in Africa and South America and the Middle East. The Vietnam War resulted in the deaths and major injuries of many thousands of American and Australian service personnel.

The carnage went on for years but eventually people called time on the excesses of politicians and demanded that their voices be heard and their wishes acceded to.

The Civil Rights movement was born and millions marched for “equal rights” between 1967-1969.

In the six counties John Hume and other civil rights campaigners, appealed to the Unionist Government to ease its grip on the public, claiming they had a “right to march” and argued that other groups should be afforded the same right. But their pleas fell on deaf ears.  Unionist politicians were not inclined to permit any civil rights protests or marches.

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But, adding insult to injury, on 12 August 1969 an Apprentice Boys march was given the go-ahead in Derry and proved to be the spark that lit the flame that became the Battle of the Bogside.

Nationalist protestors threw stones and bottles at the loyalist parade as it passed close to a Catholic area and Protestant supporters responded in kind.

Royal Ulster Constabulary officers (RUC) moved in and became involved in pitched battles with the nationalist in support of the Protestant rioters.

The rioting in Derry continued until 14 August 1969, attracting worldwide media attention. Within a few days, the trouble spread to Belfast ad the British army was deployed to Northern Ireland in August 1969.

From that time the population became totally polarised, sectarianism prevailed and barricades went up to keep protestants and Catholics safe within their ghettos.

But the citizens of the six counties wanted only to be afforded the same basic democratic rights enjoyed by other people of the United Kingdom and their wishes could have been conceded without any detrimental effect to the political arrangements in place at that time.

Luddite Unionist politicians in the six counties and London, with their stranglehold over the electorate, ignored growing tensions within the community, brought about by civil rights marchers and campaigners who encouraged civil disobedience and this led to a rapid escalation of violent clashes involving nationalists, unionists and the police. Unionist were bereft of vision and their stupidity brought the six counties to its knees.

The Provisional IRA wing of Sinn Fein took on responsibility for the defence of the minority Catholic population a policy change that morphed into a thirty-year armed struggle against the British presence in Northern Ireland.

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Operation Demetrius, (Interment Without Trial) was introduced in Northern Ireland, by the Stormont Unionist Government, in the early morning of 9 August 1971 in response to warnings of a Protestant backlash if it did not act against the IRA.

Approximately 340 people from Catholic and nationalist backgrounds were arrested and locked up. The intelligence used in making the arrests was seriously faulty and scores of people ended up detained who had no connections with the IRA. Of those arrested more than 100 were released within 48 hours.

Internees were taken to the new built Long Kesh camp near Lisburn, (later known as the Maze Prison), Magilligan British army camp in Co Derry and the “Maidstone” ship in Belfast Harbour.

The operation prompted serious violence within the Catholic communities. 23 Catholic protestors were killed between 9 and 10 August, including 10 who died in the Ballymurphy Massacre in West Belfast.

The extreme measures alienated Catholics and Nationalists and provided a recruitment boon for the IRA, just as Bloody Sunday would do six months later in Derry.

Internment also added impetus to the unrest and it is estimated that nearly 150 Catholics were killed and many more severely injured by the end of 1971.

Many Catholic families fled to the Republic to escape the violence and were housed in special camps.

Internment, in which over 2000 people were locked up without trial, ended in December 1975. Of that total just over 100 were loyalists. The first loyalist being interned early in 1973.

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The first years of the war were intense and ferocious. In 1972 alone the IRA killed 100 British soldiers, wounded another 500 and carried out 1,300 early warning bombings. In that same year 90 IRA activists were killed, a heavy toll.

But the tactic appeared to be vindicated when, in July 1972, the British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, William Whitelaw, secretly met their leadership in London.

The talks came to nothing because IRA demands were too high and a fragile truce broke down in contentious circumstances. But the process convinced the Republican Movement that Sinn Fein/IRA possessed the motivation and the means to force Britain’s departure from Ireland.

In 1974 the political wing of Sinn Fein/IRA addressed its less than harmonious relationship with the 26-County Irish Republic with the issue of a new mission statement:

“Sinn Féin will lead the Irish people away from British 6-County and 26-County parliaments and reassemble the thirty-two County Dail which will legislate for and rule all of Ireland”.

The content of the statement was the subject of widespread discussion over many months since its acceptance would bring about an adoption of new political thinking while ensuring that the military campaign remained paramount but closely harmonised with the advancement of a political dialogue.

But the new pragmatic Northern Ireland leadership of Gerry Adams was determined to get Sinn Fein to occupy the political vacuum South and North of the border with the purpose of getting the opposition to the negotiating table and this meant participation in elections and required the abandonment of the Sinn Féin/IRA constitutional ban on taking seats in Dáil Eireann, the issue which split Sinn Féin/IRA in 1969-70 and led to killing feuds between the two factions for a number of years after.

Adams won the argument and with his enlightened pragmatists on board they worked hard to ensure there would be no new splits in Sinn Fein or the IRA.

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Political progress over the next 10 years was hindered, stalled and often reversed due to sustained Unionist military activism against the minority population, the intransigence of ruling political establishment figures and armed para-militant organisations in the 6-Counties.

The military campaigns of both sides intensified and casualties soared amongst the innocents of the population of the 6-Counties and in England. (There were at least 10,000 bomb attacks and 3,635 killings up to 1998, including 257 children.)

Yet the impact of the setbacks also proved positive for Sinn Fein/IRA who developed sophisticated strategies and gained political support in the USA and military assistance of Libya who supplied large amounts of weaponry and explosives, (purchased using £3m, the spoils of bank robberies and kidnappings.)

In 1979 the Tory Party, under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher, took control of Westminster and adopted a hard-line policy against Sinn Fein/IRA .

In May 1980 on the day she was due to meet with Charles Haughey, to discuss the future of Northern Ireland, Thatcher announced in Parliament that “the future of the constitutional affairs of Northern Ireland is a matter for the people of Northern Ireland, this government, this parliament, and no-one else”. Thus setting the tone for the discussions which achieved nothing.

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Thatcher’s mettle was tested again in 1981, when on 1 March a number of Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) and Irish National Liberation Army prisoners in Northern Ireland’s Maze Prison went on hunger strike to regain the status of political prisoners, which had been revoked five years earlier under the Labour government.

On 5 March 1981, the nationalist MP for Fermanagh/South Tyrone, Frank Maguire, died creating the need for a by-election and on 9 April 1981, after 40 days on hunger strike, Bobby Sands ran for the vacant Westminster seat from his cell and won gaining Sinn Fein worldwide support and significant financial contributions.

Thatcher continued to refuse a return to political status for republican prisoners, declaring “Crime is crime is crime; it is not political” and Bobby Sands died of starvation few weeks later. Still she would not relent and nine more men died.

Rights were finally restored to paramilitary prisoners, but recognition of their political status was not granted. She later asserted: “The outcome was a significant defeat for the IRA.” In all, ten men died.

Thatcher’s determination to face-down the hunger strikers, against strident international opinion, sent a message to Gerry Adam’s that the British intended to remain in Ireland.

Sinn Féin, boosted by the election of the hunger strikers entered into politics in the North in 1981 and contested seats for the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1982 on an abstentionist ticket.

Results were encouraging. The Party polled around 65,000 votes making deep inroads taking votes away from the long established SDLP.

In the June 1983 Westminster election, Gerry Adams’s stood as the candidate for Sinn Fein and won West Belfast. In his acceptance speech he said that Sinn Féin’s longer-term objectives (beyond 1985) was to “become the majority nationalist party in the North” and to make considerable political inroads in the 26 counties of the Republic.

The Republican Movement had finally demonstrated that it could fight an armed struggle and win elections at the same time. Most importantly they proved beyond doubt that they had a mandate acceptable to the electorate.

The gap between Sinn Fein and the SDLP also closed significantly. Sinn Féin got 102,601 votes and the SDLP, 137,012.

The cumulative results shocked politicians and provided impetus to the UK and Irish Governments to conclude the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

Gerry Adams Statement to the Speaker of the House of Commons:

“My party holds a policy of abstentionism when it comes to the House of Commons. We believe the interests of the Irish people can only be served by democratic institutions in Ireland, not in Westminster. I will not swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen. In adhering to this statement we are fulfilling the wishes of the electorate that sent us here.”

The Speaker’s reply:

“I understand your position. You will not be permitted to attend the House of Commons or participate in debates until you have complied with all requirements of this house. In recognition of your electorate’s wishes you will be afforded office space, an allowance for living accommodation and unrestricted use of the full facilities of Westminster, including allowances for the costs of staff, offices, and travel.”

Unfortunately on 17 December 1983, just as a dialogue with Unionist politicians was being established the IRA (acting out with the authority of Sinn Fein) placed a bomb in Harrods of London. There was confusion over the content and length of warning of the bomb and it exploded in the midst of Christmas shoppers, killing 8 people and injuring 80. The bombing was condemned by public opinion in the UK and Republic of Ireland and resulted in the cancellation of a political dialogue

Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness were furious and convened an urgent meeting with the IRA Army Council at which, with the support of the “Falls Road Think Tank”: Danny Morrison, Richard McCauley, Joe Austin, Tom Hartley, Alex Maskey, Paddy Doherty and Vincent Conlon, they re-established control by retiring a number of high ranking officers and local commanders.

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There remained unfinished business with Thatcher and the Tory Party who would be made to pay for the deaths of the hunger strikers. In the early morning of 12 October 1984, the day before her 59th birthday, Thatcher escaped injury in the Brighton hotel bombing during the Conservative Party Conference. Five people were killed and many injured.

The attack was the prelude to another IRA bombing campaign, but with a major change of tactics. Attacks on Military and political targets would continue but the main thrust would be to damage the British economy and cause severe disruption through the destruction of infrastructure and commercial targets in England. This would put pressure on the British government to negotiate a withdrawal from Northern Ireland.

In February 1991 the IRA launched a mortar attack on 10 Downing Street, the official residence and office of the British Prime Minister, as John Major, then Prime Minister, was holding a Cabinet meeting. The mortars narrowly missed the building and there were no casualties.

In April 1992, the IRA detonated a powerful truck bomb in the Baltic Exchange bombing in the City of London, the UK’s main financial district. The blast killed three people and caused £800m worth of damage, more than the total damage caused by all IRA bombings before it.

In November 1992, the IRA planted a large van bomb at Canary Wharf, London’s second financial district. Security guards discovered it and immediately alerted the police and the bomb was defused.

In April 1993, the IRA detonated another powerful truck bomb in the City of London killing one person and causing £500m worth of damage.

In December 1993 the British and Irish governments issued the Downing Street Declaration accepting the right of Sinn Fein to contribute to peace negotiations, provided the IRA committed to a ceasefire, which it did in August 1994.

By 1996, the Tory Government lost its majority and had become dependant on Ulster unionist votes to stay in power. Irish nationalists accused it of pro-unionist bias as a result.

The government began insisting that the IRA must fully disarm before Sinn Féin would be allowed to take part in fully-fledged peace talks. Arguing that the IRA could use violence, or the threat of violence, to influence negotiations.

On 23 January 1996, the international commission for disarmament in Northern Ireland recommended that Britain drop its demand, suggesting that disarmament begin during talks rather than before. The British government refused to drop its demand. Responding to the commission, Major said in parliament that, for there to be talks, either the IRA would have to disarm or there would have to be an election in Northern Ireland. Irish republicans and nationalists wanted talks to begin swiftly, but noted that it would take months to organize and hold an election.

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams argued that the British government and unionists were erecting “one obstacle after another to frustrate every attempt to sit down around the negotiating table” and warned American diplomats that the British government’s actions were “threatening the ceasefire”.

Th intransigence of the British Government infuriated the IRA Army Council who said this was one concession too much and a betrayal of the terms of the negotiations that had been previously agreed. Discussions foundered.

In an attempt to break the impasse, the British and Irish governments created an international decommissioning body, chaired by former US Senator George Mitchell. This was part of a ‘twin-track’ approach, with decommissioning to accompany political talks rather than precede them. Mitchell delivered his report in January 1996, setting out six principles that should be endorsed by all parties to the talks. This included a commitment to exclusively peaceful means. Mitchell recommended that all parties should sign up to these principles and that some decommissioning could take place during the talks. However, this was not enough to prevent the slide back to violence.

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On 9 February 1996, the IRA released a statement announcing the end of its ceasefire. Two hours later a flatbed truck bomb detonated in the London Docklands, killing two and injuring nearly 100 people. Damage to buildings was widespread and estimated repair costs were put at £150m.

On Saturday 15 June 1996 the IRA followed up the attack when a truck packed with 1500kg of Semtex and combustible ammonium nitrate fertiliser, (the largest bomb of the campaign) was exploded in Manchester. The IRA gave a one hour warning allowing the area to be cleared of shoppers. There were no deaths but 212 people suffered injury. The explosion caused around £1bn of damage and destroyed the commercial heart of Manchester.

The 1 May 1997 election landslide of the Labour Government proved to be the catalyst for change since it provided Blair with the opportunity to deal with the Northern Ireland problem without the constraints of the Unionist politicians of Northern Ireland.

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The IRA renewed its ceasefire on 20 July 1997, opening the way for Sinn Féin to be included in the inter-party talks that had begun under Mitchell’s chairmanship. The question of decommissioning remained though, and the British and Irish governments sought to fudge the issue rather than allow it to derail the process again.

This led to Ian Paisley’s hard-line Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) walking out of the talks, never to return. The DUP rejected the notion of making any concessions on the constitutional position of Northern Ireland or negotiating with Sinn Féin, whom they considered terrorists.

While deeply unhappy, the more moderate UUP remained in the talks. Given the DUP’s declared desire to break the talks, Mitchell wrote later in his memoirs that their decision to walk out actually helped the process of reaching an agreement. However, it was to have a lasting impact on the politics of Northern Ireland, as the DUP’s opposition to the Good Friday Agreement severely hindered its implementation.

Sinn Féin entered the all-party talks on 15 September 1997, having signed-up to the Mitchell Principles and after marathon negotiations, agreement was finally reached on 10 April 1998.

The Good Friday Agreement was a complex balancing act, reflecting the three strands approach. Within Northern Ireland, it created a new devolved assembly for Northern Ireland, with a requirement that executive power had to be shared by parties representing the two communities. In addition, a new North-South Ministerial Council was to be established, institutionalising the link between the two parts of Ireland.

The Irish government also committed to amending Articles 2 and 3 of the Republic’s Constitution, which laid claim to Northern Ireland, to instead reflect an aspiration to Irish unity, through purely democratic means, while recognising the diversity of identities and traditions in Ireland.

Finally, a Council of the Isles was to be created, recognising the ‘totality of relationships’ within the British Isles, including representatives of the two governments, and the devolved institutions in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

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Referendums were held in both Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland on 22 May 1998. In Northern Ireland 71 per cent of voters backed the Agreement, with 29 per cent voting against. While this was a significant endorsement, an exit poll for the Sunday Times found that 96 per cent of nationalists in Northern Ireland backed the Agreement, compared to just 55 per cent of unionists.

On 15 August 1998, 29 people were killed when dissident republicans exploded a car bomb in Omagh. This represented the largest loss of life in any incident in Northern Ireland since the start of the Troubles.

While the Omagh bombing was committed by republicans opposed to the Agreement, it returned the spotlight to the question of decommissioning paramilitary weapons, which the Good Friday Agreement had stated should happen within two years. Unionist anger at the refusal of the IRA to give up its weapons was combined with frustration at the refusal of Sinn Féin to accept the reformed Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Power-sharing proved impossible to sustain and voters in each community started to turn away from the moderate parties giving their support to Sinn Féin and the DUP, displacing the SDLP and UUP.

For a significant part of the decade following the Good Friday Agreement, devolution was suspended because of the inability of the largest parties from each community to reach agreement on power-sharing.

Progress was made on decommissioning, which was confirmed to have been carried out in September 2005, but political agreement remained elusive.

Eventually, the British and Irish governments hosted crunch talks at St Andrews in October 2006. There, Sinn Féin finally agreed to accept the PSNI, while the DUP agreed to share power with Sinn Féin.

In May 2007, an Executive comprised of the DUP, Sinn Féin, UUP and SDLP was finally able to take office. This time, the institutions created under the Good Friday Agreement remained in place until the current political crisis led to the collapse of the Executive in January 2017.

Despite the fragility of the institutions created and the continuing bitterness between politicians representing the two communities, the Good Friday Agreement remains an important landmark in Northern Ireland’s history.

The Good Friday Agreement was able to bring to an end 30 years of violence allowing Northern Ireland’s two communities to pursue their contrasting aspirations by purely political means.

At 2015 Northern Ireland elected 8 Sinn Fein MP’s to Westminster all committed to the abstentionism policy which prevents participation in any of the activities in the House of Commons.

But the power and influence of Sinn Fein is progressing well in Northern Ireland and in the Republic and the heady ambition of reuniting all of the people of the island of Ireland under one parliament is very much on the horizon. The Abstentionism policy has been vindicated.

Content largely extracted and paraphrased from The LONG WAR: The IRA & SINN FÉIN’ authored by Brendan O’Brien (1999)

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The Long Delayed Istanbul Convention Needs to be Ratified Now to Save Rape Crisis Scotland

 

 

Rape Crisis Scotland

Sandy Brindley and her staff have been at the forefront of the organisation for many years and are to be commended for the work they do supporting victims of rape and abuse, very often in very difficult circumstances.

But the relentless increase in the incidence of rape, sexual assault and complexity of the work has stretched the organisation well beyond its capacity and this has resulted in a growing backlog of cases in which the aggrieved person has yet to be provided with aid or assistance.

According to a 2014 Fundamental Rights Agency survey, one in three women in the EU experienced physical and/or sexual violence from the age of 15. 55% of women have been confronted with one or more forms of sexual harassment (11% have been subjected to cyber harassment). One in twenty have been raped.

Violence against the person, of any nature is abhorrent and perpetrators should be subject to prosecution and penal incarceration, if found guilty by a jury. But the final decision whether to proceed to prosecution or some other remedy should remain with the complainant, (not the police).

Attention should be given to the adverse impact on the health and well being of someone who has suffered sexual and/or domestic abuse and systems should be in place providing emotional, social, spiritual, legal support, guidance and provision of legal aid allowing the complainant access to a barrister of choice.

The Istanbul Convention on Violence Against Women and Girls, adopted by the Council of Europe in 2011 and ratified by the EU in June 2017 should be ratified and implemented by the Scottish Government without further delay.

Scottish Rape Crisis and similar support organisations should be merged and regrouped under one banner discontinuing the need for organisations to canvas Scots or plead for Lottery funding to finance the good works they do and to this end the Scottish Government should ensure that the Convention is properly implemented and enforced through the allocation of funding and human resources and the provision of appropriate training for case workers and other professions dealing with victims.

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Rape Crisis Scotland – Staffed by Ultra Radical Feminists Focused on the Subjugation of Scottish Men

 

 

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Jan 2019: Sociology student Adnan Ahmed was the subject of a nationwide media scandal

Adnan was a Criminal Justice Practitioner for Turning Point focusing on human/men’s rights. His job was supporting ex-cons and drug addicts to reform and integrate into society. He was planning to study criminology for a BA (Hons) in Criminology (at Abertay university in Dundee). in his 4th year.

In his 1st year he gained an HNC in Social Services (at the City of Glasgow college). In his 2nd he gained an HND in Additional Support Needs (at Glasgow Clyde college). At the time of his arrest he was half-way through his 3rd doing a BA in Learning Difficulties/Disabilities (between Fife college and Abertay university).

He also gained a BA in Business Studies (From Glasgow Caledonian University) and in his own time he produced a blog through which he taught a mix of mindfulness and human behaviour.

No complaints had ever been registered against Ahmed until a “BBC Social” video was aired on national television portraying him as a sexual deviant who sexually harassed women on the streets of Glasgow and other places creating a media backlash against him.

In his defence Ahmed said that all of his approaches were made and videoed, in the daytime on busy streets and in well populated areas, there was nothing sinister or hidden. Interactions were limited to less than 10 minutes and at no time were women made to feel comfortable or with the aim of exchanging contact details.

It was his experience that daytime dating was a safe way to talk to females. Men do the same thing in night-clubs, often under the influence of alcohol and this is deemed to be socially acceptable.

Initially the police said there was no criminal behaviour but the public was misled into thinking Ahmed’s conduct was criminal and he was accused of being a sexual predator on social media and in the newspapers.

The police canvassed for complainants after an MSP and Rape Crisis Scotland got involved, through the placement of a “Me2” type incident report number in the national press

Those that came forward with complaints did so after colluding and speaking to each other on Twitter and Facebook feeds, and through contact with the BBC.

They were further encouraged by an American social media troll,  who fuelled the unsubstantiated allegations through a number of fake social media accounts he maintained for the express purpose of adding credibility to the mischief.

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Sandy Brinkley – Rape Crisis Scotland – Exerts her Power

Brindley from Rape Crisis Scotland, took it upon herself to approach the police with concerns about the predatory behaviour of Ahmed. A man who had never raped anyone, nor had ever been accused or linked with a horrible word like rape.

Even after viewing Ahmed’s online “game” videos it was clear that he was simply having short flirty conversations with females who were willing participants, ending at most, with an exchange of contact details.

The real predatory stalker behaviour was displayed by Brindley who contacted the police, seeking to justify the existence of the Scottish Government funded quango, “Rape Crisis Scotland”.

Ahmed was not the inventor of online YouTube dating videos, which is a global concept, especially in Western nations.

Social media uploads from massive multi-million pound dating companies occur daily and Ahmed’s videos were tame compared to his counterparts in London and the States.

Brindley’s over reaction exposed the venom within “Rape Crisis Scotland” when compared to open-minded independent thinking women in London and the U.S.A who view the practice as a non-issue.

Brindley’s misogyny is not a crime but to publicly state “I think a number of behaviours shown in the videos were arguably caught by criminal law,” is utter nonsense.

But Brindley was right about one thing – misogyny is not a crime, but labelling an innocent man misogynist (when he was clearly not) was slander and reporting it to the police was an act of malice unbecoming of a Scottish Government funded organization.

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Jan 2019: BBC Investigation Production Aired

Journalists, pursuing a sleaze story, hounded Ahmed for months forcing him to reach out to them responding with a detailed explanation of his business model and background to his client base as well as the scientific reasoning behind this method of face-to-face daytime speed dating.

They ignored his explanation preferring to warp his responses creating controversy demonising an innocent man.

BBC-The Social’s video went viral on the internet prompting Police Scotland to issue a statement saying “we cannot follow up on this as there is no actual crime to investigate, no crime has been committed.”

But they were forced to change their tune in response to a public witch hunt generated by the BBC portrayal of Adnan Ahmed as a demonic sexual predator.

It was truly bizarre and shocking that Scotland’s police force could be manipulated so easily. They were fully aware of Ahmed’s dating business nearly 3 years before the BBC The Social’s hate fuelled video falsely demonised him. Indeed they spoke to Mr Ahmed about it on a number of occasions in casual conversation and both male and female officers approved of it. There are phone calls and written police reports to confirm this.

Ahmed also worked extensively in conjunction with the police in his job as a Criminal Justice Practitioner. His behaviour was never “predatory”. He ran an online dating business on YouTube for all to see. His clients, video demonstrations and spontaneous conversations with women were conducted in daytime, on well populated busy city centre streets. He hid nothing, so how could his actions be described as predatory, shameful or dangerous?

Police Scotland are mandated to investigate matters neutrally and without prejudice. Instead they contributed to the media mayhem by making comments defaming a man who although innocent of any crime was arrested and charged with 18 incidents of “threatening and abusive behaviour.” He was then held in custody, untried and without the option of bail.

13 charges were subsequently dropped but the prosecutor pursued 5 charges, via a Scottish legal technicality called Moorov’s Law, knowing the jury were heavily influenced by the widespread negative press (radio, TV, newspapers, internet) against Ahmed before and every day of his trial.

The Sheriff Court indictment was framed to convict Ahmed on a technicality of Scottish Law (Moorov/ corroboration) rather than using substantial hard evidence, because there was none.

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Moorov’s Law

The importance of corroboration is unique to Scots criminal law. The requirement for corroborating evidence means at least two different and independent sources of evidence are required in support of each crucial fact before a defendant can be convicted of a crime.

Corroboration is required in Scots law as the evidence of a single witness, however credible, is not sufficient to prove a charge against an accused or to establish any material or crucial fact. There are two prime facts that are deemed to be crucial; the first being that the crime was committed and the second being that it was committed by the accused. Crucial facts must be proven beyond reasonable doubt by corroborative evidence.

The Moorov doctrine is a doctrine that deals with similar faulty evidence in Scots law, arising from the case of Moorov v HM Advocate in 1930. The Moorov doctrine is used where a series of supposed crimes have been committed and are closely linked by time, character, circumstance and place of commission as to constitute a course of conduct by the accused. The accused must be positively identified in each case. There may only be one witness to each individual crime who can identify the accused but where the offences are sufficiently similar the witness for one offence can corroborate the account of a witness for another offence. A legal technicality which is being abused by corrupt Scottish judges and the police.

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2019: Glasgow Sherriff Court

Ahmed was not permitted to present vital evidence proving his innocence because Scottish court laws protect prosecution witnesses, even if they are lying.

The worst part is that the Scottish Justice System is designed in such a way that females who make false accusations face limited punishment for their lies, if there are any legal repercussions at all.

Ahmed was found guilty in a jury trial and given a two-year custodial sentence and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for ten years.

Sep 2019: Ahmed’s defence team lodged an appeal stating that their client had been denied a fair and impartial trial.

One year later, in September 2020 Ahmed’s legal team told the appeal court that Sheriff Wood had conducted an inappropriate cross-examination of Ahmed when he finished giving evidence and that he failed to properly explain the rules of corroboration to jurors in the case and he was wrong when he rejected a defence motion to have some of the charges thrown out on the basis that there was insufficient evidence to allow jurors to return guilty verdicts. In his report to the appeal court, Sheriff Wood said he believed there was enough evidence on these charges to be considered by the jurors.

The appeal court disagreed and said the evidence did not show Ahmed to be guilty of threatening behaviour. Lord Turnbull – who delivered the judgement, wrote:

“It does not seem to us that a polite conversational request or complement can be construed as threatening merely because it is uninvited or unwelcome and there was nothing in the appellant’s behaviour as spoken to by the complainers in charges 5, 6 and 18 which was overtly threatening or which could reasonably be construed as threatening. There was nothing in the appellant’s conduct in the city centre encounter as spoken to by the complainer in charge 16 which constituted threatening behaviour. He told her that she looked like Kim Kardashian, which the witness described as a compliment, although she asked him if he was joking. He subsequently sent her a text which was abusive. This was the only aspect of this charge which could have constituted an offence. In these circumstances we are satisfied that the doctrine of mutual corroboration would not have been available as between charge 4 and this aspect of charge 16. Accordingly, we are also persuaded that the sheriff erred in failing to give effect to the no case to answer submissions presented on the appellant’s behalf in respect of these charges also. In the present case counsel was correct to object to the sheriff’s questioning when she did. The exercise which the sheriff was engaged in had already lacked any element of clarification and at the point when she rose to her feet the sheriff appeared to be in the process of arguing with the appellant. It is unacceptable for a judicial office holder to address a responsible practitioner by telling her to sit down. Such behaviour carries the risk of demeaning the standing of the judiciary in the eyes of both the legal profession and of the public.” Ahmed was officially acquitted.

Comment:

The Scottish legal system thoroughly crushes any sane notion of justice under the weight of legal loopholes and strategies exploited by radical feminist politicians and “Rape Crisis Scotland” who shamelessly exploit vulnerable women in their constant posturing for the media. And the public are unconsciously making things worse because of its apparent contentment with a social media cultural circus!

This is a brief summary of the report of a miscarriage of justice perpetrated by the BBC, Scottish media, Rape Crisis Scotland and their Government sponsored organisations against Glaswegian, sociology student, Ahmed. The original article (a must read) was first published at https://www.addyagame.com)

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