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BREXIT / British Politics thread - cont

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Soldiers could be placed on UK borders in ‘last resort' if there's no deal, Home Office official admits

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-latest-no-deal-soldiers-uk-borders-eu-home-office-a8005571.html

A pointless solution. One that will create more problems than it solves. In short, a perfectly British solution.
 

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EU leaders have agreed to start preparing for trade talks with the UK - as the Theresa May admits there is "some way to go" in negotiations.


As expected, her 27 EU counterparts agreed at a Brussels summit that not enough progress had been made on other issues to begin formal trade talks now.


But by starting internal talks, they are paving the way for them to begin, possibly in December.


Mrs May said she was "ambitious and positive" about the negotiations.

The other 27 EU leaders have gathered in Brussels for a crunch summit to assess the progress made so far in Brexit negotiations with the UK, which is due to leave the EU in March 2019, following last year's referendum result.
 

 

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I guess in the end there will be some agreement on money,  immigration and trade, so the UK will be exactly as before but without any kind of decision input :lmao:

By the way I was in London last September.  My God the urban development is DIZZY.  So many new buildings and it seemed so prosperous!!!!!  But Oxford Street was full of tacky shops and Soho Square full of drunkards.  A very different landscape as it was in 2008. 

The destruction of the middle class in the whole EU is disturbing.  In Spain it is an scandal.  Of course,  every country tries to blame scapegoats,  either immigrants,  Brussels or whatever. But it's the national elites  

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3 hours ago, karbatal said:

IMy God the urban development is DIZZY.  So many new buildings and it seemed so prosperous!!!!!  

The destruction of the middle class in the whole EU is disturbing.  In Spain it is an scandal.  Of course,  every country tries to blame scapegoats,  either immigrants,  Brussels or whatever. But it's the national elites  

Which may give a clue at to why much of the rest of England in shithole, cash-strapped decimated cities indeed voted for that "Brexit".

And it's the working classes being destroyed, not the middle class.

And of course Brussels is made up of the "national elites" of each country whose job it is to protect their fellow elites, obviously.

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16 hours ago, Kim said:

Which may give a clue at to why much of the rest of England in shithole, cash-strapped decimated cities indeed voted for that "Brexit".

And it's the working classes being destroyed, not the middle class.

And of course Brussels is made up of the "national elites" of each country whose job it is to protect their fellow elites, obviously.

I like the EU.  It has the potential to do great things.  

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Sir Keir Starmer QC is David Davis's counterpart in the Labour Party and is likely through his training to have a greater grasp on the detail of the potential disaster which is Brexit.

He also has a connection to Northern Ireland as former Human Rights Advisor to the Policing Board for Northern Ireland, and was the Director of Public Prosecutions in England before entering Parliament

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/oct/21/keir-starmer-tory-rebels-and-labour-will-unite-over-brexit-deal-veto

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6 hours ago, karbatal said:

I like the EU.  It has the potential to do great things.  

This. I have no doubts it's far from perfect and there is a lot to do but I think the principles behind it are genuine and can truly bring Europe together and flourish in the process. 

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Just now, karbatal said:

I like the EU.  It has the potential to do great things.  

yes

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9 hours ago, karbatal said:

I like the EU.  It has the potential to do great things.  

Absolutely. Its horrible that it can't really change and evolve as fast as we want, because it has been plagued with so many problems lately: Brexit, migrants, Catalonia. And it seems to me there are a lot of foreign forces that want to see it fail unfortunately and there are some greedy bitches within who try to undermine it :(

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Am Obliged to Reconsider My Support for the European Union

To my own astonishment, and after a full 36 hours of hard thinking to try and escape this conclusion, I am in intellectual honesty obliged to reconsider my lifelong support for the European Union, due to the unqualified backing of the EU Commission for the Spanish Government’s dreadful repression in Catalonia.

This is very difficult for me. I still much favour open immigration policy, and the majority of Brexiteers are motivated at base by racist anti-immigrant sentiment. Certainly many Brexiteers share in the right wing support for Rajoy’s actions. I have been simply stunned by the willingness of right wingers across the internet, including on this blog, to justify the violence of the Spanish state on “law and order” grounds. It is a stark warning of what we might face in Scotland in our next move towards Independence, which I have always believed may be made without the consent of Westminster.

But not all who oppose the EU are right wing. There are others who oppose the EU on the grounds that it is simply another instrument of power of the global 1% and an enforcer of neo-liberalism. I had opposed this idea on the grounds it was confusing the policies of current EU states with the institution itself, that it ignored the EU’s strong guarantees of human rights, and its commitment to workers’ rights and consumer protection. I have to admit today that I was wrong, and in fact the EU does indeed function to maintain the global political elite, and cares nothing for the people.

The Lisbon Treaty specifically incorporated the European Charter of Fundamental Rights into basic European Union law. There is no doubt whatsoever that the Spanish Guardia Civil on Sunday contravened the following articles:

Article 1: The Right to Human Dignity
Article 6: The Right to Liberty or Security of Person
Article 11: Freedom of Expression and Information
Article 12: Freedom of Assembly and Association
Article 54: Prohibition of Abuse of Rights

I would argue that these were also breached:

Article 21: Non-discrimination
Article 22: Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Diversity

The European Commission is obliged to abide by this Charter by Article 51. Yet when the Spanish government committed the most egregious mass violation of human rights within the European Union for a great many years, the EU Commission deliberately chose to ignore completely its obligations under the European Charter of Fundamantal Rights in its response. The Commission’s actions shocked all of intellectual Europe, and represented a complete betrayal of the fundamental principles, obligations and basic documents of the European Union.

This is the result. The disgusting, smirking Margaritas Schinas of the European Commission refuses to face up to the intellectual vacuity of the EU’s position. He is also lying, because he claims to be limited in matters beyond the Commission’s competence, when he knows perfectly well that the EU Commission is ignoring its obligations under the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. That video was a key factor in persuading me, after 44 years of actual enthusiasm for the EU, it is no longer an organisation which I can support.

900 people were so injured by the Guardia Civil that they had to go for formal medical treatment. Officers, in full riot gear, baton charged entirely peaceful lines of voters, smashed old ladies on the head with weapons, pulled young women by the hair and stamped on them on the ground, threw people down flights of stairs, fired rubber bullets into people sitting on the street.

To take the “legalistic” argument, even if you accept the referendum was illegal (and I shall come to that), that in no way necessitates that sort of violence. It could be argued the referendum’s result had no legal effect, but the act of the referendum itself is in that case a form of political demonstration. If that involved abuse of public funds, then legal consequences might follow. There was no cause at all to inflict mass violence on the voters. The actual violence was absolutely disproportionate, unprovoked and undoubtedly met the bar of gross and systematic human rights abuse by the Spanish state.

Yet the EU reacted as if no such abuse had ever happened at all, and the world had not seen it. The statement of the EU Commission totally ignored these absolutely shocking events, in favour of an unequivocal statement of absolute support for Rajoy:

Under the Spanish Constitution, yesterday’s vote in Catalonia was not legal.
For the European Commission, as President Juncker has reiterated repeatedly, this is an internal matter for Spain that has to be dealt with in line with the constitutional order of Spain.
We also reiterate the legal position held by this Commission as well as by its predecessors. If a referendum were to be organised in line with the Spanish Constitution it would mean that the territory leaving would find itself outside of the European Union.
Beyond the purely legal aspects of this matter, the Commission believes that these are times for unity and stability, not divisiveness and fragmentation.
We call on all relevant players to now move very swiftly from confrontation to dialogue. Violence can never be an instrument in politics. We trust the leadership of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to manage this difficult process in full respect of the Spanish Constitution and of the fundamental rights of citizens enshrined therein.

I speak fluent diplomatese, and this is an unusual statement in its fulsomeness. It contradicts itself by saying “this is an internal matter” but then adding “these are times for unity and stability, not divisiveness and fragmentation” which is an unequivocal statement of opposition to Catalan independence.

The Commission later claimed that to comment on the violence by the Spanish Authorities is beyond its competence, a plain lie due to Article 51 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. But what was in fact outwith Commission competence was this statement of opposition to Catalan independence. It was also extremely unusual – in fact I cannot think of another example – of the EU Commission specifically to endorse by name Mariano Rajoy, let alone immediately after he had launched a gross human rights abuse.

Condemnation would have been too much to expect; but these gratuitous endorsements were a slap in the face to anybody with a concern for human rights in Europe. Also, in diplomatese, I should have expected the mildest of hidden rebukes in the statement; I would have been annoyed by “The Commission is sure the Spanish Government will continue to meet its obligations under the Charter of Fundamental Rights” as too weak, but it is the kind of thing I would have expected to see.

Instead Juncker chose to make no qualification at all in his support for Rajoy.

Perhaps as a former diplomat I put much more weight on these little things than might seem sensible, but to me they are the unmistakeable tells of what kind of right wing authoritarian institution the EU has become, and why I can no longer offer it my support.

I now want to turn to the wider question of whether the Catalonian referendum was indeed illegal. This argument must always come back to the Charter of the United Nations , which states at..

Article 1 (2) To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;:

It is worth noting that there is no qualification at all on “self-determination of peoples”. It is not limited to decolonisation, as sometimes falsely claimed. The phrase is repeated in the separate UN Declaration on Decolonisation, as the principle plainly is applicable in that context. But it is not limited to that context and appears in the Charter outwith that context.

The question of what constitutes a “people” is a thorny one. NATO were sufficiently convinced the Kosovans were a “people” to go to war for their right to self-determination, while in terms of domestic law of Yugoslavia or Serbia their independence was every bit as illegal as Catalonian independence is under Spanish law. The purveyors of the “illegal” argument, in Spain and in the EU, have never deigned to us why the Kosovans are a “people” with the right to self-determination whereas the Catalans are not.

In this limited sense, NATO and the EU were right over Kosovo. If the Kosovans are a “people”, their right to self determination under the UN Charter could not be nullified by domestic Yugoslav or Serbian legislation. The same is true of the Catalans. If they are a “people”, Spanish domestic legislation cannot remove their right of self-determination. The rights conferred by the UN Charter are inalienable. A people can never give up its right of self-determination. Indeed, those arguing that the Catalans contracted into the current Spanish constitution are heading into a legal ambush as they have already admitted the Catalans are a people with the right of self-determination.

Indeed the Spanish constitution already admits Spain contains separate nationalities. The preamble of section 2 to the Spanish Constitution reads:

Section 2. The Constitution is based on the indissoluble unity of the Spanish Nation, the common and indivisible homeland of all Spaniards; it recognizes and guarantees the right to self-government of the nationalities and regions of which it is composed and the solidarity among them all.

Remember, the right to self-determination is inalienable. Once you have acknowledged the existence of different nationalities, the Spanish Constitutional Court cannot legitimately deny their right to self-determination. What it can legitimately do is to judge on their constitutional arrangements within Spain. It cannot legitimately prevent them from determining to leave.

I do not see any doubt that the Catalans are a “people”. They have their own language. They have their own culture. Most importantly, there are over one thousand years of written records of their existence as a separate “people” with those attributes and an extremely long, if in some cases occasionally broken, history of their own institutions.

I do not think it is seriously arguable that the Catalans are not a “people”. It is also the answer to the frankly childish comparison, made by right wingers, to the South East of England breaking away. There is no legitimate argument that the South East of Englanders are a separate “people” in the sense of the UN Charter. The same applies to Northern Italy. Belgium, however, does include different peoples with the right of self-determination, should they choose to exercise it.

The fact that a “people” has the right of self-determination gives them, of course, the right to choose, including the right to choose to remain within their existing state. That right to choose was all the Catalonian government was seeking to offer. The Spanish government and courts are implementing a domestic law, but that domestic law is incompatible with overarching wider rights. As journalists point out in that EU Commission video above, the Turkish courts are correctly implementing domestic law in jailing journalists and academics. It is not enough for Spain to say it is implementing law when the law itself is illegitimate. Jews were “lawfully” rounded up in 1930’s Germany. Gandhi and Mandela were “lawfully” imprisoned.

I will never forget working in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as the South Africa (Political) officer in 1986, when the policy of the Thatcher government was explicit that black activists jailed under the apartheid laws were lawfully detained, and that apartheid forces breaking up illegal Soweto demonstrations, in precisely the manner seen against voters in Catalonia, were acting lawfully. Over thirty years, the acknowledgement of the overarching internationally guaranteed basic rights appeared to have made progress. But the EU Commission has just turned its back on all of that.

It is not just the Commission. Macron, May and Merkel have all declared unequivocally against Catalonian independence, while refusing to make any comment at all on the state violence as an “internal affair”. This from Guy Verhofstadt is as good as EU reaction gets, yet it is still entirely mendacious:

I don’t want to interfere in the domestic issues of Spain but I absolutely condemn what happened today in Catalonia.
On one hand, the separatist parties went forward with a so-called referendum that was forbidden by the Constitutional Court, knowing all too well that only a minority would participate as 60 % of the Catalans are against separation.
And on the other hand – even when based on court decisions – the use of disproportionate violence to stop this.
In the European Union we try to find solutions through political dialogue and with respect for the constitutional order as enshrined in the Treaties, especially in art. 4.
It’s high time for de-escalation. Only a negotiated solution in which all political parties, including the opposition in the Catalan Parliament, are involved and with respect for the Constitutional and legal order of the country, is the way forward.

Verhofstadt accepts without question the right of the Spanish Constitutional Court to deny the Catalan right to self-determination, and like every other EU source does not put an argument for that or even refer to the existence of that right or to the UN Charter. He claims, utterly tendentiously to know that 60% of the Catalan people oppose independence. That is plainly untrue. In the last Catalonian assembly elections, 48% voted for pro-Independence parties and another 5% for parties agnostic on the issue. On Sunday, 55% of the electorate voted. A quarter of those votes were confiscated by police, but the votes of 42% of the electorate could be counted and were 90% for Independence. There is no reason to suspect the confiscated ballots were any different. Verhofstadt does at least acknowledge the disproportionate violence to stop the referendum, thus correctly attributing the blame. This is the only statement I have seen from any EU source which contains any truth whatsoever.

To withdraw a lifetime of support for the EU is not a light decision. I have delayed it for hard consideration, so that the emotions aroused by the Spanish government violence could die down. I am also very confident, knowing how these things work, that Rajoy had briefed other EU leaders in advance that he was going to close down the referendum, and their statements of support had been pre-prepared. Diplomatic wheels grind slowly, and I assumed there would be some rowing back from these original statements once bureaucracies had time to react to the excessive violence. In fact there has been no significant softening of the hard line.

In itself, even this incident would not be enough to make me denounce my support for the European Union. But it illustrates, in a way that I cannot deny, an argument that has been repeatedly urged on me and which I have been attempting to deny. The principles of the European Union and indeed the content of its treaties are something I continue strongly to support. But the institution has in fact been overrun by the right wing cronyism of the neo-liberal political class, and no longer serves the principles for which it ostensibly stands. It is become simply an instrument of elite power against the people.

Today, and with a greater sadness than you can imagine, I withdraw my support for membership of the European Union.

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:lmao:

:rotfl:

Who is that MORON?  He doesn't like the EU because a country within applies a LAW that was APPROVED BY REFERENDUM by the Spanish people? A law that is a copy from the German one????  A law that Spain was about to use in 1985 for the first time because the Canary Islands didn't agree to change border rules WHEN WE ENTERED THE EU? 

I can't :lol:

Reminds me so nuch to the " was a Madonna fan but..." that comes from Little Monsters... 

Nice try... 

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In the end only people anti -EU are supporting this regional mess that is Catalonia.  

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Just now, karbatal said:

In the end only people anti -EU are supporting this regional mess that is Catalonia.  

so far this seems to be true. And I am surprised that catalonia government didn´t think about this before. in the same way apparently didn´t think about businesess leaving their land to go to other places in spain, or, as it is starting to happen, going to other countries.

But I´m starting to think they have a long term strategy that will make, eventually, make everything go back to the starting point, the a fucking legal referendum.now it´s time for puig. to do something, then rajoy´s, then puig.´s...meanwhile, we are fucked. crap, this should have been totally different. I guess we are nor prepared for that yet.

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1 hour ago, promise to try said:

so far this seems to be true. And I am surprised that catalonia government didn´t think about this before. in the same way apparently didn´t think about businesess leaving their land to go to other places in spain, or, as it is starting to happen, going to other countries.

But I´m starting to think they have a long term strategy that will make, eventually, make everything go back to the starting point, the a fucking legal referendum.now it´s time for puig. to do something, then rajoy´s, then puig.´s...meanwhile, we are fucked. crap, this should have been totally different. I guess we are nor prepared for that yet.

The thing is that Spain was one of the VERY VERY VERY FEW EU countries that voted in referendum the European Constitution back in 2005 (we are so fascist and antidemocratic, aren't we?). And we approved the text. Now some independentists are shocked that the EU doesn't back this pantomime and that Catalonia cannot automatically be part of the EU if they become independent. 

Do people read what they vote in referendum AT ALL? :lol: 

Oh, and the "fascist" and "horrible" EU is soooo dictatorial, that it only took one tiny little country to vote "no" to the Constitution for the project to be SCRAPPED. 

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4 hours ago, karbatal said:

:lmao:

:rotfl:

Who is that MORON?  He doesn't like the EU because a country within applies a LAW that was APPROVED BY REFERENDUM by the Spanish people? A law that is a copy from the German one????  A law that Spain was about to use in 1985 for the first time because the Canary Islands didn't agree to change border rules WHEN WE ENTERED THE EU? 

I can't :lol:

Reminds me so nuch to the " was a Madonna fan but..." that comes from Little Monsters... 

Nice try... 

That "moron" is a former UK ambassador and extremely respected author and political commentator, famous for cutting through bullshit mainstream narrative media.  He goes into great detail as to why your "rule of law" parroting is bullshit.

Everything he writes here is of course true. You on the other hand work for state sponsored propaganda Spanish media who tell you what you can and can't write.

4 hours ago, karbatal said:

In the end only people anti -EU are supporting this regional mess that is Catalonia.  

This is nonsense. Right wing supremacists internet wide are firmly on the side of Spain in this whole mess. I'm starting to wonder if the internet censorship going on over there is not a SERIOUS problem.

2 hours ago, karbatal said:

The thing is that Spain was one of the VERY VERY VERY FEW EU countries that voted in referendum the European Constitution back in 2005 (we are so fascist and antidemocratic, aren't we?). And we approved the text. Now some independentists are shocked that the EU doesn't back this pantomime and that Catalonia cannot automatically be part of the EU if they become independent. 

Do people read what they vote in referendum AT ALL? :lol: 

Oh, and the "fascist" and "horrible" EU is soooo dictatorial, that it only took one tiny little country to vote "no" to the Constitution for the project to be SCRAPPED. 

Are we really going to get this msm nonsense, even in here?  No one is shocked that Catalonia wouldn't "automatically" be part of the EU. Yes, people are shocked that the EU did not condemn the violation of human rights going on in Spain. It's quite simple.

Nor did anyone call the EU "fascist" and "horrible". That would be Spain.

As for referendums. Ask the people of Ireland about that when they voted DOWN the treaties of Nice and Lisbon, only to be told by the EU that they'd made the wrong decision and better vote again and again until they voted correctly next time. A shambles. Not that referendum results have ANYTHING to do with the subject at hand.

It's no surprise that people from countries with histories of dictatorships, oppression, fascism, Nazism etc are enthusiastic about a super-state construct that promises to ensure that human rights are protected etc etc. Better just read the small print first, eh?

5 hours ago, promise to try said:

so far this seems to be true. And I am surprised that catalonia government didn´t think about this before. in the same way apparently didn´t think about businesess leaving their land to go to other places in spain, or, as it is starting to happen, going to other countries.

But I´m starting to think they have a long term strategy that will make, eventually, make everything go back to the starting point, the a fucking legal referendum.now it´s time for puig. to do something, then rajoy´s, then puig.´s...meanwhile, we are fucked. crap, this should have been totally different. I guess we are nor prepared for that yet.

Maybe some people just see through the 'Project Fear' facade easily. All the companies will leave, you will have no pension, there will be no food in the shops, planes will be stranded at airports, children will die of hunger in the streets. A load of old bullshit. Makes you wonder how and why ANY country in the world manages to survive on it's own really.

 

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As if a UK authority is now an example of knowing anything at all.  The show that May and her troupe are giving is embarrassing.  They have no idea of what is an European community.  And obviously he has zero idea of what represents national legislation. 

The rest of your comments are frankly a compendium of blah blah fascist (do you know what fascism really is? You use the word as a freshman trying to be cool). So I will ignore them. 

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18 minutes ago, karbatal said:

As if a UK authority is now an example of knowing anything at all.  The show that May and her troupe are giving is embarrassing.  They have no idea of what is an European community.  And obviously he has zero idea of what represents national legislation. 

The rest of your comments are frankly a compendium of blah blah fascist (do you know what fascism really is? You use the word as a freshman trying to be cool). So I will ignore them. 

Let's take a look at that "UK authority" who apparently knows nothing at all about Europe or what represents national legislation shall we?

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Craig John Murray (born 17 October 1958) graduated in 1982 with an MA (Hons) 1st Class At Dundee University.  Murray was elected President of his University Students Union as an avowed Liberal and remained active in Liberal then Liberal Democrat politics. He sat the 1984 Civil Service Open Competition exams in his second year as the Students' Association President. In the top three of his year, he chose the HM Diplomatic Service because it was the only government department which interested him.

Murray had a number of overseas postings with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to Africa and to Europe. In London, he was appointed to the FCO's Southern European Department and later became head of the Maritime Section. In August 1991 he worked in the Embargo Surveillance Centre as the head of the FCO section. This job entailed monitoring the Iraqi government's attempts at smuggling weapons and circumventing sanctions. In his book 'Murder in Samarkand', he describes how this experience led him to disbelieve the claims of the UK and US governments in 2002 about Iraqi WMDs

Murray was appointed as the British ambassador to Uzbekistan in 2002, at the age of 43. "Within the parameters of diplomatic protocol, he did his best to push for liberalisation", wrote the Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Daniel Hannan about Murray after his arrival in Tashkent. "Sensibly, he focused on economic reform, calculating that if private property and free contract were established, democracy would follow".

While Ambassador in Tashkent, he accused the Karimov administration of human rights violations. Murray complained to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in November 2002, January or early February 2003, and in June 2004 that intelligence linking the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan to al-Qaeda was unreliable, immoral and illegal, as it was thought to have been obtained through torture .He described this as "selling our souls for dross". Murray was removed as ambassador to Uzbekistan on 14 October 2004; he attributed this to his complaints about human rights violations.

"In the middle of October" 2002, Nick Cohen wrote in The Observer, Murray "delivered a speech which broke with all the established principles of Foreign Office diplomacy". "The brave and honest ambassador", Cohen commented, spoke at a human rights conference hosted by Freedom House in Tashkent. In the speech, Murray said that:

Uzbekistan is not a functioning democracy, nor does it appear to be moving in the direction of democracy. The major political parties are banned; Parliament is not subject to democratic election and checks and balances on the authority of the electorate are lacking. There is worse: we believe there to be between seven and 10,000 people in detention who we would consider as political and/or religious prisoners. In many cases they have been falsely convicted of crimes with which there appears to be no credible evidence they had any connection."

The Foreign Office cleared the speech, but not without an acrimonious struggle over its content. Murray also said in his speech that the boiling to death of two men, reportedly members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, was "not an isolated incident." In one telegram Murray sent to London, he wrote that "Tortured dupes are forced to sign up to confessions showing what the Uzbek government wants the US and UK to believe". Later, Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan confronted Uzbek President Islam Karimov with Murray's assertions.

Murray was removed from his post in October 2004, shortly after a leaked report in the Financial Times quoted him as claiming that MI6 used intelligence provided by Uzbek authorities through torture. The FCO denied any direct connection and stated that Murray had been removed for "operational" reasons. He was suspended, amid claims that he had lost the confidence of senior officials and colleagues. The following day, in an interview on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Murray countered that he was a "victim of conscience", and in this and other interviews was critical of the FCO. A week later he was accused of "gross misconduct" by the FCO. Murray was sacked in 2004.

Murray has continued his opposition to the War on Terror since leaving HM Diplomatic Service. He published a number of confidential memos in December 2005 on his website, which outlined his condemnation of intelligence procured under torture, and the UK government's willingness to receive such intelligence from torture. The British government subsequently claimed copyright over the documents and demanded they be removed. Murray's book Murder in Samarkand - A British Ambassador's Controversial Defiance of Tyranny in the War on Terror (2006) is a memoir about his time as an ambassador. A radio play Murder in Samarkand, written by Sir David Hare, and based on Murray's book was broadcast by BBC Radio 4 on 20 February 2010 with David Tennant as Murray

The threat of legal action against Murray by the Treasury Solicitor for the unauthorised publication of official documents on his website resulted in a large number of people mirroring the documents on their own websites and releasing them via peer-to-peer networks. The Treasury Solicitor's letter stated that if the documents were not removed by 10 July 2006, which they were not, then a claim would be issued in the High Court for an injunction requiring the documents to be removed. Murray replied he looked forward to arguing the case in court: no writ was ever issued.

In September 2007, Murray commented upon the character of Alisher Usmanov, Russia's 18th richest man. However, the post had to be removed from his web site following an intervention from Usmanov's lawyers, Schillings, who threatened his webhost. Despite Murray's repeated assertions that he was happy to defend his statements in court, Schillings declined to sue Murray but concentrated on stamping out the story by threatening hosting companies who had no interest in defending the case. Under further pressure from Usmanov's lawyers, the hosting company Fasthosts decided to permanently close the server for the web site on 20 September 2007, an action which had the effect of deleting several other related and non-related political blogs.

In recognition of his campaigning work on torture and human rights he was awarded the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence in January 2006. In November 2006, he was awarded the Premio Alta Qualità della Città di Bologna. Murray turned down three honours from the Queen as titles are "not his thing".

--------------------------------------------------------

Well, well well. A man of intelligence, integrity and conviction who put his own political career in jeopardy to highlight human rights violations, who actively works to educate people how the Establishment really works using his insider knowledge, who happens to RIGHTLY point out the hypocrisy of the EU as it continues on it's path of representing the interests of neo-liberal elites first and foremost, as a matter of conscience (after years of supporting it on his blog)  He is in fact the ANTITHESIS of May and her acolytes. What a "moron" kinda like a "little monster" really..

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

And don't try and lecture me on what fascism is when a form of it is going on right on your doorstep by a corrupt, francoist right-wing government while you're more concerned about parroting the "greedy Catalonians" line.

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6 minutes ago, Kim said:

Let's take a look at that "UK authority" who apparently knows nothing at all about Europe or what represents national legislation shall we?

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Craig John Murray (born 17 October 1958) graduated in 1982 with an MA (Hons) 1st Class At Dundee University.  Murray was elected President of his University Students Union as an avowed Liberal and remained active in Liberal then Liberal Democrat politics. He sat the 1984 Civil Service Open Competition exams in his second year as the Students' Association President. In the top three of his year, he chose the HM Diplomatic Service because it was the only government department which interested him.

Murray had a number of overseas postings with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to Africa and to Europe. In London, he was appointed to the FCO's Southern European Department and later became head of the Maritime Section. In August 1991 he worked in the Embargo Surveillance Centre as the head of the FCO section. This job entailed monitoring the Iraqi government's attempts at smuggling weapons and circumventing sanctions. In his book 'Murder in Samarkand', he describes how this experience led him to disbelieve the claims of the UK and US governments in 2002 about Iraqi WMDs

Murray was appointed as the British ambassador to Uzbekistan in 2002, at the age of 43. "Within the parameters of diplomatic protocol, he did his best to push for liberalisation", wrote the Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Daniel Hannan about Murray after his arrival in Tashkent. "Sensibly, he focused on economic reform, calculating that if private property and free contract were established, democracy would follow".

While Ambassador in Tashkent, he accused the Karimov administration of human rights violations. Murray complained to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in November 2002, January or early February 2003, and in June 2004 that intelligence linking the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan to al-Qaeda was unreliable, immoral and illegal, as it was thought to have been obtained through torture .He described this as "selling our souls for dross". Murray was removed as ambassador to Uzbekistan on 14 October 2004; he attributed this to his complaints about human rights violations.

"In the middle of October" 2002, Nick Cohen wrote in The Observer, Murray "delivered a speech which broke with all the established principles of Foreign Office diplomacy". "The brave and honest ambassador", Cohen commented, spoke at a human rights conference hosted by Freedom House in Tashkent. In the speech, Murray said that:

Uzbekistan is not a functioning democracy, nor does it appear to be moving in the direction of democracy. The major political parties are banned; Parliament is not subject to democratic election and checks and balances on the authority of the electorate are lacking. There is worse: we believe there to be between seven and 10,000 people in detention who we would consider as political and/or religious prisoners. In many cases they have been falsely convicted of crimes with which there appears to be no credible evidence they had any connection."

The Foreign Office cleared the speech, but not without an acrimonious struggle over its content. Murray also said in his speech that the boiling to death of two men, reportedly members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, was "not an isolated incident." In one telegram Murray sent to London, he wrote that "Tortured dupes are forced to sign up to confessions showing what the Uzbek government wants the US and UK to believe". Later, Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan confronted Uzbek President Islam Karimov with Murray's assertions.

Murray was removed from his post in October 2004, shortly after a leaked report in the Financial Times quoted him as claiming that MI6 used intelligence provided by Uzbek authorities through torture. The FCO denied any direct connection and stated that Murray had been removed for "operational" reasons. He was suspended, amid claims that he had lost the confidence of senior officials and colleagues. The following day, in an interview on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Murray countered that he was a "victim of conscience", and in this and other interviews was critical of the FCO. A week later he was accused of "gross misconduct" by the FCO. Murray was sacked in 2004.

Murray has continued his opposition to the War on Terror since leaving HM Diplomatic Service. He published a number of confidential memos in December 2005 on his website, which outlined his condemnation of intelligence procured under torture, and the UK government's willingness to receive such intelligence from torture. The British government subsequently claimed copyright over the documents and demanded they be removed. Murray's book Murder in Samarkand - A British Ambassador's Controversial Defiance of Tyranny in the War on Terror (2006) is a memoir about his time as an ambassador. A radio play Murder in Samarkand, written by Sir David Hare, and based on Murray's book was broadcast by BBC Radio 4 on 20 February 2010 with David Tennant as Murray

The threat of legal action against Murray by the Treasury Solicitor for the unauthorised publication of official documents on his website resulted in a large number of people mirroring the documents on their own websites and releasing them via peer-to-peer networks. The Treasury Solicitor's letter stated that if the documents were not removed by 10 July 2006, which they were not, then a claim would be issued in the High Court for an injunction requiring the documents to be removed. Murray replied he looked forward to arguing the case in court: no writ was ever issued.

In September 2007, Murray commented upon the character of Alisher Usmanov, Russia's 18th richest man. However, the post had to be removed from his web site following an intervention from Usmanov's lawyers, Schillings, who threatened his webhost. Despite Murray's repeated assertions that he was happy to defend his statements in court, Schillings declined to sue Murray but concentrated on stamping out the story by threatening hosting companies who had no interest in defending the case. Under further pressure from Usmanov's lawyers, the hosting company Fasthosts decided to permanently close the server for the web site on 20 September 2007, an action which had the effect of deleting several other related and non-related political blogs.

In recognition of his campaigning work on torture and human rights he was awarded the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence in January 2006. In November 2006, he was awarded the Premio Alta Qualità della Città di Bologna. Murray turned down three honours from the Queen as titles are "not his thing".

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Well, well well. A man of intelligence, integrity and conviction who put his own political career in jeopardy to highlight human rights violations, who actively works to educate people how the Establishment really works using his insider knowledge, who happens to RIGHTLY point out the hypocrisy of the EU as it continues on it's path of representing the interests of neo-liberal elites first and foremost, as a matter of conscience (after years of supporting it on his blog)  He is in fact the ANTITHESIS of May and her acolytes. What a "moron" kinda like a "little monster" really..

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

And don't try and lecture me on what fascism is when a form of it is going on right on your doorstep by a corrupt, francoist right-wing government while you're more concerned about parroting the "greedy Catalonians" line.

They are

Greedy and privileged. 

About this man, he's a MORON: 

", there are over one thousand years of written records of their existence as a separate “people”"

LIE

"900 people were so injured by the Guardia Civil that they had to go for formal medical treatment. Officers, in full riot gear, baton charged entirely peaceful lines of voters, smashed old ladies on the head with weapons, pulled young women by the hair and stamped on them on the ground, threw people down flights of stairs, fired rubber bullets into people sitting on the street". 

Has ever the EU act when the Police has been brutal? No. Why now they should? Suddenly those injured before are unimportant but now there are bigger interests? And when I say injured before I mean people in Catalonia, injured by the Mossos. 

 

"The purveyors of the “illegal” argument, in Spain and in the EU, have never deigned to us why the Kosovans are a “people” with the right to self-determination whereas the Catalans are not.

In this limited sense, NATO and the EU were right over Kosovo. If the Kosovans are a “people”, their right to self determination under the UN Charter could not be nullified by domestic Yugoslav or Serbian legislation. "

Now he is directly behaving as if he were stupid. This so-called expert in diplomacy knows very well why Kosovo was considered a state. It was because nowadays it has THE BIGGEST MILITARY BASE IN EUROPE. If me, a little regular journalist in a little forgotten city knows about it and knows that the procede to make Kosovo a country was faster, much faster, than usual, and it didn't help the population because it has zero structure, then this EXPERT knows it. And is being deliberatelly obtuse about this. 

HE IS A MORON, and what is worse, a dangerous moron. 

 

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Alt-truth and all that junk is being expressed each day to disinform. It is so easy, in the end. Let's be vigilant. We don't know what is happening behind the scenes, to be fair. Whenever somebody sees a lie somewhere, call it out! 

 

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27 minutes ago, karbatal said:

Alt-truth and all that junk is being expressed each day to disinform. It is so easy, in the end. Let's be vigilant. We don't know what is happening behind the scenes, to be fair. Whenever somebody sees a lie somewhere, call it out! 

 

That's exactly what his blog DOES on a daily basis. God help people who sit and watch the BBC and CNN thinking they're not being fed exactly what the owners of said media rackets want you to be fed.

As for the falsehoods you wrote above, no offence, but I'll take the words of history books and a human rights activists who is on record as ACTIVELY exposing the lies he was subjected to himself  (and who is currently in a legal wrangle with one of the right-wing shitheads from The Daily Mail) over someone who writes what lies he's told to write in his local newspaper. It's the enablers that are the dangerous ones, btw. 

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9 minutes ago, Kim said:

That's exactly what his blog DOES on a daily basis. God help people who sit and watch the BBC and CNN thinking they're not being fed exactly what the owners of said media rackets want you to be fed.

As for the falsehoods you wrote above, no offence, but I'll take the words of history books and a human rights activists who is on record as ACTIVELY exposing the lies he was subjected to himself  (and who is currently in a legal wrangle with one of the right-wing shitheads from The Daily Mail) over someone who writes what lies he's told to write in his local newspaper. It's the enablers that are the dangerous ones, btw. 

He lied about KOsovo (or he didn't have a clue, anything can happen these days). Kosovo was suddenly a country because it suited the interests of the NATO against Russia. Now it's basically a giant military base and zero possibilities for the population. 

He got VERY confused about Catalonia being in existence as a separate people for the past 1000 years. No history book will tell you that. Since 1.150 it got together with Aragon. Then we together (Aragon and Catalonia) helped conquer Valencia and Majorca and the Crown of Aragon was created. Catalonia didn't exist as people wanting to be independent, but simply as people living with other people, very comfortably. It all changed after 1714 (600 years later!) and especially in the XIX century. 

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23 hours ago, elijah said:

Absolutely. Its horrible that it can't really change and evolve as fast as we want, because it has been plagued with so many problems lately: Brexit, migrants, Catalonia. And it seems to me there are a lot of foreign forces that want to see it fail unfortunately and there are some greedy bitches within who try to undermine it :(

I so totally agree with everything you said. Russia comes to mind. There are also many people in EU countries who have never really believed in the project and they're always trying to mess it all up. 

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1 hour ago, karbatal said:

Now he is directly behaving as if he were stupid. This so-called expert in diplomacy knows very well why Kosovo was considered a state. It was because nowadays it has THE BIGGEST MILITARY BASE IN EUROPE. If me, a little regular journalist in a little forgotten city knows about it and knows that the procede to make Kosovo a country was faster, much faster, than usual, and it didn't help the population because it has zero structure, then this EXPERT knows it. And is being deliberatelly obtuse about this. 

HE IS A MORON, and what is worse, a dangerous moron. 

Kosovo had been a part of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which no longer exists. 

During its existence, Kosovo had the same state attributes as the other federal units, including a constitution, and had its representatives in all federal institutions - in the collective presidency, the assembly, the executive council or federal government, and the constitutional court. 

It also had its own presidency, assembly, government, police, territorial defence, constitutional court, intelligence service, central bank and secretariat for international relations. 

At the federal level, Kosovo had the right to veto, and equal participation - along with other federal units - in all key federal institutions such as: the collective presidency, the federal government and the federal assembly. 

Kosovo's well-defined boundaries - as well as the international borders of the former Yugoslav Federation and those of other entities - were protected by the constitution, and could not be changed without the consent of the federal units, for instance the parliament of Kosovo. 

The dissolution of the former Yugoslavia began with the violent destruction of Kosovo's federal status in 1989 by Serbia, which illegally stripped Kosovo's autonomy through the police duress and military force.

Now, to compare with the Kosovo case, Catalonia's autonomy was not illegally revoked by Spain. 

The Catalan people did not face the violent repression, crimes against civilians and ethnic cleansing by Spain - the way Serbia did in Kosovo toward Albanian majority. 

The events in Kosovo between 1989 and 1999, caused by Serbia, were characterised as a humanitarian catastrophe and a serious threat to international peace and security - something that fortunately did not happen in Catalonia. 

Kosovo's independence is also a result of the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia, which was confirmed by UN Resolution 777.

In Kosovo, there were almost 1 million people forced to flee the country and some 25,000 people killed by the Serbian regime. This was not the case in Catalonia.

Kosovo citizens from the Albanian majority - or 93 percent of the population - were committed to gaining independence. This is not the case in Catalonia, where there is division between proclaiming independence and mediating with Madrid.

The factors mentioned above, regarding Kosovo, are not found in any other cases - including Catalonia - making Kosovo's independence completely unique and also in line with norms in international law.

https://euobserver.com/opinion/139340

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45 minutes ago, karbatal said:

He lied about KOsovo (or he didn't have a clue, anything can happen these days). Kosovo was suddenly a country because it suited the interests of the NATO against Russia. Now it's basically a giant military base and zero possibilities for the population. 

He got VERY confused about Catalonia being in existence as a separate people for the past 1000 years. No history book will tell you that. Since 1.150 it got together with Aragon. Then we together (Aragon and Catalonia) helped conquer Valencia and Majorca and the Crown of Aragon was created. Catalonia didn't exist. 

The subject of how quickly Kosovo was recognised as a country is not the point he was making. He was specifically asking why the "rule of law" argument works for one but not the other.  He first of all put his argument into context telling the reader that he is specifically addressing "whether the Catalonian referendum was indeed illegal" specifying that the question does indeed come back to the charter of human rights which deigns that only "a people" have the inalienable right to self determination, acknowledges the fact that what constitutes "a people" is a thorny issue,  goes on to rightly use the example of how under the "rule of law" argument (which is the point he's discussing) under the domestic law of Yugoslavia or Serbia,  Kosovan independence was every bit as illegal as Catalonian independence is under Spanish law. However the argument that the Kosovans are a distinct "people" (and this argument WAS used) is enough for some to decide the Kosovans had the right to self determination despite the fact that Kosovan secession was claimed as illegal by Serbia in precisely the same terms the Spanish claim. He also goes on to clarify that this argument does not work for N.Italy or the south of England who do not meet the historical criteria of what constitutes "a people".

He elsewhere in his blog does indeed mention your often repeated assertion that "there is a significant rather unattractive streak in popular Catalan nationalism that feels they are being held back by much lazier and less productive societies in the South" does indeed dip into the history of Catalonia and how Spain was a predominantly Muslim county 1000 years ago yet still in different regions. As a human rights advocate, his opinion is based upon the democratic right of the people to decide, not whether they are are right or wrong in WHAT they decide. There is no insidious double standard at play. Can you say the same for what you write?

 

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9 minutes ago, elijah said:

Kosovo had been a part of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which no longer exists. 

During its existence, Kosovo had the same state attributes as the other federal units, including a constitution, and had its representatives in all federal institutions - in the collective presidency, the assembly, the executive council or federal government, and the constitutional court. 

It also had its own presidency, assembly, government, police, territorial defence, constitutional court, intelligence service, central bank and secretariat for international relations. 

At the federal level, Kosovo had the right to veto, and equal participation - along with other federal units - in all key federal institutions such as: the collective presidency, the federal government and the federal assembly. 

Kosovo's well-defined boundaries - as well as the international borders of the former Yugoslav Federation and those of other entities - were protected by the constitution, and could not be changed without the consent of the federal units, for instance the parliament of Kosovo. 

The dissolution of the former Yugoslavia began with the violent destruction of Kosovo's federal status in 1989 by Serbia, which illegally stripped Kosovo's autonomy through the police duress and military force.

Now, to compare with the Kosovo case, Catalonia's autonomy was not illegally revoked by Spain. 

The Catalan people did not face the violent repression, crimes against civilians and ethnic cleansing by Spain - the way Serbia did in Kosovo toward Albanian majority. 

The events in Kosovo between 1989 and 1999, caused by Serbia, were characterised as a humanitarian catastrophe and a serious threat to international peace and security - something that fortunately did not happen in Catalonia. 

Kosovo's independence is also a result of the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia, which was confirmed by UN Resolution 777.

In Kosovo, there were almost 1 million people forced to flee the country and some 25,000 people killed by the Serbian regime. This was not the case in Catalonia.

Kosovo citizens from the Albanian majority - or 93 percent of the population - were committed to gaining independence. This is not the case in Catalonia, where there is division between proclaiming independence and mediating with Madrid.

The factors mentioned above, regarding Kosovo, are not found in any other cases - including Catalonia - making Kosovo's independence completely unique and also in line with norms in international law.

https://euobserver.com/opinion/139340

From the EU OBSERVER. Jesus Christ, is this the stuff you people actually read?

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Just now, Kim said:

From the EU OBSERVER. Jesus Christ, is this the stuff you people actually read?

Yes, whats the problem (actually I don't read it, but I stumbled upon this interesting article)? What I have taken out are actually simply facts, explaining the differences between the 2 cases.

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Just now, elijah said:

Yes, whats the problem (actually I don't read it, but I stumbled upon this interesting article)? What I have taken out are actually simply facts, explaining the differences between the 2 cases.

None of which has anything to do with, or contradicts the specific points being made here but is in fact a propaganda piece by a "former Kosovan minister" in response to Serbia. He may also want to go back revise the "Catalonia's autonomy was not illegally revoked by Spain" line that he wrote in this article from weeks ago.

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9 minutes ago, Kim said:

None of which has anything to do with, or contradicts the specific points being made here but is in fact a propaganda piece by a "former Kosovan minister" in response to Serbia. He may also want to go back revise the "Catalonia's autonomy was not illegally revoked by Spain" line that he wrote in this article from weeks ago.

In my opinion, it has smith to do with the specific points made here. Actually, as you can see, I was quoting karbatal since I have seen that the two cases are compared here again, which was the reason for me posting the extract of the article at all. Reason being those 2 cases are quite different. For staters, Kosovo was sort of a federation unit of a federation which no longer exists. Catalonia was never close to a federation unit (basically a state), it was always and still is a region within an existing country. But anyways I am posting this article, because obviously in my mind it is relevant.

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1 minute ago, elijah said:

In my opinion, it has smith to do with the specific points made here. Actually, as you can see, I was quoting karbatal since I have seen that the two cases are compared here again, which was the reason for me posting the extract of the article at all. Reason being those 2 cases are quite different. For staters, Kosovo was sort of a federation unit of a federation which no longer exists. Catalonia was never close to a federation unit (basically a state), it was always and still is a region within an existing country. But anyways I am posting this article, because obviously in mind mind it is relevant.

Again, the Kosovo example was brought up in an article to illustrate ONE point, that point being that the rule of law argument by one govt is being used and upheld by those who dismissed the SAME rule of law argument by another govt - as it was presented in the exact same fashion

When one illustrates a single point they are not required to go into the semantics of every other possible outcome, consequence, reason, cause, context etc.

Obviously the particular circumstances under which Kosovo became an independent country are unique to that situation. Obviously the article you linked by a Kosovan minister in response to Serbia sticking its beak into the Catalan situation is going to pertain to those issues.

I look forward to you linking us up to the next puff piece propaganda from Tory party head-office about how well the Brexit deal is going next time someone else links us to an article about what a shambles it is. 

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4 minutes ago, Kim said:

Again, the Kosovo example was brought up in an article to illustrate ONE point, that point being that the rule of law argument by one govt is being used and upheld by those who dismissed the SAME rule of law argument by another govt - as it was presented in the exact same fashion

I look forward to you linking us up to the next puff piece propaganda from Tory party head-office about how well the Brexit deal is going next time someone else links us to an article about what a shambles it is. 

I don't know if an Article similar to Art. 155 of the Spanish constitution was indeed included within the Yugoslav federation constitution. However facts (not opinions) are indisputable that before Kosovo, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia  have all already seceded from Yugoslavia and were already recognized by the majority of the states (EU included) which leads me to believe 1) no such article existed or 2) it wasn't known who was the successor of Yugoslavia so that this subject would act upon trying to respect it. If such an article existed at all, its evident by the facts that it wasn't respected by at least 4 federal units, so why expect that of Kosovo? Thus the argument of the rule of law being applied differently doesn't seem to be true at all as we are looking at 2 absolutely different situations. So in my opinion the citation of those important facts was quite relevant.

You ll have to keep on looking forward to me posting "the next puff piece propaganda from Tory party head-office about how well the Brexit deal is going", cause I m definitely against Brexit.

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