Tag Archives: commonwealth

The Commonwealth is working on LGBT issues

Most people wouldn’t know that the large biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) just took place in Malta. The Telegraph made a quip about the ‘Dictators Club’, the Daily Mail twisted some policy announcements. The Independent had bits of coverage. The Guardian, surprisingly, stuck to rewording Government press releases.

Tim Farron also intervened on the subject of LGBT rights. Paraphrasing: he said that the Government should be raising LGBT rights as an issue using its position of strength in the Commonwealth. This statement got coverage – the point was well landed! But when you think for a moment, you realise the intervention was wrong.

LGBT rights were actually a major topic. The Commonwealth People’s Forum, the Civil Society part of CHOGM, made part of its post-Forum Declaration on LGBT rights. The Commonwealth Secretary General reprimand to leaders in his pre-CHOGM speech, and a quick check of Hansard, shows that Baroness Verma announced weeks ago she would chair a CHOGM discussion on LGBT rights.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 2 Comments

Farron: UK Government must push for better LGBT rights in the Commonwealth

Speaking to the Independent, Tim Farron has said that he’s disappointed that the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference is not discussing the issue of LGBT rights.

But Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader, said last night that the issue should have received greater prominence in Malta. He said: “Sadly, a majority of Commonwealth nations criminalise LGBT people, and in some places homosexuality still faces the death penalty.

The Government should have used the meeting in Malta to press commonwealth countries to live up to our collective values. We must be a beacon of human rights, tolerance and the defence of minorities. The British government must use our strong position to press the case for better LGBT rights in other Commonwealth nations.

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Opinion: The Commonwealth and the EU

 

Pro-Europe supporters are heading to repeat the same mistake as the Fair Votes referendum campaign by ignoring multicultural Britain’s perspectives. Should the race become neck-and-neck this could well tip the balance in favour of ‘out’.

A key difference from the electoral reform vote is that the EU ‘out’ lobby can see the value of attracting diverse communities for the Euro poll. UKIP, in particular, are pushing a pro-Commonwealth argument by claiming that Britain’s trade relationships can be switched from Europe to Asia, Africa and the Americas.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 23 Comments

Opinion: Let’s put the C back in the FCO (in celebration of Black History Month)

The Commonwealth Games ended last week. This probably means that the Commonwealth will not be mentioned in the media for another 4 years. But surely there should be more to the vestiges of the British empire than mere staging of the Commonwealth Games? What does the Commonwealth actually do in this day and age and is it still relevant?

Representing a quarter of the world’s governments, a third of its population and a fifth of global trade, this network of 54 countries is a diverse community. Yet we share many common traits, not least the use of …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

Opinion: we ignore these voters at our peril

How many nationalities can vote in the UK (and no the Scottish aren’t a nationality in this context!)?
• 2? British and Irish? No.
• 27? European Union? Closer, although most can’t vote in parliamentary elections.
• 54? The Commonwealth? They can’t vote in European elections…

So actually adding them together gives a total of 80 nationalities who can vote in at least one UK election*.

In the UK it’s a great example of our tolerance and inclusion by giving people a say in their adopted communities and the politicians who affect the area where they live. Even my own council Liberal Democrat …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 7 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • Peter Martin
    @ David Raw, On a point of information: The word "you" in the English language isn't necessarily singular. It can be plural. It would possibly be better,...
  • Little Jackie Paper
    Peter Martin - 'It’s a great pity that the Euroscepticism of the Labour Party largely passed away with Tony Benn.' Well...it's not been remarked on much bu...
  • David Raw
    @ Peter Martin The Greens are no threat to me, Peter. You assume too much. I appreciate their contribution at Holyrood which is not insignificant....
  • Peter Martin
    @ David Raw, I don't have a problem with environmental radicalism but I do trying to understand why anyone on the left thinks it's radical to support a euro-...
  • suzanne fletcher
    in interval for next phone bank to be ready - how true. My friend and colleague Julia Cherrett who was a serving cllr died last year, and it is the by election...