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Tyrone Mings calls out UK Home Secretary Priti Patel over 'gesture politics' comment on taking the knee – CNN International

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Mings’ England teammates Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were targeted on social media after they missed penalties in the 3-2 shootout Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy on Sunday at Wembley Stadium.
Patel took to Twitter to say that she was “disgusted” by the abuse directed at the trio.
Previously she accused the England team of participating in “gesture politics” by taking the knee — an act the players did before each of their Euro 2020 games — and said fans had a right to boo them, telling GB News in June: “That’s a choice for them, quite frankly.”
Players kneel before the UEFA Euro 2020 Group D football match between England and Scotland at Wembley Stadium in London.
In recent weeks, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson — along with other lawmakers in his government including Patel — have been specifically asked to condemn the England fans who booed players taking the knee before kick-off but failed to do so.
By not condemning fans for booing the players taking the knee — an act which players have consistently reiterated is a display of unity in the fight against racism and inequality — Mings believes Patel can’t have it both ways.
“You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as ‘Gesture Politics’ & then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens,” the 28-year-old wrote on Twitter.
England's Mings during a training session at St George's Park, Burton upon Trent.England's Mings during a training session at St George's Park, Burton upon Trent.
Patel and the Home Office declined to comment on Mings’ post when CNN reached out, instead pointing to her tweet and her comments in the House of Commons on Monday condemning the racist abuse directed at the England players.
Mings’ comments come after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said Johnson “failed the test of leadership” by not condemning fans who booed England players taking the knee.
“This is about leadership and I’m afraid the Prime Minister has failed the test of leadership because whatever he says today about racism, he had a simple choice at the beginning of this tournament in relation to the booing of those that were taking the knee,” he told reporters.
“The Prime Minister failed to call that out and the actions and inactions of leaders have consequences so I’m afraid the Prime Minister’s words today ring hollow.”
One political analyst said the UK government could suffer political fallout over its comments on the England team over the last few weeks.
“I think both Johnson and … Priti Patel and some other government MPs did misjudge the situation right from the start,” Tim Bale, Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University in London, told CNN Sport.
“But certainly, in as much as it’s woken a few people up who perhaps didn’t realize that Priti Patel has said this, that does make things a little bit more awkward for the government than perhaps they were before,” added Bale.
Home Secretary Patel during a National Crime Agency operation at address in east London.Home Secretary Patel during a National Crime Agency operation at address in east London.

‘I will never apologize for who I am’

Rashford has consistently highlighted the abuse he’s been the target of over the last few years, including in May when the 23-year-old said he’d received “at least 70 racial slurs” on social media following Manchester United’s Europa League final defeat to Villarreal.
In a statement posted on his social media accounts, Rashford apologized for his penalty shootout miss in the Euro 2020 final.
“I felt as though I had let my teammates down. I felt as if I’d let everyone down. A penalty was all I’d been asked to contribute for the team. I can score penalties in my sleep so why not that one? It’s been playing in my head over and over since I struck the ball and there’s probably not a word to quite describe how it feels. Final. 55 years. 1 penalty. History. All I can say is sorry. I wish it had of gone differently.”
He went on to say that he “will never apologize for who I am.”
“I’ve grown into a sport where I expect to read things written about myself. Whether it be the color of my skin, where I grew up, or, most recently, how I decide to spend my time off the pitch.
“I can take critique of my performance all day long, my penalty was not good enough, it should have gone in but I will never apologize for who I am and where I came from.
England players, including Rashford, look on during the penalty shoot out against Italy.England players, including Rashford, look on during the penalty shoot out against Italy.

A show of unity

In the hours after England’s defeat by Italy, a mural honoring Rashford was vandalized with graffiti in the north-west city of Manchester.
The artwork commemorated the Manchester United player’s work to tackle child food poverty. It features the quote: “Take pride in knowing that your struggle will play the biggest role in your purpose.”
After the mural was defaced in the early hours of Monday, part of it has been temporarily covered with bin bags. The Coffee House Cafe, where the mural is painted, shared images on Facebook of locals coming out to support Rashford.
As the day went on, supports traveled to the mural to post their own personal messages of appreciation on it, sharing messages such as “hero.”
Stuart Brennan, chief Manchester City writer at the Manchester Evening News, posted his message of support on Twitter.
“This is my Manchester. Hatred swamped by love and solidarity. And don’t dare make this a Red vs Blue thing — this is far too important for such triviality.”
Rashford himself said the response to the graffiti had him “on the verge of tears.”
“The messages I’ve received today have been positively overwhelming and seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears,” he said.
“The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up. I’m Marcus Rashford, 23-year-old, black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else I have that.”
People look at the messages of support and the newly repaired mural of Rashford.People look at the messages of support and the newly repaired mural of Rashford.
The continuing racist abuse of football players and other athletes has led to growing calls for social media companies to make changes to the way they police their platforms.
On Monday, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan called on social media companies to take immediate action to “prevent this hate” while the chair for the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Julian Knight, echoed his sentiment.
“Social media companies once alerted to this abuse have an acute responsibility to immediately take it down,” Knight said.
“The Government needs to get on with legislating the tech giants. Enough of the foot dragging, all those who suffer at the hand of racists, not just England players, deserve better protections now.”
Stephen Barclay (Chief secretary to the UK Treasury) told Sky News on Tuesday: “We’re taking action to tackle this through the Online Harms Bill, and that is what needs to happen. We need to ensure that those platforms. Take action and if they don’t, the government will take action against them.”
Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire, Harry Kane, Luke Shaw, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, John Stones and Kalvin Phillips look on during the Euro 2020 final penalty shootout.Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire, Harry Kane, Luke Shaw, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, John Stones and Kalvin Phillips look on during the Euro 2020 final penalty shootout.
A petition which is calling for bans for those who have “carried out racist abuse, online or offline, from all football matches in England” has received almost one million signatures.
The campaign, launched by a group of women who call themselves ‘The Three Hijabis,’ urged the Football Association, clubs and the government to work together to ban those who have been found to have carried out racist abuse at games or online from all football matches in England for life.
“Our England team stood up for all of us — now we must stand up for them,” the petition said on the Change.org website.

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Jason Kenney's longing for Alberta's pre-COVID politics – iPolitics.ca

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Pandemic? What pandemic?

In Premier Jason Kenney’s Alberta, the pandemic isn’t just retreating, it has been defeated.

“Such a joy to connect with Albertans during Canada’s first major event after the pandemic,” said a jubilant social media post last week from Kenney after he visited the Calgary Stampede.

Saying “after the pandemic” was no slip of the keyboard. Kenney chose his words carefully, including being sure to point out the Stampede was the “Canada’s first major event.”

Alberta was the first province to lift virtually all pandemic restrictions on July 1; the first to get more than 70 percent of eligible citizens vaccinated with one dose; and, now, the first province to declare we’re in a post-pandemic world.

This is Alberta exceptionalism, Kenney style.

And, boy, does Kenney need to be seen as exceptional these days. His popularity plummeted during the pandemic – from a high of about 60 per cent in support in 2019 to around 30 per cent now, according to the most recent polls.

The pandemic, of course, is not over – as health experts are quick to point out.

The number of cases and hospitalizations have fallen dramatically in Alberta (and other jurisdictions) thanks to vaccinations, but the pandemic is still with us, even if it is a shadow of its former self.

At the same time, countries including France are re-imposing restrictions as the number of Delta-variant cases surge and experts talk ominously of a fourth wave among the unvaccinated.

Ironically, Kenney’s optimistically misleading view of Alberta being in an “after the pandemic state” might actually put the province at risk of enduring more variant cases. The province’s vaccine rollout, doing so well just weeks ago, has stalled. After hitting 70 per cent of Albertans with their first dose a month ago, the rate has increased by a trickle to just under 75 per cent despite the government announcing a vaccine lottery with cash prizes and exotic vacations.

There are a multitude of reasons for the slower uptake including lack of access to clinics in rural areas and suspicion of the vaccines — but you have to think that Kenney talking about the pandemic in the past tense has some people wondering why they’d bother to get a shot now.

Therein lies a Catch-22 for Kenney among his Conservative supporters who have rankled at pandemic restrictions from the beginning.

Tell them the pandemic is over and they’ll see no reason to get vaccinated. Tell them the pandemic is not over and he’d have to maintain pandemic restrictions, further aggravating his conservative base.

For the base, the big issue is politics, not pandemics.

Right-wing voters are disappointed in Kenney, not just because he imposed what they considered draconian COVID-19 measures, but because he backed off on his war with the federal Liberal government during the pandemic.

Well, that war is back on.

Kenney is holding a referendum vote this October, in conjunction with Alberta’s municipal elections, asking Albertans if they want the federal equalization program scrapped. Never mind that it’s a federal program paid for by federal tax dollars, Kenney is arguing that equalization is unfair to Alberta (even though Kenney himself was part of the Harper federal cabinet that amended the equalization formula a decade ago).

Kenney has dusted off the anti-Trudeau rhetoric, once again accusing the prime minister of “openly campaigning against Alberta” in the last federal election, even though the federal government bought the Trans Mountain pipeline and has committed to twinning the pipe so Alberta can get more energy products to the West Coast for shipment internationally.

But Kenney is loath to give his political nemesis any pats on the back. This reluctance reached petty heights, or lows, on July 7 when the prime minister held a news conference in Calgary with Mayor Naheed Nenshi to formally announce the city’s $5.5-billion Green Line LRT project. Neither Kenney nor anybody from the Alberta government attended the news conference even though the province is kicking in $1.5 billion.

Kenney’s office said the announcement was just a rehash of previous announcements. That’s true – but when has a politician ever shied away from re-announcing projects when there are headlines to grab?

Kenney apparently didn’t want to be seen helping boost Trudeau’s profile on the eve of a possible federal election.

On a more practical front, Kenney’s anti-Trudeau feelings could prove costly to Alberta’s parents, particularly those in the large urban centres, who are keen on the federal government’s $30-billion plan for a $10-a-day daycare system.

Both British Columbia and Nova Scotia have signed on to plans tailored to their provinces and Alberta insists it is in negotiations, but Kenney’s initial response in April was to dismiss the federal plan as a “nine-to-five, government-run, union-operated, largely-urban-care” system. Predictably, the Alberta government is also upset with the federal government’s plan announced this week to begin consultations on a “Just Transition” plan to help Canadian workers energy workers get ready for a future less dependent on fossil fuels.

“The federal government’s intention to hastily phase out Canada’s world-class oil and gas industry is extremely harmful to the hundreds of thousands who directly and indirectly work in the sector, and will be detrimental to Canada’s economic recovery,” said Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage Tuesday in a deliberate misreading of Ottawa’s intent.

But that’s the tone of the Alberta government in 2021 when it comes to dealing with the federal Liberals: partisan, pugilistic and plain ornery.

It’s a throwback to 2019 before the pandemic hit.

In that respect, Kenney is right. Politically speaking, Alberta is indeed in a post-pandemic world.


The views, opinions and positions expressed by all iPolitics columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of iPolitics.

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South America Politics Are Bullish for Copper, Freeport Says – BNN

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(Bloomberg) — Policy uncertainty in Peru and Chile, which account for about 40% of global copper production, is supportive of future prices of the metal as producers balk on pulling the trigger on investments, according to Freeport-McMoRan Inc.

Speaking to analysts Thursday, Chief Executive Officer Richard Adkerson said the shifting political winds in the two South American copper giants are part of the challenges that mining faces to meet growing demand as the world transitions away from fossil fuels.

Adkerson, a 74-year-old mining veteran, plans to work with the industry in Peru to engage with the incoming government of left-winger Pedro Castillo, who has vowed to take a bigger share of the mineral windfall to fight poverty. In Chile, Freeport is holding off on a major expansion as the country debates tax hikes, drafts a new constitution and heads into a presidential election at a time when voters are pushing for more social spending to address inequalities.

“We really don’t know what the outcome is, bottom line,” Adkerson said. “This is going to be supportive of future copper prices.”

Copper hit a record earlier this year as economies emerged from Covid lockdowns at a time of disrupted supplies and an acceleration of a clean-energy shift that will require much more of the metal used in wiring. The prospect of surging demand comes after years of exploration and development cutbacks when prices were low and as the supply side grapples with rising social and environmental expectations and falling ore quality.

Still, Adkerson offered some hope that the industry will be able to avoid drastic policy changes in Peru, pointing to stability agreements and examples of other candidates moderating their approaches once in office.

On a seperate call Thursday, Newmont Corp. CEO Tom Palmer said the company expects to make a decision by December on a proposed investment at the Yanacocha mine in Peru. Newmont would likely start engaging with the new cabinet over the next six months, and is optimistic of being well received, he said.

(Adds comment from Newmont CEO in last paragraph)

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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The Supreme Court Injects Partisan Politics Into Independent Agencies – NPR

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Erin Schaff/AP

If you think that government experts should be free from political influence, then think again.

Twice this June the Supreme Court ruled that the president could exert more control over regulatory agencies, the government institutions that are as important as they sound boring.

While Congress may write laws, agencies are needed to interpret them, apply them, and fill in their gaps. Take the government’s efforts to address lead poisoning. Congress passed a statute in 1971, and since then, a suite of agencies has issued regulations that keep up with the latest science on the problem. Such updating is especially needed in an era of political gridlock. Most climate policy, for example, builds on a 1963 statute that hasn’t been amended in nearly 30 years.

Congress initially designed many of these agencies—including the two at issue this term—to stand above the whims of politics. But the court may be on the verge of undoing almost a century’s worth of precedent and legal understandings protecting that independence.

More Presidential Control Over Hiring

In one case, the court ruled that administrative judges hired to hear challenges to existing patents were too independent and had to be supervised by a presidential appointee with the power to overturn their decisions.

The judges sit on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board at the United States Patent and Trademark Office–known as the “death squad” because it frequently invalidates patents. Smaller businesses say giants like Apple and Google use the board to squash legitimate competition, while larger companies argue these so-called competitors are infringing on existing patents, and the board is needed to root them out. Often, millions, if not billions, of dollars are at stake.

So, in 2015, when the board’s administrative judges declared that the medical device company Arthrex held an invalid patent, Arthrex took aim at not just the board’s decision but the board itself.

The company argued that the patent judges held too much power and were too insulated from the president’s political influence. This arrangement, the company said, ran afoul of the power the Constitution grants to the president. Either the president should appoint the judges himself or a presidential appointee should supervise them more directly.

The high court agreed. In an opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court ruled that the president did need more control of the judges. That, the court held, would ensure a direct chain of political accountability between the president and the administrative officials beneath him.

But the court didn’t give Arthrex everything the company had asked for. Arthrex hoped the court would see a constitutional defect with the patent judges and scrap the whole patent board as a result. Instead, the court preserved the board but reined in the patent judges’ independence, granting the presidential appointee who directs the patent office the power to reverse their decisions.

Most administrative judges are already heavily supervised by political appointees, so June’s decision may just bring the patent office in line with the status quo. Still, the justices have injected politics into an agency Congress wanted to be nonpartisan. What’s more, they have tightened the reins on Congress, limiting its ability to create independent agencies in the future.

More Presidential Control Over Firing

In a second case, the justices again ruled that the president should hold more sway, this time over firing.

In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Congress set up a new agency to oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the quasi-public companies meant to stabilize the mortgage market. Fannie’s and Freddie’s shareholders alleged that the agency, in its attempts to recoup bail-out money, illegally appropriated billions of dollars from the companies. All this was illegal, they said, because the agency was overly protected from presidential control.

Specifically, the agency had only a single director—as opposed to a committee of directors—and the single director had a term longer than the president’s. What’s more, the president could only remove the director for cause—meaning corruption, malfeasance, or neglect of duty. But, the shareholders claimed, the president should be able to fire the director for any reason, without cause.

Like Arthrex, the shareholders said this problem infected the agency’s decisions—particularly its decision to recoup billions in government money given to Fannie and Freddie to prevent a complete meltdown in the mortgage market during the financial crisis and thereafter.

The justices again agreed only in part. With an opinion by Justice Samuel Alito, a fractured court held the president should be able to remove the director without cause. But the court declined to set aside the director’s decisions because he had been appointed constitutionally, namely by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

An Attack on Agencies

The same day the court said the president could fire the agency’s director, President Biden did exactly that. And three weeks later, Biden axed the head of the Social Security Administration, also headed by a single director whom President Trump had appointed.

More lawsuits and more firings may lie ahead at other agencies run by a single director, like the Government Accountability Office.

Even more prominent agencies may also be at risk, among them the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve Board, and the Federal Communications Commission. Though these agencies are led by multi-member commissions, not single directors, those commissions have a single chairman who is difficult to replace. Now those chairmen may be in the crosshairs.

June’s decision is the latest attack on a New Deal era precedent that protects agency independence. In 1935, a unanimous court held that President Franklin Roosevelt had acted unconstitutionally when he fired William Humphrey, a Federal Trade Commissioner, for political reasons. Humphrey was a conservative holdover from the prior administration who disagreed with Roosevelt’s progressive policies. And the court said that under the statute that created the FTC, he could only be fired for cause, meaning misconduct.

The current court has narrowed the scope of this 86-year-old precedent. On top of that, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas have called for overturning the 1935 decision altogether, and Justice Brett Kavanaugh criticized the decision while a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

A Scalpel or a Sledgehammer?

Both of June’s decisions also raised a question that reaches beyond regulatory agencies. When one provision of a law is unconstitutional, can the court remove the issue with a scalpel and then patch up the problem? Or does the court need to strike down whole portions of the law with a sledgehammer and then undo the government’s decisions?

Arthrex corporation, for example, argued that because of a problem with how patent judges are appointed, the court should not just reverse their ruling against Arthrex, but also eliminate the whole board of patent judges. And Fannie’s and Freddie’s shareholders wanted the court to unwind billions of dollars’ worth of agency decisions for want of a single removal provision.

But the court for nearly a century has used a more surgical approach. The justices have presumed that unconstitutionality in one provision does not infect the rest of the law or an agency’s decisions. In these two cases, a majority of the court reaffirmed that presumption.

In both cases Justice Neil Gorsuch bucked the trend. He would have reversed the decisions of the patent judges and undone $124 billion worth of bailout decisions aimed at stemming the financial crisis. In other recent cases, Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito have signed on to Gorsuch’s idea. When the court this term upheld the Affordable Care Act, Justice Alito dissented, calling for the court to strike down the law’s key provisions because of a problem with just one of them. These three justices may fall short of a majority, but they have planted the seeds for future cases.

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