Thursday, 4 April 2013

the court change reaches Central Africa

Another update on the court change.

The Central African Republic accuses Chad of an intervention a role in causing a coup there. Because that is a cross border legal dispute that overlaps between Chad and the CAR, and because the court change is already claimable by the people of Chad, this is all it takes to establish that the court change now applies to the CAR too. This is how easily folks all over the world can help each other to get the court change.

Yes this does have something abstractly to do with Scotland: the question why don't we fear independence leading to a political culture where coups can happen? if that is what happened when new states were created in Africa without a bedded in deterrent balance of estates of power to fix democracy in place. It has to do with interdependence, with all Europe's multi-country institutions and our interests tied in to them, that have worked for all the countries to keep each other democratic. Made democracy stick in Germany, where it had only ever had one terribly economically flopped 13 year period of democracy before its present state was set up in 1949, and that was all East Germany had ever had before 1990. Made it stick in Greece which had a coup as recently as 1967, in Spain which had a coup attempt as recently as 1981, with no more such events since they have been in the EU. Slovakia went in an authoritarian direction after its independence in 1993 and was pulled back again when it was pulled into having interests in joining the EU in 2004.

On neither side of our referendum is the picture comfortable or safe. We are being asked to be all light heartedly feelgood over our future at a time of the most heightened starkness since the European institutions have been around that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. We are being asked to vote Yes by a Scottish government capable of introducing a charge for criminal defence even when it confirms your innocence, we are being asked to vote No by a British government talking of withdrawal from the whole European Convention on Human Rights. It's the way the British level political culture has swung, into racism and manipulated anti-European feeling calculated to make society more authoritarian, that is by far the more dangerous and worth avoiding course at present. The more of a referendum issue can be made out of the contrast, and out of Scotland intending to stay anchored to structures of interdependence that make it difficult for countries to dump democracy, the more the Yes side can be grilled on the criminal defence costs policy's total contradiction of the best looking reason at present for voting Yes.

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