• The report of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities

    The Commission’s report sets out a new, positive agenda for change. It balances the needs of individuals, communities and society, maximising opportunities and ensuring fairness for all.

    The Commission has considered detailed quantitative data and qualitative evidence to understand why disparities exist, what works and what does not. It has commissioned new research and invited submissions from across the UK.

    Its work and recommendations will improve the quality of data and evidence about the types of barriers faced by people from different backgrounds. This will help to inform actions and drive effective and lasting change.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-report-of-the-commission-on-race-and-ethnic-disparities

    #rapport #UK #Angleterre #racisme #discriminations #inégalités
    #Commission_on_Race_and_Ethnic_Disparities (#CRED)

    pour télécharger le rapport :
    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/974507/20210331_-_CRED_Report_-_FINAL_-_Web_Accessible.pdf

    • Downing Street rewrote ‘independent’ report on race, experts claim

      Commissioners allege No 10 distorted their work on inequality, after conclusions played down institutional racism.

      Officials at Downing Street have been accused of rewriting much of its controversial report into racial and ethnic disparities, despite appointing an independent commission to conduct an honest investigation into inequality in the UK.

      The Observer has been told that significant sections of the report published on 31 March, which were criticised and debunked by health professionals, academics, business chiefs and crime experts, were not written by the 12 commissioners who were appointed last July.

      The 258-page document was not made available to be read in full or signed off by the group, which included scientist and BBC broadcaster Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Samir Shah, former chair of the Runnymede Trust, nor were they made aware of its 24 final recommendations. Instead, the finished report, it is alleged, was produced by No 10.

      Kunle Olulode, an anti-racism activist and director of the charity Voice4Change, is the first commissioner to condemn the government publicly for its lack of transparency. In a statement to the Observer, Olulode’s charity was scathing of the way evidence was cherrypicked, distorted and denied in the final document.

      “The report does not give enough to show its understanding of institutional or structural discrimination … evidence in sections, that assertive conclusions are based on, is selective,” it said. “The report gives no clear direction on what expectations of the role of public institutions and political leadership should be in tackling race and ethnic disparities. What is the role of the state in this?”

      One commissioner, who spoke out on condition of anonymity, accused the government of “bending” the work of its commission to fit “a more palatable” political narrative and denying the working group the autonomy it was promised.

      “We did not read Tony’s [Sewell] foreword,” they claimed. “We did not deny institutional racism or play that down as the final document did. The idea that this report was all our own work is full of holes. You can see that in the inconsistency of the ideas and data it presents and the conclusions it makes. That end product is the work of very different views.”

      The commissioner revealed that they had been privy only to the section of the report they were assigned, and that it had soon become apparent the exercise was not being taken sufficiently seriously by No 10.

      “Something of this magnitude takes proper time – we were only given five months to do this work, on a voluntary basis,” they said. In contrast to the landmark 1999 #Macpherson_report (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/feb/22/macpherson-report-what-was-it-and-what-impact-did-it-have), an inquiry into the death of #Stephen_Lawrence, or the 2017 #Lammy_Review, both of which took 18 months to conclude, the report by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities (Cred) was not peer reviewed and was published just seven months after the group first met on a videocall.

      The group, led by Sewell, was set up by #Samuel_Kasumu, No 10’s most senior black special adviser, who resigned from his post on the day the report was published, aghast at its final findings. Accusations that #Munira_Mirza, director of No 10’s policy unit, was heavily involved in steering the direction of the supposedly independent report were not directly addressed by a No 10 spokesperson, who said: “I would reiterate the report is independent and that the government is committed to tackling inequality.”

      A source involved in the commission told the Observer that “basic fundamentals in putting a document like this together were ignored. When you’re producing something so historic, you have to avoid unnecessary controversy, you don’t court it like this report did. And the comms was just shocking.”

      While the prime minister sought to distance himself from the criticism a day after its publication, unusually it was his office rather than the Cred secretariat which initially released the report to the press.

      A spokesperson for the race commission said: “We reject these allegations. They are deliberately seeking to divert attention from the recommendations made in the report.

      “The commission’s view is that, if implemented, these 24 recommendations can change for the better the lives of millions across the UK, whatever their ethnic or social background. That is the goal they continue to remain focused on.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/apr/11/downing-street-rewrote-independent-report-on-race-experts-claim

      #récriture #modification #indépendance #contreverse

    • voir aussi les critiques dans la page wiki dédiée au rapport :
      Reactions

      Political:

      Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, said that he was “disappointed” by the Commission’s report.[10][11]

      Isabelle Parasram, vice president of the Liberal Democrats, issued a statement that the Commission had “missed the opportunity to make a clear, bold statement on the state of race equality in this country”. Parasram said that the “evidence and impact of racism in the UK is overwhelming” and that “whilst some of recommendations made in the report are helpful, they fall far short of what could have been achieved”.[12]

      The Green Party of England and Wales issued a statement condemning the summary of the report as “a deliberate attempt to whitewash institutional racism” and that “Institutional racism in the UK does exist”.[13]

      Other:

      David Goodhart welcomed the report as “a game-changer for how Britain talks about race”.[14]

      Rose Hudson-Wilkin, the Bishop of Dover, described the report as “deeply disturbing”; she said the “lived experience” of the people “tells a different story to that being shared by this report”.[15]

      The historian David Olusoga accused the report’s authors of appearing to prefer “history to be swept under the carpet”.[16]

      A Guardian editorial quoted Boris Johnson’s intent to “change the narrative so we stop the sense of victimisation and discrimination”[17] when setting up the commission, and as evidence of the reality of racial inequality listed five recent government reports on different aspects:[18]

      - the criminal justice system (the David Lammy review of 2017[19][20]);
      - schools, courts, and the workplace (the Theresa May race audit of 2017[21]);
      - pay (the Ruby McGregor-Smith review of 2017[22][23]);
      - deaths in police custody (the Elish Angiolini report of 2017[24]);
      - the Windrush scandal (the Wendy Williams review of 2020[25][26]).

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commission_on_Race_and_Ethnic_Disparities

  • Academic freedom is in crisis ; free speech is not

    In August 2020, the UK think tank The Policy Exchange produced a report on Academic Freedom in the UK (https://policyexchange.org.uk/publication/academic-freedom-in-the-uk-2), alleging a chilling effect for staff and students expressing conservative opinions, particularly pro-Brexit or ‘gender critical’ ideas. This is an issue that was examined by a 2018 parliamentary committee on Human Rights which found a lack of evidence for serious infringements of free speech (https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt201719/jtselect/jtrights/1279/127904.htm). In a university context, freedom of speech is protected under the Human Rights Act 1998 as long as the speech is lawful and does not contravene other university regulations on issues like harassment, bullying or inclusion. Some of these controversies have been firmly rebutted by Chris Parr (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/free-speech-crisis-uk-universities-chris-parr) and others who describe how the incidents have been over-hyped.

    Despite this, the government seems keen to appoint a free speech champion for universities (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/feb/15/tories-war-on-the-woke-ministers-statues-protests) which continues a campaign started by #Sam_Gyimah (https://academicirregularities.wordpress.com/2018/07/06/sams-on-campus-but-is-the-campus-onto-sam) when he was minister for universities in 2018, and has been interpreted by some commentators as a ‘war on woke’. In the current climate of threats to university autonomy, many vice chancellors wonder whether this might be followed by heavy fines or reduced funding for those institutions deemed to fall on the wrong side of the culture wars.

    While public concern has been directed to an imagined crisis of free speech, there are more significant questions to answer on the separate but related issue of academic freedom. Most university statutes echo legislation and guarantee academics ‘freedom within the law to question and test received wisdom, and to put forward new ideas and controversial and unpopular opinions, without placing themselves in jeopardy of losing their jobs or privileges they may have at their institutions.’ [Section 202 of the Education Reform Act 1988]. In reality, these freedoms are surrendered to the greater claims of academic capitalism, government policy, legislation, managers’ responses to the pandemic and more dirigiste approaches to academics’ work.

    Nevertheless, this government is ploughing ahead with policies designed to protect the freedom of speech that is already protected, while doing little to hold university managers to account for their very demonstrable violations of academic freedom. The government is suspicious of courses which declare a sympathy with social justice or which manifest a ‘progressive’ approach. This hostility also extends to critical race theory and black studies. Indeed, the New York Times has identified a right wing ‘Campaign to Cancel Wokeness’ (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/26/opinion/speech-racism-academia.html) on both sides of the Atlantic, citing a speech by the UK Equalities Minister, Kemi Badenoch, in which she said, “We do not want teachers to teach their white pupils about white privilege and inherited racial guilt…Any school which teaches these elements of critical race theory, or which promotes partisan political views such as defunding the police without offering a balanced treatment of opposing views, is breaking the law.”

    This has now set a tone for ideological oversight which some university leaders seem keen to embrace. Universities will always wish to review their offerings to ensure they reflect academic currency and student choice. However, operating under the cover of emergency pandemic planning, some are now seeking to dismantle what they see as politically troublesome subject areas.

    Let’s start with the most egregious and transparent attack on academic freedom. The University of Leicester Business School, known primarily for its disdain of management orthodoxy, has announced it will no longer support research in critical management studies (https://www.uculeicester.org.uk/redundancy-briefing) and political economy, and the university has put all researchers who identify with this field, or who at some time might have published in CMS, at risk of redundancy. Among the numerous responses circulating on Twitter, nearly all point to the fact that the critical orientation made Leicester Business School distinctive and attractive to scholars wishing to study and teach there. Among those threatened with redundancy is the distinguished former dean, Professor Gibson Burrell. The sheer volume of protest at this anomaly must be an embarrassment to Leicester management. We should remember that academic freedom means that, as a scholar of proven expertise, you have the freedom to teach and research according to your own judgement. When those in a field critical of structures of power have their academic freedom removed, this is, unarguably, a breach of that expectation. Such a violation should be of concern to the new freedom of speech champion and to the regulator, the Office for Students.

    If the devastation in the School of Business were not enough humiliation for Leicester, in the department of English, there are plans to cancel scholarship and teaching in Medieval and Early Modern literature. The thoughtless stripping out of key areas that give context and coherence within a subject is not unique to Leicester – similar moves have taken place in English at University of Portsmouth. At Leicester, management have offered the justification that this realignment will allow them to put resources towards the study of gender and sexuality. After all, the Vice Chancellor, Nishan Canagarajah, offered the keynote speech at the Advance HE conference in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion on 19th March (https://www.advance-he.ac.uk/programmes-events/conferences/EDIConf20#Keynotes) and has signalled that he supports decolonising the curriculum. This might have had more credibility if he was not equally committed to extinguishing critical scholarship in the Business School. The two positions are incompatible and reveal an opportunistic attempt to reduce costs and remove signs of critical scholarship which might attract government disapproval.

    At the University of Birmingham, the response to the difficulties of maintaining teaching during the pandemic has been to issue a ruling that three academic staff must be able to teach each module. The explanation for this apparent reversal of the ‘lean’ principle of staffing efficiency, is to make modules more resilient in the face of challenges like the pandemic – or perhaps strike action. There is a consequence for academic freedom though – only the most familiar, established courses can be taught. Courses that might have been offered, which arise from the current research of the academic staff, will have to be cancelled if the material is not already familiar to other colleagues in the department. It is a way of designing innovation and advancement out of courses at the University of Birmingham.

    Still at Birmingham, UCU is contesting a proposal for a new ‘career framework’ (https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/strike-warning-over-birminghams-or-out-probation-plan) by management characterised as ‘up or out’. It will require newly appointed lecturers to achieve promotion to senior lecturer within five years or face the sort of performance management procedures that could lead to termination of their appointment. The junior academics who enter on these conditions are unlikely to gamble their careers on academic risk-taking or pursue a challenge to an established paradigm. We can only speculate how this apprenticeship in organisational obedience might restrain the pursuit of discovery, let alone achieve the management’s stated aim to “develop and maintain an academic culture of intellectual stimulation and high achievement”.

    Meanwhile at the University of Liverpool, Vice Chancellor Janet Beer is attempting to apply research metrics and measures of research income over a five-year period to select academics for redundancy in the Faculty of Life Sciences. Staff have been threatened with sacking and replacement by those felt to hold more promise. It will be an unwise scholar who chooses a niche field of research which will not elicit prime citations. Astoundingly, university mangers claim that their criteria are not in breach of their status as a signatory to the San Fransisco Declaration on Research Assessment (https://news.liverpool.ac.uk/2021/03/08/project-shape-update). That is correct insofar as selection for redundancy by grant income is clearly such dishonorable practice as to have been placed beyond contemplation by the international board of DORA.

    It seems we are reaching a pivotal moment for academic freedom for higher education systems across the world. In #Arkansas and some other states in the #USA, there are efforts to prohibit the teaching of social justice (https://www.chronicle.com/article/no-social-justice-in-the-classroom-new-state-scrutiny-of-speech-at-public).

    In #France, the education minister has blamed American critical race theory (https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/11/france-about-become-less-free/617195) for undermining France’s self-professed race-blindness and for causing the rise of “islamo-gauchisme”, a term which has been cynically deployed to blunt any critique of structural racism.

    In Greece, universities are now bound by law to ensure policing and surveillance of university campuses (https://www.crimetalk.org.uk/index.php/library/section-list/1012-exiting-democracy-entering-authoritarianism) by ‘squads for the protection of universities’ in order to suppress dissent with the Orwellian announcement that the creation of these squads and the extensive surveillance of public Universities are “a means of closing the door to violence and opening the way to freedom” and an assertion that “it is not the police who enter universities, but democracy”.

    Conclusion

    It occurs to me that those public figures who feel deprived of a platform to express controversial views may well be outnumbered by the scholars whose universities allow their work to be suppressed by targeted intellectual purges, academic totalitarianism and metric surveillance. It is telling that assaults on academic freedom in the UK have not attracted comment or action from the organisations which might be well placed to defend this defining and essential principle of universities. I hereby call on Universities UK, the Office for Students and the freedom of speech champion to insist on an independent audit of academic freedom and autonomy for each higher education institution.

    We now know where intervention into the rights of academics to teach and research autonomously may lead. We also know that many of the candidates targeted for redundancy are UCU trade union officials; this has happened at University of East London and the University of Hull. Make no mistake, this is a PATCO moment (https://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/05/reagan-fires-11-000-striking-air-traffic-controllers-aug-5-1981-241252) for higher education in the UK as management teams try to break union support and solidarity in order to exact greater control in the future.

    Universities are the canary down the mine in an era of right-wing authoritarianism. We must ensure that they can maintain their unique responsibility to protect against the rise of populism and the dismantling of democracy. We must be assertive in protecting the rights of academics whose lawful and reasoned opinions are increasingly subject to some very sinister threats. Academic freedom needs to be fought for, just like the right to protest and the right to roam. That leaves a heavy responsibility for academics if the abolition of autonomy and academic freedom is not to be complete.

    http://cdbu.org.uk/academic-freedom-is-in-crisis-free-speech-is-not
    #liberté_académique #liberté_d'expression #UK #Angleterre #université #facs #justice_sociale #black_studies #races #race #approches_critiques #études_critiques #privilège_blanc #économie_politique #Leicester_Business_School #pandémie #crise_sanitaire #Birmingham #Liverpool #Janet_Beer #concurrence #Grèce #Etats-Unis #métrique #attaques #éducation_supérieure #populisme #démocratie #autonomie #canari_dans_la_mine

    ping @isskein @cede

    • The Campaign to Cancel Wokeness. How the right is trying to censor critical race theory.

      It’s something of a truism, particularly on the right, that conservatives have claimed the mantle of free speech from an intolerant left that is afraid to engage with uncomfortable ideas. Every embarrassing example of woke overreach — each ill-considered school board decision or high-profile campus meltdown — fuels this perception.

      Yet when it comes to outright government censorship, it is the right that’s on the offense. Critical race theory, the intellectual tradition undergirding concepts like white privilege and microaggressions, is often blamed for fomenting what critics call cancel culture. And so, around America and even overseas, people who don’t like cancel culture are on an ironic quest to cancel the promotion of critical race theory in public forums.

      In September, Donald Trump’s Office of Management and Budget ordered federal agencies to “begin to identify all contracts or other agency spending related to any training on ‘critical race theory,’” which it described as “un-American propaganda.”

      A month later, the conservative government in Britain declared some uses of critical race theory in education illegal. “We do not want teachers to teach their white pupils about white privilege and inherited racial guilt,” said the Tory equalities minister, Kemi Badenoch. “Any school which teaches these elements of critical race theory, or which promotes partisan political views such as defunding the police without offering a balanced treatment of opposing views, is breaking the law.”

      Some in France took up the fight as well. “French politicians, high-profile intellectuals and journalists are warning that progressive American ideas — specifically on race, gender, post-colonialism — are undermining their society,” Norimitsu Onishi reported in The New York Times. (This is quite a reversal from the days when American conservatives warned darkly about subversive French theory.)

      Once Joe Biden became president, he undid Trump’s critical race theory ban, but lawmakers in several states have proposed their own prohibitions. An Arkansas legislator introduced a pair of bills, one banning the teaching of The Times’s 1619 Project curriculum, and the other nixing classes, events and activities that encourage “division between, resentment of, or social justice for” specific groups of people. “What is not appropriate is being able to theorize, use, specifically, critical race theory,” the bills’ sponsor told The Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

      Republicans in West Virginia and Oklahoma have introduced bills banning schools and, in West Virginia’s case, state contractors from promoting “divisive concepts,” including claims that “the United States is fundamentally racist or sexist.” A New Hampshire Republican also proposed a “divisive concepts” ban, saying in a hearing, “This bill addresses something called critical race theory.”

      Kimberlé Crenshaw, a pioneering legal scholar who teaches at both U.C.L.A. and Columbia, has watched with alarm the attempts to suppress an entire intellectual movement. It was Crenshaw who came up with the name “critical race theory” when organizing a workshop in 1989. (She also coined the term “intersectionality.”) “The commitment to free speech seems to dissipate when the people who are being gagged are folks who are demanding racial justice,” she told me.

      Many of the intellectual currents that would become critical race theory emerged in the 1970s out of disappointment with the incomplete work of the civil rights movement, and cohered among radical law professors in the 1980s.
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      The movement was ahead of its time; one of its central insights, that racism is structural rather than just a matter of interpersonal bigotry, is now conventional wisdom, at least on the left. It had concrete practical applications, leading, for example, to legal arguments that housing laws or employment criteria could be racist in practice even if they weren’t racist in intent.

      Parts of the critical race theory tradition are in tension with liberalism, particularly when it comes to issues like free speech. Richard Delgado, a key figure in the movement, has argued that people should be able to sue those who utter racist slurs. Others have played a large role in crafting campus speech codes.

      There’s plenty here for people committed to broad free speech protections to dispute. I’m persuaded by the essay Henry Louis Gates Jr. wrote in the 1990s challenging the movement’s stance on the first amendment. “To remove the very formation of our identities from the messy realm of contestation and debate is an elemental, not incidental, truncation of the ideal of public discourse,” he wrote.

      Disagreeing with certain ideas, however, is very different from anathematizing the collective work of a host of paradigm-shifting thinkers. Gates’s article was effective because he took the scholarly work he engaged with seriously. “The critical race theorists must be credited with helping to reinvigorate the debate about freedom of expression; even if not ultimately persuaded to join them, the civil libertarian will be much further along for having listened to their arguments and examples,” he wrote.

      But the right, for all its chest-beating about the value of entertaining dangerous notions, is rarely interested in debating the tenets of critical race theory. It wants to eradicate them from public institutions.

      “Critical race theory is a grave threat to the American way of life,” Christopher Rufo, director of the Center on Wealth and Poverty at the Discovery Institute, a conservative think tank once known for pushing an updated form of creationism in public schools, wrote in January.

      Rufo’s been leading the conservative charge against critical race theory. Last year, during an appearance on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show, he called on Trump to issue an executive order abolishing “critical race theory trainings from the federal government.” The next day, he told me, the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, called him and asked for his help putting an order together.

      Last month, Rufo announced a “new coalition of legal foundations and private attorneys that will wage relentless legal warfare against race theory in America’s institutions.” A number of House and Senate offices, he told me, are working on their own anti-critical race theory bills, though none are likely to go anywhere as long as Biden is president.

      As Rufo sees it, critical race theory is a revolutionary program that replaces the Marxist categories of the bourgeois and the proletariat with racial groups, justifying discrimination against those deemed racial oppressors. His goal, ultimately, is to get the Supreme Court to rule that school and workplace trainings based on the doctrines of critical race theory violate the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

      This inversion, casting anti-racist activists as the real racists, is familiar to Ian Haney López, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who specializes in critical race theory. “There’s a rhetoric of reaction which seeks to claim that it’s defending these higher values, which, perversely, often are the very values it’s traducing,” he said. “Whether that’s ‘In the name of free speech we’re going to persecute, we’re going to launch investigations into particular forms of speech’ or — and I think this is equally perverse — ‘In the name of fighting racism, we’re going to launch investigations into those scholars who are most serious about studying the complex forms that racism takes.’”

      Rufo insists there are no free speech implications to what he’s trying to do. “You have the freedom of speech as an individual, of course, but you don’t have the kind of entitlement to perpetuate that speech through public agencies,” he said.

      This sounds, ironically, a lot like the arguments people on the left make about de-platforming right-wingers. To Crenshaw, attempts to ban critical race theory vindicate some of the movement’s skepticism about free speech orthodoxy, showing that there were never transcendent principles at play.

      When people defend offensive speech, she said, they’re often really defending “the substance of what the speech is — because if it was really about free speech, then this censorship, people would be howling to the high heavens.” If it was really about free speech, they should be.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/26/opinion/speech-racism-academia.html

      #droite #gauche #censure #cancel_culture #micro-agressions #Trump #Donald_Trump #Kemi_Badenoch #division #critical_race_theory #racisme #sexisme #Kimberlé_Crenshaw #Crenshaw #racisme_structurel #libéralisme #Richard_Delgado #Christopher_Rufo #Ian_Haney_López

    • No ‘Social Justice’ in the Classroom: Statehouses Renew Scrutiny of Speech at Public Colleges

      Blocking professors from teaching social-justice issues. Asking universities how they talk about privilege. Analyzing students’ freedom of expression through regular reports. Meet the new campus-speech issues emerging in Republican-led statehouses across the country, indicating potential new frontiers for politicians to shape campus affairs.

      (paywall)
      https://www.chronicle.com/article/no-social-justice-in-the-classroom-new-state-scrutiny-of-speech-at-public

  • #Evelop / #Barceló_Group : deportation planes from Spain

    The Barceló Group is a leading Spanish travel and hotel company whose airline Evelop is an eager deportation profiteer. Evelop is currently the Spanish government’s main charter deportation partner, running all the country’s mass expulsion flights through a two-year contract, while carrying out deportations from several other European countries as well.

    This profile has been written in response to requests from anti-deportation campaigners. We look at how:

    - The Barceló Group’s airline Evelop has a €9.9m, 18-month deportation contract with the Spanish government. The contract is up for renewal and Barceló is bidding again.
    - Primary beneficiaries of the contract alternate every few years between Evelop and Globalia’s Air Europa.
    – Evelop also carried out deportations from the UK last year to Jamaica, Ghana and Nigeria.
    – The Barceló Group is run and owned by the Barceló family. It is currently co-chaired by the Barceló cousins, Simón Barceló Tous and Simón Pedro Barceló Vadell. Former senator Simón Pedro Barceló Vadell, of the conservative Partido Popular (PP) party, takes the more public-facing role.
    – The company is Spain’s second biggest hotel company, although the coronavirus pandemic appears to have significantly impacted this aspect of its work.

    What’s the business?

    The Barceló Group (‘#Barceló_Corporación_Empresarial, S.A.’) is made up of the #Barceló_Hotel_Group, Spain’s second largest hotel company, and a travel agency and tour operator division known as #Ávoris. Ávoris runs two airlines: the Portuguese brand #Orbest, which anti-deportation campaigners report have also carried out charter deportations, and the Spanish company, #Evelop, founded in 2013.

    The Barceló Group is based in Palma, #Mallorca. It was founded by the Mallorca-based Barceló family in 1931 as #Autocares_Barceló, which specialised in the transportation of people and goods, and has been managed by the family for three generations. The Barceló Group has a stock of over 250 hotels in 22 countries and claims to employ over 33,000 people globally, though we don’t know if this figure has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused massive job losses in the tourism industry.

    The Hotel division has four brands: #Royal_Hideaway_Luxury_Hotels & Resorts; #Barceló_Hotels & Resorts; #Occidental_Hotels & Resorts; and #Allegro_Hotels. The company owns, manages and rents hotels worldwide, mostly in Spain, Mexico and the US. It works in the United States through its subsidiary, Crestline Hotels & Resorts, which manages third-party hotels, including for big brands like Marriott and Hilton.

    Ávoris, the travel division, runs twelve tour brands, all platforms promoting package holidays.

    Their airlines are small, primarily focused on taking people to sun and sand-filled holidays. In total the Barceló Group airlines have a fleet of just nine aircraft, with one on order, according to the Planespotters website. However, three of these have been acquired in the past two years and a fourth is due to be delivered. Half are leased from Irish airplane lessor Avolon. Evelop serves only a few routes, mainly between the Caribbean and the Iberian peninsula, as well as the UK.

    Major changes are afoot as Ávoris is due to merge with #Halcón_Viajes_and_Travelplan, both subsidiaries of fellow Mallorcan travel giant #Globalia. The combined entity will become the largest group of travel agencies in Spain, employing around 6,000 people. The Barceló Group is due to have the majority stake in the new business.

    Barceló has also recently announced the merger of Evelop with its other airline Orbest, leading to a new airline called Iberojet (the name of a travel agency already operated by Ávoris).

    The new airline is starting to sell scheduled flights in addition to charter operations. Evelop had already announced a reduction in its charter service, at a time when its scheduled airline competitors, such as #Air_Europa, have had to be bailed out to avoid pandemic-induced bankruptcy. Its first scheduled flights will be mainly to destinations in Central and South America, notably Cuba and the Domican Republic, though they are also offering flights to Tunisia, the Maldives and Mauritius.

    Deportation dealers

    Evelop currently holds the contract to carry out the Spanish government’s mass deportation flights, through an agreement made with the Spanish Interior Ministry in December 2019. Another company, Air Nostrum, which operates the Iberia Regional franchise, transports detainees within Spain, notably to Madrid, from where they are deported by Evelop. The total value of the contract for the two airlines is €9.9m, and lasts 18 months.

    This is the latest in a long series of such contracts. Over the years, the beneficiaries have alternated between the Evelop- #Air_Nostrum partnership, and another partnership comprising Globalia’s #Air_Europa, and #Swiftair (with the former taking the equivalent role to that of Evelop). So far, the Evelop partnership has been awarded the job twice, while its Air Europa rival has won the bidding three times.

    However, the current deal will end in spring 2021, and a new tender for a contract of the same value has been launched. The two bidders are: Evelop-Air Nostrum; and Air Europa in partnership with #Aeronova, another Globalia subsidiary. A third operator, #Canary_Fly, has been excluded from the bidding for failing to produce all the required documentation. So yet again, the contract will be awarded to companies either owned by the Barceló Group or Globalia.

    On 10 November 2020, Evelop carried out the first charter deportations from Spain since the restrictions on travel brought about by the cCOVID-19 pandemic. On board were 22 migrants, mostly Senegalese, who had travelled by boat to the Canary Islands. Evelop and the Spanish government dumped them in Mauritania, under an agreement with the country to accept any migrants arriving on the shores of the Islands. According to El País newspaper, the number of actual Mauritanians deported to that country is a significant minority of all deportees. Anti-deportation campaigners state that since the easing up of travel restrictions, Evelop has also deported people to Georgia, Albania, Colombia and the Dominican Republic.

    Evelop is not only eager to cash in on deportations in Spain. Here in the UK, Evelop carried out at least two charter deportations last year: one to Ghana and Nigeria from Stansted on 30 January 2020; and one to Jamaica from Doncaster airport on 11 February in the same year. These deportations took place during a period of mobile network outages across Harmondsworth and Colnbrook detention centres, which interfered with detainees’ ability to access legal advice to challenge their expulsion, or speak to loved ones.

    According to campaigners, the company reportedly operates most of Austria and Germany’s deportations to Nigeria and Ghana, including a recent joint flight on 19 January. It also has operated deportations from Germany to Pakistan and Bangladesh.

    Evelop is not the only company profiting from Spain’s deportation machine. The Spanish government also regularly deports people on commercial flights operated by airlines such as Air Maroc, Air Senegal, and Iberia, as well as mass deportations by ferry to Morocco and Algeria through the companies #Transmediterránea, #Baleària and #Algérie_Ferries. #Ferry deportations are currently on hold due to the pandemic, but Air Maroc reportedly still carry out regular deportations on commercial flights to Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara.

    Where’s the money?

    The financial outlook for the Barceló Group as a whole at the end of 2019 seemed strong, having made a net profit of €135 million.

    Before the pandemic, the company president said that he had planned to prioritise its hotels division over its tour operator segment, which includes its airlines. Fast forward a couple of years and its hotels are struggling to attract custom, while one of its airlines has secured a multimillion-euro deportation contract.

    Unsurprisingly, the coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the Barceló Group’s operations. The company had to close nearly all of its hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa during the first wave of the pandemic, with revenue down 99%. In the Caribbean, the hotel group saw a 95% drop in revenue in May, April and June. They fared slightly better in the US, which saw far fewer COVID-19 restrictions, yet revenue there still declined 89%. By early October, between 20-60% of their hotels in Europe, the Middle East and the Caribbean had reopened across the regions, but with occupancy at only 20-60%.

    The company has been negotiating payments with hotels and aircraft lessors in light of reduced demand. It claims that it has not however had to cut jobs, since the Spanish government’s COVID-19 temporary redundancy plans enable some workers to be furloughed and prevent employers from firing them in that time.

    Despite these difficulties, the company may be saved, like other tourism multinationals, by a big bailout from the state. Barceló’s Ávoris division is set to share a €320 million bailout from the Spanish government as part of the merger with Globalia’s subsidiaries. Is not known if the Barceló Group’s hotel lines will benefit from state funds.

    Key people

    The eight members of the executive board are unsurprisingly, male, pale and frail; as are all ten members of the Ávoris management team.

    The company is co-chaired by cousins with confusingly similar names: #Simón_Barceló_Tous and #Simón_Pedro_Barceló_Vadell. We’ll call them #Barceló_Tous and #Pedro_Barceló from here. The family are from Felanitx, Mallorca.

    Barceló Tous is the much more low-key of the two, and there is little public information about him. Largely based in the Dominican Republic, he takes care of the Central & Latin American segment of the business.

    His cousin, Pedro Barceló, runs the European and North American division. Son of Group co-founder #Gabriel_Barceló_Oliver, Pedro Barceló is a law graduate who has been described as ‘reserved’ and ‘elusive’. He is the company’s executive president. Yet despite his apparent shyness, he was once the youngest senator in Spanish history, entering the upper house at age 23 as a representative for the conservative party with links to the Francoist past, #Partido_Popular. For a period he was also a member of the board of directors of Globalia, Aena and #First_Choice_Holidays.

    The CEO of Evelop is #Antonio_Mota_Sandoval, formerly the company’s technical and maintenance director. He’s very found of #drones and is CEO and founder of a company called #Aerosolutions. The latter describes itself as ‘Engineering, Consulting and Training Services for conventional and unmanned aviation.’ Mota appears to live in Alcalá de Henares, a town just outside Madrid. He is on Twitter and Facebook.

    The Barceló Foundation

    As is so often the case with large businesses engaging in unethical practises, the family set up a charitable arm, the #Barceló_Foundation. It manages a pot of €32 million, of which it spent €2m in 2019 on a broad range of charitable activities in Africa, South America and Mallorca. Headed by Antonio Monjo Tomás, it’s run from a prestigious building in Palma known as #Casa_del_Marqués_de_Reguer-Rullán, owned by the Barceló family. The foundation also runs the #Felanitx_Art & Culture Center, reportedly based at the Barceló’s family home. The foundation partners with many Catholic missions and sponsors the #Capella_Mallorquina, a local choir. The foundation is on Twitter and Facebook.

    The Barceló Group’s vulnerabilities

    Like other tourism businesses, the group is struggling with the industry-wide downturn due to COVID-19 travel measures. In this context, government contracts provide a rare reliable source of steady income — and the Barcelós will be loathe to give up deportation work. In Spain, perhaps even more than elsewhere, the tourism industry and its leading dynasties has very close ties with government and politicians. Airlines are getting heavy bailouts from the Spanish state, and their bosses will want to keep up good relations.

    But the deportation business could become less attractive for the group if campaigners keep up the pressure — particularly outside Spain, where reputational damage may outweigh the profits from occasional flights. Having carried out a charter deportation to Jamaica from the UK earlier in the year, the company became a target of a social media campaign in December 2020 ahead of the Jamaica 50 flight, after which they reportedly said that they were not involved. A lesser-known Spanish airline, Privilege Style, did the job instead.

    https://corporatewatch.org/evelop-barcelo-group-deportation-planes-from-spain
    #Espagne #business #compagnies_aériennes #complexe_militaro-industriel #renvois #expulsions #migrations #réfugiés #asile #tourisme #charter #Maurtianie #îles_Canaries #Canaries #Géorgie #Albanie #Colombie #République_dominicaine #Ghana #Nigeria #Allemagne #Standsted #UK #Angleterre #Pakistan #Bangladesh #Air_Maroc #Air_Senegal #Iberia #Maroc #Algérie #ferrys #Sahara_occidental #covid-19 #pandémie #coronavirus #hôtels #fondation #philanthropocapitalisme ##philanthropo-capitalisme

    ping @isskein @karine4

  • « Small Axe », la série très attendue de Steve McQueen est disponible sur la plateforme Salto
    https://www.francetvinfo.fr/culture/series/small-axe-la-serie-tres-attendue-de-steve-mcqueen-est-disponible-sur-la

    Le réalisateur oscarisé signe sa première série. En cinq épisodes, il se plonge dans la communauté antillaise de Londres et aborde le racisme qui gangrène les institutions dans les années 60, 70 et 80.

    C’est une série anthologie, donc les cinq films sont indépendants.

    On a regardé le premier (avec du PopCorn wink wink), qui n’est pas une fiction mais relate l’histoire et le procès du restaurant Le Mangrove. Et bah c’était très bien !

    Et pas mal de musique tout le long évidemment (le titre global de la série faisant référence à un morceau politique de Bob Marley).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mangrove_Nine

    #Steve_McQueen #Caraïbe #racisme #Angleterre #Notting_Hill #Histoire #film #cinéma #série
    ping @sinehebdo

  • Concerns raised over ’squalid’ #Serco asylum seeker housing in #Derby

    Council arranging inspection as photos show missing plaster, rubble in shower and hole in ceiling

    A council is arranging an urgent inspection of asylum seeker accommodation in Derby after concerns were raised about conditions there.

    Photos of the property seen by the Guardian show part of the kitchen ceiling missing, rubble in the base of a shower, cracked and missing tiles, rusted pipes and plaster missing from walls where wallpaper has peeled off. The garden is strewn with litter and discarded furniture.

    There are about 64,000 people in Home Office accommodation. The majority are in shared housing, and about 10,000 are in hotel accommodation.

    It has been reported that the Home Office is planning to accelerate moving people out of hotels and into housing, known as dispersed accommodation, in a scheme called Operation Oak.

    One of the asylum seekers in the house in Derby was moved from a hotel in Birmingham just over a week ago. He said: “The conditions in this house are so bad they make normal life impossible. I have not been able to take a bath for a week because water was pouring from the bathroom through the kitchen ceiling.”

    Serco, the company that has the Home Office contract for provision of accommodation in this part of the UK, was last year fined £2.6m for failings on a Home Office accommodation contract between September 2019 and January 2020. It had previously received a fine of £1m on another asylum seeker accommodation contract.

    Serco told the Guardian last year it was broadly meeting its performance standards and had improved performance on addressing emergency maintenance issues and resolving people’s complaints.

    Clare Moseley, the founder of the charity Care4Calais, which is providing support for many asylum seekers in various kinds of Home Office accommodation, said: “I am disgusted to see anyone living in conditions as squalid as these. We have recently witnessed the Home Office’s uncaring attitude towards asylum seekers in hotel accommodation. What are we going to see next in dispersal accommodation?”

    Sarah Burnett, Serco’s operations director for immigration, said: “Looking after the asylum seekers in our care and ensuring that they are kept safe is always our first priority. When complaints are raised our team of professional housing officers, maintenance and gas engineers responds and investigates and corrects the problems as and where they exist. We do this within strict timetables laid down in our contract.”

    Serco sources said one communal bathroom was working and one was being “isolated” to stop leaks going through the ceiling into the kitchen and that part of the kitchen ceiling had been removed to fix the leaks. The sources acknowledged that the working shower cubicle, which is covered in black mould, was in need of minor repairs and a thorough clean.

    “There is rubbish in the garden, which is partly due to refurbishment work and partly due to previous occupants leaving it there; Covid has prevented the timely removal of all this, but that will be put right in the coming days,” Burnett added. She said the kitchen had been fully refurbished last summer.

    A spokesperson for Derby city council said: “Based on the evidence provided in the photos, Derby city council does have concerns regarding the condition of the property. The council’s housing standards team will be inspecting this property as a matter of urgency. A discussion has taken place with Serco and we are in the process of arranging an inspection.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/feb/25/concerns-raised-over-squalid-serco-asylum-seeker-housing-in-derby?__twi

    #logement #hébergement #UK #Angleterre #asile #réfugiés #privatisation #migrations

  • #Uber drivers are workers not self-employed, Supreme Court rules

    Uber drivers must be treated as workers rather than self-employed, the UK’s Supreme Court has ruled.

    The decision could mean thousands of Uber drivers are entitled to minimum wage and holiday pay.

    The ruling could leave the ride-hailing app facing a hefty compensation bill, and have wider consequences for the gig economy.

    Uber said the ruling centred on a small number of drivers and it had since made changes to its business.

    In a long-running legal battle, Uber had finally appealed to the Supreme Court after losing three earlier rounds.

    Uber’s share price dipped as US trading began on Friday as investors grappled with what impact the London ruling could have on the firm’s business model.

    It is being challenged by its drivers in multiple countries over whether they should be classed as workers or self-employed.
    What’s the background to the ruling?

    Former Uber drivers James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam took Uber to an employment tribunal in 2016, arguing they worked for Uber. Uber said its drivers were self employed and it therefore was not responsible for paying any minimum wage nor holiday pay.

    The two, who originally won an employment tribunal against the ride hailing app giant in October 2016, told the BBC they were “thrilled and relieved” by the ruling.

    “I think it’s a massive achievement in a way that we were able to stand up against a giant,” said Mr Aslam, president of the App Drivers & Couriers Union (ADCU).

    “We didn’t give up and we were consistent - no matter what we went through emotionally or physically or financially, we stood our ground.”

    Uber appealed against the employment tribunal decision but the Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld the ruling in November 2017.

    The company then took the case to the Court of Appeal, which upheld the ruling in December 2018.

    The ruling on Friday was Uber’s last appeal, as the Supreme Court is Britain’s highest court, and it has the final say on legal matters.

    Delivering his judgement, Lord Leggatt said that the Supreme Court unanimously dismissed Uber’s appeal that it was an intermediary party and stated that drivers should be considered to be working not only when driving a passenger, but whenever logged in to the app.

    The court considered several elements in its judgement:

    - Uber set the fare which meant that they dictated how much drivers could earn
    - Uber set the contract terms and drivers had no say in them
    - Request for rides is constrained by Uber who can penalise drivers if they reject too many rides
    - Uber monitors a driver’s service through the star rating and has the capacity to terminate the relationship if after repeated warnings this does not improve

    Looking at these and other factors, the court determined that drivers were in a position of subordination to Uber where the only way they could increase their earnings would be to work longer hours.

    Jamie Heywood, Uber’s Regional General Manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, said: "We respect the Court’s decision which focussed on a small number of drivers who used the Uber app in 2016.

    "Since then we have made some significant changes to our business, guided by drivers every step of the way. These include giving even more control over how they earn and providing new protections like free insurance in case of sickness or injury.

    “We are committed to doing more and will now consult with every active driver across the UK to understand the changes they want to see.”
    What did Uber argue?

    Uber has long argued that it is a booking agent, which hires self-employed contractors that provide transport.

    By not being classified as a transport provider, Uber is not currently paying 20% VAT on fares.

    The Supreme Court ruled that Uber has to consider its drivers “workers” from the time they log on to the app, until they log off.

    This is a key point because Uber drivers typically spend time waiting for people to book rides on the app.

    Previously, the firm had said that if drivers were found to be workers, then it would only count the time during journeys when a passenger is in the car.

    “This is a win-win-win for drivers, passengers and cities. It means Uber now has the correct economic incentives not to oversupply the market with too many vehicles and too many drivers,” said James Farrar, ADCU’s general secretary.

    “The upshot of that oversupply has been poverty, pollution and congestion.”
    Why are some drivers unhappy with Uber?

    Mr Aslam, who claims Uber’s practices forced him to leave the trade as he couldn’t make ends meet, is considering becoming a driver for the app again. But he is upset that the ruling took so long.

    “It took us six years to establish what we should have got in 2015. Someone somewhere, in the government or the regulator, massively let down these workers, many of whom are in a precarious position,” he said.

    - Uber drivers launch legal battle over ’favouritism’
    - The Uber driver evicted from home and left to die of coronavirus

    Mr Farrar points out that with fares down 80% due to the pandemic, many drivers have been struggling financially and feel trapped in Uber’s system.

    “We’re seeing many of our members earning £30 gross a day right now,” he said, explaining that the self-employment grants issued by the government only cover 80% of a driver’s profits, which isn’t even enough to pay for their costs.

    “If we had these rights today, those drivers could at least earn a minimum wage to live on.”
    Will we pay more for Uber rides?

    That remains to be seen, but it could potentially happen.

    When Uber listed its shares in the United States in 2019, its filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) included a section on risks to its business.

    The company said in this section that if it had to classify drivers as workers, it would “incur significant additional expenses” in compensating the drivers for things such as the minimum wage and overtime.

    “Further, any such reclassification would require us to fundamentally change our business model, and consequently have an adverse effect on our business and financial condition,” it added.
    What is the VAT issue about?

    Uber also wrote in the filing that if Mr Farrar and Mr Aslam were to win their case, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) would then classify the firm as a transport provider, and Uber would need to pay VAT on fares.

    This relates to a judicial review filed by Jolyon Maugham QC in 2019.

    Mr Maugham, a barrister specialising in tax and employment law, applied to HMRC to ask for a judicial review and that HMRC demand that Uber pay VAT.

    “I tried to force the issue by suing Uber for a VAT receipt, because I thought that, that way, even if HMRC didn’t want to charge Uber, I would be able to force it to,” he told the BBC.

    “The Supreme Court has fundamentally answered two questions at the same time: one is whether drivers are workers for Uber, and the other is whether Uber is liable to pay VAT to HMRC,” said Mr Maugham, who also heads up campaign group The Good Law Project.

    “It makes it extremely difficult for Uber to continue to resist paying what I understand to be more than £1bn in VAT and interest.”

    HMRC and Uber are still in dispute about the firm’s VAT liability.
    What does this mean for the gig economy?

    Tom Vickers is a senior lecturer in sociology at Nottingham Trent University and head of the Work Futures Research Group, which studies the jobs that people do and how they change over time.

    He thinks the Supreme Court’s ruling has wider implications for a lot of other gig economy workers like other private hire drivers, couriers and delivery drivers.

    "The central point for me is that the ruling focuses on the control that companies exercise over people’s labour - this control also carries with it responsibilities for their conditions and wellbeing.

    “This is even more important in the context of the pandemic.”

    As for Uber, Rachel Mathieson, senior associate at Bates Wells, which represented Mr Farrar and Mr Aslam, said her firm’s position was that the ruling applies to all 90,000 drivers who have been active with Uber since and including 2016.

    “Our position is that the ruling applies to all of their drivers at large,” she said.

    Dr Alex Wood, an Internet Institute research associate on gig economy at Oxford University, disagrees.

    He told the BBC that because the UK doesn’t have a labour inspectorate, these “rules aren’t enforced and it falls to workers to bring subsequent tribunals”.

    This means that “in reality, it’s very easy for Uber to just ignore this until more tribunals come for the remaining 40,000 [drivers]”.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/business-56123668
    #travail #justice #UK #Angleterre #cour_suprême #travail #travailleurs_indépendants #vacances #salaire #salaire_minimum #conditions_de_travail #TVA

    ping @isskein @karine4

  • Where did all the migrants go? Migration data during the pandemic

    The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are visible across the whole of society, and migration is no exception. From late March 2020, restrictions on travel, the closure of visa centres, and economic turmoil have had huge impacts on the immigration system. Following a large decline in international travel after the first UK lockdown, passenger numbers remained well below recent averages throughout the year. Grants of visas in categories across the immigration system also dropped in 2020.

    One of the major questions facing migration researchers and policymakers currently is what this all means for migration patterns overall. How much lower is migration because of the pandemic? Who is still coming to the UK and who is not? Who is leaving? Is the migrant population declining?

    The main source of data used to measure immigration and emigration flows—the International Passenger Survey—has been suspended due to the pandemic. As a result, recent attempts to examine how the migrant population is changing have used population survey data, which does not give a direct measure migration flows but does give some insight into the migrant population and how it is changing.

    This commentary examines what we know from currently available data about how the total size of the migrant population has changed in 2020, and concludes:

    - Headline data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) suggest that the number of migrants living in the UK fell in 2020. In Q3 2020, the estimated foreign-born population was 8.3 million, down from 9.2 million in the same quarter a year earlier. This is a decline of 894,000 or 10%. However, there is enormous uncertainty about these estimates and compelling reasons to believe that they are not accurate.
    - Estimates of the migrant population are based on pre-pandemic projections of the total UK population that are likely to be too high. During the pandemic, the UK population may have declined, but this is not factored in to estimates of the migrant population. All else equal, this would mean that the official figures underestimated the decline in the foreign-born population. But all else is not equal.
    – When the pandemic hit, ONS switched to a socially distanced method of recruiting people into statistical surveys, and this appears to have disproportionately affected migrants’ participation. If migrants are less likely to participate than non-migrants with the new method of data collection, this means their numbers will be underestimated.
    - When we look at data on people recruited into the survey before the pandemic but surveyed in mid-2020, there is still a considerable decline in the migrant share of the UK’s population (e.g. due to emigration), particularly in London. But it is smaller than the headline figures suggest.
    - All this creates significant uncertainty and means that we should be cautious when comparing data from 2019 and 2020. Some of the changes we see will be real but some will be due to new biases in the data caused by the pandemic.

    The demise of the data

    Covid-19 has seriously affected migration data. This means that many of the key questions that we are accustomed to being able to answer about the nature and scale of migration to the UK are now more uncertain.

    First, the International Passenger Survey, which the Office for National Statistics (ONS) previously used to examine immigration, emigration and net migration, was suspended in March 2020 because of the difficulty collecting data through face-to-face interactions at ports and airports during the pandemic. While this survey had many flaws (including a likely overestimate of non-EU net migration and an underestimate of EU net migration), its disappearance leaves us without an alternative set of data measuring overall UK migration flows. ONS had already planned to move away from the IPS when measuring migration, and is currently working on a replacement data source that will draw on administrative records (e.g. tax and benefits payments) instead, but this will not be ready until later this year at the earliest.

    Before the pandemic, National Insurance Number (NINo) registration data also used to provide some insight into migration patterns. (Again, there were many limitations, including the fact that people who are not working will not necessarily apply for a NINo, and that some migrants entering the country live here for much longer than others before applying.) However, this data source also became much less useful in 2020, because the issuance of NINos was disrupted by Covid and new registrations for EU citizens have been suspended.
    Population data from the Labour Force Survey

    In the meantime, we do still have another data source that is often used for examining the migrant population: the Labour Force Survey. This ONS survey continues to collect data from households around the UK about the composition of the current population. A variant of the dataset with some additional respondents (known as the Annual Population Survey [APS]) is used to produce regular estimates of the total migrant population of the UK, by country of birth and nationality. Historically, the LFS/APS has been one of the most important sources of data for research on migration, though it has limitations too.

    In theory, the data can be used to track rises or falls in the migrant population over time. It does not provide a direct measure of migration and excludes people in communal establishments, which are not included in the survey, and has also underrepresented newly arrived migrants. However, over the long run it should give some insight into the impact of migration on the migrant population. If, for example, Covid-19 caused a big decrease in immigration and an increase in emigration, we should expect to see changes in the migrant population living in the UK too.

    Headline LFS data for the first three quarters of 2020 do in fact show a big decline in the estimated migrant population in 2020. In Q3 2020, the estimated foreign-born population was 8.3 million, down from 9.2 million in the same quarter a year earlier. This is a decline of 894,000 or 10%.

    So have close to one million migrants really emigrated? Unfortunately, it is very difficult to say.

    This is because we know that the pandemic caused serious problems in the collection of data, and it is possible that these have particularly affected data on migrants.

    There are two main ingredients in the estimate of the migrant population, both of which are creating uncertainty:

    – The LFS/APS data: this is used to calculate the share of the population that is foreign born or UK born.
    – ONS projections for the size of the population: these are needed to translate information on characteristics of people in the LFS/APS into absolute numbers of people.

    Uncertainty about the size of the UK’s population

    The LFS only tells us the share of the population that has a particular characteristic, like being born abroad. It does not tell us how big the population is. Usually, assumptions about the total population are based on population projections, which are set out in advance and do not account for short-term shocks like a pandemic. The LFS methodology assumes that the total population of the UK increased by around 370,000 in the year ending Q3 2020. This is based on the annual population growth estimated by the ONS, which is accurate under normal circumstances. However, if the total population had changed – e.g. due to large-scale emigration or excess deaths – this would not be reflected in the figures. In other words, the LFS-based estimates are based on the (surely incorrect) assumption that the UK’s population continued to grow in 2020 in the same way it had done in previous years.

    A consequence of this is that when the estimated share of the UK population that was born abroad declined in 2020, this mechanically led to an estimated 1.25m increase in the estimated number of UK-born people living in the UK (Figure 2). In practice, this is not plausible. It cannot be explained by births and deaths (births are relatively constant over time and deaths went up in 2020). It is unlikely to be explained by overseas-resident Brits returning home: LFS data suggest that, at least in Q2 2020, the number of Brits who had been living overseas a year earlier was only 79,000 – similar to the figure in previous years.

    As Jonathan Portes and Michael O’Connor have pointed out in separate analysis, we can adjust the data so that the UK-born population is held at a plausible level and the total estimated UK population is adjusted downwards to account for likely emigration. Doing this means that the estimated decline in the migrant population is even larger than 894,000. Their calculations put the adjusted figure at just under 1.3m.

    However, there is something else going on in the data that changes the picture, and works in the opposite direction.
    Changes in data collection methods may disproportionately affect migrants

    As a result of the pandemic, ONS changed the way it contacts people to participate in the LFS. Both pre- and post-pandemic, respondents were sent letters telling them they had been selected into the sample. Where previously interviewers would knock on the door in person for a face-to-face first interview (there are five interviews in total), instead respondents had to get in touch to provide their phone number. If they did not, ONS could chase them up if they could obtain their phone number from other sources, but in many cases this is not possible.

    This change in recruitment method was followed by a big drop in response rates, particularly among people living in rented accommodation (rather than owner-occupied homes). This is a problem because it introduces new bias into the estimates (e.g. if renters are less likely to participate, we will underestimate the number of renters in the UK). To address this, ONS adjusted the weights that are used to analyse the data, so that the share of the population living in different accommodation types remained constant. As ONS has pointed out, this is a temporary and imperfect solution to the problem and does not address the risk of bias resulting from other groups of people who might have become less likely to respond to the survey, including migrants.

    It is possible that migrants were disproportionately affected by the change in the way survey respondents were recruited (the move to telephone contact) and therefore that some of what we saw in 2020 is an increase in migrants not participating in the survey, rather than just emigration.

    Existing research shows that survey response rates are often lower for migrants, and are affected by factors like language proficiency, trust and survey data collection methods. In the UK case, migrants may have been less likely to get in touch with ONS to participate in the survey, or less likely to have a landline allowing ONS to chase up non-responders.

    Without another data source to check the figures against, there is no hard and fast way to identify how much of the apparent decrease in the foreign-born population is due to emigration and how much is due to migrants not responding to the survey. However, there are some clues in the data that suggest that some of what we are seeing is a statistical rather than a real change.
    Some indications that the drop in the migrant population may be smaller than the headline figures suggest

    Survey participants remain in the LFS for five quarters, unless they move house, emigrate or decide to drop out. In the summer of 2020 (Q3), some of the LFS respondents were people who were recruited into the survey before the pandemic, under the old, face-to-face method; some were people who had been selected under the new, socially distanced method.

    Figure 3 shows the estimated share of the population from 2018 to 2020 based on different groups of respondents. The purple line shows only those who are in their third, fourth or fifth wave of the survey; the large majority of these people will not have been affected by the change in selection method in 2020, because they were recruited by the end of March 2020. The blue line shows the share estimated using only the first and second waves of the survey. By Q3 2020, all of this group would have been recruited using the new method.

    The figures are presented as percentages rather than absolute numbers, to avoid the problem that we do not have a reliable estimate for the UK population in 2020.

    Normally, the estimated migrant share of the population is quite similar regardless of whether we look at waves 1-2 or waves 3-5. (In recent years it has actually been slightly higher on average for waves 3-5, with UK-born respondents more likely to drop out of the survey between waves.) However, the two lines diverge substantially in 2020. In other words, the recent decline in the estimated foreign-born population share is larger among people recruited under the new method.

    When we look at all waves of data, the foreign-born share of the population falls by 1.4 percentage points from Q3 2019 to Q3 2020, from 13.9% to 12.5%. For respondents recruited under the new system, however, the estimated migrant share fell from 13.5% to 11.2% (2.3 percentage points). Among people recruited under the old method, the decline was smaller: 14.3% to 13.7% or 0.7 percentage points.

    The potential impact of migrant non-response outweighs the effect of uncertainty about the population discussed above. As a back-of-the envelope calculation, Table 1 shows what happens if we assume that the migrant share of the population only declined by the amount the waves 3-5 data suggests, i.e. that it was 14.3% in Q3 2019 and 13.7% in Q3 2020. It then multiplies these percentages by various different options for the total UK population size. The data suggest that even if the UK’s population had declined by 1 million, the total decline in the migrant population would be “only” around 580,000.

    These figures are not at all conclusive, and are not intended to be a ‘better’ estimate of the decline in the migrant population. Estimates from the LFS are often volatile, and data from a single quarter often change more than one would expect as a result of sampling variation alone. It is usually therefore not a good idea to draw strong conclusions from just a couple of quarters of data. People who participate in waves 3-5 of the LFS may also be different to the ones who only participate in the first 1-2 interviews. The figures are therefore simply designed to illustrate the uncertainty we currently face when comparing pre- and post-pandemic figures over time.

    However, with these caveats in mind we can reasonably draw three conclusions. First, a decline in the migrant population does appear to have taken place in 2020, at least from the data that is available to us at present. Second, migrant non-response has probably amplified the estimated decline in the migrant population, which could be considerably smaller than headline figures suggest. And third, a change in the data collection method means we should be cautious about comparing figures from before and after the change in recruitment method.
    How has the profile of migrant respondents changed?

    In theory, we should expect groups of migrants who are less ‘established’ in the UK to be more likely to leave – for example, people who have recently arrived and who do not have family here. However, these may be some of the same groups who could be more likely not to participate due to the new sampling method (e.g. recently arrived people with language difficulties), making it difficult to disentangle the two.

    When we look in more detail at the groups that have seen the largest declines in the estimated migrant population in the all-wave data, some changes seem plausible given our theoretical expectations about what might have happened during the pandemic, while others are less so.

    Decreases in the estimated migrant population are highest among those who arrived recently, as one might expect, whether the reason is emigration or non-response (Table 3). Recently arrived migrants may be more likely to leave the country, but they could also be more likely not to respond to surveys under the new recruitment method, for example if they are less confident speaking English.

    Similarly, we should expect young people to be more likely to leave the UK than older people, who are more likely to be settled with multiple attachments keeping them in the country. We do indeed see the largest decline in the estimated number of migrants appears among those in their 20s (Table 3), although there are also declines in older age groups too. (Some of these are relatively small and within the bounds of normal sampling variation in the LFS.)

    Surprisingly, however, most of the decline between Q3 2019 and Q3 2020 was driven by families that included dependent children (Table 4) (note that these dependent children may themselves be either UK or foreign born). It would be surprising to see large-scale emigration in this group given that it can be difficult for people with school-age children to move. In principle, we should on the contrary expect single people with fewer attachments to be the most likely to leave the UK.

    Therefore seems likely that people with dependent children have simply become less likely to respond to the survey. Indeed, among the UK-born there is also a decrease in the share of survey respondents with dependent children in the family (data not shown), suggesting higher non-response in these types of families across the board. Since people in families with dependent children make up over half of the decline in the estimated migrant population, this creates another reason to doubt the narrative that emigration alone is driving the change.

    What is happening in London?

    One of the most striking changes in the data is in the geographic distribution of the migrant population. Figure 4 shows the estimated change in the foreign-born share of the population from Q3 2019 to Q3 2020. The first panel uses all the LFS data, and the second panel uses only waves 3-5, i.e. those not affected by the change in data recruitment method.

    The largest decline in the estimated foreign-born share of the population is seen in London (Figure 4). This appears regardless of whether we restrict the analysis to waves 3-5. The all-wave data suggest that the foreign-born share of the population fell by 4.3 percentage points, from 36.0% in Q3 2019 to 31.7% in Q3 2020. (This translates into a decline of over 360,000 people using the [problematic] assumptions about the total population discussed above.) The wave 3-5 data suggest it fell by 3.6 percentage points, from 36.8% to 33.2%. Either way, these are significant changes.

    Which countries of origin are driving the change?

    The change in the migrant share of the population for the UK as a whole appears for both EU and non-EU born groups. The full LFS data show a 0.9 percentage point decline in the non-EU born population share and a 0.5 percentage point decline for EU citizens. The wave 3-5 figures show a 0.5 percentage point decline in the population share for non-EU born and 0.2 percentage point decline for EU. In London, however, both methods suggest that the decline in the migrant share is driven primarily by the non-EU born (Figure 5).

    How can the uncertainty be resolved?

    To understand what has really happened to the UK’s migrant population, we would ideally consult a different data source not affected by the problems discussed here.

    One option is the Census. This will be conducted on 21 March 2021 in most of the UK (the Scottish Census has been postponed to 2022 due to the pandemic). The data are due to become available starting from around 12 months after the Census date. This will not resolve questions about changes over the past year, since it is only conducted every 10 years, but it will at least provide a more accurate figure for most of the UK in 2021.

    Another option is administrative data, such as HMRC and DWP records or visa data. Over the course of 2021 and early 2022 the Home Office will start to publish data on grants of visas under the new immigration system. This now covers both EU and non-EU citizens (unlike in 2020 when EU citizens still had free movement rights) and will give good insight into new arrivals but not the numbers of people living in the country or the numbers leaving.

    The ONS is already in the process of moving towards using administrative data to produce broader migration estimates that will be more similar to previous immigration and emigration figures that were published for 2019 and previous years. However, it may be some time before new statistical publications are regularly available using the data.

    https://migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/resources/commentaries/where-did-all-the-migrants-go-migration-data-during-the-p
    #données #fiabilité #migrations #UK #Angleterre #chiffres #statistiques #pandémie #covid-19 #coronavirus #démographie #étrangers #population_étrangère #Londres

    ping @simplicissimus

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    http://carfree.fr/index.php/2021/02/08/reclaim-the-streets

    Reclaim the Streets, également connu sous le nom de RTS, est un collectif qui partage un idéal de propriété communautaire des espaces publics. Les participants caractérisent le collectif comme un Lire la suite...

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  • The two sides of TUI : crisis-hit holiday giant turned deportation specialist

    2020 was a rough year for the tourism industry, with businesses worldwide cancelling holidays and laying off staff. Yet one company has been weathering the storm with particular ruthlessness: the Anglo-German giant TUI.

    TUI (Touristik Union International) has been called the world’s biggest holiday company. While its core business is selling full-package holidays to British and German families, 2020 saw it taking on a new sideline: running deportation charter flights for the UK Home Office. In this report we look at how:

    - TUI has become the main airline carrying out charter deportation flights for the UK Home Office. In November 2020 alone it conducted nine mass deportations to 19 destinations as part of Operation Sillath, and its deportation flights continue in 2021.
    - TUI lost over €3 billion last year. But the money was made up in bailouts from the German government, totalling over €4 billion.
    – TUI’s top owner is oligarch Alexey Mordashov, Russia’s fourth richest billionaire who made his fortune in the “Katastroika” of post-Soviet asset sell-offs. His family holding company made over €100 million in dividends from TUI in 2019.
    – In 2020, TUI cut 23,000 jobs, or 32% of its global workforce. But it carried on paying out fat salaries to its bosses – the executive board waived just 5% of their basic pay, with CEO Fritz Joussen pocketing €1.7 million.
    – Other cost-cutting measures included delaying payments of over €50m owed to hotels in Greece and Spain.
    - TUI is accused of using its tourist industry muscle to pressure the Greek government into dropping COVID quarantine requirements last Summer, just before the tourist influx contributed to a “second wave” of infections.
    – It is also accused of pressuring hotels in the Canary Islands to stop hosting migrants arriving on wooden boats, fearing it would damage the islands’ image in the eyes of TUI customers.

    TUI: from heavy industry to holiday giant

    Calling itself the ‘world’s leading tourism group’, TUI has 277 direct and indirect subsidiaries. The parent company is TUI AG, listed on the London Stock Exchange and based in Hannover and Berlin.

    TUI describes itself as a ‘vertically-integrated’ tourism business. That means it covers all aspects of a holiday: it can take care of bookings, provide the planes to get there, accommodate guests in hotels and cruises, and connect them with ‘experiences’ such as museum vists, performances and excursions. Recent company strategy buzz highlights the use of digitalisation – ‘driving customers’ into buying more services via its apps and online platforms. Where it can’t do everything in-house, TUI also uses other airlines and works extensively with independent hotels.

    TUI’s major assets are:

    - Hotels. By September 2020 the company ran over 400 hotels, the most profitable of which is the RIU chain, a company jointly owned by the Mallorca-based RIU family.
    - Cruises. TUI owns three cruise companies – TUI Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and Marella Cruises – which between them operate 17 vessels.
    - Airlines. TUI has five airlines with a total fleet of 137 aircraft. 56 of these are operated by its biggest airline, the British company TUI Airways. Collectively, the airlines under the group are the seventh largest in Europe.

    TUI also runs the TUI Care Foundation, its vehicle for green PR, based in the Hague.

    The company has a long history dating back to 1923 – though it is barely recognisable from its earlier embodiment as the energy, mining and metalworking group Preussag, originally set up by the German state of Prussia. Described by some as the “heavy industrial arm” of the Nazi economy, Preussag was just one of many German industrial firms which benefited from forced labour under the Third Reich. It transformed itself into a tourism business only in 1997, and completed a long string of acquisitions to become the behemoth it is today – including acquiring leading British travel agents Thomson in 2000 and First Choice Holidays in 2007.

    TUI holidaymakers are mostly families from the UK and Germany, with an average ticket for a family of four costing €3,500 . The top five destinations as of Easter 2019 were, in order: Spain, Greece, Egypt, Turkey, and Cape Verde.

    The UK branch – including TUI Airways, which is responsible for the deportations – is run out of Wigmore House, next to Luton Airport in Bedfordshire. The UK managing director is Andrew “Andy” Flintham. Flintham has been with TUI for over 15 years, and previously worked for British Airways and Ford.

    Dawn Wilson is the managing director of TUI Airways. and head of airline operations on the TUI aviation board, overseeing all five of TUI’s airlines. Wilson is also a director of TUI UK. Originally from Cleethorpes, Wilson’s career in the industry began as cabin crew in the 80s, before rising up the ranks of Britannia Airways. Britannia’s parent company Thomson was acquired by TUI in 2000.
    TUI’s crisis measures: mass job losses, deportations, and more

    Before the pandemic TUI was a success story, drawing 23 million people a year to sun, sea, snow or sights. In 2019, TUI was riding high following the collapse of its key UK competitor, Thomas Cook. It branched out by adding 21 more aircraft to its fleet and picking up a number of its rival’s former contracts, notably in Turkey. TUI’s extensive work in Turkey has recently made it a target of the Boycott Turkey campaign in solidarity with the Kurdish people. The one bum note had been the grounding of its Boeing 737 MAX airliners, after two crashes involving the aircraft forced the worldwide withdrawal of these planes. Despite that, the company made close to €19 billion in revenues in 2019, and a profit of over €500 million. Most of that profit was handed straight to shareholders, with over €400 million in dividends. (See: Annual Report 2019). And the future looked good, with record bookings for 2020.

    Then came COVID-19. By the end of the 2020 financial year, travel closures had resulted in losses of €3 billion for TUI, and a net debt of €4.2bn. To stay afloat, the company has managed to pull in handouts from the German state, as well as backing from its largest shareholder, the Russian oligarch Alexei Mordashov. It has also turned to a number of controversial business practices: from mass job losses to becoming Brexit Britain’s main deportation profiteer.

    Here we look at some of what TUI got up to in the last year.
    Government bailouts

    Had it been left to the free market, TUI might well have gone bust. Fortunately for TUI’s investors, the German government rode to the rescue. In total, the state – working together with some banks and private investors – has provided TUI with €4.8bn in bailout funds to see it through COVID-19.

    The vast bulk of this money, €4.3 billion to date, has come from German taxpayers. TUI received a €1.8 rescue loan from state development bank KsF in April 2020, followed by another €1.2 billion package in August. The third bailout, agreed in December 2020, totalled €1.8 billion. €1.3 billion of this was more government money – from the German Economic Support Fund (WSF) as well as KsF.

    While some was a straight loan, portions came as a “silent participation” convertible into shares in the company – that is, the state has the option to become a major TUI shareholder. The deal also involved the government having two seats on TUI’s supervisory board. The German state is now intimately involved in TUI’s business.

    The other €500m was raised by issuing new shares to private investors. TUI’s largest owner, Alexey Mordashov, agreed to take any of these not bought by others – potentially increasing his stake in the company from 25% to as much as 36% (see below).
    Slashing jobs

    Alongside bail-outs, another key part of TUI’s response to the COVID crisis has been to hit the staff. Back in May 2020 there was widespread media coverage when TUI announced it would make 8,000 job cuts globally. Then in July 2020, the company announced it would close 166 of its 516 travel agencies in the UK and Ireland at a cost of 900 jobs.

    But these announcements turned out to be just the beginning. In the 2020 Annual Report, published in December 2020, TUI quietly announced that it had in fact cut 23,143 jobs – that is 32% of its total staff.

    Particularly hard hit were hotel staff, whose numbers fell by over 13,000, 46% of the total. The workforce of TUI’s excursions and activities division, TUI Musement, was cut in half with almost 5,000 job losses (Annual Report, p88). And these figures do not include staff for TUI Cruises (JV), a joint venture company whose employees are mainly hired through agencies on temporary contracts.

    Home Office deportation airline of choice

    TUI is not known to have been previously involved in deportations from the UK, Germany or any other country. But since August 2020, its UK subsidiary TUI Airways has suddenly become the UK’s top deportation airline. It carried out the vast majority of mass deportation charter flights from the UK between August and December 2020, and continues to do so in January 2021.

    This included many of the rush of pre-Brexit “Operation Sillath” deportations to European countries before the New Year – where the Home Office pushed to expel as many refugees as possible under the Dublin Regulation before it crashed out of this EU agreement. But it also works further afield: TUI carried out all charter deportations from the UK in November, including one to Ghana and Nigeria.

    Because of this, TUI looked a likely candidate to be operating the so-called ‘Jamaica 50’ flight on 2 December, and was one of a number of possible airlines targeted by a social media campaign. However, the company eventually clarified it would not be doing the flight – Privilege Style, whom Corporate Watch recently reported on, turned out to be the operator. It is unclear whether or not TUI had originally been booked and pulled out after succumbing to public pressure.
    No hospitality in the Canary Islands

    The company’s disregard for the lives of refugees is not limited to deportation deals. In the Canary Islands, a local mayor revealed that TUI (along with British airline Jet2) had warned hotels not to provide emergency shelter to migrants, threatening it would not ‘send tourists’ if they did.

    Record numbers of African migrants arrived on wooden boats to the islands in 2020, and some have been accomodated in the hotels at the state’s expense. Nearly 2,170 migrants died trying to reach Spain that year, the majority en-route to the Canaries. The islands had seen a dramatic fall in holidaymakers due to the pandemic, and many hotel rooms would have sat empty, making TUI’s threats all the more callous.
    Pushing back against Greek COVID-19 measures

    TUI has been pressing destination countries to reopen to tourists following the first wave of the Coronavirus pandemic. This has become a particular issue in Greece, now the company‘s number one destination where TUI has been accused of exerting pressure on the government to relax anti-COVID measures last Summer.

    According to a report in German newspaper BILD (see also report in English here), TUI threatened to cancel all its trips to the country unless the government dropped quarantine regulations for tourists. The threat was reportedly made in negotiations with the Greek tourism minister, who then rushed to call the Prime Minister, who backed down and rewrote the Government’s COVID-19 plans.

    Greece had been viewed as a rare success story of the pandemic, with the virus having largely been contained for months – until early August, a few weeks after it welcomed back tourists. Some have blamed the country’s “second wave” of COVID-19 infections on the government’s “gamble of opening up to tourists”.

    Leaving hotels in the lurch

    Despite having pushed destination countries to increase their COVID-19 exposure risks by encouraging tourism, the company then refused to pay hoteliers in Greece and Spain millions of euros owed to them for the summer season. Contractual changes introduced by TUI forced hotels to wait until March 2021 for three-quarters of the money owed. In Greece, where the company works with over 2,000 hotels, the sum owed is said to be around €50m, with individual hotels reportedly owed hundreds of thousands of euros. This money is essential to many businesses’ survival through the low season.

    TUI’s actions are perhaps all the more galling in light of the enormous government bailouts the company received. In the company’s 2020 Annual Report, amid sweeping redundancies and failure to pay hoteliers, CEO Fritz Joussen had the arrogance to claim that “TUI plays a stabilising role in Southern Europe, and in Northern Africa too, with investment, infrastructure and jobs.”
    Rolling in it: who gains

    The supposed rationale for government COVID bail-outs, in Germany as elsewhere, is to keep the economy turning and secure jobs. But that can’t mean much to the third of its work force TUI has sacked. If not the workers, who does benefit from Germany funneling cash into the holiday giant?

    TUI’s bailout deals with the German government forbade it from paying a dividend to shareholders in 2020. Although in previous years the company operated a very high dividend policy indeed: in 2018 it handed over €381 million, or 47% of its total profit, to its shareholders. They did even better in 2019, pocketing €423 million – or no less than 80% of company profits. They will no doubt be hoping that the money will roll in again once COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted.

    Meanwhile, it appears that the crisis barely touched TUI’s executives and directors. According to the 2020 Annual Report (page 130), the company’s executives agreed to a “voluntary waiver of 30% of their fixed remuneration for the months of April and May 2020”. That is: just a portion of their salary, for just two months. This added up to a drop of just 5% in executive salaries over the year compared with 2019.

    Again: this was during a year where 32% of TUI staff were laid off, and the company lost over €3 billion.

    In a further great show of sacrifice, the Annual Report explains that “none of the members of the Executive Board has made use of their right to reimbursement of holiday trips which they are entitled to according to their service agreements.” TUI is infamous for granting its executives paid holidays “without any limitation as to type of holiday, category or price” as an executive perk (page 126).

    After his 5% pay cut, CEO Fritz Joussen still made €1,709,600 last year: a basic salary of €1.08 million, plus another €628,000 in “pension contributions and service costs” including a chauffeur driven car allowance.

    The next highest paid was none other than “labour director” Dr Elke Eller with €1.04 million. The other four members of the executive board all received over €800,000.

    The top dogs

    Who are these handsomely paid titans of the holiday industry? TUI’s CEO is Friedrich “Fritz” Joussen, based in Germany. Originally hired by TUI as a consultant, Joussen has a background in the German mobile phone industry and was head of Vodafone Germany. The slick CEO can regularly be found giving presentations about the TUI ‘ecosystem’ and the importance of digitisation. Besides his salary, Joussen also benefits from a considerable shareholding accrued through annual bonuses.

    Overseeing Joussen’s executive team is the Supervisory Board, chaired by the Walrus-moustachioed Dr. Dieter Zetsche, or ‘Dr. Z’, who made his fortune in the management of Daimler AG (the car giant that also owns Mercedes–Benz, and formerly, Chrysler ). Since leaving that company in 2019, Zetsche has reportedly been enjoying a Daimler pension package of at least €4,250 a day. TUI topped him up with a small fee of €389,500 for his board duties in 2020 (Annual Report p140).

    With his notable moustache, Dr. Z is a stand-out character in the mostly drab world of German corporate executives, known for fronting one of Daimler’s US ad campaigns in a “buffoon tycoon” character. At the height of the Refugee Summer of 2015, Dr. Dieter Zetsche abruptly interrupted his Frankfurt Motor Show speech on the future of the car industry to discuss the desperate situation facing Syrian refugees.

    He said at the time: “Anybody who knows the past isn’t allowed to turn refugees away. Anybody who sees the present can’t turn them away. Anybody who thinks about the future will not turn them away.” Five years later, with TUI the UK’s top deportation profiteer, this sentiment seems to have been forgotten.

    Another key figure on the Supervisory Board is Deputy Chair Peter Long. Long is a veteran of the travel industry, having been CEO of First Choice, which subsequently merged with TUI. He is credited with pioneering Turkey as an industry destination.

    Long is a controversial figure who has previously been accused of ‘overboarding’, i.e. sitting on the directors’ boards of too many companies. Described as a “serial part timer”, he was executive chairman of Countrywide PLC, the UK’s largest estate agency group, but stepped down in late November 2020 after apparently ruffling shareholders’ feathers over a move that would have given control of the company to a private equity firm. In 2018, Countrywide was forced to abandon attempts to give bosses – including himself – shares worth more than £20m. Long also previously stepped down as chairman of Royal Mail after similarly losing shareholder support over enormous executive pay packages. In his former role as as head of TUI Travel, he was among the UK’s top five highest earning CEOs, with a salary of £13.3 million for the year 2014 -15.

    The man with the money: Alexey Mordashov

    But all the above are paupers compared to TUI’s most powerful board member and top shareholder: Alexey Mordashov, a Russian oligarch who is reportedly the country’s fourth richest billionaire, with a fortune of over $23 billion. His family holding company is TUI’s main owner with up to 36% of company shares.

    Mordashov’s stake in TUI is held through a Cyprus-registered holding company called Unifirm.

    In 2019, Mordashov transferred 65% of his shares in Unifirm to KN-Holding, a Russian company owned jointly by his two sons, Kirill and Nikita, then aged 18 and 19. However, Russian media report that after the younger son Nikita was kicked out of university in 2020, he was sent to the army, and his shares transferred to Kirill.

    It may not be massive money to Mordashov, but his family company have certainly done well out of TUI. In 2019 TUI paid out €423 million in dividends to its shareholders, no less than 80% of total profits. At the time Unifirm owned one quarter (24.95%) of TUI. That means the Mordashovs will have received over €100 million on their investment in TUI just in that one year.

    “Steel king” Alexey Mordashov’s rise to the height of the global mega-rich began with a typical post-Soviet privatisation story. Born in 1965, the son of steel workers, he studied economics and accountancy and by 1992 was finance director of a steel plant in his hometown of Cherepovets. In the early and mid-1990s, the great Russian “Katastroika” sell-off of state assets saw steel mill and other workers handed shares in the former collective enterprises. In the midst of an economic collapse, workers sold on their shares to pay food and heating bills, while the likes of Mordashov built up massive asset portfolios quick and cheap. In the next privatisation phase, the budding oligarchs were handed whole industries through rigged auctions.

    Mordashov turned his steel plant holdings into a company called Severstal, now among the world’s largest steel firms. He then expanded Severstal into Severgroup, a conglomerate with holdings in everything from airports to goldmines (Nordgold) to supermarkets (Lenta), to mobile phone networks (Tele2 Russia), as well as the local hockey team Severstal Cherepovets. Vladimir Lukin, Mordashov’s legal adviser at Severgroup, is also a member of the TUI Supervisory Board.

    Business media paint Mordashov as less flamboyant than your average oligarch. His new megayacht Nord, built in Germany and registered in the Cayman Islands, is only 142 metres long – 20 metres shorter than Roman Abramovitch’s Eclipse.

    In December 2020, TUI declared that Unifirm owned 25% of its shares. But the number will have increased in TUI’s third bail-out deal in January: as well as more money from the German government and its banks, Unifirm agreed to inject more cash into the company in return for boosting its ownership, buying up new shares to a maximum of 36%. The exact current holding has not yet been announced.

    TUI’s increasing control by Mordashov was approved by the German financial regulator Bafin, which stepped in to exempt him from a rule that would have required Unifirm to bid for a full majority of the shares once it held more than 30%.
    Other shareholders

    Unifirm is the only shareholder with over 10% of TUI shares. Some way behind, Egyptian hotel-owning businessman called Hamed El Chiaty has a stake of just over 5%, via the Cyprus-based DH Deutsche Holdings. But most of TUI’s shares are owned in smaller chunks by the usual suspects: the global investment funds and banks that own the majority of the world’s assets.

    In December 2020 these funds each had over 1%: UK investor Standard Life Aberdeen; giant US-based fund Vanguard; Canada’s state pension system; and Norges Bank, which manages the oil-rich national wealth fund of Norway. Two other major investment funds, Pioneer and BlackRock, had around 0.5% each. (NB: these numbers may have changed after the new January share sale.)

    TUI can’t take its reputation for granted

    A company of TUI’s size backed by the German government and a Russian billionaire may seem impervious to criticism. On the other hand, unlike more specialist charter airlines, it is very much a public facing business, relying above all on the custom of North European families. The endless stream of negative reviews left by disgruntled customers following cancelled TUI holidays in 2020 have already tarnished its image.

    In a sign of just how worried the company may be about its reputation, it put out a tender in the autumn for a new PR agency to take care of “relaunching the brand into the post-Covid world”. This was ultimately awarded to the US firm Leo Burnett. If outrage at the UK’s deportation push keeps up, TUI might well need to pay attention to online campaigns or demonstrations at its travel agents.

    Another vulnerability the company has itself identified is political instability in destination countries, as evidenced by TUI’s nervousness over migrant arrivals in the Canary Islands. Here too, its image is being harmed by actions such as exerting pressure on the Greek government to relax COVID measures, and its treatment of independent hotels. TUI cannot take public support for granted in top destinations such as Greece and Spain, where campaigning at its resorts could play a role in shifting company policy.

    https://corporatewatch.org/the-two-sides-of-tui-crisis-hit-holiday-giant-turned-deportation-spe

    #renvois #expulsions #tourisme #TUI #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Allemagne #privatisation #complexe_militaro-industriel #business #UK #Angleterre #Touristik_Union_International #compagnie_aérienne #avions #Operation_Sillath #Alexey_Mordashov #Fritz_Joussen #Canaries #îles_Canaries #Preussag #Wigmore_House #Flintham #Andrew_Flintham #Andy_Flintham #Dawn_Wilson #pandémie #coronavirus #covid-19 #KsF #German_Economic_Support_Fund (#WSF) #chômage #licenciements #TUI_Musement #charter #Dublin #renvois_Dublin #Ghana #Nigeria #Jamaica_50 #Jet2 #hôtels #Elke_Eller #Dieter_Zetsche #Peter_Long #Severstal #Severgroup #Nordgold #Lenta #Tele2_Russia #Unifirm #Hamed_El_Chiaty #DH_Deutsche_Holdings #multinationales #Standard_Life_Aberdeen #Vanguard #Norges_Bank #Pioneer #BlackRock #Leo_Burnett

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  • Les Stylos Rouges sur Twitter :

    « ⚠️ Des taux d’incidence jusqu’à 333% supérieurs chez les #enseignants anglais ! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿😲 ➡️ En #Angleterre, les données obtenues par le syndicat d’enseignants NASUWT auprès de 3 conseils régionaux indiquent des taux d’incidence 3 ou 4 fois supérieurs à la population ! ➡️ Source : tes https://t.co/7FK8I648bD » / Twitter
    https://twitter.com/stylos_les/status/1346480783482040320

    #covid-19

  • Première partie : Une déclaration… pour la vie

    EZLN

    https://lavoiedujaguar.net/Premiere-partie-Une-declaration-Pour-la-vie

    Frères, sœurs et compañer@s,

    Durant ces derniers mois, nous avons pris contact entre nous de différentes manières. Nous sommes femmes, lesbiennes, gays, bisexuels, transgenres, travestis, transsexuels, intersexes, queers et autres encore, hommes, groupes, collectifs, associations, organisations, mouvements sociaux, peuples originaires, associations de quartier, communautés et un long et cetera qui nous donne une identité.

    Nos différences et les distances entre nous viennent des terres, des ciels, des montagnes, des vallées, des steppes, des déserts, des océans, des lacs, des rivières, des sources, des lagunes, des races, des cultures, des langues, des histoires, des âges, des géographies, des identités sexuelles ou pas, des racines, des frontières, des formes d’organisation, des classes sociales, des capacités financières, du prestige social, de la popularité, des followers, des likes, des monnaies, des niveaux de scolarité, des manières d’être, des préoccupations, des qualités, des défauts, des pour, des contre, des mais, des cependant, des rivalités, des inimitiés, des conceptions, des argumentations, des contre-argumentations, des débats, des différends, des dénonciations, des accusations, des mépris, des phobies, des philies, des éloges, des rejets, des abus, des applaudissements, des divinités, des démons, des dogmes, des hérésies, des goûts, des dégoûts, des manières d’être, et un long et cetera qui nous rend différents et bien des fois nous oppose. (...)

    #EZLN #zapatistes #Mexique #Grèce #Allemagne #France #Pays_basque #Autriche #Belgique #Bulgarie #Catalogne #Chypre #Ecosse #Slovaquie #Europe #Angleterre #Irlande #Norvège #Portugal #République_tchèque #Russie #Suisse #Togo #État_espagnol #Italie #Argentine #Brésil #Canada #Chili #Colombie #Equateur #Etats-Unis #Pérou

  • Covid-19 dans le monde : le variant anglais découvert en Chine, recrudescence des décès aux Etats-Unis…
    https://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2020/12/31/coronavirus-le-variant-anglais-decouvert-en-chine-recrudescence-des-deces-au

    Le nouveau variant du SARS-CoV-2 détecté au Royaume-Uni a été découvert en Chine chez une étudiante de retour de ce pays, ont annoncé les autorités. Mercredi, le Centre de contrôle et prévention des maladies (CDC) a rapporté que cette nouvelle souche avait été isolée chez une femme de 23 ans rentrée à Shanghai le 14 décembre en provenance du Royaume-Uni.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#chine#angleterre#sante#virusmutation#etudiantcontamination

  • La fin d’un homme, la fin d’un monde _ Le blog de pierre verhas
    http://uranopole.over-blog.com/2020/12/la-fin-d-un-homme-la-fin-d-un-monde.html

    La fin d’un homme
    Depuis plusieurs mois, nous évoquons l’évolution de la situation de l’informaticien et journaliste australien Julian Assange, persécuté pour avoir publié les câbles diplomatiques secrets de Washington qui révélaient les crimes de guerre des Etatsuniens et de leurs alliés en Afghanistan et en Irak, accusé par la Suède d’un prétendu viol.
     
    « Vous vous souvenez du meurtre de sang froid de civils irakiens dans Collateral Murder ? Vous vous souvenez de la torture à Guantanamo Bay ? Vous vous souvenez de la corruption politique révélée par les câbles diplomatiques ? Ce sont quelques-unes des histoires qui ont fait la une en 2010, lorsque les principaux journaux internationaux, du New York Times au Guardian en passant par Der Spiegel, se sont associés à WikiLeaks pour exposer les crimes de guerre américains et une longue liste de vérités honteuses que nos gouvernements avaient gardées secrètes. » (Ex Berliner – EXB – journal berlinois en langue anglaise, 8 septembre 2020)
     
    Assange se trouvait à Londres lorsque la Justice suédoise demanda son extradition pour une accusation de viol. Sentant le piège et craignant d’être ensuite extradé de Suède vers les Etats-Unis, Assange s’est d’abord réfugié durant sept années à l’ambassade d’Equateur à Londres d’où il ne pouvait sortir et où, à son insu, ses moindres faits, gestes et paroles étaient notés par la CIA par l’intermédiaire d’une société de surveillance espagnole qui a clandestinement installé des dispositifs d’espionnage Quelques semaines après le renversement du président progressiste Rafaele Correa qui lui avait accordé l’asile et la nationalité équatorienne, exclu du pouvoir suite à des élections contestables, le nouveau président, Lénine (!) Moreno, sous la pression du gouvernement étatsunien, retire à Assange sa nouvelle nationalité et le fait expulser de sa « résidence » équatorienne. La police londonienne l’a transféré manu militari à la prison de haute sécurité de Belmarsch, où il côtoie des terroristes et de dangereux criminels. Il a d’abord été condamné par un tribunal londonien à 52 semaines de détention pour avoir échappé à la Justice anglaise en se réfugiant à l’ambassade d’Equateur. Cette période de détention a permis aux juges britanniques de préparer le procès de l’extradition d’Assange pour répondre à la demande de la puissance étatsunienne.
     
     

    L’expulsion manu militari de Julian Assange par la police londonienne révèle son traitement futur !
     
    Entre temps, la Justice suédoise a abandonné les poursuites contre le fondateur de Wikileaks, faute de preuves. À y réfléchir, cette affaire de viol avait un double objectif : discréditer Assange auprès de l’opinion publique et le livrer indirectement aux Etats-Unis. Tout cela pour ce qui est en définitive une banale relation sexuelle consentie non protégée !
     
    C’est d’ailleurs ce que dit Nils Melzer, rapporteur spécial des Nations Unies sur la torture :
     
    « Je ne sais pas si Julian Assange a commis une agression sexuelle ou non, mais ce que je sais, c’est que la Suède ne s’est jamais souciée de le savoir. Ils voulaient utiliser ces allégations pour le discréditer. Et une fois qu’ils ont activement diffusé ces allégations aux quatre coins du monde, ils se sont ensuite assurés qu’il n’y aurait jamais de procès en bonne et due forme car, comme le procureur l’a finalement admis en novembre 2019, ils n’ont jamais eu suffisamment de preuves pour même porter plainte contre Julian Assange. »

    Nils Melzer est un éminent juriste suisse, professeur à Genève et aussi dans plusieurs pays étrangers, rapporteur spécial des Nations Unies sur la torture et les traitements inhumains, a pris fait et cause pour Julian Assange.
     
    Un palais de justice qui fait partie d’un système carcéral.
     
    Une première série d’audiences du procès d’extradition britannique eut lieu fin février, début mars 2020. Elles se déroulèrent à Woolwich Court attenant à la prison de Belmarsch. Craig Murray a rédigé et publié le compte-rendu de ces audiences. Il commente :
    « Woolwich Crown Court est conçu pour imposer le pouvoir de l’État. Les tribunaux normaux de ce pays sont des bâtiments publics, délibérément placés par nos ancêtres en plein centre-ville, presque toujours à proximité d’une rue principale. Le but principal de leur positionnement et de leur architecture était de faciliter l’accès au public, avec la conviction qu’il est vital que la justice soit visible par le public.
     
    Woolwich Crown Court, qui accueille le Belmarsh Magistrates Court, est construit sur un principe totalement opposé. Il n’a pas d’autre but que d’exclure le public. Rattaché à une prison située dans un marais balayé par les vents, loin de tout centre social normal, une île accessible uniquement en naviguant dans un labyrinthe de routes à double voie, tout l’emplacement et l’architecture du bâtiment sont pensés pour décourager l’accès au public. Il est entouré par la même barrière de palissage en acier extrêmement résistant qui ceinture la prison. C’est une chose extraordinaire, un palais de justice qui fait partie du système carcéral lui-même, un lieu où l’on est déjà considéré comme coupable et incarcéré dès son arrivée. Le Woolwich Crown Court n’est rien d’autre que la négation physique de la présomption d’innocence, l’incarnation même de l’injustice coulée dans du béton, de l’acier, et des vitres blindées. Il a précisément la même relation à la justice que Guantanamo Bay ou la Lubyanka. Il n’est en réalité que l’aile de condamnations de la prison de Belmarsh. »

     
    Le tribunal est présidé par la magistrate Vanessa Baraitser qui se montre particulièrement hostile à l’égard de l’accusé et de sa défense.
     
    « … dans la salle d’audience elle-même, Julian Assange est confiné au fond du tribunal derrière un écran de verre pare-balles. Il a fait remarquer à plusieurs reprises au cours de la procédure qu’il lui était ainsi très difficile de voir et d’entendre les débats. La magistrate, Vanessa Baraitser, a choisi d’interpréter cela, avec une malhonnêteté étudiée, comme un problème dû au très faible bruit des manifestants à l’extérieur, par opposition à un problème causé par le fait qu’Assange est enfermé à l’écart dans une énorme boîte de verre pare-balles.
     
    Or, il n’y a aucune raison pour qu’Assange se trouve dans cette boîte, conçue pour contenir des terroristes extrêmement violents physiquement. Il pourrait siéger, comme le ferait normalement un accusé à une audience, au sein du tribunal à côté de ses avocats. Mais la lâche et vicieuse Baraitser a refusé les demandes répétées et persistantes de la défense pour qu’Assange soit autorisé à s’asseoir avec ses avocats. »

     
    Voilà donc comment la Justice britannique traite Julian Assange ! Public limité au strict minimum, enfermement de Julian Assange dans une cage de verre pour entraver les contacts avec ses avocats, attitude hostile de la présidente du tribunal. Le procès s’annonce très mal ! Un incident révélateur : à la seconde audience, un des avocats d’Assange, Baltasar Garzon, l’ancien juge espagnol qui a fait poursuivre le dictateur Pinochet et qui souhaitait poursuivre les crimes du franquisme, devait rejoindre Madrid. Il se leva et alla vers la cage de verre pour saluer et serrer la main d’Assange. Les gardiens assis à ses côtés l’en empêchèrent !
     
     

    Baltasar Garzon, évincé de son mandat de juge d’instruction, pour sa tentative d’exhumation du passé franquiste de l’Espagne est un des avocats de Julian Assange.
     
    Des décisions pré-écrites  
    La première série d’audiences s’acheva le 8 avril 2020 pour reprendre le 7 septembre, à Westminster cette fois. Craig Murray dans son compte-rendu de la dernière audience du 30 septembre écrit :
     
    « Baraitser a de nouveau suivi son cheminement habituel qui consiste à refuser chaque requête de la défense, à la suite de décisions pré-rédigées (je ne sais pas si elles sont écrites par elle ou si elle les a copiées), même lorsque l’accusation ne s’y oppose pas. Vous vous rappelez qu’au cours de la première semaine de l’audience d’extradition proprement dite, elle a insisté pour que Julian soit maintenu dans une cage de verre, bien que l’avocat du gouvernement américain n’ait émis aucune objection à ce qu’il siège dans le tribunal, et qu’elle ait refusé d’intervenir pour faire cesser ses fouilles à nu, ses menottes et la confiscation de ses documents, même si le gouvernement américain s’est joint à la défense pour contester sa déclaration selon laquelle elle n’avait pas le pouvoir de le faire (pour laquelle elle a ensuite été vivement réprimandée par l’Association internationale du barreau).
     
    Hier, le gouvernement américain ne s’est pas opposé à une motion de la défense visant à reporter la reprise de l’audience d’extradition. La défense a invoqué quatre motifs :
     
    1) Julian est actuellement trop malade pour préparer sa défense
2) En raison du confinement, l’accès à ses avocats est pratiquement impossible
3) Les témoins vitaux de la défense, y compris de l’étranger, ne pourraient pas être présents pour témoigner
4) Le traitement des problèmes de santé mentale de Julian a été interrompu en raison de la situation de Covid-19.
     
    Baraitser a rejeté catégoriquement tous ces motifs - bien que James Lewis ait déclaré que l’accusation était neutre sur la question - et a insisté pour que la date du 18 mai soit maintenue. Elle a déclaré que Julian pouvait être amené dans les cellules du tribunal de Westminster pour des consultations avec ses avocats. (Premièrement, en pratique, ce n’est pas le cas, et deuxièmement, ces cellules ont un passage constant de prisonniers, ce qui est très manifestement indésirable avec Covid19). »

     

    L’ancien diplomate Craig Murray a fait état de toutes audiences du procès Assange.
     
    Il y a deux constats : à chaque fois, la juge Baraitser présente des décisions écrites avant l’audience – est-ce de sa propre initiative ou lui ont-elles été dictées ? – et rejette systématiquement toute requête de la défense, même si l’accusation ne s’y oppose pas ! Se conformerait-elle à des instructions préalables, on peut raisonnablement se poser la question.
     
    Enfin, nulle mesure de protection d’Assange contre le Covid 19 n’a été prise aussi bien à la salle d’audience qu’à la prison de Belmarsch. Sans doute, son éventuelle contamination aurait arrangé pas mal de monde !
     
    _ Trois pas sur deux !
     
    Voici ce que conclut Craig Murray de ces trois semaines d’audience :
     
    « … dans cette salle d’audience, vous étiez en présence du mal. Avec un placage civilisé, un semblant de procès, et même des démonstrations de bonhomie, la destruction totale d’un être humain était en cours. Julian était détruit en tant que personne sous mes yeux. Pour le crime d’avoir publié la vérité. Il a dû rester assis là à écouter des jours entiers de discussions posées sur l’incroyable torture qui l’attendait dans une prison américaine de grande sécurité, privé de tout contact humain significatif pendant des années, à l’isolement dans une cellule de seulement 4,5 mètres carrés.
     
    4,5 mètres carrés. Retenez bien cela. Trois pas sur deux. De toutes les terribles choses que j’ai entendues, la plus effrayante était peut-être ce qu’a dit le directeur Baird en expliquant que la seule heure par jour autorisée pour sortir de la cellule est passée seul dans une autre cellule absolument identique, appelée "cellule de loisirs". Cela et l’infâme "expert" du gouvernement, le Dr Blackwood, décrivant comment Julian pourrait être suffisamment drogué et physiquement privé des moyens de se suicider pour le maintenir en vie pendant des années. »

     
    Le jugement sur l’extradition est annoncé pour le 4 janvier 2021.
     
    Nils Melzer estime : « Quelle que soit la décision, je pense qu’un appel sera interjeté auprès de la Haute Cour. Probablement par Julian Assange, car je ne m’attends pas à ce que la première instance refuse l’extradition. Mais même si un miracle se produit et que le juge refuse de l’extrader, les États-Unis feront certainement appel de cette décision. »
     
    Laissons la conclusion à Nils Melzer :
     
    « Nous parlons des droits de l’homme et non des droits des héros ou des anges. Assange est une personne, et il a le droit de se défendre et d’être traité avec humanité. Peu importe de quoi il est accusé, Assange a droit à un procès équitable. Mais ce droit lui a été délibérément refusé - en Suède, aux États-Unis, en Grande-Bretagne et en Équateur. Au lieu de cela, il a été laissé à pourrir pendant près de sept ans dans les limbes d’une pièce. Puis, il a été soudainement été traîné dehors et condamné en quelques heures et sans aucune préparation pour une violation de la liberté sous caution qui consistait à lui avoir accordé l’asile diplomatique d’un autre État membre des Nations unies sur la base de persécutions politiques, comme le veut le droit international et comme l’ont fait d’innombrables dissidents chinois, russes et autres dans les ambassades occidentales. Il est évident que ce à quoi nous avons affaire ici, c’est la persécution politique. En Grande-Bretagne, les violations de la liberté sous caution entraînent rarement des peines de prison - elles ne sont généralement passibles que d’amendes. En revanche, Assange a été condamné dans le cadre d’une procédure sommaire à 50 semaines dans une prison de haute sécurité - une peine clairement disproportionnée qui n’avait qu’un seul but : détenir Assange suffisamment longtemps pour que les États-Unis puissent préparer leur dossier d’espionnage contre lui.
     
    Que signifie le refus des États membres de l’ONU de fournir des informations à leur propre rapporteur spécial sur la torture ?  
    Qu’il s’agit d’une affaire arrangée d’avance. Un simulacre de procès doit être utilisé pour faire un exemple de Julian Assange. Le but est d’intimider d’autres journalistes. L’intimidation, d’ailleurs, est l’un des principaux objectifs de l’utilisation de la torture dans le monde. Le message que nous devons tous recevoir est le suivant : Voici ce qui vous arrivera si vous imitez le modèle de Wikileaks. »
     
    Une affaire arrangée d’avance ? Nils Melzer en est bien conscient et ne se fait guère d’illusions sur son propre sort :
     
    « En tout cas, je ne me fais pas d’illusions sur le fait que ma carrière aux Nations unies est probablement terminée. Ayant ouvertement affronté deux États P5 (membres du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies) comme je l’ai fait, il est très peu probable qu’ils m’acceptent à un autre poste de haut niveau. On m’a dit que mon engagement sans compromis dans cette affaire avait un prix politique. Mais le silence a aussi un prix. Et j’ai décidé que je préfère payer le prix pour m’exprimer que le prix pour rester silencieux. »
     
    L’affaire Assange n’a jamais porté sur Julian Assange.
    Mais pour lui, le plus important est :
    « Mais l’affaire Assange n’a jamais porté sur Julian Assange. Il s’agit de l’éléphant dans la pièce que tout le monde semble ignorer : la mauvaise conduite officielle des états qu’Assange a exposé. En 2010, au moment des révélations, tout le monde était choqué par les crimes de guerre, la torture, la corruption, et le public du monde entier a commencé à en parler. Cela a rendu les États concernés très nerveux. Ce n’est donc pas un hasard si, quelques semaines plus tard, les autorités suédoises ont délibérément publié un gros titre dans la presse à sensation : Julian Assange est soupçonné de double viol. Immédiatement, le public du monde entier s’est désintéressé de la discussion des crimes des puissants, a changé d’orientation et a commencé à débattre du caractère et de la personnalité de Julian Assange : est-il un violeur, un narcissique, un hacker, un espion ? »  
     
    Ainsi, la fin d’un homme est programmée par l’Etat profond étatsunien avec comme supplétifs la Justice britannique et la Justice équatorienne.
     
    La fin d’un homme, la fin d’un monde.

    Pierre Verhas

  • US to require negative Covid test from UK travellers | World news | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/25/us-to-require-negative-covid-test-from-uk-travellers-amid-new-variant-f
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/ef054a2f57f91289a806e8b305afb7725840496c/0_53_3500_2100/master/3500.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    The US government will require all airline passengers arriving from the United Kingdom to test negative for Covid-19 72 hours or less before their departure from Monday, amid concerns about a new coronavirus variant that may be more transmissible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a statement that all airline passengers arriving from the UK must test negative in order to fly to the US. The decision was a U-turn after the Trump administration told US airlines on Tuesday it was not planning to require any testing for arriving UK passengers.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#etatsunis#angleterre#sante#test#contamination#voyageur#mutation

  • Spain and Sweden report cases of UK Covid variant | Coronavirus | The Guardian
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/26/spain-and-sweden-report-cases-of-uk-covid-variant
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/ec9b0145414e72def9ca1687e789cc5dc9b5c8c8/0_346_5184_3110/master/5184.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    Spain and Sweden have joined the growing list of countries to have reported cases of the more contagious coronavirus variant first identified in Britain.Four cases of the variant have been confirmed in Madrid. All involve people who recently arrived from the UK, the Madrid regional government’s deputy health chief, Antonio Zapatero, told a news conference on Saturday.
    “The patients are not seriously ill, we know that this strain is more transmissible but it does not cause more serious illness,” he said. “There is no need for alarm.”A further three suspected cases of the new variant have been tested, but the results will only be available on Tuesday or Wednesday, Zapatero said.Madrid has banned all entries from the UK since Tuesday except for Spanish nationals and residents.Swedish authorities detected the new strain after a traveller from Britain fell ill on arrival and tested positive, Sweden’s health agency said on Saturday.Sara Byfors, a health agency official, told a news conference that the traveller, who was not identified, had kept isolated after arrival in Sweden and that no further positive cases had yet been detected.Sweden imposed travel restrictions earlier this month on passengers from Britain amid concerns over the variant.Similar measures have been taken by several other countries in the EU and around the world. On Saturday the Philippines extended a ban on flights from the UK by two weeks until mid-January in an effort to prevent the spread of the new variant.The Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, also ordered a 14-day quarantine for passengers who come from or travel through the UK or from countries where the more infectious Covid-19 variant has been detected, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and Japan.On Friday, authorities in France and Lebanon also confirmed cases of the new variant.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#angleterre#france#suede#espagne#sante#mutation#test#contamination

  • Travel bans aren’t an effective response to the new Covid variant | Coronavirus | The Guardian
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/dec/23/travel-bans-effective-new-covid-variant
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/3fc38dc8a262b29c7508fb76bf884972d269e455/0_199_3500_2102/master/3500.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, announced that the variant, called B.1.1.7, is up to 70% more transmissible based on modelling studies. B.1.1.7 caused many infections in south-east England in a short period of time, rapidly displacing other circulating variants. Patients infected with B.1.1.7 also had higher viral loads. While this is certainly concerning, and warrants urgent scientific investigation, data supporting that this variant alone is driving the associated increase in cases is preliminary and inconclusive. Nonetheless, politicians began implementing sweeping policies right away.
    Multiple countries have imposed travel bans, greatly reducing travel from the UK or blocking it entirely. France closed its borders to most freight transport. New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, called on the US government to impose numerous restrictions, including banning travel from Europe. He later settled for mandatory rapid testing for all travellers on US-bound flights from the UK.
    Given the high prevalence of all variants of Sars-CoV-2, including in the UK and many countries abroad, imposing onerous travel restrictions alone is unlikely to make a significant impact in the overall pandemic. Furthermore, they may be too late. The B.1.1.7 variant has been reported in other European countries, as well as in Australia. These policies appear to be based more on the fear of variants with unknown properties rather than the actual data, and are due to a persistent and fundamental misunderstanding of viruses and how they evolve and change when spreading through a population.
    Genetic mutation, the process that drives all evolutionary adaptation, is normal and expected, particularly for viruses. Every time the virus copies its genetic material – called its genome – it can make a mistake. If that mistake isn’t corrected, it will be copied the next time the virus replicates its genome. Mutations occur by chance, but if they happen to occur in a critical place and give the virus an advantage that allows it to outcompete other viral variants, they are said to be under positive evolutionary selection. For example, mutations in the spike protein of Sars-CoV-2, which allows the virus to enter and infect cells, can be selected for if they make the virus more efficient at establishing an infection.
    We can probably expect to see other variants that may be more effective at spreading, causing disease or circumventing our immune responses. We must be prepared to respond in an informed and thoughtful way, rather than reactively. Unfortunately, because Sars-CoV-2 is spreading so widely, the virus has many opportunities to develop mutations that give it a competitive advantage. The only way to stop the virus from mutating is to take away its ability to replicate, which means drastically reducing community transmission.
    Mutations do not automatically make a virus a more exceptional pathogen. The advantages conferred by positively selected viral mutations are good for the virus, but aren’t necessarily always bad for the human host. Many mutations can make the virus better at infecting cells, replicating, or transmitting to new hosts, but will have no effect on the severity or type of disease that they cause. In the case of B.1.1.7, there is fortunately no indication that the 23 mutations distinguishing the variant result in more severe Covid-19.
    The claim that B.1.1.7 is more transmissible is based on primarily epidemiological evidence and data on increased viral loads, and is compelling but far from decisive. To demonstrate conclusively that B.1.1.7 is more transmissible, that needs to be quantified experimentally in animal models of Sars-CoV-2 transmission. Even if B.1.1.7 does prove to be more transmissible, it is not likely to be transmitted in a different way from all the other circulating Sars-CoV-2 variants. It has not acquired viral superpowers that render existing precautions irrelevant, and it is still transmitted primarily through inhaling or having direct contact with infectious respiratory aerosols and droplets.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#angleterre#frontiere#sante#test#mutation##transmission#circulation

  • UK ferry passengers disembark in Calais after France eases travel ban | Coronavirus | The Guardian
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/23/uk-ferry-passengers-disembark-in-calais-after-france-eases-travel-ban
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/ce7620e3804b518e0dbca1c0f9bb845b6b358dfe/0_284_4448_2670/master/4448.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    The BBC reported that soldiers had joined NHS Test and Trace staff in Kent to carry out rapid tests on stranded lorry drivers. Only those with a negative test are allowed to travel under the new rules.The resumption of travel services to France came as the key transit country of Singapore barred UK arrivals, including if they were in transit, from Wednesday night, following a similar move by Hong Kong. Singapore’s ministry of health said passengers who had been in the UK in the last 14 days would not be allowed entry from 11.59pm until further notice, a move that will affect travellers using it as a stopping off point on the way to countries such as Australia.
    Returning citizens and permanent residents would need to take a Covid test, it said.With regard to the resumption of UK-French travel, the British Department for Transport said on Tuesday night that rail, air and sea services would resume from Wednesday, with all people required to show proof of a negative Covid test taken within the previous 72 hours. The UK transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the deal “will see the French border reopen to those travelling for urgent reasons, provided they have a certified negative Covid test”. However, he urged lorry drivers not to head towards Channel ports hoping to be able to board ferries or trains. The French transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebarri also confirmed that air travel, ferries and Eurostar trains would “resume service as of tomorrow morning”.
    “French nationals, people living in France and those with a legitimate reason will have to be carrying a negative test,” he said.Thousands of lorries have been stranded in southern England, unable to make the crossing to France. As night fell on Tuesday, drivers of some 800 trucks parked at a nearby disused airport sounded their horns for more than half an hour in protest.
    The measures imposed on hauliers have caused concern over shortages of some fresh food products over a Christmas period already marred by strict coronavirus restrictions.The ban on freight and passengers was imposed by Paris on Sunday evening in an attempt to contain a newly discovered Covid-19 variant thought to have a growth rate up to 70% higher than previous types. France and more than 40 other countries had closed their borders to travellers from the UK since.On Tuesday scientists said thousands of cases of the more infectious variant had been detected across the UK, who said it had clearly spread beyond areas under the most severe tier 4 restrictions.Reports suggested ministers would meet on Wednesday to decide whether more parts of the country would be put under the toughest restrictions amid fears over the spread of a new mutant strain of coronavirus.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#france#angleterre#sante#test#contamination#frontiere#UE#australie#singapour

  • France Reopens Border to Truckers, With Proof of Covid Tests - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/live/2020/12/22/business/us-economy-coronavirus

    France will reopen its border with Britain, allowing truck drivers and their freight to cross the English Channel on Wednesday for the first time since Sunday night. But the deal announced late Tuesday won’t immediately alleviate the lines of trucks parked in the southeast of England and delays to the transport of perishable food on board.All drivers will have to take a rapid coronavirus test and show evidence of a negative result before traveling into France, according to the announcement by the British Department for Transport of an agreement between the British and French governments. The British army will reportedly be used to oversee the thousands of tests that will be needed in the massive logistical effort. Testing the drivers currently waiting near the ports could take several days to complete, and Britain’s transport minister on Tuesday told drivers waiting elsewhere in the country to delay travel to the border. On Sunday night, France closed its border for 48 hours to all travelers, including truck drivers, in response to a new strain of the coronavirus that has been spreading rapidly in England. The decision left more than 2,800 trucks stranded near the Port of Dover and the Eurotunnel in Folkestone, which were shut to outbound traffic.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#france#angleterre#sante#test#contamination#frontiere#UE#circulation

  • De retour du Royaume-Uni ? Votre test doit être en mesure de détecter la mutation du virus
    https://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2020/12/23/de-retour-du-royaume-uni-votre-test-doit-etre-en-mesure-de-detecter-la-mutat

    Effervescence mercredi 23 décembre parmi les Français bloqués depuis deux jours outre-Manche, au lendemain de l’allégement des restrictions d’échanges avec le Royaume-Uni. Ports, axes routiers du tunnel sous la Manche, Eurostar et liaisons aériennes ont été rouverts pour permettre aux ressortissants français ou aux Britanniques installés en France de rentrer derentrer chez eux, juste à temps pour les fêtes de fin d’année.Mais, pour éviter la propagation de la nouvelle souche du coronavirus découverte dans le sud des îles britanniques et annoncée comme « 40 % à 70 % plus contagieuse », toute personne revenant du Royaume-Uni devra présenter un test négatif. Le décret, publié mercredi au Journal officiel, dispose que, avant de traverser la Manche, « le résultat d’un test ou d’un examen biologique de dépistage réalisé moins de soixante-douze heures avant l’embarquement [et] ne concluant pas une contamination par le Covid » devra être présenté « à l’entreprise de transport ». Une précision pourrait cependant retarder le retour de certains Français : si les tests PCR sont considérés comme performants pour détecter la nouvelle souche du coronavirus, tous les tests antigéniques ne seront pas acceptés. Seuls le « s[eront] ceux permettant la détection de la protéine N du SARS-CoV-2 », laquelle permet d’identifier le nouveau variant du coronavirus.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#france#angleterre#test#retour#circulation#frontiere#sante

  • Ginger biscuits
    https://www.cuisine-libre.org/ginger-biscuits

    Préchauffer le #Four à 180°C. Battre le beurre et le sucre jusqu’à ce que l’ensemble soit bien crémeux. Ajouter l’œuf battu et le Golden Syrup. Dans un autre bol, tamiser la farine, les épices, la levure et le sel que vous ajouterez au 1er mélange. Former une trentaine de petites boules et les disposer, bien espacées, sur une feuille de papier sulfurisé. Les aplatir très légèrement (elles s’étaleront à la cuisson) et faire cuire à 180°C pendant 12 à 15 minutes. Laisser refroidir avant de manipuler. Les… #Gingembre, #Sablés, Farine de blé, #Angleterre / #Sans_viande, Four

    #Farine_de_blé

  • E.U. Urges Member Countries to Lift U.K. Travel Bans - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/22/world/eu-urges-member-countries-to-lift-blanket-travel-bans-for-britain.html

    As Britain found itself even more isolated on Tuesday because of a newly discovered variant of the coronavirus spreading there, the executive arm of the European Union called for member states to lift blanket air- and train-travel bans and ensure essential travel, recommending testing or quarantines instead.The upheaval over the virus variant grew after Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain said over the weekend that it had been shown to be more contagious than other variants. British officials said there was no reason to believe that the new variant caused more serious illness, and most experts doubt it will render the current vaccines ineffective.
    But governments around the world were not waiting for a more complete picture of the new variant, instead racing to seal their borders to travelers from Britain. More than 50 governments put in place some sort of regulation, and officials in London warned that the lockdown measures in effect in the capital and southern England might need to be expanded. The United States has not put in place a travel ban on Britain. There are no confirmed cases of the variant circulating in the United States, but that does not mean it hasn’t already reached American shores.The European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, said on Tuesday that it was important to maintain movement for essential travel and transport between Britain and the European Union, and also suggested that to allow the transport of goods to flow freely, countries should use rapid tests for truckers and haulers rather than time-consuming P.C.R. tests. The recommendations are nonbinding.“Flight and train bans should be discontinued given the need to ensure essential travel and avoid supply chain disruptions,” the commission said in a statement.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#angleterre#UE#santecontamination#mutation#frontiere#restrictionsanitaire

  • Covid-19 dans le monde : la France suspend jusqu’à mardi les vols avec la Grande-Bretagne
    https://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2020/12/21/covid-19-dans-le-monde-de-nombreux-pays-ferment-leurs-frontieres-aux-voyageu

    Le Royaume-Uni fait face ces derniers jours à une nouvelle flambée de l’épidémie de Covid-19. « Il semble que cette propagation soit désormais alimentée par une nouvelle variante du [corona]virus » SARS-CoV-2, laquelle se transmet « bien plus facilement », avec une probabilité « jusqu’à 70 % plus » élevée, a expliqué le premier ministre britannique Boris Johnson. Samedi, le chef de l’exécutif britannique a annoncé le reconfinement en urgence de 16 millions d’habitants de Londres et du sud-est de l’Angleterre. La nouvelle variante du coronavirus « n’est pas hors de contrôle » pour autant, a déclaré l’Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) lundi. « Nous avons eu un R0 [taux de reproduction du virus] beaucoup plus élevé que 1,5 à différents moments de cette pandémie et nous l’avons maîtrisé », a précisé le responsable des situations d’urgence sanitaire à l’OMS, Michael Ryan, en conférence de presse, appelant à appliquer les mesures sanitaires ayant fait leurs preuves. L’annonce de Boris Johnson a suscité la panique dans le monde, entraînant des fermetures de frontières pour les habitants du Royaume-Uni qui souhaiteraient voyager. Lundi, la liste des pays décidant de suspendre leur arrivée a continué de s’allonger avec la Russie et l’Inde, rejoignant le Canada, l’Argentine, la Colombie, le Chili, le Koweït, l’Iran, la Suisse, le Salvador et Israël – ces trois derniers pays ayant également suspendu leurs liaisons avec l’Afrique du Sud, où une nouvelle variante du coronavirus a aussi été détectée.
    En Europe, la France, l’Allemagne, les Pays-Bas, la Belgique, l’Italie et la Bulgarie ont ainsi fait le choix de suspendre, pour quarante-huit heures – jusqu’au mardi 22 décembre à minuit –, les vols avec le pays, à partir de dimanche 20 décembre à minuit. Lundi matin, une réunion d’urgence du Mécanisme européen de réponse aux crises convoquée lundi matin à Bruxelles a permis d’« identifier les différentes options pour une réouverture des frontières de manière coordonnée et avec des mesures identiques », a fait savoir une source diplomatique européenne.

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#france#ue#angleterre#coronavirus#frontiere#test#sante#mutation#mesuresanitaire