• Les origines néolibérales de l’antiglobalisme

    « Globalistes » contre « Nationalistes », cette nouvelle ligne de fracture politique masque la vérité : les nationalistes populistes cherchent moins à défendre un modèle social qu’à s’affranchir des contraintes internationales imposés par les règles du #libre-échange. Leur but est en réalité d’aller vers plus de #capitalisme, et de contester le droit des nations non-blanches à intégrer équitablement le jeu du libre-échange mondial.

    Depuis que Trump a installé le conflit entre les « nationalistes » et les « globalistes » comme l’antagonisme politique central, il a été repris en chœur par tous les « populistes » sans exception, de Farage à Orban en passant par Salvini et Bolsonaro. Marine Le Pen a ainsi déclaré dans un récent entretien accordé à Breitbart (le média auparavant dirigé par Bannon) : « Le globalisme est un esprit post-national […] Il porte en lui l’idée que les #frontières doivent disparaître, y compris les protections que ces frontières apportent habituellement à une #nation. Elle repose sur l’idée que ce sont les #marchés tout puissants qui décident de tout. Ce concept de globalisme est poussé par des technocrates qui ne sont jamais élus et qui sont les personnes typiques qui dirigent les choses à Bruxelles dans l’Union européenne. Les gens qui croient aux nations – les nationalistes – c’est exactement le contraire. Ils croient que les nations sont le moyen le plus efficace de protéger la #sécurité, la #prospérité et l’#identité nationales pour s’assurer que les gens prospéreront dans ces nations. »

    À l’intérieur de cette opposition, le « nationalisme » est implicitement compris comme la défense des populations attaquées par la #globalisation_économique, le retour de la #souveraineté de l’#Etat-nation et le « #protectionnisme ». Dans un entretien accordé l’an passé au Figaro, #Emmanuel_Todd estimait qu’un renversement était en train de se produire, aux États-Unis avec le protectionnisme de #Trump : « Une génération avait mis à bas, avec le néolibéralisme de Reagan, la société qu’avait instaurée l’#Etat-providence rooseveltien ; une nouvelle génération d’Américains est en train de balayer aujourd’hui le modèle des années 1980 » ; et au #Royaume-Uni, avec le #Brexit où, alors que « Thatcher était une figure du néolibéralisme aussi importante que Reagan, […] notre plus grande surprise a été de voir la #droite conservatrice assumer le Brexit et discuter à présent ses modalités, et même s’engager à tâtons dans un #conservatisme de “gauche” ».

    Mais la rupture produite par les populistes va-t-elle effectivement dans le sens annoncé par Todd, d’une limitation du #libre-échange, d’un recul du néolibéralisme et d’un #conservatisme_social ? Rien n’est moins sûr dès que l’on s’intéresse à la provenance de ce #nationalisme_anti-globaliste.

    De Thatcher au Brexit : nations souveraines et #libre_entreprise

    Avant d’être soutenu par une partie des ouvriers britanniques déclassés, le Brexit trouve ses origines dans l’#euroscepticisme du Parti conservateur britannique dont la figure de proue a été… #Thatcher. C’est son célèbre discours devant le Collège de l’Europe à Bruges en septembre 1988 qui a fait émerger le think-tank du « Groupes de Bruges » réunissant des Tories eurosceptiques dont #Alan_Sked et #Nigel_Farage, et dont bientôt sortirait le #UKIP conduisant le Royaume-Uni au Brexit. Thatcher tançait dans son discours le « super-État européen exerçant une nouvelle domination depuis Bruxelles », elle opposait l’Europe existante de la #communauté_économique_européenne, celle de la #bureaucratie, du #centralisme et du #protectionnisme à l’#Europe de la #libre-entreprise, du #libre-échange et de la #déréglementation qu’elle appelait de ses vœux.

    Il fallait surtout en finir avec le protectionnisme à l’égard du monde extra-européen de façon à réconcilier les nations européennes avec les « marchés réellement globaux ». La critique de l’Europe ne portait cependant pas seulement sur les contraintes pesant sur la #libre_entreprise, la recherche d’une identité européenne transcendante faisait aussi courir le risque d’une disparition des #identités_nationales avec leurs coutumes et leurs traditions. Contre ce « méga-État artificiel », il fallait concevoir l’Europe comme une « famille de nations ».

    Le libre-échange d’une part et le nationalisme d’autre part que Thatcher opposait à la bureaucratie régulatrice de Bruxelles, n’étaient du reste pas séparés, mais bien d’un seul tenant : « Je n’eus d’autre choix, affirme-t-elle dans ses mémoires, que de brandir le drapeau de la #souveraineté_nationale, de la #liberté_du_commerce et de la #liberté_d’entreprise – et de combattre ». On se situe donc à mille lieux d’un nationalisme qui chercherait à s’établir en rempart contre la #mondialisation économique et le libre-échange : c’est au contraire la récupération de la #souveraineté_nationale qui, en s’affranchissant des contraintes supranationales européennes, doit permettre aux peuples de se réconcilier avec le libre-échange mondialisé.

    Or cette position nationale-néolibérale, qui veut faire de la nation britannique l’actrice directe de son inscription dans la #mondialisation_économique, est celle de tous les principaux brexiters, Farage en tête, mais aussi de tous les défenseurs d’un « hard brexit » parmi l’establishment Tory, de #Boris_Johnson à #Jacob_Ress-Mogg en passant par #Steven_Baker et #Dominic_Rabb. Au deuxième semestre 2018, une enquête de Greenpeace a révélé que #David_Davis, l’ancien secrétaire au Brexit de #Theresa_May, #Owen_Paterson, l’ancien secrétaire à l’agriculture et à l’environnement de David Cameron, et #Shanker_Singham, un expert commercial de l’Institute of Economic Affairs, s’étaient rendus en Oklahoma au cours d’un voyage financé par le lobby agro-industriel américain pour préparer avec des membres de l’administration Trump un accord commercial bilatéral post-Brexit, prévoyant notamment l’importation en Angleterre de #poulet lavé au chlore et de #bœuf aux hormones.

    Paterson, en déplorant qu’un tel accord soit impossible dans le cadre actuel des réglementations de l’Union européenne, a tweeté qu’il était essentiel que « le Royaume-Uni ait le contrôle de ses tarifs et de son cadre réglementaire ». C’est peu de dire qu’on est loin du « #conservatisme_de_gauche » … Au contraire, comme l’avait anticipé Thatcher, la récupération de la souveraineté nationale face à l’#Union_européenne est le moyen de plus de #déréglementation et de libre-échange.

    Anti-globalisme et libre-échangisme mondialisé chez #Rothbard

    Qu’en est-il aux États-Unis ? « La génération qui est en train de balayer le modèle des années 1980 » est-elle, à la différence du Royaume-Uni, en rupture avec le néolibéralisme de Reagan ? La droite radicale qui a contesté l’héritage de Reagan pour finalement aboutir à l’élection de Donald Trump s’est construite au tournant des années 1990 dans les marges du Parti républicain. Réunissant des « paléo-libertariens » autour de #Murray_Rothbard et #Lew_Rockwell et des « paléo-conservateurs » autour de Patrick Buchanan, ce mouvement s’appelait « paléo » parce qu’il revendiquait un retour à la #Droite_originaire (#Old_Right) du Parti républicain entre les années 1930 et 1950 qui défendait l’#isolationnisme et les intérêts de la nation américaine (#America_First) contre l’#interventionnisme_militaire, mais aussi la #liberté_individuelle, le gouvernement minimal et la propriété privée contre le #New_Deal et le #Welfare_state. Il s’était formé pour contester la prise du pouvoir sous #Reagan puis l’hégémonie sous Bush des néoconservateurs et leur imposition du #Nouvel_ordre_mondial. Leur critique s’est incarnée dans les campagnes des primaires républicaines de #Buchanan en 1992 et 1996.

    Ce que ciblaient les paléo dans le Nouvel ordre mondial, c’était un super-étatisme internationaliste, un système mondial de Welfare-warfare state, où l’importation de la « démocratie globale » partout dans le monde par l’interventionnisme américain sous l’égide de l’ONU se conjuguait à un gouvernement économique mondial de type keynésien. Les termes de « globalisme » et de globaloney étaient utilisés notamment par Rothbard au début des années 1990 pour décrier ce système et ils étaient empruntés au vocabulaire de la Old Right pour qui ils désignaient déjà ce complexe internationaliste de l’interventionnisme extérieur onusien et de la perspective d’un New Deal global que ses membres critiquaient dans les politiques de Franklin Roosevelt et Harry Truman.

    Rothbard puisait notamment son inspiration chez un historien révisionniste de la Seconde Guerre mondiale dont il avait été proche, Harry Elmer Barnes. De plus, dans les années 1970, alors que la Guerre du Vietnam était encore en cours, des anti-impérialistes avec qui il collaborait avaient déjà remis au goût du jour la critique du globalisme. Lorsque la globalisation économique se concrétisa dans la première moitié des années 1990 avec l’Alena puis la création de l’OMC, ces nouveaux éléments devinrent partie intégrante de sa critique et les nouvelles cibles de l’attaque contre le « globalisme ». Rothbard dénonçait l’Alena comme du « commerce bureaucratique réglementé » conçu par « un sinistre Establishment centriste dont le dévouement à la liberté et au libre-échange s’apparente à celui de Leonid Brejnev ». L’Alena entraînait en particulier une harmonisation des législations vers le haut qui allait contraindre les entreprises américaines à se soumettre aux normes environnementales et au droit du travail contraignants des législations canadiennes et mexicaines contrôlées par des syndicalistes et des socialistes.

    Tout ce « mercantilisme » ne signifiait rien d’autre selon lui que la spoliation que les élites politiques mondiales opéraient sur le libre-échange véritable au détriment de la masse des gens qui ne pouvaient en jouir directement. Il alertait sur la perte de souveraineté que représentait l’Alena qu’il comparait au « super-étatisme de la Communauté européenne » car cet accord imposait la mise sur pied d’« institutions d’un super-gouvernement internationaliste arrachant la prise de décision des mains des Américains ». Face à cette « politique globaliste » (globalist policy), une « nouvelle coalition populiste » et « un nouveau nationalisme américain » devaient être définis : il fallait abroger l’Alena, se retirer de toutes les agences gouvernementales supranationales (ONU, OIT, UNESCO, etc.), stopper l’aide au développement et durcir les conditions d’immigration qui provoquaient l’élargissement de l’État social, au nom d’authentiques marchés libres.

    Comme chez Thatcher, on est à l’opposé d’une critique du libre-échange ; le nationalisme est au contraire là aussi un moyen de sauver le libre-échange mondialisé qui est confisqué par les institutions supranationales bureaucratiques et socialisantes – en un mot « globalistes ».

    Lorsque les populistes s’attaquent au « globalisme », ils emboîtent le pas d’une critique qui ne visait pas à l’origine la mondialisation des échanges de biens et de services, mais au contraire le super-étatisme des élites politiques mondiales qui parasitent le fonctionnement du libre-échange mondialisé. Une distinction conceptuelle s’impose donc entre le « globalisme » et le « mondialisme », puisque dans les cas des héritages de Thatcher ou de Rothbard, l’anti-globalisme va de pair avec un mondialisme libre-échangiste absolument revendiqué.
    Anti-globalisme et hiérarchie des nations de Buchanan à Trump

    Aux États-Unis, après la seconde campagne de Buchanan pour les primaires républicaines de 1996, les premiers doutes des libertariens ont cependant laissé place à la rupture avec les paléo-conservateurs autour de la question du protectionnisme et des barrières tarifaires. La rupture fut définitivement consommée en 1998 avec la publication du livre de Buchanan The Great Betrayal. How American Sovereignty and Social Justice Are Being Sacrified to the Gods of the Global Economy. C’est dans ce livre que Buchanan affirme son attachement au « nationalisme économique » et qu’il fait du « conflit » entre les « nationalistes » et les « globalistes » le « nouveau conflit de l’époque qui succède à la Guerre froide »[1], définissant la ligne que reprendront littéralement Bannon et Trump. Soutenant le protectionnisme industriel, il déplace le contenu de l’anti-globalisme dans le sens de la défense des intérêts économiques nationaux contre la mondialisation du libre-échange.

    Cependant, l’opposition simple entre le nationalisme économique à base de protectionnisme industriel et le libre-échange illimité mérite d’être approfondie. D’abord, Buchanan est toujours resté un adversaire résolu de l’État-providence et The Great Betrayal est surtout une défense de l’économie américaine pré-New Deal où l’existence de barrières tarifaires aux importations a coïncidé avec une période de croissance. Pour autant, cette période a été marquée par de fortes inégalités économiques et sociales.

    Ensuite, dans le cas de Trump, l’usage qu’il fait du protectionnisme est pour le moins pragmatique et ne relève pas d’une position de principe. Lorsqu’il a baissé drastiquement fin 2017 l’impôt sur les sociétés, il a montré que sa défense de l’emploi américain ne convergeait pas nécessairement avec la « justice sociale ». Ciblant certaines industries correspondant à son électorat comme l’automobile, il se sert surtout des barrières tarifaires aux importations comme d’une arme parfois purement psychologique et virtuelle, parfois effective mais temporaire, dans une guerre commerciale qui peut aboutir à davantage de libre-échange.

    Dans l’USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement), l’accord de l’Alena renégocié, si 75% des composants d’une automobile devront être fabriqués aux États-Unis pour qu’elle soit exemptée de barrières douanières (contre 62, 5% avec l’Alena), en revanche le marché laitier canadien sera davantage ouvert aux fermiers américains, tandis que Trump a récemment supprimé les barrières aux importations d’acier et d’aluminium venant du Mexique et du Canada, pour inciter ces pays à ratifier l’USMCA. S’il continue de se servir des droits de douane punitifs dans la guerre commerciale avec la Chine, il a recherché davantage de libre-échange avec l’Union européenne.

    Enfin, lorsque des journalistes demandèrent à Buchanan de quel économiste il s’inspirait, il répondit qu’il s’agissait de Wilhelm Röpke[2], l’un des principaux fondateurs de l’ordo-libéralisme, la forme prise par le néolibéralisme en Allemagne qui inspira la politique économique de Ludwig Erhardt sous Adenauer. Or Röpke n’était pas un thuriféraire, mais bien au contraire un opposant farouche au « nationalisme économique » et au « protectionnisme » qui représentait des fléaux pour l’ordre économique international qu’il cherchait à construire[3]. Cependant, il estimait que le libre-échange mondial ne pouvait intégrer les nations postcoloniales, car il n’avait été possible avant la première guerre mondiale que parmi le cercle des nations occidentales partageant un même ordre de valeurs culturelles et religieuses.

    Cette insistance sur des conditions extra-économiques morales et spirituelles au développement économique fait qu’il revendique une « troisième voie » appelée « économie humaine » entre le libre-échange purement fondé sur la concurrence et la social-démocratie. En cohérence avec cette « économie humaine », il s’engagea publiquement en faveur du maintien de l’apartheid en Afrique du Sud parce que les Noirs sud-africains se situaient « à un niveau de développement qui excluaient la véritable intégration spirituelle et politique avec les Blancs hautement civilisés »[4].

    Son nationalisme n’était finalement pas dirigé contre le libre-échange, mais pour un ordre hiérarchique international fondé sur des conditions de développement économiques différenciées, ne laissant pas aux nations non blanches les moyens d’intégrer le libre-échange mondial. Lorsque Buchanan tempête contre l’immigration et la reconquista économique mexicaine menaçant la culture américaine, il se situe effectivement dans le sillage de la position nationale-néolibérale de Röpke. Dans un débat télévisé en vue des élections européennes de 2019, Marine Le Pen promettait elle aussi, du reste, d’opposer au « capitalisme sauvage » une « économie humaine ».

    Lorsque des universitaires ou des commentateurs, y compris à gauche, insistent sur les aspects économiques positifs pour les populations, du nationalisme anti-globaliste, ils se méprennent absolument sur les origines comme sur les politiques menées par les populistes nationalistes. Ceux-ci revendiquent la récupération de la souveraineté nationale et critiquent les règles transnationales de la globalisation économique, non pour protéger leur modèle social et le droit du travail de leur population, mais pour s’affranchir de ce qui resterait en elles de contraintes environnementales ou sociales, et s’en servir comme tremplin vers plus de capitalisme et de libre-échange, ou pour contester le droit des nations non-blanches à intégrer équitablement le jeu du libre-échange mondial. Dans cette bataille, ce sont les national-néolibéraux qui affrontent les globalistes néolibéraux, dans une course qui pousse le monde dans une direction toujours plus mortifère, et ne comporte pas le moindre aspect positif.

    https://aoc.media/analyse/2019/10/28/les-origines-neoliberales-de-lantiglobalisme

    #nationalisme #globalisme #anti-globalisme #néolibéralisme #néo-libéralisme #populisme #discours_de_Bruges #industrie_agro-alimentaire #boeuf

    ping @karine4

  • Du 7 janvier au 6 février 2021 au Carré de Baudoin : L’expo “D’un confinement à l’autre” présentée par l’atelier des artistes en exil, des artistes originaires d’#Iran, de #Palestine, de #Syrie, d’#Ukraine, du #Venezuela, de #Guinée, de la #République_démocratique_du_Congo, du #Soudan et du #Pakistan, nous livrent leur vision de ce moment inédit à travers des dessins, des peintures, des installations, des décors et des films)
    https://www.pavilloncarredebaudouin.fr/evenement/d-un-confinement-a-l-autre

    Visite virtuelle sous forme d’un film de 25 minutes :
    https://vimeo.com/479120278

    #exposition #artistes #confinement #coronavirus

  • A clip from ’#We_Have_the_Right_to_be_Here'

    ’Hostile environment - to call it that is too small. Actually give it it’s big name: it’s the state’s 𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙥𝙡𝙞𝙘𝙞𝙩𝙮 in systematic, racist practice.’

    https://twitter.com/IRR_News/status/1337015894237655040

    –-----

    Screening “We have the right to be here” and Discussion

    ‘We Have the Right To Be Here’ is an oral history and analysis of some of the black and anti-racist movements of post-war Britain, told by three activists in an interview conducted by poet and educator, #Sam_Berkson. #Suresh_Grover, #Frances_Webber and #Colin_Prescod talk of their first-hand involvement in groundbreaking events of the British anti-racist and anti-fascist struggle. From the response to the racist murder of #Kelso_Cochrane in Notting Hill 1959, to #Asian_Youth_Movements in Southall in the 1970s, the case of the ‘#Bradford_12’ in 1981, to the #Stephen_Lawrence justice campaign in the 1990s, the activists tell how successful movements came together to challenge the state and the far-right. Talking from their personal experience at the heart of the struggle, Grover, Webber and Prescod analyse the dynamics of state racism and people’s resistance to it. They reflect on how victories have been won and how much more work there is to do.’The interview was conducted at the Institute of Race Relations in summer 2019, and contains footage, photographs and archive material from many of the struggles mentioned.

    https://maydayrooms.org/event/screening-we-have-the-right-to-be-here-and-discussion

    #racisme_systémique #racisme_d'Etat #UK #Angleterre #hostile_environment #environnement_hostile #complicité #histoire #résistance #luttes #interview #entretien

    ping @isskein @cede @karine4

  • Revealed: shocking death toll of asylum seekers in Home Office accommodation

    FoI response shows 29 people died – five times as many as lost their lives in perilous Channel crossings.

    Twenty-nine asylum seekers have died in #Home_Office accommodation so far this year – five times as many as those who have lost their lives on perilous Channel small boat crossings over the same period.

    The Guardian obtained the figure in a freedom of information response from the Home Office, which does not publish deaths data. The identities of the majority of those who died have not been made public and the circumstances of their deaths are unclear.

    Many asylum seekers are in the 20-40 age group and are fit and healthy when they embark on what are often physically and emotionally gruelling journeys to the UK.

    One of the most recent deaths was that of Mohamed Camera, 27, from Ivory Coast. He was found dead in his room in Home Office accommodation in a north London hotel on 9 November.

    Camera had been complaining of back pain shortly before he died and had travelled through Libya en route to the UK. He had recently arrived from Calais on a small boat.

    One of his friends who travelled from Calais with him told the Guardian: “He was a nice, sociable person. He was smiling when we reached the UK because he believed that now he was going to have another life.”

    A Home Office spokesperson confirmed the death and officials said they were “saddened” by it.

    Another man, 41-year-old Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah Alhabib, who fled war-torn Yemen, was found dead in a Manchester hotel room on 6 August.

    Alhabib travelled on a small boat with 15 other people from Yemen, Syria and Iran. After they were picked up by Border Force, Home Office officials detained a group at Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre in Bedfordshire for three days before moving them to the hotel in Manchester.

    One of the asylum seekers who was in the boat with Alhabib told the Guardian at the time: “All of us on these journeys, we have lost our country, lost our family, lost our future. When we got into the boat in Calais we felt the sea was the only place left for us to go.”

    An inquest jury found on 30 November that the death of Oscar Okwurime, a Nigerian man, as a result of a subarachnoid haemorrhage was considered “unnatural” and that neglect contributed to his death.

    The Scottish Refugee Council has called for all 29 deaths to be fully and independently investigated. In September, a group of Glasgow MPs also called for a fatal accident inquiry into three deaths that occurred in the city.

    The people who died were Mercy Baguma, from Uganda, who was found dead with her toddler by her side, Adnan Olbeh, from Syria, and Badreddin Abadlla Adam, who was shot dead by police, after he stabbed six people including a police officer.

    Meanwhile, those who lost their lives in the Channel included Abdulfatah Hamdallah, a young Sudanese refugee, as well as a family of five – Rasul Iran Nezhad, Shiva Mohammad Panahi and their children Anita, nine, Armin, six, and 15-month-old Artin, who drowned trying to cross to the UK in October 2020.

    Clare Moseley, the founder of the Care4Calais charity, said: “It’s shameful that more refugees die here in the UK, in Home Office accommodation, than do so in Calais or trying to cross the Channel. Refugees are the world’s most resilient people. Many have crossed the Sahara desert and made it through the hell of Libya, facing unimaginable hardship to get this far. But the way we treat them in this country is cruel.

    “Our government doesn’t give them the basics of life like adequate food and clothing. It locks them up in military barracks and keeps them isolated and depressed in hotels. It keeps them under constant threat of deportation, instead of processing their asylum applications promptly.”

    Graham O’Neill, the policy manager for the Scottish Refugee Council, said: “After the recent tragedies in Glasgow we are not shocked many have died in the UK asylum support system.”

    He added that there was no Home Office public policy on deaths or support for funeral costs or repatriation of the body, nor any discernible learning process to prevent sudden or unexplained deaths. “The Home Office must rectify this and home affairs select committee and the chief inspector ensure they do,” he said.

    A Home Office spokesperson said: “We are always saddened to hear of the death of any individual in asylum accommodation. This can be for a number of reasons, including natural causes or as the result of a terminal illness.

    “The health and wellbeing of asylum seekers has and always will be our priority. We will continue to work closely with a range of organisations to provide support to those that need it and where necessary we will always cooperate fully in any investigation into the cause of an individual death.”

    The revelation comes as a high court judge ruled on Monday that the Home Office was in breach of its duties to protect the human rights of asylum seekers against homelessness.

    Judge Robin Knowles also found the Home Office was responsible for wholesale failure to monitor and implement a £4bn contract awarded to several private companies over a 10-year period leading to unlawful delays in provision of accommodation.

    Freedom of information responses from the Home Office obtained by the Scottish Refugee Council found that, between January and March 2020, 83% of Home Office properties to accommodate asylum seekers had defects and 40% of the defects were so serious that they made the properties uninhabitable.

    The defects were identified by the Home Office’s own inspectors.

    https://amp.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/dec/15/revealed-shocking-death-toll-of-asylum-seekers-in-home-office-accom
    #décès #morts #UK #logement #hébergement #Angleterre #asile #migrations #réfugiés #2020 #statistiques #chiffres

  • UK to deny asylum to refugees passing through ’safe’ third country

    Immigration rule will also prevent migrants from making a claim in UK territorial waters

    Ministers have quietly changed immigration rules to prevent people fleeing war or persecution from claiming asylum in the UK if they have passed through a “safe” third country, prompting accusations of a breach of international law.

    From 1 January, claims of asylum from a person who has travelled through or has a connection to a safe third country, including people coming from EU member states, will be treated as inadmissible.

    The changes will also prevent asylum seekers from being able to make a claim in the territorial waters of the UK.

    The UK government will be able to remove refused asylum seekers not only to the third countries through which they have travelled, but to any safe third country that may agree to receive them, an explanatory memo states.

    A 10-page statement (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/943127/CCS207_CCS1220673408-001_Statement_of_changes_in_Immig) outlining the changes to the rules was published online without a press or public announcement.

    However, the changes highlight a significant hurdle for the UK government: claims will only be treated as inadmissible if the asylum applicant is accepted for readmission by the third country through which they have travelled or another safe state agrees to take them.

    Immigration law experts have said this could render the new policy “pointless” and would most likely delay asylum applications and leave refugees in limbo in the UK.

    Colin Yeo, a leading immigration barrister with expertise in asylum law, wrote on Twitter: “The policy is pointless because the govt has negotiated no such return agreements, so all it does is delay decisions on all claims, which is cruel to genuine refugees, and delay removal of non genuine cases.”


    https://twitter.com/ColinYeo1/status/1337069616078721025

    The Liberal Democrats’ home affairs spokesperson, Alistair Carmichael, said the changes were “yet another breach of international law”.

    He said: “The UK has a proud history of providing sanctuary to those in need, but now the Conservative government is turning its back on refugees. This latest nasty policy from [the home secretary] Priti Patel goes against our commitments under the refugee convention and against everything the UK stands for. It’s yet another breach of international law by this irresponsible tory government.”

    Beth Gardiner-Smith, the chief executive of Safe Passage International, a charity that help refugees access safe and legal routes to asylum, said: “The government’s changes to the immigration rules are a direct assault on the fundamental human right to asylum. These chilling changes on International Human Rights Day do a disservice to the UK’s proud record of providing safety to those fleeing persecution and violence.”

    The number of small boat arrivals across the Channel has surged to record levels this year, with more than 8,000 migrants and refugees travelling across the Dover Strait, compared with less than 2,000 in 2019. However, total asylum applications are down year on year as the Covid-19 pandemic has cut off other methods of travel and limited migration flows.

    Patel has been accused of responding haphazardly with kneejerk proposals ranging from sending asylum seekers thousands of miles away to islands in the South Atlantic, to using giant water cannons to repel boats. The prime minister has reportedly become frustrated with Patel’s handling of the situation.

    The UK is a party to the UN’s 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and to its 1967 protocol, a piece of international law designed to protect refugees.

    The Home Office provided a statement through the immigration compliance minister, Chris Philp. He said: “We are determined to fix the broken asylum system to make it firm on those who come here through illegally facilitated routes and fair on those who play by the rules. There is no reason to leave a safe country like France to make a dangerous crossing. These measures send a clear message and are just one of the steps th​e government is taking to tackle the unacceptable rise in small boat crossings.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/dec/10/uk-to-deny-asylum-to-refugees-passing-through-safe-third-country

    #UK #Angleterre #asile #migrations #réfugiés #droit_d'asile #Manche #eaux_territoriales #pays_sûr #transit #pays_tiers_sûr #brexit #EU #Europe #UE #renvois #expulsions #01_janvier_2020 #inadmissibilité #attente #limbe #accords #droit_international #Priti_Patel

    ping @isskein

  • Home Office proceeds with disputed Jamaica deportation flight

    Thirteen of 50 people due to be deported put on controversial flight despite campaigns to prevent it.

    The Home Office deported 13 men to Jamaica on a controversial charter flight that left in the early hours of Wednesday morning, but a significant number of other offenders were granted a last-minute reprieve after a legal challenge.

    Documents lodged in the high court by the Home Office stated that its intention was to remove as many as 50 Jamaican nationals, but only a fraction of that number boarded the flight, according to ministry sources.

    The Home Office minister for immigration compliance, Chris Philp, said the flight had removed 13 “serious foreign criminals” from the UK. A number of others due to be onboard are said to have been granted a reprieve after the ministry acknowledged they may have been victims of modern slavery.

    The mass deportation became a high-profile issue after a series of campaigns including one from 82 black public figures – among them the author Bernardine Evaristo, the model Naomi Campbell and the historian David Olusoga – who urged airlines not to operate the Home Office flight.

    Several NGOs, dozens of solicitors and barristers including 11 QCs signed a letter saying the deportation flight was unlawful, unjust and racist. More than 60 MPs and peers signed a letter to the home secretary, Priti Patel, calling for the flight to be cancelled, and a petition from BARAC UK and BAME Lawyers for Justice attracted more than 180,000 signatures.

    A series of legal challenges were launched in the days before the flight, many of which succeeded.

    Charter flights to Jamaica are particularly controversial because of the Windrush scandal, and because some people earmarked for deportation came to the UK as children or have lived in the country for decades with established families.

    A last-ditch legal attempt by two children to prevent the deportation of many of those due to be on the flight failed. The two siblings brought the case on behalf of their father, arguing that the Home Office had failed to properly assess the best interests of children whose parents it sought to deport.

    The children were hoping to secure an injunction preventing the flight from leaving until an assessment had been carried out in the cases of all of the children about to be separated from their fathers. Their application did not succeed but the case will continue.

    The Guardian has seen a letter and drawing from a 10-year-old boy addressed to a judge he hoped would remove his father from the flight. The boy wrote: “People are making decisions about my dad. When they grew up they probably had a dad. The decisions they make mean I won’t have a dad with me.”

    No one who arrived in the UK under the age of 12 was put on the flight, after the Home Office and the Jamaican authorities quietly agreed a deal not to remove people who came as children, according to Jamaica’s high commissioner, Seth Ramocan. Documents seen by the Guardian have confirmed the arrangement.

    Bella Sankey, the director of Detention Action, said: “This cowboy operation was stopped in its tracks by judges intervening to defend those whose lives are at risk in Jamaica. But the tragedy of this tale is the many devastated children who have had a loving parent forcibly ripped from their lives without any consultation or being able to make their voice heard. This is child cruelty plain and simple and it will not stand.”

    Karen Doyle, of Movement for Justice, said: “While there are many families desperately relieved this morning, there are also many children who just lost their father before Christmas at a time of pandemic when children’s mental health is already suffering.”

    Philp said: “In the early hours of this morning 13 serious foreign criminals were deported from the UK. It is disappointing that immigration law firms continued to use last-minute tactics to remove a significant number of offenders from this flight.

    “These individuals had every opportunity to raise the claims in the days and weeks leading up to the flight. However, a significant number of claims were not submitted until hours before the flight was due to leave – meaning some murderers and rapists were able to stay in the UK.

    “They have committed crimes which have a devastating impact on victims and families. We’ll be working through these cases as quickly as we can. I’m committed to removing foreign criminals & anyone with no right to be here to keep the British public safe, which is always my priority.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/dec/02/home-office-proceeds-with-disputed-jamaica-deportation-flight
    #renvois #expulsions #UK #Angleterre #Jamaïque #Windrush #migrations

  • Une procédure ouverte contre Ikea pour fausse déclaration de bois

    Le Département fédéral de l’économie, de la formation et de la recherche (DEFR) a ouvert une procédure contre Ikea pour #fausse_déclaration de #bois. Le marchand de meubles suédois rejette les accusations.

    L’affaire a été déclenchée par une #plainte déposée le 31 août dernier par le Bruno Manser Fonds (BMF) auprès du DEFR et du Bureau fédéral de la consommation (BFC). La porte-parole du DEFR Evelyn Kobelt a confirmé jeudi à Keystone-ATS une information de la radio SRF.

    Après des contrôles effectués dans les cinq succursales Ikea concernées, le DEFR a ouvert des #procédures_pénales_administratives dans deux cas de suspicion de #fausses_déclarations répétées. Selon Evelyn Kobelt, c’est la première fois que l’entreprise fait l’objet d’une procédure pénale pour fausse déclaration. La présomption d’innocence s’applique jusqu’à la fin de la procédure.

    Le BFC avait indiqué avoir constaté des lacunes de déclaration dans les succursales d’Aubonne (VD), Lyssach (BE), Pratteln (BL) Spreitenbach (AG) et Vernier (GE).

    En Suisse, le bois et les produits à base de bois doivent être déclarés conformément à l’ordonnance fédérale correspondante. Le type de bois et son #origine doivent être signalés. Le BFC contrôle le respect de ces règles dans les entreprises.

    Informations ajoutées manuellement

    Ikea Suisse rejette les accusations. Le membre de la direction Aurel Hosennen a déclaré sur les ondes de la SRF qu’il arrive régulièrement que les #étiquettes manquent dans les magasins de meubles. Celles-ci sont en effet apposées à la main chez Ikea. Dans chaque succursale, 80 à 100 étiquettes sont remplacées chaque jour après avoir été perdues.

    Evelyn Kobelt a confirmé le « cas spécial » qu’est Ikea. Le risque d’une déclaration incorrecte y est plus élevé, car les informations doivent être ajoutées manuellement, ce qui est source d’erreurs. D’autres sociétés étrangères ont automatisé les informations concernant la déclaration dans leur système.

    Aurel Hosennen précise qu’Ikea Suisse dispose de ces informations. « Nous connaissons chaque produit, chaque fournisseur, le bois qu’ils utilisent et sa #provenance ». Les déclarations sont disponibles sur le site internet depuis des années. Ikea n’a aucune raison de cacher quelque chose ou de ne rien montrer, souligne-t-il.

    Bois roumain et ukrainien en cause

    Le groupe a été accusé en mai par une ONG britannique d’intégrer du bois abattu illégalement en #Roumanie et en #Ukraine dans sa chaîne de fournisseurs. Dans un communiqué diffusé début octobre, le géant suédois de l’ameublement assurait que le bois utilisé est issu uniquement d’arbres abattus légalement. L’entreprise se basait pour cela sur deux enquêtes, l’une interne, l’autre externe.

    https://www.rts.ch/info/economie/11680455-une-procedure-ouverte-contre-ikea-pour-fausse-declaration-de-bois.html

    #IKEA #Suisse #justice #multinationales

    • Le Bruno Manser Fonds dénonce IKEA

      Le plus grand groupe d’ameublement Suisse enfreint systématiquement l’obligation légale de déclarer le bois.

      Le Bruno Manser Fonds a dénoncé IKEA AG, Spreitenbach (« IKEA »), auprès du Département fédéral de l’économie, de la formation et de la recherche (DEFR). Il se base pour cela sur l’infraction systématique d’IKEA à l’obligation légale de déclarer le bois, en vigueur depuis 2012. IKEA est une filiale suisse de la multinationale IKEA sise à Delft, aux Pays-Bas.

      Dans un courrier adressé mardi au Conseiller fédéral Guy Parmelin, chef du DEFR, le Bruno Manser Fonds demande qu’une amende soit prononcée contre IKEA et ses responsables pour infraction à la loi sur l’information des consommatrices et des consommateurs de même qu’à l’ordonnance sur la déclaration du bois et des produits en bois.

      Le Bruno Manser Fonds s’est intéressé de près à l’assortiment IKEA de tables en bois massif et de chaises dans cinq de ses filiales (Aubonne, Lyssach, Pratteln, Spreitenbach et Vernier). Il en est ressorti que l’entreprise, dans plus de 80 cas, ne déclarait pas l’essence ou l’origine du bois, ou sinon le fait de manière abusive :

      – Dans 40 cas, IKEA ne fait aucune indication du type de bois ou de sa provenance, alors qu’il s’agit de tables et de chaises soumises à l’obligation de déclarer.

      – Dans 22 cas, IKEA déclare l’origine du bois pour des tables et des chaises en pin avec l’indication abusive « Amérique du Nord et du Sud, Europe, Inde, Océanie ».

      – Dans 10 cas, IKEA déclare l’origine du bois pour des tables et des chaises en bouleau avec l’indication abusive collective « Chine, Europe, Turquie ».

      – Dans 11 cas, IKEA déclare l’origine du bois pour des tables et des chaises en hêtre avec l’indication abusive collective « Europe, Turquie ».

      « Par cette manière de faire, IKEA dissimule de manière illicite la provenance de sa matière première principale », explique Lukas Straumann, directeur du Bruno Manser Fonds. « Nous attendons de la part d’un groupe de la taille et de l’importance d’IKEA qu’il déclare systématiquement l’origine du bois de ses produits, en conformité à la loi et de manière conviviale. »

      Aux termes de l’ordonnance sur la déclaration du bois, « toute personne qui remet du bois ou des produits en bois aux consommateurs doit indiquer la provenance du bois » et son essence. Les désignations collectives sont certes exceptionnellement admises, mais elles doivent se limiter à « la zone géographique la plus précise possible (Scandinavie, Europe orientale, Afrique occidentale, Amérique centrale, p. ex.) ». La peine pécuniaire maximale encourue en cas d’infraction est de 10’000 CHF.

      Le groupe IKEA a récemment fait les gros titres en raison de la participation présumée de ses fournisseurs à des coupes de bois illégales et des coupes rases en Roumanie et en Ukraine. Environ 60 % du bois d’IKEA provient d’Europe de l’Est et de Russie.

      https://www.bmf.ch/fr/nouveautes/le-bruno-manser-fonds-denonce-ikea-144

  • The Disturbing History of Tobacco

    Tobacco: slaves picked it, Europe smoked it, and the Tobacco Lords of Glasgow grew filthy rich on the profits. Their legacy can be found in the street names across the ‘Merchant City’, but not a single street bears the name of the slaves that made them their fortunes.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_YDMbLXtx0

    #Glasgow #esclavage #toponymie #toponymie_politique #noms_de_rue #UK #Ecosse #histoire #tabac #Jamestown #Bunce_island #plantation #géographie_urbaine #Merchant_city #John_Glassford #vidéo

  • Deadly Crossings and the militarisation of Britain’s borders

    Military-style solutions won’t solve humanitarian problems, argues our new report that details the nearly 300 border-related deaths in and around the English Channel since 1999. Deadly Crossings and the Militarisation of Britain’s Borders reveals the human tragedies caused by inhumane border enforcement at a time when the UK Home Office is seeking to make Channel crossings ‘unviable’.

    https://irr.org.uk/article/deadly-crossings

    Pour télécharger le rapport:
    https://irr.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Deadly-Crossings-Final.pdf

    #Manche #UK #Angleterre #mer #France #mourir_en_mer #décès #migrations #asile #réfugiés #frontières #militarisation_des_frontières #rapport #chiffres #statistiques #IRR #Gisti #Le_Gisti #chronologie #morts #décès #timeline #time-line #frise_chronologique

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • À Calais, la frontière tue. Contre l’oubli et l’impunité, nommer et compter les victimes

      Jeudi 19 novembre, près de Calais, un homme est mort.

      « Coquelles : un migrant décède à l’hôpital après avoir été percuté sur l’autoroute A16 » a titré La Voix du Nord dans un article classé dans les « Faits divers » [1]. « L’accident s’est produit peu après 16h30 au niveau de l’échangeur 42 sur l’autoroute A16 » a précisé France 3 Hauts-de-France [2].

      Fatalité. Un « migrant » qui « décède après avoir été percuté sur l’autoroute A16 », c’est forcément un « accident » à ranger dans les « faits divers ».

      Pourtant, à Calais et dans la région, des « migrants qui décèdent », il y en a eu des dizaines, des centaines même. Des hommes, des femmes, des enfants et même parfois des nourrissons. Avec un nom, une identité, une histoire. Depuis 1999, ce sont au moins 297 personnes en exil qui sont mortes dans cette zone transfrontalière.

      Mortes en tentant de franchir la frontière qui sépare le Royaume-Uni de la France : écrasées par la cargaison d’un camion ou broyées par l’essieu, électrocutées par les caténaires de l’Eurotunnel, percutées par un véhicule sur l’autoroute A16 ou noyées en essayant de franchir le Channel en bateau, en kayak ou tout simplement à la nage avec des bouteilles en plastique comme seules bouées de fortune. Mortes également du fait des conditions de vie inhumaines que leur réservent les gouvernements français successifs depuis plus de 25 ans.

      « Les CRS font de nos vies un enfer » écrivaient des exilé·es érythréen·nes dans une lettre adressée au préfet du Pas-de-Calais le 16 novembre dernier [3]. « Les CRS sont venus et ont gazé nos affaires et nous ont frappés comme si on était des animaux. Le lendemain matin ils nous attendaient et nous ont encore frappés. Même quand nous marchons ils ouvrent leur voiture et ils nous gazent, juste pour s’amuser » détaillent ils et elles un peu plus loin dans le courrier.

      Violences policières, harcèlement continu, humiliations, contrôles d’identité répétés, destructions de tentes, privation de duvets ou confiscation d’effets personnels, gazage de bidons de stockage d’eau sont le quotidien des personnes exilées présentes dans le Calaisis. Et cette réalité n’est pas nouvelle. Depuis des années, les exilé·es et leurs soutiens locaux dénoncent ce régime de violences généralisées. Des organisations internationales, telles que Human Rights Watch [4], font de même. Le Défenseur des Droits, à plusieurs reprises (notamment en 2012 [5], 2015 [6] et 2018 [7]), a dénoncé les politiques qui font de cet espace transfrontalier un « enfer » pour les exilé·es fuyant la guerre en Afghanistan ou en Syrie, la dictature en Érythrée ou les violences d’états autoritaires au Soudan ou en Éthiopie.

      Mais rien ne change. La réponse des gouvernements, quelle que soit leur étiquette politique, qui se succèdent reste inchangé et le message officiel adressé aux exilé·es errant dans le Calaisis est toujours le même : « Disparaissez ! ». Et si les coups de matraques et les gazages ne suffisent pas, les personnes migrantes comprendront d’elles mêmes qu’à Calais et dans la région, on risque sa peau.

      Aucune de ces vies volées n’est un accident. C’est pourquoi il importe de compter et nommer les exilé·es mort·es à la frontière franco-britannique, et de refuser de réduire ces décès à des événements isolés et anonymes, pour les ranger ensuite dans la case des « faits divers ». Au contraire, recenser les étranger·es décédé·es dans cette zone frontalière montre que ces morts sont le résultat des politiques menées par des sous-préfets, des préfets et des ministres successifs, qui ont délibérément décidé de faire de cette frontière un « enfer ».

      En 2016, le Gisti publiait un numéro de sa revue Plein Droit intitulé « Homicides aux frontières » dans lequel paraissait l’article « Voir Calais et mourir ». L’auteur, un ancien salarié de la Plateforme des Soutiens aux Migrant·e·s (PSM) basée à Calais, y décrivait ce travail d’enquête sur les mort·es à la frontière franco-britannique (qui permettait de dresser une liste des victimes et une cartographie) et montrait comment « l’addition d’accords européens et de traités bilatéraux, destinés à empêcher les indésirables d’accéder au territoire britannique a fait de cette région un mur meurtrier ».

      Des liens récents entre militant·es français·es et activistes britanniques ont permis de travailler à la publication de cette enquête sur les personnes exilées mortes à la frontière franco-britannique pour un public anglophone. Fruit d’une collaboration entre l’Institute of Race Relations (IRR), le Tribunal Permanent des Peuples (TPP) de Londres et le Gisti, le rapport « Deadly Crossings and the Militarisation of Britain’s Borders » a pour but de donner à voir, une fois encore, les conséquences des politiques migratoires menées par les gouvernements français et britanniques dans cet espace frontalier et d’outiller activistes et associations anglophones dans leur contestation sans relâche du régime meurtrier des frontières.

      https://www.gisti.org/spip.php?article6510

  • #Police attitude, 60 ans de #maintien_de_l'ordre - Documentaire

    Ce film part d´un moment historique : en 2018-2019, après des affrontements violents entre forces de l´ordre et manifestants, pour la première fois la conception du maintien de l´ordre a fait l´objet de très fortes critiques et d´interrogations insistantes : quelle conception du maintien de l´ordre entraîne des blessures aussi mutilante ? N´y a t-il pas d´autres manières de faire ? Est-ce digne d´un État démocratique ? Et comment font les autres ? Pour répondre à ces questions, nous sommes revenus en arrière, traversant la question du maintien de l´ordre en contexte de manifestation depuis les années 60. Pas seulement en France, mais aussi chez nos voisins allemands et britanniques, qui depuis les années 2000 ont sérieusement repensé leur doctrine du maintien de l´ordre. Pendant ce temps, dans notre pays les autorités politiques et les forces de l´ordre, partageant la même confiance dans l´excellence d´un maintien de l´ordre « à la française » et dans le bien-fondé de l´armement qui lui est lié, ne jugeaient pas nécessaire de repenser la doctrine. Pire, ce faisant c´est la prétendue « doctrine » elle-même qui se voyait de plus en plus contredite par la réalité d´un maintien de l´ordre musclé qui devenait la seule réponse française aux nouveaux contestataires - lesquels certes ne rechignent pas devant la violence, et c´est le défi nouveau qui se pose au maintien de l´ordre. Que nous apprend in fine cette traversée de l´Histoire ? Les approches alternatives du maintien de l´ordre préférées chez nos voisins anglo-saxons ne sont sans doute pas infaillibles, mais elles ont le mérite de dessiner un horizon du maintien de l´ordre centré sur un rapport pacifié aux citoyens quand nous continuons, nous, à privilégier l´ordre et la Loi, quitte à admettre une quantité non négligeable de #violence.

    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7xhmcw


    #France #violences_policières
    #film #film_documentaire #Stéphane_Roché #histoire #morts_de_Charonne #Charonne #répression #mai_68 #matraque #contact #blessures #fractures #armes #CRS #haie_d'honneur #sang #fonction_républicaine #Maurice_Grimaud #déontologie #équilibre #fermeté #affrontements #surenchère #désescalade_de_la_violence #retenue #force #ajustement_de_la_force #guerilla_urbaine #CNEFG #Saint-Astier #professionnalisation #contact_direct #doctrine #maintien_de_l'ordre_à_la_française #unités_spécialisées #gendarmes_mobiles #proportionnalité #maintien_à_distance #distance #Allemagne #Royaume-Uni #policing_by_consent #UK #Angleterre #Allemagne #police_militarisée #Irlande_du_Nord #Baton_rounds #armes #armes_à_feu #brigades_anti-émeutes #morts #décès #manifestations #contestation #voltigeurs_motoportés #rapidité #23_mars_1979 #escalade #usage_proportionné_de_la_force #Brokdorf #liberté_de_manifester #innovations_techniques #voltigeurs #soulèvement_de_la_jeunesse #Malik_Oussekine #acharnement #communication #premier_mai_révolutionnaire #Berlin #1er_mai_révolutionnaire #confrontation_violente #doctrine_de_la_désescalade #émeutes #G8 #Gênes #Good_practice_for_dialogue_and_communication (#godiac) #projet_Godiac #renseignement #état_d'urgence #BAC #brigades_anti-criminalité #2005 #émeutes_urbaines #régime_de_l'émeute #banlieue #LBD #flashball #lanceur_de_balles_à_distance #LBD_40 #neutralisation #mutilations #grenades #grenade_offensive #barrage_de_Sivens #Sivens #Rémi_Fraisse #grenade_lacrymogène_instantanée #cortège_de_tête #black_bloc #black_blocs #gilets_jaunes #insurrection #détachement_d'action_rapide (#DAR) #réactivité #mobilité #gestion_de_foule #glissement #Brigades_de_répression_des_actions_violentes_motorisées (#BRAV-M) #foule #contrôle_de_la_foule #respect_de_la_loi #hantise_de_l'insurrection #adaptation #doctrine #guerre_civile #défiance #démocratie #forces_de_l'ordre #crise_politique

  • Here’s how #Ukraine was swept by populism.

    https://texty.org.ua/d/2020/elections_history/en

    Often the electoral geography of Ukraine is narrowed only to the differences between several regions, for example, East and West. This simplification draws artificial boundaries. However, the real picture is much more interesting.

    Let’s look at the details and see the behavior of voters in different regions.

    This is what the familiar national context looks like: a traditionally high level of support for national democratic forces in the West and the Center, and support for pro-Russian and communist forces in the East and South. But is it really true?

    We divided all parties that participated in the parliamentary elections of 2006-2019 into three types:
    – national-democratic (typical examples: Nasha Ukraina, Svoboda)
    – pro-Russian or communist (Party of Regions, Communist Party of Ukraine)
    – populist (Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc, Servant of the People).

    Imagine the political preferences of voters in the form of a triangle, where the blue corner indicates the national democratic forces; the red corner, the pro-Russian and communist parties; the yellow, the populist. Any ratio of votes for these three types of political forces can be coded by a point on this triangle.

    For example, if voters gave each type of political force 33.3%, we get a position in the middle of the triangle (white dot in the center). This is rare: most likely, some forces will have more support, so the point will shift, respectively, in the direction of the blue, yellow, or red corner.

    #cartographie #cartoexperiment

  • l’histgeobox: Inglan is a bitch, Linton Kwesi Johnson (1980)
    https://lhistgeobox.blogspot.com/2020/11/inglan-is-bitch-linton-kwesi-johnson.html

    Linton Kwesi Johnson ou LKJ, est né en Jamaïque en 1952. Il quitte son île natale en 1963 pour rejoindre sa mère installée à Londres. Sa trajectoire s’inscrit dans le mouvement plus vaste des migrations caribéennes vers la capitale au cours du second XXè siècle. Son arrivée se situe à un moment clé de la dislocation de l’empire britannique rapidement suivie d’une dégradation du contexte économique. Ce double retournement de conjoncture favorise l’expression d’un racisme décomplexé de plus en plus violent qui s’ajoute aux discriminations quotidiennes préexistantes.

    Le titre de Linton Kwesi Johnson en rend compte à l’aide de deux outils puissants : la poésie et la musique. D’autres choisiront la littérature, ou le cinéma. Dans la société londonienne et a fortiori britannique post-coloniale, les arts deviennent des armes de luttes, d’affirmation, de revendication, de mobilisation. Loin d’être de l’usage exclusif d’une communauté, elles sont, au contraire souvent, des terrains de rencontres, d’échanges, d’hybridations, d’appropriations diverses. En s’en saisissant, the empire strikes back[2],et donne une nouvelle visibilité et centralité aux différentes productions et modes d’expressions artistiques des diasporas.

  • "˜Big Brother’ ? No, It’s Parents
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/26/technology/software-helps-parents-monitor-their-children-online.html?partner=rss&emc=r

    When her children were ready to have laptops of their own, Jill Ross bought software that would keep an eye on where they went online. One day it offered her a real surprise. She discovered that her 16-year-old daughter had set up her own video channel. Using the camera on her laptop, sometimes in her bedroom, she and a friend were recording mundane teenage banter and broadcasting it on YouTube for the whole world to see. For Ms. Ross, who lives outside Denver, it was a window into her (...)

    #Facebook #YouTube #Apple #iPhone #smartphone #iPad #famille #tablette #jeunesse (...)

    ##UKnowKids

  • Internet access deal allows Chinese government censorship in our UK university (virtual) classrooms

    1. Introduction

    We are a group of academics with many years of experience of teaching on China, including Hong Kong, in the fields of law, political sociology, labour relations, human rights, and gender politics. We are deeply concerned that, in their eagerness to maintain fee income from Chinese international students as near to pre-Covid levels as possible, some UK universities have signed up to a China-based system for providing access to online teaching to students who choose to study for their UK degrees from their homes in the PRC. We are concerned this system potentially endangers our students and invites censorship of the curriculum in our universities.
    2. UK HE and the Great Fire Wall of China

    As has been widely reported, many UK universities that have become dependent on steep international fees from Chinese students faced a sharp fall in their incomes this academic year if applicants failed to enroll on their courses (see #USSBriefs94). In the event, the fall has apparently been less precipitous than forecasted, although reliable data is not yet available, due in part to last minute marketing of courses to students in China. But a significant proportion of these students are joining courses from their homes in China, due to a variety of factors, including worries among students and parents about the UK’s shambolic approach to coronavirus control and late issuance of letters students need to apply for UK visas. The Chinese Ministry of Education has announced that, unlike in the past, it will recognize UK degrees that involve online study.

    But studying online for a UK degree from inside China presents specific challenges. The ‘Great Fire Wall’ restricts access to the internet outside China, imposing mechanisms to filter content and block ‘blacklisted’ sites, including major platforms such as Google, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter; news providers such as the Guardian and the New York Times; and transnational activist networks, among others. The ‘virtual private networks’ (VPNs) that UK universities routinely provide to their staff and students to access much of their content from off campus are blocked as part of a generalized Chinese government ban on VPNs and other forms of encrypted communication. Students in China joining some UK university courses (such as pre-sessional English programmes) during the summer reported significant connection problems.
    3. Over the wall: the Alibaba ‘solution’

    In this context, institutions representing UK universities are rolling out a dedicated service to enable students studying for UK degrees from China to access their course materials. This has been piloted over the summer at a number of UK HEIs, and is a joint project by promoters of all things digital in UK HE Jisc and Ucisa, the British Council (which is involved in marketing UK HE) and Universities UK. The service provides access to UK universities’ online platforms for students within China via a government-approved VPN enabled by Chinese internet and e-commerce giant Alibaba. UK universities want to ensure that students in China can have reliable access to course materials, including recorded lectures, readings and live activities, and are able to participate in their courses, posting comments on discussion boards and submitting assignments.

    From the publicly available information, this service, which has been piloted in a number of UK universities over the summer, and is now being rolled out at some of our institutions, will allow students to access their UK university’s content via a login to a dedicated Alibaba Cloud service on its Cloud Enterprise Network. Although the documentation on the Alibaba service describes this being routed via the company’s ‘virtual private cloud’ on servers in locations outside China, this does not mean that Chinese government surveillance and censorship mechanisms would be avoided, because all traffic would initially be routed through Alibaba’s servers in China.
    4. Censorship, surveillance and students at risk?

    As well as claiming that it will provide ‘fast and reliable access’ to course materials, the documentation states that the Alibaba ‘solution’ would be ‘fully legal and compliant with Chinese laws and regulations’. These laws allow for extensive censorship of public content on social media and news websites, as well as of personal communications, based on broad and vague criteria. While parameters for what is forbidden are set by the authorities, responsibility for deleting and blocking related content, activity and users rests with social media platforms and services, including Alibaba. China’s 2016 Cybersecurity Law makes companies that fail to carry out these responsibilities subject to massive fines, prosecution and even cancellation of business licenses. This legal responsibility implies that Alibaba could face legal sanctions if it failed to block course content on prohibited topics such as protests in Hong Kong or the detention camps in Xinjiang.

    The Alibaba scheme could also put students at risk, as their engagement with their courses can be monitored through Chinese government electronic surveillance systems. This is the case not only for students studying for their degrees remotely from China, but also potentially other students who are in the UK but in the same courses, whose engagement could potentially be monitored via the access of the students joining course activities remotely. This is no idle fear in a context where there have been significant tensions among students over support for the 2019 protests in Hong Kong, for example.

    Repression in China is targeted, and depends on identifying people regularly accessing content or online activities seen as problematic (particularly those engaging in any form of collective action national or local authorities find problematic), and focusing monitoring on such ‘suspect’ people. Using the Alibaba Cloud service, UK universities will not be able identify what kinds of monitoring and censorship happen when and to whom. Given the Chinese government’s demonstrated AI capacities, this monitoring could include automated profiling of student use of materials or interaction with the teaching to infer political reliability or political inclinations. By providing the Alibaba service to their students, UK universities could be complicit in enabling such profiling, and in our view this would be a failure in our duty of care to our students.
    5. China and the chilling effect

    There are broader concerns about the potential chilling effects for teaching of China-related material in UK universities, both short term and long term. This is not an idle concern: in recent years, controversies have erupted as the Chinese government has sought to pressure academic publishers to censor ‘politically sensitive’ content, including Cambridge University Press. It also comes in the context of the newly passed National Security Law in Hong Kong, which criminalizes a broad range of previously acceptable speech, and exerts extraterritorial powers that have raised deep concerns among scholars working on China-related issues. In such an environment, content deemed potentially offensive to the Chinese government may be at risk from (self-)censorship, either because teachers opt to eliminate it or because institutions decide that certain ‘problem’ courses are no longer viable. Documentation for staff at a number of universities offering this service has made vague references to ‘problematic’ content that may result in some teachers preemptively removing any China-related material from their courses.

    Some institutions have effectively started justifying such censorship of courses for Chinese students studying remotely, asking teachers to provide ‘alternatives’ to ‘problematic’ China related content for these students. Such moves presume that all Chinese students will be offended by or want to avoid such content; in our view this is a mistaken assumption based on stereotyped notions of Chinese students. Some of our students from China choose to study at UK universities precisely because they will encounter a different range of approaches and opinions to those they have encountered in universities in mainland China, and some specifically want to hear about alternative analysis of developments in their own country at a time when such debate is being closed down at home. Pro-government, nationalist students may be vocal, but there are many others with a variety of viewpoints. One indication of this in the UK context is a finding from a representative sample of mainland Chinese students studying for undergraduate and postgraduate taught degrees at UK universities. The Bright Futures survey, conducted in 2017–18, found that 71% of respondents said they ‘never’ participated in activities of the Chinese Students Association (which is supported and funded by the Chinese authorities) and a further 22% said they participated once a month or less.
    6. Alternative solutions and academic freedom

    Given the concerns outlined above, we do not believe that UK universities have done enough to find alternatives to the Alibaba service that might mitigate some of the risks we describe. Other academic institutions, including joint-venture universities with campuses in China, have apparently negotiated exceptions to the ban on foreign VPNs. For obvious reasons, these universities do not publicize the ad hoc solutions they have been able to find, as these would technically be violations of Chinese law. In the current context other possibilities for UK HE might include approaching the Chinese Ministry of Education to negotiate access for students in China to UK university VPNs, or to a collectively managed joint UK-university ‘VPN concentrator’ located in China. Another part of a solution could be a joint-UK university project to mirror UK university server content in locations nearer to China (such as Singapore, South Korea or Japan) that would allow for faster access to content via VPNs. These solutions could address some of the key surveillance concerns, but would nonetheless still be subject to censorship demands by Chinese authorities.

    Universities should not plead that they cannot consider alternatives on cost grounds, since the Alibaba service is reportedly costly (although rates have not been made public), with prices likely reaching £100,000 per institution annually depending on data volume. With a model of payment by data volume, UK universities are in the invidious (and likely unworkable) position of distinguishing between ‘study-related’ and other usage of the service. More importantly, no saving of expenditure or maintaining of pre-Covid income levels can justify the ‘costs’ of exposing our students to the risk of persecution as a result of taking UK university courses, or of inviting Chinese government censorship into our university systems.

    Unfortunately, there is little sign that the leaders of the sector are considering the complexity of the risks involved. On 15 October 2020, UUK issued a report entitled ‘Managing risks in internationalisation: security related issues’. Deplorably, this report suggests that universities are, or should become, guardians of UK national security, but fails to recognise the nature of the risks to academic freedom that staff and students in the UK are actually facing. The report certainly makes no mention of the concerns we outline above, despite UUK being a co-sponsor of the Alibaba scheme. Addressing itself exclusively to ‘senior leaders’ in universities, the report also suggests a top-down, managerial approach to addressing the risks of academic internationalisation, without giving sufficient thought to the need to involve academic staff. Self-governance is an important dimension of academic freedom. One reason we are publishing this piece is that we have had little or no say in how our institutions are making policy in this area, despite the evident relevance of our expertise, and the gravity of the concerns we raise. At this moment, we believe UK universities need to commit to strong defense of academic freedom, ensure that this applies equally to staff and students and prevent this key value of our universities being undermined by ‘technical’ or market considerations.

    https://medium.com/ussbriefs/internet-access-deal-allows-chinese-government-censorship-in-our-uk-universi

    #Chine #UK #Angleterre #censure #université #distanciel #enseignement #taxes_universitaires #frais_d'inscription #Great_Fire_Wall #internet #étudiants_chinois #VPN #Jisc #Ucisa #Alibaba #Alibaba_cloud #surveillance #liberté_académique

    ping @etraces

  • UK’s top universities urged to act on classism and accent prejudice

    Investigation finds widespread evidence of students being ridiculed over their backgrounds

    Universities must act to eradicate discrimination against working-class students, including the mockery of regional accents, equality campaigners have said.

    A Guardian investigation has found widespread evidence of students at some of the country’s leading universities being ridiculed over their accents and backgrounds, in some cases prompting them to leave education.

    The analysis found discrimination against working-class students was particularly prevalent among Russell Group universities. The group, which is made up of 24 institutions, has a reputation for academic excellence.

    In a series of Guardian interviews, students past and present reported bullying and harassment over their accents and working-class backgrounds. Some said their academic ability was questioned because of the way they spoke.

    The Social Mobility Commission (SMC), which monitors progress in improving social mobility in the UK, described the situation as unacceptable and said accents had become a “tangible barrier” for some students.

    This week the Guardian reported complaints of a “toxic attitude” towards some northern students at Durham University. Last month the university launched an inquiry after wealthy prospective freshers reportedly planned a competition to have sex with the poorest student they could find.

    But experiences of classism and accent prejudice are not confined to Durham, said Sammy Wright, the lead commissioner on schools and higher education for the SMC. He said the government body had spent 18 months examining the differing chances for young people based on where they come from.

    “We found an entrenched pattern in certain areas where social mobility is very low, and often the only way to grasp opportunities involved moving away from where they were brought up – to go to university or find jobs,” said Wright, who is also vice-principal of Southmoor Academy in Sunderland.

    “But we also found that social and economic disadvantage often hampered any chance to move out. Accent is a part of this, alongside cultural capital and social networks. In my own work in schools in the north-east, accent can become a marker of everything else, a tangible barrier – most of all to the young people themselves, who internalise a sense of social inferiority.”

    Wright said well-meaning university outreach teams were consistently failing in their efforts to reassure working-class students. “They promise their institutions are friendly and welcoming, but when that message comes in a home counties accent from bored middle-class students who have been sent into the north to deliver the message, my students are rightly sceptical.”

    The Sutton Trust, a charity that helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds access higher education, called on top universities to do more to ensure an inclusive and supportive environment for all undergraduates.

    Sir Peter Lampl, the trust’s founder and chair, described the experiences of some students as “scandalous”. “It’s really tough for young people from low-income backgrounds to get into top universities. For this and for other reasons, it’s completely unacceptable that they are discriminated against while they’re there,” he said.

    Analysis by the Office for Students (OfS), the government’s higher education regulator, shows that virtually all communities with the lowest levels of access to higher education are in industrial towns and cities of the north of England and the Midlands, and in coastal towns. For example, the most recent data shows that 55% of young people in London go into higher education but only 40% in the north-east.

    The OfS director for fair access and participation, Chris Millward, said the issue of accent prejudice spoke to deeper inequalities in the education system. “It is crucial that universities strive to create an open and inclusive culture for all. There is no such thing as a ‘right’ accent or background for higher education – all students deserve the opportunity to thrive, no matter where they come from,” he said.

    Sara Khan, a vice-president of the National Union of Students, said working-class students were sold a “myth of meritocracy”, but in some cases the reality was starkly different.

    “As long as working-class students have to pay for education, work alongside their studies to cover basic necessities, and are saddled with debt for the rest of their lives, higher education will never be a welcoming environment for them,” she said. “It is unfortunately inevitable that in a system like this, such students would face prejudice and harassment, which is only the tip of the iceberg regarding the classism in our education system.”

    The Russell Group has been contacted for comment.

    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/oct/24/uk-top-universities-urged-act-classism-accent-prejudice
    #UK #Angleterre #classisme #classes_sociales #discriminations #classe_sociale #université #éducation #langue #accent #accents #classes_ouvrières

  • Inside Australia’s asylum system – a possible model for the UK

    Guardian Australia reporter Ben Doherty looks at the history behind Australia’s asylum seeker policies, including the controversial practice of offshore processing and resettlement. It’s one of the options the British government is allegedly considering to deter asylum seekers from attempting to cross the Channel to the UK. Journalist Behrouz Boochani, who spent seven years in detention in Papua New Guinea, discusses the impact the policy has had

    Amid a fourfold rise in small boats attempting to cross the Channel and reach the UK this year, Downing Street and ministers have asked Foreign Office officials to consider a wide range of options to deter asylum seekers, according to leaked documents last month. Proposals include offshore asylum processing centres, with one document suggesting Boris Johnson is personally involved in the plan, stating: ‘In addition to the work on OT [British overseas territory] options, the PM has asked for FCDO advice on potential third-country locations. We are asked to suggest options for a UK scheme similar to the Australian agreement with Papua New Guinea.’

    Guardian Australia reporter Ben Doherty tells Rachel Humphreys about the history of Australia’s immigration policies, beginning in 2001, after the Tampa crisis, when a Norwegian freighter that had rescued more than 400 mainly Afghan Hazara refugees from their sinking vessel in international waters 140km north of Christmas Island was refused entry into Australian waters. The MV Tampa provided the conservative Coalition government with a catalyst for action. That was the establishment of “offshore detention” camps on Nauru and on Papua New Guinea, the so-called Pacific solution. The detention facilities have been the subject of serious criticism by international observers and human rights groups. Journalist Behrouz Boochani, who fled Iran for Australia in 2013, was sent to Manus Island. He describes the detention centre as worse than a prison and warns the UK to think hard before they look to replicate the Australian system. “If you do this, you lose your humanity” he tells Rachel.

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/audio/2020/oct/21/inside-australias-asylum-system-a-possible-model-for-the-uk
    #modèle_australien #asile #migrations #réfugiés #UK #Angleterre #audio #podcast #Ben_Doherty

  • Jours d’affliction : Le pogrom de Kishinev de 1903, Moisei Borisovich Slutskii (1851-1934)

    https://diacritik.com/2020/10/22/jours-daffliction-le-pogrom-de-kishinev-de-1903-moisei-borisovich-slutski

    https://i1.wp.com/diacritik.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Capture-décran-2020-10-19-à-10.06.41.jpg?fit=1200%2C868&ssl=1

    Le #pogrom de #Kishinev de 1903 prend, dans le cours de l’histoire mondiale, une importance particulière. Considéré comme précurseur de l’Holocauste, c’est l’événement avec lequel l’horizon du XXᵉ siècle s’assombrit, non seulement pour les territoires de l’Empire russe mais aussi pour l’Europe. Il sonne le glas de l’ancien monde, annonçant l’avènement des nationalismes totalitaristes, la destruction des juifs d’Europe et une crise de l’humanisme similaire à celle qu’avait connue le XIXᵉ siècle.

    Dans les semaines qui suivirent, le pogrom de Kishinev eut un écho retentissant dans la presse internationale. Un des premiers reporters des ces sanglantes fêtes de Pâques 1903 fut Haïm Nahman Bialik, journaliste, prosateur, poète et cofondateur de la maison d’édition odessite « Moriah ». Au lendemain du pogrom, mandaté par le gouverneur de la ville d’Odessa, Bialik se rend à Kishinev afin de témoigner. Ce qu’il découvrit sur les lieux du carnage le révolta à un point tel qu’il écrivit non pas une chronique éditoriale mais un long et émouvant poème, intitulé « Dans la ville du massacre » :

    « Dans le fer, dans l’acier, glacé, dur et muet,
    Forge un cœur et qu’il soit le tien, homme, et viens !
    Viens dans la ville du massacre, il te faut voir,
    Avec tes yeux, éprouver de tes propres mains,
    Sur les grillages, les piquets, les portes et les murs,
    Sur le pavé des rues, sur la pierre et le bois,
    L’empreinte brune et desséchée du sang… »

    #antisémitismes #europe_centrale #ukraine

  • La possibilité d’une #île… pour migrants

    Partout dans le monde, les demandeurs d’asile sont de plus en plus souvent relégués sur des îles comme on le faisait autrefois des bagnards et des lépreux. Qu’est-ce que ces prisons à ciel ouvert disent de notre regard sur les migrants ?

    Un lieu le plus loin possible des regards et d’où il serait impossible de s’échapper. C’était déjà ce que les Anglais cherchaient pour se débarrasser de l’encombrant Napoléon. Ils l’avaient trouvé à #Sainte-Hélène, îlot volcanique paumé au milieu de l’Atlantique sud à près de 2 000 km des côtes de la Namibie et plus de 3 000 km du Brésil.

    Deux cents ans plus tard, les voilà qui envisagent de nouveau d’avoir recours à cette improbable petite île devenue célèbre malgré elle. Cette fois, ce ne serait pas un empereur qu’on enverrait croupir sur ce bout de terre, mais des réfugiés. Oui, des réfugiés. Le ministère de l’Intérieur britannique étudie la possibilité d’installer un centre de rétention pour demandeurs d’asile sur l’un de ses territoires d’outre-mer, à Sainte-Hélène ou sur l’île de l’Ascension. Insensé ?

    Ce ne seraient pourtant pas les premiers à se laisser séduire par la possibilité d’une île. Les Australiens ont déjà une longue expérience en la matière. Ne voulant pas de demandeurs d’asile chez eux, ils ont ouvert, dès 2001, un centre de rétention sur l’île Christmas, un territoire extérieur australien au large de l’Indonésie. Et depuis 2012, ils expédient tout migrant débarquant clandestinement sur leurs côtes dans des camps offshore situés sur Manus, une île de #Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée, et Nauru, une république insulaire d’#Océanie.

    https://www.nouvelobs.com/art/fdff98b8-7bb0-4806-a83f-799cec7d59e2
    #îles #réfugiés #asile #migrations #Australie #Manus_Island #Nauru #UK #Angleterre

  • On Quitting Academia

    In​ May, I gave up my academic career after 27 years. A voluntary severance scheme had been announced in December, and I dithered about it until the pandemic enforced focus on a fuzzy dilemma. Already far from the sunlit uplands, universities would now, it seemed, descend into a dark tunnel. I swallowed hard, expressed an interest, hesitated, and then declared my intention to leave. A settlement agreement was drafted, and I instructed a solicitor. Hesitating again, I made a few calls, stared out of the window, then signed.

    My anxiety about academia dates back to my first job, a temporary lectureship in history at Keele University. I had drifted into doctoral research with a 2.1 from Cambridge and an unclassified O-Level in self-confidence. My friends from university, many headed for work in London, had initially been sceptical. One of them, later the deputy prime minister, worried that academic pay was crap and I’d have to read everything. Besides, decent posts were scarce. But I liked my subject, was taken on by a charismatic professor, scraped a grant, and switched Cambridge colleges as a gesture towards a fresh start. Reality had been evaded. To an extent unthinkable today, arts postgrads were left alone to read. At lamplit tutorials and seminars, held in book-lined rooms in dark courtyards, it was hard not to feel like an impostor, though, looking back, I now realise that others were also straining to suspend disbelief in themselves. Then, suddenly, I was out of time and needed a job. It was the end of what feels now like one long autumn of snug teas and cycling through mists.

    The day I arrived in Keele, it was raining. I’d split up with my girlfriend and had arranged to share a house with a colleague I’d never met; my office was still in the process of being built. Ahead lay the prospect of cobbling together dozens of lectures while at the same time somehow writing up my PhD. I was gloomy and apprehensive, but things fell into place. My housemate hadn’t finished his thesis either: we laboured through early mornings and evenings, eventually submitting on the same day. The teaching was exciting and rewarding. There were a lot of mature students, some of them displaced by the closure of the Staffordshire collieries, all eager to learn. My impostor syndrome went into remission. I had articles accepted by peer-reviewed journals, passed my PhD viva, and ascended through a series of jobs. In 2007 I joined the University of East Anglia and four years later was made a professor. I published books, essays and reviews, received grants and fellowships, spoke at seminars and conferences, assessed manuscripts, supervised postgraduates, served as an external examiner and sat on committees. I had become the person I once impersonated. There were still Billy Liar moments: doodling in meetings, dreaming up titles for novels, imagining the present as prelude. But the masquerade was over. What I did was who I was.

    Then, two years ago, things took a turn. A viable application for a big research grant fell at the first hurdle. Two articles I’d spent months on were rejected, one quite quickly, the other after a long ordeal of consideration and resubmission. Some of the assessors, cloaked in anonymity, seemed affronted by what I was trying to say. It was crushing, but also an awakening. They had pecked so viciously because I was an injured hen in the brood. They sensed disingenuousness, ebbing engagement, slippage from relevance, and, behind it all, a loss of faith. When I felt I’d been faking it I was the genuine article; now I was established I’d become an interloper. I realised I’d said all I had to say. So when my wife accepted a job in Dublin and I took a career break to look after our children, settling into non-academic life was easy. I didn’t miss it, any of it.

    It used to be more interesting. In 1993, Keele still bore a resemblance to the world Malcolm Bradbury captured in The History Man (1975): lecturers taught whatever enthused them – one medievalist offered a course on the Holocaust – and the cooler professors held parties to which students were invited. There were eccentrics straight out of Waugh’s Decline and Fall: loveable cranks who had written one or zero books, drank at lunchtime and liked a flutter. They smoked in their offices and let ferrety dogs roam the corridors. They were amused by the arrival of career-minded scholars, and panicked when the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) demanded to know how taxpayers’ money was being spent. The Research Assessment Exercise found them wanting in research, and a dawning age of inspection exposed worryingly heterodox teaching methods. Immediately before a HEFCE visit, a dusty sculpture was rinsed under the tap to make a good impression, as if the inspectors were a bevy of exacting aunts rather than fellow academics pressed into public service. In my next job, a wall of photocopied ‘evidence’ was adduced in the department’s cause, and a crate of booze was bought, in contravention of HEFCE rules, to relax the inspectors. Alas, it was stolen by some students.

    These were in many respects the bad old days, unworthy of anyone’s nostalgia. There was too little transparency, permitting countless small abuses. There was favouritism and prejudice; a policy of laissez-faire concealed unequal workloads and, in some cases, sheer indolence. The tightening of central controls in the 1990s introduced accountability to the system, and the expansion of the higher education sector generally, which happened around the same time, did good by allowing more young people from working-class backgrounds to earn a degree, something that, to their parents as to mine, had previously represented a social distinction as remotely glittering as a knighthood. When I began my PhD, there were fewer than fifty universities in the UK, awarding around 80,000 first degrees annually; twenty years later the number of HE institutions had nearly trebled, and the number of degrees had increased by a factor of five. In 1999 Tony Blair vowed that the 33 per cent of school-leavers then in higher education would rise to 50 per cent in the next century, a goal that was reached in 2018.

    Widening opportunity in education is the noblest of social and political projects. But the cost is now clear. In the ‘bad old days’ students were, as they are today, taught with commitment and passion, but sometimes eccentricity added a spark. Provided he – and it was usually a he – turned up fully dressed and sober and didn’t lay hands on anyone, the crazy lecturer could be an inspiration. Expectations were less explicit, the rhetoric and metrics of achievement were absent, which made everyone feel freer. Even applying to a university seemed less pressured, because it was so unclear what it would be like when you got there. You absorbed teachers’ anecdotal experiences and sent off for prospectuses, including the student-produced ‘alternative’ versions mentioning safe sex and cheap beer. Even after matriculation I had only a vague sense of the structure of my course. The lecture list was to be found in an austere periodical of record available in newsagents. Mysteries that today would be cleared up with two clicks on a smartphone had to be resolved by listening to rumours. This news blackout has been replaced by abundant online information, the publication of lucid curricular pathways, the friendly outreach of student services and the micromanagement of an undergraduate’s development. Leaps of progress all, if it weren’t for the suspicion that students might develop better if they had to find out more things for themselves. We learned to be self-reliant and so were better prepared for an indifferent world; we didn’t for a moment see the university as acting in loco parentis. Excessive care for students is as reassuring as a comfort blanket and can be just as infantilising.

    Academics lament the local autonomy that has now been arrogated to the centre, where faculty executive committees and senior management teams call the shots. Lecturers no longer exercise the discretion that once supported students’ pastoral welfare, and are instead trained to spot mental health problems and to advise students to consult GPs and book university counselling sessions (waiting lists tend to be long: anxiety is the new normal, sometimes reported as dispassionately as one might do a cold). Instances where essay extensions have been granted only on submission of proof of bereavement are not unheard of: procrustean bureaucracy in the name of consistency. Team-teaching is preferred to the one-lecturer show because university managers have an aversion to cancelling an advertised module should the lecturer take research or parental leave, move to another university, or run off screaming into the night. This was once an acceptable risk; now it threatens to infringe students’ consumer rights. Overseeing such concerns are marketing departments of burgeoning complexity and swagger, which manage public relations and promote the brand. National rankings based on several ‘key performance indicators’ – research, teaching, student satisfaction (a revered metric deriving from an online survey) – are parsed and massaged by these departments into their most appealing iterations, in the hope of pushing their institution as close as possible to pole position in an intensely competitive race. The Russell Group, a self-selecting club of 24 elite UK universities, content to be thought of as ‘the British Ivy League’, admits some new members and excludes others. Those refused entry make ingenious claims to be as good as those inside the charmed circle. But it’s a struggle. The Russell Group’s members attract three-quarters of all research income, which matters not least because world-class research-led teaching is a strong selling point for recruiting undergraduates.

    The key factor is tuition fees – currently £9250 per annum for full-time study – which in 2012 replaced most direct funding of universities. Today half of UK universities’ £40 billion annual income comes from fees. Universities are businesses forced to think commercially, regardless of any humane virtues traditionally associated with academic life. Academic heads of department – otherwise known as ‘line managers’, some of whom control their own budgets – are set aspirational admissions targets which often prove unachievable due to the vicissitudes of an unstable market. The usual outcome, in Micawberish terms, is misery over happiness. Academics, already demoralised by declining real wages, shrinking pensions and the demands of the Research Excellence Framework – not least the demand to demonstrate the public ‘impact’ of their research – report feeling not just overburdened by marketisation, but victimised. Some administrators, especially those without teaching duties, can make ‘underperforming’ academic staff feel like spanners in the works, rather than labourers who own the means of production and create the very thing marketing departments have to sell.

    University mottos, with all their classical hauteur, have been displaced by vapid slogans about discovering yourself and belonging to the future. Universities are centres of excellence, hubs of innovation, zones of enterprise. The gushing copy has limited relevance on the shop floor. Lecturers deserve more respect than is found in Dalek-like emails demanding 100 per cent compliance with this or that directive. An infinitely expanding bureaucratic universe displays authoritarian indifference to variety and nuance in the very work exalted in their promotional material. Vice-chancellors and deans always remember to give thanks and praise at graduation ceremonies and other festal moments; but what lecturers want is understanding, not least about the manifold claims on their time.

    So how has all this affected ‘the student experience’? Undergraduates today can’t know how it felt to belong to a state-funded institution whose low-pressure otherworldliness allowed for imagination and experimentation, diversity and discovery. The student experience didn’t need defining because it wasn’t for sale: it magically happened within a loosely idealistic, libertarian countercultural framework. The last thing anyone at a university wanted to wear was a suit: now you can’t move for them. Today’s watchwords are value and satisfaction. Even if it’s a good thing for fee-paying students to have a say in what their money buys, a transactional mentality has led to paradoxical demands for more contact hours and the right not to use them. Whereas lectures have long been optional, seminars and tutorials have remained compulsory. This is now under threat, along with the basic principle that attendees at a lecture are passive consumers and seminar participants are active producers. These days the customer is usually right and the lecturer more like a generic service provider. Supporting observations include students’ failure to learn their tutor’s name after 12 weeks, a tendency to refer to ‘teachers’ and ‘lessons’, dependence on prepackaged fillets of text – whatever happened to ‘reading round the subject’? – and unabashed admissions that set work has not been done. Why pretend the dog ate your homework when you own the homework?

    Students miss out if they duck challenges they imagine to be beyond their capabilities. Punching above your weight can be stressful and tiring, but without doing a bit of it students ironically fail to develop the independent learning skills and confident self-expression that employers value (here I’m talking mainly about the arts and humanities). Unlike other commodities and services, where typically the customer wants no involvement in the manufacture or delivery of their purchases, students get out of a degree what they put in. One of the worst outcomes would be if they unwittingly believed that fees entitled them to a good degree, and when awarded a 2.2 (or that endangered species, a third) reflexively blamed anything and anyone other than themselves. As bad would be a reluctance to award degrees below a 2.1 for fear of complaint, even legal action.

    Universities obsessed with student satisfaction are finding it harder to navigate their obligations. It doesn’t help that students have been hit by waves of strikes, followed by the further disruption caused by Covid-19. As for academic staff, feelings of discontent, disenfranchisement, disillusionment and disorientation are increasing, as academic careers become less and less appealing. The financial impact of the pandemic on universities has been catastrophic, with individual losses over the next financial year predicted to be in the tens of millions. In July, the Institute for Fiscal Studies estimated a combined long-term deficit of £11 billion. Deprived of fees from foreign students (especially for postgraduate courses), revenue from rental accommodation, income from the conference trade and returns from other investments, universities are facing Herculean challenges – hence redundancies both voluntary and, in due course, compulsory. The IFS predicts that, without cutting workforces, universities will save only £600 million. I jumped while there was still a lifeboat in the water. UEA has a broad regional base, and will survive with some belt-tightening and structural changes. According to some reports, however, 13 institutions will go bust without government bailouts, which no doubt they will receive in exchange for pruning courses devoid of obvious vocational benefit.

    What will the student experience be now? A new order of one-way corridors, social distancing, teaching bubbles, screened and sanitised everything, and ‘dual-delivery synchronous and asynchronous learning activities’: a minimal amount of face-to-face teaching combined with online lectures, pre-recorded so that lecture theatres can be freed up for use as spacious seminar rooms. Lecturers have been racing to refine lockdown protocols into coherent products, now widely advertised as ‘blended learning’. Many have spent their summers taking training modules in ‘generic breadth and depth e-learning provision’, the warp and weft of embedded skills that look neat on a ‘weave diagram’ but are harder to apply in real life. To keep class discussion buoyant, lecturers are told to ‘encourage students to practise the verbalisation aspect of knowledge’. Multiple ‘learning outcomes’, sacred buzzwords before the pandemic, have been supplemented with ‘learner journeys’, promising against the odds a positive experience as well as a realistic hope of achieving something. But mostly lecturers have been tasked with filming multiple bite-size video ‘segments’ suited to modern attention spans (complete with subtitles and credited imagery), setting ‘interactive tasks’ and building bespoke websites for their modules.

    Who knows how long this set-up will last. Currently we can only applaud the pragmatism and stamina of lecturers, beg the forbearance of students, and wish them well. But if the R-number creeps up, or if there are more strikes (a prospect made likely by redundancies), even the contingency plan will stall and dissatisfaction will soar. School-leavers may question the wisdom of paying so much for so little. As it is, calls for universities to refund fees and rent have fallen on deaf ears. The student experience has already been compromised and the brand damaged. The path to recovery is pegged out with proposals for retrenchment, mostly effected by shedding staff.

    I had dreaded telling colleagues in my field that I was quitting, imagining incredulity and a hushed inference that I was terminally ill or at least having a breakdown. Academia is vocational: people don’t usually pack it in or switch careers – although that may become more common. When I finally broke the news, most of the people I told said they would retire early if they could afford it – a few had made calculations about payouts and pensions and most had at least contemplated it in glummer moments. It’s just no fun any more, they said. One or two admitted that their self-identity was so bound up with academic life they could never give it up, but even this wasn’t a judgment on my decision: they were entirely sympathetic and acknowledged that a wonderful career had lost a lot of its glamour.

    Of course, none of us is lost in space, rounding the lip of a black hole. Higher education will always be worthwhile, if only because for students it provides three unique years removed from family, school and a career. In spite of uncertainty and austerity, versatile and resourceful young people will create their own networks and forums conducive to study and sociability. Academics will carry on doing research that informs their teaching. Learning for its own sake may suffer as courses are honed to a fine utilitarian edge and students evolve into accomplished grade accountants, expert in the work required for a 2.1 – playing the system they themselves finance. But degrees will retain value, and, for those who find graduate entry-level jobs, they will remain value for money. Above all, even allowing for a likely contraction of the HE sector, our universities will still promote social mobility, having already transformed the profile of the typical student, in terms of gender as well as class. There will be no return to sixty years ago when only 4 per cent of 18-year-olds went on to higher education, most of them men. The change is permanent. I’m glad to have played my part in this revolution.

    Perhaps this is why I feel uneasy, and why my future feels more suspenseful than exciting. I’ve had dreams in which I’ve strolled across a platonically perfect ivy-clad campus, been enthralled by a perfect seminar, and had engaging discussions with old colleagues, including my Cambridge supervisor and the people I knew when I was doing my PhD, back in the halcyon days when everything had a point and a purpose. There’s guilt there: a sense of loss, of potential squandered and maybe even betrayed. UEA has made me an emeritus professor, which is an honourable discharge and something to cling to, and my wife insists we can live on her salary. But I still can’t decide whether I’ve retired or just resigned, or am in fact redundant and unemployed. I’m undeniably jobless at 53, able-bodied (I hesitate to say ‘fit’), with a full head of hair and most of my teeth, and haunted by St Teresa of Avila’s dictum that more tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones.

    I keep thinking about a short story we read at school, Somerset Maugham’s ‘The Lotus Eater’. It is the cautionary tale of a bank manager who drives off the toads of work, gives up his comfy pension and goes to live like a peasant on a paradisal Mediterranean island. Needless to say it doesn’t end well: his annuity expires, his mind atrophies, he botches suicide. He sees out his days in a state of bestial wretchedness, demoted in the great chain of being as a punishment for rebelling against nature. I don’t see the story as a prediction, and would always choose industry over idleness, but Maugham’s contempt for someone who dodges life’s challenges – the story satirised an effete acquaintance from Heidelberg – resonates. Still, I couldn’t go back. Goodbye to all that.

    https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v42/n18/malcolm-gaskill/diary
    #UK #Angleterre #université #ESR #quitter #fin #jeter_l'éponge #taxes_universitaires

    • Extrait : “I had dreaded telling colleagues in my field that I was quitting, imagining incredulity and a hushed inference that I was terminally ill or at least having a breakdown. Academia is vocational: people don’t usually pack it in or switch careers – although that may become more common. When I finally broke the news, most of the people I told said they would retire early if they could afford it – a few had made calculations about payouts and pensions and most had at least contemplated it in glummer moments. It’s just no fun any more, they said. One or two admitted that their self-identity was so bound up with academic life they could never give it up, but even this wasn’t a judgment on my decision: they were entirely sympathetic and acknowledged that a wonderful career had lost a lot of its glamour”.

  • The Killing of Mark Duggan - YouTube

    Forensic Architecture

    Mark Duggan’s killing by police led to the most widespread social unrest in the UK in a generation. A decade on, what happened remains unclear: was Duggan holding a gun? How did the gun get to the grass?

    Working alongside the Duggan family’s lawyers, we analysed the shooting in closer detail than ever, exposing critical weaknesses in the official accounts of his death.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_xzmOpGypY&t=676s