Magna Carta - 800 years of freedom

magnacartaNot surprisingly, given it was written 800 years ago, there’s much in Magna Carta that sounds alien to our 21st-century ears.

From its heartfelt plea for ‘standard measures’ of wine and ale ‘throughout the kingdom’ to its rumination on what should happen to a man’s fortunes should he die while in debt to Jews, the medievalism of the document sings through its 63 clauses.

Wonky weekend for European Union

europeanparliamentA weekend is a long time in politics. It certainly was last weekend, especially for the future of the European Union.

Immediately before the election in Britain, it was no more than a possibility that the UK would hold a referendum on its membership of the EU. After the votes had been counted, possibility had shot up to certainty.

Armenia remembers the 100th anniversary of its genocide

armeniaflagFriday 24th April was a very important day for Armenia, marking as it does the 100th anniversary of the start of the Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire on the Armenian people in 1915 which is described by Wikipedia as “ the Ottoman government's systematic extermination of its minority Armenian subjects inside their historic homeland.

“The total number of people killed as a result has been estimated at between 1 and 1.5 million. The genocide was carried out during and after World War I and implemented in two phases: the wholesale killing of the able-bodied male population through massacre and subjection of army conscripts to forced labour, followed by the deportation of women, children, the elderly and infirm on death marches leading to the Syrian desert.

April 25th - time for another big change?

carnation1974Forty-one years on from the joyous Carnation Revolution that ended half a century of dictatorship, the Portuguese are unhappy. According to the latest Eurostat opinion poll on the subject, the only less happy people in the whole of the European Union are the Bulgarians

“Overall, how satisfied are you with your life these days?” the Eurostat poll wanted to know. The answers showed that the least dissatisfied were those in the 16 to 24 age group.

Election Update from Harry Shindler

Election - MAy 7Below is a letter from Harry Shindler before the Election on May 7th, and some general updates regarding voting and the Winter Fuel Payment.

Lib Dems in Europe welcome manifesto commitment to overseas voters

Liberal DemocratsBrussels and Europe Liberal Democrats - the party's European branch - have today welcomed a commitment by the party to address the issue of voting rights for British citizens abroad.

In their general election manifesto, published today, the Liberal Democrats commit to "exploring options to strengthen and simplify the voting rights of UK citizens living abroad and address disenfranchisement experienced by some."

Get voting and registering... Campaign for Votes

Get voting and registering... Campaign for VotesAfter yesterday's TV debate, this morning the leaders of the seven main UK parties have urged people to register to vote before the deadline this Monday, 20 April. So we are also making a last call to overseas voters, who belong to the millions who are not registered to vote in the UK, to register.

The General Election must be a victory for British Expats

The General Election must be a victory for British ExpatsHarry Shindler sends this letter to all British Citizens in mainland Europe – End of March 2015.