Содружество наций (Британское содружество)
24 апреля, 12:27

How dare ministers try to blame the Windrush fiasco on Home Office staff | Mark Serwotka

It’s shameless of Theresa May and Amber Rudd to try to shift the blame on to people who have a difficult enough job as it isThe escalating Windrush scandal has rightly caused national outrage. Reports of deportations, grandmothers holed up in detention centres and people losing the right to housing, healthcare and a decent living, mark a shameful chapter in this country’s treatment of people who were invited here to live and work.From the inhumane attitude of the government towards Commonwealth citizens, to the revelation yesterday that Home Office staff themselves are subject to racism in their workplace, it is clear there needs to be a massive shift in how the government approaches the issue. Continue reading...

23 апреля, 19:00

Zimbabwe is confronting its past head-on. We are ready to embrace the world | SB Moyo

As it changes its rules and outlook, I am confident that Zimbabwe can be welcomed not only into the Commonwealth but also the wider family of nations• SB Moyo is Zimbabwe’s foreign affairs ministerLast week, on the sidelines of the meeting in London of the Commonwealth heads of government, I was invited to discuss my country Zimbabwe’s return to the organisation. As is well known, Zimbabwe left this club in 2003, but the country’s new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has pledged to re-engage with the international community and normalise relations, particularly with those countries with which we have had hostile interactions.The London meeting took place in the week that Zimbabwe celebrated the 38th anniversary of its independence. That we re-engage with the world while remembering our past is vitally important. Zimbabwe’s challenges emanate partly from the struggle that all countries, particularly those as young as we are, must go through as they seek to interpret and make sense of their history. Continue reading...

20 апреля, 20:45

Theresa May says Windrush victims will be paid compensation

PM tells Commonwealth leaders she will do ‘whatever it takes’ to resolve anxieties and problemsTheresa May has reassured Commonwealth leaders that members of the Windrush generation who had suffered “anxieties and problems” as a result of the government’s immigration rules would be paid compensation. Related: 'It's inhumane': the Windrush victims who have lost jobs, homes and loved ones Continue reading...

20 апреля, 16:14

Prince Charles to be next head of Commonwealth

State leaders honour Queen’s wishes and agree Prince of Wales should succeed monarchCommonwealth leaders have formally announced that Prince Charles will become the next head of the organisation after the Queen.As they returned from a “retreat” hosted by the Queen at Windsor Castle on Friday, leaders issued a statement confirming the news, which had emerged earlier in the day. Continue reading...

19 апреля, 22:44

Windrush scandal: Albert Thompson still in dark about cancer treatment despite May's promise

Londoner still has not received any appointment date for radiotherapy – or an apologyAlbert Thompson, the Londoner whose case has come to epitomise the Windrush scandal, has spoken of his anguish as he remains uncertain about whether he is to get radiotherapy for his cancer a day after he heard Theresa May announce on television that he would “be receiving the treatment he needs”.As the fallout from the scandal continued to emerge, Thompson told the Guardian he was distressed to have no clarity, and upset that he had had no apology from the Royal Marsden hospital for the ongoing interruption to his cancer treatment. Continue reading...

19 апреля, 20:51

Steve Bell on the Commonwealth succession – cartoon

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19 апреля, 20:47

Dear Prince Charles, do you think my brown skin makes me unBritish? | Anita Sethi

The Prince of Wales told me I don’t look like I’m from Manchester. If this is how he thinks, he shouldn’t be the next head of the CommonwealthI met Prince Charles this week at the Commonwealth People’s Forum at which I was a speaker (on a day whose itinerary was entitled Politics of Hope: Taking on Injustice in the Commonwealth). It was part of the buildup to the Commonwealth heads of government meeting, the summit of leaders of 53 countries representing more than 2 billion people.I shook the prince’s hand with my right hand. In my other, I was holding a copy of an anthology, We Mark Your Memory: Writing from the Descendants of Indenture, in which I have an essay published. I told him that my mother was born in Guyana and that the anthology had collected hidden histories of indenture. Continue reading...

19 апреля, 20:15

Daphne Project: MEPs and authors crank up pressure on Maltese authorities

Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood and Tom Watson among those calling for more to be done to investigate murder of journalist Daphne Caruana GaliziaMalta’s government has been told to take urgent action to implement EU anti-money laundering rules, as MEPs rang the alarm about the dangers for journalists investigating financial crime following the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.The pressure intensified as the country’s prime minister, Joseph Muscat, attended the Commonwealth heads of government summit in London amid further calls for him to provide reassurance that her death is being fully and impartially investigated. Continue reading...

19 апреля, 19:36

Queen suggests Prince Charles should be next Commonwealth head

Wish expressed as leaders of member states meet in London for biennial two-day summitThe Queen has expressed her desire for Prince Charles to succeed her as the leader of the Commonwealth, voicing her views the day before top government officials from the 53-nation body meet at Windsor Castle to discuss the issue.Her unusually candid declaration was made at what will almost certainly be her last attendance at the Commonwealth heads of government meeting (CHOGM) as she welcomed presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers to the two-day biennial summit at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Continue reading...

19 апреля, 11:50

Commonwealth summit: can Britain still shape the world post-Brexit?

International trade is firmly on the agenda as the group of 53 disparate nations meet in LondonAny 80-year-old institution based on the contours of a defunct 19th-century empire and largely held together by the charming drive of a 91-year-old woman is going to struggle to prove it is relevant. Described once in the New Statesman by James Fenton as “one of the world’s least obnoxious institutions”, the Commonwealth can probably only ever aspire to faint praise. In an already overcrowded schedule of diplomatic summits, this is the Zombie Summit, a biennial gathering of whimsy that refuses to die.Not surprisingly, the task of finding a thematic rationale for a Commonwealth summit of 53 nations, the first to be held in the UK since 1997, is not simple. It was the unlucky lot of the 70-strong Cabinet Office unit planning for the summit’s welcome that a sequence of decisions taken by the UK Border Force and former home secretary Theresa May on Commonwealth citizens up to five years earlier meant the headlines in the run-up to the summit were chiefly about rejection. The true motive of the British prime minister, it appeared, had been to a create a hostile environment for Commonwealth citizens, and to remove what they had assumed were unchallengeable rights. As PR disasters go, they rarely come much worse. Continue reading...

18 апреля, 20:00

Commonwealth youth forced to pay thousands or risk 'illegal' status

Young people who came to UK as children apply to university only to discover they have no access to student financeEscalating Home Office immigration fees are jeopardising the futures of many young people from Commonwealth countries who have lawfully grown up in the UK, putting them at risk of becoming “illegal”, say campaigners.In the wake of the Windrush scandal, 16-to-24-year-olds have called on Amber Rudd, the home secretary, to “freeze our fees” in a Downing Street protest designed to highlight how lawful young migrants are also under threat from the government’s hostile environment policy Continue reading...

18 апреля, 15:09

Only Brexit could inspire this cynical, lost empire vision of Commonwealth | Peter Beaumont

As its leaders meet for their biennial junket, the institution itself is floundering, used to advance a glib view of trade as the answer to povertySurveying the paucity of mentions of the Commonwealth in British political party manifestos in 2015, Philip Murphy, the professor of British and Commonwealth history at the School of Advanced Study, identified two trends to explain what he believed was its looming irrelevance.“All in all,” he mused in an essay for the Conversation, “it is difficult to think of a single major achievement of the Commonwealth since 2010. Continue reading...

18 апреля, 14:38

‘Act Jamaican,’ they said when they deported me. But I’m British | Michelle Blake

Growing up in England was hard, but the Home Office made everything so much worse when they put me on a planeI was 27 when I was deported from the UK to Jamaica, so I am not a Windrush migrant – but my great grandparents were. They moved to the UK in the early 1950s. Over time, they invited their children over, and most of my family have always lived in England.That’s the thing with Jamaicans: there’s as many of us abroad as “back home”, and migration is a way of life. Or rather, migration is a means of survival. Our families are transnational – we live between places. And so when my mum moved to the UK, in 2000, she sent for me two years later. Continue reading...

18 апреля, 09:00

The Commonwealth can kickstart a global offensive on climate change | Jacinda Ardern

The task ahead is immense, but New Zealanders know it can be achieved. We have a proud history of this kind of leadershipLeaders of Commonwealth nations are meeting in London this week instead of the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu because things did not go according to plan. In 2015, cyclone Pam roared across Vanuatu, knocking out power, crippling water systems and levelling homes, schools and churches.In only 24 hours, the storm dashed the island nation’s hopes of hosting the Commonwealth summit. Three years later, many communities have yet to fully recover, in a place where the impact of a changing climate is on full display. Continue reading...

17 апреля, 20:47

What is the Commonwealth if not the British Empire 2.0? | Afua Hirsch

While Britain is proud of the institution, its black and brown people are regarded with contemptCongratulations must go this week to Prince Charles, who has overcome some really tough competition to win Britain’s backing as the best candidate for the role of new head of the Commonwealth. It’s a surprising outcome for such a wide-open recruitment process. I hope other applicants feel assured that this was purely on merit.In all seriousness, who else other than the heir to the British throne, after all, could be better qualified to lead the contemporary manifestation of the British empire? It would just be so much easier if all concerned simply admitted this reality: the Commonwealth is a vessel of former colonies with the former imperial master at its helm. Or, as I like to call it, Empire 2.0. Continue reading...

17 апреля, 04:08

Commonwealth leaders could choose next head after Queen this week

Ahead of leaders’ retreat, Theresa May makes clear that UK backs Prince Charles as next symbolic leader of organisationCommonwealth leaders could decide this week on who takes over from the Queen as head of the organisation, Downing Street has said.The news came as Theresa May prepared to address her fellow national leaders on Tuesday. The prime minister is expected to urge the Commonwealth to engage and inspire the next generation, and to pledge £212m to help a million girls get a better education. Continue reading...

16 апреля, 20:18

I’ll fight for the Windrush generation – their treatment has been shameful | David Harewood

Commonwealth migrants faced awful racism in the 50s and 60s. It makes me angry that today they are still fighting for respectThese past few days I have been thinking a lot about the Windrush generation – the migrants who arrived in Britain, at the invitation of the UK government, in the early postwar years. I flew home to London last Friday for my grandmother Mazie Wilkinson’s funeral, amid headlines about people who had been raised in Britain, and lived and worked here all their adult lives, being denied rights to healthcare and even threatened with deportation.Mazie was the towering matriarch of our family and the only woman I knew who could terrify me and make me howl with laughter all in a single phone call. I thought her funeral was going to be a sad occasion but to my surprise it was the most wonderful day, with as much laughter as tears as members of my family from America to the Caribbean gathered to pay respects. Continue reading...

16 апреля, 16:38

Britain is wrongly deporting Commonwealth nationals – this must stop now | Kate Osamor

In the week of the summit, the Windrush generation should be spared the nightmare of searching for papers they were never asked to keep• Kate Osamor is MP for Edmonton and shadow secretary of state for international developmentRichard Stewart is one of my constituents in Edmonton, where I am the member of parliament. He came to the UK from Jamaica in 1955, aged 10, and has lived here and paid taxes for over six decades. He even played for Middlesex county cricket club. However, in 2013 he was told by the Home Office that he had lost his British nationality when Jamaica declared independence in 1962. He has faced uncertainty over his legal status ever since.Trevor Lloyd Johnson is another constituent. He arrived from Jamaica in 1971, almost four decades ago, aged 10. Trevor was threatened with the possibility of deportation, and his family has spent the last few months in a nightmare of Home Office bureaucracy, tracking down historical documents that he was never asked to hold on to in the first place. He had to do so to prove his right not to be deported. Continue reading...

16 апреля, 12:53

May leads with coldness and cruelty. Just ask the children of Windrush | Hugh Muir

Ministers choose not to solve this immigration debacle, steered by a leader who has form in making people’s lives a miseryOne of the most appalling elements of the Windrush generation immigration scandal is that the mess is so easily fixable. The government has long had the right and the facility to grant indefinite leave to remain to those whose presence in the country may be technically questionable but socially desirable. That it has chosen not to do so tells us much, as does today’s revelation that No 10 has snubbed a plea from Commonwealth heads of government for talks about the debacle.The government has not acted decisively so far because it has not felt compelled to do so. For many months now, the Guardian reporter Amelia Gentleman has trodden a lonely path in trying to highlight these stories, without exciting the sort of supplementary interest from other media that might persuade ministers and their advisers that failure to do so placed their own futures in jeopardy. But in recent days, other newspapers and broadcasters have begun to expose the government’s failure to act. The equation, and with it the level of risk to politicians and bureaucrats, has changed. That speaks to the power of the media even now to hold the system to account, a vital component of our democracy. But it also says some sorry things about Theresa May and those who do her bidding. Continue reading...