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Showing posts from February, 2019

Why are politicans rewarded for incompetence & lies while citizens are punished?

J.E was a nurse, (name withheld) suddenly afflicted with a severe allergic illness. Her lifestyle and work options were unexpectedly limited and she was forced to rely on disability benefit to pay for rent and food. Her benefit payments were halted abruptly in 2016 when she failed to submit a 20 page form on time: “I was in too much pain to write,” she said. (Guardian, Ferguson & Savage 2018)

J.E. explained her difficulties to officials and was told she could take her time. Soon afterwards her landlord told her that her housing benefit had been stopped. Her disability benefits were cut-off because the form was submitted late. Her benefits were eventually reinstated, after weeks of desperate calls and letters. She survived by borrowing money. “The people who work at the DWP simply do not understand the reality of what it’s like to be disabled,” she said. She had been gainfully employed, paid taxes and national insurance until illness forced a dramatic change in lifestyle. She is ex…

Democracy under threat in Poland

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Poland's drift to authoritarian rule is beginning to cause problems in other EU states. Eleven extradition cases are held-up in the Dutch courts, while they ponder whether the defendants can expect a fair trial in Poland. Meanwhile, the Polish deputy justice minister launched an extraordinary homophobic attack against an Irish High Court judge, hearing the case of a Polish man, Artur Celmer. He is accused of illegal drug-trafficking and is fighting extradition back to Poland, claiming he can't rely on a fair trial in his home country. This case has been dragging on, in the Irish courts, since 2017 with no end in sight.

What caused EU27 courts, the EU commission and the European Court of Justice, to question the quality of justice in Poland? And why a is a Polish government minister flinging personal abuse at a judge in another EU state?

The Polish government has enacted a law giving politicians the power to sack judges, or discipline them, at will. This makes it clear to ever…