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Celerity's Journal
Celerity's Journal
October 1, 2019

NECE Conference "Confronting Inequalities! The Role of Citizenship Education", 24 - 27 October 2019

Glasgow, UK.

The NECE Conference 2019 will take place from 24-27 October 2019 in Glasgow and will be opened by British bestseller author Darren McGarvey (“Poverty Safari: Understanding the Anger of the British Underclass”). More than 20 workshops, presentations, discussions, excursions, a project market and two open spaces will tackle the challenges of growing inequality and social political transformation at different levels.



Confronting Inequalities! The Role of Citizenship Education
24 – 27 October 2019, Glasgow

Set against the ongoing drama of Brexit, NECE is coming to Glasgow in an attempt to explore the issue of inequalities and their effects on the development of young people’s political identity. We are particularly interested in the way in which deprivation (especially in the context of widening inequality) affects the thinking of young people with regard to themselves as citizens of a city, a country or of the international community.
If citizenship education supplies knowledge and promotes participation among structurally disadvantaged groups, it may support them to raise their voices in a public discussion and defend their interests as citizens of a democratic society. Can and should citizenship educators be more focussed on working with disadvantaged groups, thereby contributing to social and political change?
What kind of knowledge and critical reflection are needed for such an engagement to be successful?

NECE 2019 will explore these core questions by inviting leading scholars, practitioners and initiatives from civil society from all over Europe, the Southern Mediterranean and Eastern partnership countries. They will present new research, new reflections and new examples of good practice in citizenship education. More than 20 lectures, workshops and panels and two ‘Open Spaces’ will provide a platform which may help to develop ideas for an adaption of tools and instruments in and out of schools towards the disadvantaged youth (and citizens).

Last but not least: only a few days away from Brexit day (aka Halloween) the conference will host a transnational discussion of the implications of new inequalities and divides caused by Brexit.

Glasgow, the biggest city of Scotland, offers an ideal setting to host a conference on inequalities and citizenship education. With its heritage of industrialisation, post-industrial decline and social movements it provides an opportunity to learn about the still existing evidence of extreme inequalities and poverty. At the same time, a vibrant civil, technological and cultural scene is waiting for us to be explored. Field trips to key areas and initiatives related to citizenship education are part of the program.

NECE has formed partnerships with important citizenship education initiatives in Scotland such as Goethe-Institut, IDEAS, WOSDEC, Leeds Beckett University as as well as with the Institute for Future Cities at the University of Strathclyde. Local schools will show how they promote citizenship in areas of multiple deprivation. Darren McGarvey, author of the bestseller “Poverty Safari: Understanding the Anger of the British Underclass”, will open the conference with his critical examination of narratives that surround poverty and social deprivation.


Discover the conference programme!

Also take a look at the programme of the PARALLEL SESSIONS.

Download the full programme as PDF.

Want to know more about the concept behind this year’s conference topic? Have a look at the conceptual note by NECE Advisory Board member Michalis Kakos, Leeds Beckett University. Download here the compact short version or the in-depth long version.
September 30, 2019

The Plunder of the Commons - A Manifesto for Sharing Public Wealth

Watch Social Europe Editor-in-Chief Henning Meyer in conversation with Guy Standing. They discuss the plunder of the commons and ways to share public wealth, the topic of Guy Standing's most recent book published by Pelican Books.

Guy Standing is a British professor of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN).

If you like our podcast you might also find our regular articles, blogs and other written publications of interest. Just visit our website www.socialeurope.eu to read our latest output. If you want to stay up-to-date with all things Social Europe just sign up to our regular newsletter. You can do so on our website.
September 27, 2019

Reporters Should Stop Helping Donald Trump Spread Lies About Joe Biden and Ukraine


By Robert Mackey

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP appears increasingly desperate to deflect questions about the flagrant abuse of power he seems to have committed this summer by withholding aid to Ukraine as he pressed that country’s new president to open an investigation into the false claim that Joe Biden abused his power as vice president to protect his son’s business interests in Ukraine in 2015.

Since the news broke that Trump repeatedly pressed his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, to open an investigation into Biden, while delaying $250 million in military aid to Ukraine, the president has urged reporters again and again to look instead at the viral conspiracy theory that the former vice president had admitted on camera that he blackmailed Ukraine’s former president.

In fact, as a detailed review of the evidence conducted by The Intercept in May showed, Biden’s intervention in Ukrainian affairs that year, when he successfully pressed Ukraine’s then-president to dismiss a chief prosecutor who had failed to pursue corruption investigations, was no secret and was widely praised by Ukrainian anti-corruption activists and international donors to the country.

The reason there is footage of Biden boasting about this intervention on stage at a public event in 2018 is that he knew he had nothing to hide. Put simply, there is no evidence to support the conspiracy theory that Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani want Ukraine to validate by opening an investigation. Still, it has become an article of faith among Trump supporters that Biden got the chief prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, dismissed to derail a corruption investigation of a Ukrainian firm his son was paid to advise.

But journalists at leading American news organizations — including CNN, the New York Times, Politico, ABC News, and MSNBC — have helped weaponize this disinformation by repeating the baseless smear over and over, without promptly and accurately conveying that Trump and Giuliani are lying about what the former vice president did in Ukraine. So lies and misinformation have been broadcast nationwide, reaching millions of people who will never read subsequent fact checks debunking them.


Robert Mackey writes about national and international news through the prism of social media. Before joining The Intercept as a Senior Writer, he was a reporter and columnist for the New York Times, where he anchored the newspaper’s breaking news blog, The Lede, for five years, and wrote a news analysis column, Open Source, from 2014 to 2016. His work is focused on making sense of events through the close reading of firsthand accounts, photographs, and video posted on social networks by witnesses and participants.

His writing has also appeared in the New York Times Magazine, GQ, Slate, and The Guardian.

the original article from May that destroys the anti-Biden rot :

A Republican Conspiracy Theory About a Biden-in-Ukraine Scandal Has Gone Mainstream. But It Is Not True.

September 26, 2019

BBC : White House 'tried to cover up details of Trump-Ukraine call'


Senior White House officials tried to "lock down" all details of a phone call between Donald Trump and the Ukrainian president, according to a whistleblower complaint against the US president. In the call, Mr Trump pushed Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his leading domestic political rival, Joe Biden.

The newly released complaint says the call transcript was not stored in the usual computer system. Instead it was stored in a separate system used for classified information.

Nancy Pelosi, the most senior Democrat, announced on Tuesday that the party was pushing ahead with a formal impeachment inquiry against the Republican president.

She accused Mr Trump of seeking foreign help in the hope of smearing Mr Biden - who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election - and of using military aid to Ukraine as a bargaining tool.

September 26, 2019

Barr is a nightmare, his grubby little hands are all over this, he is completely compromised and is,

also, unfortunately, extraordinarily clever and ruthless. We have a tripartite cabal of pure evil, working in unison to destroy the nation: Trump, Moscow Mitch, and Barr.

September 26, 2019

Roundup of many (28) current articles on the Trump/Ukraine Scandal with links to all


U.S. President Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to work with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr to “look into” his Democratic political rival Joe Biden, a five-page White House memo summarizing the July 25 call between the two leaders revealed yesterday. The disclosure came a day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an official impeachment inquiry following an unidentified whistleblower’s complaint regarding alleged violations by Trump. Devlin Barrett, Matt Zapotosky, Carol D. Leonnig and Shane Harris report at the Washington Post.

“I would like you to do us a favor,” Trump said, according to the call readout, after his Ukrainian counterpart brought up receiving military aid from the U.S.. “I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation in Ukraine ... there’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son … that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great,” Trump said to Zelensky. “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it ... it sounds horrible to me,” Trump continued. Rebecca Ballhaus, Sadie Gurman and Dustin Volz report at the Wall Street Journal.

The rough transcription of the call does not include any reference to the aid funding that Trump allegedly directed his acting chief of staff to withhold from Ukraine a few days before the call took place. However, the U.S president mentioned several times how the U.S. spends “a lot of effort and a lot of time” helping Ukraine. Caitlin Oprysko reports at POLITICO.

Trump insisted yesterday that he placed “no pressure” on Zelensky to investigate Biden. When asked by reporters about their July telephone call, Zelensky said it was a “normal" and “good phone call,” and that he and Trump discussed “many things,” adding “nobody pushed me;” the pair met yesterday on the sidelines of the annual U.N. General Assembly. Michael D. Shear and Maggie Haberman report at the New York Times.

“No push, no pressure, no nothing — it’s all a hoax, folks … it’s all a big hoax,” Trump told reporters, calling scrutiny of the conversation “a joke … impeachment for that?” Philip Rucker, Rachael Bade and Robert Costa reports at the Washington Post.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the summary of the phone conversation between Trump and Ukraine’s president confirmed the need for an impeachment inquiry of Trump. “The release of the notes of the call by the White House confirms that the President engaged in behavior that undermines the integrity of our elections, the dignity of the office he holds and our national security,” Pelosi said in a statement. CNN reports.

House Democrats have suggested making their impeachment inquiry narrowly focussed on Trump and his dealings with Ukraine, after months of House committee hearings on a range of other activities by the president. According to Democratic lawmakers and aides familiar with the talks, Pelosi proposed during a leadership meeting yesterday morning that the consideration of articles of impeachment should “focus exclusively on Trump’s efforts to push Zelensky to investigate Biden.” Kyle Cheney, Andrew Desiderio and Heather Caygle report at POLITICO.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell did not appear troubled by the content of the readout of Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president and said it is “laughable to think this is anywhere close to an impeachable offense.” MConnell suggested Democrats were “overreaching” with their impeachment inquiry of Trump: “I’ve read the summary of the call … if this is the ‘launching point’ for House Democrats’ impeachment process, they’ve already overplayed their hand,” McConnell said, adding “it’s clear there is no quid pro quo that the Democrats were desperately praying for.” Burgess Everett reports at POLITICO.

Justice Department officials dropped an inquiry into Trump’s communications with his Ukrainian counterpart about investigating Biden after less than a month, sparking concerns among Democrats that the law enforcement agency is acting as a “shield” for the president. Just weeks after intelligence officials referred the matter to the Justice Department and F.B.I. as a possible violation of campaign-finance law, the head of the department’s criminal division concluded there was not sufficient cause to even open an investigation, senior Justice Department officials said. Matt Zapotosky and Devlin Barrett report at the Washington Post.

“The U.S. Senate intelligence panel should probe Trump’s handling of Ukraine,” Senate minority leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters yesterday after the release of the White House memo. Schumer said the transcript “raised a number of questions that Republicans should also want answered.” Reuters reports.

Giuliani is facing scrutiny, after details of the call bolster the view of some U.S. officials that the lawyer “operates at the president’s behest, often in a closed loop, and occasionally in contravention to the messages of diplomats in Kiev,” John Hudson reports at the Washington Post.

The call’s reconstruction has also raised questions about Trump’s relationship with Barr and whether the president regards Barr as his political ally and legal protector, rather than as the nation’s top law enforcement officer. Julia Ainsley reports at NBC.


A line-by-line analysis of U.S. President Trump’s conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that launched an impeachment inquiry is provided by Natasha Bertrand at POLITICO.

Key takeaways from the Trump-Zelensky call are suggested by Brett Samuels and Morgan Chalfant at the Hill and Charlie Savage and Adam Goldman at the New York Times.

A guide to where House Democrats stand on impeaching Trump is provided by JM Rieger, Amber Phillips and Kevin Schaul at the Washington Post.

A roundup of eight legal experts’ opinion on “whether the president’s phone call with the Ukrainian president was an abuse of power — and if not, what the House would need to learn to arrive at an answer,” is provided by POLITICO Magazine.

Did Trump leverage a missile sale to Ukraine for political gain? Lara Seligman and Amy Mackinnon try to shed some light at Foreign Policy.

“Trump has confirmed that, at a minimum, he heavily pressured a foreign leader to intervene in the 2020 election, while dangling a political favor and withholding congressionally approved aid,” the Washington Post editorial board argues, commenting that “the integrity of U.S. democracy depends on how Congress and the nation respond.”

“Ukrainegate is nothing like Russiagate.” Elias Groll at Foreign Policy explains why Trump has a “far more damaging scandal on his hands.”

“Trump’s alleged conduct toward Ukraine can be characterized as bribery, extortion and abuse of power … but, if true, it also constitutes another wrong — honest services fraud,” Barbara McQuade argues at Just Security.


Members of U.S. Congress saw for the first time yesterday a whistleblower complaint filed by an intelligence official against U.S President Trump at the center of the Trump-Ukraine scandal that has led to calls for his impeachment. Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee offered wide descriptions of the declassified whistleblower complaint, which relates to Trump’s communications with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, describing the document as both “troubling” and “credible.” Olivia Beavers and Juliegrace Brufke report at the Hill.

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said he found the allegations “deeply disturbing,” but believes the whistleblower’s complaint was “well written” and “credible,” and felt it provided members with more threads to investigate. The complaint, which, according to Schiff “exposed serious wrongdoing,” could be released as soon as this morning, Dana Bash, Zachary Cohen, Ted Barrett and Jim Acosta report at CNN.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that he was “even more worried” about the whistleblower complaint after reviewing it yesterday. In a statement, he called for its immediate release, saying: “the public has a right to read the whistle-blower’s complaint for themselves … the contents of the complaint should be made public immediately.” Jordain Carney reports at the Hill.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said the complaint contained “lots that’s very troubling,” and urged his colleagues not to dismiss it, after reading the document. Reuters reports.

The intelligence officer who filed the complaint raised concerns not only about what the two leaders said in a phone call — but also about how the White House handled records of the conversation, two people briefed on the complaint said. Charlie Savage, Michael S. Schmidt and Julian E. Barnes report at the New York Times.

Acting Director of National Intelligence (D.N.I.) Joseph Maguire reportedly threatened to resign over concerns the White House might press him to withhold information from Congress in scheduled testimony before the House Intelligence Committee today regarding the whistleblower complaint. Maguire reportedly said he was “not willing to stonewall Congress,” claims he later denied in a statement: “at no time have I considered resigning my position since assuming this role … I am committed to leading the Intelligence Community to address the diverse and complex threats facing our nation,” the statement said. Greg Miller, Shane Harris and Karoun Demirjian report at the Washington Post.

The disclosure to Congress of the whistleblower’s complaint came as the number of House members supporting an impeachment inquiry reached 218 — 217 Democrats and independent Rep. Justin Amash — a critical milestone that indicates there is a majority in the House willing to at least consider drafting and voting on articles of impeachment. Kyle Cheney reports at POLITICO.

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