The Daily Visionary: Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Resistance for the U.N. global migration pact grows as international law attempts to undermine national law


Does international law trump national law? The United Nations (U.N.) believes it does, as it hosts member countries in Morocco on December 10 to sign the Global Migration Compact, which holds the potential to create a borderless world that allows any person from anywhere to enter any country and making immigration law obsolete. The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was agreed to in July 2018 by all U.N. member nations, except the United States, when President Donald Trump declared, “We will decide how best to control our borders and who will be allowed to enter our country… The global approach in the [compact] is simply not compatible with U.S. sovereignty.


Despite European Union (E.U.) Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker urging member states to back the U.N.’s migration pact, and calling opponents “stupid populists”, at least six E.U. states have already shunned the accord to regulate the treatment of migrants worldwide.


Human rights are not respected internally in the majority of countries across the globe, and the ability for international entities to enforce their human rights standards nationally does not have a track record of accomplishment. Europeans across the region increasingly disapprove of accepting refugees and migrants following the greatest uncontrolled influx of people into Europe since World War Two beginning in late 2014, which continues to turn public opinion negatively.


Globalist policy continues to create resistance toward legitimate refugees in otherwise tolerant and open western societies, with political ramifications. There are great misgivings from opposing countries, who question the implications of the thirty-four-page document, which outlines a foreign national’s right to access to work, education, and healthcare, as well as their families, regardless of skill. Will a country’s native citizens be financially required to pay for the services migrants benefit from? In accordance with the compact, if international law takes precedence for migrants then they are essentially an elite group above national law, putting them in opposition to a country’s native citizens by holding them to different legal standards, whereas a country's native citizens would not have the same level of legal representation as they continue to abide by national law.


National responses to the Compact:


·         An official petition urging the British government to reject the compact has over 90,000 signatures, which becomes an issue for debate in Parliament at 100,000.

·         The issue has led to a government crisis in Belgium where the left-wing Premier wants to sign but the right-wing N-VA party threatens to bring down the government’s ruling coalition if he does.

·         Austria has said it will not sign, in addition to Italy.

·         In the Netherlands, a recent opinion poll showed 41 percent of people are against signing the pact versus 34 percent in favor.

·         In the German Parliament, Alternative for Germany (AfD) Leader Alexander Gauland said, "Millions of people from crisis-stricken regions around the world are being encouraged to get on the road. Leftist dreamers and globalist elites want to secretly turn our country from a nation state into a settlement area." The German government is under no obligation to ask for the parliament's approval to ratify the non-legally binding compact.

·         Eastern European countries including the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia have renounced the compact.

·         Australia has also quit.

·         Canada appears ready to sign the compact, as they are sending a representative to the December 10 meeting.


On creating two tiers of citizenry, of native nationals versus foreign nationals:


"Facilitate access to procedures for family reunification for migrants at all skills levels through appropriate measures that promote the realization of the right to family life and the best interests of the child, including by reviewing and revising applicable requirements, such as on income, language proficiency, length of stay, work authorization, and access to social security and services."


On shaping and controlling public discourse, dialogue, criticism, and opinion by using language to define specific meaning:


"Promote independent, objective and quality reporting of media outlets, including internet-based information, including by sensitizing and educating media professionals on migration-related issues and terminology, investing in ethical reporting standards and advertising, and stopping allocation of public funding or material support to media outlets that systematically promote intolerance, xenophobia, racism and other forms of discrimination towards migrants, in full respect for the freedom of the media.”

Read the full Global Migration Compact document

Photo Credit: Israeli Government Press Office

Photo Credit: Israeli Government Press Office

Hezbollah digs attack tunnels from Lebanon into Israel


Israel has launched an operation to “expose and thwart” cross-border attack tunnels from Lebanon dug by the Iran-backed Lebanese movement Hezbollah. The army said the operation was for now confined to Israel and did not extend into Lebanon, where the tunnels originated. Israel’s vulnerability to tunnels was laid bare during its war with Palestinian militant group Hamas in Gaza in 2014 when Palestinian militants used dozens of secret passages dug from Gaza into Israel to carry out ambushes.


Israel released video footage of digging and pile-driving equipment at work in unidentified locations, carrying out what it said were “tactical preparations to expose Hezbollah’s offensive cross-border tunnel project”.  It later published a photograph of a tunnel that it said it had uncovered. Israel said the tunnel originated under a house around the Lebanese village of Kfar Kila and crossed the border near Israel’s northernmost town, Metula. The Israeli military said the tunnels were not yet operational but posed “an imminent threat” to civilians and constituted “a flagrant and severe violation of Israeli sovereignty”. It said the army had boosted its presence and readiness and was prepared for “various scenarios” with an operation that could take weeks.


In September, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu identified three locations in Lebanon where, he said, Hezbollah was converting “inaccurate projectiles” into precision-guided missiles, something Lebanon’s government has denied. Last month, P.M. Netanyahu also hinted at an upcoming Israeli offensive during a televised address but did not give details. Today, P.M. Netanyahu the Iran-backed Shi’ite militia Hezbollah had dug cross-border tunnels from Lebanon to insert militants into northern Israel.


P.M. Netanyahu met with United States (U.S.) Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday in Brussels to update him on the imminent tunnel operation. “Whoever tries to harm Israel will pay a heavy price,” Netanyahu said in a statement after returning to Israel early in the morning.


The Lebanese army said it was carrying out normal operations along the border in coordination with UNIFIL peacekeeping forces. It said the military was “fully prepared to face any emergency.” Its Arabic media spokesman posted a message on Twitter warning the Lebanese army and Hezbollah to stay away, saying, “Your lives are in danger, you have been warned.”


Photo Credit: Canadian Press

Photo Credit: Canadian Press

Canadian Premiers demand oil 'crisis' be on the agenda at the first ministers' meeting agenda


On Friday’s agenda for the First Ministers’ Meeting among Canadian Premiers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are economic topics of job creation, trade diversification, and competitiveness. When the initial draft of the agenda did not include discussion for the energy industry, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe sent a joint letter to the Prime Minister, stating, “Our country is losing $80 million dollars a day because we cannot get tide water access and world prices for Alberta's oil and gas. As proposed, the meeting agenda does not include any discussion on the crisis facing the energy industry and the price differential that is crippling the Alberta, Saskatchewan and Canadian economies. We request that Energy Market Access and the Economic Impacts of the Price Differential be added as an agenda item for discussion this week.”


The Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement that there will be discussion about the price differential within the context of other planned topics, however, they did not commit to discussing the oil price plunge outside of those contexts. Other expected topics at the meeting, which also includes Indigenous leaders, are the new version of NAFTA, trade between provinces and territories, and a push for increased interconnectedness in the Canadian economy.


After Canadian crude dropped as low as USD $14 a barrel in November, Premier Notley announced Alberta will cut back oil production by 8.7 percent starting in January and plans to purchase rail cars despite the federal government being unresponsive to requests to help fund the purchase.


Tensions are boiling over in Alberta, which has been feeling the economic and social strain of the prolonged recession since 2014 due to low prices and lack of access to tidewater. Prime Minister Trudeau and several federal ministers that recently visited the province have been greeted by thousands of pro-energy demonstrations.


Premier Moe said any cut in Saskatchewan’s production will hurt conventional oil production and would have little impact on the price of oil and demanded Ottawa get serious about stalled and cancelled pipeline projects. “A clear failure of the federal government to build pipelines and ensure market access for our energy products has had a great cost on the economy and the people of Saskatchewan," he said.


Photo Credit: Reuters

Photo Credit: Reuters

President Macron backs off fuel-tax increases in face of 'yellow vest' protests


French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has suspended planned increases to fuel taxes, set for January, for at least six months in response to weeks of protests with the time being used to discuss other measures to help the working poor and squeezed middle-class who rely on vehicles to get to work and go shopping. In his announcement, P.M. Philippe said anyone would have “to be deaf or blind” not to see or hear the roiling anger on the streets over a policy that Macron has defended as critical to combating climate change.


The French who have donned yellow vests want taxes to drop, and work to pay. That’s also what we want. If I didn’t manage to explain it, if the ruling majority didn’t manage to convince the French, then something must change,” said P.M. Philippe, “No tax is worth jeopardizing the unity of the nation.”


The “yellow vest” movement, which started on November 17 as a social-media protest group named for the high-visibility jackets all motorists in France carry in their cars, began with the aim of highlighting the squeeze on household spending brought about by President Macron’s taxes on fuel. It has developed over the past three weeks into a broader anti-Macron backlash, with many criticizing the president for pursuing policies they say favor the rich and do nothing to help the poor. Over the past two days, ambulance drivers and students have joined in and launched their own protests.


President Macron is a 40-year-old former investment banker and economy minister who won the federal election eighteen months ago promising to overhaul the French economy, revitalize growth, and draw foreign investment by making the nation a more attractive place to do business. He has since been called the “president of the rich” by some for seeming to do more to court big business and ease the tax burden on the wealthy and discontent has steadily risen among blue-collar workers and others who feel he represents an urban ‘elite’.


Ahead of European Parliament elections next May, support for the far-right under Marine Le Pen and the far-left of Jean-Luc Melenchon has been rising. Macron has cast those elections as a battle between his “progressive” ideas and what he sees as their promotion of nationalist or anti-EU agendas. The protests have highlighted wider international sentiment that governments are tackling climate change by making people poorer, by cutting carbon emissions through average citizens while offering subsidies for green energy.


Photo Credit: Parliament Live TV

Photo Credit: Parliament Live TV

British P.M. May's government loses contempt vote over Brexit legal advice


The British government was found in contempt of Parliament for refusing to release its full legal advice on Brexit, ahead of five days of debate on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal leading to a vote by Members of Parliament (MPs) on December 11 on whether to accept or deny the deal. The motion was backed by 311-293 in a vote on Tuesday and found ministers in contempt of Parliament, ordering the immediate publication of the advice. The government will now publish the full legal advice on Britain’s exit from the European Union (E.U.).


The Government's defeat is a landmark moment which effectively sees Parliament claw back more power over the executive and ends the longstanding principle of confidentiality and legal privilege. The contempt vote centres on the refusal by ministers to release the legal advice given by the Attorney General Geoffrey Cox to the Prime Minister, despite Parliament passing a motion demanding that it be made available. Whilst MPs argued that the gravity of the vote due to take place next week warranted the publication of the advice, the Government has insisted that doing so would run contrary to the public interest and would harm its negotiating position.


Instead, P.M. May dispatched Mr. Cox to the House of Commons Monday afternoon to answer hours of enquiries from backbench MPs. This was the first time in nearly forty years that an Attorney General has taken questions on legal advice, which is normally treated as privileged information between lawyer and client and which cannot be disclosed.


Mr. Cox’s efforts did not satisfy the four opposition parties, or the Democratic Unionist Party, who submitted a joint letter to the Speaker, John Bercow, asking that he trigger contempt proceedings. He obliged, meaning that the Government now finds itself in an unprecedented situation in which ministers, for the first time, could be found in contempt and facing sanctions which, in their most extreme form, could result in suspension or permanent expulsion from Parliament.


Senior fellow at the Institute for Government Catherine Haddon said the opposition wanted to use “every opportunity they have to show the instability of the government” and that the contempt motion was a “show of force” which could foreshadow both the final vote on the deal and the various amendments MPs are trying to attach to it.


Andrea Leadsom, Leader of the House of Commons, said this had been a “full and frank exposition” and that releasing the full advice would set a dangerous precedent. Ms. Leadsom said the government, which had sought to slow down the process by referring the issue to Parliament’s Committee of Privileges, had fulfilled the spirit of the order to publish. "We've listened carefully and in light of the expressed will of the House we will publish the final and full advice provided by the Attorney General to Cabinet but, recognising the very serious constitutional issues this raises, I have referred the matter to the privileges committee to consider the implications of the humble address," she said.

If you enjoyed these news stories, please consider becoming a patron of The Visionable