UK foreign policy + Brexit fails again: What next? + Polyamory

British foreign policy in the Middle East: A secret history of self interest?

EXCERPT (Consortium News): . . . The presence of British soldiers in Yemen, secretly fighting a war that has brought death, famine and destruction to millions of innocent civilians, raises an age-old question: why does British foreign policy in the Middle East support dictatorships, abuse human rights and prioritize Britain’s power status? It’s tempting to say the reasons are simply geopolitics, oil and other commercial interests. But there is a deeper explanation: Britain, far from being a true democracy, is in reality an oligarchy that promotes the interests of a privileged domestic elite. The idea that Westminster is the “mother of all parliaments,” representing a democratic model for the world, is a cultivated myth.

[...] British foreign policy-making is so centralized that it is akin to an authoritarian regime. A prime minister can send troops into action without even consulting parliament. Britain is currently fighting several covert wars with no parliamentary authorization or debate. Away from Yemen, special forces are operating on the ground in Syria, despite parliament only having approved air strikes against the Islamic State (IS) group. The British covert war in Syria has been going on since 2011, with almost no discussion by elected MPs.

[...] Government policies are meant to be scrutinized by all-party parliamentary committees, but they rarely hold the government to account. They tend to be packed with government supporters who fail to investigate key policies or grill ministers. In the U.K.’s “mainstream” media, many key British foreign policies are not covered at all. [...] Although mainstream articles do reveal aspects of U.K. foreign policy, it is more typical for reporting and commentary to amplify the policies of the state or to spread disinformation. False assumptions pervade the media, such as that U.K. policy in the Middle East is based on support for democracy and human rights.... (MORE - details)

May's Brexit deal fails again - so what is next?

INTRO: Theresa May has failed in her latest bid to persuade MPs to approve her Brexit deal. The prime minister had tried a different approach, asking the Commons to vote on the legally-binding withdrawal agreement alone, rather than with the non-binding plan for the future UK-EU relationship, as happened in the previous two votes. But even that was not enough to secure parliament's backing, as MPs rejected the agreement by 344 votes to 286 - a majority of 58.

It is another major blow for the prime minister, who is running out of options to deliver Brexit and facing mounting pressure to resign. But what happens next? (MORE)

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Brexit’s latest twist? Britain may end up in European election if it doesn’t leave soon

INTRO: Britain’s Parliament voted down Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal for the third time Friday. The vote, which came on the same day that Britain had originally been scheduled to leave the European Union, added another layer of uncertainty to an already unclear path forward. Just days before, Parliament had held a series of “indicative,” nonbinding votes designed to find an alternative to May’s deal. All eight proposals failed to find a majority. The deadline is now April 12 to find a new plan or leave the bloc without a deal.

But if you think this all sounds convoluted, hold onto your hats: It could get more confused still. One possible scenario is that the E.U. grants Britain a longer extension to work out a new deal — and this may mean that three years after voting to leave Europe, Britain would be expected to field candidates in European elections. This is not an unlikely scenario at all. Indeed, it may be as likely as anything else in Brexit’s ongoing chaos. The extension “is almost certain to involve the United Kingdom being required to hold European parliament elections,” May told Britain’s House of Commons on Friday after her vote failed.

The vote in the European Parliament, the only directly elected legislative body of the E.U., is slated to take place May 23-26. These elections are held every five years to select new members of the European Parliament (MEP), with every E.U. citizen over 18 able to vote.... (MORE)

Woman forms polyamorous 'throuple' after moving in with two of her exes

EXCERPT: Mum-of-two Ali Jones is in a relationship with partners Damian and Matty after they decided to have a go at living together as a family. This woman [tattoo artist, Ali Jones, 29, from Cape Town, South Africa] brought together two of her exes to create a polyamorous 'throuple' - and says their relationships have never been better.

[...] "I mean for the most part we all hang out as best friends, but the intimacy we all share together as well as myself with Matty and Damian individually is so incredibly special. We are in a closed polyamorous relationship between the three of us. Which means that there are more than two people in our relationship, but it is not 'open' to sharing intimately or emotionally with other people outside of our triad. We all just balance each other out really well. We all add such different things to each other's lives, so what I get from Damian I may not get from Matty and vice versa.

"The understanding and healing we have all gained through the experiences we have had on our journey together have set the most solid foundation to start a relationship on. There is literally nothing we can't get through together. Our children are two happy, well adapted little humans. They are and always have been, no matter the situation, surrounded by the highest most unconditional love.

"Polyamory is not about being sexually promiscuous. Though we share with each other sexually it is based on connection and the ultimate unconditional love. There are so many types of poly relationships. What we are doing is redefining what is seen as normal constructs of a relationship. Loving more than one person does not make the love you feel for one any less, as when you have a second child, your love multiplies. People will always judge, no matter what you do or who you are. We are happy, our children are happy. We love each other. Need there anything more?" (MORE - details)

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