Secession is a strange, sibilant, lisping sort of a word. Not easy to say after a few schooners. But you can expect to hear more of it in the months ahead. Belgium, Spain, the United Kingdom – perhaps even Australia – are all, to varying degrees, embroiled in the process of national divorce.
Secession is the act of exiting or withdrawing from a political union – in this case a State. When a region seeks to secede from a wider union it does more than simply threaten the geographic integrity of a nation; it undermines the legitimacy of the existing constitutional structures; and as a result it casts doubt on the State’s authority.
Australia is not immune from the secessionist virus, as this headline in The West Australian shows: WA’s a big economy on its own. The article went on to note that an independent WA would be the world’s third richest country in terms of GDP per capita; it would soon over take Portugal and Ireland.
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People from Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland, are often typecast by the British media as violent drunks.
The stereotype has truth to it. Or had. Just like Australians, Scotsmen love to drink and punch people. Glasgow’s got one of the highest rates of alcohol-related violence in the world. Someone having their face slashed from the corners of their mouth to their ears is known as the “Glasgow grin”, which says a lot about the industrial city’s problem with knife crime.
And in 2004, the UN found it to be the murder capital of Europe. Not really a title you want your city to have when you’re a top cop with the local police, as Karyn McCluskey was at the time. Ms McCluskey has been key in turning Glasgow’s fortunes around – and as king-hit violence leaves young men clinging to life around Australia every weekend, there’s plenty we can learn from what this city has achieved.
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