Chilling Effect

At Conference I have just spoken against the Regulation of Powers Bill/Act at the Home Affairs Policy Seminar. I mentioned that Labour has removed “Economic Security” from the list of grounds for spying on people, but that the authorising of “bulk powers” and the desire of the intelligence services to find bad people by comparing them with good people and the need to trawl all the UK’s Internet traffic is creating/will create a chilling effect on the right to free speech.

I also made the point the Labour Party’s bureaucracy’s similar trawling of people’s social media spores also creates a chilling effect;  there are people in the Party that are avoiding social media other than with friend and family, and even unsure on using the new my Labour app. …

Morning all

The morning session was kicked off by the traditional CAC shenanigans. They had ruled out any discussion on the economy and austerity on the grounds it wasn’t contemporary. Doh! Three organisations moved reference back.

The NEC have collected all their rule changes into a single omnibus amendment, this includes some technical stuff, but also two new members of the NEC appointed by the Leaders of the Scots and Welsh Parties and making voting against a council budget a disciplinary offence.

The use of an omnibus motion was questioned in the reference back debate as was the absence of a debate on the economy and the ruling out of discussion on branch rights in MP selections. I voted to uphold the reference backs, the conference disagreed …

Thirst

I had a great time last night, some friends arranged a get together of some party comrades, not a large meeting but I met two recent joiners and had the chance for a longer chat with someone I’d known for a while. A fascinating wide ranging conversation about how to organise, how change occurs, the impact of the European radical left, ideas from global development politics, the dichotomy between the old and the young and the roots of the current left insurgency in the UK i.e. the life experiences that had led people to where they were.  And people say there’s no thirst for theory! …

Digital inclusions & democracy

Digital inclusions & democracy

25% of the UK population don’t have broadband, this is higher amongst the poor and the old; it generally costs more than the BBC Licence. Also not all internet users are Facebook users. Facebook (& other social media providers) cannot act as a guarantor of identity in government and political business, partly because they’re proprietary, closed source systems and thus users, citizens and judges do not know what the code does. Digital inclusion is still one of the key political issues to be addressed in the internet age, governments and political parties need to step very carefully when they use social media platforms as a means of understanding people’s views; this is before we consider the anti-democratic nature of survey’s and referenda, you can only answer the questions asked, usually in a binary or scalar fashion. It’s not good enough …..oh yeah & open source. …

Provisional Membership

The Labour Party gives itself 8 weeks to check up on new members. During that period the neophyte members may only attend their branches in a non-voting capacity. Rules detailing this process are Appendix 2  Rules1.B viii – xii on pages 61-62 of the 2016 Rule Book. Any rejection by the General Secretary can be appealed. The rules are silent on whether a rejection subject to appeal removes the the rights to attend or whether a stay is implemented until the appeal. …

A second referendum

A second referendum

I was an early supporter of the idea of a second referendum; but it can only be done if the terms of exit are negotiated in good faith, which means by the Tories, and more specifically by the Outers. When initially planned as an article I proposed to enumerate the key leave campaigners revoking  their promises, as I did in my storify, “Referendum Reprise”. Farage on the NHS, Hannam on Immigraton and Johnson proposing EEA membership. My feeling was that May won’t let them, which is why she has appointed Johnson, Davies and Fox to negotiate the departure …

Staged?

Despatches! Huh! I am curious about the phone call the journalist made to an alleged member of the Jeremy for Labour database. It is highly unlikely that they gave prior consent for someone who is not a Momentum/Jeremey for Leader campaigner to make the call. This is what we experts call a failure to provide adequate technical protection because they didn’t vet their agent or manage the recruitment process or mange the actions of their agent ; also didn’t have an adequate data leakage programme. The actions of the journalist we would call a ‘social engineering confidentiality breach or hack’. If they didn’t get permission & consent to use the call on TV from the data subject, that’s an additional crime.

Data Protection, it’s like single market rules, it gets everywhere. Of course it could have been staged. …