I have a number of US facebook friends, one of whom put this article about the Alabama Senate approving a private church police force. Apart from the US’s prohibition on the establishment of religion, this raises interesting questions on the way in which police and prosecution decisions are or should be accountable to the public. If one looks at “Jennifer Government” one can see the end game of the privatisation agenda.

While in the UK (I think, but certainly in England and Wales) we have a public interest test in any decision to prosecute which is taken by the Crown Prosecution Service, there are at least two weaknesses in the establishment of public accountability.

The first is that we allow private prosecutions of criminal offences. Is this a problem? In theory maybe not because Judges need to decide if the proposed prosecutor has “standing” but that is all, they do not apply a public interest test. They decided that William Rees Mogg did not have standing when he tried to have Harry Hewitt prosecuted for treason, but did permit the Federation Against Software Theft to bring an eventually successful private prosecution against Anton Vickerman for copyright fraud after the CPS had decided it wasn’t in the public interest. The other problem is that the Police are taking sponsorship, in the City, some police cars have been seen with BUPA advertisements, and football clubs have had to contribute to the policing cost of their games and grounds.


It’s getting interesting in France, has Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the Union de la Gauche, overtaken Fillon to become 3rd in the polls for the election of the President, after Le Pen (Fascist) and Macron (Centrist).  Yet again the fate of the incumbent Socialist Party must be a lesson for social democrats around the world.


I re-read Greiner’s Evolution and Revolutions as Organisations grow. He argues that the growth of companies meet crises, the resolution of which change and shape the next stage of development and that companies go through creativity, direction, delegation, co-ordination and collaboration stages. As ever, I fail to see the compulsion and inexorability of each succeeding stage but the causes of potential stagnation and the need to respond by changing the management style and tools are insightful.

I wonder where today’s exemplar corporates are on this curve, or is software different?

Time managment

This article on the LSE European Politics blog examines the proposition that the accession of Eastern Europe, post soviet states led to a decision sclerosis in the European Union. One of Dimiter Toshkov’s analytic tools examines the average speed of decisions taken as well as analysing the number of times each country votes “No” and wins. I also like his charting techniques.

The issue of delay reminded me of the time I looked at votes/MEP and the amount of time an MEP might get in Parliament. I was exploring increasing the size of the Parliament …. but doing so at the scale I was considering would have an adverse impact on the time each MEP might get to speak. This implies the need to deploy a parallelism by having more committees and commissions that can meet at the same time. There’s probably a limit to the size of a representative assembly but it isn’t the 400-700 that seems popular in the western democracies, many Union conferences are much larger and meet less frequently.


On the GDPR

The week before last, I attended the BCS legal day and have finally published my notes on what is now my essay blog. The priority was the coming General Data Protection Regulation. I prefer to write in a style recognising those who have informed me or changed my mind but the notes have been anonymised as I believe that the day was held under Chatham House rules,  The running order has been changed to make the story better and to conform to my preferred priority order, of principles, rights, obligations and enforcement.  The day consisted of two presentations, entitled “Key Issues”, “the Data Protection Officer” and one on trends in enforcement.


“A data lake is a storage repository that holds a vast amount of raw data in its native format, including structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data. The data structure and requirements are not defined until the data is needed.”

James Dixon, the founder and CTO of Pentaho, although what makes this wisdom is that it’s been repeated.

… whereas a data warehouse, has structure and a schema!


Are the ICO waking up, this seems a bit rough, … as it fines Flybe and Honda. There are two stories here, two large firms wanted to confirm that they had consents and so wrote to their list to ask if the consents remain in place …. they have been fined; the ICO considered this to be an un-consented bulk email. I wonder if it’s possible to perform this check legally.