Big Copyright strikes again

Big Copyright strikes again

This time in the European Parliament. They want upload filters and to tax ISSP’s reuse, but you can do something about it.

Last week a committee of MEPs voted 15 – 10, reported here by one of its members, Julia Reda, the sole Pirate Party MEP, in favour of the EU Copyright Directive’s disastrous Article 13. This misguided measure will introduce upload filters that would change the way that much of the Internet works, from free and creative sharing, to one where anything can be removed without warning, by computers. They also voted in favour of Article 11, which Europeanises a German & Spanish law and places a monetary liability on internet software service providers who use snippets of news articles originally published by for-profit publishers.

This article explains why the measures are wrong, and points to the campaign sites. It was amended on the 5th July after the vote to report the result, which was that the Parliament voted to re-open the discussion in plenary.

Here are the votes, interesting splits. …

Labour Party, Affiliates

I welcome CLP affiliations from Trade Unions where it is based on a genuine co-campaigning commitment.

The Labour Party without Unions would be just a bunch of Oxbridge PPEs looking for [parliamentary] seats!

Dianne Abbott MP

I note that only branches of Unions or their national committee may affiliate to a CLP although these affiliations are usually funded from regionally managed political funds. The NEC must agree with the affiliated Unions that they will not subvert the purpose of the branch affiliation rule by exercising decisions given by rule to the affiliating entity i.e. the branch, at another level within the union.

Union branches should be prohibited from affiliating to CLPs unless they conform to the rules and provide the contact details of the branch secretary and nominate 1 or more delegates. (My own union branch has adopted such a policy.)

The discount for Union members joining the LP should be maintained.

TULOs should be executive officers in All Member Managed CLPs. (Affiliate Unions have delegates that vote at branch & delegate CLPs and so the requirement is not so acute.).

I welcome Socialist Societies as affiliates, at their best, they provide sources of expertise, experience and energy. They also allow in some cases non-members to participate in Labour’s policy development and campaigning.

I do not believe that those socialist societies that mirror forum party structures should remain as affiliates (e.g. Labour women’s network, BAME labour, LGBT Labour, Disability Labour), these members should be organised and represented through the Labour Party’s forum structures; this is particularly so for Labour Women’s network as the Party has now established a Woman’s Conference.

[I did not say that maybe we should consider requiring Socialist Societies to be open to all members of the Labour Party, even when their focus may be sectional, obviously not for the forums (or their mirrors).]

Socialist societies and unions should respect and follow all Labour Party rules and processes. The story about some Socialist Societies is worrying, where they allegedly planned to affiliate to multiple CLPs without proving the existence of branches. Only Socialist Society branches may affiliate to CLPs. Socialist Societies should be subject to a democratic audit by the Labour Party; the case of BAME Labour, which would seem to be in breach of both the Party’s rules on size,[1], and the rules on female representation is a case in point, as is the case of the alleged phantom Fabian Society branch in Newham during the Mayoral trigger ballots.

The current socialist societies should be audited to ensure they exist and still meet the terms of the original affiliation agreement, i.e. size and governance.  [ I didn’t say in my submission that this audit should test if the organisation genuinely exists beyond its national committee, is open to membership, keeps to its rules of governance (i.e. regular elections to its national committee), has a minimum level membership activity and that critically branches genuinely exist].

Having two classes of Socialist Society, one with conference representation rights and one with both conference representation rights and CLP affiliation rights might be sensible. The latter would require a branch structure and need to be of sufficient size to realistically have them. Such a scheme might encourage the affiliation of organisations like the Labour Campaign for Human Rights which would allow Labour Conference the benefit of its expertise.


[1] BAME Labour only get NEC representation rights when above a certain size; it would seem that partly due to its arcane membership application process, which may have been the inspiration for the Home Office’s citizenship/settled status process, and partly due to its invisibility, it does not have sufficient members to qualify. Why Keith Vaz is still allowed to sit on the NEC, I have no idea? It should also be noted that Labour Party party units if only sending one delegate to a body must send a woman at least every other term of office. …

Labour Party, making policy

My submission to Labours Democracy Review on making policy.

CLPs should have an inalienable right to initiate policy, as such CLPs should be allowed to submit motions to Conference on policy as they see fit (i.e. not be constrained by the NPF report and processes).

NEC should publish their minutes so that members know what they are doing.

Appropriate CLP motions should be presented to the NEC and their actions recorded, minutes taken and reported to the authoring CLP.

CLPs should be able to submit a motion + rule change to Conference during the same year and CLP/Affiliate proposed rule changes to conference to should be allowed to be debated at the Conference for which it was proposed.

The NPF to be halved in size, meet more regularly, report to conference, and conference to be extended by a day. This is designed to increase the NPF’s accountability to Conference and provide some form of governance over continuous policy making; Conference should remain sovereign. NPF should be commissioning hearings led by a combination of grassroots activists and members and workers/trade unionists with expertise in specific areas. NPF should function in a more transparent way. This transparency to include its web site.

Conference should be a day longer, it would allow the consideration of more topics.

It should be considered to have a first delegate to conference at 500 members, and additional delegates at 750. More money should be sent to the CLPs and/or the Conference delegates should be funded by HQ. (We are debt free you know). [On drawing the graph/chart, I wonder if it would make much difference, it would make it easier, if it could be afforded, to send a gender balanced conference delegation, which is my purpose, but this would only be so for those CLPs with between 500 & 750 members. It should be noted that larger CLPs are not sending their full delegations because of cost. It should be noted that small and remote CLPs are not sending their delegations at all often because of cost. Perhaps elections at conference should be done as postal votes for non-attendees.]

It has been suggested to me that despite my efforts, many of Labour’s new members lack experience of the motion/debate process. More education is required at branch/member level about the motion process (e.g. what motions should incorporate and the change we hope to bring about). …

Electing Labour’s Leader

My submission to the Democracy Review on Electing the Leader.

Required nominations in the case of a vacancy should be set so that the electorate are given a choice. It should be noted that the higher the threshold required within the PLP, the more likely pressure for reselection will be in cases where MPs no longer represent the views of their membership.

On electing our leader, the Leader should be elected by individual ballot, of individual members, affiliate members and registered supporters.

Registered supporters should be asked to renew their commitment annually (and undergo the same checks that are used for people to become members), charged no more than of the order of £5 per year and be able to attend (but not vote during) branch meetings. If Toby Young seeks to become a registered supporter, we should refer it to the Police for fraud.

Freeze dates for all elections for internal office should be decided according to administrative feasibility. i.e. days or weeks, not the 6 months used in the 2016 leadership elections. …

Labour and local government

I have just made my submission to Labour’s Democracy Review on Local Government. It consists of proposals about candidate selection, labour’s governance (Groups and Labour Committees), Direct Mayors and recalling/dismissing Leaders.  The current local government candidate selection process and Labour Group governance rules gives a massive advantage to incumbents vs. challengers. If we are to meet our aspirations of representing the community and its most disadvantaged, we need to do better. I say more below or overleaf … … …

On Labour’s Leadership, Conference & Policy

My CLP had its meeting to determine what it wanted to say to the Labour Party Democracy Review’s phase three. This seeks views on Electing our Leadership, How we Make Policy and The Way We Work. I’ll write up what we said some time soon, once the notes are complete. We agreed some of the ideas from the CLPD’s recommendations. For the CLPD documents, I have made SURLs, see or . The CLPD original is hosted at Grass Roots Labour’s site, here. …

On the streets

Yesterday, over 100,00 people marched in London calling for a 2nd referendum, I popped in to show my solidarity earlier as I needed to be somewhere else but it looked big. I shouldn’t call it a 2nd referendum, its more a case of asking us if whatever they get, is what we meant and still want?


Privacy & compliance, reprised

I have had a look at the changes in Law, and thus the potential changes in data protection strategy since I first wrote about the conflicts between privacy, compliance and law enforcement.

The US courts have been siding with citizens and their privacy rights, the ECJ has been doing the same. Parliament has been going in the opposite direction, although the Supreme Court has declared the Data Retention laws to be contrary to Human Rights Law and should we actually leave the EU we will find obtaining an “Adequacy” agreement harder than we’d hope as the EU Parliament, Commission and the EU Data Protection Supervisory board focus on the rights of privacy from Governments. This will be a significant problem if the ECJ strikes down the model clauses and binding corporate rules.

I briefly touch on the fact that the European Laws are meant to be implementing the globally agreed seven principles of Data Protection, of Notice, Purpose, Consent, Security, Disclosure, Access and Accountability and that in a rights based jurisdiction, these rights must be protected from the Government as well as from Corporates.


The language has developed since 1980 but these principles were agree by the OECD in 1980.

I conclude the article by saying,

Today, under EU law, the lawful purpose would seem to be more flexible, cross border transfers are more restricted, and may become more so, and the EU is more concerned about nation state compliance; it’s what you’d expect from a political entity consisting of states and the children of people surviving fascist or Stalinist rule.

This political heritage should be remembered by those that see these laws merely as a business burden, …

Stop the Tory Brexit

And now I discover a reason for staying in Momentum, here’s a petition calling on Momentum to consult its members on the subject of Brexit.

Alena says,

We are proud members of Momentum and consistent supporters of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party and of the 2017 election manifesto. We deplore the persistent attacks of the right-wing of the Labour Party and their attempts to weaponise the issue of Brexit against our party leadership.

But we are equally opposed to the Tory Brexit now on offer. It is a disaster for working class people, public services, peace in Ireland, migrants, the environment, human rights, jobs and our children’s futures – the complete opposite of everything a socialist government would do. The so-called soft Brexit being pushed by neo-liberal “centrists” is hardly better: it threatens to turn us into a vassal state of Europe, making us rule takers not rule makers.

We call for a vote of all Momentum members this summer to decide whether to oppose Tory Brexit, and whether to campaign for Labour to hold a vote at Annual Conference in September on giving the people the final say on the Brexit deal.

We are a democratic socialist movement, and under Momentum’s constitution we can trigger a vote of all members with signatures from around 4000 Momentum members – please add your name today, and spread the word!

The petition form is also posted below the fold, to see it, Read More ….