Leaving our opt-outs behind

It’s one of my fears over Brexit that the loonies will take us into a transition period without an agreement on anything other than the withdrawal terms, about which they are still haggling, and that should we change our minds, we’ll have to reapply and lose our opt-outs, which include Schengen (common borders), the stability & growth pact’s enforcement regime, a promise to join the Euro (we don’t have to) and our famous rebate on contributions. In transition, we lose our Council seat with its veto, our Commission seat, our MEPs and our Judges on the Court. We definitely become rule takers. …

Power in Momentum I

I have been preparing a little blog article on “Power in Momentum” which has been overtaken by yesterday’s decision by the “Officers” of Momentum to withdraw support from Pete Willsman as a candidate for Labour’s NEC. The article, among other issues, examined the power structures and came to conclusion that with the exception of the powers allocated to OMOV ballots, for which the rules mandated IT still does not exist, every decision and power is granted to the National Co-ordinating Group which meets in secret, doesn’t publish it decisions or its membership and has unlimited delegation powers although it doesn’t publish its instruments of delegation either. (I begin to question if it is genuinely a membership organisation.) One has to wonder why they decided to delegate the decision to the Officers rather than the Chair alone, but it’s a sign of hope that they couldn’t trust the whole NCG even after they purged the remainder of the democratic opposition in the last round of elections.

I have already voted for the #JC9 but do not consider Pete Willsman’s comments to be anti-semitic, and I am not alone, and consider that the Left needs all nine of its slate to be elected. I would urge anyone that has not yet voted that supports the Corbyn leadership to vote for all of the #JC9. …

Online Democracy

In Labour’s Democracy Review, they argue for more IT and remote access and online balloting, they say

Carers, disabled members, shift workers, women and young members have argued it is the poor, disadvantaged and already under-represented who are least likely to have the time and resources to attend meetings. These points have been made particularly at the disability events we have had.

Who the fuck do you think are least likely to have internet access?

In the HuffPo article, they argue that Momentum is an example of how digital engagement creates activity and energy.

In my book, Momentum has some questions to answer about it’s on-line democracy. (It’s closed source, and its IT Security Controls are not public and its segregation of duties is not published, and probably non-existent. )

In my short essay, http://davelevy.info/e-voting/, I say,

Bruce Schneier, in a 2004 essay, posed four requirements, that voting systems be fast, accurate, scalable and anonymous. To these I add, transparency.

E-voting systems struggle to meet the Schneier’s first four criteria and yet the last is possibly the most important; critically losers must trust that the result is accurate.

I say [much] more in articles on this blog tagged e-voting. …

Labour & anti-Semitism II

This has been written by a campaigning comrade and I reproduce it here, I disclaim authorship to avoid allegations of plagiarism.


Even before the release of the NEC’s new Code of Conduct on antisemitism, JVL was working as part of a consortium to prepare the ground for a challenge to the IHRA definition which, as you know, has attached to it controversial examples of conduct that it says may be considered to be antisemitic.

On June 15, a statement signed by 27 prominent Jewish figures was published in the Guardian calling for clarity about what antisemitism is and what it is not. This was followed on July 6, just after release of the NEC code, by a supportive statement from an unprecedented array of political and cultural figures.

When the NEC adopted its new code, and was immediately vilified, dishonestly, as rejecting an imaginary “internationally recognised definition of antisemitism” allegedly embraced by the entire Jewish community, JVL produced briefing notes for PLP members and a model motion for CLPs, as well as publishing online an avalanche of authoritative critique, most of it from expert Jewish sources defending the NEC code as superior to the IHRA document. I recommend looking at the JVL website for the full range of material.

Particularly helpful are an examination of the two documents by Brian Klug, a world expert on antisemitism, an explanation by another leading authority, Antony Lerman, of why fighting antisemitism has to be part of a wider antiracist struggle, and a Global Jewish Statement demonstrating how the IHRA document undermines legitimate campaigning on behalf of Palestine. This discussed in a comment piece in the Independent explaining the background to the global statement. …

Pointlessness or catastrophe

I don’t always agree with Seb Dance MEP, but his categorisation of Brexit  as having a choice between pointlessness and catastrophe he’s bang on.


 …

Labour & Education

Labour Party Conference is just two months away and so I am considering what I would like to see discussed. I think it important that we workout what a National Education Service means and so I with some help from some friends have developed the following words.

Conference notes

  1. that the government continues to promote privatisation of the schools system through academies and free schools, with a culture of competition based on ever-more onerous testing and Ofsted inspections. This is bad for students, school workers and society.
  2. our manifesto pledge to “ensure that all schools are democratically accountable…”
  3. our manifesto pledge to “abandon plans to reintroduce baseline assessments and launch a commission to look into curriculum and assessment, starting by reviewing Key Stage 1 and 2 SATs”

Conference believes that “public”/private and grammar schools are also incompatible with an egalitarian and democratic education system serving the many, not the few.

We call for the next Labour government to

  1. Immediately stop all academisations and the opening of any new academies or free schools.
  2. Place all state schools & FEs into full local authority control.
  3. Abolish “public”/private schools by taking them into local authority control.
  4. Ensure all schools are comprehensive, secular community schools, open to all.
  5. Immediately abolish Ofsted, all SATs tests and league tables.
  6. Restore national pay bargaining for teachers, implement the National Education Union’s maximum class size demands, and introduce a national Workload Charter.

(196 Words) with no Trigger.

I say with no trigger because motions to Labour Party conference must refer to an event between the publication of the National Policy Forum report and the 14th September. This is referred to by me, as an event trigger.

Motions need to be under 251 words long. So if you think I’ve missed anything important add or replace some of the demands and we’ll put them together at the composite meeting. If you get this through your CLP drop a comment on this blog. …

Accountability

I am finally free to read the Candidate by Alex Nunns; the beginning of the 2nd chpter is a series of quotes about the new system of electing a leader introduced in 2014, and it is clear that the Blairite focus on Presidential systems was central to what they thought they’d done. In fact, they’re right and the Party remains unstable because the leadership is only accountable to the membership through OMOV. …