Charter for a better Building Society industry

I was tidying up came across some paper work documenting the Charter for an open & democratically accountable building society industry. When googling it the only reference I came across was the labour Party’s policy forum mirror. If a member of the Labour Party or otherwise have a login to the Policy Forum site, site you might like to vote it up; it has more comments than votes but it also plays to the issue of control of the banks.

History teaches me that mirroring the charter here is probably a good idea, because I can no longer find it on the BSMA site. …

Labour and the Surveillance State

I am planning to get a motion on the Justice and the Surveillance State to LP Conference, I asked for help in this article on this blog, and I believe the final words for CLPD are very similar to my version 2. Here they are,

Investigatory Powers to be subject to Human Rights Law

Conference notes the absence from the NPF Report 2018 of the surveillance society.

Conference notes the continual use of surveillance powers in the private and public sectors authorised by law, or government programme including:

  • Investigatory Powers Act 2016,
  • Immigration Act 2014
  • Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015
  • Digital Economy Acts 2017/2010,
  • Data Protection Act 2018

Conference notes that the IPA 2016 and DEA 2010 were both interdicted by the CJEU as contrary to Human Rights Law and/or the EU acquis.

The intrusive programmes include Prevent and ‘get it right from a genuine site’.

Conference believes that freedom of expression and the right to privacy are universal human rights, that the current surveillance and investigatory powers regime is in breach of these rights.

Conference resolves that a Labour Government will ensure that private and public surveillance technologies and systems will conform to laws that meet the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights, including a need to prove reasonable suspicion before collecting evidence and the right to a fair trial with the principle of innocent until proved guilty.

Conference calls on the Labour Party to draw up a Human Rights based policy for the regulation of British Law Enforcement authorities and their investigatory powers. This to include the abolition of Prevent, the repeal of the 2014 Immigration Act and the repeal of the immigration data exception established by the DPA 2018.

Conference instructs the relevant Policy Commission to launch a consultation on Surveillance and Justice to report to Conference 2020.

If you can get it to Conference that would be very helpful.

I have put the words in a word document,  Motion on Investigatory Powers for Lab19., or in a .pdf if you prefer, Motion on Investigatory Powers for Lab19. …

Greetings

I saw this a couple of days ago, and let it past, but today I am reminded what a good idea, letting people choose their greeting is and so decided to share it here.

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The Shires vote, and so does Lewisham

Last night was election night for much of the country, although on the whole not in London and it seems, not in Northhamptonshire. It’s been a confusing set of  results and I’ll need to think about what it means; I don’t plan to be as quick as either the Leader of Sunderland council nor his remainer opposites, when I find out who that is. But in Lewisham London, Labour held the two seats up for election.

Congratulations Lionel & Kim

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Labour’s road to here

Labour’s road to here

There has been much a-wailing and gnashing of teeth as the Labour Party NEC decides what Labour’s Euro manifesto should say; they have reiterated Conference ’18 policy, to oppose a Tory Brexit by all means including a Referendum.

I was asked elsewhere when we established and then stepped away from the six tests; The six tests were confirmed at Conference 18 although the phrase “respect the referendum” which was inserted to the 2017 Manifesto presumably through the Clause V meeting, has not been approved. I have over time tracked the development of Labour’s Brexit policy as set out by Conference.  The first is about #lab16  which says we’ll stay if terms set by the Tories are unacceptable and states that we’ll accept any mandate including a vote in Parliament. I cover the  the #lab17 stitchup but while it’s weaker, it’s still fundamentally about no worse than in, (read the comment for the bad news), and I record the words of #lab18, last year,  which opposes a tory brexit by all means, prioritises jobs, the economy and the Northern Ireland border. I also talked about the abandonment of the six tests, in this article, called “Consenus” and the low profile insertion of the Common Arrest Warrant as a requirement. …

Meaningful Votes

Meaningful Votes is a role-playing game, written by Richard Barbrook, where player’s (or teams) represent parliamentary factions and replay the last 3 months in Parliament to see if a different outcome might have been possible. The factions have different power (ie. votes in Parliament) and the different goals i.e. different Parliamentary goals which are enforced by the scoring system. You can also win points through your rhetoric. At least some factions score higher if they are on the losing side of some votes. Heckling is encouraged.

We played this with Lewisham West and Penge CLP.

Richard suggested that people play a faction with whose views you disagree because the learning experience is better. I played the “Lexiter” faction and certainly clarified my ideas about who they are and what they represent, an alliance of rump Bennites and Blue Labour and that’s before we just consider the careerists & triangulators, who are frightened for their seats or for a majority. …

Euro Parliament 2019

The European Parliament Elections are coming, here’s what you need or can do to get involved. Help Labour keep its four seats in London.

  1. If not on the electoral roll, register to vote before the 7th May, here…I didn’t know you could vote if homeless, but it seems you can, If you can’t provide an address, you are advised to contact your local Electoral Registration Office for advice.
  2. If a citizen of an EU member state other than Republic of Ireland, Malta or Cyprus you need to notify the Electoral Registration Officer that you will not be voting other than in the UK. This can be done using the form on this page at the Register to Vote site. This needs to be done by midnight 7th May
  3. Register for a postal vote here …, before the 8th May; you’ll need a printer
  4. You may apply for a proxy vote until 15th May.
  5. Join the Party here …
  6. Donate to the national party here…
  7. Join us on the doorstep, find out where & when here …,, we also run phone banks for those who can’t or don’t want to knock on doors. check out here …, or tell us here …,
  8. Put a poster, or posters up in your window, or garden, tell us here …, you’ll need to say that you want a poster and tell us where to deliver it.
  9. Donate to Labour’s campaign in Deptford here …
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Creative Indusry exports or not

Over 6 months ago, I decided to see how true the proposition that Creative Industries are foreign exchange earners for the economy as claimed by British Music and the Shadow Culture team. I asked my MP to ask a written question and the replies are linked to in a comment on the above article. I asked for a broader range of industry classifications as I was interested in broader questions than just the creative industry.

I think this is validly constructed.

EMI was sold to Sony & Universal in 2012 and so their balance of trade position was reversed at that time and they were a competitively large music publisher at the time. I last looked at the structure of the global music industry a long time ago, pre-streaming, pre-Apple and pre-Spotify (which is incorporated in Sweden).

Five years out of nine, the industry was in deficit. The final year surplus is extraordinarily large, it would be good to see 2017/2018 and/or understand the reasons for this number. It is not historically true to say that the Creative industries are a net contributor to the foreign exchange account.

I should add that the aggregate trade current account deficit is run as at about minus £2.5bn /month over the period in question. …

A first domino?

Carol Cadwalladr and others are speculating that the US Federal Trade Commission plan to fine Facebook $5bn for its privacy law breaches. This is reported today in the New York Times, in an article, Facebook Expects to Be Fined Up to $5 Billion by F.T.C. Over Privacy Issues. This documents the breaches which focus on Cambridge Analytica and the Brexit time span and the laws. $5bn is a lot, the EU only fined Google €1.5bn. I posted the NYT article on Facebook with the following comment.

But he still won’t come to the UK to testify to the DCMS select committee, although I have sympathy with the argument that if we aren’t investigating our citizens who have broken the law, why should he put himself at the front of the queue.

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War & Schools

In this article in the Guardian, Richard Norton Taylor looks at the UK defence budget, quotes its critical parliamentary scrutiny, the NAO and defence select committee through the prism of an examination of value for money; It costs too much, the nuclear subs and aircraft carriers are of questionable value and as suggested by Conan’s “Riddle of Steel”, weapons need to be wielded by people, we don’t have enough and they are not well enough educated.

It’s almost as if the ruling class and their educational policy makers have forgotten that the greatest educational reform acts were passed in response to the challenge to the nation of then recent wars. …