A long and eventful weekend

A long and eventful weekend

What a week-end. Jeremy Corbyn is elected Leader of the Labour Party and just as the first thing he did after nomination was to go on a demo, he immediately went to speak to the “Refugees Welcome” demo in Parliament Square. The German suspension of its European borders is a sad reaction to those who won’t pull their weight, which includes the British Government acting in our name. Even after the Government’s belated reaction to the popular will of the masses, we are still below the UN recommended quotas and as with nearly everything done by the Cameron Government, they’re tone deaf, in that they announce a five year commitment and plan to fund the refugee programs with the International Aid budget.

These news events have buried Cameron’s acquiescence in using military action to kill two British citizens who were allegedly ISIS fighters. This will come back to bite him, possibly as badly as new Labour’s decision to go to war in Iraq. I have done a storify sharing my views on the (il)legality of the act. Make no mistake, it’s a massive escalation in the militarisation of the state. In Britain, we suffered and fought a terrorism/counter terrorism campaign for over 30 years while maintaining civil primacy and ensuring that the rule of law was paramount and that the police and courts were our primary defence. …

Labour’s next leader, economics, defence and the mandate

Labour’s next leader, economics, defence and the mandate

In the dying days of Labour’s Leadership selection, the key issues remain those of economics & strategy, but also unfortunately now one of mandate.

The debate on economics has come to be between Cooper and Corbyn. Demanding credibility is not an economic policy and so we can ignore Kendall & Burnham. I summarise the other’s two positions below and conclude that Corbyn’s economic manifesto is not just a shopping list of desirable reforms, they are a single set of reinforcing measures to fix and rebuild the economy so it works in the interests of the majority of people.

This was meant to be a short blog, emphasising the economy and virtuously circular, self reinforcing nature of Corbyn’s programme, but I also take the opportunity to look at the defence and foreign policy debate and conclude with some comments on the election process itself and Labour’s future.

I am glad I voted for Jeremy Corbyn, but I am not a Corbynista, I am Real Labour. …

Tom Watson for Deputy

Tom Watson for Deputy

I shall be voting for Tom Watson for Deputy and ask you to do so too. He is a long term campaigner on the side of the good. He has shown he stands up for what he thinks is right and has Government experience having served in the last labour Governments in Defence and the Cabinet Office. In 2010, he took the citizens position and opposed the Digital Economy Act, and during the last Parliament he opposed the Governments repeated attempts to introduce and legalise mass surveillance, most recently 15 months ago when he led the opposition to DRIP, an opposition he took to court and won, with the unique result that the courts have put a judicial sunset clause on the Act. He has also taken the government to court to have their information sharing with the USA declared illegal because of the military use the American make of it. He led the majority on the Culture Media and Sports select committee on phone hacking and media plurality  …

Labour’s new extended family

Labour’s new extended family

Labour’s electoral roll for its 2015 elections has now closed. We took a decision last year to extend the franchise for the election of Leader, Deputy Leader and its candidate for Mayor of London to supporters and over 120,000 people have signed up as well as over 100,000 new full members. I hope that this is a first step for them in helping Labour rebuild and create an effective opposition, although not only do we need them to stay with us, we need to respectfully listen to them.

As one minor elected voluntary official I welcome you to Labour’s movement. …

Labour’s Human Rights champion

Labour’s Human Rights champion

Left Foot Forward publishes an article “Who is the ‘human rights candidate’ for Labour’s leadership?”. This is based on a post on the Labour Campaign for Human Rights, who publish the candidates answers in their own words  on their own blog.  One of the LCHR’s questions was on Surveillance, and none of them have consulted me ;), but Cooper and Burnham both support the need for judicial authorisation and probable cause. Kendall and Corbyn both support strengthening the legal framework in favour of civil liberties. Kendall states she opposes the privacy breaches inherent in mass surveillance. Corbyn that he thinks mass surveillance is ineffective (and thus not justified?). …

It’s still the economy stupid

It’s still the economy stupid

Is the economics getting lost in Labour’s Leadership debate? I think so. Only Jeremy Corbyn is talking real economics, the others led by Liz Kendall are talking about credibility, which I assume is code for reducing the deficit through fiscal policy i.e. expenditure cuts and tax rises. I am disappointed in Yvette Cooper, yet strangely not surprised by Andy Burnham.

Corbyn is not arguing for a Soviet style economy, the macro-economics is Keynesian, the micro-economics maybe socialist because he argues, in contrast to the Tories and their media shills, that wealth is created by both workers and entrepreneurs.  …

London’s Labour Leadership Hustings

London’s Labour Leadership Hustings

So the Leader debate is becoming about winning in 2020, how to win back the Tories and the Presidential qualities of the candidates, that’s what the Press are saying and that’s what the supporters of the three wise monkeys are arguing. The question that needs to be proved by them is that they are any more likely to win than Corbyn with his Keynesian anti-austerity policy. I attended the London Hustings for Labour’s Leadership yesterday. I don’t think it will have changed many people’s minds.  …

Getting welfare politics right and wrong

Getting welfare politics right and wrong

Harman’s interview on the Andrew Marr show where she challenges Labour to leave its comfort zone by being shit to welfare recipients is a disgrace and arguing for abstention on the Tories new welfare bill. I am one of many who argue that Labour should come to terms with losing the 2015 election before we elect a leader, but the Harman leadership repeats the mistake of 2010, by having the Leadership election immediately and then in lieu of a debate we have a brutal illustration of the power of Labour’s leader position exercised by someone who only holds the position on an interim basis. This is deliberate, some in the Leadership don’t want to share that power with either the long term membership or its newly energised members. They substitute a personality beauty contest for a rigorous and accountable policy framework which dis-empowers the activists. She’s wrong on policy and wrong on strategy. …