First thoughts

The table in this article lists the EP constituencies and the first seat quota, and when looking at the ComRes opinion poll LAB 33%; CON 18%; BRX 17%; CHUK 9%; LD 9%; UKIP 5%; Green 5%; SNP 4%; Other 1%, it is implied that only Labour, the Tories and the Brexit Party would win any seats, in England

Votes are generally geographically concentrated, so the SNP’s 4% of national polls, translates into a much bigger number in Scotland. In 2014, they won two (out of six) seats with just under 30% of the vote.

The south east region has 10 seats and the lowest quota. It also has very strong pockets of Remain votes in both the Brighton and Oxford but also along the railway lines in Surrey & Hampshire. It’s 1st seat quota is the lowest and it elected four UKIP MEPS in 2014. (I should look up how many voters there are in each region but we are working in percentages today.) It elected one Green, one Lib Dem and one Labour MEP and three Tories, one of whom has defected to Change UK, the party once known as the Tinge.  They may keep their seat here as Tory Remainers may find the LibDems and Greens a step too far. I wonder if Labour can pick another one up but otherwise across the country i.e. England, if ComRes are right, everyone except Labour, Tories and the Brexit Party is going to struggle.

The constituencies vary in size from three to ten seats; the single ten seat constituency is the most proportionately sensitive.

The last seat in each election is also interesting as it is evaluated on those votes left; parties with seat already declared have “exhausted” their votes but there are no transfers. In seats like London, it was a choice between the Greens and the Lib Dems as Labour, Turies and UKIP has exhausted their votes and their final seat quota’s were lower than the other two parties first round quotas. …

And they’re off

So it looks like there’s going to  be a European Parliamentary election, and people are publishing polls, the table below shows the number of seats in 2014 and the 1st Quota. Last time’s results are reported by the House of Commons Library here ….

Last time in London Labour won 4 seats, the 1st, 3rd, 5th & 7th on the back of a 36% vote share. With the right manifesto we might do better. The Greens got the last seat with 8.9% of the vote. (The last seat is always intresting, because there are still wasted votes in a D’Hondt count. …

You might be able to vote for me

Yesterday, I applied to be one of Labour’s candidates for election as an MEP in London.

In London, we need to remain aware of London’s vote to Remain in the EU and the criticality of getting the citizenship terms in the withdrawal agreement right to meet the needs of resident EU citizens and their families. I support Labour’s policy of Remaining if the departure terms are inadequate.

I voted Remain, and have since then argued that Leaver’s should negotiate the terms of exit they think are right and then ask us again if that is what we meant. I believe that Remaining in the EU is better for the people of this country than leaving on May’s terms (or on no terms). I have argued elsewhere in this blog that leaving the EU is either Catastrophic or Pointless. I oppose austerity, racism and climate change. I am a socialist and I voted for Jeremy Corbyn as Leader in 2015 and 2016, and Dianne Abbot in 2010.

I am aware that under Labour’s rules, I am unlikely to get a place on the slate that would lead to me being elected, but I am passionate in my desire to make the case for Labour in this election.  Should I be elected, I would hope to be part of a Labour Group that argues against austerity and look to work particularly with the SPD to move Labour’s allies in Europe towards an economy that work “for the many and not the few”.

 

Our manifesto needs to address the short-term issues of whether we quit the EU or Remain, racism & immigration policy and also the longer-term issues of investment, austerity and climate change.

My professional and trade union experience are a great basis for being an MEP, which is one of the most demanding public offices that Labour seeks election to. My IT industry knowledge is applicable to many areas of EU competence as society seeks to build a democratic regulatory environment to live with the datenkraken.

From 2008 to 2009, I served on NESSI, the EU’s investment incubator for the EU’s R&D grants for internet and computing. (If elected and should we remain, I would hope to help business, education institutes and local authorities improve their bidding capability for this money.) I became one of the authors of the EU’s software industry strategy. This public service reminded me of the good that public policy can do.

I am currently a Branch President in the GMB. The bulk of my work is personal case work and acting as an accompanying rep. I am a trained workplace rep and am experienced in negotiating and have knowledge of employment law. This also requires high levels of empathy and the ability to listen. In the ’80s, I was part of a leadership of work place branch I organised strike action as part of national pay campaigns and other solidarity action with the Civil Service trade unionists derecognised at GCHQ and with the Miners.

My working time in the Civil Service taught me about how to manage and participate in the policy to execution cycle, a critical skill in public policy and service delivery.

I have an Economics degree and am a member of the Royal Economics Society.

I have lived and/or worked in London nearly all my life. I have been a member of five London CLPs over that time, both North and South of the River and in both inner and outer London. I have been a member and activist in four Unions (CPSA, SCPS, APEX & GMB), and remain an active Trade Unionist. All of this has allowed me to meet and learn from the diverse populations across London.

I am just an ordinary working person, I have worked all my life and since 1986 in the private sector, I have known the fear of unemployment and been unemployed. I have experienced the struggle to get my kids well educated and into secure work; I have been a lifelong user of the NHS.

I can represent ordinary Londoners because I am one.

ooOOOoo

Short Link: https://wp.me/p9J8FV-1MF …

Consensus?

Theresa May finally reached out to Corbyn to aks for his help in getting Brexit over the line. She wants to apply for another short extension, avoiding the Euro-elections. The good news is that having seen the weight of opinion in Parliament, she’s moving away from catastrophic towards pointless. Here’s what Corbyn said last time, in February about what he thought was acceptable, and I commented on the letter here … and then wrote a small piece about the requirement to be able to keep the European Arrest Warrant.

As I said, the latter is an important demand, since it invokes the justice pillar which brings the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Court into play. Another Tory red line bites the dust.

ooOOOoo

This also is still true, from, my “New Red Lines” article, which still holds true,

My one true fear is that it means Labour accepts the withdrawal agreement which will throws those Brit’s living in the EU under the bus, and the will permit the Tory government to implement another Windrush by placing EU citizens in the UK, having lived here for months or years under the same hostile environment applied to other alien immigrants and subject to uncertainty about their rights to remain. For me this might be a price too high!

 …

Back to the Commons for more on Brexit

Last night the House of Commons voted on four alternatives to No-Deal and May’s Deal Brexit, they were any deal to be confirmed by a confirmatory/final say referendum, aiming for Custom’s Union, aiming for a Customs Union and Single Market membership, and changing the default, currently to leave without a deal to Revoking of article 50. They all failed to win a majority, but the Customs Union only lost by three votes. Here is a graphic from the Institute of Governance showing the votes. I also present the majorities/minorities in bar chart form.

 

A number of MPs and commentators have argued, partly as a result of the ERG’s stupid game playing, that accepting May’s binding deal in exchange for a promise that the non-binding political declaration becomes better than May’s first draft is unacceptable; much of the problem in compromising in or with Parliament is that it can’t bind itself, so its promises are worthless. It’s one of the reasons I still support remain as Pariament can’t break the accession treaties. This means that “Customs Union” and “Common Market 2.0” have questionable value and the Withdrawal Agreement with it’s sub-standard citizenship guarantees and its failure to underwrite the Good Friday Agreement underwrite them. The vote however is meant to be indicative.

I have previously argued that Brexit is either catastrophic or pointless and I have learned that there are at least two forms of decision making, which either polarise or coalesce foci. Parliaments allow coalescence, compromise and the ability of popular second choices to become a reality. It seems that MPs are not yet ready to make these comprises, as shown by the high number of Labour votes against all these positions and Nick Boles decision to resign the Tory Whip. See below/overleaf for the bar charts, … …

On Investigatory Powers, yet again

Time for another go on getting some decent policy against the surveillance state and against privatised investigatory powers. Here’s my first draft.

Investigatory Powers to be subject to Human Rights Law

Conference notes that the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 legalised the UK intelligence services to collect telecommunication usage data on all UK residents, now ruled as contrary to human rights law.

Conference notes the Immigration Act 2014 and Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 requires numerous private & public sector organisations to collect personal data about their customers, users or charges.

Conference notes that all immigration enforcement data has been exempted from the Data Protection Act 2018.

Conference notes that the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places surveillance duties on specified authorities including educational & healthcare institutions.

Conference notes the complete absence from the NPF report 2018 on the surveillance society and the illegal investigatory powers regime introduced by the Tories in 2016.

Conference believes that freedom of expression & thought and the right to privacy are universal human rights and 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.

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 placing of UK Borders under the auspices of the Data Protection Act.

I’d like to work something about “getitrightfromagenuinesite” in, since that’s allegedly voluntary and yet still surveillance and I should try and work something in on black listing and the public and private sector surveillance of Trade Unions, but the above …