Brexit goes to Parliament

Brexit goes to Parliament

On returning from LP conference in September last year, I predicted that the left/right split had been added to by arguments over Brexit and Immigration. The last couple of days has shown this clearly. It starts from May’s declaration that the UK will be seeking to leave the single market and the customs union, the so-called “Hard Brexit”. This is because they wrongly think that this is the only way to implement more restrictive border controls and for reasons I can’t really understand hate the European Court of Justice. The UK Supreme Court has since ruled that only Parliament can agree to leave the EU and implement Article 50’s intention to quit. This article looks at the politics of the situation, especially as it applies to the Parliamentary Labour Party and argues that Labour’s policy of defining red-lines, and asking for a second mandate if the terms of exit are unacceptable are fair, democratic and desirable. …

Old Blue

For the idiots, we are not getting our blue passports back, there’s another international treaty which governs the look, feel and format of passports and it would seem that the old blue passports are also the result of an international treaty. …

Fine Art

I was experimenting with and was looking for style sheets which reminded me André Derain & Dufy. Here’s some pictures of theirs, from the ‘net, curiously both of the river bisecting the Capitals of the old Entente Cordiale.

Derain’s “Pool of London”, I think

and one from Jean Dufy;

I have one of his, or is it his brother’s bucolic pictures on my wall, but I liked this. …


Is Capitalism transforming, must we have a citizen’s income because it can’t offer enough people jobs?. Thinking about this leads me to the theories about the declining rate of profit. I decided that Wikipedia would be the most intellectually accessible.

Amongst other things, it says,

The central idea that Marx had, was that overall technological progress has a long-term “labor saving bias”, and that the overall long-term effect of saving labor time in producing commodities with the aid of more and more machinery had to be a falling rate of profit on production capital,

This depends on the assumption that only Labour can produce surplus value and in a software managed world, I am not sure its true. It may also depend upon the idea that capital is and has been homogeneous over time; I am of the view that Capital Productivity has been reset and rebooted by the five technological revolutions. I also question if Labour is as it was and how the increasing value of information, knowledge and human capital impacts these theories. Marx also stated that nature is a source of wealth and production; it’s not exclusively about Labour. I think I need to read the fragment of the machines, and write a review of the second machine age. …


It’s been a busy week on the Brexit front, first, the Prime Minister lays out her stall and vision on how the Article 50 negotiations might take place and on the UK’s goals, I originally created a story on Storify which is now posted here, and then the Supreme Court rules that the Government needs an Act of Parliament to authorise the Article 50 notice. This has created much excitement in all the political parties; let’s hope the result is that Parliament or the electorate get the opportunity to authorise or reject the final agreement although much will depend on whether the Article 50 notice is revocable since I want the rejection of the Article 50 negotiations to be that we remain members. There’s much to play for. Let’s hope to opposition play their cards well in the next month. I am still of the view that there’s no exit terms as good as staying in and I am in direct disagreement with the Tories, we want and need the European Court because it’s a counter to Parliamentary Sovereignty; it’s the only way to guarantee workers and citizens rights against a backwoodsman Tory Parliament. …

This will not end well

Theresa May explains her plans for leaving the EU; she plans to leave the EU, the EEA and the customs union in order to finish her failed task of reducing immigration and excluding the UK from the European Court of Justice. This was originally a storify and contains a video of the Chatham House speech.



Jon Lansman and his allies in Momentum have through extraordinary means overturned the decisions of the last Momentum national committee i.e. to hold a delegate based Conference to set rules and determine policy. They have also determined that expelled Labour Party members cannot be members of Momentum, it’s claimed that this is in order to prepare for affiliation as a Socialist Society. At least some of the Socialist Societies have non members as do the Trade Unions, it’s part of their design goals. As Jill Mountford points out in her blog, in the ’80s, the Left opposed expulsions despite stronger provocation. This is a power play by the same people that have been losing to Labour’s right since 1980, the goal should be to energise new joiners and those that have rebooted themselves; playing the same old games lets them down and will lead to Labour’s destruction.


Freedom from Robots

Over the last couple of years, a number of economists and politicians have been exploring the threat to professional and middle class jobs posed by algorithms and robots,, for instance, here at the Harvard Business Review and here at the Economist.

Interestingly Article 22.1 of the GDPR offers a freedom from automatic processing, stating that,

The data subject shall have the right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing, including profiling, which produces legal effects concerning him or her or similarly significantly affects him or her.

Obviously this can be finessed via consent as are the working hours restrictions in the UK, but this is a big problem for the robot lawyers (& doctors). When I originally found this clause I thought it might be new but it is in fact part of the previous Directive (Article 15.1) and implemented in UK Law as Para 12 of the Data Protection Act 1998 …