Labour’s Peers in debating the Article 50 bill have voted down an amendment to stay in the single market, because it seems they want to prioritise immigration controls and the “will of the people”.

Adam Bienkov writing in Business Insider, says Labour’s Brexit spokesperson Baroness Hayter said that voting otherwise would have defied the will of the people on immigration. She told the House that accepting the single market amendment would be acting,

… as if the referendum had not happened and the result was not for leaving.


We cannot simply airbrush free movement from the referendum decision,

NB I have not checked the accuracy of the quotes in Hansard, but I agree this is shameful.


One All

Not really. Labour beat UKIP in Stoke and lost to the Tories in Copeland in Cumbria. While I have been known to say that one’s enough when it comes to majorities, neither of these results are good. Obviously Stoke is better result than Copeland. I was unable to visit either seat although local comrades did. The expected blamefest has started.

Personally, I’d like to start with this,

I have pointed at work publicised  at the LSE and now reinforced by John Curtice in the New Statesman and the Guardian that Labour’s best chance of electoral victory (or best chance to avoid oblivion) is to court the Remainer vote. This is sort of picked up by Paul Mason in his blog,

Mason makes the point that it was Jamie Reed, the retiring MP that lost the seat, but the Labour vote in Copland (and the whole of the country) has been in decline since 1997. The New Labour governments lost 5m vote between 1997 and 2010, much of this one can assume based on the strategy of ignoring the organised working class. The assumption was they have no where to go; contemporary history suggests that they do. I originally thought that the 3m votes lost between 1997 and 2004 were Tories and LibDems returning to their natural home, it seems now that it was the working class on a route somewhere else via originally abstention. Any way, here’s the numbers from Copeland over time….

There can be also little doubt that Labour’s indecision or lack of clarity on both the EU and Nuclear power must have caused problems in Copeland. Mason is interesting and clear on Brexit, pointing out that the price of Shadow Cabinet unity has been dodging the question as to what to do if the terms offered aren’t good enough. …


I have just written to Jeremy Corbyn stating that despite having voted for him twice, I am exceedingly disappointed that he, or his closest advisors seem to think that there are acceptable terms under which we might leave the EU. I think the leadership’s tactics over the article 50 bill in the Commons let us down, and I reminded him that Labour policy is to seek a second mandate if the terms negotiated by the Tories are unacceptable to us. I predict that he’ll lose support in the Party if he gets this wrong, and that not only right wingers or moderates as they seem to like to be called will leave the party or switch to other parties over this. …

They’re leaving

I spoke to a friend yesterday. [S]he is an economic migrant, probably would have been a refugee if they hadn’t found work, has been here for decades, is not a citizen of the European Union, in the delightful language of immigration law, they are an Alien, but they are married to someone who is i.e. a citizen of an EU member state ! [S]he said they’re going home i.e. to their spouse’s home;  they now feel unwelcome in the UK. What have we become? …


I have also thought about, researched and looked up the Labour Party’s rules as they pertain to emergency motions. I believe that delegate based GCs may not consider motions sponsored by delegates without the support of their nominating organisation. I have said why in a comment on my article, “Show me a motion”. I also believe that in a true emergency, such as recently when the Lewisham Deptford GC debated the Millwall CPO, it is necessary that individually drafted/submitted motions should be considered as emergencies. The Party and its membership are protected by the chair’s judgement and the affirmative vote required of Rule 15.I.H.i; which mandates that the chair rules the motion as a bone fide emergency and that this is confirmed by the meeting. Another reason for codifying the local rules. …

Ayes to the left

What the Labour Party does best, argue about rules! The purpose of meeting standing orders is to allow the meeting to express its will. It’s not a sailing race, they should not be weapons. This little note talks about how to vote and win votes in a Labour Party meeting, based on Chapter 15 of its rules.

Voting on business is by show of hands unless otherwise prescribed by the rules or requested by three members; the alternative is a written secret ballot. Elections & Selections must be by secret ballot. Oh! I didn’t know a secret ballot could be requisitioned by three members, I wonder if this rule can be applied to conference. This is covered in Rule C15.I.L.i, which does not explicitly state that motions are carried by simple majority but what it says about the circumstances of an equality of votes and casting votes strongly implies that the default position is that motions are carried if they receive more votes “for” than “against”.

Procedural motions are carried by a simple majority.  See rule 15.I.J.i. The rule lists procedural motions, “next business”, “that the vote be taken”, “adjournment” and “no confidence in the chair”. Additionally, votes to confirm motions as emergency motions are carried on a simple majority 15.I.H.i. Speakers can ask for an extension of their speech time limit, 15.I.I.ii this is granted on a simple majority.

Votes requiring a qualified majority.  Votes to extend the meeting require a ⅔ majority (of those present). Votes to challenge/overturn a Chair’s ruling require a ⅔ majority (of those present). Individual’s can be expelled from a meeting on the proposal of the chair requiring a ⅔ majority (of those present).

The exam question today is, can the agenda be re-ordered on a simple majority? The rules would seem to be silent if you consider the procedural motions to be an exclusive list.

Otherwise, motions are carried on a simple majority, I move that agenda item 6a be taken now.
. …


A return to the world of Kafka! Local campaigners are advertising government funding to subsidise superfast broadband rollout and asking local residents to register an interest at Hampshire County Council’s Superfast Broadband site. They don’t have my address, probably because of the same problems I had when trying to get a phone installed i.e. OpenReach’s database is wrong, and so my address is missing from the site. Furthermore they point at OpenReach’s site, which states that they are both accepting orders and yet not accepting orders. What!

I have complained to Hampshire County Council. I have other issues with BT so this will take the backburner. …


I was rung by an ex-client, now living and working in Denmark, my heart jumped, not only is the opportunity exciting, but could this be a route to remain a citizen of the EU. It would be a long shot, the job would have to last a long time; it wouldn’t be easy even under current law but there’s no doubt that this won’t be possible; the Tories, in the shadow of UKIP will attempt to close these doors because they want to stop immigration despite the economic damage it will do, and they are happy to have the rest of the EU retaliate as it forces remain voters to remain in the UK. Not content with walking away from Europe themselves, they insist that we do too. The rest of the EU won’t want the old because they become a health care burden and between them both they’ll make moving even private pensions into Europe harder and harder, not to mention the drop in value of sterling which will get worse vs. the northern European economies. It brought back the anger I felt last June because it’s not just that they want to fuck up their own lives, they insist on doing so to mine; it’s the theft of my freedom that I find hardest to take.